In Conversation with…INDOOR PETS

Indoor Pets are great. Indoor Pets are conveniently familiar. Indoor Pets are super friendly, if you ignore the spiky guitar lines. Oh sorry, did we lose you there? Yes, in fact the indoor pets we speak of are a musical band, not house-dwelling animals. Welcoming in a new chapter for 2018, the Sittingbourne band sped into February with a headline UK tour, taking them to places like Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle.

Along the way we meet up with the band in Manchester to natter on subjects of live development, news of the heavily talked-about debut album and the enthusiasm they feel towards their community of fans.

First off, how are you all doing today?

Ollie: Very well, thank you. It’s been good.

Jamie: It’s been a nice day. We’re currently just over the halfway mark of the tour, fatigue isn’t really setting in because it’s not really been that much… we only got like six or seven dates, or something like that, so it’s quite a doable tour. Yeah. I’m pretty chilled.

Last time we interviewed the band was actually in this very venue, there’s been some change since then – particularly in the fact that you’re now headlining the show and you’ve had a name change. Do you feel that the band has grown stronger since then, given that you’ve had time to develop and mature as musicians and people as well?

Jamie: I think, definitely from the touring aspect. We’re not surprised by things now, because we’ve done so many support tours in the last few years, ranging from opening for bigger bands and doing main supports for up-and-coming bands. We’ve pretty much played all types of venues, we know what to expect from venues now, like you said, we’ve played here before so we know exactly what you get when you come to Deaf Institute – tall stage, bouncy floor. So yeah, from that aspect I definitely feel we’re much more relaxed now because we pretty much know what we’re doing, just put us in front of an audience.

Ollie: As people, we definitely haven’t matured. If anything, we get sillier with every tour that goes on. We’re de-maturing.

Jamie: Yeah, we’re getting a bit wackier. So, with the name change recently, it’s still kind of adjusting to that as well, in some aspects, this tour does feel quite new… [James enters the room and sits down, this off puts Jamie’s train of thought.]

Ollie: Also, it’s been a long time since we did a headline tour as well.

Jamie: Two and a half years…

Charlotte: Yeah, I remember the Night and Day show. It feels like a lifetime ago.

Jamie: Yeah. A long, long time ago.

You’ve started the year with a new track and a headline tour, going further into 2018, what’s the schedule looking like?

[The group discuss a few of the already announced festivals they’re booked to play including Sound City in Liverpool and Handmade in Leicester.]

Jamie: We’re gunna try and have a busy summer with a view of releasing material. There’s more songs – I don’t want to say how many songs because there could be two, there could be fifteen. I don’t know.

James: Two would be more than we did last year, so…

Jamie: It’s true.

No, I think things are gunna pick up pace now because we’re done with the name change. So, we can really focus on putting an album out and touring it. Yeah, so hopefully this year is gunna be very busy.

‘So Soon’ digs into new lyrical territory for the band, is this a sign that Indoor Pets are taking a more exploratory direction with this new music?

Jamie: I think, if anything, it was the exact opposite, because my idea when writing the song was to try and think outside of my comfort zone. Which is normally having lyrics that are personal to me but are quite hard to decrypt, or quite hard to understand. Whereas writing ‘So Soon’ – which is really a love song – feels really out of my comfort zone to write like that. But you would say, that’s actually kind of more… I wouldn’t say that’s thinking outside of the box, that’s just me not being afraid to open the box and go inside it. So, if anything, it’s the exact opposite. We wanted to do something that was a little less self-involved and a little more of a well-rounded song.

We all want to know when we’ll be hearing the debut album from Indoor Pets as it’s been on the cards for some time now, so what’s the news?

Ollie: We all do. We all do.

James: I’d love to hear it.

Jamie: I will be very surprised if it’s not out this year. It will be out this year. A date isn’t set yet, that’s all I can say.

[Jokes are then past around: “It’s tomorrow / It’s already out / You’ve just gotta find it / Easter Sunday.”]

The creativity of Indoor Pets’ social media is some of the best I’ve seen. What accounts do you yourself enjoy reading?

Jamie: I’m a massive comedy fan, which probably comes across in the way I act on social media. One of my favourite people is Limmy and he’s kind of famous for his Twitter and his Vines, and stuff like that. I do, kind of, religiously follow him online because he has a different type of humour that I definitely take influence from. So, Limmy’s probably my favourite – and of course, Donald Trump. If you want a little bit of comedy as well, you’ve gotta have those two right up there, because he is quite funny, isn’t he? It’s quite funny to wake up in the morning and think, ‘Is this going to be the last day of the world?’

Mr Anybody’–

[Jamie instantly lets out a jubilant ‘Yes’ at the mention of this.]

Ollie: About time that got a mention.

A recurring segment that Jamie hosts on your Instagram and other social media–

Jamie: Available on DVD next month.

I’m thinking though, future career progressions could follow with Jamie branching out into comedy or TV presenting. I mean, you can’t ignore that talent right?

Jamie: [Teasingly] And yet, they do. I’d say, the majority of the world, do ignore that talent. And some say, it’s not talent.

I don’t know, I just like having fun because I don’t see the need to take music super seriously because the music does it. You don’t always have to wear shades and leather jackets to be a personality – I think that’s kind of done. Why not just be yourself, and I’ll be honest, I’m a weirdo. So it comes out quite naturally to do that, and do little things all the time online.

Ollie: Now you’ve mentioned TV presenter, I’m just rifling through my head of who I’d like to see Jamie replace on TV. If they brought back the Paul O’Grady show and call it the Jamie Glass show, you’d do a great Paul O’Grady.

Jamie: Yeah I could do that. Alan Carr’s Chatty Man. [Everyone laughs.]

Ollie: They should have a one episode spin-off of Take Me Out with you hosting that. It’d be great.

James: Imagine that.

[Jamie breaks into a bit from Take Me Out: “No likey, no lighty. Ok.”]

In all seriousness, how do you come up with all these quirky ideas for social media content? I mean, it must take some sort of brainstorming, or is it just naturally your given talent?

James: If anything, it’s filtering.

Jamie: Yeah the trick is getting me to stop.

James: The [ideas] are constant; they’re pouring out of you.

Jamie: I’m addicted to my phone, so I’m always on it and always thinking of funny things and watching random things. I’m a procrastinator. *Jamie knowingly winked at Charlotte because she got the reference.* [Jamie marks his own parentheses here for the sake of the recording, as a knowing nod to the band’s track ‘Pro Procrastinator’.]

Speaking of talent, from the music videos to artwork and poster design, the band hosts a great deal of creativity within its members. Do you have a creative idea that you’ve never put into action that you would love to make real in the future?

James: More fireworks.

Jamie: We’ve always thought about doing some kind of fan club type thing, but not from the boring sense of a subscription – sign up and receive an email – but actually some sort of subscription to a zine, and online content that you can’t get [elsewhere]. We wanted to toy with the idea because now everything you do has to be put on all social media, and it’s free, and it’s available to everyone, and I feel that kind of takes away from the togetherness that groups did create with fan clubs. Having exclusive content that is for people who want to be part of a small project and stuff like that, we’ve always thought about it. Because we do have all the aspects of being creative – it’s hard getting me off camera as opposed to on camera, Rob loves designing stuff and we all have various different ideas to create this one, creative, online area for the band, but not just for music, if that makes sense. It’s something that we’ve talked about a lot, I think it will happen when we have the ability to focus on it, rather than on other things like, [Jamie takes on a cartoon-like voice here:] ‘changing the name of the band’ and stuff like that.

I think almost in the music industry, sometimes you need to take a step back from being all inclusive, everyone’s able to watch everything all the time, and make things valuable again. Like, wanting to get that extra content, have that connection with a band that no one else can just have by signing onto their YouTube and watching every video. But I don’t know…

James: Yeah, even doing these shows it feels like there’s a community of people out there. They talk to each other and, like, some people have been travelling around the country watching us. They put a serious amount of effort in. It’s just [finding] a way to put those people together without it having to be like, ‘Go listen to everything on Spotify. Or…’

Jamie: Give us twenty pounds.

James: Yeah, yeah. Which is great, we love that, but we want to make something a bit more interesting where we can have more of a one-to-one dialogue. It’s just a way for us to express other kinds of creativity… because it was never deliberate; we never set out to be like, ‘Right, we’ve got to do all the artwork ourselves. We’re going to do every single poster for every show ourselves.’ It started off that we had to and then we found that we liked doing it. It was the same with recording [when] we started off, we had to do it ourselves, we’ve sort of experimented with other people but we’ve just always come back to the fact that we like the noise that the four of us make together.

To wrap things up, I wanted to bring focus back to the tour. Being that this is your first headline tour as Indoor Pets, what does it mean to you to get out there and play a show every night?

Jamie: Considering that the last six months have been spent mostly having to discuss our future, rather than actually acting it out, it feels really nice. We’re playing places that we haven’t really been to that much, and there are people there that know our music – and even though it’s quite easy to look at figures and compete with other bands around you – that kind of phenomenon, of actually making something in Sittingbourne, and it being heard in Aberdeen, still, is amazing. I’d say, in their own ways, all of the shows have been really fun and it’s been great to meet these people that we’ve already met online through social media. It’s been really heartwarming.

Ollie: It’s nice playing old songs as well.

Jamie: Yeah, we’ve played a few classics.

James: We’ve played some stuff that we’ve never played before, which is interesting, because Get Inuit never played those songs.

Jamie: We were scared to play them, and now this tour it’s like, ‘What were we so worried about?’ It’s going down really well every night. So yeah, we should’ve just played it.

Charlotte: I’m glad to hear that. Well, thank you.

Indoor Pets: Thank you.

The latest single, ‘So Soon’ from Indoor Pets is out now – available to Stream/Purchase here.

Find Indoor Pets on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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