So Jack, are you flying a lone QPR flag for White Lies?
I’m the only one in the band with any real interest. I took Harry to a game last season but he hasn’t bought a season ticket yet. They drew 1-1 with Everton and I explained that’s about as good as it gets but he didn’t seem convinced. Where I live now in Shepherd’s Bush, I can see the stadium from the flat so I’m a proper west London boy. I have a load of old schoolmates that also go. Half the music industry seems to be at QPR – Robert Smith from the Cure, the guitarist from Interpol, The Clash guys go there. I’m yet to bump into anyone but maybe they’re in the posh seats – I’ve actually downgraded my seat for this season to get close to the corner where tha tnopshere is better.
I supported QPR when I was growing up but I had a lot of family in the Midlands so I went to Coventry a lot back when they were good. The obsession with QPR is slightly more recent – I’ve had a season ticket for the last couple of years. I try to get to as many games as I can but this year is going to be difficult because we’ll be touring.
Is there more of a buzz this year in the Championship?
I’m definitely more excited about the Championship. I’m generally pleased with the signings, though I do question letting some players go. Players like Richard Dunne and Karl Henry are definitely what we needed – solid signings who aren’t too flashy to get us out of this league.
Were you embarrassed to be a QPR fan last season?
Let’s face it, it was farcical. Most supporters of other teams absolutely hated us. We’ve always been a really nice club to support and the atmosphere is always good. I don’t blame people for hating us because we were making bad decisions – you only have to look at Chris Samba! We really shouldn’t have been in that situation, but I don’t really blame Tony Fernandes. Of all the clubs bought you by rich businessman, you have to say that his intentions are really good. He was very naive and done over by agents – it won’t happen again. We don’t deserve quite as much wrath as we got last season.
Do you like Harry? He seems to split people?
I like Harry a lot. He was placed in a pretty difficult position when he joined and I didn’t ever really expect him to turn it around. There have been a few moments when he has shown bad judgement, like when he said he would leave if he didn’t get money to spend – that was really outrageous. I like the fact that he’s brought in Steve McClaren as he’s a great coach. The first couple of performances have been really solid; I haven’t seen them yet but my girlfriend was impressed.
Was your girlfriend alerady a fan or is she a convert?
She joined me. She’s from far-out East London. She has a season ticket as well – I’m not entirely sure she knew what she was getting herself in for.
So who is your all-time favourite QPR player?
Joey Barton…ha ha. Seriously, I like Les Ferdinand as a classic but out of our most recent players, I would say Shaun Derry. I saw him a few times last season when he came off the bench and he was immediately more involved than the rest of the team who are nearly 20 years younger. He was enjoying himself even if nobody else was. Hopefully he sticks around and joins the coaching staff because he’s a hard worker and motivator.
You mentioned Barton? Is he forgiven?
I haven’t decided on Barton – one or two good games doesn’t really make up for everything else. But he got a great reception and claims he was humbled by it. He was completely out of order and I think he possibly realises that now…he just realised way too late. If he can stay out of trouble and ignore Twitter, he’ll probably have a great season. He’s a Premier League quality player – he just needs a better attitude. Maybe I’m being naive.
So tell me about the new album…
It’s probably quite different from the last record though it contains the most classic White Lies songwriting. A lot of people will think it’s similar in tone to the first album. We may have mis-stepped a little on the last record. We didn’t need to cover this album in production – it’s a lot more stripped back and energetic. We allowed ourself a lot more time to write it so we didn’t have to cover up cracks in production. It’s definitely our best album – I imagine most of our fans will agree with that. I’m excited about their reaction and I want them to enjoy it.
We started on a real high with the first album and we took our eye off the ball a little bit. There were two-three songs on the second record that should not have made the cut – we’ve learned from that and won’t let it happen again.
White Lies released their third album, BIG TV, through Fiction Records on August 12. For more information, head to Shoot Matchday