Sitting comfortably inside their spacious tour bus, Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson and Simon Rix are in buoyant mood, and who can blame them?
Twelve months ago, the 'Chiefs were better known as a South African football team than a pop phenomenon.
But now, with debut album 'Employment' riding high in the charts and their first UK headline tour selling out, they've made the moniker their own.
"We heard the name and thought it was cool," explains singer Ricky. "Then we heard about the football team and the Leeds United connection with Lucas Radebe, and thought we might as well call ourselves that."
|The Chiefs 'like to have a lot of fun'|
The road to success hasn't been quite so straightforward for the Leeds based outfit.
Having struggled for attention as Parva,( "People talk about them loads now but when we were Parva we couldn't even get people to whisper our names!") the Yorkshire quintet decided on a new name and a new direction.
“We'd written songs over a long period of time and the set was sounding like quite a few different things," explains Wilson, "we started off like Primal Scream, went through Radiohead, but it was confused and didn't make any sense."
"The Kaiser Chiefs songs were written in a shorter space of time. They're more cohesive" adds bass player Simon.
"Two years touring as Parva made us tight. It was like a young apprenticeship in being in a band."
"A pop apprenticeship," chips in the singer.
"In the past, the other bands had the better rooms and the big rider, and obviously all the fans were there to see them," says Rix.
"Now we've got the better rooms!" Wilson crys, "this tour's a piece of piss because we've been getting so much sleep. We need our 13 hours a night. It's lovely to be here, though, because this is the first time in the UK that we've played real headline shows to more than thirty people."
"Lots of people ask us what rock and roll antics there are on the tour bus," adds a chuckling Rix, "but there aren't any. By the time we've finished doing everything we've got to do, it’s time for bed!"
"We don't even get to go to PIGS [Leeds club night run by Wilson and drummer Nick Hodgson] any more," the singer says ruefully, "but it's still going strongly."
Someone told Simon that Hull, Sheffield and Leeds are going to be musical hotbeds in the next few years! "There's loads of good stuff around at the moment like Duels, The Cribs and !Forward Russia!"
Wilson describes his own band’s new single, 'Everyday I Love You Less,' as a "hate ballad."
"Usually bands release for their third single a love ballad but we decided to do the opposite. It's for anyone who’s ever split up with someone and they don't leave you alone."
"I was describing that song the other day," says Rix, "you think it's going to be quite bouncy but it's actually as negative as you can be!"
Lyrics and meeting Morrissey
"There are some serious bits on the album," admits Wilson, "but generally we like to have a lot of fun and just try and amuse ourselves."
"Like the line 'birds of a feather and you can be the fat one'," suggests Rix, "which I laugh at. I think that line's completely silly, but ['Employment' producer] Stephen Street thought it was one of the best lyrics he'd ever heard."
"And he's worked with Morrissey!" says Wilson.
"I don't think Morrissey would have written that line," answers Rix. His colleague isn't so sure. "You never know because Morrissey's a funny chap. The rest of the band met him but I didn't... because I was in the toilet!" admits a grinning Wilson.
Rix picks up the story: "We basically kind of bullied him into meeting us. He didn't not want to talk to us but he was very... aloof. We just grabbed him and started shaking his hand and gave him a tie!"
The recent South By South West music festival also gave them a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Damon Albarn ("we took him to watch Graham Coxon!") and Steve Lamacq ("It was like having a little personal radio all of my own!").
"This is what we've been wanting to do," concludes Wilson, "we still complain sometimes but you just have to shake your head and go 'what am I complaining about?!'"
- The Kaiser Chiefs played at the Leadmill on Saturday, 9 April, 2005.