With two full length albums behind them as well as a multitude of EP releases Johnny Foreigner have established themselves as one of the UK’s best upcoming bands. And as if you didn’t already know the Birmingham trio, are about to embark on a mammoth UK with new label buddies Stagecoach, before that though we managed to catch up with Alexei from the band on his return from the band’s US tour with Los Campesinos!. In the interview the band talk about that recent US tour, their upcoming UK tour, their plans for 2011 and the band confess their undying love for Alcopop! Records. So, you’ve just got back from a US tour with Los Campesinos! How was it? Like the most epic roadtrip in the world ever with the added bonus of playing a show each night to a load of people who've been waiting 3 years to see us, then getting free drinks and an lc! show to end each night with. Amazing. Feel super privileged. Did you get much time to do any sightseeing? Where was the best place you visited? Not as much as we'd like; our Winnebago only did 60 mph and the drives between shows averaged at about 8 hours, so most of the time we'd turn up an hour or so before soundcheck. the 2 blocks around the venue in Atlanta, Georgia, however, had the best record store, comic store and thrift store any of us has ever seen in our entire lives though. With the added bonus of real hill-people screaming obscenities at us. I don‘t know, we've been to America before so the proper touristy stuff doesn't really hold much appeal, but, in as much as we're a subculture of a subculture, there's a total thrill in meeting people the same as you only 3000 miles apart.   What were the crowds like? Are they much different in the US compared to the UK? The one thing that totally struck home in the last few weeks is that each state is like a different country; some nights were like Japanese crowds, we'd get mental dancing and showered in presents, and some nights were exactly like playing first on a rainy Tuesday night in a city where no-one's heard of you. I think we definitely reaped the foreign-card reward, everyone is eager to prove their state is the friendliest/most hospitable. We're like kids playing recently divorced parents off of each other.  Your UK tour with Stagecoach starts at the end of the month, are you excited? Very. We all prefer touring to real life, and this is the longest single UK tour we've ever done. There’s a load of venues we're excited to be returning to and a load of places we're excited for because we've never been, and apparently we're doing it in a van with berths in it, so it'll be America all over again (only with smaller venues and driving distances). For those who haven’t seen Johnny Foreigner live before, what can they expect? Do you and Stagecoach have special collaborations planned? Sweat and breaking stuff and songs played probably too fast and yes, total collaborationville. Even if they don't know it yet. They cant stop us if we wander onstage when they're playing right? Will you being debuting new material on the tour? What sort of split will they be between your newer material and tracks from the first two albums? We relearnt a bunch of old songs for the US tour because we figured it was more important to do a greatest hits sort of set, so some of those will probably stay in. The nights setlist is probably the biggest on-going argument in our band, we have too many songs for civil debate. So I can't really give you an answer until we're onstage.  You recently signed to Alcopop! Records, how did that come about? Do you feel this is a big step forward for the future of Johnny Foreigner? We've fancied each other for a few years now and we walked away from our old label and realised there was nothing stopping us from actually fucking.  I dunno if it's a big step in itself, but it's definitely in the right direction. Like, if we were running down the street crying our eyes out and Jack from Alcopop is the guy that stops us and reassures us and gives us a big hug. We both have this twinkle in our eyes and we're 100% sure what we're doing is righteous and awesome.  Your next EP, ‘you thought you saw a shooting star but yr eyes were blurred with tears and that lighthouse can be pretty deceiving with the sky so clear and sea so calm’, is released on Alcopop! This month, where did the idea for the name come from? It came from smoking too much weed late at night and not having anyone to say, well, maybe that’s a bit impractical for a title. There's a genuine tearstained story behind it but I think I've embarrassed her enough already.  You’ve also taken quite a unique route with the artwork for the new EP, giving fans the chance to have their photos feature in it; can you explain the ideas behind this? Bands should be as interactive as possible. I’m aware how pretentious that sounds, but, you know that sinking feeling when some div you don't like starts getting into a band you love and yr all like NO THATS MY BAND!, this is like us going, ok; prove it.. I hate the idea of this pledgemusic culture that’s started, where people are encouraged to spend £50 to get their name in the liner notes, it seems like ridiculous profiteering, and this is a reaction against that. If you love what we're doing, if we're hitting some deep emotional resonance with you, then fucking awesome, jump in the pool with us.  Your ‘Big Love In’ single split with Stagecoach, which is out on November 15th, contains their cover of ‘Salt, Pepper and Spinderella’. What was it like hearing another band cover one of your songs? Who made the decision about which of each other songs to cover? It was totally bodacious-awesome. There's a few cringy covers floating around on Youtube so it was immensely reassuring to hear one of our favourite bands do us and make it their own. I cant speak for the coaches but doing 45 was my call, I was obsessed with doing a barbershop song and that seemed the most obvious candidate for conversion, plus the lyrics totally fit the sentiment (jokes). Its been a pretty busy last couple of months for you with changing labels and both tours, have you had chance to start working on the next album? In my head the whole album is pretty much finished, as a band, we're probably about 3 songs in. But yeah, it's been so hectic, every time we've had a few rehearsals to do new stuff, something else has cropped up that’s taken priority. Not complaining though, the longer the songs have to mature and develop with the three of us then the better they'll be for it.. Christmas is just around the corner, what’s at the top of Johnny Foreigner’s Xmas list? What would be really nice is if mannet publishing bothered to pick up the phone, apologise for nearly ruining our US tour, and gave us some of the money we thought we were allowed for tour support. Without meaning to be all grinchlike, we're flat broke, there’s no Christmas money because we spent it all on gas and Winnebago hire. I guess, if it comes down to it, then going around America playing shows with one of the greatest bands ever is a pretty amazing, if quite an early Christmas present, and I think we'd all rather be skint than at home miserable. But yeah, budget heads down Christmas this year. Bleh.  Finally, what can we expect from Johnny Foreigner in 2011? More songs, more shows, more failing attempts to stay out of debt. I'd like to clone myself so I can be like, a separate singer and guitar player. Johnny Foreigner’s tour with Stagecoach kicks off on November 18th in Reading. Click here to buy tickets www.johnnyforeignerband.com www.myspace.com/johnnyforeigner