Anything exciting coming up for 2019, either in your personal lives or musically?
We’ve just begun our new release cycle so we have some pretty exciting things coming up! The first few small tours have been announced and we’re gearing up for more later on. It’ll be a welcome change for us, as last year we mostly did one-off and festival appearances. We are also working on more new material and we’re hoping to get that ready for release at the start of the year.
(Louie): We all have different things going on personally, I am currently studying to become a lighting designer which is quite a big change for me.
(Alex): I’m taking some welcome down time at the moment – my work as a sound engineer can get pretty busy, so I’m embracing the opportunity to catch up on sleep and revisit some old hobbies.
You’ve just released a new track called BRKN, which we really enjoyed. What can you tell our readers about that?
BRKN is a song we’ve been sitting on for a long time – it was the first song we wrote after the release of Hollow Heart and we really tried to follow it up with some high energy. Lyrically, it explores the next step from Hollow Heart – how even if you’ve been beaten down you’re capable of bouncing back better than ever before. The video (directed by our very own Jacob Rudman) was a great experience as it was Jay’s first time doing something like that for us and we were all on the same page with the direction.
Do you have any more singles planned for release anytime soon?
We do indeed! We have a couple ready to go and another 6 songs in varying states of completion – some are nearly finalised and others have a lot of work to go. Some things still change when we get to the studio, which lends itself heavily to our somewhat unconventional writing process.
When are they due out and what are they? How do you pick a single?
When isn’t totally written in stone yet and we have some more videos/accompanying media to produce. It’s quite an involved process for us because we try to do as much in-house as possible. Jacob works in TV and video production so he takes care of our visual media which is great as he has a very concise vision of what we want, as well as the skills to make it happen.
We’re planning the follow up releases to be at the start of the year – we’ve not released any new material before BRKN since 2015 so it’s very important for us to come out swinging with all our hard work.
In terms of how we pick our singles – the songs we’re pushing at the moment are being released as a string of singles rather than an accompaniment to an EP. It’s actually a bit of a different way for us to go about it – each song will have its own media, a few merchandise lines, and its own release campaign – we’re looking at these like a string of mini releases.
With our previous release Hollow Heart, Kenopsia was the first song we had ready for it and was also the fastest song, then the second track was actually decided for us by our producer (Sam Winfield – Studio 91) who told us that It Takes a Slave had to be the next single for it, so we trusted him. When we were working on BRKN we soundchecked a gig with the latest version, and our manager loved it so much that he said that if we didn’t play it that night, he would drop us!
What sort of stuff influences you musically, and what have you been listening to recently? We hear quite a big hardcore influence in your music!
That’s always a difficult question for us as our tastes are all so varied – we once had a whole tour where the soundtrack was Skepta’s Shutdown. Collectively we can all agree on Black Peaks, Don Broco, Bring Me The Horizon and Frank Carter. We do appreciate hardcore, but there’s something about the current crowd kill culture that keeps it at arms length for me.
You released an EP back in 2015 called Hollow Heart. How was that received, and what can you tell us about that? How has the writing and recording process changed for you since then, and do you think your writing has matured?
With Hollow Heart we recorded it at Studio 91 with Sam Winfield who engineered and mixed it – for me (Louie) it was my first studio experience and what nobody tells you is that studio time is A LOT of waiting around – especially for Harry (vocals) as his part is usually done last. For that session we booked out a block of 5 days and did it by the book, guide guitars, drums, bass, real guitars, then vocals. That worked for Hollow Heart but it did teach us a valuable lesson about pre-production.
With the more recent tracks, we rolled the dice with a new producer to get a different approach to our sound which unfortunately didn’t work for us. We ended up setting ourselves back 7 months and having to re-record it all! As annoying as that was, it did give us time to reflect on what did and didn’t serve the songs and we treated it like pre-production, so I think now we’ve got a much better final product than we would have without it.
(Louie): In terms of the writing process not much has changed, the songs still either flow out nicely or cause me sleepless nights and weeks of writers block. How we work on them has changed somewhat though as we now have 2 members in London and 3 in Oxfordshire. Normally I’ll have a bare bones idea and record it, before sending it up for everyone to have a look at, then when we come together to rehearse everybody has a rough idea of how the song goes, before we chop and change it until it flows properly as a song.
Do you have any plans to release a full length album or EP anytime soon?
Currently we’re focussed on a long line of singles – we may compile them all on CD or vinyl in the future – but for now we feel the best way to keep the ball rolling for us. We have a fair few songs in the pipeline so anything’s possible. What we prefer about this way is that each song has its own moment in the spotlight, there’s a mini release schedule and build up surrounding it – it forces the songwriting to be better, because the song has to stand on it’s own merits.
You see it employed more often with pop artists – but we feel that for a band of our size, putting 3-4 months into a concentrated EP schedule, with a few singles, and a video or two puts immediate pressure afterwards for the next one. It feels more direct like this, that spark and excitement when you first hear your part back in the studio isn’t lost by the time the song is finally released.
We hear you have some tour dates coming up – are you excited for them?
Oh absolutely! On the February and March runs we get to play in some new locations as well as some personal favourites. Not only that, but both tours are with bands we’ve been friends with for years! Louie & Alex went to school Rich from wars – in fact they were even in a band together back in the day! Another fun tid bit, back in 2015 we both played at an all-day event in Leamington Spa and, as we were loading in our gear, Sam from wars was having a great time ripping some riff and delivered a sweet back swinging guitar into Harry’s skull! There was so much blood, Harry was a bit concussed but we still played our set and recorded the music video for It Takes a Slave the next day which is why Harry has a bandana on in the video. As to Lastelle, most of those boys have been playing shows with us for years from their old band Vera Grace, their drummer Mike has helped us out on the merch table (and drinking the rider) countless times and their newest member, Fred is Harry’s house mate!
Any chance of any Northern dates at all in the future?
You betcha! As soon as we can we’ll get ourselves back up north to hit some of our favourite spots like Hull, Manchester, Leeds & Liverpool, hopefully joined by some new locations too. It’d also be a sin not to mention Scotland and our precious boy Harris Douglas, promoter supreme! Harris has already reached out to us about returning to Glasgow & Edinburgh so keep your eyes peeled for those shows.
Why do you think people should check your music out, and what can people expect from it?
If you’re into grooves and southern riffs, or watching people flail around like the balloon man outside a car dealership, then we might just be the band for you. Musically, it’s quite fast-paced, and lyrically there’s a rich tapestry of deeper-than-surface meanings to what we’re saying.
What can people expect from the live show?
In the last few years we’ve garnered a reputation for fast-paced antics, shenanigans, and high-jinks, so there will be that. We give it our all, because music without passion isn’t worth playing or listening to. It would be a discredit to ourselves, and to anybody who has come out to see us if we aren’t fully committed to the performance. Our live show is something we continually develop, and for the last year we’ve put a lot of effort into lights and stage production. We like to think it enhances the experience greatly.
Any last words for the fans?
To current fans, thank you for your continued support. Obviously, it’s cliche as heck but without the wonderful support we receive from you all then it would certainly be a lot harder to keep this machine going! To anyone who is unaware of us at all, come check us out at a live show close to you and we’ll certainly try and convert you!