Having just got back from the European leg of their tour, I had a chat with Flyte, to see how their lives have been since the release of their debut album, The Loved Ones.
After a quick run to the reduced section of Sainsbury’s, a very hungry Sam Berridge invites me in to meet the band. Before playing an amazing set later that night at the O2 Ritz, the band are all cosied up in their dressing room, ready to talk about music, books and friendship, the core three!
The origins of the band are incredibly romantic. Will Taylor, Jon Supran, and Nicolas Hill all met when they were “little uns” however, they then reminisced about how met Sam: “he was busking down in the London underground, it was very romantic it sounds like a Richard Curtis rom-com, and it was a lot like that.” Sam adds “I was even singing Ronan Keating.”
After a brief hello from Nick, we start to move on to the friendship behind the band. Will confidently describes that “we are best friends, it’s corny but true, we sleep together in the same bed.” As Nick tucks into a packet of Prawn Cocktail crisps, I begin to speculate if this is a band ritual, and if not, what the band does. “Not a single ritual but we do read Harry Potter to each other and do the crossword.” This then sparks a conversation about the best Harry Potter book and there is uncertainty between Goblet of Fire and Prisoner of Azkaban, but Nick does try to push Half-Blood Prince. “Nah, Goblet of Fire has everything,” finalises Will.
When thinking back over Flyte’s discography, it’s clear to see a true evolution from early upbeat EPs to the peacefully cheerful LP. I asked frontman, Will Taylor, what’s changed: ‘I think we wanted to keep our sense of melody, but [The Loved Ones] is a result of us following our natural instincts to the nth degree. We didn’t compromise creatively, not that we did before but we were trying to please people rather than ourselves.’ When asking further about this, the band all seem to agree that: “The best way music gets made, is when the artist is trying to do it for themselves.”
A few days prior to the release of their debut, they released the first track ‘Faithless’, which garnered an exciting and widespread response. Talking about what that reception meant to them, for a song a-long-time waiting in their repertoire, Will states: “We knew people liked that song for a while. It means a lot to us because it was an early song for us. Also, we lost our minds with it because it had been around so long. It was a relief when we put it out there, it was good.”
In more recent days, Flyte has been travelling all over Europe. Sam seems the most excited by the travel: “We just did our first Europe tour which was awesome, on a sleeper bus, which is a new experience!” “Again sleeping in the same bed together,” adds Will.
The tour started as soon as the debut had been released and I asked them how headlining their own gigs for so many dates went: “To headline for so long in the wake of the album is an amazing vortex to go into, you don’t look up, you just play night after night, it’s kinda a hypnotic experience” And Flyte continue to tour from now until late February as support for The Lemon Twigs and Lord Huron. Coming off the high of their headline tour, I ask if they are enjoying ‘looking up’ again and Sam says that “it’s gonna be nice to play to new audiences.”
A quick look at the lyrics for the band’s work, it is clear to see literary references in many places. When asking if there is any meaning behind this, the band state that they are all avid readers and Will mentions that “Books can be a good jumping off point for a song if you want to be inspired by something,” while Sam adds “you have to steal from somewhere so you might as well steal from literature.” After a brief laugh about this potential treason, Will mentions that the band takes its name from an Evelyn Waugh novel, “there’s a theme to that [Brideshead Revisited], that translates across the whole record.”
Before saying goodbye, I ask if they have any book recommendations for their fans, Will is quick to say, “I’m reading Goodbye Columbus, which is a good coming of age book,” while Sam is desperate to add Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. While the conversation of the best book series re-rears its lovely head, Will quickly adds, “we’re big Lord of the Rings fans” and here is where we seem to disagree. But take words of advice from Jon, he mentions something at last and it is that, dear Flyte fans, “you don’t need to read Rings.”
Flyte’s debut album ‘The Loved Ones’ is out now and they will be supporting The Lemon Twigs and Lord Huron until early next year.