You just released your third album, Freedom Run. Looking back, how has your music changed over time?
I think itís just naturally developed. We havenít consciously tried to change it. As weíve grown as musicians itís developed naturally. I think listening back to the other two albums (we tried listening to a few songs the other day) itís developed quite a lot. Itís getting a bit more interesting. All of the parts are developing. Itís changed quite a bit.
The band went through a line up change going into this record. What have the new members brought to the table?
Well, theyíve been really supportive more than anything. Joe and I wrote a ton of songs and they really helped us put all of them together once we took them into the studio. Theyíre both really great musicians and theyíve been good friends of ours. Theyíve been the greatest help in making these songs as good as they could be.
How did you know they were a good fit for The Rifles?
It was quite a natural thing. Me and the guitarist, Lee, have been mates for a few years. We used to always jam together and weíd have a cup of tea and he was always writing songs as well. We had a natural thing going. Kennyís a mate of ours also. We knew he played drums but we didnít realize how good he was. That worked out quite well.
Chris Potter produced the album. What was it like to work with him?
It was really good. The work heís done in the past with The Verve, he produced one of my favorite albums. I just love the sounds he gets. It was interesting to work with him. I started to see how much of The Verveís sound was from Chris Potter. That was quite amazing. He definitely had an impact on their sound. Especially with the guitars, the real trippy sort of guitar in The Verve is really interesting. A lot of it comes from the producer. Working with him was a real privilege.
Your first two albums did very well in the UK. Did that create any pressure going into Freedom Run?
No, not really. Itís funny you should ask that. We were just talking about that this week. We werenít really thinking about this album charting at all. We werenít thinking about that all. It just wasnít in our minds. We just thought about making a good record. The current state of music in the UK for guitar music, it wasnít as big as it was when The Great Escape was getting released. We were just thinking about making and putting out a good record. But itís actually charted quite well in the mid-weeks here. Weíre quite pleasantly surprised.
ďTangled Up In LoveĒ isnít only my favorite song off the record, but itís also the first single. What led you to choose that song?
When we were trying to decide on a single, we were looking for a song that would best prepare people for the record. When we sat down and listened to the record once it was mixed and everything, we knew it sounded different. We knew it sounded different from the last record. We had to figure out how to show this to people. ďTangled Up In LoveĒ just felt like the right song because it kind of opened up the door to what the record was leaning towards. We thought it was the right introduction to the album.
I loved the concept for the music video. What was filming that like?
It was really good fun. The director was really nice. He wanted to reference some old movies, like Carrie, a horror movie from the Ď70s. We thought the idea sounded really great and it was good fun. It was weird though. We walk in and thereís a bride and everyone was dressed up for a wedding. It was very strange. It was a fun day.
Are you on tour right now?
Weíre getting ready to start. We start in the UK in October.
Are there any plans for a US tour?
Yeah, we really canít wait to come over. Itís really exciting when we play in America. We love it. Hopefully early next year. Weíre just trying to work with the record company to work out when the best time to come over and to give the songs a bit of a chance to be heard so when we come over there will be a few people at the gigs rather than us singing to no one. (Laughs)
How does it feel to have your music being sold in other countries?
Itís amazing. Itís weird. You get people in other countries listening to your music and you realize how wide spread it can be. Itís amazing, itís a beautiful thing. I love it. Youíve got different cultures and different backgrounds and itís interesting to see how people relate.
You mentioned that youíve toured in the US before?
Yeah. We supported Paul Weller in the US. Weíve done a handful of gigs in the US. Our first gig, I think we played in New York, and it was in Times Square. IT was really exciting. We came out and it was just incredible. I canít wait to come back. We just have to wait to get the okay and then weíll be there. Weíre really looking forward to it.
When you tour in other countries, do you feel like you have more to prove to the audience?
Yeah, I think. The surroundings are different but once you start playing a gig and the music it feels very similar. Thereís a build up to it throughout the day. Everything around it is different but when youíre actually playing it feels pretty similar. I havenít had that much experience playing in the US but itís great when we play there. There isnít really a different preparation though. When you play, you play with your whole heart every time. Itís important.