Have you been to Australia before? We have. We’ve had two or three trips over. We’ve always had a really good time. It’s really interesting to travel so far from home for the pure reason of playing music. It’s quite an exciting thing.
You guys toured with Muse recently, what’s that been like? That’s been fun. I think it was just before Christmas or just after. We did some shows around Europe. You forget what a big band they are so it was really quite incredible. I think we managed to steal a few of their fans and we had a really nice time. It was great playing in these huge stadiums every night and they’re great guys to tour with, we got really well looked after. It’s really fun getting to watch them every night.
Which do you prefer, big gigs or more intimate ones? I think the first time we played the big shows it was so nerve-wracking, it was so different to the small shows and I think once you get over it you really kind of thrive on it and it becomes exciting. We wouldn’t want to just do big gigs or just do small gigs. It’s really important to have the balance and it’s nice to mix it up. But I do really like the energy of a festival main stage where there’ll be 20 or 30,000 people and you get them all singing along.
Do you have a favourite place to play? Playing at home is really exciting, it’s really nice to go back home when you’ve been touring for the last four or five months. People like to see if you’ve gotten better or if you’re still the same or whatever. But we just did a tour around the States where we’re less known and it’s nice going to small towns where you can confuse a few people or suprise a few people.
How do you compare yourselves as artists now compared to when you released your first album? I think we’re better. It’s always the hope and I think I can safely say that we have gotten better. Our songs are better, I think we’re better players and we’ve got a lot more experience and I think it shows a little bit as well. I think the band is always looking to move forward and keep trying out different things. Just enjoying it is the most important thing, to keep making music that we believe in.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you would have known back then? Not really. I don’t know if that sounds a bit self-celebrate. I guess you just have to learn as you go along and you have to make mistakes to get better. If we’d known everything at 18 we might have made some bigger mistakes.
Who do you consider your influences? When we started the band it was bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Guns ‘N’ Roses and that sort of thing. After, it was really bands that no one had really heard of but just bands that made interesting music. Now there’s a couple of bands that I think we’re a little bit surprised that we liked. A band like My Morning Jacket (US) are I guess like no other. They’re kind of modern but they sound like an old band in some way. It’s quite fascinating that your musical taste can change but I embrace it and keep sort of listening to different stuff.
You mentioned Guns ‘N’ Roses. I believe Slash is in town, are you going to catch up with him? Really? I didn’t realise that. We’d love to hang out with Slash. We got a chance to support Velvet Revolver a couple of times. Duff McKagan asked if we could come and be his backing band when he was playing in London and we pissed our pants. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it.