With the sun beating down heavily on Slam Dunk South we weren’t sure if the Welsh lads in Straight Lines would be able to cope, we caught up with vocalist Thomas Jenkins to talk about their set, upcoming tour and an awful lot of running!
So how did your set go today?
Yeah it was really good today, I think mainly because of the fact that it was outside, but yeah, it was a really cool set like, so, we were like first on so didn’t expect like it to be rammed, but it was still really really good.
Are there any particular bands you’re looking forward to seeing today?
Definitely Canterbury, I managed to catch like a bit of their set yesterday, so hopefully gonna catch it all now today, so really looking forward to seeing them and Funeral For A Friend, with their new drummer. We watched a bit of Every Time I Die last night, probably go and watch them again. I’m not really sure, I just kind of like wandering around and like watching a few songs, I watched Sharks and they were really good.
Do you prefer playing headline shows or festivals like Slam Dunk?
At this moment in time it’s probably festivals because, I mean obviously we’re not the biggest of bands like, so definitely festivals are a lot of fun.
You’ve just released a new album, what’s the reaction been like with it?
Yeah it’s been really good, considering like we’re not a big band at all and I think it managed to get up to number six in the iTunes rock chart, which I thought was really really good for us, y’know, considering we’re not that well known… or maybe we are?
Clearly you’re more well known than you thought! So for those that haven’t heard your sound, how would you describe it?
I dunno, I just like, literally, I just call it a rock band y’know, it’s two guitars, bass, drums, vocals. Just influenced, I literally think I’m still caught in a trap, it’s like from 2003, it’s bands like At The Drive In and Incubus, well obviously Incubus are still going, but yeah like Foo Fighters, Biffy, that kind of stuff like, a mix of everything really.
You’ve just announced a pretty extensive UK tour, is there anywhere in particular you’re excited to play?
Umm, I’m pretty much excited to do them all. But the thing I’m not looking forward to the most is me and the guitarist, me and James, are doing a half marathon after three weeks of touring, got like a day off to go home and run fourteen miles for charity and then go back on tour in the night.
That is going to be intense! Are you prepared?
Yeah I know, I’m about up to ten miles, but like I’ve got three weeks of no training and y’know being on the road is going to be fun, so, ahh well!
Well good luck with that! The new single is Commitments, which you’ve done a video for and we’re quite intrigued by! Could you explain it a bit?
I literally – do you know what – literally done nothing for that video. I literally went in a dark room, done my bit and the rest, erm, Ben who does our videos, he’s really good y’know, he’s really great at making videos and he just got on with it, so like when I’d seen it in full I was like “Oh God there’s a girl in it”.
Brilliant! So Kerrang gave you 4K’s for your performance at Hit The Deck, how did that feel? Was it a really good performance?
Yeah, well the thing with festivals is like, it’s so rushed, you get on, you play and then you get off and you don’t really have time for it to sink in, so like a review of us it’s like, oh, well it must have been good and they gave us 4K! So, yeah I really enjoyed it, the room was rammed and y’know for us at this moment in time we still don’t know what it’s going to be like at a festival so to see that is awesome.
Definitely! Have you got a favourite track to perform?
I still like playing the song Freaks Like Us; it’s just a bit different to the songs on the album, so yeah it’s cool.
Apart from the half marathon, have you got any other plans for after the tour? Or are you just seeing how it goes?
In September/October? Erm I’m not really sure, I don’t really know that much to be honest when it comes to the band, I’m just like, “you’re going on tour within three weeks, get in go!” But I’m sure we’ll be touring right up to the end of the year, hopefully we can get like, a good support slot with a bigger band, but we’ll see.
We definitely think the tour will boost you up a bit – you are covering most of the country!
Ha, yeah we’re covering pretty much, there’s twenty-two shows and then a half marathon, so yeeeaaahhhh it’s easy man! Y’know touring’s easy ‘innit, sit in a van, get drunk and run a half marathon!
Well good luck with the tour and half marathon, and thank you for talking to us!
No worries, thank you!
Freaks Like Us is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings Ltd.
By Tamsyn Wilce