Originally from Aberdeen, Brighton based alt-rockers The Xcerts returned this summer with their first new single in two and a half years, ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’. They were a surprise addition to the main stage at Reading and Leeds festivals at the end of August, and buzz around the band continues to grow ahead of the release of their fourth album in early 2018. Singer and guitarist Murray Macleod spoke to Brig about this exciting time for The Xcerts.
Q: The Xcerts were announced to play Reading and Leeds on the Friday morning of the festivals. That must have been incredible. How much notice were the band given of that?
MM: “Yeah, that was actually the first time we’ve ever played Reading and Leeds and the fact that we played on the main stage was mind-blowing. We were told on Thursday evening. It was quite a hectic 24 hours. Leeds was first on the Friday, and that felt quite rushed. We had Saturday off to prepare for Reading (on the Sunday) and that was a lot more chilled.”
Q: ‘Feels Like Falling In Love‘ received a million streams in under a month. It must have been amazing to come back to that sort of reception.
MM: “You never know how a song’s going to be received, but we were really confident about it. We thought we’d written a really great song, but you never know. We could release it and people could say, “this is a bit too poppy for me.” But thankfully for us, it seems to have gone down an absolute storm. We’re so appreciative of everyone listening to it and spreading the word, and it’s been amazing to watch it grow in such a short space of time.”
Q: Was it planned to leave such a long gap between There Is Only You (the band’s previous album, released in 2014) and the new record?
MM: “Our intention was to tour for a year and a half, write the [new] record, record it and then release it. It was going to take two years. And then, basically, we kept getting offered tours that we couldn’t turn down. Then we didn’t stop writing, we had this tidal wave of songs. We said to ourselves and to our management, “we may as well just keep writing, because the songs were getting better and better”. We never stopped working; we were constantly writing, constantly in the studio.”
Q: The Xcerts are often said to be a very underrated band. It took a band like Biffy Clyro four or five albums to reach the top. That could still happen for The Xcerts.
MM: “We’re really fortunate that the people that like our band, really love our band. I don’t think there are many people that listen to us that want us to stay unheard of. It’s something that we’re happy about. Biffy kind of set out the blueprint for a band like ours, you know, if you don’t blow up on your first, second or this record, you don’t have to stop. We’ve always said that as long as it’s going in a forward motion, and it’s going up, then we shouldn’t stop. For us, it’s still slow, but it’s gradually moving forward all the time.”
Q: The Xcerts have been grouped among both indie and heavier bands in the past. Where do you see the band in that sense? Does it not matter – a negative thing to be tied down to a particular genre?
MM: “When we first came out, we were too rock for the indie kids, and too indie for the rock kids. We were in this weird purgatory in the rock world. We’ve thought about it, but we don’t really care for it. We would rather be across the board, rather than in one group. We want to appeal to everyone.”
Q: When can we expect to hear more new music?
MM: “The next single’s coming out on September 16, and the album gets announced on the same day. There’s going to be at least two more new songs released this year, and another single before the album. And then there’s still a lot more new music to be heard and released, so even after the album we’re going to releasing new music, because we recorded a lot of songs.”
The Xcerts are on tour in the UK from September 29 – October 10 (Oct 3: Glasgow, St Luke’s; Oct 4: Aberdeen, Tunnels).
‘Feels Like Falling In Love\ and latest single ‘Daydream’ are available now and can be heard on the Brig Freshers 2017 playlist below. The album Hold On to Your Heart is released on January 19.