The Xcerts. There Is, Only True.

“How much further are we going to go with this?”

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The Xcerts. There Is, Only True.
A Rare Interview with Jordan and Tom.

“Murray’s personal investment in the album is huge. It means a lot to him but there was a point where we were thinking, ‘Are you sure you want it so on your sleeve?’ ”
Jordan Smith is explaining the pitfalls of watching your friend and band mate go through hell.
“It wouldn’t be true to him, or us, or the band if he were to sugarcoat it though,” he continues before Tom Heron sums it up.
“That, to me, is an Xcerts record.”

It’s November 3rd, which means one thing for The Xcerts; it’s judgment day. After four years, their new album ‘There Is Only You’ is released into the wild. It’s ‘A hopeful record” with “a big lean on classic rock” describes Tom. “ Seventies songwriting with nineties production. All dreamy and romantic.” But as Jordan and Tom sit comfortably in The Roundhouse’s bar, a relaxed calm takes the place of any nerves. And on reflection, it’s easy to see why.

The Xcerts formed in 2001 after a chance meeting between Murray Macleod (guitar/vocals) and Jordan Smith (bass) at their school in Aberdeen before moving to Brighton and recruiting Exeter-born Tom Heron (drums) in 2006. Three albums followed; 2009’s ‘In The Cold Wind We Smile’, 2010’s ‘Scatterbrain and ‘There Is Only You’ as well as tours with the likes of Manchester Orchestra, Brand New and Biffy Clyro. Today sees them in the company of old friends as they celebrate the release of their new album with a support slot with Twin Atlantic at The Roundhouse, London.

Dual stories have been battling at the tip of everyone’s tongue in the run up to tonight. The unprecedented four-year gap between albums and Murray who, after struggling with his past decided that his future lay with his other–half, found himself single. Those aren’t the stories told on ‘There Is Only You’ though. Instead, the third album from The Xcerts is a tale of self-discovery.

“It’s always album number three where really good bands start being bands,” starts Tom. “It was in the back of all of our minds anyway, ‘How much further are we going to go with this?’ but this is without a doubt the best record we could have made.”

“We were lucky to have that time,” furthers Jordan. “It gave us time to evolve those songs properly. It wouldn’t have been as good of a record if we had recorded it earlier, it happened at the exact right time.”

“We both take our influences from our respective hometowns,” explains Jordan. ”So Murray and I have that grey, Scottish disposition that hangs like a big grey cloud over your head while Tom is…”
“I’m a bit more of the, ‘Everything’s going to be alright! Don’t worry guys, it’ll be fine,’“
This personal history can be felt across ‘There Is Only You’. One-third optimism, two-thirds stark realism, all tied together with the infinite wonder and freedom that is Brighton. It’s no wonder that The Xcerts music means so much to people.

“People apply meaning to it,” explains Tom. “They’ll make it relate to their own personal experience, no matter what Murray was writing about.”
Jordan continues, “I love that man, but I would not want to be in his shoes because of the weight people put on him because of those lyrics. That said, to think that our music can help someone going through a shitty time, that’s the best thing a record can do for anyone, right? To physically help their lives in some way, and not just make a thing that they can listen to, that’s the best thing you can hope for.”

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Later that night, The Xcerts play a triumphant set of old and future classics. It’s been a long time coming and not only do Tom, Jordan and Murray look at ease on stage, but it’s like they’ve never been away. Welcome home.

“This feels like what we should be doing,” promises Tom. “Six months ago, if you tried, you could have seen an end to The Xcerts but now I can’t. Now the album is out, all I can see is shows.”
“You entertain the notion of it,” admits Jordan before continuing. “But its just cynicism and negativity. It never hangs around for long. It’s better to burn out than fade away. I won’t let that happen. You stamp it out. You stamp that fire out and piss on the ashes.”

“This is the only thing any of us want to do. We put our cards on the table and we did it a long time ago. We’re sticking with our hand and, at the moment, it’s looking alright.”

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~ by justdip on 14/01/2015.

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