The View frontman Kyle Falconer has spoken to NME about ‘Exorcism Of Youth’ – their first album in eight years – as well as coming back together after a lengthy hiatus and the on-stage bust-up that saw them cancel gigs earlier this year.
Ahead of the band’s return on record, the Dundee band made their comeback with a series of Scottish gigs last December following a years-long hiatus.
“It was a wee bit nerve-wracking, man, once we put the tickets on sale because we didn’t know what it was going to go like,” Falconer told NME. He continued to explain that the band’s management only wanted to put one night at Glasgow’s O2 Academy on sale, but they ended up selling out four nights at the venue. “That felt good because it was like, ‘Fuck you, you thought we were only going to do one’. But it’s class [to be back], it’s just great.”
In May, The View brought their live show back to the UK with a gig in Manchester and a planned show in London. The latter was scrapped and the former abandoned before the end of the set, though, after Falconer and bassist Kieran Webster came to blows on stage.
“It was just personal stuff,” Falconer explained. “We’ve made up about it now. It’s too deep to explain. It’s all good again. I think we’re better for it. We’re all best pals again now.”
He continued to explain that fights were nothing new among The View’s members. “These things have happened numerous times in every country in the world. Being in The View can be volatile sometimes because everyone’s got their own ideas. But we’ve been through worse than that. We’ve both apologised and it’s fine – if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t still be in a band.”
Their tendency for short tempers might have made their survival more dicey, but the band is fast approaching its 20th anniversary in 2025, and are still going strong while others that they came up with two decades ago have fallen by the wayside. Describing The View as being like “the Last Of The Mohicans”, Falconer said it was hard for others to understand “what it was like to live during the ‘indie sleaze‘ period” unless they were in it. “There’s a few bands still going like The Cribs and The Horrors, but it was just crazy times, man,” he said.
Despite this, the frontman said he doesn’t feel like much has changed sometimes. “People who came to our shows are like, ‘They don’t understand what it was like to see them back then’, but it still feels pretty the same as me. I think the energy that we’ve still got on stage hasn’t dropped even an inch.”
Falconer pointed to the band’s ability to “make up after a fight” as the key to their continued existence, as well as the city that birthed them. “Being from Dundee, you want to get away from Dundee,” he explained. “If you’re from London and you’re in a band, you can just leave that band or get any member and start again. But, being from Dundee, we really wanted to get away and just do well and prove people wrong.
“There was a lot of doubters in Dundee. It felt like a fuck you to everyone and I think even sometimes the music scene in Dundee, or the older people, were like, ‘The View are just wee dicks’. But it’s like, ‘Well, we’ve done better than you.’”
Between 2015’s ‘Ropewalk’ and the band’s new sixth album ‘Exorcism Of Youth’, the musicians undertook a number of individual projects. Guitarist Pete Reilly toured with Echo & The Bunnymen while Webster formed a new band called WEB and embarked on a “course he’d wanted to do for years”. Falconer, meanwhile, released two solo albums, ‘No Thank You’, in 2018 and 2021’s ‘No Love Songs For Laura’.
In the interim, the musicians kept discussing reuniting but it “wasn’t the right time”. Eventually, though, they found themselves with “an abundance of songs” to work on and decided to bring their hiatus to an end. They teamed up with producer Youth (The Verve, The Cult), who they’d originally tried to work with in the early 2010s. “The label weren’t going to let us go to his studio in Spain [back then] because they thought we would run riot and party too much, which is probably true,” Falconer said.
“But we got him to do it this time and it was good to get away and get spiritual – it was still a party, but Youth’s a spiritual guy so it was all cleansing and fucking shamanistic healing process. It was class.”
The record marks not just the band’s return, but a continuation of them challenging themselves and introducing new elements to their process. The title track was the first time they had sat down and written a song together “from scratch”. “It’s quite an important song,” Falconer said. “I’d like to do a whole album just like that but you’ve got to be in the mood – even by the end of ‘Exorcism Of Youth’, we started being like, ‘Maybe we should put this bit in’ or ‘I need to get this line in’. But we got it finished.”
For inspiration for the record, the frontman looked to two indie juggernauts – The Killers and Sam Fender. “I listened to The Killers’ last album [‘Pressure Machine’] a lot during lockdown,” he shared. “Everyone knows The Killers, but I wouldn’t just go and buy the album. My mate suggested that album in lockdown, though, so I got it and I was like, ‘Holy shit’ and I listened to it non-stop.”
He continued: “I listened to a lot of Sam Fender as well – that kind of simplistic stuff. I was taking hints off him, like not too many drum fills and writing down-the-middle good songs.”
As for the future of The View, Falconer said it would “pointless not doing another record” should ‘Exorcism Of Youth’ perform well. “I love making records. I’ve just finished three other projects, but this is where my biggest audience [is] and it’s where I feel at one. It’s where I’ve had hits and I feel appreciated by the audience.
“This is my baby,” he added. “I love hearing the roar of ‘The View are on fire’ before going on [stage]. It’s just crazy, man. It’s exciting.”
‘Exorcism Of Youth’ is out now.
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