On Mexico, Beyonce and the success of 'Skying'

If we all don’t die Mayan-style come 2012 The Horrors will have a pretty spectacular year to look back on. With third album ‘Skying’ the group have managed to catapult themselves into the mainstream while still holding onto the coveted title of ‘cult band’. Clash sits down with the band on the eve of their European tour to discuss how the album has changed their lives and what the critical acclaim meant to them.

“We weren’t that surprised at all,” states bassist Rhys Webb on the warm praise given. “We knew we had made a great record and we were very happy that people agreed with us. It was nice that it hit number five in the charts; I think for any band to make a dent in the charts at the moment is an achievement…at the end of the day we always try and make the best record we can, and the music we love. We know that if we really love it other people will love it too.” And love it they did.

‘Skying’ has proved ample confirmation for those who had faith in the release of ‘Primary Colours’ that this may be a band of substance. Scrub away the skinny jeans and lazy tags and you’ve got a group with razor sharp vision, firmly in charge of their artistic direction and happy doing things THEIR way. It’s such integrity that’s made them a hit in lands as far away as Mexico, where audiences sleep overnight and treat acts as diverse as Metallica to Morrissey with religious favour. “Mexico’s great, it’s always slotted in at the end of an American tour, the most fantastic way of ending a month-long stretch,” tells Webb.

With a non-stop international touring schedule has the group had time to discover some of their own favourite releases of 2011? “The new Wooden Shjips LP is fantastic,” Webb enthuses, “I picked that up in LA. Our favourite band at the moment is Toy, they’ve just realised a single on Heavenly Records. They sold all their records on tour with us.” “I didn’t even get one!” Hayward complains. “The new Death In Vegas record we listened to a lot on tour in America, that’s just great…and S.C.U.M, they’re off on tour with us tomorrow,” Webb concludes. “That’s the best thing about being in a band, choosing acts you like and taking them on tour with you.”

Much has been learned over the past twelve months. An uncompromised record conquered the charts, America was explored, Mexico charmed and Beyonce was covered and nobody even took the piss. What could a band so safe in their identity have to say to their younger selves? “The important thing with us is that we always did what we wanted, even at that the beginning,” muses Webb. “We kinda did the right thing I guess”.

And the future? “In January we’re gonna have a month off. I think we’re planning on writing then. We’re going to be playing right up into and after the festival season next summer than regroup in late August and just start working again. We would really like to have another record out in 2013.” So do we; here’s hoping.

Words by Sam Walker-Smart


This is an excerpt from an interview in the latest issue of Clash magazine. Read more about the issue HERE.

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