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Interview: The Rifles

Image credits: The Rifles Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/therifles/
Image credits: The Rifles Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/therifles/
Image credits: The Rifles Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/therifles/

The Rifles are back with a new album which was recently released and to support their album they are also having a tour in the UK, in which York is included!

The English indie rock band consists currently of four members – Joel Stoker, Lucas Crowther, Rob Pyne and Grant Mars – and it’s been active since 2004. On 5th May, they released The Rifles Unplugged Album: Recorded At Abbey Road Studios. The album was recorded in one day and it’s a collection of acoustic songs from their previous five albums. As part of the tour, they will perform in York on 20th May at The Crescent.

To prepare ourselves for their show in York, we sent some questions to them and here’s what Lucas and Joel answered.



1. Let’s start with your latest album which is a compilation of songs from all of your previous albums. I noticed that you included more songs from your second one than from any other album and there is only one song from the last album. So, did you randomly picked the songs or did you base your choices on particular criteria? 

Just random selection based on what would sound best live and stripped back.

2. I heard that you recorded the entire album in one take. Was this because you pushed yourself to finish it fast or did it come naturally? 

We were well rehearsed so it just came about easy but it wasn’t strictly 1 take. We tracked some stuff.

3. What can you tell us about the new song featured on the album? Why did you decide to feature a new song in a compilation of old songs? 

It was something we wanted to add to give something new while we had the chance.

4. This is a question you’ve probably been asked many times and I know it’s been less than a year since the release of your fifth album but do you have any plans for a sixth one? 

We’re always writing so we’ll see what comes about…

5. You’ll go on tour this May starting in Bristol and you’ll make an appearance in our town as well – York. Have you been to York before? If yes, which is your favourite place to go in this city? 

Yes, we played last year at the Racecourse for a festival. It’s a lovely town but I don’t know it well enough. Any recommendations!?

6. Being on tour can be stressful (at least from what I heard). How do you cope with this stress? 

We have a great team that makes this work. We’re used to it by now too!

7. Do you guys have hobbies outside of music that you turn to when you need to refresh? 

Luke: I like painting/art.

Joel: Boxing and training.

8. I read that last November, Joel put up for sale the guitar he used for the last two albums. This made me wonder if you guys get easily attached to your instruments? 

We have a high turnover of instruments because we’re geeks of the equipment world…

9. Moving on to the past now. At the very beginning, when the band was formed, what difficulties did you encounter and how did you cope with them? Were there moments when you wanted to give up because you thought you couldn’t make it in the very competitive industry of music? 

It was never easy but slowly things developed and thanks to a great fan base we’re still touring and producing music.



10. You’ve been active as a band from 2004 so you have plenty of experience with concerts and crowds. Do you still get nervous before a show or has it become a routine? 

We’ve never really been nervous before a show. Perhaps dutch courage!?

11. The band consists now of the four members from the very start. I know that the band had a line-up change before returning to the original form. When the split happened between the four original members, how did you guys feel? 

We’re all good mates so no worries.

12. After being together for such a long time, what is your favourite memory as a band?

Touring in Japan. It was crazy!

13. To what extent did your success change you and the people around you? 

Parking my yacht has been a nightmare! 😉

14. I assume your priorities have changed throughout the years so what is your motivation now to keep making music? 

We’re both parents so it has become our jobs as well as our passion. It’s a nice way to earn a living though!

15. On to a funnier question. What is the weirdest thing a fan ever told you at a concert?  

Someone informed us during the set that their balls are tingling. Joel was quick to offer advice about maybe getting it checked. It shows we care…

16. Lastly, if you could start over again, would you choose to become musicians again? 

Yes, definitely!


The Rifles Unplugged Album: Recorded At Abbey Road Studios is out now. The Rifles will play in York at The Crescent on 20th May.