“We’re from nowhere,” says Airways singer and main songwriter Jake Daniels. “It’s strange to think we might be getting somewhere.” Just back from a European headline tour, the Peterborough-based four-piece find themselves on the brink of a breakthrough. After supporting the likes of Nothing But Thieves and The Xcerts on a string of tours, Airways’ “Starting To Spin” EP began cropping up all over Spotify playlists and has generated over 7 million streams to date.
Fans emerged all over the world, and the band was amazed to find the demand was strong enough to fill clubs throughout Europe. “It’s so weird to see a room full of German or Belgian kids singing all the words to our stuff,” says Daniels. Connecting with strangers in foreign lands informs the band’s powerful new single, “Alien”. Produced by Nothing But Thieves’ guitarist Dom Craik, the song with its ska-like verse and crunching half-time chorus is an urgent plea by an outsider to be allowed into a new place.
“We were due to play in the US and Trump’s tighter border control meant getting a visa wasn’t as easy as before. The trip had to be cancelled at the last minute. We were furious, and it made us think about being la-belled as ‘undesirable’ in a variety of situations!” The single is fiercely catchy and already a crowd favourite, its release keenly anticipated by the band’s fanbase. It’s teeing up a new EP which will reveal further strands of the Airways sound.
Born after Britpop, brought up on hip hop, with members from Peterborough, Birmingham and Chicago, Airways have been compared to Arctic Monkeys, Blur and Mac De Marco, but see themselves as part of an international, genre-fluid wave of bands that can go anywhere. “We got together to play music, and that means any-thing we like. We’ve got support on the indie circuit so far, but we have no intention of staying in one lane. The whole concept of being in a band seemed pretty impossible when we started. We want it to grow to a place where Airways means an experience, a great night among great people, not just one sound or one way of having fun. It’s still small now, but we have our sights set on much bigger things.”
Let them into your country, they only want to dance.