NL: Hello Dougie & Jason nice to meet you, Hi-Fi Serious released January 2002, The album is 16 years old how does that feel to you?
DP: I remember when it came out it doesn’t feel that long ago, I was still in school when it came out. It was one of the albums back when cd’s came out, it was one of those albums everyone passed around and traded and there was no way in copying it so you had to listen to it as much as possible for a week and give it back. Finding it online they didn’t anticipate it going all digital.
JP: Not as old as the 20th Anniversary, Our drummer Adam had cancer this year we got to the point where if we don’t do something with this album now he might not be alive when the anniversary comes let’s just get on and do it. We did a live album back in the day way before any band should do a live album and it’s the same kind of thing you wait till you get really big we did it just on the back of our 2nd album. I’m really proud of the album because it’s stood the test of time, the album that followed it has some good songs on it, some people like it but I don’t think it’s stood the test of time at all but if I was to put them out again now I’d still be proud of them. I remember being in our rehearsal room and Dan our bass played would take really long poo’s he was on their for about an hour and I shout Dan you ok he says I’m just doing the paper work he came out and he had written Starbucks. Nothing was the biggest playing song on the radio and it was a magical time it was really good.
NL: I grew up listening to you guys, what songs do you think will get the Nottingham crowd singing?
DP: Nothing always goes down amazingly and there is stuff that isn’t on hi-fi serious as I’ve only recently started playing with them. Songs like Old Folks go down amazingly, Starbucks and there is a lot of stuff Jason does mid set to get the crowd going so even if you don’t know the song, Jason is all about crowd participation and stupid jokes. Jason has a very interesting outfit planned for the entire tour. Last time I toured with them Jason wore snowboarding gear throughout the tour.
JP: Some of the songs we haven’t played live or rehearsed hopefully by next week we would of played some of them. A song called Why Don’t You Cry About it we haven’t played live that’ll be good and Something’s Going On always gets the crowd singing and there is The Springs which I don’t think we have ever played live that is my favourite A song of all of them. I’m looking forward to playing it but they may hate it so we shall see.
NL: You’re playing at Nottingham’s Rock City, what is your thoughts on playing UK’s best rock venue?
DP: I can’t wait, I think I’ve played there before with A a little while ago supporting Hell Is For Hero’s. I can’t wait, I love venues with a lot of history in them with the kind of romance still there.
JP: It is, we have played every inch of that venue, all the rooms. We have played the main room about 15 times, and the other rooms 5-10 times we have probably played 20 times or so I think. We have even played The Rescue Rooms a few times too back in the Andy Copping days. I remember first playing there I was so excited we played with Faith No More that was a dream come true. We have always played Nottingham it’s wicked.
NL: You’re touring with Wheatus & INME, two more great bands I grew up with, how did that come about?
DP: I’m not sure how it came about I think it’s something the Perry brothers organised. I have no idea how it came about. I remember being a big fan of both bands, I remember INME coming out and wasn’t sure if they were American or not. And everyone remembers Wheatus as it was same time as American Pie when the pop punk thing really started taking over England.
JP: Our agent Shaun said we should put together a tour, Me, Adam & Dougie were in LA back in February having breakfast and said we are going to do this tour with Hell is For Hero’s, then James said if you do a headline tour you should get Wheatus I’m friends with Brendan he’s a wicked bloke. INME I haven’t seen for ages so I’m looking forward to seeing them.
NL: Hi-Fi serious is being played in full, how do fans feel about that, I guess some excitement?
DP: From how I’ve experienced it in the past with bands. I saw Finch do What It Is back to back and I absolutely loved it, I think what is was, was knowing what was coming up and there was album tracks I’d completely forgotten about and it was one of my favourite gigs and it was an awesome atmosphere. I got to tour with New Found Glory when they played all their albums and I got to play Hit n Miss when they played The Forum Ian came off stage and I played it was one of the best things I’d ever done. Playing a full album is nostalgic and the right thing to do and hits you have created in the past and going back in time. All I can hope is the fans feel the same way as I did seeing my favourite band.
JP: The reaction has been really good to it but then we don’t know so we shall see, thing is we have to start with Nothing that’s everyone’s favourite song. We might have to play it twice so when more people come in they can hear it, actually Adam said the other day if you take Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus and play it over Nothing it makes Nothing mega so in sound check see if we can make that work.
NL: What’s next for A, new album possibly?
DP: I don’t know, I really don’t know what’s going to happen with A they call me up when they need a bass player. I don’t know writing or anything like that, it’ll be fun but I’m not sure.
JP: A new album maybe pushing it, it’s getting everyone together as we are so busy with all our things that we do. We have done a couple more songs and are due to record them, we plan to release HiFi Serious on Vinyl and do it properly it’ll be available and signed at the gigs, it’s never been out on Vinyl before so we are really excited about it. And there is a B-side cd as well so we are excited about that to. When the tour is done we are going to work on these new songs and going back into recording hopefully. I deffo want to get some new music out.
NL: Having some great support bands, the energy for the show is going to be intense, how does playing at venues like Rock City which are intermit show’s make you feel like?
DP: I get asked that a lot, how does it feel playing smaller venues compared to playing venues and outdoor places like Hyde Park. If I’m honest it doesn’t really feel much different. When you’re playing an arena you feel like you are part of a moving machine it’s very hard to manipulate and control. Whereas the smaller gigs you could stop a song and start again and everyone in the room will know what’s going on and be involved. Feelings wise I get just as excited as playing clubs to arenas as I did with Mcfly, I just love playing bass guitar and love playing with friends.
JP: Yeah love it good sized venue anywhere between 600-1000 is a great venue for our band still quite punk rock and still exciting. We loved playing arenas when we got chance to do that and stadiums it was great but when it’s our own shows places like Astoria back in the day was a great size, and those size venues I absolutely love.
NL: What staging can we expect from you guys?
DP: I think there won’t be much room for production as the money has gone on Jason’s outfit there won’t be much room on stage with all the amps.
JP: We found the original backdrops for the HiFi tour so we are going to do the exact same staging as Hifi Serious tour just different lights and stuff hopefully smoke machines and lots of UV strobes so it’s exactly like 2002.
NL: What are your expectations from A first full tour?
DP: I think everyone is expecting us to play correctly and in time and in key I’m not sure what they are expecting I don’t know. We just go with the flow, I just play bass man and just do the same thing every night and as the tour goes on my dance moves get more and more extreme.
JP: It’s our first real tour tickets are going really well we are really happy with that and shows are going to be great. It’s just whether we can survive, whether my voice can handle it. I was listening to HIFI Serious the other morning and thinking god it’s really high. We have that real connection with our audience everyone is laughing singing jumping together our gigs have always been good I think.
NL: How did the name A come about?
JP: We were pre-internet and we just wanted the name which shows the age of the band. Back in the day searching record stores and cd whereas A you wouldn’t forget and B it would be the first in the record rack. So when you walk into the store A would be right there first one you see and it worked and secondly we didn’t want it to mean anything and in a time we were around bands with names that meant something. Then the internet came round and we were like doh you can’t search for it.
NL: You have played with Mcfly what led you to play with A?
DP: Jason Perry produced a lot of Mcfly records so I’ve known him since I was about 17 and through Jason I got to know his brothers that are in the band we have been friends ever since. Dan Carter had other commitments cause he’s a Radio 1 DJ so he couldn’t do a tour about a year ago we toured last so Jason asked if I would fill in and I just keep getting asked to fill in.
Interview by Martin Dunning for NottinghamLIVE