R13 became reacquainted with local band The Hair shortly after their performance on the Unsigned Stage at Leeds Festival to find out how it went and how their plans are coming along. Sam (S), Lee (L), Rich (R ), Neil (N) and band manager Ryan (RY) were on hand to answer questions.

R13: So how was today?
L: Today was brilliant! Can't really say much more really, it was an unbelievable experience. We played Wireless and we got a lot of people down there, then last weekend we played another festival and it wasn't quite as big as we'd hoped so we really didn't know what to expect this time. It was pretty overwhelming wasn't it?
S: Yeah it was good, last weekend was affected by the weather, there were a lot of people watching us but kind of from afar so it was great to have people right up against the barrier this time, cheering and getting into it. At the end everyone was clapping and although we've had plenty of involvement from the audience we've not really had it to that extent before and for 1pm on a Friday afternoon we really thought we'd be fighting against it.

R13: How cool is it for you guys to play this festival in particular seeing as you're all fairly local?
S: It's really good. I've been here the last four years out of five or something like that, last year was as a guest with another band so to be able to do it ourselves is great. Because we were on so early it hasn't really sunk in for me, all we'd been doing right up until the gig was preparing for it but it was really good.
L: This is like one of the things I wanted to achieve this year was to play Leeds festival so to get that is pretty awesome.
S: We were in the running last year but it didn't happen.

R13: You got into it through the Futuresound competition this year?
S: Yeah we got to the final of the Sandman one as well but I think they're linked so they don't have the same winners so we got through on Futuresound.
L: It was a gig wasn't it? We filled the Cockpit and had a really good crowd response.
R13: Didn't you have something like 200 people turn up to that?
S: Yeah something like that, the other bands brought 20 or 30 people each but we got everyone else. It was a good atmosphere though, it's not like a competition like a standard battle of the bands, there's no animosity, everyone's just enjoying the evening. The way it is at the moment in Leeds the Futuresound competition is always going to be a good gig and people come down purely for that fact, everyone just gets into the spirit of supporting Leeds bands rather than trying to compete against each other.

R13: Having that many people turn up would suggest that you're getting a bit of a following in these parts at least?
L: Yeah I think so
S: We've managed to get some really good gigs for us in September/October, we're playing at the Faversham on the 23rd, in the middle of Freshers Week, which on the top of our following will sell out. Now we're quite confident that we can put a gig on a Wednesday and promote it a bit on Myspace and we'll get a lot of people turning up. It's going from strength to strength and these kind of things like Leeds, Wireless will develop that.

R13: Have you done much further afield yet? I know you've played London.
S: Yeah we've played London a bit, we're playing in the 333 Club, which I think in terms of London gigs is a bit of a step up as it's more of a nightclub gig whereas we've been doing more of showcase gigs.
R13: Have you noticed a build up of the following when you play in other areas?
L: The following on the internet seems to be quite widespread all over the place and I think we'd have people turn up if we did a lot of gigs elsewhere. At this point we're waiting until we have something out before we really go out there. We've got a couple of gigs in Manchester coming up and York, we're going to London again but we're waiting until we've got something to promote.

R13: How are things progressing on that front ... Ryan?
RY: Yeah good! There are two or three offers now, potential offers and one that we've been sent through that we're negotiating, one on the back burner.
R13: Are these on independents?
RY: One's an independent, one's a major.
R13: So who's the major?
RY: It's an imprint of a major so we'll wait and see what they can offer us, if it's the right kind of deal at the moment. We've turned down a publishing deal as well.
S: Yeah, we've turned it down to wait and see what happens, it's there on the table but we're just not ready to take it until we're ready to put records out.

Drummer Rich and Keyboard player Neil turn up at this point after being M.I.A for some time ...

R13: How long have you been going now?
S: Two years, it's interesting as it took us about a year to develop our sound and another year to get to a point where people in Leeds were interested in us. Now we get a lot of gigs in Leeds offered to us, where before we were trying to book gigs and not getting the gigs we really wanted. It's strange, take a band like Pigeon Detectives, they spent a year working really hard in Leeds without getting any attention and then all of a sudden it happened out of nowhere.

R13: Is where the sound is at now where you want it to be or do you see it constantly developing?
S: It's always changing.
L: Yeah, we've got so many influences coming in we found it hard to get one sound but saying that I think it adds to our appeal, that variety.
S: At the same time it's not anything contrived, we just noticed that we don't have a particular kind of real genre that we slip into it.
N: Which is a good thing because I think it helps us stand out. We don't actively go to write one particular style but it tends to come out as punk/funky or dancey stuff, which tends to go together in a way.
S: Yeah there's no pocket of sound that we fit into, we've been put next to the Sunshine Underground and the Rapture and I think that only applies to a certain part of our set, there's more Hot Hot Heat feel about it as well.

R13: Last time I spoke to you you'd just been played on Radio 1, have you managed to get more radio play since then?
S: We got played by York University radio, which won a competition as the best new radio show in the UK, and again early in the morning on Radio 1 but that's as much as we've had really.
L: Apart from the local stations and Radio Air of course.
N: It's not something we've pushed really hard though, it's more about the gigs with us. We'd rather play a load of gigs and build up a following that way.

R13: When it comes to finally putting something out as an official release are you going to be looking to do something completely new? There are a lot of tracks you can download from your website.
S: We'll definitely re-record and we've just recorded some new tracks that we've not put on download because we want to wait and see what happens.
L: We're talking to people about doing remixes as well.

R13: People remixing your stuff or you doing other people's?
L: No them doing ours
R13: Anyone of note doing that?
S: I don't know if we can say at the moment
L: Some pretty good up and coming artists though

R13: Anyone else you're really looking forward to seeing this weekend?
L: Primal Scream
S: Klaxons, Arctic Monkeys, Sunshine Underground, Pigeon Detectives. We headlined a gig where Pigeon Detectives supported us and now they're playing on one of the main stages and it's great to see that happen for them. We played with Sunshine Underground and they're really into our stuff so I can't wait to see them play on the Carling stage and fill it.

R13: Anything else you want to add? Any profound statements the world needs to know?
S: Direct people to our website because the songs are still there but might not be for too long! So we'd like as many people as possible to get hold of the tracks while they can. Like today there were people we didn't know singing our songs, which was great.

You can currently download ten studio tracks and one live track from http://www.hairmusic.co.uk/ .