The Horrors in festivals spotlight following Luminous success

Seeds of their current sound have been there all along.
Seeds of their current sound have been there all along.
Share this article
Have your say

Since their 2007 debut, The Horrors have become one of Britain’s most widely acclaimed bands.

Faris Badwan has just moved house, and he lost track of time unpacking boxes.

“We’re putting our studio back together,” he says, catching his breath. “I’ve had worse house moves, but it’s really important to get the studio back up - it’s where we spend so much of our time.”

The band he fronts, The Horrors, are going on tour later this month. Since their fourth album, Luminous, was released in May, they’ve barely stopped, performing at festivals all over Europe.

“We’re not rehearsing as such,” says Kent-born Badwan, “but we are really concentrating our efforts on the production. It looks pretty cool at the moment and we’re trying new things, which is good.

The last time we toured, for Skying [their third album, released in 2011], some people said our light show made them feel sick, so we’re not sure what to do now.”

Since forming in 2005, the band began playing gigs whenever they could, sometimes five in a week. “All in London, which doesn’t really seem that wise when I think back,” says Badwan, 27.

Nevertheless, it worked, and by the time their debut, Strange House, was released in 2007, their slightly wonky brand of gothic garage was the most talked-about music in the country.

It wasn’t for everyone, however, and by the time second album, Primary Colours, came about two years later, the leap in their songwriting and performance skills was clear for all to see.

A similar step forward was made with Skying, which brought Eighties synth-pop to the party.

Reviews at the time would have you believe the band had gone through a giant transformation, but Badwan thinks the seeds of their current sound were there all along.

“I don’t think it’s been the sea of change that some people would like to believe,” he says. “It’s just exploring and discovery.

“I’m not frustrated about it, it is what it is. I mean, look, half the population think the Royal family are lizards, so I think we get off pretty lightly in the grand scale of misconceptions.

“We’d be getting wrapped up in ourselves to worry about that.

“And it’s always interesting to make something and see how it’s perceived. You can’t ever have a clear idea of what you’re doing with your music, because you’re in it and involved, so to an extent, you do rely on other people’s opinions.”

The band will tour this year.

Paul Weller at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

Gig review: Paul Weller at First Direct Arena, Leeds