Since bursting onto the noughties indie scene with Hats Off To The Buskers in 2007, packed with indie nightclub staples such as Superstar Tradesman and Same Jeans, The View have experienced the highs and lows of making it as a young rock band.
The Dundee group have always had the ability to overcome adversity, never more so than recently after press backlash followed an on-stage scuffle in Manchester, which saw the night cut short and the next evening’s show cancelled.
But they are back on top form since a triumphant return at Neighbourhood Weekender, defying the odds and silencing critics with several quality live performances, all leading up to the release of their highly anticipated Exorcism of Youth album this month.
We caught up with frontman, Kyle Falconer, who shared all the details about the new record. We also discussed the bands forthcoming UK tour, the early days of The View, bouncing back from Manchester and plenty more…
NC: The new album is finally out there this month, how are you feeling about the release this time around?
KF: “I’m just glad that there’s another “View” album. A few years ago it felt like it probably wasn’t going to happen again just because everyone was doing different stuff. We were burnt out from touring the last record and weren’t really happy with how it went, despite being received well by the fans. We wanted to get it right this time and make sure everyone got their say. I’m really proud of the record, it’s not too poppy and not too alternative.”
NC: What triggered the turning point where you felt it was the right time to make a new record together?
KF: “In lockdown we were reflecting on things and throwing ideas about, and our manager told us we had a record deal if we wanted to put an album out. We had songs that we were working on individually, we met up and it struck a chord. A lifelong friend of ours told us to come and record the record in Spain, and we initially thought no because we’d treat it like a holiday, but then realised we were mature enough to go and work over there now. There have been delays getting it out there but that’s just the way these things work nowadays, it’s here now.”
NC: It’s quite a striking title, where did “Exorcism of Youth” come from?
KF: “We worked with Youth on Bread and Circuses, he’s our producer and a bit of a hippy. We had a joke in 2011 about calling it the Exorcism of Youth. This time around we thought it had a double meaning as we were a bit older so it felt right for the new album.”
NC: How does the new record sound in comparison to Ropewalk?
KF: “On Ropewalk we moved away from traditional “View” sounds, we let Albert Hammond Jr lead the way on the production. He was cool man, we recorded with him in Hamburg for six weeks. We were all rehearsed up and then he came in with new ideas and wanted to hear the demos and change things up. That was a spanner in the works but he’s a great guy, I have fond memories of that time in a snowy Hamburg. We had only just finished touring and were feeling a bit burnt out, but it was probably the most experimental we’ve been. This time, we wanted to make sure it was going back to the original sound of The View.”
NC: If you could pick one song from the new album as your favourite, which would you choose?
KF: “There’s a song called The Wonder Of It All. I personally thought it could have been a big single and it’s got the makings of a live favourite for both us and the fans. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
NC: How do you reflect back on the noughties indie era in which you broke through?
KF: “I miss that era. We weren’t followed around with cameras and could say things without getting in trouble. I’ve written lyrics recently and had labels tell me I can’t say that, so it’s a kick in the teeth. Hanging around hotels for weeks on end, partying with bands, helping each other out as a community, it was a great time. We all stunk, it was cool to party, but now it’s cool to be fit which is also fine. I was a bit late catching up in that regard.”
NC: Could we see anything like that again?
KF: “Definitely not. All the bands were quite grubby and it was a mental era. Unless we banned phones and social media, that couldn’t be repeated. My partner got me back into social media and said it would help raise the profile but I can’t stand it. It’s a platform for people to say whatever they want to whoever they want and it’s mainly just lies. It’s not fair to put yourself out there, we’re already in the public eye anyway, so people then having free rein to attack you on a social media page is unnecessary.”
NC: Do you see The View in any of the new indie bands of today, or hear the influence in modern music?
KF: “Yeah definitely, The Snuts. When I first saw them I thought “that’s us”. I speak to bands like The K’s who tell me they were influenced by us and it’s a bit mad. I remember when we were coming through, we listened to The Beatles, Oasis, The Clash, and The Libertines, and it reassured us that it was okay not to sound too polished. I think everything along the way influences stuff so our era was no different.”
NC: You’re touring Exorcism of Youth around the UK, where are you excited to play?
KF: “Everywhere man. We’ve not done a tour this size since 2007 and we’ve got another four Irish dates to add, so I’m just looking forward to it. Initially we discussed with the agent about doing six big venues, but then we preferred the idea of touring the smaller venues all over the country. When we were younger we’d stay up all night partying and then sleep all day before gigging again. Nowadays I prefer a beer during the day and seeing the cities, so I don’t want to just crumble in bed. We’ve played all of these places before so we’ve got mates in every city, it’ll be interesting to see if we can keep everything under wraps.”
NC: How does it feel as a Scottish band to play in front of the famous Scottish crowds?
KF: “There’s something in the air when you do it, it feels easier because you know they’ll go mad anyway. For us it’s also Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, the northern places. They are some of the best gigs we’ve played. We’re doing some bigger nights in Scotland than we could have done on the Hats Off To The Buskers tour so that should be good. I think I’ll need a break though after all of this, I’m thinking Thailand post tour to chill.”
NC: I saw you at the Neighbourhood Weekender show, the first after the Manchester incident, and it felt quite euphoric and triumphant. How important was it to bounce back like that?
KF: “I kind of expected it to be like that, some people thought we wouldn’t turn up. But we’ve been in a band since we were 14 and I’m not saying it’s right to fight, but we’ve had plenty of bust-ups. It’s intense with lots going on at the minute but we’ve made up, we’re all mates. It’s just a pity that somebody was filming it and made a big deal of it. We’ve had bust-ups on stage where nobody has even mentioned it after the gig. I feel like in this band the press have always been waiting to jump, so we can’t get away with doing stuff like that. But sometimes these things happen, it’s all good.”
NC: What does the future hold for The View beyond the album and tour?
KF: “It depends how the album and tour goes. We want to do the full works next year – America, Australia, the festivals. We were late to the festivals this year so want to do the full season in 2024. I have a lot of stuff in the works, so do Kieren and Pete, so there’s definitely a possibility of more things “The View”.
Exorcism of Youth is released Friday 18th August. Head to EXORCISM OF YOUTH — The View (theviewofficial.com) to pre-order.
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