Interview: More Than Conquerors
More Than Conquerors are a four piece alternative rock band from Belfast in Northern Ireland. Signing to local independent record label Small Town America in 2010, these boys soon made their way up the chain, playing on the headline stage at Glasgowbury music festival the following year and releasing not one, but two EPs.
Having played the headline stage at the festival last month for its final year (R.I.P Glasgowbury) the four-piece have just announced a UK tour in October to promote the release of their first album Everything I’ve Learnt. I spoke to lead singer/guitarist Kris Platt about the new album, plans for the future and secret guilty pleasures…
Hey Kris! First of all, congrats on the release of your first full length album, we at 7bit are super excited about it. What was it like recording the album compared to the previous EPs?
Thanks guys, we’re pretty excited about it too. It was very similar actually. We don’t record in the conventional way, i.e. going into a studio for two weeks and get everything done; we record quite a lot of it ourselves with help from others along the way. We did drums in a farm house, guitars in a church, vocals in my flat and bass in the Smalltown America studios.
You recently recorded a song with the lovely boys from north-coast band Axis Of – what was it like working with another band? The Northern Irish music scene is such a tightly knit group that you’ve no doubt worked closely with these boys before, but were there any ‘creative differences’ whilst recording? And when is that release going to emerge to the public?
Axis Of are one of my favourite bands ever so it was an absolute treat to finally collaborate with them. I love the way they work so it was also really interesting to watch which way their cogs turn in a creative situation. There were no differences at all, before we began the writing process we both agreed that we shouldn’t write a song that everyone wouldn’t be expecting, I think we stayed true to that. There’s talk about doing a show together in the near future but we’re both so busy it’s hard to pin a date down.
It’s already been a huge year for you guys as a band having headlined Glasgowbury for the second year in a row and you recently supported We Are Scientists in the Limelight in Belfast. Is it difficult supporting a band you really love?
We didn’t exactly headline but we got a really good slot, two from the end this year and it came as a big shock to us. We’re extremely proud and humbled to have been part of such an incredible festival for the past 4 years. It’s been a wild ride for us and Glasgowbury have been there to support us every step of the way. We Are Scientists was a crazy show too. It’s never difficult supporting a band you love, it’s just exciting. The guys were so down to earth so if there were any nerves at all they put them to rest pretty quickly.
The band starts a UK tour to support the album launch in October. Have you ever done a tour this long before? Looking at the tour dates, there’s a lot of different cities and venues. Are you at all anxious about spending so much time cooped up with the other boys in the band? Some bands are infamous for having to spend time apart on tour!
We did one last September that was 6 weeks. It was one of the grimmest experiences of our lives. We broke down half way through, had to cancel some shows, spent a lot of money on a hire car and I fell really ill. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again. With every tour we do we learn little things about how to get by and about each other. It’s obviously frustrating being with the same 3 people for such a long space of time but we’re brothers and lots of obstacles have already come our way. Even still, we’re still alive, still touring and still loving every minute of it. We won’t be stopping anytime soon over who ate the last 12p pot noodle from Tesco.
Finally – time to spill the beans! Do you have any favourite artists or songs that you’re embarrassed to tell people about?
I don’t really get embarrassed about sharing my taste in music, life’s too short for that kind of thing. I’m really into the new Jay Z – Magna Carta/Holy Grail, Kanye West – Yeezus, Justin Timberlake – 20/20 experience and QOTSA – …like clockwork. The latter is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard and I do not say that lightly.
More Than Conquerors start their UK tour on 23rd September and will be playing shows up and down the country. Their new album Everything I’ve Learnt is available to pre-order now via Small Town America.