Zoax are a band after our own heart. This year’s Takedown Festival gave us a chance we couldn’t refuse, sitting down with vocalist Adam Carrol and guitarist Doug Wotherspoon to talk their new EP, upcoming tours, and even UFC. There’s nothing off limits with one of the most fun bands on the British live circuit today.
AH: So Zoax, you’ve opened the main stage today. Bit of a change from last year where you played in the middle of the day on one of the lower stages, how did today compare?
Adam Carrol: I thought it was pretty much the same really. Same vibe, same atmosphere, people were enjoying it and having a laugh.
AH: It definitely didn’t seem to take people long to warm up at all, and it seems like you’re at a parallel in terms of crowd interaction with guys like Baby Godzilla, who you had a reunion of sorts with in the crowd mid-set. But while they go out and look for things to climb on, you just seem to go out and look for people to make friends with!
AC: Exactly! What it comes down to really is that I don’t like climbing anything ‘cause I get serious vertigo. So I like to just go around, make friends and grab faces.
AH: Is there ever a plan when you go out amongst the crowd, or is it just a case of going with the flow?
AC: It just happens. Definitely just go with the flow.
AH: What’s the atmosphere on stage like when Adam’s out in the crowd?
Douglas Wotherspoon: Really funny, because usually you’ll hear the crowd laugh and Adam will be doing something so ridiculous. And the funniest thing for us is seeing everyone else laughing so we turn around and just start creasing ourselves. It’s also great to see a whole audience focusing on Adam either going like “oh my god” or “what is he doing?” and to see everyone engaged.
AH: Well at one point during the set you tried to hide in one guy’s shirt, the bit that Adam seemed to miss out on that everyone else got to enjoy was the look on the guy’s face as you were doing it!
AC: Oh I can imagine, I kept saying to him “you’re okay, right?” and he would reply “yeah, yeah, I’m good”, and I love those situations. I love people reacting to us and wondering what we’ll do next, and if they react well then it’s great fun.
AH: You’re out on a couple of tours after this to promote the new EP. What’s the reception been like to it so far – especially compared to last year’s record?
AC: It’s been great. It was a worry at first to think whether people would understand the dynamics and if it would fit in with what we’d done on the first EP. Thankfully it has and people have been really nice about it, being super positive and they can’t wait for what’s to come. So yeah, brilliant.
AH: The next step from here is the tour with Dead, your first headline tour. How are you approaching that compared to the tours with bands like Baby Godzilla and Polar?
DW: We’re just gonna go out there and put on, not our usual stage show, we’ll throw some new things in there. Without sounding dull, it’s pretty much business as usual. Just get out there and do what we do best.
AC: It’s gonna be like an hour set each night, so we’ll be out there for a lot longer than we’re used to…
DW: Time for all the hits!
AC: Exactly, the “greatest hits of Zoax” tour! It’s gonna be interesting, I’m excited. We haven’t played a headline show for quite some time and we really like Dead. We just met those guys actually, so we’re even more excited now it turns out that we’re almost instantly bezzies.
AH: After that you’re out again with Fearless Vampire Killers who’ve curated their own stage for the festival today, do you see that as a responsibility you guys could take on?
DW: I think if we did we probably couldn’t headline it, we’d be sort of there in the middle of it. There’s definitely bands here that are much bigger than us…
AC: Right now it doesn’t feel like we’re in any position to choose anything. We’re just completely grateful for what we get at the end of the day. Just recently a girl came up to me and said that I promised her last year to play in her kitchen which I totally forgot and she was apparently trying to get onto our booking agent about it and everything!
AH: Well you guys tweet a lot about UFC…
AC: Big time! Everyone’s talking about UFC and wrestling to me today, this is great!
AH: Obvious question to go with on this really, do you think you’d last longer in the octagon than Cat Zingano against Ronda Rousey?
AC: Not a hope. Fourteen seconds would be an achievement! I’d just be out of it by then.
DW: Well if it took fourteen seconds to catch you…
AC: I felt so bad for her, so so bad. And how long the interview went on afterwards!
AH: Well to bring it back round to the band, we’ve covered the XIII EP on Already Heard as well as Is Everybody Listening?, the only negative comment we’ve really had about either is that they’ve not been a full-length album…
AC: Well yeah that’s a weird one. It feels like that’s what everybody says. Any other band will release an EP and people will love it but people seem to be kind of irritated that we don’t have the full-length yet!
AH: It doesn’t seem to be irritation so much as anticipation a lot of the time.
AC: Oh yeah, definitely, and this album will come. We just want to make the right record. We can’t rush it, you know? Bands don’t tend to have the luxury of just dishing out an album once a year, and we just want to make sure we do it right.
AH: Well you’ve got Hit the Deck coming up next month, have you got any more festival plans coming together?
AC: Well there’s a few that we’re waiting on confirmation for, it’s that time of the year where everybody’s chasing everything. So last year we didn’t think we’d end up doing as much as we did, so I think this year will be just as surprising.
DW: We’ve been very lucky so far so right now it’s just fingers crossed.
‘Is Everybody Listening?’ EP by Zoax is out now on Century Media.
Words by Antony Lusmore (@Metacosmica_)
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Takedown Fest 2015 here.