FAULT meets LA rockers Cold War Kids to discuss their triumphant return to the UK

FAULT: Welcome back to the UK guys.

NATHAN: Yeah, it’s great – we’re really excited to be here!

MATT: It’s the first time in four years that we’ve been here, and it’s the best.


FAULT: How are the rest of the guys doing?

MATT: Yeah they’re good.

NATHAN: Yeah everybody’s doing good, we’re having a great time.


FAULT: How’s the reception been to your latest album, LA Devine?

NATHAN: It’s been really good, we’ve been playing a lot of new songs live so that always feels good; I think we’re playing 6 or 7 new record songs, we don’t usually come close to that when we play new songs from new records. It’s so nice to leave heavily on it.


FAULT: Leaning heavily on it today during your performance later at BST Hyde Park?

NATHAN: Yeah, aiming towards mostly new stuff today.

MATT: It’s been so long since we’ve been here and playing new songs it feels kind of like the first time.


FAULT: Did you play London on your latest tour?

MATT: Yeah we played 2 days ago at Shepherds Bush Empire.


FAULT: Was that before or after the Ritz show in Manchester?

MATT: Before the Ritz actually, Ritz last night and Brighton 2 days before.


FAULT: How were they?

MATT: They were insane, really good.


FAULT: Happens to be Pride weekend here in London, do you think your latest single Love is Mystical has a special connection this weekend in particular?

NATHAN: Yeah, I hope so anyway! I mean I definitely think that even for the ‘Love is Mystical’ video we had like people kissing, this feeling of spontaneity; girls and boys, boys and girls, girls and girls, boys and boys. So I think that it fits nicely with the Pride week.


FAULT: Where was the video filmed for Love is Mystical?

BOTH: Los Angeles.


FAULT: The video has a very Italian vibe which happens to be the country of love.

MATT: Yeah, the street we filmed on has Italian restaurants on the side so that’s probably it.


FAULT: Filming it at home must have been good, how has the reception been back there?

NATHAN:: Its been really good, we’ve just done a free show at the Union Station in LA.

MATT: We’re going to be touring with Young the Giant for like a month and a half, and that kicks off in a few weeks.


FAULT: Played with those guys before?

MATT: Yeah we have actually.


FAULT: Any funny tour stories?

MATT: No not yet, we’ve always played like one-off things with them in the past. But we’ll have some stories in a few months for you.


FAULT: Your American tour runs through August right?

MATT: Yeah, mainly August and September.


FAULT: Massive list of dates for this upcoming US tour isn’t there?

BOTH: Yeah!

MATT: Lots of new venues before that we haven’t played so we’re super excited.


FAULT: Any venues you’re looking forward to playing most?

MATT: Red Rocks in Colorado, yeah.

NATHAN: Santa Barbara Bowl, it will be a fun one.


FAULT: First time playing at these venues?

BOTH: Yeah it is, going to be good.



FAULT: You planning on checking any other bands out today at BST?

MATT: The Killers and probably Elbow.


FAULT: Any more singles coming from the album?

NATHAN: Yeah, we do. We just finished the ‘So Tied Up’ video, which will be the next single, so it’ll be released soon.


FAULT: What was the concept behind this new video?

NATHAN: It was actually kind of like a Hitchcock performance sort of thing, it was filmed in this mid-century modern house and has a kind of a eery dark feel with some humour added in.

FAULT: So the four year gap between your last album and LA Devine, what were you all up to?

NATHAN: Yeah, it was a break from being here. [Laughs]

MATT: Yeah we were on tour mostly.

NATHAN: Busy every other way!


FAULT: What was the writing process like for LA Devine? Has it been consistent for most albums?

NATHAN: Well it’s actually been quite different, it’s about making the piano the centre piece of the writing; it’s been a part of every record. But I think that we wanted to make it the thing that drives the song. We try and not set any limitations but we kind of go in and write the song and not have any specific guidelines; but using that as a the centre piece was very helpful. Helps you wrap your head around the song, and doing this for so many years; as this is our sixth record, seeing the songs that I love the most that we play every night is ‘Hospital Beds’, ‘Miracle Mile’, ‘First’ and all these songs, piano is what sets Cold War Kids apart from every other band.


FAULT: As this is your sixth record as you mention, do you feel you have progressed as a band?

NATHAN: Yeah definitely, I guess that’s just how things are; you sometimes feel a lot of doubt in certain periods where everyone isn’t watching and not giving you their approval, but then the moments where people do start watching are the moments where you realise that you didn’t need to worry so much. I honestly think thats what a lot of Cold War Kids songs are about; you have these very proud moments and have hung in there as we’ve gone through different phases and so many different records and it’s a lot of work; a crazy thing to do for a living for 13 years, I’m very proud of us.


FAULT: What is the song you enjoy playing most live from the new album?

NATHAN: Well we’ve played ‘Love is Mystical’ and ‘Can We Hang On’ the longest, and both of those are really fun and it’s an incredible thing especially here when a lot of people know those songs; they’re brand new and when everyone knows the words it’s always really special.

MATT: We have a song called ‘Restless’ that we’ve played for the first time on this tour, people know this song already and it’s great because it’s my favourite.

NATHAN: We only played it for the first time a couple of nights ago.


FAULT: When did rehearsals start for your current tour?

NATHAN: Literally before we came here, actually.


FAULT: What will you enjoy most today at BST?

NATHAN: You know I think that playing at Hyde Park is really special, we got the opportunity to come back and it’s a beautiful time of year so we’ve just been enjoying it.


FAULT: What can fans expect from the setlist today?

NATHAN: It’s going to be a mix of most albums, yeah.


FAULT: What is your FAULT?

MATT: I’ve got a lot of fears, I’m scared of everything. I’m a hypochondriac and I won’t go play golf because I won’t be able to get the swing down, scared all the time.


FAULT: What is it around here that you’re most scared of?

MATT: Ticks.


FAULT: What about wasps?

MATT: Actually there was a bumble bee in our trailer, I was sleeping and it was on my head. Freaks me out so I smashed it. I’m scared about getting bit and going to hospital.

NATHAN: My thing in a lot of ways is for this band. I always want us to live up to all the potential I know we have and I think we’ve been very fortunate from the very beginning to have so much interest and excitement around us. I’m so grateful for it and it’s a gift, but any stress and anxiety I have is about not living up to the potential of it, you know.


You can catch Cold War Kids on their joint tour with Young the Giant around the US and beyond starting 14th July in Welch, Minnesota and ending in New Orleans in October. Their sixth studio album ‘LA Devine’ is out now, with the video for their latest single ‘Love is Mystical’ available to watch here


Words Stuart Williams