Interview: Amber Run

AMBER RUN_ HIGH RES_ DAH_1934-2Belwood favourites Amber Run have had one hell of a year. Their new album For A Moment, I Was Lost somehow surpassed their stunning debut with the greatest of ease, and secured them a place in my mind as the touchstone of gold standard indie rock. It saw them explore a more mature sound, and showcased the band firing on all cylinders. Following on from their incredible record, and in between their busy tour schedule, they’ve somehow found time to record a new acoustic EP. I had a quick chat to frontman Joe Keogh about the band’s whirlwind year: 

Thanks for your time! You’ve recently announced a new acoustic EP. What made you decide to pursue this more stripped back sound?
It’s a pleasure! It was for the challenge really – we haven’t really explored the acoustic side of things too much, so it felt good to test ourselves, and also give fans a slightly different experience of some of the songs they already know.

The EP is a mix of tracks from your latest album and a few covers, among them ‘Alaska’ by Maggie Rogers. What was it about this track in particular that compelled you to cover it?
Again, mainly as a challenge. It is a beautiful song, and quite different sonically, lyrically and melodically from anything we would do, so thought we’d give it a go.

You released your second album For A Moment, I Was Lost earlier this year and it explores a darker and heavier sound than your debut. Does this change in sound reflect how you’ve changed as a band in that time?
I think it reflected exactly where we were when it was being written, and the frustrations we were experiencing. It was a dark time for us, so hence the darker sounding album.

You’ve been very open about the fact that this album nearly didn’t happen, that you nearly called it quits. Seeing the reaction that For A Moment received where do you feel you are at now?
We’re chuffed and humbled by the positive reaction from our fans. It was a really important album for us to reclaim what we were as a band. Now we are looking forwards.

You’re off on yet another tour later this year, you’ve certainly been busy. Do you find yourselves missing home often or do you live for life on the road?
We want to be playing hundreds of shows a year – it’s what we live for.

I’ve noticed that you’re very active on social media and always make time for your fans. Was that a conscious decision or did it stem from seeing your fanbase grow as you yourselves grew as a band?
It’s just natural really – don’t see why you wouldn’t. We have a very active fanbase that we are extremely grateful for, so not engaging with that is just a bit of a shit thing to do.

I’ve claimed before on the site that you rank amongst Britain’s best Indie bands, but who do you feel represents the best of British music right now?
Well it depends at what level you’re looking. It’s undeniable that a band like Foals are massively at the forefront of indie music with how big they’ve become. You can look at emerging talent, and there are some seriously exciting bands there (Yonaka, Island, Fours, and loads more). One of the best bands in the world Flyte are releasing their debut album this week. They are unbelievably talented.

With a new album, several tours and now an EP you’ve certainly been working hard this year. Will you try to keep that same pace moving forward or is it time for a well deserved rest?
You’ll have to see…

Massive thanks to Joe and the band! Be sure to catch Amber Run on their latest UK tour this autumn:

29th Sept – Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
30th Sept – Gloucester, Guildhall
2nd Oct – Reading, Sub 89
3rd Oct – Cambridge, Junction
4th Oct – Brighton, Concorde 2
6th Oct – Cardiff, Tramshed
7th Oct – Oxford, O2 Academy
8th Oct – Liverpool, Hangar 34
10th Oct – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
12th Oct – Edinburgh, Liquid Room
13th Oct – Belfast, Mandela Hall
14th Oct – Dublin, Whelans