The xx’s Romy is excited to be back

The xx was one of the most expected acts in Ilosaari 2012. We got a chance to chat with their lovely singer/guitarist Romy Madley Croft before the gig. Meeting with such a succesful artist is of course exciting, but when we sat down with Romy we suddenly felt like chatting with a university classmate – she even told us she felt more nervous than we did!

Really? Do you still feel nervous when giving interviews or performing?

- We’re not really the kind of people who like to talk about themselves so yes. When it comes to performing, I used to be really nervous but now I feel more confident and actually enjoy it.

How do you feel about being back to Finland? You were here two years ago at Flow-festival which is a very different kind of setting, more of like an urban hipster-get-together, whereas Ilosaari is in the countryside and more like a rock festival. Can you sense the different atmosphere?

- Yeah I think it’s different. We just flew in from Helsinki, actually we were on the same plane with some metal bands on their way to Ilosaari! But yeah I’m pretty excited to be back to Finland. I already saw a little bit of the beautiful nature on the way here and took a few pictures through the window!

So a compulsory question, what’s your opinion on Joensuu? Have you had time to visit the city at all or do you ever get a chance to be a ”tourist” when your on tour?

- One thing we wish we could do is to actually visit the places we go to. Like in Berlin, we spent four days there and the reporters kept asking us what we think about Berlin, but actually we didn’t have a chance to visit at all. We just flew here from London and next we’re going to Hong Kong and Melbourne.

And what are your expectations for tonight’s gig? You’re releasing a new album this year, are we going to hear some new material tonight?

- Yeah we’re going to play about five new songs. We’re pretty excited about that. Actually our first album isn’t very long so it’s good to have more songs to play.

Your first album was very succesful, do you feel pressure on releasing your second album? Is there still something left to achieve?

- We were really blown away by the succes of our first album and we were really happy with that and we could have left it at that, but we just love making music too much. Obviously we do feel some pressure but mostly we’re just excited to play new songs

So how long did it take for you to make this new album?

- We were on a break from touring for about a year and a half and we were writing all the time, but all in all the recording took us about six months.

And are you happy with the result? What is the style?

- Yeah we’re really happy with it. We did some new things but I think it’s still recognizable as The xx.

I think many fans are really looking forward to hearing your new album, what has the reaction been like in your previous gigs?

- The reaction’s been really positive, people have been very supportive. But we don’t want to play only new songs, because people of course want to hear the songs they know.

Your music is very minimalistic and maybe suits better into clubs and quiet audiences. Do you feel a difference in playing festivals as opposed to clubs or concert halls?

-Yeah of course it’s different. In festivals the crowd is actually clapping, dancing and singing along and it’s cool to see that!

Is there a certain song that seems to work well in festivals?

- Nighttime seems to be a song that gets the audience really excited, it’s a song where the start is quiet and then it gets to a upbeat part where everyone starts dancing!

We are looking forward to seeing that tonight! Thank you Romy – it was such a pleasure to meet you. We wish you all the best and Finland is very happy to have you back!

Text: Maria Kalinainen
Photo: Eetu Ahanen

Aihe(et): In English.