With The Bottom Line undertaking their first headline run, organised by their own lovely selves no less, it’s amazing they had the time to spend just kicking back and talking to strangers. And they don’t get much stranger than our own Amy and Richard. Still, kick back and talk they did prior to their show at Southampton Joiners.
Max: The tour has been wicked so far. It’s been a lot of fun, surpassed a lot of our expectations. We put the whole tour on ourselves, promotion, everything. A lot of pressure, but fun.
Tom: I would like to add it has been fun! (with a cheeky little smile)
Cal: Considering the fans had a month’s notice and it being one of the more difficult times of the year to tour – the second week in January – it has been really good.
Tom: Blown our mind, really.
Any awesome stories from the tour?
Cal: We had a great night in Glasgow.
Tom: Yeah, a really great night
Tom: I slept in a potato
Cal: Well you ate a potato, we got really drunk in Glasgow. The main support band worked in the Garage that we played. The prices for drinks were already ridiculously cheap. Tom bought a round of shots for 8 people and went to pay with his card but they could not accept it as it was not enough money. £6 for six doubles and two Jager bombs.
Max: So we all got ridiculously drunk due to the cheap drinks and went back to the accommodation and Tom ended up falling asleep on the carpet in the corridor outside our room.
Tom: Comfiest carpet ever.
Max: Went to pick him up and on his shoulder, Tom kinda slid off and turned to Max and said “I didn’t think I would get this drunk, I didn’t know I was this drunk.” I carried him into the room and there was this little Italian dude in there. It was an eight bed dorm room and we had seven of them.
Tom: Yeah we got in there and there was this tiny backpack and the neatest folded clothing on his bed. At first we thought it was a girl.
Cal: Yeah we thought we were going to ruin someone’s day.
Tom: This poor little guy was curled up on his bed and just never left it.
Max: After Tom finally fell asleep, Kev our tech guy perfectly ripped a cheek hole in my underwear. One side looked like a kilt, the other perfect fitting boxers. Really quite impressive.
Tom: It was very cheeky (groan)
Cal: Yeah, he made an arse of himself (more groans)
How has the dynamic changed since Tom came onboard?
Max: It’s got really, really boring! (Matt, Cal and Max all nod, Tom laughs)
Cal: We are not really allowed any fun anymore, Tom is very serious. He’s like the Dad of the band. Biggest feet of the band too!
Max: But if there is ever a fire we know we will be safe – Tom is a firefighter!
Cal: But we’ve never actually seen him put out a fire yet!
Max: That is true, that is true.
Tom: Well on Facebook you can put your occupation down as anything!
Cal: I’m a stripper and a bad dancer… more just the bad dancer.
Max: It’s been awesome having Tom, the live shows sound much fuller. He’s an alright laugh, also frees up Callum to do more things in the shows. In a three piece he constantly has to play but with the extra guitar I can crowd surf, move around more and interact with the crowd.
Cal: And he does have the biggest feet in the band! What size feet are you?
Tom: Size 11.
Cal: Yeah, but there is like 4 inches spare in your shoe.
Tom: I appreciate the length may not be there but the girth is definitely there. (Band laughs) If anyone makes custom shoes out there, can you make me a size 11 width and size 8 for length? That would be great! I’m not far off being a horse.
Last year has been something of an amazing ride. The Simple Plan tour, your headline tour and your new EP which hit number 3 in the rock chart, number 9 in Denmark and 6 in Germany. What do you think has changed that has brought about this success? Tom’s big feet?
Max: It was really weird to see ourselves above Coldplay.
Tom: We did beat Beyonce as well which was funny.
Max: I think having the opportunity to play shows in front of up to 4500 people is just a completely different game. You’re playing every day, getting tighter every second. You have the massive pressure of opening for the pioneers of the genre you play in and it just meant we had to up our game. Since then the response has been amazing. We’ve had people come over from Europe to see us on several nights on this tour. Finland, Germany, Italy and Belgium.
Tom: Before that tour we had never done anything to that level. It’s always been a dream. When we got on that tour, we realised we were completely holding our own. We came off the tour saying we should do it like this all the time.
Max: It was a bizarre tour. As a band you have your goals, we skipped about a hundred of the steps it takes to get to this dream. Straight to traveling in a tour bus, supporting a massive band.
Cal: It was weird. You release the EP and it hits 115 in the chart and you think that’s it.
Cal: Then you see it climb a little and then you get messages saying it gone up to this and up to this. Then it drops for an hour or two. We found out that the day before the release it was a year since David Bowie’s death so we were fighting against about eight albums in the chart of his and then to see that your EP has just David Bowie and U2 above it. That was just stupid.
Max: We were like top 40 (deep breath), top 30 (deep breath) and then we hit number three.
Tom: (jokingly) everyone’s been wearing sunglasses all day, it’s been weird. I actually just bought a jet on finance just in case. (Band laughs)
What’s the most embarrassing album or single you’ve bought?
Tom: I can answer this one! I might get slated but 2112 by Rush. Some guy was teaching me guitar and said it was amazing. I went to the shop, bought it, got to the car and it was the worst album I ever heard in my life.
Max: The first album I ever bought with my own money was the special edition S Club 7 album.
Matt: I was a massive Elvis fan. I play his music and do impressions.
Max: I think that’s pretty cool.
Max: All Killer, No Filler
Cal: I was about to say that as well.
Max: From start to finish it’s absolutely amazing
Are you going to see SUM41?
Cal: We are kinda hoping someone will make some magic happen and we can support them.
Max: I’m refusing to buy a ticket yet.
What is the one moment that put you on this trajectory?
Cal: (To Max) I guess if we had not done Geography together.
Max: Yeah that’s weird. We started playing in different projects throughout school and me and a friend, Jack, started this little band. We literally played “Smoke on the Water” a hundred times. Callum and I started doing Geography together.
Cal: I didn’t even sign up to do Geography but I was put in it as it was the only thing left to do.
Max: Ermm, yeah. I signed up for it.
Cal: I signed up for Music but there was no space. So I went to Geography. Max was there wearing a hoodie of some band… Slipknot?
Max: No, it was too late for that.
Cal: It was a punk rock hoodie and I was like, “Oh you like that kind of music?” So not going to music class got me into music.
Max: I think it was when I first started to play sax.
Max: I have three people in my mind. Who I would like to play with me rather than looks like me…
Moshville: Play with????
Max: Did I say that? Ermm well Seth Rogan or James Franko. I just love their stuff.
Cal: I think I would have Ben Stiller play me. Just really pointless but funny.
Cal: (impersonating Tom) Oh I would have to say Arnie as he’s really big and strong. He’s got big feet too!
Matt: I think for me it would have to be Lee Evans. I think I have his crazy ears.
Max: And you have his humour.
Anything else you would like to say?
Max: Buy our new EP! Its really, really, really good. If you listen to it, it will change your life! If it doesn’t, buy Role Models – that will definitely change your life. Failing that, buy Insecure.
Also, thank you to everyone that has come out to the tour gigs. Thanks to the Simple Plans that have joined our fan base. Thanks to our fans and hopefully we will be able to crack on and make this year even bigger.
Cal: We are planning to do some more UK shows at the end of the year. April and September there may be some big things happening.
Tom: I would like to add that there is a fantastic festival – Teddy Rocks 28th – 30th April 2017. It’s growing every year, bigger and bigger bands are playing. Modestep, Twin Atlantic, Scouting for Girls… and The Bottom Line.
It’s incredible what we’ve been able to do and all profits go to Teddy20, a children’s cancer charity founded by Tom and his family after he lost his 10 year old brother Ted to Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare bone cancer.
All photos by Amy Harris-Abbott of CE Photography