Little Comets started a small wave of hysteria back in their hometown of Newcastle in 2009. They have since released their debut album In Search of Elusive Little Comets in 2011 and this week marked the release of their second album 'Life Is Elsewhere' and the start of their biggest ever headline tour of the UK.
Gigwise caught up with lead singer Robert Coles about how the band have changed since he became a father and what the band have in store for their upcoming live shows....
You have just released your new album ‘Life is Elsewhere.’ How is life for Little Comets at the moment?
Yeah it’s good. We are pretty chilled out really, considering the busy times ahead. We got the album done and are very pleased with it; we are now just looking forward to playing the new songs live.
How does your second album compare to your debut album ‘In Search of Elusive Little Comets’? Have you done things differently this time around?
Nothing consciously no. Just circumstances in terms of changes to the way it was written. A lot of the first album was written in a rehearsal room so even though it was still written by me and Mickey (Rob’s brother and guitarist) we were on top of the drums and bass. This time around it has been written with two guitars and a vocal first. Then we created drum patterns later. Things have taken a lot longer this time around, especially with the production process which has seen a lot more merging between the production and the writing process.
You toured extensively after the release of your first album, so was the writing for ‘Life is Elsewhere’ written on the road?
No we don’t write on tour to be honest. We write in Mickey’s bedroom upstairs, it a nice safe environment where we can concentrate. When we are on tour the main thing is keeping the day to day shows how we want them so there isn’t too much focus on writing.
In a world where so many indie bands are softening their sound or working with pop or electro producers, is it tough sticking to your guns and keeping your guitar sound?
I really don’t care what other artists are doing. I don’t even see us as a guitar band; we are just a band who writes on guitars. I think describing bands in terms of being a “guitar band” can be a bit disingenuous. I play the keyboard but we happen to play guitars live, when we are writing in the studio the focus certainly isn’t based around guitars, it is just what the final product is going to be. To be honest I don’t really give a shit what other people are writing just as long as we enjoy what we are writing and enjoy playing it. There is some fantastic music out there but it doesn’t really matter to us.
Listen to 'A Little Opus' below
One thing that has changed is that you are now a Dad! Congratulations on recently becoming a father.
How has your role as a father affected the band?
Well I am just learning on how to function on about 6 hours less sleep a night! It’s going to be hard being away from home whilst on tour but we get home quite a bit anyway. Mickey is a dad now as well and we have both been ready to be parents for quite a while so it isn’t like having a baby is suddenly changed us as people. Band-wise though I think we are still the same, we all have the same good habits and the same bad habits.
So, are future Little Comets tracks likely to take inspiration from becoming a Dad?
I think fundamentally it will do because it is such a massive change to someone’s life having that new responsibility. There won’t be an obvious change but like anything that happens in your life it will impact on the song writing.
There will be no real changes though and no we are not going to start writing songs about babies if that’s what you mean!
Your upcoming tour is your biggest headline tour to date, are you excited about heading back out on the road?
Yeah it will be lovely! It’s kind of mixture of nervousness that people are going to think it is s**t and excitement about people hearing them live for the first time. It’s such a different challenge playing songs live to recording them. We have been in the rehearsal rooms for the last 2/3 weeks preparing the new songs so it will just be interesting to see how the new songs fit alongside the old songs.
Any special plans for the shows? Will the saucepan and various other random items still appear on stage?
The percussion line will still be there yes. As the venues get bigger the percussion line gets more stuff tagged on. I think on this album there is quite a bit more vocal work, obviously Mickey and that haven’t done vocals on previous tours so hopefully this tour will see a lot focus on the vocals. I think the new songs will change the flow of the set, the old songs are more raucous and energetic but the new songs are more thought out and not quite so raucous as such.
With two albums of material, are there any songs that you will not be playing anymore?
I don’t think there are any specific songs we will leave out. There are songs we will give a rest for the odd gig but we have a bank of about 25/26 songs at the moment to work from and we obviously can’t play them all every night.
Likewise I don’t think we will play the entirety of the new album every night. I think the first 4 or 5 nights will be the key, I’m fairly sure the set list for tonight will be very different to the firth night. Each night will differ as we learn about what works and what doesn’t. The new songs are quite different so we have all of that to think about.
Little Comets are on tour from from now till November 1st. Check Gigwise gig tickets for more information.