2015 has been a relatively productive year for UK alternative rockers Mallory Knox, after spending the first half of the year venturing into new territories after making noise within their home country since their inception in 2009.
At the time of this interview, the band just completed the first date of the Vans Warped Tour across North America, and over a 55 day span, they will be on one of the longest treks under a variety of climates across the country.
Frontman Mikey Chapman shared his thoughts on touring across the United States. “It’s interesting because obviously America is the most looked upon country in the world. You get your own ideas about what America will be like and predispositions about how things are here. The most exciting thing for me is destroying those ideas. I thoroughly love the people of America. They’re some of the sweetest, most inquisitive lovely people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. It’s fantastic. We love it here.”
They also just released their latest album Asymmetry, their second album over and first for the North American audience.
“We actually dropped it a few days ago,” explains Chapman. “We released it in the UK a little while ago. We’re really excited to get out over here. There’s some great fans already in the US and we want to expand on that. It’s something we can keep working on and eventually come over and do our own headline tour. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get music out here. I think the American people will like it. I really do. It’s just getting them to hear it. That’s the trick.”
Prior to this run, they kept busy with touring across the pond, as well as making their debut on US soil. “Before South By Southwest, we did the world tour with Pierce the Veil and Sleeping With Sirens. Then we came back for a few days for South By Southwest. That was our last time over year so it’s nice to be back,” he explained. “We went home for a little while. It got to the point where I went a bit stir crazy at home because we did so much at the start of the year and kind of getting back to normality in our quiet little village in the middle of nowhere. It was a bit of culture shock.”
Much like many bands on their maiden Warped Tour voyage, word has spread about the experiences being tough, especially due to long travel days and working under extreme heat on many of the tour’s stops. Plus being from the UK, they learned quickly how to adapt and were up for the challenges.
Bassist Sam Douglas had a quite interesting perspective, especially being this was the first date of the Vans Warped Tour. “It’s been stressful for us so far. We can talk about the heat and us being pale British men. It’s going to be a shock and very warm. We’ve had a few things happen with our merchandise and first day problems, but I’m sure we’ll get to the swing of things pretty soon. It’s unique and it’s something I’ve always wanted to…even when I was 15 the dream was always Warped. To be here, it’s a weird thing. You wake up and you don’t know what time you’re going to play. So that’s a completely unique experience. It keeps you on your feet and makes you not want to drink so much at night. You never know what time you’re going to play.”
They explain the differences between tackling the challenges of performing on UK fests such as Download Festival or Reading and Leeds, versus the Vans Warped Tour. Not that either is an easy task but each one comes with its own set that is approached a bit differently.
“I think the fact that it’s a touring festival is something we don’t have. We don’t have a big enough country to do something like that on that scale. The fact that there’s 800 people on this tour and that itself is an insane amount of people to be traveling across the country together,” said Douglas.
“The fact that there’s so many stages and…70 bands is it? It’s crazy! To tour something like that for 50 days is…it’s an iconic festival. In the UK, I don’t think we could do it because there’s not enough places to go. That’s probably the difference.”
Chapman added, “The crowds are bigger. They are back home too. You’re looking at 16,000 people here, as back home you’re looking at 100,000 people at Reading and Leeds or at Download. In terms of scale, it’s slated but the ethos still rings true. It’s about having a good time.”
While being on this tour, the two of them have their lists of bands they would love to catch. Each one had their respective wish lists of who they will be seeing and spending their time bonding with. “I’ve been a huge fan of Transit for a few years. I’ve never been able to see them live,” said Douglas. “At some point I’d like to go check them out. I’d like to check out our friends in Moose Blood, who we took out in the UK a few months back. It was their first time ever out there and their record’s done pretty well.”
“Pvris obviously and Pierce the Veil – two bands we’ve toured with recently. We’re really close with those guys. It will be nice to spend a whole lot more time with them and see how much they’ve come along the past few months. It’s such a great opportunity to hang out with so many bands. We’re looking forward to just as much making new friends as seeing old ones,” added Chapman.
Chapman shared his secrets on being British and enjoying the sun. “The vast majority of British people have resigned to not getting tans. We appreciate it. It’s great for other people but maybe not so much for us. I think us particularly we’re not ones for tanning. I don’t know…I might go a little bit for darker…” “I’m definitely not geared up [for it]. I’m one shade away from see through.”