Lead guitarist, backing vocalist and eldest of the three brothers who make up the Family Rain, Ollie has enforced his deep love of the Gunners on his younger siblingsGoal sat down with Ollie Walter from the Family Rain, currently on tour ahead of the launch of their debut album, to talk about all things Arsenal.
As Arsenal fans, I probably should have done this interview last week!
OW: I'm not massively worried [about losing to Manchester United], I think we need to keep our heads. [There is] the psychological thing about losing to United, and it was an ex-Arsenal player who scored, but we're still top of the league. The worst thing is United getting a bit full of themselves now.
We really could've shut them up, but it's better for them than it is worse for us, that's the way I'm looking at it.
After the Villa game was such a strange time though, so it's not all doom and gloom now...
OW: Yeah, it could've been so different, I can't believe how it has changed since that game, so we've got to stay positive. We've got Southampton coming up and they're doing very well this season and I am kind of nervous about it.
Do you reckon you can win the league?
|10/3||Arsenal are 10/3 with Bet365 to win the Premier League this season|
Arsenal are doing well, and nobody else is really flying...
OW: This is it, that's one of the pluses. Even though we lost [against United], nobody else really did anything to catch up, apart from United. It's going to be a tight season, which is great, it makes it more interesting all round.
Do you get to many Arsenal games?
OW: I used to go all the time, when I was about eight to 11, I used to go to most home games because I was a Junior Gunner. It was a great period because we did the double, and I was lucky enough to be there [in 1998] when we beat Everton to clinch the title, I went to Wembley when we beat Newcastle in the FA Cup final. So it was a good time to be going. But then I got into guitar and all that and I didn't have the time to do it, but I've managed to go to a few more games recently. The last time I went was actually my first trip to the Emirates and we lost to Manchester City 2-0. I was so impressed by the stadium and everything, I thought it was great. And then we lost.
What's your favourite Arsenal memory?
OW: There are so many. It's got to be when we won the Premiership [in 1998], it was just a great game.
When Adams scored?
OW: As soon as he scored you just knew, the feeling in the ground was just ridiculous, everyone was just partying from the start of the game really. It was great.
The commentator said 'That sums it all up' and it really did...
OW: Yeah it was a great game, I'll never forget that.
Who's your favourite Arsenal player?
OW: Ever? Oh, I don't know! I'd probably go for [Dennis] Bergkamp to be honest, I just think he was just class. That's the only way to describe [him], one word: class. Everything he did. And he was the first Arsenal player that I saw score actually.
What about Thierry Henry?
OW: Obviously I love Henry but he just seems the obvious choice, and when I was going to watch Arsenal it was always Bergkamp. Funnnily enough I used to watch [Nicolas] Anelka and [Sylvain] Wiltord play a lot, and you don't hear about them too much when you talk about Arsenal's history, but I thought Anelka was pretty damn good when he was at Arsenal.
Nobody's moaning about Wenger at the moment but there have been darker days. Have you ever got fed up with him?
OW: Oh yeah definitely! These last few seasons it was like he was trying... I don't know actually, he wasn't adapting to the players that he had, it was almost like he had his thing and he was doing it, but the players weren't the players that he had when things were going well. He didn't have the power in the middle of [Patrick] Vieira and stuff, he didn't have the players to do it. But you can't argue with the fact that he seems to have pulled it around again, I don't know whether it's just the players he's brought in or not, but it was definitely a dark few seasons.
Mesut Ozil has been massive for the turnaround, do you remember where you were when you signed him?
OW: I was at home all day, I spent all day watching Sky Sports News thinking 'Come on, something has got to happen!'. He must have been... was he the last signing of the transfer window? It was mental. At the time, though, I didn't think we needed somebody in that position because obviously we've got plenty of attacking midfielders. But the first game was amazing and he's been great ever since. And strangely enough [Aaron] Ramsey's came from nowhere too! That injury must have knocked him more than people realised and he's just ridiculous now, I can't believe the transformation in him.
Like Van Persie, players like Ozil can galvanise a squad. Though I probably shouldn't mention RVP...
OW: It does leave a bitter taste. You've just to look at the facts, where we are and where Arsenal are this season and just hope it stays like that.
Why are Arsenal fans still so angry about it?
OW: He was the captain and he always seemed to be one of those players you feel are committed to the club, and then all of a sudden... I think it might have been the shock factor. It shocked me, I couldn't believe he'd done it. With Fabregas you knew he was always on about going back to Barcelona, back home and all that kind of stuff. It will be interesting to know if Van Persie would've stayed if Wenger had brought in Ozil-type signings before. Maybe it's a results thing because obviously we haven't won a trophy for a long time.
So the new album is out in February, and you've been busy promoting it?
OW: We'll have had the album recorded for about a year by the time it comes out, we did it back in February, so we've just spent a year on the road promoting the band leading up to the album coming out. We were on the Jake Bugg tour which was three and a half weeks, just before that we were with Miles Kane for two weeks. We're on our own tour now which is going to take us up to December and then we've got to carry on promoting the album before it comes out. So it's all good, we're really excited to get our first album out there.
We're trying to do it the proper way, we want to play to people as opposed to them hearing it online or something, we want to get in people's faces and properly meet the fans. If you do it that way you build up genuine fans who are going to be with you for a long time. It's the old school way of doing it which is what we've always wanted to do.
Check out The Family Rain’s new single “Feel Better (Frank)” on Shoot Matchday