Sam Panasuik interviewed My Passion's Laurence Rene and Jamie Nicholls before their headline show at The Cockpit on 24th April 2011. They talk of festivals this summer, the new album and how they're hoping their friends The Blackout take them on tour in October or they will no longer be friends...
Could you describe My Passion in 5 words?
Laurence: wow! Erm, life has gotta be one of them. Yeah, life. Passion! Exhilarating, ooh, err.
Jamie: Good word, exhilarating!
L: Two more words? [pause] Futuristic. Erm, ooh what else? Intergalactic!
Me: Good words!
L: We got there in the end!
Your album is finally out this week. Why did it take so long to release?
L: Oh! [laughs] Mainly cause we recorded it last April and erm, we were thinking of the best way to release it, which means that we would have either put it out on our own OR like, hooked up with a record label who've given it like, sorta the proper treatment, you know? So, we kinda had to wait for the slow people of the music industry to decide that they actually wanna put it out, you know?
L: 'Cause it was worth waiting cause we'd have probably just put it out and...
J: It'd disappear!
L: Yeah. But this way, working with this new label Spinefarm, we get to have it distributed around the world and everyone can access it. I think it's better for, you know, the album. It's nice that people have been patient and waiting. It's worth
the wait as well. I think when you've got something great, it's worth making the most of it.
Me: And it builds the suspense?
L: Yeah, a little bit.
Where did you get the idea for this gold theme for the tour?
L: Erm, in October we did a Halloween show in London with black body paint, with like a white stripe and stuff and the response was phenomenal 'cause it was so exciting. And we've always wanted to do different things every tour, every time
we go out, try different things out, and try different looks on stage and stuff, and just the idea of solid gold was quite appealing and we were like, "YEAH! Let's give that a go!" It's a bit out of our comfort zone, you know? Getting half naked in front of hundreds of people, but it's exciting and amazing. It was also a bit to go with a line from the song, which is about the streets of gold, and it just relates to yourself as important and sets a positive message within it. Erm, yeah there is a bit behind it, but it also looks brilliant! That's the main thing [laughs] you got to worry about on stage!
Is there anything you wouldn't do, in dressing up? Like you've worn feathers at Download and leather pants!
J: I wouldn't wear a dress! [laughs]
L: Yeah! I think it's good to push your boundaries, but sometimes you need people around you. You know, often I'll try new things, and the others guys are not sure, you know? Like complete nudity, anything that's a bit bondage I'm not too keen on!
I'm quite into fashion, so I'm quite into style and stuff, so I'm quite open to different ideas and getting a bit adventurous with it, yeah.
But I think there are limits. I mean, like some of the bands I'm into they've kinda done cause they've worn a Nazi uniform or something like that: "It looked cool, but I haven't thought it through". Yeah, but it's a Nazi outfit! You know? You need to look
at it as a broad picture and think what's acceptable. I like a bit of rebellion, it's good. But it's not supposed to be too offensive! I hope the gold isn't too offensive [laughs].
My friend wants to ask: what eyeliner brand do you use?
L: What do you use Jam's?
J: Whatever my girlfriend bought me!
L: Oh, he asks his girlfriend. My girlfriend probably trusts my judgement. [laughs] But erm, I used a Barry M one. It's this thick one. Yeah, it's not one of those skinny things you know. Something I like to get hold of and the right coverage!
So go and get that, yeah! [laughs]
You're playing Sonisphere this year. Are you excited for this?
L: It's like a hometown show, well not for you [saying to Jamie], but yeah. And the line up's wicked! We get to see Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Biffy Clyro...
Me: The big 4?
J: Yeah, a lot of people are saying that.
L: Yeah, I'm not so much into Metallica and stuff but yeah I'll definitely watch them 'cause they've had a lot of influence on other people so you know I'm always open to hearing new music or giving it a chance, all music a chance. I think I'll be seeing a lot of bands and also having a bit of a party over the weekend cause we're on the Friday, I think we clash with Megadeath.
J: Yeah, should be good.
L: Yeah, shouldn't be too much of a conflict.
J: Cause we went last year just to watch.
L: And it was a brilliant atmosphere and brilliant mix of music.
J: Good that none of the bands clash, when one stage finishes, another stage starts.
L: Yeah! They've worked the timings really well.
J: So if people don't wanna watch, they'll be watching anyways! [laughs]
L: Can't wait!
Are there any other festivals you'd like to play - here or in Europe?
L: I'd like to play Reading and Leeds festival. 'Cause I used to go to Reading festival when I was a kid, so that's like a festival I've grown up with, so I'd really like to play that! It has a mix of pop music, dance music and like your rock and metal. They've got a bit of everything at Reading, quite a lot, I quite like it. What else?
L: Soundwave in Australia, that'd be amazing! We're keeping our fingers crossed for that one. Some of the European festivals like Rock am Ring.
J: Rock im Park.
L: Yeah, the Rock im Park fest, we'd really to do that one. Yeah, I'm just up for playing shows, it means we get to meet new people, as well.
J: Ireland would be cool.
L: Yeah, we need to do Ireland as well, and see our fan base over there, that'd be cool.
What's your favourite show to date that My Passion have played?
L: I dunno... [pause]
J: [Pause] GOD!
L: 'Cause you joined in the last October tour.
J: Yeah I did.
L: But we got Jamie involved when we were recording the album.
Me: I remember you from Slam Dunk last year!
J: Yeah! I'd been around a bit, but couldn't say why. We've done some pretty good shows last year still, like Underworld was memorable, it was a really busy show, Halloween as well. Just really good atmosphere.
L: Yeah, perfect. One of the best, This tour's been brilliant again, each shows been great. I'm really looking forward to Islington Academy next.
J: Yeah that'll be great. It'll be brilliant. Totally sold out so.
L: In fact my favourite moment on stage was probably playing in Japan in like this big arena for Summer Sonic festival last summer. That was before Jamie joined. We were gutted he couldn't come out.
J: Yeah I was!
L: 'Cause we hadn't quite completed the change over and stuff. But yeah that was amazing 'cause it was like playing Wembley arena and was our first visit ever to Japan and we just looked out to thousands of people it was just a brilliant moment, you know? So I loved it. I dream about going back out there. I think we're a band that really works well in Japan.
J: They're very open.
L: Yeah. and like the visual side as well, not like in the UK. They've got the idea of what they like, you have to work a bit harder here.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2011?
L: We hope to have gone out and win over as many people as possible and got as many people s possible to hear this album, that's what this year is all about really. Showing people what we're made of musically and performance wise as well.
J: Promoting our new album.
L: Yeah it'd all about that. We'd like to go to Australia as well. Just touring and stuff as well. Hopefully we'll get some support tours to play with our favourite bands but there's always a lot of politics involved.
J: Yeah it'd always hard.
L: Yeah hard and especially with the budget we're on. Plus people don't know what we are. I think it's a bit of a scary concept. We're not like the support that comes on, plays a few notes, cheers and disappears again. We're the one that creates havoc and mayhem, jumps in the crowd [laughs]. I think that's a bit scary for them.
J: A bit awkward for them.
Me: When you played with The Blackout, you won over quite a lot of people.
L: Yeah, we love playing with The Blackout 'cause it's very live elements in the band and they're a great live band so there's a lot of energy there. Hopefully we can go out with them again. We hassle them 'cause we're mates and stuff. Yeah, if they don't take us out on this next October tour, you know, we're gonna have to...
J: That's it! Done! [laughs]
L: Yeah, end of friendship ties. [laughs] Sean may get assassinated!
Me: You never know it might be you next doing that large headline tour.
L: Yeah, then if we do that, we can do one after and they can support My Passion. [laughs] We look after each other.
After this tour, what have you got planned?
L: We've got a tour we can't tell you about, that'll be brilliant. Yeah, Friday we get to announce it.
J: Where we'll be back.
L: Yeah we'll be coming back to a lot of these cities at the end of May and June with another band.
J: It's a few more dates really.
L: Yeah, it's more dates spread over more time. And we're announcing a few more little festivals and stuff. We're getting to do that as much as possible. What else we doing? [pauses]
J: Just promoting the album throughout the year.
L: Yeah, it's all about getting this album out finally, 'cause people are a bit like, still waiting to see what's gonna happen.
J: Hopefully when the album's out, so much more will come our way.
J: A load of other bands said they had the same problem when they were waiting for it to be released.
L: Yeah, people were waiting for the album.
J: It seems to be if you've got an album out, offers just come in!
L: Plenty more festivals, plenty more shows. Just can't wait!
J: Yeah, me too!
Me: It's gonna be a good year.
L: Yeah we're gonna be busy, as busy as we can be.
Good luck and thank you.
The tour in May/June is supporting Framing Hanley on their UK tour.
My Passion's album 'Inside The Machine' is out now.