Interview: The Enemy
Back in 2007, when angst-ridden indie-rock anthems were the order of the day, and skin-tight drainpipe jeans teamed with over-straightened fringes were the height of fashion (and that was just the boys), few could put together a better lad chant than Coventry kids The Enemy. With chart-topping success with tracks like ‘Away From Here’ and ‘Had Enough’, the band proved they were in it for the long-haul with their relentless live shows and a handful of ‘Best New Band’ accolades from the likes of the NME, Q and XFM. And while many of their contemporaries split up years ago, The Enemy stuck at it for the best part of a decade, and always with as much heart as they had from day one – until now. Announcing this year’s tour would be their last, we collared drummer Liam Watts for a chat about the big decision.
So, the last tour! Is this a recent decision or something you’ve been planning for a long time?
Fairly recent. It gets to the point where you just gotta make an honest call on where things are at and we felt this was the right thing to do. It wasn’t taken lightly by any means because we’ve all put a lot into this band. These things happen; we’re not the first band to knock it on the head and won’t be the last.
You’ve cited the media as one of the reasons you will not be continuing, claiming that there is less support and exposure now, especially from radio stations. How important do you think radio is?
Radio can make or break it. We all know that. We’ve been on both sides of it so we’ve seen what comes with getting the support but we’ve also had whiff of the shittier end of the stick as well.
It takes so much more than people know to get new bands off the ground and with new music from bands like ours it’s by no means an easy job either! Radio is still a big old advert for music and you’d have to try pretty hard to escape its influence in one way or the other.
You said that the media get bored of bands and artists quickly nowadays. Do you think this is because there is more access to more music via channels like YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud?
Accessibility is great thing. But the media needs news! New artists, new songs, etc. I get that. We’ve said it many times before: don’t just get sucked into all the style over substance and then wonder why things don’t stand the test of time.
What’s been your most memorable moment on the stage?
Playing ‘We’ll live And Die In These Towns’ with Weller has gotta be up there. The Oasis tour as well. They were my band growing up so it meant a lot.
How hard is it to draft a set-list when you know it’s the last one?
Since day one when we’re onstage we play every note like it could be our last. I think that’s why we made such a decent name for ourselves as a live band. We haven’t planned a set-list yet but we’ll get up there and give it our all like always. Although this time, we get to leave it all out there – both us and the fans. These could be best gigs we’ve ever played!
Will you be sticking around at all to see any other acts?
I think we’re on later at night so would be nice to catch some bands in the day. We’ve had some great times in Sheffield! Definitely looking forward to it.
Finally, it’s been a decade since you began. Try and sum up your time in The Enemy in a sentence?
We were all still teenagers when we started this band; we’ve given everything to it over the years. I think once we’re doing the tour or maybe when it finishes and the dust settles we’ll properly digest what’s happened. Ask me then.
Catch The Enemy at The Leadmill on Friday 22nd July at 10pm as part of Tramlines Festival 2016.