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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 11:08 UK
The Enemy: 'Not a band of the people'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

The Coventry rockers come out fighting in the lead up to the release of their second album Music For The People.

The Enemy
The Enemy play this year's Radio 1 Big Weekend in Swindon

When speaking to Newsbeat upstairs in a Brixton pub last November, The Enemy's Tom Clarke attempted to sum up his band's new expanded direction.

"Imagine cloning a woolly mammoth and an elephant," he began, "then gluing the two together."

It might have sounded ludicrous but, now the world has heard the first single No Time For Tears, it is also a hint at their lofty ambitions.

According to reports, and the band themselves, the remainder of the record - entitled Music For The People - is similarly "huge" sounding.

'Not ridiculous'

"It's not a big ridiculous, pretentious title like everyone thinks. It's quite a humble little thing," says Tom Clarke, sat backstage at Brighton's decadent Dome venue.

"When we release an album you're sort of giving the songs to people," he continues. "They become their property, they become their songs.

"And it's really just to signify that, the handing over of an album from a band to the people that buy it."

The Enemy
The Coventry rockers release Music For The People on April 27

Despite the universal title the band refute any suggestion that they're representing the everyman after the success of their working class chronicling debut album We'll Live And Die In These Towns.

"I don't see that," says Clarke firmly. "I don't like that term 'band of the people' - I think the fact of the matter is, we're a band and we are people.

"The other one you get branded with is voice of a generation and we're not the voice of a generation at all. We're three typical lads that a lot of people can relate to because we're from really typical backgrounds.

"We're not the voice of a generation; I won't be up on a pedestal proclaiming to be the voice of a generation. I'm not interested in that."

The message is clear then. While they make music for the people, it's not solely designed to please the people.

"Most bands make music because they know it'll get played on Radio 1," says Clarke. "It's an easy pay cheque and we're not into that.

"I want to make music which pushes my musical boundaries and our fans' musical boundaries."

Studio sessions

Following a short break last summer the trio spent the majority of autumn 2008 recording in rural Wales at Monrow studios with producer Mike Crossey.

I think most bands are bright enough to know - if you put out an indie record and you follow it up with a jazz record you're probably not going to have a career for very long
Tom Clarke, The Enemy

Whilst the plan was to capitalise on the buzz from their debut, the band didn't rush the sessions.

"We totally took our time," Clarke argues.

"It's really important to just not exploit your fans - you've got to look after them because at the end of the day they're the same as you and me.

"I used to queue up for Oasis albums when I was younger. You've got to remember, they're just people who love music."

Indeed, the Coventry band spend a lot of time with their fans. They played a low key club tour earlier this year and deliberately play parts of the UK not often visited ["Margate was mental" pipes in a tour manager].

While they'll argue they're not just producing chart-filling ladrock, they're not about to go tinkering too extensively with their winning formula either.

"I think most bands are bright enough to know - if you put out an indie record and you follow it up with a jazz record you're probably not going to have a career for very long.

"You can't sell your soul at any point, you've always got to make the music you want to make. People like to be acknowledged and not ignored."

"You need to remember the power of numbers - and the power of people," says Clarke concluding.

A solid mantra then, and one which Tom Clarke doesn't seem to be forgetting anytime soon.



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