Record Overplayed
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Delays interview | Sunderland | April 2004

"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 like best?

'My favourite tracks are Wanderlust, Stay Where You Are and... maybe One Night Away,' says Greg.

'Stay Where You Are and On,' answers Aaron.

'I like Wanderlust and On,' says Rowly.

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 songs.

 

'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 info.

 

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