After 2005 saw them release one of the albums of the year (the band's second) 'Very Fast Very Dangerous' Reuben are surely destined to become major league players and with high profile support slots and festival appearances it all seems to be going to plan. R13 stepped into Reuben's dressing room at Manchester Academy for a meaningful and informative chat (and arguably got neither but it was fun!) with one of the most refreshing bands to grace these shores for many a moon. Answering the questions were Jamie, John and Guy along with guest appearances from tour manager Tarrant and the guitar tech's girlfriend!

R13: Five dates into the tour so far, how's it going?
G: It's been great, it's nice to tour with a band that's nice and where the crew are nice as well.
Jamie: It's difficult to find the two, you either get an arsehole band but the crew are really nice or you get a really nice band that are trying to be your mates but the crew are always looking out for that band and trying to do you over.

R13: Was it last year you met Billy Talent?
G: No, three months ago we toured with them.
Jamie: We toured with them and they said "we wish you could do the next tour" and we were like "yeah so do we" and then they phoned up and said "do you want to do the next tour?" and we went "yeah alright then".
John: The great thing about it is that they're giving us our first European tour.
R13: Yeah I was going to ask you about that because you haven't been over to Europe at all have you?
Jamie: Yeah we've been to the Isle of White!
G: And we've been to Ireland!
John: Don't go to the Isle of White
Jamie: Even people reading this in the Isle of White, don't go outside!
R13: Any particular reason why?
Jamie: It's fucking scary!
John: We did play a pub called the Royal Squadron, which didn't fill you with romance.
Jamie: They seem to have a thing about not really being England, it's like "so, Isle of White, you're not really England are you?"
G: Our favourite part about that show was leaving it

R13: So Isle of White aside, you must be looking forward to Europe?
John: I'm hoping it's going to be just like the UK, except that people won't speak English there
R13: Have you got any idea if you have any kind of following over there?
Jamie: Every now & then we get an email from some kind of foreign country, there's about ten people who know us.
G: I had one today from a guy from Dresden who said "please play Crimson" funnily enough.
Jamie: I'll have to practice it but we will!
John: The occasional email and myspace has definitely helped to spread music around the world.
Jamie: I always find however much you do and say you're coming over to Europe it's always "play in Iceland please" or "play in Poland please".
John: We've been bad really because we haven't been yet.
Jamie: I think it is a failing of us as a band that we haven't been to every single country in the entire world! I think if someone said what do you want to achieve in Reuben it would be that we've been to every single country in the world.
R13: Are you planning to rectify that?
G: Shall we just get a list of all the countries and cross them off as we do them? We could do it alphabetically.
Jamie: After that we're going to play in every town in the world and after that we're going to play in every village and then we'll play every dwelling and then if they still complain, which they will, we'll play a gig next to the telly in the corner and then the next night we'll play over by the sofa! So people can't possibly bitch at us for not playing exactly where they are.
John: We could do it for meals, in different rooms in their house like at breakfast we'll play one room ...
Jamie: I think we should do a tour of the complainiest people's houses, the next people to complain, we're coming to your gaff!
G: Even if you do play everywhere in the world people will still complain that you didn't play the right set list.
Jamie: Oh god yeah, we'll have to do every single possible combination of Reuben songs in every single point and time in space.
John: I don't know if we'll even live enough human years to be able to carry that out?
R13: Well it could take some time, cryogenics may be called for!
G: I think we should go round Europe on a train! Like a flat bed on the back of the train and you just go round the country playing, like in America where people stand at the side and just clap as you go by.
John: We could do a webcast and just set up a camera in a rehearsal room and then have local youth centres with big projection screens and it would be a projection of us.
Jamie: And we could have a video screen with every place that's watching and I can go "come on Hamburg, liven up!" and they'll be like (in a German accent) "Oh ja".
G: But you could do it so you say "Hello Hamburg" but it translates.
Jamie: I can't wait, Europe should be good!

R13: As people always moan that you don't play the venues or the set that you want, when you're doing quite a lot of support slots and festival shows where you don't get to play a full set, does it get frustrating that you only get to play a 25 minute slot?
Jamie: It's fucking relieving mate, it's brilliant, after jumping up & down for an hour and a half it's a relief to play for twenty minutes.
G: It's really bad when you do a support tour and then you have to do a one off headline show and like after two minutes you're dead and get a stitch!
R13: It must be better to play to your own crowd though? The last time I saw you here was next door when you sold it out.
G: You can't satisfy your own crowd.
Jamie: It's even more difficult to play to them because they've got expectations. Yeah they've been to twenty Reuben gigs that were ten times better than this one and they've got them all rated on a little chart and they've got them tattooed on their chest (puts on slightly mental obsessed stalker voice) "the first time I came to see you was in 2003. Then the second time I came to see you was also in 2003 but a later time in this year. Then I went into hospital, represented by the grey area. Then the third time I came to see you was in 2004, this was the best time. The other 17 times I have seen you I have not liked it. Will you play Scared of the Police?"
Jamie: That's what happens!
John: I do get hit by less missiles at our own headline shows though
Jamie: Yes that's true
John: It's a compromise

R13: So, new album, is there one on the horizon?
Jamie: There is but it's about five years away because it's more difficult to play.
G:: It is more difficult to play but we hope to release it next year.
John: We hope to have it recorded by the end of this year but knowing the way the management produce, like instead of just saying "ok shall we do this?" they send a text message saying "how about this?" and "well maybe we could do this?" and so on. I just wish we could sit down and they'd say "what do we need to sort out boys?" and we can say "this" and it'll be "oh ok then".
Jamie: It takes a bloody long time, managers on holiday, laywers on holiday, can't get anything sorted out.
John: We're pretty much planning on doing it ourselves, putting it out on our own label I think.
R13: So have you got all the material for it?
John: Yeah we're talking about a fourth album as well, Jamie will say "I've got this one for the fourth album!". So album number three is done and dusted but we haven't actually recorded it or promoted it yet.
Jamie: It's like when you're cooking a meal and you need the chips to catch up with the turkey burger, it's a bit like that but we don't want that to happen so we're going to wait until it's all good.
R13: That's going to be a bit weird though isn't it because by the time you get around to doing three you'll already have four in the can so you're going to have to go back and promote songs that you've been playing for a long time?
G: Well it's always been like that really, the first album we'd already been touring for ages before we recorded anything so the first one was essentially like a greatest hits before we were signed. The second record was like the first proper new album.
John: We played a set of songs off the second album before the first album even came out!
Jamie: You're right we did but we did it under a different name.
John: We did it as our own tribute band, we thought someone should start one!

R13: There was a bit of a change in sound between the first and second albums, is the same going to be true between second and third?
G: Well I hope so
Jamie: It's all subjective isn't it?
G: A lot of bands are like "yeah our new album's really sick, it's well heavy" and it sounds just like their last record but I genuinely think this one sounds really different to the other two, mainly because I've had to get a lot better because this one's harder! I may even bring my guitar up in height like those Arctic Monkey chaps just so I can play it a bit easier.
John: It's definitely influenced by the kind of music we're listening to during the writing period, mainly Jamie and what he's listening to.
Jamie: I'm sure a lot of people will come up with their own conclusions about the sound, for instance a lot of people said of our second album that they didn't think it sounded like as much care had been taken over the writing of it because they saw it came out really quickly after the first album but actually it was quite a long time between writing, it was just that the first album got released so late.
John: There's no direct correlation between the writing and the release.

R13: Do you think 'Very Fast Very Dangerous' got the recognition it deserved?
G: It didn't get the press or the coverage that I think it could have.
Jamie: When you say deserved, I think every band deserves to be heard.
R13: Well I say deserved because I thought it was an exceptionally good album.
G: I think it had a lot of potential and with the right backing and the right label, the right people doing the right kind of press and marketing it would have been amazing but we weren't signed to a big label so that didn't really happen. We got the best out of it with the resources we had.
R13: You got some nice frisbees out of it!
Jamie rolls his eyes and looks suitably unimpressed with the promotional frisbees
John: It's just like they'll say they're prepared to pay for the initial costs, then they say hang on we've spent too much and we can't afford to promote it! They should have looked at the longevity and there was no real direction from the label. For me it was the album I wanted to make and I wish it had sold double platinum in Bolgravia or this.
G: The potential was there definitely, the same thing happened with Oceansize, I thought their first album was going to be massive! But they just aren't.

R13: You put a nice tribute up on the website to Engerica, any thoughts on why it didn't take off for them?
Jamie: We talk about it all the time, everyone's the same, after a while you start to doubt what you do but Engerica had the look, the image, the songs, they had the interest, the big expensive video, the label but it's bizarre, people just didn't turn on to it. When you talk about someone like Oceansize, and they are a great band, they're pretty fucking niche and I wouldn't expect Oceansize with the same scrutiny as us to go quite as far as a band with a more commercial sound like us. Ultimately Engerica are completely commercial, I think we're a little bit less and Oceansize are even less commercial so out of all the three bands Engerica were the ones that I thought would really do something and they just didn't. They did a lot of supports, a lot of festivals...
R13: Well they certainly put the work in and when the album came out I thought that was it.
Jamie: Yeah they had Dave Eringa producing it, everything was in place.
G: I think it's the labels fault, you may have the one person that signed them into it but everyone else doesn't put their heart into it and they've all got goals and objectives to reach whilst the band slogs away doing it the hard work and not getting anything out of it.

Guitar Tech's Girlfriend: Do you think they gave it enough time?
Jamie: Who's fucking interview is this?
Guitar Tech's Girlfriend: I was just asking!
Jamie: No I think they made a good call doing it when they did.
G: I think if they'd done another album it would have sounded a lot like the first one but not as good maybe?
Jamie: I think they left a classic album and that's what a band needs to do to leave their stamp on the world.

R13: I've heard rumours that on one of the new songs you've written a part specifically for Frank Turner to sing, is that true?
Jamie: Yeah it is, who told you that?!
R13: It was probably him (FT)!
John: Even I didn't know that!
G: Nor me!
R13: So you have?
Jamie: I have yeah, there was one song where I wanted to get a couple of rock and roll chums in, I've always been a fan of Frank's singing and I wrote a little part with him in mind. It might not happen...
G: Well of course there's two people to convince yet so...
Jamie: Listen I have talked to you both about it.
G: Yeah he has talked about it but I didn't realise it was for this record.
Jamie: It's your own fault
G: You should project your voice more.
Jamie: Project my voice louder?
Guitar Tech's Girlfriend: No please don't ask him to do that!

R13: I was checking out your message board and it seems that quite a lot of people have taken 'Nobody Loves You' as their sort of special song for whatever reason, have you picked up on that?
Jamie: A lot of people hate that song, a lot of people say it sounded like a boy band!
John: I've seen quite a few people say they really like it, which is nice.
Jamie: I find there's a lot of different songs that people seem to like, like 'Return of the Jedi' was a lot more liked than I thought it was gonna be but people really like it. The lyrics are quite strong on that one and I think the same is true on 'Nobody Loves You', it's quite a bold statement and it seems to sit nicely on the album.
R13: I think so, I think it gives it that nice variety that makes it work as a whole.
John: The first album didn't have that dynamic.
Jamie: The first album does have that dynamic!
John: No it doesn't .
G: You've got to learn from what you've done, I think it had more diversity, more extreme diversity like on the first record...
John: 'Racecar' is loud throughout the whole thing
Jamie: 'Racecar' flows much better as an album I would say, VFVD goes from one extreme to the other, I think it's clumsy if anything.
John: I think the trouble with 'Racecar' was that it sounded essentially quite samey throughout, because it was all quite heavy even the quiet bits.
G: VFVD has really heavy songs and really quiet songs...
John: Yeah and I quite like that.
Jamie: The diversity is more pronounced on VFVD but I would still argue that Racecar is a diverse sounding album.
G: Yeah well you need to kiss my ass!
Jamie: I'll fucking kiss your ass! I'll fucking kiss your ass mate!

At this point Jamie jumps off the seat onto Guy and proceeds to wrestle him to the floor, eventually pulling his trousers down and kissing his ass and managing to injure Guy in the process leaving him rolling on the floor, all accompanied by much laughter from everyone else! Five minutes later...

John: I think you bit him more than kissed him.
Jamie: I kissed your ass mate.
G: I can't stand up.

R13: Anyway, the point of the last question was that it must be pretty cool for people to relate to a song that you've written?
Jamie: It is really nice, it's wicked and I do get emails from kids that are like "oh this record means a lot to me because something bad was happening and this record helped me".

Tour manager Tarrant enters and looks quizzically at Guy lying on the floor
John: Jamie broke Guy.
G: I hurt my back.
Tarrant: Well this is a strange interview.
R13: You should have been here two minutes ago!
Tarrant: to Guy Why are your trousers undone?
John: Because he literally kissed his ass!

R13: Last question, when I knew I was interviewing you I asked Mr Turner, knowing you were old friends, if he had a question to ask you and all he came up with was "what's the capital of Peru?"
Cue blank faces all round
John: Paddington Bear came from Peru didn't he?
Guitar Tech's Girlfriend: Is it Machu Pichu?
R13: No, although that is in Peru
Jamie: Do you have the answer?
R13: Yep, do you want me to tell you?
Jamie: No
Guitar Tech's Girlfriend: Is Peru the capital?
R13: No
John: Is it Peru City?
R13: No
Jamie: Go on then what is it?
R13: Lima
A series of knowing looks and nods of heads
Jamie: He's a wise man, a man of knowledge that Turner.
R13: Got anything you'd like to send back?
John: Where's my money you bum? Not really, he's never asked me for money!
G: Does he know any chiropractors?

Fortunately Guy recovered in time and they turned in a great show, you can read the review here.