One of the most exciting bands on the planet, it's for good reason too.
Idles have been teasing their second album ever since they kicked out top-notch debut ‘Brutalism’ way back in March. There’s no release date yet, but as one of the most anticipated albums of 2018, they have no intention of keeping us waiting.
With the release of their debut album ‘Brutalism' in March, Idles tapped into a storm of pent-up ferocity and dissatisfaction and fuelled it into something that felt truly vital. Barraging into the public consciousness with a blistering energy, the Bristol outfit ignited a wildfire of enthusiasm that refuses to falter.
"Ever since the album has just been a bit of a mind melt," frontman Joe Talbot comments. "It's been great, absolutely amazing, but we weren't expecting any of it." In a year that's seen the band open for Foo Fighters at London's O2 Arena, perform a post-headliner set at Simple Things festival, and sell out some of their biggest headline shows to date, it's certainly been a surreal twelve months for the Bristol punks.
"Nothing seems to be making sense anymore. Selling out shows to me is fucking whacky. It's not real. I hope that we work hard enough for our audiences to prove that we're worth it. I can only imagine that I'll be surprised a lot next year in different ways," Joe continues. "Hopefully all positive," he adds with a shrug. Idles are nothing if they're not unpredictable. Having spent the majority of the year playing an almost gruelling number of live shows, the group are already hard at work on a follow up to their celebrated debut.
If you've managed to catch one of the band's numerous live shows, chances are you'll have heard a taste of what album two will have to offer already. While recording sessions may still be ahead of them, Idles have been cutting their teeth on new material ever since they started writing it. "The album is more like a piece of work that we put together, like an art piece really," Joe describes. "It kind of accumulates all our new songs that we love and puts them into a listenable thing. Really, we write it for the live shows."
Presented with their trademark wit and relentless spirit on stage, these new songs offer the promise of Idles at their most vital sounding yet, their characteristically wry commentary and freewheeling energy resounding more brazenly than ever. "We see our music as more of a dialogue than a monologue," Joe considers. "We want reactions. We want our audiences to talk to us about how it makes them feel, and show us how it makes them feel, and sit on us if they have to, whatever."
"However they feel, they show us, and we show them," he summarises. "We play new songs live as soon as we can to make sure they work, and they feel right. If they don't feel right live, then we're not going to put them on the album." Trial by fire might sound like a risky route to take, but there's no other path that Idles would even consider. "Then everyone gets something out of it," Joe explains. "We don't want to waste anyone's time. We just want to make a record that we love."
Described with a wry smirk as "a bit like the first record, but better" (before a quick explanation that "it's not a full entity yet, so it's hard to describe"), Idles' second album might still be in the very early stages, but the enthusiasm surrounding new music from the outfit is already evident.
Whether performing on stage or presenting to go on record, Idles have placed experience at the heart of everything they've been working on. "It's everything to us," Joe expresses. "That's why our music's more like a dialogue. We need an audience. It has to be an experience that we have with people."
"I don't sit at home listening to our album," he deadpans. "I'm not going to. I'm not interested in that. It's about playing them. For me, it's all about the experience you have with an audience." With studio time set for January, and two of the band's biggest headline shows so far set for April, there seems to be no doubt that the next twelve months are going to be even bigger than the past twelve for the Bristol punks.
"We're just going to focus on album two," Joe states. "I'm sure we'll do some shit that we can't comprehend just yet. I'm sure it'll be a fun year."
Taken from the December 2017 / January 2018 issue of Dork, out now. Order a copy here.