Cardiff band Astroid Boys are currently opening act for Enter Shikari’s arena tour. I met with the band right before soundcheck on the Newcastle date to talk about the tour and have some wonderful insights into the animal kingdom…
Describe your sound in a couple of words…
BENJI: Loud, in your face, exciting I guess, fun. Like I enjoy our sound, I think it’s refreshing but then a lot of music is; some music’s a bit boring and sad isn’t it, it’s not like that.
So who would you say your biggest musical influences are to help you create that sound?
B: I guess growing up I listened to a lot of US Hip Hop so MTV Base was a big thing for me in particular. I know the guys listen to a lot of rock music and metal music, and also a lot of hip hop. And then when grime came about we all kind of found that grime was for us you know, and told our story a bit more. So I guess those influences are what make me want to put that sort of sound across.
What about touring? How is it touring at the minute with Enter Shikari and Lower than Atlantis?
B: Really cool yeah. We always knew that this tour was going to be like the biggest tour we’ve done and the biggest crowds and the longest run so we always knew we had a lot to prove, but I don’t think any of us really realised how well we were going to do. Like we’ve done three shows now and the reaction has been incredible, especially considering we’re the opening act. So yeah it's been pretty good.
You’re quite different in genre to the other two bands…
B: Yeah, well both of the other bands, they have really big sounds and their music is great in really big places like this and we’ve never been in spaces of this size so I can't necessarily say that I knew we would be able to, so it's really good for us now to have a chance to play these sized venues and actually feel we are just as big of a sound as these other bands.
So what about today? Have you been up to much in Newcastle?
B: We got here about 3 o’clock so we haven’t really had chance to do much. To be honest I came here and just sat down, and I’ve been chopping up this video of all the crap I’ve been filming on the road. Like me getting kicked out of a shop.
B: Yeah, it was in a service station and I was messing about and I hit a bottle over, and I was trying to blame Dell and the woman was like ‘get out, you can't film in here’. So I got kicked out… but I like Newcastle, we’ve been here quite a few times but we haven’t had a chance to go out.
And you’re DJing the after party tonight. Are you excited about that?
B: Yeah, all of us are DJing. It’ll be fun.
Is DJing after parties something you do regularly?
B: If we can, I mean to be honest it's just something to keep the party going; people don’t necessarily want to stop at 10:20 when Enter Shikari finish.
Even on a Sunday?
B: Even on a Sunday. Is it Sunday today? Lit. Turn up in Newcastle on a Sunday.
Trebles, that’s always the answer in Newcastle.
B: Is that a place?
No, like the drinks.
B: Oh shit, you sell trebles.
Yeah, like instead of a double.
B: I feel like I just slacked now because I poured what I thought was a double…
If you’re going to do Newcastle well, you’ve got to do trebles.
B: Wow. I’m actually really excited by that. Lewis are you hearing this?
B: You’d drink a couple of trebles wouldn’t you,
L: Yeah I would
So what’s the best band you’ve supported so far?
PHIL: Trash Talk
B: Why Phil? You can’t just say, you’ve got to give reasons
P: Because it’s fun.
B: Yeah, they are a really fun bunch of dudes. We’ve done a couple of tours with them as well, like when they’ve come to the UK they’ve taken us out a few times.
P: Who else is good to support?
B: Well, Enter Shikari, is, I mean, a great place to start. Is the answer we gave first.
If you could pick any one artist, dead or alive, to do a collaboration with who would it be?
B: Anthony Hamilton has always been the one person I’ve wanted to collaborate with. He’s a singer.
Alright, so, if your music was an animal, what animal would it be?
[laughter] Straight in there. No thinking time there.
HARRY: A squirrel riding a rhinoceros
B: A squirrel riding a rhinoceros? Nah, I reckon an alligator, because its chomping innit, like snapping like. That’s a really good question.
P: That is a really good question. A rhino is the first thing that came into my head. Yeah, I don’t know why. I just imagine a rhino onstage when were playing.
B: Oh what? I would not want to be on that stage. Think more about that bruv. Ummm, yeah, a squirrel riding a rhinoceros then.
P: We’re sort of like a monkey I guess.
L: A gorilla…
H: Too angry I think
L: An orangutan
B: Nah, gorillas are too…
L: A chimpanzee!
P: A chimpanzee on a rhino. Riding a rhinoceros, holding a squirrel.
B: No, with a squirrel around his neck. [laughs] Yeah, I think we got it.
That’s the official answer?
P: With a squirrel.