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Interview: The View

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The View are riding the NME Rock Tour around the country and they’re riding it hard. The band has built up a reputation for hell raising and, ironically, the band has been barred from the Bayview pub in Dundee from which they take their name.

The ViewComparing them with Franz Ferdinand is about as apt as comparing them to Belle & Sebastian, not least of all because of the hundred odd miles between Dundee and Glasgow, but with a number one album under their belt, and a second one under way The View are looking strong.


Though it was suggested that the band was barred from the Bayview because they’d ridden a scooter over the bar (‘It was only a micro scooter’, explains Kyle) it had more to do with the fact that they stole a lot of beer; “They’d leave the taps on downstairs, and we’d just help ourselves some days, and get completely pissed.”

Beer plays a large part in the lives of The View - when a staffer wanders by with a few bottles of spirits the boys try to blag some Jack Daniels.


‘Does booze ever get in the way of work?’
“Nah, it helps!’ ‘We’ve had a couple of pints before we start, and a few more by the end, we start enjoying it a bit more!”


Even though the gig is sold out people are queuing in the street outside, four-hours before the doors open, and as I’m interviewing Kyle and Steve, The Horrors drift by, eyeing up the buffet, whilst The Automatic are doing an E4 photo shoot around the corner. Despite what’s been reported as a public spat between The Automatic and The Horrors, them describing each other as ‘rubbish’ and ‘incompetent’, relationships have been amicable over the course of the tour. Kyle dismisses the bad blood in the press, as ‘just a load of shit.’

Saying that, The View didn’t get along with Leeds post-punkers Forward Russia quite so well.

“We used to read about them in NME. We were getting to play with a band that was getting their name in magazines and that was a very big thing for us at the time, but we’d never heard the music before. We went to the dressing room and started having a sing song, and they said ‘Could we have some alone time?’ and we were like ‘What? Pricks, man.’ They were being arseholes so we ended up playing a gig in the toilet. It got a bit out of hand, and they started ripping the urinals out of the walls and stuff.”

Kyle explains the apparent young age of the bands on the NME Tour, saying, ‘I think it’s what appeals to the record companies nowadays, they seem to sign younger bands, and because of bands like the Arctic Monkeys, people say ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’ There’s more competition nowadays.”


There’s a fair deal of vandalism associated with The View. Aside from Kyle breaking his ankle after jumping out of a hotel window, the band have also been banned from the Travelodge chain, after Kyle left a bath running overnight, allegedly with a duvet in it.

He explains, ‘Everyone went to a party one night, and I was on my own and I was absolutely blattered. I left to go to bed, but I left the plug in the bath and forgot that I’d done it, and there was nobody in the other room. I fell asleep, and woke up pissed, going ‘Where the fuck is everybody?’ and remembered that they were at the party, and just forgot to go back, and I never went back to that room. And I completely forgot that I’d done it.”


Confusingly, Steve adds, “It was a publicity stunt anyway.

This sounds oddly like an admission of guilt, in contradiction to Kyle’s denial. “It was a publicity stunt by Travelodge to get their name in the papers. We genuinely didn’t mean it, but they made a big deal of it, like we put a duvet in the bath, and that’s just a load of shit.”

Pete Doherty took a shine to the band at the beginning of last year and invited them on tour with Babyshambles. When Steve was arrested with Doherty when he, rather fittingly, drove the wrong way down a one-way road, it turned out to be a big break for the band, bringing The View into the tabloid limelight.


Steve’s not shy of the fact that the band’s jump into the national consciousness was made in the ex-Libertine’s reflection; “Well it was good. A lot of people had never heard of The View and it would have taken ages to build up a positive sort of thing. We weren’t big at all at the time. [Doherty] is just like any other artist. We love the Babyshambles and the Libertines and all their music.”

The band’s old van is described as being a bit like a ‘builder’s van’, but with the NME Tour the band has upgraded. Kyle explains, “We’ve got a tour bus now. Playstations, TVs, bunk beds. It makes a lot of difference. We used to have the shittest van, there was nay space on the bus. It was a wee van, with the gear in the back and two seats facing each other. Even when we got that, at first we were like ‘Yes!’”.

Having made headliners when they’d barely released an album, the band has had to get used to fame quickly.

Being star-struck is slowly wearing off for Kyle, “With certain people its amazing, with other people it’s just like ‘alright!’ When we met Liam Gallagher, it was a bit like ‘woah’ a little bit scary, but we did the Jonathan Ross radio show, and I was a bit early so I was sleeping on the couch and when I woke up Lee Evans was like ‘Alright, mate’, and I was thinking what the fuck, I thought I was still dreaming. I was still pissed, and he told me he had a mate in Dundee who’d died of alcoholism, and said ‘I can still smell the drink off you, it’s not a good thing in Dundee, is it?’ When we’d done the interview we came back in and Patsy Kensit had one of our albums and said, “Can you sign this for my son?” It’s surreal.’


“We used to prefer a northern crowd,” Kyle explains, “because when we came down south everyone was very stand offish. They’ve just got to get to know you and now everywhere it’s pretty much the same, but now we’ve been on the go for a wee while, people get to know you. When we first started out, we said, ‘Imagine what it’ll be like when we’ve got ten songs!’ We’ve got songs for a second album, but we’ve got no time to rehearse them on tour.”

Before they had their own material, The View were a cover band. “We covered bands like Oasis, The Beatles, Stone Roses, T Rex, Squeeze, Travis. You have to please the crowds,” says Steve. “We were playing caravan parks.”

Kyle butts in, “We used to play Britney Spears and ‘Baby One More Time’, on acoustic, it’s just whatever will please people. We never expected to get any place out of Dundee. We never really tried, we’re just lucky. We got the local vibe there and that’s how it is. It’s just because when we got chucked from the Bayview, we started practising at a place called the Doghouse, in a room upstairs.”


“We started getting good people in there. The music scene used to be dead in Dundee. We started playing, and just because we had that many mates, so all our gigs were getting sold-out. We did this wee shitty tour, called the World Tour of Dundee where we played the worst pubs in Dundee you could possibly find. People were getting stabbed and windows were getting broken. It was just mental.’


“When the landlord got bottled!’ ‘But it was all good natured. We were in a really rough area of Dundee, when this guy took seven punches to the face, and just stood there and went ‘You didn’t want to do that,’ and punched the guy out with one clean punch. We used to get quite a substantial amount of money, because nobody wanted to play there. We used to go up to the side, and just play regardless. They were great gigs. We’d get £350 and loads of free beer. The place was going to get closed down because other stuff had happened and there was one last gig, and the manager says ‘Do whatever you want, trash the gaffe’ so we smashed up the pool tables, and there was not one window left in the place, everybody just trashed the place.’


Steve adds, “Someone pulled an electric wire out of the wall...”

‘Yeah, somebody tried to threaten someone by electrocuting them! ‘Get back, get back!’ There were these ten-year-olds, who the bouncers would let in as they didn’t drink. We did have trouble sometimes, but not in Dundee. In Dundee, we’re like semi-gods now, just because we’ve never had anyone in Dundee and anyone who has a music video on the TV, is amazing. At our school they’ve got our exam papers under glass! You cannee go into the music shops, you get followed in!”


The band have been playing all over the world in the last few months, in Japan before Christmas, in America afterwards, and to London for New Years Eve.

“Where will the band be a year from now?”

Kyle replies, “We don’t like to talk about where we’ll be a year from now, we just see how it goes. We’d like a wee bit bigger venues. And we’d like to support Oasis on their world tour. In September we’ll go back to Dundee and play the Doghouse. You can’t get a normal gig now though, because everyone goes mental when you’re back in town. We’ll see how the second album goes.’

As long as they stay in one piece, The View are going to be here stay.

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