With only two weeks to go until the release of their single 'The Tide' it's high time Room Thirteen met the Hevy veterans. We talked with a very sweaty Never Means Maybe as they were cooling off after their set at Hevy Festival 2012 about their forthcoming début album, upcoming tour with Pro Wrestler Chris Jercho's Fozzy and how corporate sponsorship has helped them as a band.

R13: Is Hevy a home crowd to you given that you have played three in a row now?
Renz Byrne (Vocals): Nah
Matt Steane (Guitar): We have people who have seen us at Hevy the first time and then they have only been able to see us at Hevy. It seems like quite a lot of local people come to this festival. More so than somewhere like download where you get everyone from all over the country. When we have played places in Kent we have had people come up to us and say that they had seen us at Hevy. I love it here. The fact that it is so small makes it extra cool I think.

R13: Do you like the set up with the two main stages side by side allowing one band to set up whilst another is on the other stage, ready to begin when they have finished?
Renz: You've got it made on the main stages; look right, look left.
R13: Stand at the back and you don't even need to move!
Renz: Haha, exactly. They do that at Give It a Name and Warped Tour as well.
Matt: They used it at Sonisphere as well, sort of! They have a mainstage at one end and then the second stage at the other end so if you stand perfectly in the middle you can see both, but they don't clash, so when one is playing the other one is setting up. You get a constant flow of music.

R13: So have you been to America and played there?
Renz: No I just went there on holiday, went to Warped Tour and had a great time there: Brilliant!

R13: But you are playing with some American bands coming up. How did that come about?
Renz: Yeah, we are going on tour with Soil and Fozzy in November/December time. That came about by the fact that we are endorsed by Jagermeister, who are bloody brilliant in their support for us. Basically Fozzy came over and did a UK tour...when was that?
Matt: Last year.
Renz: Jagermeister helped sponsor the tour. Some friends of the band got the support slot on the tour. I emailed the head of Jager, saying dude I'm the biggest Chris Jericho fan, I love pro wrestling. He replied saying "if I'd have known I would have put you guys on the tour", so I was like "ahh no, dammit!". So now they are coming back over, they know I am a huge wrestling fan, and because we get on really well with Jager they just helped us out and gave us the opening slot.
Matt: We met Chris Jericho at Download. That was pretty cool we introduced to him as the band that are going to be supporting them, and we had only found out about ten minutes before.
Renz: I got to meet one of my heroes and he was talking to us like equals.
R13: Well you are going on tour with them soon.
Renz: Exactly. It's pretty cool. Its Soil and Fozzy Co-Headlining, and it's us and Breed 77 supporting.
Matt: It's a great tour for us to get on because it's an opportunity to play to a) A lot of people and b) a lot of people that might not have heard of us before. I've got no worries getting in front of any crowd so we'll get up there do our thing and it will be good fun. We are playing the Electric Ballroom which is fantastic.

R13: You mentioned Jager then, how the sponsorship come about, and what do they actually do for you?
Renz: They are pretty much the best sponsor you could ever have. A couple of years ago you could apply on their website about getting an endorsement. We filled out the form and got a standard rejection letter but it hand written at the bottom from the head of Jager, Tom, "It was a really close call, we are full up at the moment, but do keep in touch". So I just emailed him every couple of months...
Matt: ...every time we had something new to announce...
Renz: ...saying "can you come to this show?". He is a very busy man but at Sonisphere 2010 he caught the end of our set. Me and Bert (our bass player) ran into him and he said "cool, this is how this is going to work..." and signed us on the spot!
R13: So when you say he signed you what do you mean? Do they put your records out?
Renz: We get a bottle of Jager per show, which is really cool if you play a lot of shows. We give out lanyards and stickers at our merch table. They helped us out with our last music video financially. They bought T-shirts for us. They hooked us up with the Soil/Fozzy tour.
Matt: They are really keen to push up and coming bands.
Renz: In return we are giving them exposure.
Matt: Bert's bass has got a Jagermeister logo on it and the kick drum too, so every time we play people see that. For us it's...
Renz: ...win win...
Matt: ...and I think it's cool. We all like it.

R13: Have you heard of the Reverse JagerBomb?
All: No!
Matt: Is that a shot of Red Bull in a glass of Jager?
Renz: Urrgh!
Matt: That just sounds like too much Red Bull! To be fair by the end of tonight they will be drinking Jager straight anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
R13: That's the best way to have it anyway. Warms you up.
Matt: Exactly. The Red Bull just gets in the way!

R13: I noticed a girl in the audience who had a massive Stag (Jagermeister Logo) tattooed across her back. Would you go that far?
Matt: No.
Renz: Did she really? Wow. No. I don't think any of us would do that.

R13: You drew quite a young crowd at Hevy today is that typical for you?
Renz: Not really. Although we went on tour with My Passion last year. Fearless Vampire Killers, we have played quite a few shows with them and I think they attract perhaps a younger crowd, who know us through playing shows with them. But it's not really typical, we tend to get people our own age coming to shows, early-mid twenties.
Matt: Also we have people who have followed us for a few years now, so they were young, and now they have grown up and they are still coming out.

R13: You named your van Rose after your favourite dinner lady. Are you a fan of the dinner ladies?
Matt: The programme? Or in General?
R13: In general.
Renz: Well they feed the young and the malnourished so I think they are doing a great job. But Rose was a different breed, she didn't have any front teeth, she was about eighty, she'd "TALK LIKE THIS. REALLY FUCKIN' RASPY! BRIAN DAWSON STOP SMOKING!" Rose was my favourite, as you can tell we love her, we named our van after her.

R13: Other than the zoo where Hevy Festival is set, where is the weirdest place you have played?
Renz: We played on an indoor ski slope, we could see people skiing whilst we were playing.
Matt: We have played quite a lot of weird places. We played on a patio next to an Alsation in the middle of a council estate.
Renz: It was in front of about six people, one of them had a kilt on.

R13: My favourite part of your set is the screaming part before the bridge in 'Inhale The Chaos'. What is yours?
Renz: I really like the bit near the beginning of 'Ziva Killed Houdini' where it cuts out and Matt is fingertapping. Then I start singing and everyone is going mad because it is the last song. We can use up all of our energy on that song. We're always borderline about to throw up when we get off the stage because we've used up all of our energy.
Matt: For me it is one we released on an EP a couple of years ago which we have reworked since Tom (McCarthy – Guitar) joined the band. There is a bit towards the end that I really really enjoy playing just because it's a special song to us. We have had it quite a while and it means a lot to us. It's not a case of putting it on when we are playing it, I play like that because that is how it makes me want to play it. I couldn't just stand there and play it. Even at practice we get involved.
Tom: For me it's the new songs because I joined the band about a year and a half ago now, so I do play songs that were written before I was in the band. Playing the new songs feels the best for me because it's cemented my part in the band. 'The Tide' especially because it is our new single.

R13: The Tide seemed a bit more poppy than the rest of your set. Is that a new direction you are going in?
Matt: I wouldn't necessarily say that. I think it's just another string to our bow.
Renz: It's a song that we have written where it is a good song where it just so happens that there is not any screaming in it.
Matt: It came together like that. It wasn't a conscious thing, everything we write is the natural next thing that we write. If we write a heavy song we write a heavy song, if we don't it doesn't mean that we are not going to carry on with it. We are doing our album in September/October, I think when that's finished you will hear all the different things that we have got going on, but it still sounds like us.

R13: This year my musical highlights have been the reformation of Refused and At the Drive-in. Has that been yours too?
Matt: At the Drive-in all the way.
Renz: Refused at Download. Did you see them at Download?
R13: No, I'm going to their Manchester show.
Matt: Oh, mate you are in for a treat. You know what I was your standard fair-weather Refused fan. I knew the song 'New Noise'.
Renz: We did a cover of New Noise at Download 2010
Matt: I literally only knew New Noise. I watched the whole set and immediately downloaded that album. They were so good. You look at the amount of bands that have come and gone because of them since they first broke up, yet they played with more energy than a band probably twenty years younger than them. Absolutely amazing, and their album is incredible. I don't know whether they will carry on and write music or if it is just these shows.
Renz: They weren't exactly huge when they split up were they? Now they are on the second stage at Download.
Matt: Anyway they were brilliant, you're in for a treat.
R13: I think the same thing happened with At the Drive-in, they weren't exactly huge, were supporting Rage Against The Machine but getting spat at. Now they have come back everybody is singing along.
Renz: Good music shines through.
Tom: When they split up I was ten. I remember it was one of those moments, the first time I saw the video of them playing on Jools Holland, they just completely changed the way I thought about music. It's absolutely unreal I just remember I've never felt like that listening to any music or seeing any performance like that before. It completely changed everything. I'm to see them as well at their Brixton Academy show in August I got up especially early to get tickets for them...
Matt: ...and he doesn't get up early for shit!
Tom: Yeah, they're a really important band.

R13: What is the best way for fans to support Never Means Maybe?
All Come to shows.
Renz: Tweet about us and talk about us on Facebook. Social networking is such a huge part of being in a band these days.
Matt: Social networking is an absolutely massive part of it, there is no two ways about it. But I would take one person coming to a show over ten tweets. For me personally, as a musician, it is about seeing people at shows. That is something I think that, certainly in a local scene, is dwindling now. The Essex scene in the last couple of years has gone right down. So come to shows. Support local music.

New single The Tide comes out Monday 10th of September with a release show at Relentless Garage on Sunday 9th of September.

Never Means Maybe promise to "break down the walls" on tour with Fozzy and Soil:
Nov 27th The Underground, Stoke
Nov 28th Moho, Manchester
Nov 29th Academy 2, Birmingham
Nov 30th The Arches, Glasgow
Dec 1st The Cockpit, Leeds
Dec 2nd Hard Rock Hell Festival, Hafan Y Mor
Dec 3rd Avondale House, Southampton *Headline Show
Dec 4th White Rabbit, Plymouth
Dec 5th The Electric Ballroom, London
Dec 6th Concorde 2, Brighton