BN1 caught up with ROAM vocalist Alex Costello and backing vocalist Alex Adams after their performance at Reading Festival.
Hey guys. How was the show?
AC & AA: It was great!
You said onstage you’re happy to be home. You’ve just spent the summer in the States on the Warped Tour – how has that been?
AA: Yeah, it was amazing and a lot of fun. We do a lot better here than we do over there, so it’s nice to see some progress over there. We had some big crowds at Warped and yeah, we had a great time. It was nice to have a hot summer for once as well.
AC: There was one day in California where it was freezing cold though, that was weird.
AA: Not freezing cold, but you had to wear jeans instead of shorts. Maybe shorts.
AC: Okay maybe. But it was North California, so not what you’d expect. Still, yeah it was good – sunny, hot, great crowds…
Do you feel like the reception to your live shows has changed since the release of your album [ROAM released their debut album Backbone in January] earlier this year?
AA: We’ve never imagined we’d play to that many people at Reading & Leeds. We thought it’d be fun but we never thought that would happen. Especially when people sing along to all the songs, and not just the singles. It’s amazing.
So the inflatables (giant inflatable body boards were thrown into the audience by one of the ROAM guys’ dad during their Reading set)… Whose dad and idea was that?
AA: (Laughs.) That was my dad… But it wasn’t his idea! We always do it. It’s great seeing people crowdsurfing and generally being a mess.
AC: And people just being there and having fun.
AA: Yeah, it’s great they’re not just standing and listening, they’re able to go mental. We want to see our fans jumping around and doing something with the music.
What do you think about comments that you’re the most exciting thing to come out of Eastbourne in the last decade?
AA: Well, what about Toploader?
AC: No, Toploader were ages ago…
AA: Yeah, and I guess that one song was a cover…
AC: We’re already doing better than them!
Tell me about home…
AC: Well, I’m from a little place called Pevensey & Westham. You hear it on all the trains as you go through, that’s probably the only place you would have heard of it. Anyway, it’s got a pond… Little ducks. It’s small. And Alex lives on the outskirts of Polegate. Not Hailsham.
AA: Definitely not Hailsham. They’re our neighbours.
AC: So we live quite close. It’s a six-minute drive.
AA: Oh, it’s six exactly is it? I dunno, that must be speeding.
AC: No way, it’s six minutes. Unless any rabbits run out…
So how did all of you meet?
AC: We went to school together at Bishop Bell, met Sam at college…
AA: Our old drummer we played football with but he’s not in the band anymore. Matt was the only bassist in Eastbourne…
AC: And then Miles was just in another band we played with, so when we needed to get another drummer we were like, “This guy is sick.” And he is honestly great.
And at what point did you all decide this was what you wanted to do – what you could do for a living?
AC: Always. It was never like a turning point, it was like a start and then, “well, let’s get going.”
AA: Yeah, for us… Listening to Simple Plan or whatever growing up, that was always what we wanted to do, it always looked fun. That was always going to be our job.
AC: I was kind of like, well, I knew I was going to be a musician so I was going to do that. I never thought I wasn’t going to be a musician, or in a band. I had my heart set on it, and I had to make it work.
AA: And luckily it did, because that’s a very stupid attitude to have.
Lucky! But have you had any struggles along the way?
AC: We got robbed three times in about a month – our passports, a load of camera gear, our laptops, money… It was awful. It was a tough time but we got through it.
And all through that time, you never felt like giving up?
AA: Well yeah, we’ve never had any backup options, so we just figured we’d carry on without any money, which is what we did.
What’s made it worth it?
AA: That (motions towards the Festival Arena).
AC: Slam Dunk.
AA: Warped Tour.
AC: Japan. Just because it’s Japan.
AA: But also our UK tour in November. We released our album but because we’ve had all these festival dates, support tours and Warped we haven’t been able to do our own tour. We’re excited for it – and people already seem to know the words!
ROAM play Patterns on Fri 25 Nov. Buy tickets here.