WIND the clock back six years and the meteoric rise of The View - who in the space of a few months had gone from the tough Dryburgh housing estate on the outskirts of Dundee to the top of the charts with Mercury-nominated debut album Hats Off To The Buskers - coincided with a lot of hedonistic hijinks in their personal lives.
The hard-partying band earned themselves a reputation as the new bad boys of rock after a series of run-ins with the law, and frontman Kyle Falconer famously broke numerous bones in booze-fuelled brawls, flooded two floors of a hotel after leaving a bath running overnight, and was convicted of cocaine possession, which to this day has prevented The View from touring America.
Speaking to Falconer back then about the band’s ‘ASBO Arctic Monkeys’ label, he told me: “We always get tarred as troublemakers, but we’re not... it’s maybe just the accent that makes people think that.”
Today, however, it’s a different story. The band - and Falconer in particular - have matured both musically and personally.
When recording latest album Cheeky For A Reason, a smart move seems to have been the decision to ditch wildman producer Owen Morris, who is said to have led the boys astray, in favour of superproducer Youth, with his no-booze regimen and 12-hour working days.
“Working with Youth was great... he was so laid-back” says 25-year-old Falconer, speaking ahead of The View’s visit to the HMV Picture House tomorrow. “With Owen, we wouldn’t start recording unless we were wasted. We’d have four double vodkas each. We would get hammered before he would even talk about recording.
“We were broken men after that album. Even on tour for the album, we were smashed every day. Now when we do gigs we try to stay sober.
“Owen was a big influence on my lifestyle. He has settled down now and changed his life around. But at the time he was a bad influence on me. We realised we couldn’t be around each other.
“We have a few people looking out for us,” he continues. “One guy called Steven O’Neill comes out to make sure we don’t get too out of order. With these recordings we only had a couple of pints before going into the studio and we have been rehearsing every day.”
Now that he’s curbed the party lifestyle, at least a little, Falconer is putting his talents to better use and reveals that he’s even written a few songs for One Direction’s next album.
“I’m writing and recording all these tunes,” he says. “The ones I put in for One Direction were the ones that people said were too wimpy for The View.
“There’s a few of them - we write songs non-stop.”
HMV Picture House, Lothian Rd, 7pm, £16.50, http://venues.meanfiddler.com/hmv-picture-house/home