On Friday 30th November, one of the modern pioneers of Rock and Roll, Billy Lunn, lead singer of The Subways hits
for a special intimate show at The Hop. He’ll be playing a stripped down
acoustic set of The Subways material from their first three albums. Aaron
Snowdon speaks to Billy in advance of the show… Wakefield
Aaron Snowdon: So, first of all, what made you decide to go out on tour on your own?
Billy Lunn: Well I’m actually writing the fourth album at the moment and I wrote Money and Celebrity, our third record, whilst we were off tour and I was at home. You know, just to sort of simulate the creative process, I thought I’d pop out on tour and play some songs for fans. We don’t intend on playing as a full band until maybe, summer next year.
AS: Do you think that touring is a good time to start writing the fourth record?
BL: I don’t actually really write a lot on tour. By the time we get back on the bus and I pick up my acoustic guitar, I think I’m ready for bed now. When I wake up in the morning, straight out of the tour bus, I’m doing press and exercise. Song writing only really happens whilst I’m off tour. I never know when some ideas might suddenly crop up. I thought this acoustic tour would be a great way and go out there and experience and meet new people.
AS: So in terms of when you’re performing live, with a full band you appear to be quite lively and often crazy on stage, do you feel nervous at the idea of performing on your own?
BL: Definitely! With doing all that crazy stuff on stage and making all that loud noise. When it’s just the acoustic guitar and me, if there are mistakes everybody’s going to hear them. There is a sense of sort of feeling naked. It’s great to challenge myself as well, to have to take the songs we usually play really loud and bring it down to a different level to almost a folky atmosphere. I’m starting to get used to it now, a bit more confident.
AS: Do you like playing the more intimate venues?
BL: It depends really. If we do a huge tour, with the bigger venues we’re sort of craving for the more intimate interaction with the crowd where you can see the sweat dripping from the ceiling. It’s nice just to mix and match. Festival season’s just a great way to exemplify that. When the festival seasons over, we’re sort of ready to get back indoors now and play some really low down dirty club shows. That to us is Rock and Roll we used to go to those kinda shows when we were starting out as a band.
AS: On this tour is it going to be strictly Subways stuff or do you have some solo material?
BL: I was thinking about playing some of my solo stuff, but to be honest, if I write something and I don’t immediately take it to Charlotte and Josh then it’s not good enough. If I don’t show it to them, I don’t really believe the song worked. So, anything I really do write, I’ll only categorize as The Subways. I’m actually planning to do some covers, I’ve already played Supersonic by Oasis and I’m really enjoying playing that. It’s probably one of my all time favourite songs. I’m thinking of Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. I’ll probably be sticking that in the set as well.
AS: I noticed that you’ve been asking people for their opinions on what you should play in the set. Does that give you a more personal relationship with the crowd?
BL: Yeah, definitely. That’s what we’ve always wanted since day one. When we first started the band we wanted to be really interactive with our fans. We put up our own website. We’d do that then we’d put up we’re playing at the Buffalo Bar on Thursday are there any songs that you guys would particularly like to hear? I basically went on Twitter and asked, anything you want me to try give it to me and I’ll see if I can do it. I had people request Foo Fighters- Everlong. This one couple were really keen that I play it. When the barman disappeared I took my guitar out and played it really quiet, and they loved it.
AS: You recently did the Propaganda tour with The Subways which visited Leeds 02 Academy. How were these shows?
BL: Yeah, they we great. We booked this Propaganda tour which we thought would be an amazing way to end this Money and Celebrity campaign and they were all 30 minute slots. It was absolutely crazy going out their and banging out 8 songs then walking off stage then going and having a drink. We found ourselves playing to people who have never even heard of us before!
AS: I noticed recently that you’ve been growing a moustache for Movember, the people of
are going to see it at its highest
point on the 30th November. Are you excited to be visiting Wakefield West Yorkshire again? Has the north treated you well in
BL: Yeah. You know, we’ve always had some amazing gigs up north. Especially in
I’ve gotta say my tash is not looking good at the moment. My brother is 18 months
younger than me and he can grow a full beard. I’m much fairer than he is, so
when I try grow any facial hair it looks really pathetic. By the time I get to it’ll be
probably, well I don’t know how it’s going to look! We’ll see! Wakefield
Tickets for the gig are available at The Hop, Crash Records, Jumbo Records and Ticketweb