Following on from their set on the Selective Hearing tour in Birmingham, we sat down with New Volume‘s vocalist/guitarist Tyron and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Ryan for a chat about touring life, the South African music scene and teaching aliens about New Volume!
How was the show tonight?
Tyron – It was awesome. It’s a bit different to Europe cause I think the crowd’s a lot more reserved here where out there it’s crazy and stuff. But the feedback we’ve had has been unbelievable.
Your set was really good! I’m quite intrigued though that it’s more reserved over here, quite a few bands have said that the UK is a bit more crazy than the mainland.
Tyron – It is if the band’s like really big but I think for support bands it’s a lot tougher in the UK but it’s always been like that.
Ryan – We find the music scene spoils the UK like we see a lot all the time but I suppose in Europe it’s the same but I think in the UK they don’t really show (enjoyment), you think they’re not enjoying it but they actually are, they’re just a bit quieter and they come to you afterwards, where in Europe its like “aaah”, you know, they go pretty wild! That’s how it is for us, I don’t know if it’s like that for every band.
That’s fair. You did a tour recently with I Am Giant, how does this run compare to that?
Tyron – The I Am Giant one was a lot smaller.
Ryan – Yeah, a few dates, it was only about four dates whereas this has been 32 dates on a slightly bigger scale. They’re both cool though!
Tyron – Yeah the guys in I Am Giant were lovely, we got on with them from day 1, it was such a fun time and I think in a way, it was like a good warm-up for this tour because we’ve never done a tour this long before! To be on the road for like a month and a half, playing shows every day is a dream come true for us but it’s also like a long time! It can be tough but it’s better than a desk job and we have fun every single second of the day.
Ryan – Trying to find a shower is hard!
Tyron – It’s the little things; a shower, healthy meal. Just the little things!
A proper bed as well?
Both – Yeah!
You guys are originally from South Africa, what is the music scene like out there?
Ryan – It’s better now! It’s not bad at all . When we moved here, it was different back then. There wasn’t the internet out there like there is today and I think these days it doesn’t really matter where you’re from because the internet is so powerful. It’s like you can be from the smallest town and if you’ve got decent broadband…
Tyron – I think mentality wise, in South Africa they follow a lot of trends.
Ryan – It depends on the are.
Tyron – But it’s like when you come to London, for us, we find there’s a market here for everything! It opens your eyes to try new things and experiment and find your own sound which is kinda what we did. For years we were basically doing pop-punk kinda sound like everyone else and then we just decided ‘fuck that, we’ll do something else we love that’s unique and no-one else is doing’. So we started blending this bluesy kinda rock with this dark 80s kinda bold sound and we just created something we felt was unique. I think that’s what London’s done for us and being in this scene has done for us. Like people in South Africa, they follow more of the trends and try and do things that other bands are doing.
Ryan – It’s different but I think especially when we moved over, it was like 12 years ago, yeah that’s a long time so it was a lot different, people weren’t always same minded but I think now there are some original acts coming out because of different lifestyle, different languages and stuff.
Tyron – Yeah it’s getting good. But it’s tough there to make a career, like most South Africans will end up coming here or going to America or Europe, it’s not like you can have a sustainable career (in the music industry) just in South Africa.
Ryan – You have to branch out otherwise you’ll go around in circles and people will just get bored of you.
That’s sort of the same here to, like if you can’t branch out past out your local scenes then it does get quite hard. Was that kind of a factor of you coming over to the UK? As you said you’ve been here now for 12 years, so was coming here you trying to branch out?
Tyron – We just felt like we’d hit a ceiling in South Africa at that time, we’d toured enough and we’d done everything and we just thought we weren’t going to get any bigger, so lets try. We’ve always wanted to be the biggest band, so we made plans to try and come to the UK to make it happen because the UK is kinda where (it happens) the whole world follows the UK music scene. That’s the thing, like if you can’t make it in the UK, you’re not going to make it anywhere else. For us it’s the perfect place to be, the competition’s strong, it keeps you on your game, it keeps you having to write better songs and that’s what we like about it. It’s the challenge, it makes things interesting.
Did you find it hard to come over? Like was it a hard decision?
Tyron – Nah it was the easiest decision we’ve ever made.
Ryan – I think it was lucky because we were really young and when you’re really young, you’re not really thinking about it too much, you’re just like “yep we’re going”. If we were a bit older, like I know friends who are in bands and they’re too comfortable. We’d just finished school and were like “yeah” so we didn’t really think about it much.
So you were basically just like “fuck it, we’re going to go over”?
Ryan – Yeah basically.
Tyron – It’s like when you come from South Africa, going to England is like the best place in the world and it’s like where else are we going to be in the heart of the music? So we were more excited than we were scared. It was tough, I think for the first two years we struggled getting enough money to pay for rent and just be a band but once we got through it it was amazing!
Ryan – Just like paying to rehearse it was like “what? You have to pay to rehearse?!” Can’t we just practice in a garage?
Tyron – In South Africa, everyone used to practice in their house and garage whereas here it’s a lot different.
Last year you released Envy, have you got any plans for a follow-up?
Ryan – We’ve got bits and bobs that we’re writing and the plan is to release something next year.
Tyron – Yeah I think that with Envy, we don’t feel like it’s had its chance yet if that makes sense? We’re still very proud of that record.
You should be because it is a really good record1
Tyron – Yeah? And we’re still kind of trying to get people to hear it because some have never heard the album, so for us it’s important for them to hear that but our next album will definitely be a step up and improving more on that creativity and uniqueness we have and trying to find ourselves and make a better version of what we’ve been doing now. But we’ve got loads of songs in the works! We just need to sit in a room together and finish it, that’ll be January I think.
I look forward to hearing it.
Tyron – We look forward to getting it out there. It’s been a while since we’ve released some new music.
If an alien came to Earth because it heard that New Volume was one of the best bands ever, what song would you give it to best sum up your band and why?
Tyron – One Touch I think, only because that was the catchiest from the whole album. That was the song that we sat down and were like “we’re going to try something completely different” because we’ve always just been like a bass guitar/vocals/drum kinda band and that was the first song we decided to get out the keyboard and try some new sounds. The whole song was written in one day, we had everything and it felt like this fast paced process and was so exciting and we were like “we have to do more of this!” And I think that song helped pave the way for the rest of the album!
Ryan – Turn Off The Lights and Lovers And Liars because we had put our creativity to the max at that stage in the writing because it’s not very generic sounding, the drums are doing different things and the vocals are doing strange sounds so I would say those.
Tyron – If aliens do come down, I’d probably ask them to take me with them because I don’t like Earth that much anymore! Humans are horrible people sometimes! I’d rather be somewhere else.
Ryan – PUPPY PLANET!
If you could have any artist cover one New Volume song, who would you pick and what song?
Ryan – That’s a tough one! I can’t really think of any! I want to say someone that sounds similar to us but then I’m thinking of something else that doesn’t sound similar to us so Sia would be good!
Tyron – Yeah or Zayn Malik. I love Zayn Malik, I think his album was amazing. (proceed to have a discussion on the differing One Direction members solo projects and who’s better, I say Niall, Tyron says Zayn)
Ryan – I think Zayn has also got the image down
Tyron –Okay so you need a serious answer now…
Ryan – I would say Sia, just cause she’s got a good voice.
Tyron – Halsey. The song she should do… Maybe Animal?
Ryan -Sia – Wasting Away.
That’s fair, if we flip it and you can cover one song that’s currently charting, if you know any, what would it be?
Tyron -I’d do a cover of Post Malone‘s Fall Apart. Lately I’ve been listening to that song non-stop so I’d love to do a cover of that.
Ryan – I’m not good with the new pop songs but I can tell you an old song, Forever Young by Alphaville. My pop knowledge this week, or this month, I don’t know (laughs). It’s probably two months late, I’d be thinking of a song that came out two months ago.
Tyron – What like N*Sync?
Ryan – Yeah…
We always end with some random questions. How many tattoos do you have and which has the most meaning?
Tyron – Three? Probably the one that says ‘loyalty’.
Ryan – I don’t know how many tattoos I’ve got but probably the one with my siblings names . But I can’t tell you the number of tattoos, I don’t even know! They all like blend into one.
What Star Wars character would you be and why?
Ryan – See I’m not even a big Star Wars fan but I’d have to say Chewbacca because he looks like a bro!
Tyron – (laughs) who’s the little gremlin dude?
Tyron – Yoda that’s the one!
Ryan – Yeah Yoda’s a bro as well!
You could have written any song in history, what would it be?
Tyron – There’s parts of me that go ‘choose the one that made the most money’ but then there’s also like ‘choose the one that’s the best song’ which is such a hard thing!
Ryan – Michael Jackson – Black Or White. I don’t know, there’s too amny1 I’ve got too many!
Tyron – I don’t even know what to say. The first that’s coming to me is Coldplay – Yellow. No what’s the one that (sings) “lights will guide you home”
Tyron – Yeah that song! That’s the song I wish I could have written. It’s at every festival, I half cry when I watch that. I’m like “ooh it looks so beautiful”.
Describe the person sitting to your right as tomorrow’s headline?
Ryan – Dolphin Man does well (laughs) cause he makes dolphin sounds!
Tyron -I used to. I’ve retired!
Ryan – It’s really lame but that’s all I can really think of right now.
Is there anything else you want to say to our readers?
Tyron – Please check us out and if you like us then come to a show, we like to meet new people.
Ryan – And keep reading.
Tyron – Keep reading like books and novels.
Ryan – Read, read!
Tyron – Like don’t get dumber, get smarter.
Ryan – Don’t listen to Wikipedia all the time! It’s lies!
Thank you for speaking to us today!
Both – Thank you for having us!