And So I Watch You From Afar_01 I would like to begin this interview with a silly question: why did you choose a sentence for the band's name? Is there a specific message behind it?
The band's name came from Johnny our bass player, it was adapted from one of his favourite song lyrics by the band Team Sleep.

Around a year ago was released All hail bright futures, your first album without Tony Wright. What has changed since he left the band? Has your songwriting process evolved?
The dynamic within the band definitely changed when Tony left. It was turbulent but it ultimately made Johnny, Rory and myself a lot stronger as a unit. And now we have Niall (kennedy) in the band who has been a great friend of ours for many years and really helped us overcome the difficult transitionary period. Our songwriting has definitlely evolved considerably from the beginnings of the band. In our first recordings I think we were striving to sound experimental and different and we took various influences around us at the time to try and capture that. Whereas in recent times we feel we are much more comfortable being experimental rather than trying to be.

Looking back, do you think that All hail bright futures is your most accessible/approachable record?
Ever since day one in the band, we have always strived to push our boundaries of songwriting and keep making exciting music which we personally enjoy and believe in. All hail bright futures was the three of us pushing it even further. It's certainly less aggressive and not as dark as our previous recordings so to some people it might be the more approachable of our work.

Listening to the record, you seem to have taken a big step as you explore new sounds and get more and more fascinating on a technical level. What kind of creative approach did you go for?
With All hail bright futures' It was just Rory, Johnny and myself in the studio and a lot of the album came together during the recording process. Although this put pressure on us to write as well as record in the studio it meant the three of us had much more input in the whole project and beyond our own instruments compared to previous recordings. The three of us definitely pushed our own personal boundaries of creativity which was a very satisfying and exciting process and it definitely comes through in the positive nature of the album's sound.

A significant work was dedicated to choruses on All hail bright futures. How challenging was it? Can you explain this choice you made regarding choruses?
Again, apsects like this on the album were a result of us pushing our creativity. A lot of pervious music we've written has used lots of dynamic in time changes and big riffs so it was a fun challenge to try and create music which didn't so heavily rely on previous musical devices we've used.

You are known as an instrumental band. Have you ever considered getting a lead singer or having guests?
We have experimented with guest vocalists in the past on some recordings and those are always a lot of fun and another facet to our experimentation. I don't think we would ever get a lead singer as I'm sure an addition like that would drastically alter the dynamic of the band and we have always preferred having the focal point of the band being the music as a whole rather than on one specific instrument or person.

How has your latest album been received by the public and the press?
As the latest album was quite a progression and change in sound for the band in a lot of ways, we weren't totally sure how fans and the press would react so we were pleasantly surprised and humbled by how well it was received. There are always going to be some dissatisfied people who just want you to keep coming out with the same formula but the overwhelming majority of our fans respect and enjoy our ever changing styles which is really inspiring to us.

Can you tell us more about the colourful artwork of All hail bright futures and the story behind it? Is it a reflection of this album's tracks ? I am thinking particularly of the ones with exotic influences.
We really wanted the artwork to mirror the bright and positive feel to the album so for the first time the three of us put a mood board together and sent it off to our designers, M&E an incredible creative partnership based in Sweden. We worked closely with them over period and they really captured how we wanted it to look.

And So I Watch You From Afar - All Hail Bright Futures You played in Asia, in Russia, in the US. How hard is it for a European band to make it around the world? I can imagine that your label Sargent House had something to do with it.
We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and play in so many parts of the world as the music industry is such a tough place to be for most bands these days. We toured hard early on and kept that work ethic up. From that, every now and then an opportunity to play somewhere further afield would present itself.

Do people from outside Europe mind where you are from? Are you seen more as a Northern Irish or a European band to them?
No not at all, we're always made to feel welcome wherever we play which is wonderful reflection of the people who come to see our shows.

You played an acoustic show last summer. That is quite rare. You even made your electronic beats with an Iphone! How did this uncommon gig go?
That was a live session set up by Sargent House as part of their 'glassroom sessions' where we just recorded one track. It is certainly quite rare for us as we always feel we represent ourselves best in a loud live situation but the glassroom session was really fun and a challenge to put our music across in a more toned down way.

To conclude, tell us your best tour anecdote. There must be interesting stories you can share with us.
One of the most memorable times for the band was definitely when we toured with Them Crooked Vultures in Europe. They were such lovely guys and on one of the nights we all hung out backstage, Dave Grohl told us stories about when he first started playing in bands while Rory chatted with John Paul Jones. It was a truly inspiring and surreal experience for all of us!