Date: October 30th, 2009
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Interviewer: Zach Redrup
Download: None available
The Taste Of Chaos annual tour has quickly become a smaller, more versatile version of the US Vans Warped Tour, but bordering across more than just one country. HORSE The Band are just one band on the bill during the UK leg of the festival tour, providing an original ‘nintendocore’ self-labelled genre and sound. Upon their tour bus Erik Engstrom and Nathan Winneke are reading magazines, with Erik reading out their latest review of a previous Taste Of Chaos show from an issue of Kerrang! magazine. After discussing their highly rated review, they begin their chat with DEAD PRESS!:
Zach: How’ve the Taste Of Chaos dates been going for you so far?
Erik: [laughs] Fun.
Nathan: And kinda boring. I’ve been sitting around a lot doing nothing.
Erik: Yeah, and it’s cold outside, so we just sit â€“ well, we try to walk around the city and stuff, but I guess that’s not even the question. It’s like the biggest shows we’ve played in the UK, and the first time we’ve ever not headlined here, but they’re like four times smaller than what we were expecting.
Erik: And like the last week it’s been the same people at every single show.
Erik: Yeah, it’s just like this mob of like two hundred kids following the tour, so they’ve all seen us like six times already.
Zach: Probably got their own tour bus following you.
Erik: Yeah. I don’t even know what they’re doing, but like merch has gone like way down now ’cause it’s like the same kids at every show, and they already bought everything. It’s really weird. Every show keeps getting smaller and smaller.
Zach: No way.
Zach: What was your reaction like when you were asked to play these shows?
Erik: I don’t know if we were asked as much as our manager begged for us to be able to play them, and we were happy about it, like â€“ ’cause like the last time we toured here our shows were horrible, but I guess that that’s kind of a trend right now worldwide, is that shows are getting smaller. I don’t know, so we were like “Cool. We can play big shows in the UK”.
Zach: How have you added your own ‘Taste Of Chaos’ for the crowds?
Erik: I think we might be the only band that doesn’t say the same thing every night, if you consider that chaotic [laughs]. But, I dunno, we can’t do what we normally would do ’cause this is like a real tour. It would probably not be looked at in the best light.
Nathan: Traditionally we just make fun of everybody and everything, but if you don’t â€“ if you’re not best buddies with these other bands they’re not gonna think it was funny [laughs], and if you can’t make fun of the tour even if you don’t necessarily mean it just ’cause it’s funny ’cause â€“ then they take offence ’cause â€“ so we just have to be friendly chaps. But we would never do it maliciously, like we just toured with Heavy Heavy Low Low and gave them a sweet razzing night leave, but that’s a whole different scenario, that’s why it’s different for us. We have to behave ourselves.
Zach: Stay in a good light.
Zach: Where does the band name come from?
Erik: I think The Godfather originally, and like some weird obsession that we had with horses in high school, but I don’t really know. It was such a long time ago.
Zach: Were there any other band names in mind, and if so what were they?
Erik: There was Food.
Nathan: The Mexican Economy.
Erik: Oh yeah, The Mexican Economy, Pat Brown, I don’t know why.
Nathan: Let me just remind you they were all seventeen or sixteen at the time, or something.
Erik: I like Food, I kinda wish we named our band Food. “What’s your band called?” “Food” [laughs].
Nathan: We’d get so many jokes about being ‘delicious’, or ‘unappetising’, or â€“ just now we’re ‘coming out of the stable, galloping’.
Zach: Are you happy with the way your latest album ‘A Natural Death’ turned out?
Erik: I guess.
Nathan: I’d say in reaction to ‘Pizza’, it probably ended being up a little more serious than we normally would be, but ‘Pizza’ was so silly, we had to balance the playing field unintentionally. But, I’d like to do some more high energy, colourful stuff in the future, but I think we actually expanded our musical ability which was nice [laughs].
Erik: I like the idea, and I like the production. I just wish that maybe we would have written a few more like songs that are fun to get into live, so next time I think we’ll do that.
Zach: Is there any band you haven’t toured with yet, but would like to?
Zach: [long pause] like?
Erik: [laughs] There’s so many. You can start.
Nathan: Madori. I just thought of that the other day.
Erik: We wanna tour with MUCC again. Erm, I wanna tour with At The Drive-In.
Nathan: Fuck yeah.
Erik: And Lily Allen.
Zach: That’d be pretty good.
Erik: Crystal Castles, Tegan And Sara, Maids Of State, and er, Alesana, and Escape The Fate, and er –
Nathan: Converge. He’s just kidding about those.
Erik: Converge, like.
Nathan: I think Converge would be great.
Zach: What does HORSE The Band’s diet usually consist of when on tour?
Nathan: We’re all fairly different.
Erik: Yeah, I could tell you like everything I’ve eaten in England probably. It’s either like, yeah like kebab, a curry, McDonalds, or some insane pub greasy thing.
Zach: Sounds like a healthy diet.
Nathan: I had a McDonalds this afternoon, it was the best McDonalds food I’d ever eaten. I don’t know why, it was just hot, and fresh, and melted in my mouth, and the flavours exploded inside of me.
Zach: How would you compare touring in the UK with touring back in the US?
Nathan: I have to wear jackets, er, there’s better beer at the venues, er, people stand around a lot more even for their favourite band which was kind of a surprise to me. People just like to chill, and drink beer. I think it’s all because they all have beers in their hands, you know, you can’t move around a lot when you’ve got a cup of beer in your hand. Not that I care.
Erik: We keep getting hit by cars a lot when we’re here, ’cause we look the wrong way when we try to cross the street. It’s scary.
Nathan: Everything here is tragically expensive for us.
Zach: Yeah, we have like the credit crunch and stuff.
Erik: Yeah, well we have that too, but it’s just your currency is worth double ours, so everything costs double.
Nathan: Nine out of ten people have a ring in their lip, or have something stapled to their lip. It’s kinda crazy.
Zach: I fit into that statistic then, don’t I? [laughs]
Nathan: I like it, I’m not complaining. I’m just saying it’s â€“ it’s very, very popular here, and that was shocking to me.
Zach: Is it not as popular back in the states?
Nathan: No. It’s still there, it’s just not at the same level.
Erik: Normal people here dress way better than Americans do.
Nathan: That’s very true.
Erik: Normal Americans.
Zach: Would you consider yourselves normal Americans?
Erik: No [laughs].
Nathan: There’s like very few moustaches here aswell [laughs]. There’s some, but not so many. It’s kind of a surprise.
Zach: It’s not quite caught on.
Nathan: Or it already left the building I suppose [laughs].
Zach: Final question; what can we expect from HORSE The Band this time next year?
Nathan: You’d be surprised on how legit that statement is [laughs].
Erik: Oh yeah, that’s true. That wasn’t a joke.
Nathan: I don’t know. We’re gonna tour more, write new songs we like even more. We’re gonna look really good.
Erik: Our goal is to start looking better [laughs]. I think it’s the only reason that we’re not more popular.
Zach: Because of the way you dress?
Erik: Yeah, just like, our whole image has to change [he picks up the issue of Kerrang! magazine he was reading earlier and points at a picture of Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes], like this guy.
Zach: Oh, like Oli Sykes?
With that the band thank DEAD PRESS! for their time and guide him out of the tour bus once more, down the stairs and through the automated door. Later that night they would prove, as Kerrang! also stated, to be one of the best performing bands on the bill that evening.
Written by Zach Redrup