Do you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing in life? Sorry to get all deep here, but after listening to Amber Run’s newest album, How To Be Human, you’ll understand the existential crisis we’ve put ourselves into. It’s okay. We’ll be fine (one day).
Made up of Joshua (Joe) Keogh, Tom Sperring, and Henry Wyeth, Amber Run has dominated our playlists since 2014 with their debut album, 5AM. We’ve seen them go through the ups and downs of life through their lyricism, with their newest project focusing on the changes that we make as we mature into the adults we’ve put the work into becoming.
Amber Run seems to have a track record of making music that makes our brain ask the deep stuff that keeps us up at 2AM, or maybe we’re just drawn to lyrics that make us think. Regardless of the reason, we can all agree that Amber Run’s music just makes us feel something, so there’s no surprise that we’ve had How To Be Human on repeat since its release! And if you’re wondering just how the trio conceived this gift of an album, we have all the details for you in our exclusive interview!
Your newest album, How To Be Human, seems like a needed manual that would have come in handy at 5AM or “for those moments when you all were lost.” What sparked the idea to tackle what could’ve been a massive undertaking with all the different ways to approach that question?
It all came from being sat about when we were locked indoors and that listlessness started to kick in. This is by no means a definitive explanation for how to be human or anything like that, it’s our experiences, our feelings and the conclusions we came to. It’s more a journey we went on ourselves.
What do you think is the most important quality that makes us human?
The conclusion we came to – I think – is that all of us have doubts, all of us make mistakes, we all get scared and that’s fine. So if that’s what makes us human then you’ve got to learn to be able to forgive yourself, chase those things that excite you and try be nice while you’re doing it.
You all had 3 EPs released before the album that touches on the same subjects that the album surrounds. What inspired you to release the projects this way and how did you decide what songs would be shared between EPs and the album?
The three EPs were the journey that led us to a clearer understanding of the theme of the album. From realising that you aren’t happy with things, to chasing an opportunity that could lead to the start of something new, to the struggles that you’re likely to experience as you pursue change. It all culminates in the record. Now, picking the tracks for the album was a tricky one, but we settled with whoever won a big royal rumble got to pick them all. Just one big punch up.
Interludes used to be a common occurrence, but it’s less seen now. What made you add those interludes to the album, and what do they bring to the story the album tells?
We’ve always wanted to be an album act. We love albums, just locking in and following the artist’s journey for an hour or so, and some of our favourite tracks on albums are often the interludes between the key tracks. We had an opportunity to get back to that on this record and I’m really glad we did.
If each track on How To Be Human is a chapter in the manual and you only had the chance to learn a lesson from one song, which would it be and why?
I mean if the album is a manual on how to be a human, then surely I have to pick the title track. It’s the only one that actively addresses that question and tells the audience our reading of it. Just go and do that thing you’ve been too nervous to do, and allow yourself to make mistakes. You may as well.
And, this project focuses on some heavier materials, especially the changes we undergo as we age! What’s one thing you’ve learned as an artist that would have helped you earlier in your career?
One thing I wish I’d known earlier is that success is so, so relative. Whether you feel like you’ve achieved what you set out to do can almost always be read as a success or a failure. Don’t lose the long-term ambition obviously but if you’re not getting there as quick as you’d like just try give yourself a little pat on the back every now and then for those small wins. We’re so fucking fortunate to do what we do and I’ve become more conscious of that by trying to remember the relativity of success.
What song do you think your fans will connect to the most, and what do you hope they take away from this project?
It’s always difficult to tell, you know. We’ve got some big upbeat ones like ‘The Beautiful Victorious’ and ‘How To Be Human’ which should be a proper moment when we get out on the road, but I know our fans love the slower ones. ‘The Last Dance’ might be my darkhorse for fan-favourite on the record.
Congratulations on your tour! What track are you most excited to play live, and which has been the most challenging to translate to the stage?
I always prefer to play some of our more energetic tunes, so ‘Hurt,’ ‘The Beautiful Victorious,’ and ‘How To Be Human’ are three of the main ones I’m most excited about. To be honest, though, I’m just excited to get back out on the road playing shows, it’s my favourite part of being in a band. I can’t wait.
An older single, ‘I Found,’ has been discovered by TikTok, which has brought a lot of old tracks back to life! What were your reactions when you caught wind of its viral success?
That little puppy is the gift that just keeps on giving. Obviously it’s always great to reach a new audience and I guess somewhat affirming that – after what’s coming up to a decade – our music doesn’t sound dated for the next generation falling in love with music.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Tickets for our UK tour dates are available now so if you haven’t got them already, what are you waiting for? Go do that, now. We’re also touring Europe in May so keep your eyes peeled for details about when they’re going on sale.
Of course we have to hear this album live! And if you’re in the same boat, sail on over to Amber Run’s website to score some tickets!
So, we’re itching to know, what’s your favorite lyrics on How To Be Human? Did any track leave you in deep thought? Let us know in to comments below or tweet us over @TheHoneyPOP! You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook.
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