Firefly, the new single from The Domino State, is an old fashioned, moody indie guitar anthem of epic proportions – the kind of song that deserves to be heard in huge arenas all over the world. I spoke to the band about, err, geo-politics, the Cold War, electronic circuitry and why they won’t be the next Motley Crue.
Q: I’m digging the new single Firefly – it’s a huge, epic rock song. What’s it about? Is it a tale of hope, but also one of emotional upheaval? Why the Firefly imagery?
A: It is a tale of hope, but also about emotional upheaval. Maybe with a bit of paranoia thrown in for good measure. We like the idea that the listener can interpret the song in that way – I am sure everyone has a story or two that causes conflicting positive and negative emotions. The imagery seems appropriate.
Q: Where does the band name come from?
A: There are five of us and none of us are backward in coming forward with opinions, so we didn’t have a name all of us could agree on for ages. No-one can exactly remember where The Domino State came from – it sort of appeared out of the ether and stuck, as – miracle of miracles – all of us liked it. We Googled it afterwards and found out that, apart from the geo-political meaning of a small satellite country used as a pawn in the Cold War, it’s also something to do with electronic circuitry. The macro and the micro in one!
Q: Is the single representative of your debut album?
A: It does represent things to come with the album, but at the same time there will be some diversity. Obviously, some songs sound more like singles than others, and we hope the album holds a few surprises. That’s not to say that every other track on the album is doom metal, though – only a couple of them.
Q: You’ve been playing festivals, including Glastonbury. How were they? Did you see any fireflies?
A: The festivals have been fantastic. At Glasto we didn’t see any fireflies, despite the legal highs. All we saw was a dragon and an evil wizard!
Q: What bands are you guys into?
A:We all listen to a lot of quite varied stuff, and we often don’t agree on things, but some examples of bands we all like are Ride, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure and Arcade Fire.
Q: You opened for Coldplay at 02 – how was it playing an arena this early on in your career? Your sound suits big venues, doesn’t it? Do you aspire to be the next Coldplay or U2?
A: It was both nerve-wracking and incredibly exciting at the same time. One of the best things about it was a couple of comments after we’d played. A member of Coldplay said we sounded “massive” and our sound engineer told us we totally pulled it off and looked natural up there. It’s a big place, and too much to take in really, but as a taste of what’s possible, it presents a pretty good target to aim for. I don’t know about being the next U2 or Coldplay, but we got a bit carried away with the after-show hospitality, and the next morning was a clear lesson that we certainly haven’t got the stamina to be the next Motley Crue.
Q: Can any of you play dominoes? And when was the last time you were in a state?
A: We can play dominoes, but prefer travel scrabble on the tour bus. We were in a state at Glastonbury after we played – watching Nick Cave and drinking cider.