It’s been almost ten years since we’ve seen a release from English melody-makers The Ordinary Boys. With a new member and outlook on the band, The Ordinary Boys are finally back with a fourth studio record and UK Tour. In our latest interview, AMBY had the pleasure of speaking with lead vocalist Samuel Preston to discuss vulnerable writing, performing live, favourite concerts, best friends, and starting the band up again. Enjoy our exclusive conversation below:
AMBY: Hey The Ordinary Boys, welcome to AMBY! How are you doing and where does our interview find you today?
The Ordinary Boys: Hai! I’m doing very well indeed thank you. It finds me enjoying a rare morning off watching the buses drive past my window and drinking coffee after waking up to the news that we are going to Japan when we come home from tour.
AMBY: Congratulations on the release of your new self-titled record. What were some of the highlights while making it?
The Ordinary Boys: The highlights, and this is a fairly consistent theme with this band, are all just being able to indulge in spending extended periods of time with my best friends. I’m so lucky to have a reason to hang out with them. We recorded the album on a boat in the Thames and for a few moments we forgot that we weren’t the 17 year old kids with no responsibilities that we were ten years older. Admittedly our responsibilities aren’t particularly crippling now but there was a month or two of running around London and getting into trouble at the beginning of the year that was one of the most fun times of my life. We would all stay at my flat and pile in for a sleepover.
AMBY: The single Four Letter Word is a ripper. What’s the story behind the song?
The Ordinary Boys: Thanks! Louis came up with the riff and the verse chord pattern. I just loved it so much right away. And I wanted to give it quite a brazen chorus. Every song on this record is a collaborative effort in the way that we would start rehearsal with a riff and leave rehearsal with a song.
AMBY: I have really been enjoying the record and noticed that there seems to be a bit of a theme with the song titles having a vulnerability to them. Was this intentional? And what was the inspiration lyrically for this record?
The Ordinary Boys: Oh no I guess maybe I’m just a vulnerable guy. I suppose the lyrics to Four Letter Word kind of sums it up, but I listen back to previous Ordinary Boys albums and the lyrics always irk me a little bit. And I realised that there was always a reluctance to sing about anything that I was uncertain of. So I would fall into singing these all-knowing social critiques. But ultimately I don’t know anything about the world and I don’t know what made me think I had any answers. So this time I wanted to try to sing a little more from the heart. I mean I still have no answers but at least I can feel some real conviction in asking the questions.
AMBY: Louis Jones from Spectrals has joined the band. How has he influenced the music the band makes?
The Ordinary Boys: I was always a huge Spectrals fan. He was my 1st choice for a new guitarist and actually when I approached him I assumed that he would want to do something jangly and indie and I suppose that was our intention. But when I met him for a coffee that first time we only wanted to talk about Lookout! records bands and hardcore bands and I think that just finding someone else who might not say no to making the music that we always secretly wanted to make was all it took.
AMBY: You also announced a 25 date UK tour. Which tracks are you most looking forward to playing live for you fans?
The Ordinary Boys: I guess I love playing some old first album songs and I know that everyone will mosh and sing along to those. I am really looking forward to getting the same response for the new ones. I’ve been having lots of gig paranoia dreams where I forget the words and everybody hates us and everything goes wrong, which is possibly my brain preparing me for the worst so that when we do go out and it’s great it will feel even better. Four Letter Word will be fun to play now that it’s out and has been a single that people are a little more familiar with. I really like it when people sing along. A lot of this album feels very sing along so I guess the tour will be the litmus test.
AMBY: I read on your Facebook a post where you list 30 bands that you have the pleasure of sharing a stage with. Was there a certain show or moment that stands out when you reflect on this?
The Ordinary Boys: Supporting Weezer in front of 40,000 people in a baseball stadium in Tokyo.
AMBY: There’s a great Tweet from Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs saying “My friend Charlie and his Ordinary Boys have woken from their slumber to bring you a new LP.” All kidding aside, why did you feel that after ten years it was the right time to release a new record?
The Ordinary Boys: I don’t think it is a particularly good time but it was the time that I called Charlie, the original drummer, and made peace with him, and by the end of the phone call we had started the band up again. I really feel like we are only just beginning to work out who we are as a band and I hope to start releasing records much more regularly and maybe in a few albums time it will be the right time. We are still learning and growing and that feels great.
AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
The Ordinary Boys: Have a good time all of the time.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s the best part of being in The Ordinary Boys?
The Ordinary Boys: Having an excuse to hold my best friends hostage in a van for a month and taking them on holiday to Japan. I’m a lucky man.
Thank you The Ordinary Boys, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Yaz Atout | @YazAtout