A Conversation with the Boys of London Grammar
It was a rainy afternoon when I made my way to the Phoenix Concert theatre to interview London Grammar. Without the congregation of bodies I’m typically used to outside the hall, it seemed hauntingly empty. As I walked inside, I was welcomed by the sweet tune of sound check and I followed signs that read “Crew Only” up a small flight of stairs. I waited in a small dressing room, the door swung open and I was greeted by London Grammar’s guitarist, Dan Rothman, who was beaming ear to ear and Dot Major, the band’s keyboard & drums, who was quiet and reserved. “I like your necklace!” Dan exclaimed, “I got my girlfriend the same one. Urban Outfitters, right?” At this point, I was shocked. Partly because he mentioned a girlfriend (sorry, ladies!), but mostly due to the fact that members of a band that have accomplished so much still have time to shop at Urban Outfitters!
In the past, I’ve done lots of interviews, but nothing has ever got my heart racing like this. When Sony Music Canada reached out to me with the opportunity to interview one of my favourite bands, I had to take it! If you’ve never heard London Grammar, then what you’re about to hear will bring you to an island of serenity, emotion, melancholy or just make you “really fucking sad” as Dot & Dan jokingly say.
While their music does bring me to tears (yes, there are witnesses of me balling my eyes out during the show), the tears are out of pure joy and it’s hard to believe that the band who played their first show less than 5 years ago at a student pub in front of 30 people, are now playing in front of me with a packed house at the Phoenix. The show feels huge but it’s nothing compared to one of their favourite moments as a band so far, “Glastonbury was amazing,” Dot recalled, “we basically missed – [due to] a series of unfortunate events – our stage time on the main stage, so we ended up doing this tiny busking stage in the middle of the night when all the other stages were closed. We thought there would only be like 50 people there but there ended up being like 3000 – that was amazing.” Another memorable moment they had was earlier in the year when they got to open for Coldplay at SXSW, “they’re legends and heroes of ours,” said Dan.
Their entire experience seems quite surreal so far and with their rise to fame – their first album, If You Wait, has already gone platinum in Britain and they were also featured on Disclosure’s #1 UK album, Settle – come the dedicated fans, “In Australia, one particular fan got a bar fridge and he spray painted it with all our faces.” Dan laughed. “But not spray paint like graffiti – like a proper painting! I think he’s actually quite a famous aritist.” Dot continued. “We didn’t get to keep it,” Dan recalled, “he just wanted us to sign it, but he gave Hannah a kettle with her face on it!” Though they’re both quite nonchalant about their notable fan experiences, they admit that they’re pretty big on a few artists right now as well – Kwabs for Dot and The War on Drugs and Canadian musician, Evy Jane for Dan.
Though they’ve just ended their North American Tour, they’ll be back soon enough! You can catch them at Osheaga in Montreal this summer but in the mean time, download their album, If You Wait, here – you won’t regret it!
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