Architects' Sam Carter and Dan Searle talk new music, new lyrics and playing their biggest ever UK headline show at London's Alexandra Palace.
YOU'RE PLAYING ALEXANDRA PALACE! TELL US ABOUT IT…
Says Sam Carter (vocals): “We’re going to put on the best show possible. It’s one show and you’ve got to go all in, and we’re so stoked to have While She Sleeps with us as well.”
Dan Searle (drums): “We just want to make a massive night of it. It’s a big event, a big celebration for everyone. Everyone knows what the band has been through.
“It’s not your average story, and there’s a level of emotional investment with fans now where it really makes for a special event.”
Sam: “I feel like now, shows and especially big shows like Brixton have meant so much to people in the crowd as well, because it’s crazy that people have invested so much time in our band over these years to see us get to this level.
“I think they understand how much this means to us as well, so they’re equally important to the show.”
Dan: “It’s odd because the trajectory of our band is so unusual. We sort of pottered along for a decade at a lower level barely making ends meet. We’ve persevered and to then suddenly find ourselves in this position is quite unusual.
“Not many bands break through to that degree on their seventh album. It’s really unusual.”
AND HAVING WHILE SHE SLEEPS AND COUNTERPARTS INVOLVED MUST BE AWESOME…
Sam: “Brendon from Counterparts messaged me being like, ‘Thank you for letting us play a 10,000 capacity show. We will never do that ever again for the rest of our career!’ It’s so funny.”
Dan: “Has a hardcore band ever played at Ally Pally? Is the closest Suicidal Tendencies supporting Slipknot? I don’t know, it’s really great that we can give a band like that the opportunity to do something like that, because it’s a very unique and rare thing, so that’s really cool.”
Sam: “And for us live it’s like, ‘Let’s just go in.’ We’re planning and getting carried away already, so it’s nice to be like, ‘This is our one show. Focus all of the attention on that.’
“It’s obviously a massive venue so you can do things that you couldn’t normally do in smaller rooms. You can do more in that room than you can in Brixton, and Brixton’s still a big venue.”
ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHAT COMES AFTER THAT? I REMEMBER AFTER BRIXTON YOU WERE SAYING, ‘WE CAN’ T BELIEVE THIS...’
Sam: “I always do this thing and I think Dan’s similar in that while we were playing Brixton my mind was like, ‘Right... next!’ You always have these little points where you’re like, ‘Where are we going to go from here?’ but with Ally Pally it’s like... ‘Where do we go?!’”
Dan: “After we played Brixton.... That was the career pinnacle off my bucket list. There was nothing beyond it, and I came offstage at Brixton... I loved the show, but afterwards I felt quite… a bit empty, like, ‘Well, that’s it’.
“We’ve kind of had to set new targets and new ambitions in order to keep moving forward. We’ll definitely have one eye on what’s beyond that but nothing really matters unless we produce a good album.”
Sam: “I think from here as well show-wise, it’s real, actual dream-come-true shit, playing a venue that big and being the band that we are…”
Dan: “We’re incredibly insecure though, so we don’t get too carried away. It’ll probably only do 1,000 tickets, the promoter will lose money and never work with us again-”
Sam: “-these are genuine conversations we have...”
Dan: “Genuinely, bands live and die by their songs, so it’s all well and good doing Ally Pally but we’re dead in the water without a good album, so up until we play Ally Pally our focus is on making sure we write some good songs.
“That’s the most important thing and that’s where our focus is, not the shows. So we’ll see.”
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HOW NEW MUSIC IS PROGRESSING?
Dan: “We’ve got a lot of songs.”
Sam: “It’s going really well. When we finished the last tour we knew that was when the writing was really going to start taking shape.
“Dan and Josh have been writing, Ali’s been writing, it’s been a lot of work but it seems to be flowing very naturally and it’s actually fun and we almost have too much stuff.
“Now we’re going to trim it back and work on each song individually that we have and start demoing vocals. It’s really coming together.”
Dan: “There’s just a lot of pressure. The circumstances are unique and we feel the responsibility to... I feel like the attitude should be given that we’ve lost Tom just to try and make something half decent, but we kind of want to keep getting better.
“But the odds are stacked against us and it almost sounds arrogant or deluded to suggest that we want to keep getting better, but that is ultimately our target.”
Sam: “And I think people know that we have very high standards, and if we didn’t truly think it was better than ‘All Our Gods...’, it wouldn’t come out.
“So we’re very hard on ourselves and we have the standards that we set and we’ll keep working until we smash those standards out of the park.”
Dan: “We’re trying to not settle and not make any promises about when we’re going to deliver the album or anything like that, because we have enough pressure on the band already without deadlines. We’ve got to get our heads down and make it happen.”
DO YOU WISH YOU’D HAD MORE TIME OFF OVER THE PAST YEAR?
Sam: “I think for all of us, a way of actually helping what was happening was being all together on tour, having a routine of being together and constantly being busy. I think now we’re at the point where we need some time to chill and to evaluate.”
Dan: “We were a little bit silly in that we just said ‘yes’ to everything. It’s been a bit too much. [Reading & Leeds was] our last show of the year so we’re fine, we’re right at the end and it’s been great, but we’re all pretty burnt now.
“We’ve said in the past that we wouldn’t do this any more, but after we lost Tom we just wanted to dive right back into it, and paid the price for diving in a bit too deep.”
Sam: “Not that we didn’t feel grateful before, but I feel like we feel very honoured to be still able to be in a band and still be playing shows.
“Not many bands go through this, and no one really tells you how to deal with stuff after it, so we’ve just been feeling it out and we’ve been there for each other through periods of people finding it hard and being tired, but we’re at our last show and all still smiling and still having a good time.”
DOES IT FEEL LIKE THE WORLD NEEDS AN ARCHITECTS ALBUM RIGHT NOW?
Sam: “We get asked this a lot regarding the next record because obviously of our political stance and what we’re about.
"I feel like there’s a lot of political bands out there as well now doing that, but I think yes, obviously there will be some parts of the record where we may be talking about that sort of stuff, but I think with the things we’ve been through as a group of people, lyrically it’s going to be heading in that direction.”
Dan: “The state of the world is obviously not good, but dealing with personal stuff has taken the spotlight off that stuff for us a little but. Lately we’ve become a little bit more invested in it…”
Sam: “I feel like for us, writing lyrics about this sort of thing and writing lyrics about what we’ve been through can be very cathartic and very helpful.
“I think we’re obviously never going to turn away from our beliefs and who knows, maybe there’ll end up being a few songs on the record that are about it because we are in a very sorry state of affairs right now and I still find it very shocking that Donald Trump is actually the president, but there’s a lot of things that we need to get off our chests and our heads and as a band explain what we’ve been through and also as a family and as a group of best friends.”
Architects play London's Alexandra Palace alongside While She Sleeps and Counterparts in February. Tickets are on sale now.