For the past three years, London-based Real Lies have been slowly building a reputation as one of the capital's most interesting bands. Their shows and releases have both been few and far between; their latest single 'Blackmarket Blues' was only their fifth since they dropped 'Deeper' way back in 2012. After the slow and irregular dropping of singles, their first album finally comes out this week and the band are soon to head out on the biggest tours of their career.

Their songs, part spoken, part sung, are odes to lost loves, lost friends and lost weekends. So much of their album is a love letter to a North London that's continuously gentrifying and changing, losing the places that made it so interesting. While dance music and club culture are undeniably huge influences on their sound, their music isn't really for clubs or parties. Instead, it perfectly captures the other sides of nights out; the night buses and the Sunday morning comedowns, or dragging yourself to work on a Friday morning with a crushing hangover.

We caught up with Tom, one of the band's singers, to talk about their debut album, how we can beat London's nightlife crisis and what it means to be young and cut adrift in 2015.

The album is called Real Life, how much do you think the album is a reflection of what real life is?

I think it's a definitely a reflection of what our real life was, of what it is. A lot of the record was made in the sort of gaps between hungover afternoons, it's made about and influenced by records we would hear when we were going out and coming home. I think it reflects where we came from, where we moved to; I think it reflects the sort of relationships we have with our friends, the sort of clubs we go to. I definitely feel like it reflects our real life.

What have been the biggest influences on this album?

We get compared to certain like '80s and '90s British bands but they're not really influences for us - ripping off classic British artists is childish and not something that we're really interested in. I think the biggest influences for us have been sort of non-musical influences, cultural influences. We've always been really into things like the Boy's Own fanzine, and the culture that ran alongside that. It's a record made about, for and with our friends, our relationship with our friends is more influential than any musical artist.

Building on from that, your lyrics are full of references to London, and North London in particular. How important is the environment that you're living in for the song writing process?

It's very important. We've always appreciated music, and things like going on night drives round the North Circular, walking around Seven Sisters by ourselves, talking about music. When me and Kev first moved to London, we lived in this big cottage in Manor House, we used to go for long, like two hours long, walks around North London, talking about what our band could and should be, or things we really liked in music and things we weren't hearing. I think it was inevitable that our surroundings would bleed into the music that we ended up making.

Another thing that comes up a lot in your songs is the theme of nights out, going to clubs. Why is that side of life so integral to what Real Lies are?

I think a lot of it is due to the fact that that's it's a sort of escapism from the sort of cycle that our real lives actually are. You know, you move from the suburbs where everything is very nine to five and everyone comes home at six o'clock, everyone watches telly and goes to bed, and goes insane at the weekends for a few days. I guess when you move to a city, London or anywhere else, things become a little less simplistic and I think that's what the album's about. It's about going and getting fucked on a Wednesday night for no apparent reason. It's definitely something that a lot of people our age living in cities can relate to. It's not your real life, but going out is the most interesting, important part of your life.

Following on from that, it seems like London's best clubs are being shut down at a scary rate. Where does our nightlife go from here?

I think the club scene in London is as bad as I've known it since I've been living here, but I've had some of the best nights out in London in the past year. I feel like people find their own corners, find their own edges to work with. People will still find a way of going out and enjoying themselves, they'll just have to look a little bit harder for it.

Do you worry, then, that this is the end of the London you talk about in your lyrics?

Yeah, definitely. You walk around certain streets around North London and East London and you do worry that there are irreversible changes happening that will dismantle the fabric of what you loved about this city in the first place. But at the same time, like I said, people will always find ways to have fun. I heard about some rave for 17/18-year-olds in Stratford; where like thousands of them turn up for these completely unlicensed raves. People find new ways of doing things.

In an interview just over a year ago, you said that the London 'scene' has been a disgrace for ages. Is that something you think is changing?

That was talking about the band scene, which I don't really know whether we're part of that or not, it's not really my job to say whether we are or not. But I would say in the last year, there are a few of our peers that have started making really interesting records. People like the Rhythm Method and this producer called Boothroyd, who we really rate. I think there are signs that the band scene is getting a little less shit.

Quite a lot of articles written about you say that you're one of the few groups writing about what it means to be young and cut adrift today. What does it mean for you?

I think there are various different ways of being young and cut adrift, you could be talking about having nowhere to go of a weekend. We put on nights at this club called Eternal, we started putting them on out of necessity really because the standard London nightclub experience became very predictable, very boring. It wasn't the type of thing, you could never turn up with ten of your friends to XOYO and have a proper night out, do you know what I mean? We started doing Eternal as a necessity really to have somewhere for all of our friends to go. There was a real sort of atmosphere that you can't quite put your finger on at those nights and I think a lot of it was just the release of the punters because they had somewhere to go and have a shared experience with their friends and that perhaps hasn't been available in London for the last five years.

What's the story behind Real Lies? How did it all start?

Real Lies started in 2012 when I started writing some songs in my bedroom when I was living in a cottage in Manor House inside the grounds of the reservoir. Kev was my flatmate and, at the time, he was a writer and we used to throw these parties downstairs and Pat would come and DJ. We kind of just got into working on music together when we were hungover or during lulls in parties. I was a songwriter, Pat was a DJ and Kev was a writer and that's the way we came at it and I think those roles have stayed quite similar throughout the working processes.

The album's coming pretty much three years after your first release, do you think having that time for the band to change, almost to grow, has been important?

Yeah completely, we didn't start seeing it as something we'd actually do until a couple of years ago. But, yeah, it's taken a lot of time to get the record together. But I'm very pleased we did because my favourite two songs on the album are the last two songs that we wrote and we only wrote them in July of this year. 'Blackmarket Blues' and 'One Club Town' were the last two songs that we wrote. I'm really glad we took that extra bit of time, I think everyone who hears it will be glad we did as well.

You all grew up just outside London, or not too far from it. Do you think that gives you a different perspective on the city?

Yeah completely, it's not even the suburbs really it's like right on the periphery of a major city. I think you always think when you're growing up that there's something much better not that far away from you and you feel eager to plug yourself into it. My first ever night out experience was getting the last train down to London to go to a shit drum and bass night and staying up all night to get the first train back.

Quite a lot of stuff written about you, and things that you've mentioned in interviews before, has spoken about almost a kind of laddiness and masculinity, you're all big football fans and you're not ashamed of that, and that seems to have been missing from British music and culture for quite a while now. Is that an important part of what you do?

Yeah, it is. People make a big deal out of the lad thing, but we're a very sensitive bunch really. I invented my own guitar tuning, Pat spends his weekends looking round record shops in South London, and Kev uses long words. We're very sensitive really.


Real Lies' debut album Real Life is released on Marathon Artists on the 16th October. Tickets for their October headline tour are available from SeeTickets, and they head out on tour with Foals in November.