Photo by Kana Waiwaiku.
We caught up with Luke Branch of Asylums ahead of their final show of the year at Camden Assembly on Friday 9th November. Asylums are one of the finest rock bands around and their new album Alien Human Emotions is one of the strongest records of the year. Read on and find out more below:
Let’s start with the new album Alien Human Emotions, it’s a fantastic record – how has it been going down with your ever-growing fanbase?
Luke Branch: To be honest it’s felt like we have been promoting both albums at once, a 26 song introduction. I think because we have always intentionally bubbled under the surface of whatever is going on musically a lot of people had only ever heard one or two tracks but knew the name of the band. With ‘Alien Human Emotions’ we received some great support from press and radio upon release then proceeded to do a ton of festivals. When we played those festivals it felt like a lot of people were watching us for the first time, for instance we turned up to Reeperbahn Festival in Germany and Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester and both rooms were packed out for our set.
We’ve got to ask, how do you come up with your weird and wonderful track and album titles?
Luke Branch: I’m a habitual list maker, song titles come to me all the time…..sometimes cool ones, sometimes too weird for the world. With album titles I personally try to get to the heart of the album themes, the top line messaging. With ‘Killer Brain Waves’ we were feeling dangerously angry and with ‘Alien Human Emotions’ we were feeling dangerously absent from the world.
You’re very well known for your powerful and outrageous live performances, do you have a favourite from the new record to include in your live sets?
Luke Branch: I really like playing ‘Alien Human Emotions’ and ‘Millennials’ they anchor the chaos.
This Friday you’re rounding off the year with a headline show at Camden Assembly – presumably it’s going to be a high-energy, rocked up night, but do you have anything special planned considering it’s the last one of 2018?
Luke Branch: No fireworks, no synchronised dance moves. We are just gonna play the songs with passion and communicate our messages with intent.
You’re a Southend band at heart, what do you love most about playing a hometown show?
Luke Branch: Seeing the people we love.
You’re definitely one of the most original bands around at the moment, who inspires the music as well as the live performances?
Luke Branch: We love many artists and performers but the Asylums vibe comes through when you put me, Jazz, Mike and Henry in a room and let the natural chemistry occur. On paper we are mismatched, be we all have something the others don’t.
Finally, what can we all expect from Asylums in 2019? New music, a headline tour or something else exciting?
We will take a few months out to concentrate on Cool Thing Records and recuperate and then we plan to record some more music…..our first show of 2019 is with Iggy Pop in Europe, that’s a nice place to start.
What a year Asylums have had and that show on Friday sounds like it’s going to be a blast. We can’t wait to hear more from Asylums in the new year, but in the meantime watch the music video for Millennials below and be sure to grab your tickets for the Camden Assembly show here.