INTERVIEW: Hadouken! Talk Touring, Collaborations and New Material

Despite signing to Ministry of Sound in April last year, Hadouken! are still yet to release their long-awaited third album.

Since their new record deal, the band have unveiled two new singles – but still no album. Hadouken! frontman James Smith sat down to chat about music videos, hangovers, and perhaps most importantly, when we’ll finally get to hear their new album before the band’s current tour’s opening night in Brighton.

You seem to play the Concorde 2 a lot, what brings you back again?

James: Well, we love Brighton. Brighton have always been nice to us, and we got booked essentially. So, we’re glad to be back.

The last time you played here was 2010. Since then, quite a lot seems to have changed. From the outside, the change might seem sudden but for you, does it feel more gradual?

I think it’s very difficult to say. We just get on with it and all we can judge things by is people turning up to shows and how much of a good time they’re having. So, we’ll see tonight.

Would you say that you’ve noticed a change in the kind of crowds coming to your shows over the years?

Yeah, certainly. I think people have got older as we’ve got older. I think it was more of a sort of an alternative rock crowd towards the start. I think that’s just because they tend to get to into new bands quicker than [those in] other walks of life. I think it’s quite a nice mixed crowd at the moment where you’ve got people from all different kinds of sub-cultures getting into the music, and that’s good for us because it just means more people are having a good time.

You released ‘Bad Signal’ at the beginning of the year, were you pleased with how that was received?

Yeah, it was really good and it goes down really well live – and it kinda did from the very start so it was just good to have some new music out and people seem to enjoy it.

How much more new material are you playing on tour at the moment?

We play ‘Bad Signal’ and ‘Parasite’, which are the new singles, but people do know them now. And we play one other song that is called ‘Levitate’ which will be coming out soon. And we’ve got this ‘Daylight’ tune which will be coming out soon. So, they’re the kinda new ones and the rest are tracks that people are more familiar with.

How far on are you with the new album? When will people get to hear it?

[laughs] That is the question. We are currently trying to finish it but, you know, you can never do enough but I think by the end of this year, we will have it ready together and it will be coming out some point next year. It’s almost certain, I’d have thought, that it will be coming out probably after April time.

‘Parasite’ was a free download as well. Do you find that sharing music on the internet is a good thing to do?

Yeah, I think it’s great. People like to download stuff and we wanted to just get everyone’s attention again and it was a good way to give something back. It got the ball rolling really so we were happy with that.

With it being the first night of your tour, how are you feeling before it all starts?

Refreshed and ready to get on with it. Certainly, no hangovers this morning so that’s a good thing so just ready to get on stage and do it.

Do hangovers become a problem towards the end of the tour?

Well, with myself I make sure that I never drink too much if we’ve got a show the next day. We’ve got plenty of days off so we can just go mad on those days and write off the next day.

Personally, I really like your latest music videos [for Parasite and Bad Signal], do you have any creative input in them yourselves?

We try to stay out of that a little bit because I think that sometimes the director’s vision can get a bit muddied by too much input, too many cooks spoiling the broth. But certainly, we get to ok everything and they come with all the ideas and then we say yes or no. Generally, we always go for the one we thought was going to look the best or be the best, or suit the kind of track. Though, that’s as much as we do really.

There was one point when you had a clothing line [House of Rawkus]. At the moment, news seems to be quiet on the front. Is it coming back?

Well, the thing is with the clothing line is that you tend to do much better sales and get much better promo when you’ve got music out. So we’re going to wait for the album to come out and then get the ball rolling on that again. But, we’re really concentrating on the album now and the clothing label will come after that. It’s second priority to the music at the moment.

Joining you on tour are MONSTA. They’ve had remixes with quite a few people; do you think you’ll do a track together?

We’re certainly looking forward to meet them. We’re good friends with some of the guys that they work with and I’m really into their music but collaborations generally come about naturally and we’ll never force it. So we don’t know on that yet but we’re certainly really into their music.

Obviously, you like Brighton but are there are other cities that you’re excited to play?

It’ll be good to get back up to Scotland because it’s been a very long time since we played there. We’ve very much enjoyed playing Inverness, Dundee and Glasgow and Edingburgh. We’re coming back this tour so we’re happy.

Hadouken!’s current tour dates can be viewed here.

‘Bad Signal’ is out now; ‘Parasite’ is available as a free download.