Ten years on from forming, the boys have released five albums including Seven Year Setlist and their upcoming record Ropewalk. The boys garnered attention with their initial single 'Wasted Little DJs' and well known single 'Same Jeans' before seeing even more success with their later albums. We caught up with Kyle Falconer prior to The View's performance at Camden's KOKO to chat about the band's ten year anniversary.
How did you all initially meet?
We’ve all known each other for a long time, some from primary and secondary school, around the age of 14. We initially performed at a talent show and then later moved onto pubs, a bonus as we got to drink, which was cool to us as we were all underage at that point. We didn’t bother with further education as we got signed when we were 18 so we just left school. It was our passion therefore the right choice.
Early on you worked with Owen Morris, what did you gain from the experience?
It was a real eye opener as we were only 18 and he was the greatest, craziest man we’d ever met. He was about 39 with so much experience, it was great. A few years on he got a View tattoo on his arm, which was a huge compliment. Further to meeting we did a couple of albums with him and then went our own ways.
So where do you all live currently? Can distance make producing and writing hard?
I lived in London for a couple of years before I went to Liverpool for a while. I moved to record an album so I lived there for ages. I later moved back to London, then Dundee and then Glasgow. I may move back to London soon. I do prefer London. A lot of my friends tend to do stage jobs so they are all here. Quite a few friends in Dundee and Glasgow work the daily grind which is different to the hours I can do. That’s why it’s great to have some friends in bands like Liam as it’s so similar. Distance isn’t too much of a problem because a couple I know live here and if not it’s only a short flight. We are used to it anyway! We are always travelling or on the tour bus so it’s nothing we aren’t adapted to. There was one time where I was in a hotel for like 3 months. It was completely different and a little odd on occasion but I do find it enjoyable although it can be hard being on a tour bus 24/7. There’s never really a quiet moment on the bus between one of us getting wrecked.
A few years back you worked with Mark Ronson, that must have been an incredible experience?
It was great, he used to be on the same label as us. An act of his didn’t turn up so he phoned me and asked if I wanted to come and sing. So I went and sang and then we kept in contact. We later toured for a couple of years.
What is the band's song writing process?
Me and Kieren write the songs. Then we rehearse them, standard really. Pete our guitarist wrote one of the songs on the new album. But normally we write, rehearse and then record. Just the usual process for us. We always tend to write too many, on this album we wrote 40 odd. When it came to deciding which songs everyone argued. Normally we write them and have them all prepared and ready to go, about ten, but this time we had input from others who said "no you should put this song in", which then made it a completely different set of songs. But we trust them with it.
Are there any criteria you’d consider important when choosing songs to go into an album? For example how did you pick the songs to include in the album Seven Year Setlist? Are they personal favourites?
It was kind of easy to pick as we all chose personal favourites. Mine was 'Distant Doubloon'. Me and Owen were in the studio for 7 days when we recorded it, so it’s a personal favourite.
Do you find a lot of writing scrapes below the surface?
Yes definitely, although I never intentionally aim to do that. I’ll write something that just pops up in my head and then naturally just go below the surface. It all just begins to accumulate. By the time I’ve finished it makes more sense to me than it did at the start. Afterwards I can feel I needed to get it off my chest.
Did you imagine your careers to be in the position they are today ten years ago?
I’m not really sure what we expected. Each year we’ve stayed together. I guess now we just record and then seem to blow expectations. I thought on this album at one point "oh my god it sounds a bit noncey". But now I’ve put my feet back and gone with it.
Were you shocked with the interest in 'Same Jeans' when you released it as the first serious single?
'Same Jeans' did go out quicker than we thought but it is hard to get away from the song. Some people come us to me and scream "you’re the dude with the jeans man", then we get others who have every album tattooed on them and I think "that’s what I’m talking about". Some people think I have to still appreciate that song, and I really do. I still play it but it can be annoying as there is more music to us than that one song. But yes it was a pivot for us.
What musical influences did you find for the upcoming album?
The Beatles and the Strokes, just good music man. I love musicals though. It’s a good contrast. Classical music as well. Sometimes I’ll go through stages of listening to heavy metal but it changes.
'Marriage' is brilliant! It feels slightly electro, what were the influences for this song and the album as a whole?
Yes it does. We chose those to be released first. The new album has different references. When we went to America there was somewhere called House of Queues which influenced me but I twisted it round. 'Marriage' is a ballad that we tweaked.
Are there any noticeable artistic changes to the music you are making now compared to your previous albums?
We aren’t scared to do harmonies anymore. Five-way harmonies are now a big part of the album. I used to do them on my own but now we’ve worked on them so we all do them now.
I can imagine you all have fun on tour, are there any specific moments you remember?
We rolled a jeep before in a valley, it was bad I must admit. I thought "shit what am I going to tell the studio".
I see you are playing the Isle of Wight festival this year, where are your favourite places to play?
We are looking forward to the festivals, of the things booked up we are really excited. We love touring, we love Holland. Also America when we got in, I was worried that we’d never get in but we did.
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