A Q&A with Tourists
Dreamy alt-rock from southern shores (Torquay, to be exact) – here’s frontman Jamie Giles…
How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Another State is about drifting off to another state of mind, the highs and lows, the paranoia it can lead to in a relationship for example. But ultimately the importance it has for your wellbeing to be able to experience this and disconnect from the world for brief blissful moments.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
We recorded this track as part of our album which was done over five sessions back in 2018. This was an amazing and exciting time for us a band, recording has always been our favourite thing to do. But it wasn’t easy; there were plenty of delays and it took us a year from having the tracks written and demo’d to find the right people to work to capture the sound we were striving for with the production, which was always the most important aspect for us in this process. It was frustrating at times and we had to really stick together to make it work and get to where we are now.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves what do enjoy most about producing your own material?
A producer called Daniel Schlett based at Strange Weather studios in Brooklyn, New York produced the entire album including this track. Daniel has worked with some huge artists, some of which we are great fans of, like DIIV and The War on Drugs. We thought Daniel was the perfect person to capture the atmospheric, expansive energy of our live sound, something he had done with DIIV on their first two records. We read an article about how he did this, then found him on Facebook, slid into the DMs and asked him to work with us. He said he was a fan of the music and so here we are. We knew exactly what we wanted in terms of the production of this album and couldn’t be happier with the results. We recorded the tracks at our hometown rehearsal space in Torquay where we felt comfortable and at home and were away from the time and money pressures of working in a studio, and then sent Daniel the tracks to mix in New York. It all worked out perfect in the end.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Ultimately people will take what they want from it depending on where they’re at and where they’re coming from at the time but we want people to connect with it and to feel something. Whether that’s love, sadness, anger, bliss, contentment. To relate to us and appreciate where we’re coming from as a band and as people.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
It depends. Typically, as the main songwriter I’ll write the foundations of the track in a demo, if the guys all like it then we develop it at practice. And sometimes it’s a more organic process, we’ll jam something at rehearsal until we’ve come across an idea/riff/melody that we all connect with. We try not to settle on anything too generic, it’s got to feel like Tourists song.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
We’re all big fans of Joy Division, their music is bleak and raw, yet there’s beauty in the simplicity of their sound, something we try to emulate. Beach House create dreamy soundscapes, with their reverb soaked guitar and organs, we try to create similar big emotive sounds that listeners can get lost in. Preoccupations and Froth too, we love bands who have a dark edge to them.
When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
We’ve actually never toured but it’s something we’ve always wanted to do, it’s our dream. To be able to go and play our music in places like Europe or further overseas would be absolutely amazing but also to people at home. I’ve always admired the way people love music in places like Liverpool and Manchester, it’s their life, it’s the fabric of who they are. They appreciate and understand where it’s coming from, so it would be great to play there. We’ve also randomly got a bit of a following in South America, so who knows if we’ll be able to play there one day…
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
This is difficult because I think our songs, especially these on the album, are quite different. They have their own character and different influences, so if you just listened to one, then you wouldn’t get the full picture. I think this new track Another State really captures the dreamy and melodic vibe and what we’re about though. We recorded the guitar outside and it was the most beautiful, sunny day in Torquay. You can here the seagulls during the intro. Our hometown is a big part of who we are as people and has influenced our music. We have always felt cut off and in our own bubble here, not influenced by other bands like you would be in cities with bigger scenes. Our individuality is everything and I’ve always felt we’re doing something different to other bands, so we owe a lot of that to where we are from.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We just want this album to be heard as far and as wide as possible. We poured our hearts, minds and souls into this records for a number of years and had to really stick together as a band through some difficult times to keep things going and get to this stage. We’re so proud to have signed this deal with Modern Sky and that our debut album is being released on vinyl. We hope that people love it as much as we loved making it, and whatever comes after that will be a bonus. Having said that, we’re half way through writing album two, so watch this space.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Our debut album Another State on limited white vinyl available to order from our store! Go go goooooo!!! Tell ya m8s xxx