The Amazons’ Matt Thompson interview

If there was ever an example of hard work paying off, it’s the incredible success of Rock band, The Amazons. From their humble start slipping demos into unsuspecting customers shopping, to releasing a brilliant debut album and touring the world, the past couple of years have been quite a whirlwind for the four-piece from Reading. In anticipation of their February gig at Cambridge Junction, I caught up with frontman Matt Thompson for a chat about what we could expect to hear from them! 

Hi Matt thanks so much for chatting to Varsity, have you guys ever played Cambridge before?

We played the Portland Arms in March or April last year, the crowd needed a little help to get going but those are the most satisfying gigs, when you try and get people going and by the end of the show it’s like the shackles are off and everyone is having a great time!


Obviously 2017 has been a crazy year for you guys, is there anything at all that stands out as a particular highlight?

There have been quite a few to be fair, I think playing Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, people singing your songs 5,000 miles away from where they came from…it was a highlight for us and I guess putting out our record was cool, it got a great reception. Not something we ever imagined so that was good day.


How do you experiment with your own shows and continue to keep your material fresh?

With our own show, we can play for ages, it’s almost like our own blank canvas, we can just do whatever we want with it while with festivals there is almost kind of a degree of chaos.


For us the record and live are two different arenas basically. I think we like to play around with the songs and extend songs and add new parts to kind of keep people on their toes a little bit… I like it when bands play around with their music!


As your sound continues to evolve on stage how do you see it changing in the studio?

I’d like there to be some quieter numbers and introduce some instruments… we want different colours and different flavours and I think that’s what the best bands do, it’s what our favourite bands do…The last time we were in the studio recording was April 2016 so I think we are super ready to get back in and start recording!


The Amazons started out with a really DIY ethos, how do you feel that has influenced the band you are today?

We appreciate everything and we worked to get to where we are and that’s the ethos that we are going to try and keep. It’s a good way of looking things, you’re not affected by external stuff you can’t control, it’s all about who we are, what we want to do and it doesn’t need to be any more than that. So yeah, I think setting everything up the way we did and doing it alone…I felt that it was a good grounding for the position we are in now.


Is there anything you are listening to at the moment that is inspiring your creativity?

I’ve been listening to Blue by Joni Mitchell, it’s really cool…I love that album, it’s so raw and she’s so talented as an Artist…lots of music from the Seventies, Fleetwood Mac.



It must have been a cathartic experience torching ‘Big Suze’ (their original tour bus) for the album artwork of your debut. What might be the next symbolic item to go up in flames for the Amazons?

Oh God amazing question… a band is kind of a vehicle and travelling a lot so maybe something more left station… something in movement, maybe like a plane or something, there’s been a lot of planes the last year. That’s a terrible answer!



What about phones? Social media must have really amped up over the past few years!

Oh God yeah, it will be a pile of smartphones on fire! I think ultimately social media is a total waste of time… I think the cons outweigh the pros for me… back in the day I would listen to my Dad’s records of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and you just wouldn’t know what they looked like and that was cool. It wasn’t really about what they looked like you just liked the album.


There used to be a lot more of that, it’s such an image based, image driven society now. It’s not the right way to go about things in my opinion but there’s not much we can do about it!


You should consider a digital detox!

Yeah, I’m thinking about it, I’ll get my old Nokia out, no distractions!



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Image courtesy of Dan Harris

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