In the past, you've concentrated more on America and Australia in terms of touring. Are there plans to tour in Europe?
Definitely. The thing with Europe is that it's the one place probably as a band that we're most excited about. When you go to America, it's so huge, and so media driven, and when you talk to people in America from the bands that you like, all the American bands that we like are much bigger and more respected in Europe than they ever will be in America. Especially in terms of Indie Rock . The first couple of times you go to America, you see one of your favourite bands playing somewhere, and you go to see them and you're shocked that they're playing in such small venues. The reason we haven't been in Europe is that we haven't really had a record out there. We've had them out in Holland and Belgium, but never really in Europe as a whole, or had any press there, so we've always felt, when you're financing things yourself, maybe it's not worth your while going to tour in places where people can't buy your records. That's one of the main reasons we haven't been to Europe. Now we've a new deal, and an agent in Europe, and we're hoping that when the new record comes out that we'll tour.
When do you think the album will come out?
Well, we're definitely aiming to have it out for the end of the summer. August, maybe September. That's been the goal for a while now. It's just a matter of, we're working on some songs next week, and then the next time will be May. I think we're kind of better when we've a certain amount of time to do it, and we just go ahead and do it, as opposed to having lots of time to needle around with it. It's better to set a deadline and decide – right, this is what we're going to do. I think the most, or one of the most important parts, like making for the birds, 50% of the time was spent talking about the record – you know, talking about what we were going to do, and what we were trying to make, so once we've got a clear idea in our heads, and a focus then it doesn't take too long to put the actual music together.
As a band who's put out records on your own, and through a label, how do you feel about the ongoing debate about mp3’s?
To be honest I don't have a huge problem with it at all. There's loads of people who swap bootlegs and live recordings and stuff like that. I don't have a problem with that. The only problem I could have is that with live recordings, they could be shit. I'd rather have people getting something that's good. We've talked about having live stuff available through the website, but we haven't gotten around to it, as it's fairly time consuming. But I've no problem with people having mp3's, especially live stuff.
I don't really mind that much people having mp3's of our records either because as far as I can see, from my experience, if I go and download a song I tend to get one or two songs, and if I like them, I'll buy the record. I'd never not buy a record because I've downloaded a song. I like having records, I like having the artwork. Personally, I'm not necessarily speaking for the band here, but personally I don't really mind if people share/burn copies of our stuff. I'd rather people have our music than not. It's made for people to listen to. We don't make it just to make money you know.
With the development of technology, with internet distribution etc, surely the benefits of a major record label are exaggerated nowadays?
To be honest it all comes back to what your goals are, whether you just want to make music and put it out there, if you want to make a record and sell 10,000 copies, then certainly in Ireland you don't need a record company. If you want to sell 10,000 in America as well, I'm sure you could do it yourself.. If you're a band starting out and nobody knows who you are – but if you want to sell a million records, you do need a record label. Or else a huge stroke of luck (laughs). I think they're a necessary sort of evil – though don't get me wrong, I don't have any problems with them or bitterness towards the record industry. It is what it is and as long as you see it for what it is then fine. But I think you do need a vehicle, a machine to get your music out there. So for the moment I do think that some form of record label in inverted commas (I mean we have our own record label – it's just a name – there's no office, nobody works for us) is needed.
The other thing about the internet that is interesting though is the idea of having internet channels, as you would have radio stations – that anybody could set up an audio visual channel. Cause at the moment people make videos, and the production costs of a video are huge – so for us a lot of the time it's just not worth our while putting a lot of money into a video because at the end of the day it's only going to be shown a couple of times, but if you had online outlets like phantomfm (Editor’s note:Dublin independent radio station) or video channels almost. It creates a whole new thing for bands to go out and make videos and have someone who'll play them.