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You’re coming to the end of your Take Off tour – with shows in Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester left in February and March – does it feel strange to have been on tour for so long already but still have so long left?
“It doesn’t feel strange at all! Being on tour is incredible, we just love playing live. We’ve had a little break from the road for a few weeks which has broken it up really nicely and allowed us to get in the studio and work on some brand new tracks which are sounding incredible!”
How has the tour gone for you so far?
“It’s been absolutely surreal, by far the best we’ve ever done and every show has exceeded our expectations. To have people coming to see us in places we’ve only played once or twice before continues to blow our minds.”
What do you guys get up to on the tour bus when you’re traveling between shows? Are there any tracks or albums you have on repeat?
“This tour we’ve actually been doing a lot of quizzes in the van – I know, we’re really cool, what rock and roll is all about [laughs]. I always like to sit in the back row on my own and quiz everyone. It never ends well. As far as albums go we listened to the new Bon Iver album loads on tour – it’s incredible.”
The final date for your tour is at Albert Hall (Manchester), how big a deal is this for you all in the sense that it is a homecoming for the band?
“It’s been a venue that we’ve wanted to play since we began as a band and I don’t think we’ve got our head properly around it yet. Manchester shows are always a big deal for us and we try to make them as special as possible, so this one is just going to be another level.”
I caught your set at Dot To Dot Festival 2018 in Manchester (at Dive), how do you feel that series of shows went for you? Especially seeing as in Manchester you overlapped with the headliners, The Horrors.
“I think that Dot to Dot is always such a top weekend, you get to see and hear so much music throughout the cities. If I remember rightly that Dive show was pretty packed, as were the Bristol and Nottingham shows! Its great that everyone gets involved like that.”
You guys are one of a wave of bands to come to the fore of the industry through Manchester based label ‘Scruff Of The Neck’. Can you tell us a little about what it’s like to work with them and the atmosphere that seems to be breeding nothing but success at the moment?
“We’ve been managed by Mark (SOTN founder) for a couple of years now and we’ve always worked very closely alongside SOTN! I think they’ve really been pivotal in the formation of this current Manchester scene. There’s some great bands on their roster and everyone works really hard in the Scruff office. They’ve really helped to develop us as a band and that’s definitely true of lots of the music going through them at the moment.”
Radio X, BBC Introducing, the Manchester Evening News – and even SCAN – have all championed your music in recent history, how do you deal with the pressure that this puts on you to deliver bigger and better songs and achieve what has been predicted for you?
“We really thrive on that kind of thing. Obviously there’s occasionally feelings of pressure but we just love what we do. We’ve always had the belief that we can deliver bigger songs and play bigger shows, and that’s definitely something that 2019 is going to see happening.”
It’s recently been announced that you’ll be playing SXSW this March, is this your first foray into the American music scene? And how are you feeling about being involved in such a prestigious festival?
“Yeah, it’ll be our first time playing in the USA! We cannot wait. We’ve grown up seeing all the up-and-coming bands we love go and play there so in our minds it’s kind of a rite of passage to get to that next level! Honestly we’re so excited and feel proper lucky to have an opportunity like it.”
You list The 1975, Foals and Everything Everything as some of your influences and who you think sounds similar to you; do you see yourselves ever managing to reach the same heights in terms of musical innovation and success? And how do you think those influences come through in your tracks?
“I think that every time we record and write we’re getting closer to the sound we want to achieve. Those bands you mentioned have definitely influenced us along the way and we’d love to achieve the types of things they’ve achieved but we don’t get hung up on it. We’re really focussing on our own path and the type of music we want to create at the minute!”
When your most recent single, ‘Something Beautiful’, came out you said that it was a song for your fans “dance to”; do you feel like that’s the main motivation behind you making and releasing music?
“I think with ‘Something Beautiful’ that was definitely the intention, it’s become that one song in the set that we all look forward to playing because it always goes off! There are lots of motivations for us making and releasing music but I’d definitely say that to see a crowd dance or sing to your tune is one of the most amazing feelings.”
You and Josh (vocals and guitar) obviously live together now, but were you guys friends before you became a band or was the band the beginning of the relationship between you all?
“Me and Josh have been mates since we were in high school and we always played music together. Henry is a couple of years younger and went to our high school so when we were looking for a bassist our old guitar teacher recommended him. Henry then recommended Joe as they go to uni together. We’re all like brothers now, we see each other pretty much every day.”
The band really seems to have matured over the last couple of years in terms of branding: there’s a proper logo now, a snazzy, modern website and bright coloured album artwork and merch seems to have become your niche. How important do you think all this is for a band in the modern music industry?
“Yeah we’ve really worked at that side of things. I think it’s dead important. Love it or hate it, everything is on social media these days, it’s the most efficient way to speak to fans by a mile and we try and chat to as many as we can! With that I think it’s vital to have really vibey, eye-catching branding. There’s so many bands now that it’s important to set yourself apart in any way you can!”
There was only one track released in 2018, what is in the pipeline for 2019 for Larkins?
“2019 is going to be insane! We’ve been writing and recording over the last month and the new tracks are definitely our best yet! Keep an eye out because it’s gonna be a big year.”
Larkins are currently on tour – with four dates left, tickets are available through their website!