'OUR focus hasn‘t changed.‘ says Gomez vocalist and multi- instrumentalist Tom Gray. ‘because we never really had a focus to begin with. We‘re focusing on not focusing.‘

For a band who return to T in the Park laden with a cupboard‘s

worth of awards including the Mercury Music Prize for their

platinum-selling debut Bring II ()n they remain distinctly unfazed. ‘lt hasn‘t changed the way we approach music one iota.‘ Gray states. ‘lt‘s nice to be critically acclaimed but it doesn‘t mean anything. When you go into the studio you don‘t think. "Right. we have been critically acclaimed. how do we continue being critically acclaimed‘."“

Gomez seem to revel in the predicament their fame has put them in. ‘For Christ‘s sake. I‘m 22 years old. and I get paid to write and play music and travel the world.‘ exclaims Gray. ‘You can‘t beat that.

Mercury Music Prize-winners GOMEZ have a field day when it comes to festivals. Words: Mark Robertson

1“ x.

‘We love festivals. we think they‘re a great invention. We‘ve been going for years as punters. anywhere there was good music to be had Glastonbury. Phoenix. Reading. and little free festivals in Preston and Sefton Park in Liverpool too.‘

As a band. Gomez were custom-designed for festivals. 'l‘heir willingness to improvise and the sense of fun they exude about what they do can only help augment that sitting-on-the-grass. enjoying-the~ sunshine vibe. Gray balks. however. at the suggestion that Gomez would have fitted in spiritually. if not musically. with the early days of Glastonbury in the 70s.

'I don‘t think we‘re harking back. but more pulling forward. It‘s not so much about this person promoting this album and that person promoting that single. That‘s boring. The idea is that you‘re going to go

‘lt’s nice to be critically acclaimed. II: just means our adventure has become more ridiculous.’ Tam Gray

There‘s no pressure. it just means our adventure has become more ridiculous.‘

Gray describes their new single ‘Bring It On‘ as 'a bit of a curiosity that fills the gap between the first and second album‘. In fact. it could be seen as their equivalent of Radiohead‘s ‘Paranoid Android‘: a sprawling epic with numerous time changes. breakdowns and crescendos. In short. a bit of a masterpiece.

The new album is also complete. though still untitled. ‘lt‘s a different beast.‘ says Gray. ‘We had the same approach to the music. but it‘s different. It‘s denser. more powerful. more confident and has sharper edges. There are more ideas in it. It has an almost hallucinogenic effect at times.‘ He adds cryptically: ‘lt‘s Gomez. but it‘s more Gomez.‘

Following on from last summer‘s plethora of festival shows. this year the band are appearing at virtually any field that will have them.

6 The List guide to T in the Park

and you‘ll maybe see something that you‘ll like.‘

It would seem that experiences from last year were motivation enough to warrant return visits. 'At all the festivals we got huge audiences.‘ he says. 'I think that was where most people heard us. We thought it would be like five people. We were like. "Why are these people coming to see us?" We headlined one of the little tents at Reading last year. and they had to fold up the sides of it because there were hundreds of people trying to get in.‘

This year at Balado they get the billing and the space they deserve. and no-one should have to miss a thing. ‘I had great time at T in the Park last year.‘ Gray concludes. ‘lt‘ll be fun to come back and go. "Hello! Remember us'."“

Gomez headline Stage Two on Sat 10 Jul.