The Subways have already established themselves as one of the United Kingdom’s newest rock sensations. In 2004, the London-based rock band won the Glastonbury Festival Unsigned Performers Competition, and its debut album, “Young for Eternity” (Sire), received rave reviews and led to a sold-out U.K. tour.
Now the Subways are gearing up to take on the United States, where “Young for Eternity” will be released Feb. 14 via Sire/Warner Bros.
The album’s first single, “Rock & Roll Queen,” entered Billboard’s Modern Rock airplay chart in the Dec. 17 issue, where it now stands at No. 33.
The group’s first big U.S. break came in November when “Rock & Roll Queen” was featured in an episode of the Fox TV show “The O.C.” Vocalist/guitarist Billy Lunn, bassist Charlotte Cooper and drummer Josh Morgan performed on the show, and the song was such a hit that it became the lead track on the Warner Sunset/Warner Bros. compilation “Music From ‘The O.C.’: Mix 5.”
“The way the audience reacted was just phenomenal,” says Lunn about the performance in press materials for the album. “The director actually had to get on the stage and calm the audience down because they wouldn’t stop clapping. He said he’d never seen a reaction like that before.”
After the episode aired, the Subways set off on a brief U.S. trek, and they expect to launch a full tour once the album drops.
“We’re going to work hard and make sure that the people who come out to hear our music really have a great time,” Lunn says. “We’re coming [to the U.S.] to prove ourselves, and the only way to do it is to start from square one and build a foundation, build a community.”
The band has already begun building that community — and a loyal fan base — via Web sites like MySpace.
“The Internet was an integral part of how we established a foundation — making sure that we had a forum so that people could come together and talk about the [music] and the live shows and really become part of a community,” notes Lunn.
With influences ranging from Oasis and the Pixies to Nirvana and the Sex Pistols, the Subways plan on delivering a diverse U.S. debut — one that’s packed with rambunctious punk anthems, grungy garage rock, atmospheric dream-pop and bluesy ballads.
“I suppose I like to mess with convention and what people expect. If people knew what was coming, why would they continue to listen?” says Lunn, adding, “These songs are my life. I finally was able to express myself in a really creative way. That was the fun of it, working out things that I had to say.”