Local trio Amber Run are no strangers to emotion, and there's sure to be bucket loads of it in the air during their upcoming hometown show at Rock City in October. They'll be celebrating the launch of their third album Philophobia, so we grabbed them for a chat before it all kicks off...
Let’s kick this off and get right into it, you say your sound is “emotive, anthemic rock” - can you describe this to me further?
In all honesty, I’ve never said that - I think our press team probably said that. I won’t comment on trying to fit into indie or those sort of terms, we touch on all that stuff in different tunes. But, I think the one thing that’s really important to our sound is that everything has to have an emotional currency to it; we want it to have actual meaning, I think that’s really important in what we do. There’s a lot of musicians more talented than me, singing about the club and sh*t - and I don’t really go to the club a lot so I’m not the best person to talk about it. However, I am sad a lot so I’m better at talking about that.
Your debut album 5AM was produced by Mike Crossey, who has worked with names such as the Arctic Monkeys and The 1975. Tell us a bit more about the process of working with him.
Mike is a really really talented dude and it was a pleasure to be asked to work with him, especially at such an early point for us as a band. It helped form our identity.
It was your album 5AM that broke into the UK Top 40 back in 2015, how did things develop from that point?
We just worked really hard after that, you know: getting signed and playing a lot of shows. In honesty I don’t really know, we’re just making it up as we go along. All I know is, I can look back since releasing that record at the cool sh*t that we’ve done and the music that we’ve made. When you put that stuff out there, you have to just trust that you think it’s good.
In 2017 you returned with your sophomore album For A Moment, I Was Lost - igniting a list of sold-out shows across the UK and Europe. If you were to compare your second album to your first, how would you explain their differences?
I think the first record had a lot of innocence and naivety to it, whereas the second record was really hard to make and it doesn't have the same intentions. Records and songs are moments in time and reflections of how you feel when you were writing; the second album is a snapshot of quite a dark moment.
In October you’re performing at Rock City. After all the travelling you’ve done over time, how does it feel to bring it home and perform to your own city?
We have been all around the world now, it’s crazy when you actually stop and think about it. But there’s nothing like coming home and playing for the people that heard it first and have been there since the beginning. They opened up their arms to us and there's nothing like going home and opening our arms back up to them. It’s an amazing city, and we’ve had amazing times there: with the band, at university and I met my girlfriend there who I’m still with now. We had great support from Dean Jackson and DHP - the amount of support and love we get there was like no other I’ve experienced.
You’ve performed on many great stages. Can you describe to us what is going through your head up there, looking out on a sea of fans’ faces?
When you hear people sing the words back at you louder than you can play it through the microphone. It’s not about how we feel, it’s about how the people coming to watch us feel, it’s a conversation - a dialogue. We’ll have to see how people feel after the show at Rock City.
Your new album Philophobia is in September. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from that?
I think it’s a really beautiful record. It’s got all the things I liked in the first, and all the things I like in the second. It feels really positive, with less anxiety and anger - it’s more of a sunshiney feeling. I think it’s a really great solid body of work and I’m excited for people to hear it. There’s definitely some darker stuff as well - I mean it wouldn’t be an Amber Run record without it being sad as sh*t - but there’s definitely some more positive stuff there as well.
Is there anything you can tell our LeftLion readers that the world is yet to know about Amber Run?
We're so excited to come back home, and we’re so excited to meet everyone. We love Nottingham and it is such a joy to know they love us back. We want to be a part of the city again, even if it's only for one evening.
Amber Run release Philophobia on 27 September.