Peace have just embarked on a lengthy UK tour, with their sophomore record, Happy People, out on the 9th of February. I met up with drummer, Dominic Boyce, in between back-to-back dates at Queens Social Club Sheffield.
So how was last night? It was good, yeah, really good…loved it.
How do you like playing Sheffield? It’s nice, we played here about three years ago with Mystery Jets, they were headlining and we supported them here, and its one of those venues, when we played there for the first time, its seemed like the biggest place that you’ll ever play, and but we walked in earlier and all went “wow”, we all remembered it being this massive venue.
Last time I saw you play Sheffield was at the Leadmill three years ago, and the barriers broke and it all got a bit frantic… Oh yeah… yeah we DJ’d there last night..
And you’re doing it again tonight? Are we?
Yeah apparently there was some sort of after party set.. Really? Well, we did it last night, God I dunno if I could do it again! It’s a pretty hectic place, it’s a good gig venue but I thought I was gonna get beaten up.
When you do two consecutive dates at the same venue, what do you change? Do you mix it up? Sometimes but not intentionally, I’ve never really thought about it, but it always differs in way that are unplanned, y’know? We’ve always been kinda into the idea of just playing our songs in a live format, we’ve never extended sections or changed things. Ocassionally we’ll swap a few songs, but it’s pretty straight forward how we approach making set lists and changing them day to day. We kind of like to let the songs do the talking, if that doesn’t if that’s not an incredibly cliche and arrogant thing to say.
So you’re nine gigs into your tour now, hows it going so far? Great, there’s been nowhere near a bad show so far, there all just full of energy, and we feel it more than we have done for a while. The last tour we did before this was for Bombay Bicycle Club, and it was to ten to fifteen-thousand people every night. We do love doing that, but it’s refreshing to get back to doing this ‘cos you can really feel the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm, which also makes you have that energy.
And you played Birmingham, your home town recently… Yeah we did that twice. There’s definitely a homely feeling, like returning to where we started. Birmingham was always the first place anyone bothered to turn up to our gigs, but nowadays people come to our gigs across the country, and they do differ. Like up North, as you well know, its mental, and Birmingham is too, and I feel like that is personal to us in some way, I don’t think Birmingham’s renowned for being a crazy audience. It’s only been recently people have bothered going to gigs in Birmingham, but it does stand out cos it means a lot to us.
Your new single ‘I’m a Girl’ seems to be about masculine stereotypes, and I couldn’t help but notice Morrissey sent out a similar message of rejecting gender with ‘I am Not a Man’.. Oh Really? We’re certainly not anti-Morrissey or anti-Smiths, and I’ve got a lot of time for Morrissey as a person, but I’ve never been a Smiths fan, I’ve never been into Morrissey too much, so I haven’t heard it to be honest. Sounds like similar themes..
He seems to have similar sentiments… Yeah, that’s fine by me, from a moral point of view he’s pretty spot on.
You’ve been nominated for an NME award, Best Fan Community, that must be a great category to be nominated in.. Yeah it’s great, and it comes to no surprise to us, and I can say that without sounding like a dick because its not really an award for us, its an award for the people who are coming. Like we’ve been talking about, you can see in these shows the love people have for us, and its really nice. We never get bored of that or take it for granted. I feel like it’s well deserved for other people, not for us, y’know..
You’re also up for Best Video.. Is it Money that we’re up for?..
It was ‘Lost on Me’ I think.. Oh was it? Oh, well at least we’re in it then. I don’t know if we’ll win it, there’s another really good video in that category.
Is it nice getting awards? Well we haven’t got any so far! It’s nice to be nominated. No, we don’t lose sleep over winning anything but, yeah, of course it’s nice to be nominated.
Awards nights are always good fun though.. Yeah its always a laugh. The only problem I have with it is, its a big room full of people who are kinda.. y’know, social climbing. Everyone’s nice to each other, but there are a select few who are kind of, quite transparent in their approach to being friendly, and that applies not just to awards ceremonies.. But you do have a great time, you get a free Dominoes. (Referring to a tower of pizza boxes) I can smell this, its making me feel so sick.. We had a bit of a low moment today at lunch, we all went out last night DJ’ing so we’re all pretty hung over tonight, so we got here about one and were like “fuck it”, and got ten Dominoes.
I read an article with Lias Saoudi, the lead singer of Fat White Family this morning, talking about the psychological toll of touring, do you feel that? Errmm… Does it wear you out? Yeah it can do, but kind of as a result of third parties. I feel like we never really get down about being away, or being with each other, we’re really good at just getting on with it and with each other, we’re not really too bad. But when it becomes difficult is when we miss people back home, its kinda the third party situation which makes it tough. Yeah, he’s got a point, people don’t really see that it’s hard not to come across ungrateful if you ever wanna complain about it, or if you ever feel like you wish you weren’t doing it. And people are like “you’re so lucky to be travelling around”, and we are. We don’t take it for granted but he’s got a point, people don’t really think about the idea of being away from girlfriends, parents, kids or whatever..
Because you’re touring till March, and then it’ll be festival season after that.. Well we’re going to Australia and Asia between as well, so we won’t be home probably, for about eighteen months. It is hard, but its alright. It’s kinda the only downside, it’s not really worth moaning about.
Are you looking forward to festival season? Yeah, it doesn’t seem that long ago since the last one, I’m not really thinking that far ahead. Because obviously our albums out in just over a week, so we’re just gonna get past that, get that out of the way!
Are you excited for your album coming out, you don’t sound that enthusiastic! Ha , yeah it sounded like that! But yeah I’m definitely excited. We’re so busy, this is the busiest we’ve been since the last time we released an album, busy all day everyday with either gigs or press, so then it just kinda happens and before you know it the albums come out, its charted, or hasn’t charted, and it’s like ‘shit!’. I’ve gotta support this for the next two years of my life, its weird. Its more of a hindsight thing, I feel that’s with everything that we do, we only really process or appreciate things in hindsight, because you’re just too busy to appreciate it at the time.
Do you pay attention to the charts at all? I don’t pay attention to the charts particularly, but we’re all definitely keen on this album charting, we’re not fooling anyone by saying that we don’t care- we do, of course. But, not too far, the only reason that care is we wanna carry on doing this for as long as possible. There’s a direct correlation with the amount of people who buy your record and people who come to your shows. And we’re a band that don’t sell many records, but manage to sell quite a lot of tickets. It’s not for any other reason than we love doing it, it’s not a status thing. It’s not like we wanna sell out Wembley or whatever, it’s all about playing two sold-out shows here [at Queens Social Club] in this quite small club, we love doing it.
So it more about longevity than success? Yeah, absolutely.
Your new record is titled “Happy People”, are you ‘happy people’? Yeah, absolutely we are…. Yeah, everyone has their lows I guess, and that is represented lyrically a bit, but we’re probably happier than most, and certainly not happier than most.
Are you the happy people of the title? Erm… maybe not actually, no. No….I don’t write the lyrics, but from my understanding it’s more a reflection of what Harry is observing and how he feels like you’re supposed to be.