The Amazons are a rock’n’roll band. In a world seemingly inundated with solo artists, you might think being in a group in 2019 would be a bit of a struggle, or even feel like an uphill battle.
“I fucking love it! I love it. I love what we do,” drummer Joe Emmett says animatedly. Singer and guitarist Matt Thomson quickly backs him up, while tucking into some pizza. “Because no one else does it. I’m like, ‘Fucking hell, listen to this – it’s a fucking solo!’ D’ya know what I mean? And it might be that people don’t like that, but I love it.”
While the idea of ‘rock’n’roll’ might actually seem, well, a bit boring, what The Amazons are doing isn’t. Ever since their debut was let loose upon the world back in 2017, garnering positive critical support and more importantly, barging its way into the Top 10 Album Chart, they managed to breathe fresh life into something that was turning stale.
“I think the 80s, categorically, killed the guitar solo,” guitarist Chris Alderton says, with the whole table bursting into laughter. “Seriously, I was watching ‘Now 80s’. I feel like that’s when the horrible guitar solo started.”
Matt chimes in: “It’s like guitar wanking. It completely changed everybody’s view, and they haven’t got over that yet!”
Indeed, the showboating and glam-filled 80s are still paying reparations for their wildly inappropriate time, but The Amazons are here to fix that, more so than ever on their second album, ‘Future Dust’.
“The first record felt like the end of something, I always felt like…” Matt pauses tentatively. “I said this to the boys. It was like the end of this; starting a band, doing all the things you do – getting a deal, writing all these songs, and it’s almost like they come in dribs and drabs over a four year period. Then you do the album, and it just felt like the end of a particular chapter – a process. After we toured it, we were like, ‘Okay, what do we want to do?'”
“This album felt like a bit of a… not brick wall, but it was something we needed to get over,” he continues. “It was almost we needed to start again. This album is the start of a journey in terms of the band and in terms of us creatively; as a four piece and individually all that kind of stuff. We had to push through something and had to set the direction of what we wanted to do. So instead of it being this album on its own, it feels like the beginning of something.”
‘Future Dust’ sees The Amazons ready for the future, no matter what comes next. They are ready to keep on fighting their corner, and in doing so, they’ve uncovered a heavier element to their sound, one that digs deep into the pit of growling and snarling rock, with added banger elements such as hook-laden choruses and riffs-galore.
Digging into the lyrical content, not to mention the album title itself, a much more conscious Amazons begins to appear.
“It’s basically about my 2018,” Matt says. “Lots of weird stuff happened on a personal level; then I found a lot of the stuff I was talking about naturally fed into the slightly broader question. It was just about reflecting. I feel a lot of my personal life; I was confused and insecure, and it’s important for us to reflect that. So it is a bit of a dark record, lyrically at least. Sonically probably, as well.”
Divulging further, he continues: “All our relationships are conducted on phones at the moment, like 50% of your relationship are done on the phone, and that’s your personal life – that’s your life. The whole phone thing is, ‘I feel shit, I’ve just been on my phone all day’, but that’s a thing that loads of people are experiencing.
“We’re at the beginning of such a weird time with this stuff that you don’t really know what’s going to happen, and we don’t know what the consequences of this way we’re living, or conducting a social life are. Lyrically, that’s how I’m dressing everything – it has to come from the heart.”
Just look at their returning single ‘Mother’. An allegory-filled howl that swirls around The Amazons’ new gritted-teeth rock sound — while dealing with presenting Matt as explaining his, and our, social consciousness toward the immortal feeling behind a life online, an idea that seeps throughout ‘Future Dust’.
On the symbolically depth-filled title, he offers. “I feel like we’re looking for something to hold on to, and the fact that we come from dust and will end in dust – we’re future dust! Even though it’s bleak, it’s an absolute in all of the chaos at the moment. And one thing is for certain; we will be future dust.”
“Imagine trying to write a song about a huge thing like that?” he exclaims. “It started out personal – you’re right about it being introspective, but it’s definitely dealing with this broader aspect. But that’s just the time at the moment we’re in; it’s not about telling you what to do, it’s about reflecting because I don’t have answers, I don’t think anyone has answers. That’s why it’s an interesting time, and you totally distrust anyone who says they ‘do’ have answers because how can you?”
A part of the dark reflection may stem from their status as a band in 2019. With an ever-hopeful outlook, Matt muses. “At some point in the future people will be less obsessed with individual personalities hopefully, and buy into ‘A Band’, and it’s so much richer and so much more depth when you get into a band.”
“That’s an interesting point!” Joe adds on. “As you were saying that I was just thinking about Foo Fighters; do people buy into Foo Fighters because of Foo Fighters or do they buy into Foo Fighters because of Dave Grohl?”
With the whole table animatedly talking about both their place in the world and the Schrodinger’s purpose of Dave Grohl, Matt breaks away from the noise to poignantly yet directly, summarise The Amazon’s outlook.
“You cannot please everyone in 2019; everything is so fragmented, we don’t have an Ed Sullivan that changed the world like that,” he says, referring to The Beatles’ landmark debut US TV performance that set off a domino effect of influence still felt today across rock’n’roll.
“We don’t have that, so instead of trying to be everyone’s best friend, you might as well fucking commit to something and believe in something, and just fucking go for it and see where you end up. That’s what its all about, finding your corner and fighting it.”
Words: Steven Loftin