Room Thirteen: Your songs come across as really abstract- what inspires you to write in the style you've made your own?
Ben Gautrey: We've always had a strong desire to express ourselves in a different fashion to other bands. We've always wanted to be a band that pushed the envelope and were never going to be content with being a clone band. Obviously we're all influenced by a lot of great bands but we've always tried to maintain our own identity. I think we're learning all the time and despite being on our third album, our best is still to come as we're still working on the best way to work and write together.

R13: How do you find inspiration for your more unusual songs?
BG: Our intentions have always been more focused on the music as oppose to the other trappings that come from being in a band. It's incredibly difficult to pin point our sources of inspiration but I guess we just love the idea of experimenting and fusing sounds. It's a lot more appealing to be different.

R13: Can you give any examples of strange instruments- or objects- that you've chosen to use for a certain atmosphere?
BG: I think the strangest instrument used on the last album was my house keys which helped reinforce the snare drum on 'Written Apology'. I can't for the life of me remember how we got to the stage where we thought that dropping a set of keys on the floor would sound good but it definitely worked.

R13: You're thought of as a very dark, somewhat depressing band and your first album shows this well... but your second release showed a different side to the band. How did you get through this transition and did you have a similar transition from your second album to your newest material?
BG: Bands are made up of normal people, so through time there's always going to be transitions. The sound of a band definitely alters due to the development and evolution of band members personalities and character. We are definitely different people to the six boys who started out eight years ago. As you start to lead different lives, the dynamics/chemistry of a band is constantly changing and this gets reflected in the music. I used to get frustrated when bands would 'lose it' on their new albums but having experienced being a band member I can appreciate why some bands do go stale or alternatively become huge, it's because the balance and harmony is always changing and on edge.

R13: So, you're from Reading. What's it like to live in Reading?
BG: Reading's like everywhere else, not the most beautiful or active place in the world but not the worst either. It's very much like other major towns in Britain completely uninspiring. A lot of our friends are still here, which in essence is what you want from your place of residence.

R13: I'm from Basingstoke, so I think Reading's the lesser of two evils - would you agree? Where would you prefer to live?
BG: Yes. Reading.

R13: Has the music scene in Reading changed over the years you've been around?
BG: There seems to be a healthy buzz going round the Reading music scene but there have always been bands in Reading; it's just finding a venue for them to play. A band learns a lot about itself from playing live. I've said this before but it's shit that the home of Reading Festival has no dedicated gig venue to house local unsigned bands. Reading doesn't really offer anywhere from which bands can get going.

R13: Is there anywhere in the UK you've played that you're planning never to go back to? Any really depressing experiences whilst on tour?
BG: No. Wherever we've played the audiences, big or small, have always been fantastic. We're lucky to have such a supportive audience. We will play anywhere.

R13: Have there been any moments with your band where you've felt cheated out of something (place on album charts, a gig, chance to work with somebody) and resented another band for doing/getting it?
BG: No. We've never felt cheated. I don't see music as a competition and I'm sure you don't either. Time will definitely hold a place for us. we've no interest in being flavour of the month or making a quick buck. Ever since we started the only guideline we set ourselves was to try and maintain longevity but only if we continue to never go flat or stale. The need to experiment and progress is fundamental and we're only focused on ourselves. Sure there'll be shit tunes flying about on the radio/tv but unfortunately those songs have an audience and thus will continue to be played.

R13: What's the strangest crowd reaction you've had at one of your shows? The best?
BG: Crowd reactions are different but always supportive across the world. In Japan for instance the crowds are hysterical whereas in Germany they're boisterous. But our fans are always supportive and positive and help give us energy and create the atmosphere and tone of the show.

R13: What instruments did you start out playing and what have you progressed onto now?
BG: We all could play a bit of guitar, bass and keyboards. Eight years down the line and things haven't changed.

R13: What can fans and newcomers expect from you in the next year?
BG: An album release, some touring, some poker playing and lots of Jagermeister. We're simple people.