Interview: My Favourite Runner Up [March 2015]

By Lais

We spoke to My Favourite Runner Up lead guitarist Boots about their new single ‘Never Again’, their new musical direction, and found out some funny stories from the road.

(NB: Shortly after this interview, the band announced that two members were leaving. We’ve been assured that the band will be carrying on as normal with new members)

Hi guys, how are you doing? You released your new single, ‘Never Again’, on March 2nd. How would you describe it?

Hi! We’re all doing great thanks. It’s about the scenario where a childhood friendship has the potential to develop into something more serious later down the line, but certain things just keep getting in the way. It’s about growing up and it’s about letting go. It’s a story that everyone can relate to! We wanted to write a song with a huge chorus. You can be the judge of that, but I think we nailed it. The track was a favourite from the start! Our first single ‘Poison’ was about being on the road, waking up in different cities each day and having a good time with your mates. We wanted the second single to be more serious and hard hitting. The big chorus and the melodic hooks were two of the many things that led to us choosing ‘Never Again’ as a single.

Last year you released your debut full-length album, ‘Crossroads’. How have you found the reaction to it?

The reaction has been awesome. The online sales actually funded a lot of things we’ve done recently! We normally have to put a load of our own money in for a release but it seems as though things are starting to pay for themselves! We’ve been told the whole album is really relatable and I think that’s something we pride ourselves on to be honest. Writing songs which people can understand and relate to is really important to us. For the majority, it’s an upbeat, feel good album. It’s a story of what we get up to on the road, what we’ve had to deal with back home and what we’ve got to do to progress further. As for playing the songs live, it’s been great! The album has been out a while now, so naturally people are familiar with the songs. It’s overwhelming seeing people sing the words back to us!

You recorded with Romesh Dodangoda. How was the experience?

We’ve worked with Romesh for every release; he gets the best out of us every time and really helps bring our ideas to life. Working with someone who has recorded bands such as Motorhead, Kids In Glass Houses and Funeral For Friend is pretty much an honour if I’m honest. Romesh is very sure about what he wants, he’ll keep making you re-track everything until he’s 100% happy with it. It gets tiring but it’s definitely worth it. We’re over the moon with the overall sound of the album. Romesh is professional and very hard working and that’s the reason we keep going back to him!

If someone hadn’t heard of you before, how would you describe yourselves?

I’d say we’re friendly and easy going guys! We love meeting new people and will travel miles and miles on end to earn a chance to win over new potential fans! We put hours on end each day into this band whether it be online or working on ideas, so I hope it’s not too big headed to say we’re hard working! We’re definitely fun loving, we try and make the best out of every situation. Every band has shitty gigs but whatever happens, we give our all on stage and always try and have a good time afterwards! Although being in this band is like a career, we always make sure we have a laugh, because why doyou want to do it otherwise? Sure, you do it for your fans and also to progress in the industry, but if you’re not happy with where you are in your life and you’re not enjoying the thing that you spend most of the time doing, there’s no point doing it.

Who are your main influences as a band?

Our roots go back to the Drive Thru Record Days – I’d say our biggest influences are bands such as New Found Glory, Yellowcard and The Ataris. Of course bands like Blink 182 and Green Day are massive influences of ours too: who did they not influence? More recently I’d say bands like Mayday Parade and You Me At Six are influencing us. Each member would probably give you a slightly different answer on this one. Times change as does music: one criticism we’ve had in the past is that some aspects of our sound are outdated. Well my pretties, that is about to change! We can’t wait to unleash this new sound!

You’ve been touring this month. Do you enjoy life on the road?

We sure do! It’s always exciting playing in new places! I think there’s always that gut feeling when you think to yourself: “Is anyone going to come to shows? Are they going to enjoy our set?”, but judging by ticket sales, there’s nothing to worry about! We just hope that we win over some new potential fans whilst we’re out! We definitely do, like I said we always like to have a good time. Our first single ‘Poison’ from the album ‘Crossroads’ is all about touring: it’s about driving across the country, playing shows, partying, waking up the next day and doing it all. Touring is essential and I guess it’s just a plus that it’s what we love! Some bands may prefer to play one off shows and come home to their comfy bed, but give us a long drive, a party and a van to sleep in any day and we’ll be happy!

Do you have any memorable tour experiences from your time as a band so far?

One time we were heading into Manchester for load in whilst on tour with Hill Valley High. We were stopped in traffic and Paul Squires, our sound guy, spotted two rather good looking ladies in the car across from me. Being the big kids we are, we dared him to moon them. He didn’t do it, but I did! I had this ridiculous idea to do some ‘self-promotion’ and kill two birds with one stone.. not the two girls by the way! Tom our drummer wrote #MFRU on my behind and I squeezed it up against the van window. After a half an hour laughing fit we forgot about it. Then our phones started going off: my genius plan had worked and it turned out we had two new fans that had tweeted us, watched our music videos and loved us! I guess this means my bum might make us super famous one day! Haha.

What would you say is your highlight of being in a band?

We did some great things last year like supporting Tonight Alive and playing Slam Dunk Festival, but for me the highlight is when people come up to us and tell us how much they love MFRU, when they say that the songs have inspired them, helped them in some way and that listening to our music makes them happy! It makes me feel privileged to be part of something that is bringing joy to people and giving them the chance to enjoy themselves whilst watching us live. When people travel for miles to watch our little band live, they deserve to get 110% of our attention; we always make a substantial effort to meet everyone at shows – talking to the people who you’re doing this for is a must for us!

What are your plans for the rest of 2015?

We already have a few tours booked; we’ve just been on the road in March with Leokai and Maven! We can’t reveal the details of the other tours yet but we can say we’ll be hitting countries we’ve never played before! We’ve also started writing new material which we’re really really excited about! We love our album ‘Crossroads’ but it’s time to start heading in a new musical direction! Rest assured, whatever we release will be stamped with that MFRU sound – but next time it’s going to be a revitalised, reinvented and have a whole new feel to it!


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]