"We...have constantly gone on tangents, and done something completely new, and never really repeated ourselves"The Horrors via Facebook

Faris Badwin, lead singer of the Horrors, opened the door to the dimly lit tour bus. “Come in, man.” He turns around to the others in the back of the bus: “I’m just going out to Sainsbury’s, lads. Anyone want anything?” A throaty call from the back: “Could you pick me up some bagels please, man?” Faris mumbles a “yeah, no worries” and leaves, all shaggy hair and skinny jeans.

I was with my friend Bethany, who seemed far more confident about all this than me. The lead guitarist offers her, then me, red wine. “Sorry we don’t have any glasses.” I notice its Campo Rioja, the same stuff my Mum buys from the shop on a Friday, as he hands me a plastic cup.

I first came across the Horrors in the pages of NME when they released their third record Skying in 2011. The band have their roots in garage punk and goth fashion (check out their performance of the Sammy the Crab song on the Mighty Boosh circa 2007. They were then called The Black Tubes), but by then had moved into more exciting psychedelic rock. Now on their fifth album, V, the band were in Cambridge to play the Junction. Paul Epworth, charismatic producer to Adele, Rihanna and Paul McCartney, has come on board and the album has been met with rave reviews from critics.

I asked Josh, lead guitarist, about the reviews. Some have noted how a lot of the bands they started with around 2007 and 2006 have dropped off. Arctic Monkeys are massive but they’re in America, Razorlight aren’t what they were… “Are Razorlight still together?!”, says one member, feigning surprise.

“I think they’re playing some obscure festival in Kent and stuff….”

“Oh yeah sorry, isn’t it Johnny Borrell on his own”

After this top indie banter had died down, I got down with questioning. “I just wanted to know what has kept The Horrors together through it all?”

“I think its just been a general approach; you had bands like the Maccabees who we were on tour together with fairly early on, and they seemed to have done a kind of music and just got better at it, and I guess you just get to a point where you are kind of doing the same thing, and you have nothing more to say. We, however, have constantly gone on tangents, and done something completely new, and never really repeated ourselves.” The Horrors’ tendency for going on tangents is pretty evident from our conversation: topics range from postmoderism, UCL and David Gray.

The Horrors' 'Something to Remember Me By'

Attempting to bring the conversation back to the new album, I asked what Epworth as producer had brought to the mix. “He stopped us talking. Honestly! He was like stop chatting about things all the time… we would just be sitting around a lot chatting about what an idea means, and he was like, fuck that, you’re not saying no to anything. We would spend like two weeks on a synth part before, man.”

The Horrors emerged right on the indie zietgiest in 2007, a time when the Kooks, Bloc Party and the Pigeon Detectives were grabbing headlines in the Observer. Most of the band were aged between 19 and 21. What was it like being that age and hitting the big time?

“Quite crazy. It happened so quickly; we started a band, rehearsed twice, played a show, got booked for three shows off the back of that, then we got booked for three shows off of each. Then it just spiralled out of control. I was at UCL at the time!” He laughed, shaking his head, “a fine institution indeed”.

“The reason we do it is because we really like music, and making music. To be able to make it is the dream, right?”

Something which has kept the Horror’s sound fresh is their obvious love for all sorts of obscure music. I’d heard that each member had a large record collection. “It’s crazy how many bands just don’t seem to care about music” said Josh, “or don’t really like music. They like Bowie, maybe. That just seems fucking crazy.” Bethany asked if they thought that was what kept them experimenting. “I think its just a hatred of being bored! I just don’t want to redo anything. The reason we do it is because we really like music, and making music. To be able to make it is the dream, right?”

They’ve been lucky; Paul Epworth, it seems, has took them under his wing.“Our relationship with the record label is great, because it’s his fucking record label. That’s one of the great things, he was like, ‘I wanna do a fucking mad, experimental record!’ This is related in an odd, but quite funny, north London accent. ‘It’s my fucking label! I don’t have to fucking answer to anyone, we can do whatever the fuck we want!’ And it was that feeling, everyone just being excited like that.”

“It’s better to burn out than to fade away”, Neil Young once sang. The Horrors never really lived up to early fuss, and can’t compete with the audience sizes of some other bands of their generation. But V is their best work yet, and you get the sense they don’t give a shit

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