The Subways, ‘We’re pleasers and teasers’

Courtesy of Steve Gullick
Courtesy of Steve Gullick

If there’s any evidence that pure, from-the-heart rock and roll still exists, The Subways are it. Following their last studio album, Money and Celebrity, the band has taken a new approach with their forthcoming album The Subways. With front man Billy Lunn producing the twelve tracks himself; he lets band mates Charlotte Copper (bass) and Josh Morgan (drums) “off the reins” allowing the band to return to their roots – creating a raw “D.I.Y.” sound to their up and coming studio release.

As the first leg of their two-part tour draws to a close, brothers Billy and Josh sit down to discuss with us what they went through whilst writing and recording the album that has come “straight from the gut.” When referring to the change in sound that they have opted for, Billy states “It’s a mixture of us going back to our roots, but also taking a step forward. For instance, “I’m In Love and It’s Burning In My Soul” is an old riff, pre Young For Eternity! I was digging out old demos we used to record in our parents kitchen on an 8-track and came across it.”

Questioning this “step forward”, Billy went on to mention the sense of freedom he felt producing the album himself. “We wanted it to sound D.I.Y. and punk. So I let Charlotte and Josh off the reins. Usually we have a producer breathing down our necks, keeping us in line saying ‘let’s keep it fluid, let’s stick to a structure’, but I was like just play want you want”. Josh went on to mention how “This made it more fun. I think this is the first album where we haven’t had a thousand arguments.”

Known for his crowd pleasing skills, Billy reveals that “I always think ‘how will a song go down live? How will the audience react to this part?’ I think our live performance dictates how our record will go down. On this one even more so as we haven’t had a producer to please, just our fans. We like to think we’re pleasers.”

When discussing the lyrical content of the new tracks, Billy refers to his previous alcohol issues and how this created a strain on his relationship. “My wife and I were going through a difficult patch, but being sober has made the past ten months the best of my life. Before, we’d go through a period of arguing every day and we’d storm out to the pub, or club, and resolve our issues on the dance floor. This is where I got there idea for “My Heart is Pumping to a Brand New Beat” from, how much music dominates both our lives, and how it brought us together. Also, “I’m In Love And It’s Burning In My Soul” is specifically about me dealing with my alcohol issues. I locked myself in my house and listened to my old vinyl records, which I hadn’t done in ages and it made me realise I f-ing love music! That’s how I came across our old demos.”

Josh goes on to mention how “Lyrically we have changed massively. Money and Celebrity was more of an observational standpoint. Billy would just sit around and observe what was around him, and could become quite cynical, but this album is personal and regresses back to what we used to be.” Billy also noted “We write from the gut, but this album more so. That’s how Charlotte came up with the idea to call this one The Subways, it’s a hundred percent us!”

Despite the album not being due for release until February 2015, The Subways is available to pre-order with and instant download for the first six tracks. Billy comments on this method of releasing an album stating ‘I wasn’t a fan of this idea to begin with. I felt as though we created this twelve song journey and now we’re splitting it up. But now I love it! After playing a few shows I noticed that the crowd knew all the new songs and were enjoying them. I thought that was a lot better than being like ‘Hey here’s a new one’ and have to watch the audience wait patiently for a song they knew. Also it’s sort of like a teaser for what else it to come. I love it. We like to tease our audience… We’re pleasers and teasers!”

The Subways will begin the second leg of their tour in February 2015 to coincide with the release of their album. Until then, fans will have to remain teased with the first half of the new record – we will no doubt be pleased with what they have in store for us.