We interviewed pop Punk band Better Than Never to discuss their latest E.P. Head Under Water, their upcoming U.K. tour and the pop punk revival.
Interview by Jane Howkins.
You are soon to release an E.P. called Head Under Water. What can you
tell us about that?
Head Under Water is going to be our second E.P. released on Fox Records. We
learned a lot from the first E.P. and we’ve made a lot of changes and progress
since then, we’ve really worked on utilizing both the three guitar line-up
and dual vocals to make it something a little more special.
We’ve also worked a lot harder on refining the lyrical content, and making
it something that really got our emotions down on paper, so we are hoping that
people who listen can hear that, relate, and know they are not alone.
The lead single from the E.P. is called Learning To Swim. Why did you
choose to release that as a single, and do you have any plans to release any
more singles from the E.P.?
We felt Learning To Swim really reflected the overwhelming feel of the E.P.,
especially with the lyrical content. A lot of us nowadays live with the
constant struggle of mental health issues. It’s devastating how widely it
affects people, especially the younger population. With Learning To Swim we
really wanted to highlight those struggles, and music seems a great way to help
spread the messages that people aren’t alone in the world with these sorts
of feelings. It means a lot to all of us personally and that’s why we really
wanted to release it as our lead single.
We’ve also got plans to release one more single from the E.P., news of that
one is soon to come!
Do you have any plans for a full length release? We enjoyed the E.P. and
would love to hear more!
It would be an honour to have the opportunity to work on a full length
release! It’s an opportunity we’ve always dreamed of having. James and Will
tend to spend most their free time writing songs, and a lot of them don’t
get to make the cut when it comes to whittling it down to a 4 track E.P., so
being able to put some of those ones that just missed a slot onto a release
would be such a great thing.
There has been a pop-punk revival in the last year or so – has that been
something of interest to you?
James, Jim and Will have been in and out of various pop punk bands since
2008, so suddenly seeing the scene pick up again is such an amazing thing!
We all think it’s so great that the U.K. has a network of bands who all work
to help each other and further the growth of the U.K. pop-punk scene. It’s
been something we’ve wanted to try and get behind more than anything. For
example, on our U.K. tour we’ve been able to get some of the best bands in the
scene on various shows as supports, and we are so excited to help be a part
of showcasing their talents, especially some of the newer, smaller bands
that the majority of people are yet to hear!
Are there any bands that have emerged from the revival that you recommend
our readers check out?
There are almost too many to mention! It’s amazing how many talented
musicians are coming out the woodwork. Some of our favourites within the
scene are both Coast To Coast and Layover, two absolutely incredible acts
who are painfully underrated. If you ever get a chance to go to a show with
either band on the bill make sure you do because they are honestly some of
our favourite bands.
There are also many more great bands doing things in the scene, such as These Minds,
Tuskens, Evertim, High Tides, Victory Lane and Catch Fire. They are all ones to
watch, alongside The Holiday and Highlives, who we’ve got the pleasure of
touring with in January.
Who would you say your biggest influences are, and why?
As there are so many of us in the band, it’s always difficult to pinpoint
personal influences. Some of us love deathcore, and some of us love
pop-punk. I think when it comes to writing, the bands that really stick out
to us are Seaway, ROAM, A Day To Remember and Four Year Strong. Seaway for
their incredible ability to write the catchiest tunes, A Day To Remember for
being one of the main bands for leading the way in combining both metal and
pop-punk, ROAM for probably having the best riffs known to man and Four Year
Strong for being an all-round beautiful band that have a great knack of doing
their own thing and proving that being unique can work wonders.
You’re doing a U.K. tour in December and January – how excited are you
for that, and is there anywhere you are particularly looking forward to
We are so pumped for it, as we’ve spent most this year writing and
recording. We haven’t had the opportunity to tour anywhere near as much as
we wanted too, so being able to go back out on the road later this
year/early next year is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long
As for the shows on the tour, we are so excited for every date, and it will be
great fun stopping at some of the familiar places like Oxford, Bristol,
London and Birmingham, as we are so blessed that we always have people
singing along. We’re also really excited for some of the new
stops along the way, including the south coast dates like Exeter and
Plymouth, as we’ve never been there before so it will be an awesome experience
visiting some new places.
A few weekends back you played at the ‘Take To The Stage – Let’s Beat
Cancer’ charity event in Stourbridge. What can you tell us about that, and
how did you get involved in that?
It was an honour to be part of such an amazing event. Cancer is something that
affects all of us, and it’s a cruel, cruel illness that one day we hope the
world can be rid of, but until then it’s important we all do our part to save
lives and make things better for those suffering.
Our friend Dan Lamb asked us to play, and we were more than down, Dan is a
great guy and he has been working within the UK scene for years. He’s always
remained supportive of upcoming bands and talent. This show was a huge
opportunity to showcase some of the talent the UK has to offer and it was
amazing to see so many incredible bands in the same room, supporting each
other and absolutely slaying their sets in the process!
What can people expect from a Better Than Never show, and why do you
think people should come and see you play live?
The one thing we’ve always tried to do is give our shows the most ridiculous
amount of energy you can possibly imagine. We take huge inspiration from
watching our idols in bands like ROAM, Four Year Strong and A Day To
Remember, the way they just move around and keep the energy up is so
inspiring. We’ve always been firm believers that if you want to give the
crowd a good show, you have to at the very least level the amount of
energy you want to see from them.
Any last words for the fans?
More than anything we just want to give a huge thank you to every single
person that has supported us in anyway big or small, we are more grateful
than you could ever imagine. It means so much to us, whether it’s someone
singing along at a show, buying a shirt, downloading our E.P. or a simple
compliment after our set. The main thing that keeps us going more than
anything else is how supportive and welcoming everyone we’ve met so far
along our journey has been.