"It's just the beginning"
Interview and photos by Dawn
When I first had the pleasure of meeting Delays
in May 2003 they had just released their debut single Nearer
Than Heaven, were supporting Clearlake on tour and were overflowing
with infectious enthusiasm for their music and their future.
Almost a year later, a re-release of that same
single has just charted at number 21, hot on the heels of an even
more impressive number 16 for previous single Long Time Coming
and there can be few people in the UK who haven't seen or heard
the Southampton quartet in the media at least once by now. Add to
this the fact that, based on midweek sales, their debut album Faded
Seaside Glamour is due to crash into the Top 20 [two days after
I meet with the boys, it charts at a respectable 17] and it's hardly
surprising that when I enter the world's smallest dressing room,
Greg, Colin, Aaron and Rowly are just as enthusiastic as they were
all those months earlier.
'I'm really proud of it,' blond frontman Greg says of
the album as I squeeze myself onto a sofa between him and Rowly. A sentiment
which is echoed throughout the band? 'Hell yeah!' the smiling drummer
confirms concisely as, beside him, bassist Colin nods in absolute agreement.
'I think it's unlike any other album out there,' says
Greg before brother Aaron, frank as ever, adds 'We've made the record
we wanna make and people are either gonna love it or hate it.'
So far it seems that the former is true - 'the reactions
have been great and I believe it's selling very well,' says Greg - and
with everyone from CD:UK and T4 to long-time supporters Xfm clamouring
for a piece of them, Delays' star is certainly well and truly in the ascendant.
Even the notoriously blinkered NME have had a swift change of heart and
adjudged the band fit to grace their hallowed pages.
'I think, to our credit, we've just
been fighting our own corner and doing what we love and we haven't
been swayed by anything,' muses Greg after laughing at my suggestion
that perhaps the band possess photographs of the NME editor in a
compromising position. 'There's obviously a lot of other people
out there who've been waiting for something that's not rock and
that's not New York or whatever. We just stuck to our guns and are
just being true to what we love. We didn't try to make it sound
like a live record; that was never, ever the intention. The intention
was to make it really rich to listen to on headphones, you know?'
So do the band take much notice of what the music
press have had to say about the album? 'I care if somebody's wrong,'
says Greg. 'On the whole we've had amazing reviews - it's been brilliant
- but there's been some really ill-informed criticism too; people
criticising us for making a shiny record. But we didn't accidentally
make a shiny record; it's deliberate; it's what we wanted, so we
haven't failed. You either like that or you don't, you know? I care
and I don't. I'd be lying if I said it didn't get to me, because
we put so much into it.'
Thus far, alongside former single Long Time
Coming, the most critically-acclaimed track on the album is
Wanderlust. 'All the reviews have picked up on it - every single
one of them,' says Greg. But which songs do the boys themselves
'My favourite tracks are Wanderlust, Stay
Where You Are and... maybe One Night Away,' says Greg.
'Stay Where You Are and On,' answers
'I like Wanderlust and On,' says
Colin thinks for a moment. 'I like Bedroom Scene,
Wanderlust and No Ending,' he says as Aaron shouts
from his seat on the floor, 'You Wear The Sun as well!'
So what does the future hold for Delays? With the
next single almost decided upon ('The label wants Stay Where
You Are or Lost In The Melody, which is Stop.
It's down to Geoff Travis and he really loves Stay Where You
Are,' says Greg), what comes next?
'We've been recording and gigging a lot,' says Aaron before
Greg explains, 'We've already started writing for the next album. All
the songs for this album were written at home and in our garage, whereas
the songs we're working on for the new record have been written on stage.
So the first album's bedroom songs and the second album's gonna be venue
'The only thing that's a negative about what's happening
is that we want to write and record new stuff. Or finish songs. We've
got so many songs, they just need to be finished, but we can't get 'round
to it.' He sits forward, leaning in closer to me. 'This is a big deal,
you know,' he says earnestly. 'It's what we've been working towards. But
it's just the beginning...'
Love and thanks to Mike, Greg,
Colin, Aaron and Rowly. Faded Seaside Glamour was released 5/4/04 - visit
www.theDelays.co.uk for more
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