Longview are a band who attract their fair share of praise and absolute repulsion. From being called "the best band in Manchester since Oasis" to other unfair remarks which have seen them compared them to a second rate Haven its clear they are a band who divide the critics. After a lengthy headline tour of the UK which saw them play over a 50 dates, the band are out on the road supporting Manc heroes Elbow. We caught up with singer Rob McVey to discuss Manchester, God and how it's all about the songs.
Q: You're right in the middle of the Elbow tour in
you're adopted hometown. Elbow are the band that everyone really looks
up to in the city aren't they?
A: Rightly so. What a fantastic band they are? I f**king love Elbow, they're one of my favourite bands, and it's mad to go up on stage before them because they've got such a wicked sound and a massive audience. It's just really nice to be involved with the whole thing. The good thing about Manchester is it does have a good friendship thing going on. Everyone's stand off-ish in a friendly manner, I think that's the Mancunian way. Everyone's there and likes each other, but it's not as if everyone's running around and hugging each other all the time. Everyone knows in this game you never know when your time is up so you're just looking out for each other, not in the naff sense of the word, but in the sense of the way that everyone's in the same boat. It's the fickle soulless human eating machine which is the music industry. It's a terrible environment to be in, but you're cursed as a songwriter to be in that kind of thing. I wish songwriters could go and have a normal life. Just because you write songs does it mean you have to live a rock and roll lifestyle? I guess I suppose it does.
Q: You moved to Manchester from just near Winchester
for the scene. Is it everything you imagined it would be?
A: It wasn't because of Manchester's Manchester or the history of the bands. It was because Manchester has got a supportive scene which you can play gigs and that's pretty vital. I wouldn't have moved from Eastley if all the people would have been there - I moved for the people not the place. I didn't move because I wanted the cool legacy of Manchester, everyone f**king slags us for it anyway.
The good thing about not being too linked to Manchester,
we are from all over. If you're a Manchester band you have that Manc sound.
We don't want to get pigeonholed by that. Matt put it well earlier today
- there are two pigeon holes he deals with and that is shit and good. I
just hope were not in the f**king shit one.
Q: Weren't you studying jazz music when you first came
over to Uni here?
A: I did study classical music and jazz music. I studied it as par for the course. When you're young and you start music, you have lessons and that's the kind of system you get put through. You don't really have a, god forbid it, a rock guitar teacher. Rock music is the lifeblood and necessity of the human nature. I've been writing songs my whole life. I always wanted to be in a rock band. I never wanted to be a classical musician.
Q: When you look at Longview it is really simplistic
sentiments you're trying to get across in the songs. Would you agree?
A: That's the most important thing. I think the job of the songwriter is to point out how people feel, not tell them how to feel. All I've done is got some music together which I think had a certain sentiment, really simple sentiments, and that's all there is to it. Emotion is music is just such and exciting thing. I mean Elbow's "Red", what a beautifully tragic song that is. That to me is what music is about.
Q: After the single "Further" was released people were
asking the question are Longview God Botherers or not. How was that for
A: I've never been religious in my life. I'm spirited and believe in human beings and people and friendship. I just sat down one day and wrote the words "Gods love will save our life" and I wanted to write it in a gospel kind of way. I'm not religious, but I might turn to god after this industry's finished with me or I've finished with it.
Q: You've been on tour most of the year. How does that
affect your song writing?
A: It just comes naturally. I don't believe in sitting down to write a song. I believe in divine intervention. Songs who know where they come from? I'd like to know though cos' I'd go there all the time.
We found out were selling quite a few records in Australia recently. In fact were selling as many records over there as we are in England. It's a none stop thing and you grow to accept that. That's the biggest thing i've learnt lately. You're thinking in a few weeks you've got a break and you ain't ever having a break and if you do it's going to be a f**king long break because you ain't coming back.
You can't hide who you are. You are in the limelight. You have to be this thing and you can't shy off from it.
Longview's debut album "Mercury" is in the shops now
The band are expect to tour early in the New Year
For more info
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