Interview With Attack Attack - 26th October 2008
Photo Of Attack! Attack!We caught up with Attack Attack back stage at Birmingham Academy for a long chat about their debut album, their current support slot on the Funeral For A Friend tour and much more.

Thank's for taking time out to do this interview
No Problem

You all played in various different bands around the South Wales music scene but how did you all get together to form Attack Attack?
Well when I left Dopamine, the band that I was in we asked Ryan the guitarist for Attack! Attack! to join. Me and Ryan then started to write some songs together which we didn’t consider to be for Dopamine, we were just generally writing some songs together, the two songs we come up with sounded pretty good, so we contact Will the bass player through a friend of ours cause we knew he was a pretty good bass player from the band that he was in before and he was pretty keen to have a jam. The drummer Mike was Ryan’s cousin, so Ryan was like I know a drummer who is pretty cool, so Mike came along and we had a couple of jams together and we clicked straight away, and that’s pretty much how we came about.

How did you come up with the band name?
Very good question, and one that I should of thought of a good answer for.
(Laughter all around)
Basically another band from south Wales were starting a band at the same time and were like we are starting a band and are thinking of calling it this that and other and Attack! Attack! was one of their idea names and as soon as I heard that I was like that is a really good name and I hope they don’t use it. So a couple of weeks later I was like have you chose the band name now boys, they were like yeah we have we have gone for "so and so", it’s like your not using Attack! Attack! then, and as soon as they said no we took the name. As soon as we heard them say the name we thought that it was a really catchy name.

A lot of extremely talented bands have been coming out of Wales recently, is there some kind of secret band making machine down there we don’t know about?
Basically in school you are told not to learn English or Maths and you are told to write good songs, I think basically that you have a band like Lostprophets who were the first band that I looked up to, they were friends of ours anyway but it was good to see your friends getting bigger and bigger and it brings on a lot of motivation and makes you push yourself as hard as you can to make it yourself and I think that’s kind of what’s happening in South Wales. Lostprophets did it, Stereophonics did it and two of the guys from the band Mike and Ryan are really into the Stereophonics and they are from the same town that they are from. Then you have bands like Funeral For A Freind, Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout and with every extra band that comes out of Wales you have to up your game, so everyone ends up competing, there is no way you can be an average band from Wales and get recognised as there are so many good bands coming out of Wales at the moment, so I guess that’s what happens, bands have to raise their game to get better in order to get recognised.

You have been classed as band of the week on various different publications, with some even stating that you may become their band of the year! How does it make you feel when people say such positive things about your band?
Very happy to be honest, obviously kids and people read these things and it does influence peoples decisions, obviously not everyone’s going to be inspired but some people will be, if just one person reads our review and thinks I will check them out and see what the fuss is about, and if they end up liking us then it’s a good thing for us. It’s all about getting our name out there and anything positive that’s said about our band is only going to help us, so we are more than happy when something like that happens.
When we read the Punktastic one we were on tour with The Blackout and it became the joke of the tour, Ryan would be like do you know how many stars we got on Punktastic, 5 out of 5, and Sean would be like I can’t talk to you any more you are too good for us.

Your self-titled debut album is due for release on the 3rd November, what can people expect from it?
For me it’s just a short and sweet album to the point of no messing around on it, the songs are structured in a way that they are over in 3 minutes, we tried to trim the fat down with it, and working with Stuart kind of did that as he was kind of into his own things and was like there should be no fat on the song it should be straight up pop rock. In our opinion our songs are catchy and easy for people to sing along to which is the main thing.

You chose Stuart Richardson to produce your album what was it like working with such a good friend?
I was a bit apprehensive to start with from the point of view like you said he was a friend and would he be able to say what he feels and I shouldn’t of doubted him as its Stuart and he always says what he feels. We got to LA, we did a week of pre-production when you just go through all your songs and decide which songs are the best and which ones are going to make the album and make improvements to the songs and straight away he was like I’m not messing around what’s this bit here it’s rubbish it’s got to go, we were like really? That’s the best bit from the song, but at the end of the day you have to go with his opinions as we respect him as a musician and knowing he’s a friend and a musician. Looking back on it we were working flat out days, I’m not complaining about it as we enjoyed every minute of it, but we were in the studio from 10 in the morning till 2 in the morning and we were only there for 17 days recording so we had to make sure that everything got done. Looking back on it, it could have been hell but it didn’t seem to be long days it seemed to be that everyone was hanging out and at the end we had an album even know it just felt that we was having a laugh for 17 days. We hope that we can get to work with him again as we had such a good time with him this time around and he said to us that he did as well.

What’s your favourite track from the album and why?
I think maybe the bands favourite song is 'Say It To Me', which for different reasons, live the introduction has a really thumping drum beat which we get the crowd chanting hey to, so the song really gets you going live. It was the song first song we wrote together as a band and instead of someone coming up to you with a song and idea, it just happened and we were happy with the result of it and its one of our favourite songs because the breakdown in the middle is more technical than what we do somewhere else on the album, the drum beat goes off into a off beat and there are some tricky guitar bits and being a rubbish guitarist I struggle with it obviously, its a challenging song to play and its my favourite.

You have been on tour with Funeral For A Friend, Cancer Bats, and In Case Of Fire for nearly two weeks now, how have the shows been going down and what’s it been like touring with such a strong line up of bands?
Not wanting to sound to cliché, but it’s been amazing, we knew Funeral For A Friend anyway, well I did personally a couple of guys didn’t know them to well but
we knew they were good guys we have met them before and we all get on anyway, then we met the In Case Of Fire guys and the Cancer Bats guys and straight away it was like we had been friends for years. Don’t want to sound too cliché but it really was like that. There was no period when you had to watch what you say and try figure out what you can get away with, it was banter from the start and all the guys on the tour got on like a house on fire. They have been really busy shows as well which is good for us as we have been meeting new fans and getting our music out to more people, so no complaints really, it’s been really good so far and fingers crossed it will stay like that.

How would you describe your live show to someone that has never seen you play before?
We try to give as much energy as we can, listening to the album the production is a bit more rougher than most things these days but during live shows we try to make it sound even more rougher and give it as much energy and passion that we can and our one goal is to get a crowd interacting with us even though the majority of people watching us on these tours have never even heard of us before, so our main aim is to get a crowd interacting and jumping around with us, chanting along, clapping along and even singing along with us. So basically the main things we go for at our shows are crowd interaction so the fans feel like they have been part of our show, which is something you sometimes don’t always get from a band who have been low down on the bill. We like to make an impact on people and get them interacting from the very start so they build up to the headliners.

You have toured with many big name bands such as the Lostprophets, Aiden, You Me At Six, Funeral For A Friend and many more, but which band has been the most fun to tour with and why?
That’s a tough tough question, I don’t want to sound like I am opting out of answering it but they have all been awesome, like people said we toured with Aiden but we did just one show with them, we did 3 shows with Lostprophets so we don’t really consider them as tours anyway. The You Me At Six tour was probably our first proper tour and I don’t know if you are familiar with those guys but that was a brilliant tour because they are so enthusiastic about being in a band themselves and it kind of rubs off on everyone else. Tonight Is Goodbye were on that tour as well and we have played shows with them before so it was like touring with a bunch of your best mates again. Everyday was just fun as everyone was just having a good time, it wasn’t quite like being in a band it was like hanging out with your best mates, then you go on stage, once you have done that you come off again and hang with your best mates again. This tour and that tour are probably on par.

You played Reading and Leeds festivals this year, which show was the most enjoyable and how did you go down with the huge festival crowd?
Both shows were amazing and really packed for us which we wasn’t expecting at all as we have never done a festival before and never released any music to anyone before, we was a bit sceptical about how many was going to be attending for us. I would say Reading wins it just because it was the first one that we played, I’m sure if Leeds was the first one then that would of been the best. Both were brilliant shows with packed crowds and people really getting into it. We had mosh pits. Reading was definitely the best one as we have never experienced festivals before as a band and that really gave us a little edge over Leeds, but Leeds was awesome as well.

Did you manage to check out any of the bands at the festival?
Yeah I saw Rage Against The Machine which is something that I wanted to do since I was a kid and I thought I would never get to see them because they split up but that was awesome, watched The Blackout at Reading they had Storm Troopers on stage so that was crazy seeing your mates on stage with Storm Troopers. I saw Kids In Glass Houses, I mainly saw bands that we have played with in the past because they are good friends and it’s good to see your friends doing well and singing along with their songs. I know Mike our drummer is such a music geek there were so many bands that he went too and watched, me and Ryan was doing all the press so there was a lot of times where we couldn’t go and see bands but Mike was just gone, Alkaline Trio, Thrice, you name it Mike was there he saw everyone. We didn’t see Mike all weekend.

You are heading out for your own headline tour towards the end of November right through into December, are you looking forward to playing to smaller crowds and to your own hardcore fans?
Yes, nervous a little bit to be honest with you because it’s our first headline tour and are people going to turn up for starters and then it’s like playing a longer set as on this tour we are doing 5 songs which is really short and on other tours we are only doing 7 and we are going to need to play 11 or 12 songs on this headline tour so that’s going to be a bit different again. So as much as we are excited we are also a little bit nervous, but it’s been going well on this tour and I think we have been making quite a few fans on this tour and people listen to the music and it’s quite positive reactions so we are hoping that it translates to ticket sales for our tour and people will come out. What we want is people to come along to our shows and sing along with us. That’s exactly what we want.

Each show on your headline tour has a different set of support bands is this to help give the local bands a bit of extra exposure?
Yeah it was kind of like more a management decision than ours to be honest with you, we were still busy thinking about headlining and they were like do you want to take a band out on tour with you or do you want to have locals every night, so we choose to have locals every night because it’s cool to give people the chance to play with a touring band and also we get to hear and play with a load of bands that we might not of ever heard of and you might see a band that you really like and want to take out on tour with you in the future, so we are really looking forward to that.

Most bands end up getting presents from fans, have you had any weird presents presented to you yet?
We had some chocolate brownies the other night that was nice, but the best one was unbelievable to be honest, we were up in Newcastle and we had a message on myspace a few days earlier asking what’s your favourite sweets and what’s your favourite chocolate so we all had to put our favourites down, mines Cadburys snowflake but they don’t make them anymore, do you remember those snowflakes?
Yeah sure do
and Mike was like double decker, so we turned up at this venue in Newcastle and these two girls came up to us and was like we have got presents for you, they gave me this bar of chocolate and it was like 15 inches long and 5 inches thick weighed about 6 or 7 kilograms and they had made a snowflake out of chocolate, it was perfect, it tasted amazing, should never of ate it though, I’m still eating it now actually. We had that back in August so I had this massive snowflake and they made Mike a double decker and it was massive, Ryans favourite thing was chocolate raisins, I don’t know how they did it but it was one big chocolate raisin and when you knocked it open it had millions of little chocolate raisins in side it, it was amazing.
I want to know their secret!
Yeah it was unbelievable, we couldn’t thank them enough for that it was awesome, we challenge them to it even better next time so next time we see them in Newcastle we can’t wait.

What do you do in between shows on long tours to keep you busy?
What days off?
Both really on days off and before and after shows
We get a day off after every fourth show on this tour so we do three shows on then one off so basically if we are near enough to go home then we will, basically a three hour drive is near enough for us maybe a four hour drive, but it’s good to go home and have your own bed for a night and catch up with stuff and see your own family. This tour is quite long it is like a four week tour so it’s good to make the most of getting a day off. Going home catching up on some sleep, seeing friends and family before we get back on the road again. In between tours we concentrate on trying to build up the profile of the band, keep on top of myspace as we get a lot of messages through on myspace and write songs and stuff like that, it is like a full time job for us now so whenever we got some time off we don’t see it as holiday time we use the time to link it back to the band.

You must see a lot of interesting sights being on tour for so long and being in many different towns and cities, what’s the best and worst things you have come across so far?
We played the Reaper Barn festival recently; don’t know if you have heard of it?
No we haven’t, what is it?
It’s basically Europe’s biggest ever red light district, it’s just weird to walk down streets and just see women in windows, it’s like the weirdest thing I have ever seen and they are basically selling themselves for sex, didn’t partake obviously, I don’t know if I categorize that as the best or worst thing but it’s definitely the weirdest thing, so that kind of freaks you out a bit seeing that, but it’s better in a way that it’s controlled and it’s not prostitutes on the streets, it’s mainly a culture shock as you don’t get that over here. That’s one of the weirdest things I have seen I don’t know what the best thing is, you got me on the spot I am going to have to prepare better next time.
We will say the chocolate is the best thing then
Yeah actually the chocolate was probably the best thing.

You are pretty much busy right until the end of the year, do you have anything planned for 2009 or are you going to take it as it comes?
Generally we are writing a bunch more songs even though the album will of only been out for a few months by then, but we are not going to wait around and rest on it, we are going to take January to write songs and demo some songs because people in the industry need to hear some new songs for whatever reason. I think from February to May is going to be gigging just UK and Europe, so hopefully we will get another big tour and then it will be the summer and hopefully we will be able to do some festivals, we obviously did Reading and Leeds this year which was awesome but we hope to do some more next year.

You have signed to Rock Ridge music in America, does that mean you will be embarking on an American tour in the near future?
I think so yeah, I think they are waiting for the right time to come up, they just don’t want to plough as a lot of money is us going over there to play to not many people so they are waiting for the right tour to come along so it will be beneficial for them to invest that money in us. It’s definitely on the cards but the plan is to wait for the right time so we don’t know when we are going to do that.

Your merchandise designs are pretty good looking who came up with the designs?
A friend of ours, he does all our designs actually, he did the album artwork and for the album we did limited edition t-shirts for every song we did 50 t-shirts for each song which we only sold online and they flew out which was cool, so the people were as geeky as we are.
He designed all those shirts as well, he’s kind of quirky and the kids are loving them, the people that come to our shows are really digging it. So yeah is the boy to see.

Okay, one final random question that we ask every band; if you had a choice, what animal would you be out of a Zebra and Giraffe?
Out of a Zebra and Giraffe? Do zebras eat meat? I need more information?
I don’t think so, I know they get eaten a lot
I will be a Giraffe I think, you can see a lot of the world with that neck, I don’t fancy being a zebra because of the band Zebrahead, like where did that name come from did they chop zebras heads off a lot? I don’t want to be a zebra and then get decapitated. I will go with Giraffe definitely.

Thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to give to your fans reading this?
Just thanks for your support, if you haven’t heard us before then check us out at, and if you have heard us before and are reading this then thanks very much for checking us out.

Interview By Trigger and Charlotte
 Band Members

 Latest Releases
Attack! Attack! - Attack Attack
Release Date - 3rd November 2008
1. Honesty
2. You And Me
3. This Is A Test
4. Too Bad Son
5. From Now On
6. Say It To Me
7. Lights Out
8. Home Again
9. Lost For Words
10. Time Is Up
 Band Related Links
Attack Attack Myspace