Peter Denton, (seen here on the left), bass player with English indie rock band, The Kooks chats with Kevin Cooper about playing Scrabble after this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival, getting a kimono for Christmas, releasing an album next year and their current UK tour.

Peter Denton is the bass player with The Kooks, an English indie rock band.

Signed to Virgin Records just three months after forming, The Kooks broke into the musical mainstream with their 2006 debut album Inside In/Inside Out. The album was ultimately successful, achieving quadruple platinum status in the UK within a year and also overseas in the form of a platinum certification in Australia and two times platinum in Ireland.

The Kooks found themselves entering into mainstream media attention, with the band winning the award for Best UK & Ireland Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2006 and picking up a nomination at the Brit Awards for the single She Moves In Her Own Way.

Their 2008 follow up album Konk debuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart, and their third entitled Junk Of The Heart was released in 2011. Their album Listen was released in 2014 and debuted at number sixteen in the UK Album Chart. In late 2016 they announced a Best Of UK tour to mark their tenth anniversary as a band in which they performed their hits, B-sides and some new material. To coincide with the tour the band released The Best Of…So Far album which they are currently touring although they are now selling out much larger venues.

Whilst touring the UK, Peter Denton took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Hi Peter how are you?

Hi Kevin I’m alright mate thanks for asking. I’m chilling out in sunny Luxemburg at the moment trying a few local brews (laughter). How are you?

I’m good thanks and let me just thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

It’s a pleasure mate.

And despite being in a taxi in the middle of Luxemburg, just how is life treating you?

Life at this minute is treating me very well thank you. The last few months have been really busy; we have been over in Russia playing a few shows out there. You don’t realise just how big that place is until you get yourself out there. In the end we only played three shows but man, there was so much travelling. Yesterday was our first day off in quite a long time so that was quite nice. And I have to say that everything is going very well. We are all super excited to be embarking upon our largest UK tour to date. We are all excited but they are good nerves so, all is terrific.

You are obviously enjoying a bit of down time between your shows.

Absolutely man, yes. The passion that is building up in relation to playing an arena tour together with all of the old songs is really amazing. The people coming to the shows know exactly what to expect so we will all be in for a great time. We have just finished off the new album which means that for us, next year is going to be both busy and exciting too. Everything keeps moving and it looks like it will keep on moving for a good while longer.

The fans have gone mad for the Best Of….So Far album and have been buying it by the lorry load. That must have pleased you?

(Laughter) same songs, new packaging isn’t it (laughter).

Having said that there are two new tracks on the album, Be Who You Are and Broken Vow.

That’s right. We wanted to do something different and not just release the same old same old greatest hits package. I know that you will no doubt think that we are simply taking the piss but, we did in fact give it some thought and that is why there are two new tracks on there. We really did want to do something extra for it.

Has either of the two new songs made it onto the set list for the tour?

Yes they have. We are definitely going to be playing Be Who You Are but at the moment we are still a little up and down with Broken Vow in relation to whether we actually will play it or not. However, what you have to remember is that we really do have a lot of songs which we can pick from man (laughter). We are getting old now you see; we are getting like The Rolling Stones (laughter). We are now at the point where we have to be careful as to what songs we play and we are even having to have an intermission (laughter).

I last photographed you here in Nottingham when you played Rock City. However, the next time that you are here you will be playing at the Motorpoint Arena. I have to say that it is a massive leap from an audience of seventeen hundred to an audience of nine thousand. Does that frighten you?

(Laughter) thanks for reminding me. We came home on the back of the big tour that we did in May, and whilst it is still going to be the same tour, we are hoping that it will be a whole different audience who will be coming out to see us. With that in mind we felt that we simply could not go back to the same venues playing the same live show. We all think that it is amazing that we can sell-out these larger venues and put on an arena type show. Believe me we are very grateful for that. We really are a humble band and are really nervous and excited about putting on such a large UK tour.

On the subject of larger crowds you played the Isle Of Wight Festival this year. How was that?

Yes we did, right in the middle of summer, or was it September, I don’t know, I can’t fucking remember (laughter). Oh fuck knows when it was; it might have been July (laughter). What I can remember is that it didn’t rain while we were on stage which must have been a first for the festival (laughter). It was a nice day, and I had my misses and kids with me so I had to be on my best behaviour all day; you know what I mean. I don’t even think that I had the chance to have a beer that day (laughter). I was back at our B&B by half past six. It was like trying to cram a three day party into a thirty second period. I’m not joking when I tell you that I went back to the B&B and played Scrabble; fucking Scrabble for god’s sake.

You and I last spoke in April last year when you told me that the new studio album was all finished and ready to go. What happened?

(Laughter) did I really tell you that. I can’t remember that, shit. To be honest we have literally just finished it. Did I really tell you that last year?

Yes you did (laughter).

Oh bloody hell, did I really say that about the new record? I really must have been talking out of my arse then Kevin, I’m sorry about that. Okay let me just say that in all honesty it is now done and dusted and ready to go. We have literally just finished it; it will still need a few tweaks here and there but we are now going through the process of living with the songs, and deciding what tracks will be on the album and which will miss out.

Do you have any ideas as to when you will finally be releasing the album?

I don’t know mate, but we are really hoping to get a single out there at the beginning of March next year. I think that everyone is now quite keen to get on with it. We have got to be careful as we don’t want to release the new album while the fans are still buying and raving about the Best Of….So Far album. That really would be counterproductive. To me that would be far too much. We are now with a new label; have a new album to release and as I said to you earlier, everything at the moment is very exciting. Everyone currently has some great ideas which has to be good for a band of our age.

The big question is, will you be releasing the new album on cassette tape?

Absolutely yes and who knows, we may very well do a limited edition eight track (laughter). I personally would love to put something out on cassette. I think that would be pretty amazing especially if you are into that kind of shit. However, I would have to say that at this point it would be unlikely. Do people still buy physical fucking records these days?

Being honest with you at gigs the kids are fighting for cassettes at eight pounds a time.

Are they really? Well if that’s true I will definitely be suggesting that at the next meeting that we have with the record company.

I have no idea what they are playing them on as I thought that everyone had scrapped their cassette players years ago now (laughter).

(Laughter) I know exactly what you mean. Maybe it is just a gimmick thing, who knows.

You have now officially been in the band for nine years; have you enjoyed the ride?

(Laughter) nine years, it’s getting fucking shorter (laughter). I did originally meet the guys back in 2005 but as you rightly point out I have only been officially a member of the band for the past nine years. I started playing bass with them in 2005, or should I say I was standing with the rest of the guys with a bass guitar around my neck, not playing it very well at the time. I thought ‘I should play the guitar, it can’t be that hard’. How fucking wrong was I? (laughter). I got it so very wrong. Joking aside it has been great, it really has. You can’t really beat posing with your best mates can you? I’m not lying when I tell you that we really are still the best of mates.

Don’t get me wrong we argue some of the time like anyone else does, but there is still a lot of love there for each other. What can I say, it’s been cool, it’s been great and long may it continue.

Now that the festive season is almost amongst us, I would like to ask you a couple of Christmas type of questions. Without getting yourself into trouble what’s the best Christmas present that you have ever received?

It’s a tricky one that question isn’t it. It has got to be something that my misses has got me hasn’t it (laughter). I know, Luke (Pritchard) got me a really nice bottle of wine last year. It was a 1961 Château Margaux and I have to say that was pretty special. It was so special that I had to plan when I was going to drink it. It wasn’t a bottle of wine that you could just open and knock back at any time, it had to be planned and savoured.

And on the other side of the coin, what would you say is the worst Christmas present that you have ever received?

(Laughter) there have been a lot of them, let me tell you. My wife bought me a kimono, good lord, you should have seen it. I looked like Pat Butcher off EastEnders (laughter).

On 2nd December you are playing the SSE Arena, Wembley, London and on 30th December you will be over in Australia. How will you be spending Christmas this year?

Well as I have now got two boys for me, that’s easy, I will be spending Christmas with the family. I am a big fan of Christmas so I will be decorating the house from top to bottom, I really do like Christmas. I have to say that having kids makes Christmas fun. I have got a good few weeks at home this year unlike most years when I usually get a couple of days at home for Christmas. We always try to get three days away in a National Trust property somewhere but I think that we will also be taking the kids to Legoland as well this year. I am looking forward to having a nice, relaxed time over Christmas.

On that note Peter let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me today, it’s been enlightening (laughter). Have a great tour and I hope to see you here in Nottingham.

Cheers Kevin, you take care.