Declan McKenna returns with new single "Sympathy," his first new music of the year, and the first to be lifted from the follow-up to his acclaimed second album Zeros, which debuted at #2 in the UK album chart back in Summer 2020. Upon the new song's release, we caught up the singer to learn more about "Sympathy" and his big year on the road.
On the first leg of the Big Return tour, how was the reception to "New Song 1"? (AKA "Sympathy")
"Pretty good I think, it has quite a visceral stomping groove so people kind of naturally know how to get down to it, and I think the switch up towards the end caught people a bit off guard so we had some great energy from the crowds across the tour."
With spending so much time on a bus this year, what was absolutely essential to bring with you while on tour?
"Honestly my airpods have gone a long way, the noise cancelling is really handy and it's made it a little easier to listen to mixes and stuff as I've been still working on music on the road."
Have you come across any fans with tattoos dedicated to your music yet? If so, how does that make you feel?
"Yes quite a lot haha. It's pretty awesome, I just hope they still like my music further down the line."
Nearly a decade later, how do you feel about a song you made when you were 15 still going strong?
"Great, I still love playing it and people are still discovering it. You never know really what people will take to so you just have to make what you love and see what sticks. There are things about the recording that I would do differently now but there are also elements that couldn't possibly be changed. The song itself is the main thing and just seems to have real legs to it."
Spending so much time in the United States this year, are there any particular cities that have become new favorites?
"Yeh everywhere has its charms, it normally just depends on if you can get out and see it properly, Boston seemed nice and a little more familiar. I like that you can walk between a lot of places, I don't like the cities that are just car oriented, it makes you feel much more out of place when you try and wander around a venue and can't really get anywhere."
Have you been able to finish reading 'Life of Pi' since tour started?
"... I should have but no."