WSTR (from l-r): Danny Swift (guitar), Sammy Clifford (vocals), Alex Tobijanski (bass), Kieren Alder (guitar)


Ever since its initial peak at the turn of the millennium, some have been theorising that pop punk is moribund.

However, the genre is still going strong and in the last few years, a new wave of bands, mainly based in the UK, have given it a new lease of life.

WSTR, from Liverpool, are one of the outfits at the forefront of this wave, with a highly successful EP, last year’s ‘SKRWD’ and numerous well-received festival sets under their belts.

With a rapidly growing following and an eagerly anticipated debut album coming out early next year, I caught up with them backstage before their headline gig in Hanley, which is part of their ‘The Inbetween Tour’.

How did the band get together initially?

SAMMY CLIFFORD (VOCALS): I moved to Liverpool, then our old drummer, he was friends with Swifty and Kieren, who went to uni up there and they jammed together before and stuff, messaged me, asking if I wanted to come and jam with their band.

He sent me a couple of old demos, which I put some vocals down on, and they liked them, so then we recorded ‘Graveyard Shift’ and shot a video for that, and it all went from there.

How did the name WSTR come about?

SAMMY: We wanted something that was punky, edgy and ‘fuck you’-ish.

We’re all just lads, aren’t we? What’s the word that people understand that aren’t us?

DANNY SWIFT (GUITAR): That aren’t us? What do you mean?

SAMMY: We’re gypos, aren’t we? Not really doing much.

DANNY: Yeah, just wasters. It sounds so cringy.

SAMMY: But it sounded like a good fit for us.

Which bands/artists influence you?

SAMMY: Too many to name.

They seem to be mostly older bands, I say old, like New Found Glory, Sum 41, Blink-182, so yeah, mainly the older stuff.

What is the inspiration for the band’s lyrics?

SAMMY: Just all stuff that happens to me, how I’m feeling, all different things, it depends on where I am at the time and what’s been going on.

It’s not just about me, it’s also the situation with our friends and stuff, life experiences and that.

Your new single ‘Footprints’ came out recently. How has the reaction been to it so far?

SAMMY: Yeah, it’s been really good, hasn’t it?

KIEREN ALDER (GUITAR): It’s been going down really well on this tour.

SAMMY: We were quite confident that it would be a step up from our EP, so we’re happy.

Your debut full-length album ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ will be coming out early next year. What can we expect from it?

SAMMY: Basically us, but bigger and better.

That’s literally it, some more well thought out songs, that’s my opinion.

What about you guys?

DANNY: There’s more structure to it, definitely.

How has the recording process been?

DANNY: An absolute fucking nightmare!

SAMMY: It was going great, we did pre-production with our friend Seb, and we were booked in with another producer, which we were going to track with and they were going to mix it, but then, we didn’t, and got an offer from a respected producer, I’m not going to name any names, so we went with them, they gave us a good price, but didn’t like it, so we got another friend of ours, who’s also a respected name, to help us out.

They pushed us to the front of the queue and mixed it for us, but it wasn’t the sound we wanted, so we decided to go back to Seb.

All that messing around that we didn’t really need to do.

Stoke-on-Trent is just one of the places you’re going to on your nationwide tour. How is the experience of touring for the band?

DANNY: Rowdy, really rowdy.

KIEREN: It’s great, we’re able to go all around the country, meet loads of new people, make loads of new friends every day.

They’ve been really good to us, some of them have even put us up in their homes for the night.

DANNY: We all have a good laugh as well.

It must be exhausting for you at times though, mustn’t it?

SAMMY: Yeah, it can be tiring.

DANNY: We’ve had a few days off here and there on this tour.

It sounds weird, but I think we could have done without them and just carried on, because when you’re on tour and you get a day off, you get used to just lounging around.

It’s good technically, but it makes me feel more shit.

SAMMY: Yeah, one day you’re in tour mode, the next you’re not.

KIEREN: We all love touring anyway, even if it does involve a lot of waiting around.

Have there been any hairy moments on stage?

DANNY: Yeah, all the time, don’t we?

KIEREN: I seem to fall over a lot, I’ve hurt my ankle a few times.

DANNY: Yeah, I hurt my ankle really badly when we were on tour with Neck Deep.

SAMMY: This stuff happens, like someone getting hurt in the crowd and shit.

DANNY: It really stinks when something like that happens, dunnit?

SAMMY: It’s rare though, with any band, that a show will go 100% smoothly.

DANNY: I don’t think that happens ever.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

SAMMY: We’ve got no idea to be honest, we’ll just see how the album does and go from there, and I think we would all like to play in as many countries as possible.

We don’t really have a set target as such, we don’t go “We want to be at this point at this certain time.”

We just take everything as it comes.











Evocative alt-rock artist Kate Pavli and her band Finding Kate have revealed their new single ‘Forever’ – .

The track has already picked up extensive radio airplay on Kerrang! Radio’s Fresh Blood show and is taken from Kate’s debut album ‘If I Fall’, out Friday 18th November.

Finding Kate is the creation of Kate Pavli. With a Greco-Australian origin and childhood background in theatre, Kate possesses a fresh approach, individual flare and the vocal dexterity to reach the high tiers of the rock world.

Backed by Nanneq (guitar), Chris (keyboards), Byron (bass) and Josh (drums), their live shows are a gripping proposition with powerful drum beats, bone-crushing bass grooves and webbed guitar lines, all underpinned by Kate’s compelling and emotive vocals.

No stranger to the stage and recording, Kate released her debut EP ‘Inside Out’ to a barrage of support, amassing a cult following in the UK and also helping to garner an established fan-base in Cyprus.

Kate has since gone on to rack up impressive performances at many London venues, and deliver a series of profile appearances at a number of Cypriot festivals.

Kate’s debut EP displayed true potential and received unflagging enthusiasm, giving way to her desire to dig even deeper and hit even harder for the follow-up.

She aimed for her next release to rival the first, drawing a definitive line in the sand; and it certainly hits the mark.

True to form, Finding Kate’s debut album entitled ‘If I Fall’ is packed with a flood of anthemic cuts laced with dark undertones that will engulf and engage.

The new single ‘Forever’ has already widely graced the radio airwaves, lapping up independent radio spins and prominent plays on Kerrang! Radio’s K! Nights.

The single has been famed for its cutting dynamics and contagious chorus, and the accompanying video is pure eye candy, and is sure to pick up extensive TV plays and online support.

With the album launch on the horizon and further UK shows in the pipeline, there seems to be nothing stopping Kate’s rise.













Highly rated Swindon based pop-punks As The Sun Sleeps unveil their brand new EP ‘As Good As Gold’, which arrives in stores on Friday 20th January 2017.

Although the origins of the band hail back to 2013 when vocalist and bassist Joe Beck formed an alliance with drummer Tom Shrimpton, the outfit didn’t truly solidify until the end of the following year when the duo sought out guitarists James Broadbank and Tom “Trees” Rees.

By the dawn of 2015, the four-piece released their video and single for ‘Nostalgia’, before turning their attention to their live act, ensuring to hone their infectious mix of pop-punk tunes within a high-energy stage performance.

In January, As The Sun Sleeps dropped their 3-track EP ‘Never Stars’, and their new single and video ‘Digging Deep’ ( was subsequently aired on Scuzz TV.

In support of the release, the melodic punks hit the road with friends Junior. The tour was a great success and helped the crew cultivate a solid fan-base, as well as backing from Rock Sound, who featured the band in their Radar section of the magazine.

Adding more rungs to the ladder, the band set loose a wacky sci-fi music video for ‘Lifelines’ ( before heading back to the studio to complete work on their latest EP.

‘As Good As Gold’ is released next January and it’s a joy for the senses.

From the infectious tones and contagious refrain of their new single ‘Beering’, (which will enjoy an exclusive video premiere next month and can be heard right now at, to the feel-good uplifting guile of ‘Florida’, you just can’t help but be drawn to this group.

‘Forever Sick’ continues to reaffirm the pop-punks’ pedigree, as does the undeniably catchy ‘What Matters Most’. To finish things off, the band deliver the alluring ‘Nothing But Net’, and by this point you will surely be hooked.

With two videos to be lifted from the EP and a tour planned for the end of next January, 2017 could very well be the punkers breakout year.












Teenage post-hardcore outfit Hypophora have quickly earned a reputation as a blistering live act in their native Cornwall. Combining the technical expertise of Firehose and Red Hot Chilli Peppers with a surfeit of youthful energy, the Truro-based four-piece offer a highly skilful and melodic take on punk-funk and 90s alt-rock. The band release their double A-sided single ‘Youth / Caught’ on Friday 11th November through Easy Action Records.

Hypophora were formed in 2012, inspired by a collection of Seattle grunge/early 2000s post-hardcore bands, intertwined with snippets of funk rock and jazz influenced math rock.

The crew soon set out to push musical boundaries and to rip open the envelope of creativity, and their stunning forthcoming double A sided ‘Youth / Caught’ is certainly testament to their manifesto.

The single perfectly captures the essence of the quartet’s sound: hard hitting riffs accompanied by grooving slap bass, anthemic, catchy and introspective vocal lines, and beautifully melodic guitar parts.

The video for ‘Youth’ was exclusively premiered at Louder Than War last month and can now be viewed right here –

To date, the band have received much praise and radio airplay from the likes of BBC Introducing and the Mike James Rock Show, as well as a slew of regional reviews from a host of South West publications.

Hypophora have also made strong inroads on the live scene, bagging shows with some of the most promising underground alt rock bands in the UK, including: LTNT, Allusondrugs, The Hyena Kill and Narcs, to name a few.

Now with the backing of hip indie imprint Easy Action Records and the launch of the band’s new double A single, along with their video and an impending UK tour, there’s nothing in Hypophora’s way.









WSTR – The Underground, Hanley, 29/10/2016

SUPPORT: Milestones, Clay Lake, Waiting For Hollywood



Liverpool pop punks WSTR were in Hanley as part of a nationwide tour promoting their debut full-length offering ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’, which will be out early next year.

Strong performances from local bands Clay Lake and Waiting For Hollywood and Mancunian five-piece Milestones were the perfect warm-up for the expectant crowd.

The stage was then cast into darkness, with the headliners coming on to Nineties dance classic ‘9pm (Till I Come)’ by ATB.

They then went straight into a set which was a mix of previous hits and songs off the forthcoming album, and was abundant in loudness and energy.

WSTR seemed to take full advantage of the intimate setting, making sure there was crowd involvement throughout.

Another positive of them playing a small venue was that every pluck of a guitar string and beat of the drums could be heard in great detail.

With this gig, they showed exactly why they are seen as one of the bands at the forefront of the new wave of mainly British-based pop punk, and if WSTR can capture the essence of what I saw, then the album should be a big success for them.