I met with The Americas before their gig at The Camden Assembly, London (where else) alongside The Vryll Society. They’ve got one hell of a year coming up and I wanted to know more about them, their style and what we can expect… and the Americas say we should expect the unexpected. It’s safe to say that this Birmingham trio have got fans of rock eating out of the palms of their hands.
So, generic question to kick things off – tell me the love story of how The Americas were formed (not geographically though…) Where does the name come from? Is it influenced by a specific continent by some chance?
I guess in terms of the current line-up we formed around about a year/year and a half ago now after we poached Alex from another local band… But Harry and I (Aaron) have been writing and playing music together for a while longer… We both did a lot of travelling and a lot of stereotypical “soul-searching” a few years ago and ended up meeting at a party when we were both back in the UK… I’m not sure when we formed really… Sometime along the way, it must have happened.
The name comes from a few different things… None more so than “America” by Ginsberg… But there’s a lot more to it than just that… We talked about all our influences and put everything out on the table and it just seemed obvious in the end… It’s kind of ironic… We’re a British band and we make very British music in some regards… I think people can see that.
You describe your sound as “Music to ride a motorcycle to” – are you heavily influenced by traditional dirty stinking rock n roll that’s leather clad or are there plenty of other influences as well by other genres?
I think there are a whole host of different things you can hear in our song writing… Influence-wise bands like The Rolling Stones or Iggy and the Stooges are obvious examples, but equally, if you listen carefully, you can hear anything from Woody Guthrie to Talking Heads all mixed up in there… Lyrics and storytelling are really, really, important for us… The best music out there gives you a lot more than just a good beat to jump around to or a catchy riff to sing along to… There’s a lot of folk in what we do… There’s a lot of punk… There’s a lot of gospel… These days you can pull up YouTube or Spotify and listen to basically any song ever written… It’s easy to get inspired.
You’ve been hot on the tails of This Feeling and have gone on a tour around England, concluding in your hometown of Birmingham just last week. How have you been received in different cities and which was your favourite one to play?
This Feeling have been really good to us and have helped us out with quite a few shows this year…
We’ve met a lot of good people out on the road though… Each and every show is always memorable for one reason or another… But I think in terms of our recent tour, Liverpool is quite a standout show… We can’t wait to go back there… Just a weird atmosphere up there… It’s special! We’ve had a blast at every show we’ve played though… It’s sweet to get out and see tons of different cities… Cardiff was a great surprise and London is always fun… And there’s nothing like playing a hometown show in Birmingham… Those cats are crazy.
What can we expect over the next year or so?
You can expect a ton of live shows… You can expect more music… You can expect the unexpected.
Have you got any festival dates or more tour dates in the pipe line?
We’ve got plenty of both in the pipe line… Keep your eyes peeled for an early summer tour… Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to keep up to date with it all.
Here’s a question I ask all the bands that I interview – if you could play with any band or musician (dead or alive), who would you choose, which venue would you play and why?
Bob Dylan at Cafe Wah… Because who doesn’t wish they were around in Greenwich Village in the 60s hanging out with Bob?
David Bowie at Radio City Music Hall… Because David Bowie and New York?
Arcade Fire at Red Rocks… One of the best venues on the planet… One of the best bands of the 21st century.
The Americas play Hare & Hounds Kings Heath on the 20th of April.