B - Lots of students in Leeds are living for live music, what kinds of memories do you want them to take away from your gig tonight?
M - I suppose we're kind of the band at the 80's prom. I think John Hughes - the director of Pretty In Pink and Breakfast Club - that's one of the main influences for us. There was always a band at the prom and everyone would dance - but it was also a time for being reflective. I'd like people to dance, but I'd like people to think and I'd like people to feel slightly in love with the environment or maybe with each other - that would be nice.
B - You've had an overwhelming response from the tour, do you feel like you're building an emotional connection with your fans now?
M - Yeah, I do. I think it's the fact that our music is defined by its honesty. Even though it's pop music, I suppose it's the self-deprecating elements to our narrative that people feel connected to. As soon as you get more fans, the rooms become bigger and you get this kind of unification, and everyone just vibes off each other. Especially with a band like us. Because although we've been quite popular, we've also been quite cult. A lot of people got into us really early and it's at a good stage now.
B - We love your album. How did it feel for you when it went to number one?
M - Very flattering. It was cool. We felt more proud that it was a representation of the fact that people still cared about music that was created for the right reasons, because that can get lost nowadays. But if a band like us can have a number one, that's fucking cool. We didn't need a number one for us to be prouder of our record, we're proud of ourselves but we're mainly proud of the idea and proud of everyone who bought it.
B - Can you pinpoint an exact moment where you were like, 'yeah we're living the dream'?
M - If you put 15-year-old me on this tour bus right now, my head would explode. You know the idea of when people go into a coma for a long time, say twenty years, and then they wake up? They're kind of expected to try and understand developments. Basically, what I'm saying is - if you're not provided with step by step evolution, you get really confused. With us, going from eight months ago, it's been such small steps that with every step your ambitions change. You find yourself six months down the line thinking, fucking hell. But you don't have that moment of going, 'this is it'. It's very strange and very hard to be retrospective and have hindsight when your life changes so quickly and dramatically. Your initial reaction is to stay on top of it. You cope because you don't spend so much time fucking thinking of it - you just do it.
B - That must be what keeps you humble?
M - I suppose it does. It's also the fact that we're all best friends. Imagine your closest mates and imagine going around the world with them every night. Nothing could make you feel more humbled than that.
B - It's hard to imagine! What's your favourite song to play live?
M - It changes all the time. It changes depending on the venue and it changes depending on the crowd. If the crowd are rowdy, songs like 'Sex' are always fun because it gets really intense. When we played Melt Festival, for example, normally you have people who dance and people who nod - but every single person was dancing really hard. 'Chocolate' is always fun. At the moment my favourite song to play live is 'So Far It's Alright', which is off one of the EPs.
B - Is that because of the reaction it gets from the crowd, or is it more personal?
M - It does get a nice reaction, but yeah it's personal too. We haven't played it before, and it's just been really fun to play.
B - Which song on the album has the most personal narrative?
M - Every song tells its own story, they're all very personal. But, 'Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You' is probably the most recent development. It's about guilt and the fact that I left my house in December and haven't been home. I've got a little brother who is twelve and I haven't really seen him, I've only seen him for a couple of days this year. It's about leaving him and the ideas that surround leaving home - you know, like divorce. So yeah, it's a very personal song and I find it quite difficult to listen to.
B - If you could interview anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?
M - Christopher Hitchens. He was a really famous atheist who died recently of cancer. He was alongside Richard Dawkins and such a fantastic writer. His opinions and stances on politics were so accurate, he was just such a wonderful man. To be honest with you, fuck knows what I would say to Christopher Hitchens if I interviewed him, but just to have been graced with his presence and conversation would have been a real honour.
B - If you could choose an exact song that best represents your life so far, which song would that be?
M - I don't know, but it would sound like 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston and would convey the message and the narrative of 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen. That would be my perfect song.