PREY DRIVE

Prey Drive

PREY DRIVE (from l-r): Paul Gaul (bass), Steve Larke (guitars), Brad Smith (vocals), Christian Kett (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Prey Drive are a four-piece from Norwich.

Playing a dynamic style of post-rock/alternative, with frequent tempo changes and a heavenly vocal delivery from frontman Brad Smith, the band have been growing in stature throughout 2017, having released a debut EP to rave reviews, as well as embarking on a successful tour of Europe.

However, despite all the praise currently coming their way, the quartet are not resting on their laurels, with a new single, taken from this summer’s offering, just unveiled, and plenty in the pipeline.

The Norfolk outfit told me more about everything when we chatted recently.

How did the band form?

We’ve all played in bands in and around the Norwich area for the past ten years, so we knew each other’s bands.

Back in 2015, Steve had just finished playing with his old band Darwin & the Dinosaur, and was still writing songs, which he then demoed and decided to team up with Brad to get some vocals on them. They’d previously played together in the band Deers.

Then for about two years, nothing happened, until Steve decided to try and get a band together to play these songs in a live capacity. After seeing Christian play live several times and being well aware of his ability, Steve asked him to join.

He suggested his good friend Paul on bass, and after one practice, we’d already worked on two songs and they sounded great, so it came together real quick and just seemed to work right off the bat!

From where did the name Prey Drive originate?

Brad is the most lyrically creative in the band, and had a list of names he suggested we use. There were a few interesting suggestions (Death Breath was one), but Prey Drive was the one that stood out.

Prey Drive is an animal’s instinct to hunt, and as a keen animal lover, Steve liked this the most. He then put it to Paul and Christian, and they liked the name, so it stuck.

It’s quite different to anything else out there, and lends itself very well to the imagery of our first EP cover!

 

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

Usually, Steve will have an idea, he will demo it, and then we will work together on structuring parts at our rehearsal space. Brad has written a couple of the newer songs too, and we’ve reworked them as a band, which has been really fun and challenging.

For the new material, we’re writing in a similar way, but also Paul and Steve are meeting up to work through ideas together, which then get brought to practice and put into song structures.

You released your debut EP, ‘Tabula Rasa’, in June, and you have recently brought out one of the tracks from it, ‘More Than Magic’, as a single. How well do you think they have all been received up to now?

We’ve not received any negative feedback or scathing reviews – so that’s definitely a positive!

As one of MANY bands playing rock music on the underground/DIY scene, it’ll always be difficult to be heard – but I hope people are maybe drawn in by our sound and perhaps the video to ‘More Than Magic’ will grab people’s attention. Brad does look lovely as a magician!

We’ve received airplay on a lot of radio stations, most notably, we were on Alex Baker’s Fresh Blood show on Kerrang! Radio for four weeks on the trot. He has also exchanged advice with us via e-mail and is a fan of what we’re doing, which is amazing!

The band went on a European tour earlier this month. How was that?

Europe is amazing for small bands. They don’t seem to care if you’re on a major label or just doing this in your spare time: if they like the music, they’ll help you out.

They treat you with so much respect and we were treated like kings. We were fed twice a day, got paid, played shows to great people, always had a drink in our hand, and sold a lot of merchandise.

People just want to talk to you about your music – in the UK, people seem to want to compete with you, but in Europe, they’re more about celebrating your art.

Steve booked the tour himself, as he’d been out there three times before with Darwin & the Dinosaur. We made great contracts and are already planning on returning next year for more shows.

What are your plans now that the EP has been released and the tour’s been completed?

We’re currently demoing new songs and writing for an album that we’re going to start recording next January. We’ve literally just booked the studio to record drums in, and the rest will be a DIY effort – much like ‘Tabula Rasa’ was.

We’re keen to get involved as much as we can, keep costs down, and have full control of what happens. We’re lucky that Steve can engineer a lot of the music, Christian can do the artwork, and Paul the videos, so that helps a lot.

We hope to release the album next spring, get it pressed to vinyl, and hopefully back it up with some UK shows and another European tour.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

That’s always a difficult question, but we all just want to continue to have fun playing in the band and explore new places whilst doing so!

We definitely want to get back out to Europe again, and Japan would be a dream, but we’re not sure how likely that could be…We hope people continue to enjoy the music we make, keep coming to shows, and buy our merch. Without them, we can’t afford to keep going, so we’re extremely thankful!

We’re all very excited by the album and having our music pressed to vinyl, and anything other than that is a real bonus for us.

FURTHER INFO ON PREY DRIVE CAN BE FOUND BY VISITING THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://preydriveband.bigcartel.com/

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/preydriveband

TWITTER: twitter.com/preydriveband

 

 

 

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LONDON NEWCOMERS MID REFLECTION TO RELEASE DEBUT EP IN NOVEMBER

Mid Reflection band photo

Born in 2016, Mid Reflection are a potent London-based quartet, who have taken in the key fundamentals of punk, rap and ska to produce a unique and distinctly British sound.

The crew fuse a fast and gritty flow of heartfelt and hard-hitting lyrics typically found in rap and grime, with dark and moody guitar driven rock music, and the end result is a sound that truly defies classification in traditional genres.

With an array of influences spanning from Linkin Park, Sublime, Gorillaz and House of Pain, the four-piece’s sound is as original as it is captivating.

Expressing introspective and raw lyrical themes and real life struggles such as bullying, depression and betrayed friendship that vocalist Matthew Bishop, aka “2T’z”, has battled through in his life, their work becomes even more honest and accessible.

To date, Mid Reflection have played a glut of successful shows across London and the South East, racking up supports alongside the likes of Imperial Leisure, New Town Kings and Karl Phillips.

The outfit soon release their explosive debut EP, ‘Outcast’, which lands everywhere on 24th November.

Idea-v8-print

‘OUTCAST’, THE DEBUT EP FROM MID REFLECTION, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 24.

YOU CAN FIND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND BY VISITING THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.midreflection.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/MidReflection

TWITTER: twitter.com/MidReflection

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/midreflection

 

A NEW SOUND, NEW ALBUM & NEW VIDEO FOR FATHOMS

Fathoms band photo

With a revitalised line-up and an exciting new sound, Brighton metalcore quintet Fathoms return to release their blistering second studio album, ‘Counter Culture’,
which arrives on Friday 1st December. However, before then, the band have revealed a new track and video, entitled ‘B.E.L.I.E.V.E’.

Since their inception at the end of 2010, the Brighton bruisers have comprehensively toured throughout the UK and Europe, as well as undertaking successful tours in the USA, China, South Korea and Japan.

In 2015, the band released their debut album, ‘Lives Lived’, with Artery Recordings to glowing acclaim, and have also recently played shows throughout Europe with Attila and Oceans Ate Alaska.

This spring, Fathoms unveiled a new track, and the album’s namesake, ‘Counter Culture’, and the video has already amassed nearly 30,000 views on YouTube. With further support tours set to be announced throughout this autumn, backed with the release of the their sophomore album, the band are destined to scale new heights.

The five-piece’s new record is ultra-magnetic and bursting from back to front with stout nu-metal-esque riffs, rap crossovers, colossal choruses, and infectious grooves.

The full frontal vocal attack and guile of their previous single, ‘Counter Culture’, is destined to draw you in, while ‘B.E.L.I.E.V.E’ is truly breath-taking, as the track melds power with grit, and delivers a hook that will ignite. This is an album that you need to hear and a band that you need in your life.

Fathoms Album Cover

‘COUNTER CULTURE’, THE SECOND ALBUM FROM FATHOMS, WILL BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 1.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE SUPPORTING KINGDOM OF GIANTS & CREATE TO INSPIRE ON A EUROPEAN TOUR OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. FURTHER DETAILS BELOW:

Fathoms tour poster

AND ALSO DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT FATHOMS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/fathomsuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/fathomsuk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/fathomsuk

 

YOU WIN AGAIN GRAVITY

You Win Again Gravity band photo

YOU WIN AGAIN GRAVITY (from l-r): Dan Dreelan (guitar/backing vocals), Andy Janson (bass), Jack Jennings (vocals/guitar), Johnny Bastable (guitar), James Mackenzie (drums/backing vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

With a sound that combines elements of metal, mathcore and melodic metalcore, as well as utilising both technical and progressive post-hardcore, Berkshire five-piece You Win Again Gravity have been making waves on the British underground rock scene in the last couple of years.

Having so far brought out four EPs, all to rave reviews, including praise from the likes of Rock Sound magazine and Alex Baker of Kerrang! Radio, the band have been hard at work these last few months putting together ‘Anonymity’, their debut mini-album set for release shortly.

The Windsor quintet told me more about their forthcoming release, as well as other things, when we chatted recently.

How did the band get together?

Dan, Jack, James and Johnny go back a long way! We met each other at school and our musical style developed as we grew older. Andy joined a few years back when we were looking for a new bassist, but it instantly felt like he’d always been around, he took the vacant space in the band and has made it his own.

How did the name You Win Again Gravity come about?

It’s a quote from Futurama (Zapp Brannigan for anyone trying to place it) that had always been kicking about in our group of friends. It was originally a song name, but our band name at the time, Alaska, was also used by a couple of other bands, so we decided to go with this one as it was definitely unique.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

A typical song starts life from the mind of Jack, who writes the majority of our music. Although others do contribute ideas to the process, a song tends to develop over time and we normally end up going through multiple drafts before we settle on the final arrangement.

Sometimes, if you spend too much time trying to force a section in and it’s not quite working, it’s a sign it will probably work better in another song. It can sometimes take us a fair while to write a song.

Interestingly, we all have different favourite tracks/sections on the forthcoming mini-album. I think that says a lot about our different influences, and how different tastes and backgrounds contribute to the balance of the writing and our sound.

What are the band’s lyrical influences?

We get inspiration from all over the place, really, as we’re sure most songwriters would say.

Sometimes, after composing some chord progressions or a lead line, you can instantly get a feel for the kind of mood that that section should be about, but just as often you can find yourself angry or excited about a conversation or an incident on the bus, and by the time you’re home, you’ve got some lyrics ready and everything suddenly revolves around them.

Recent themes are to do with darker human emotions and traits, but there’s so much of that that’s evident in today’s social and political affairs that it’s hard to avoid thinking about it sometimes.

You have a mini-album, ‘Anonymity’, coming out at the beginning of next month. How has the recording process been?

The recording process is always excellent. We headed down to Folkestone in Kent to record with Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios. Without sounding cliché, it’s pretty rare to find a producer that totally “gets us“, but he instantly did and it just feels like home now.

And what can the band’s fan base expect from it?

They’ve already had a taster when we released ‘What’s Left of the Distance’ last year. ‘Anonymity’ is an expansion on that release and follows the same themes and tones, but essentially, it’s a collection of our best work to date, and showcases who we are as a band. We’re very proud of it.

For you all, how is the experience of playing live?

There can always be some (healthy) nerves before a performance, but any show is a great chance to introduce our music to a new audience. One of the best parts of being in a band is hearing positive feedback after a gig, and it really drives and reaffirms why we like playing music together.

What are the band’s plans for after ‘Anonymity’ is released?

We’re aiming to do a few small warm-up shows, and then go out on tour in late November, so we’d like to continue gigging off the back of this release for a while, and then start to work on our first full-length album early next year.

What is your long-term aim?

We’ve always played as a band for the enjoyment of it and our combined passion for the music we play. We have never wanted to become famous, but we’d all agree that it would be nice if we could extend our reach a bit! Ideally, we just want to get our music out there and hopefully pick up some fans along the way!

You Win Again Gravity mini-album cover

‘ANONYMITY’, THE DEBUT MINI-ALBUM FROM YOU WIN AGAIN GRAVITY, WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 2.

MORE INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/YouWinAgainGravity

TWITTER: twitter.com/YWAGband

BANDCAMP: youwinagaingravity.bandcamp.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS EQUALS

As Equals logo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

As Equals are a post-hardcore four-piece from Staffordshire, comprising of vocalist Ollie Woodward, rhythm guitarist Liam Barlow, bassist Callum Dermott, and drummer Connor Martin.

Taking influence from the likes of Architects and Stray From The Path, the quartet have made an impact locally with a heavy sound and messed up rhythms.

Having already got ‘Save Your Breath’, their well-received debut EP, under their belts, and with a few new tracks to be released soon, the band took some time out from preparing for their set supporting YOUYESYOU in Hanley recently to talk to me.

Here’s what they had to say:

How did the band form?

OLLIE WOODWARD (lead vocals): Well, we’ve had a bit of a change since we formed. We renamed ourselves As Equals in 2015, and from that point, we changed the set-up within the band, bringing in some new members, among them Callum on bass, who joined earlier this year.

We then just started putting together all of the elements of what we used to, giving it a heavy side as well, and so we’re really pushing that now.

CONNOR MARTIN (drums): We were a band before As Equals, but it wasn’t what we’d consider to be what we’re doing now with this group, because it’s a different name with different members.

OLLIE: Ultimately, it was a different genre as well.

LIAM BARLOW (rhythm guitar/backing vocals): Moving from a five-piece to a four-piece is…Let’s just say it’s very different. We took a lot of time out to adapt and actually become the quartet we are now.

Where did the name As Equals come from?

LIAM (laughs): It kind of came out of nowhere, really.

CALLUM DERMOTT (bass): It was before I joined, but have you seen ‘Harry Potter’? (All laugh) Well, there’s a bit at the end of one of the films where they’re going on about the Deathly Hallows, and one of the characters says: “We part together as equals“, and I was like: “No way did the band get their name from that!

(All laugh)

CONNOR: Maybe it’s subliminal, maybe that was the case. (Callum laughs) We were just in the situation where we had done everything, because we wanted to progress into a new style, we were becoming more heavier, so we needed a new name. We were just bouncing ideas off of each other, and As Equals came up.

OLLIE: It just ended up sticking, didn’t it? It’s just what we believe in, and what we want to talk about in our songs, so it was the right direction for us.

How would you describe your sound?

OLLIE: I think it’s just a horrible mixture of five genres, sort of.

CONNOR: I find it difficult to place ourselves into a genre, not in a way that makes us seem cocky, but we’ve never listened to another band and gone: “We want our sound to be like theirs.” There’s loads of different influences.

OLLIE: We’re really happy with the stuff that we’re coming up with now, and yeah, it’s a fun process, it can be hard sometimes, but it’s really worth it in the end.

What influences the band lyrically?

OLLIE: I write the lyrics mainly, so what I try and do is, considering the genre we play is aggressive, instead of focusing the aggression on an individual, I push it towards getting benefit out of something, focusing that energy and putting it into subjects that we believe in.

CALLUM: I think the lyrics do get quite political, for example, with ‘June the 8th’, it was all we were talking about as a band. I didn’t personally think it was a necessary influence, but you can definitely feel with the lyrics there’s fingers being pointed at certain aspects of society.

OLLIE: We just want to deliver a good message. We’ve only got good intentions and that’s what we’re all about, delivering an equal message amongst all people through togetherness and strength.

That’s what we want to teach people, and that’s what we try to do with our music. I don’t just talk about one thing, it’s whatever is on my mind at the time, and also how I’m feeling.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

CALLUM: See, this is another thing, because I only joined the band in January. When I joined, there was this big focus on fitting the sound into two genres, as opposed to what we actually wanted to play as a band.

I think the minute we stopped writing towards a specific genre, and more towards stuff that we actually enjoyed listening to and playing, the writing has become so much easier, because I think everyone likes it now.

LIAM: Yeah, we enjoy playing a bit more.

CONNOR: We just kind of jam, really. A lot of the songs we write, we practice as a warm-up, then something will come up, and we’ll go: “We like that“, and we just go over it again and again. We build up slowly, it is a really slow process, to be honest.

OLLIE: We bring in ideas as well, as try and quicken the process, and I think we do pretty well with that.

CALLUM: I think it’s difficult to, especially with this band. With the other bands I have been in, it’s been fine, but with this, it’s been very difficult to write songs outside of when we’ve all been together. There’s only been a handful of times where I have come up with something and gone: “I’ll take this to an As Equals practice.”

OLLIE: We’ve got high expectations, we’ve done music for most of our lives, so there is an expectation to write really good songs. We don’t want to play a terrible song, so we’ve got to be 100% satisfied with each track.

CALLUM: Yeah, we are quite critical of ourselves, but I think it’s the best way forward.

How is the live experience for the band?

OLLIE: It’s really energetic.

CALLUM: This is another one that’s changed with the other three, you can tell that they have all been playing together for about five years. I remember watching these guys before I joined the band, and there’s always been this collectiveness between the three, and I think I’m helping to carry that on.

OLLIE: We just like to put on a good show. We like to think we have the musical ability to go crazy, we just want to get up there, have fun, and enjoy ourselves.

LIAM: It’s a much better watch, isn’t it?

CALLUM: I would much rather see a band that are having a good time, as opposed to one who may all be really good musicians, but are really boring.

OLLIE: It’s just great for the audience. It really gets people involved, and that’s us.

LIAM: When everyone hears our music, they seem to just go for it.

Are you planning on bringing out an EP or album in the near future?

OLLIE: Yes. We’ve actually just done some recording with Sam Bloor, but at the moment, we’re only going to be releasing a single, ‘Pandemic’, which we’re planning to do soon.

Also, in the next couple of days, we’re going to be heading back into the studio to work on a couple of tracks, so yeah, you’ll be seeing those released later this year or early next year.

We’re all looking forward to bringing out ‘Pandemic’. We’ve been listening to it over the last few days, and I have to say we’re pretty chuffed about it.

CONNOR: I think Sam Bloor gets the best out of anyone, really.

OLLIE: Yeah, he works really well with musicians. He’s got a very sharp musical mind.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

CALLUM: To retire at age 35, with a big house in The Bahamas!

(All laugh)

LIAM: I’d like to keep going, keep recording, keep writing.

OLLIE: It’s a difficult one, because we all want to do it, but it depends on what happens, I think.

LIAM: It’s a difficult time for us. We’re all around the age of 20, so a lot of people our age are either at, or going to, uni.

CALLUM: In a hypothetical, ideal world, we would love to see ourselves tour across the UK.

OLLIE: We do want to push ourselves towards that.

CONNOR: What we definitely want to do is to get our name out there, get more people knowing who we are.

CALLUM: The more shows we play, the more of a chance we will have of getting something from it.

OLLIE: Just travelling and doing our music would be the best thing for us, and I can’t imagine doing that with anyone apart from the guys I’m playing with now.

‘PANDEMIC’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM AS EQUALS, WILL BE RELEASED SOON.

MORE INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/AsEqualsOFFICIAL

TWITTER: twitter.com/AS_EQUALS

BANDCAMP: asequals.bandcamp.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEESP

Weesp band photo

WEESP (from l-r): Dmitry “Mi” Budko (bass), Mike Zalutsky (guitar), Alexei “Lex” Falco (vocals/piano), Alexei “Gul” Galesnik (drums), Stanislav “Stak” Budko (electronics)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Belarus, Weesp are a five-piece that have created their own unique blend of alternative rock and electronic metal, taken from a diverse range of musical influences.

This has resulted in the band breaking out of their native country and amassing a devoted worldwide following.

With ‘Black Sails’, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to well-received debut album ‘The Void’, soon to be released, they spoke to me about this, all of the above, and their journey as a collective up to now.

How did you all get together initially?

Around 2000 to 2002, Lex came up with an idea to start a band, which Mike really liked, despite the fact neither of them at the time could sing or even play an instrument.

The guys then decided to look for a bassist, and advertised for one in their local newspaper. That’s how Mi joined.

In the beginning, the band didn’t have a lot of luck with drummers, none of them seemed to last very long, but finally in 2010, Gul auditioned and became a perfect addition.

In the same year, it was decided that the electronics in the band’s sound needed to be improved, and that’s when Mi’s twin brother, Stak, joined. That’s how the current set-up of Weesp came about.

How did the name Weesp come about?

The name just came out. It was a long time ago, but when the band started, we wanted a name that was short and unobtrusive to avoid limiting our musical style.

At the time, we thought Weesp didn’t have any meaning, but then we discovered that it was the name of a small town near Amsterdam. It was funny when a local news reporter contacted me for an interview and asked about our name. We had no idea such a town existed! We did go there some time later, and even gave an interview to the town’s radio station.

How would you describe your sound?

It’s energetic, yet it’s rather dark. It punches you in the head and then launches you into space. It’s atmospheric all the way.

What are the band’s musical influences?

Our music is influenced by a mix of very different styles of music. Among them are Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, Tool, Joy Division, The Prodigy, Baroness, Radiohead, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We do almost everything together in the rehearsal studio. Mike will bring something in at the beginning, whether it’s a simple riff, harmony or just an idea, but everybody has their own vision of a song at once, so we spend most of the time and much effort to bring each vision to the song, so that everyone in the band loves it.

Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?

It’s life, people we know, usual stuff. Lex will always write lyrics after the music for a song is more or less ready, he just puts the mood of the song, emotions, pictures coming from the subconsciousness, and then puts it down onto paper.

Our lyrics can often be understood in different ways, and it is always about something important, something so close.

You have an album, ‘Black Sails’, coming out soon. How has the recording process been?

‘Black Sails’ is a result of about two years worth of work. Almost immediately after we finished recording our first album, ‘The Void’, we started experimenting and writing new material. We wrote a lot of songs, but only nine of them will feature in the forthcoming release.

The main idea was to keep the mood of the album in one key and style. We didn’t go out and try to write hits or popular songs, we just did what we felt. ‘Black Sails’ is anxious, dark, thoughtful – very emotional work.

We started recording around the end of Spring this year in Poland, where we recorded the drums and guitar work, with everything else being recorded in Minsk. Lex is still finishing recording the vocals at the moment, but the first singles are ready for release.

Our main goal for the record was to avoid overproducing it, in order to keep the natural feeling, groove and fire of our live shows. ‘Black Sails’ consists of the songs each band member love, and we are sure you will love them too.

How is the experience for the band playing live?

Our live shows are quite well-known now, people often say to us that they are different, because they are always electric, powerful and sincere. Our goal is to touch the hearts of the people who come to see us play.

Aside from the forthcoming album release, what have you got lined up in the near future?

Before releasing the album, we plan to bring out three singles and support them with music videos, the first of which is being filmed now. We will just say that the video will be a very interesting art experiment. The first single will be released in October.

What is the long-term aim for the band?

Our main aim is to be free, to create music we love, and that music to be loved by other people. We love to travel, so we are not going off the road. We would say a world tour spread over a couple of months could work as a measure of some success, or an aim for us now.

‘BLACK SAILS’, THE UPCOMING ALBUM FROM WEESP, WILL BE RELEASED SOON.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE TOURING POLAND & GERMANY IN NOVEMBER. FURTHER DETAILS BELOW:

Weesp tour poster

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT WEESP ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/weespband

TWITTER: twitter.com/BANDWEESP

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/weespwilldestroyus

BANDCAMP: weesp.bandcamp.com

 

 

 

 

YOUYESYOU TALK TO US ABOUT THEIR LATEST EP

YOUYESYOU EP Cover

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Last year, Chris Munday, former frontman of Stoke-on-Trent metal outfit Stone The Alchemist, joined forces with two members of now defunct Potteries band Scarlett Arcade, bassist Liam Stride and drummer Jordan Poole, to form YOUYESYOU.

Combining Chris’s dark lyrics and the slightly upbeat sound crafted by Liam and Jordan, the trio have brought out their debut EP, ‘Well, At Least We Tried’.

I spoke to them before their recent headliner in Hanley, where they went into more detail about the release.

How did the initial idea for your latest EP come about?

LIAM STRIDE (bass): Probably from years of writing crap songs! (All laugh) We originally wrote about seven songs, and we played them live for a bit, but we weren’t happy with them, so we just wrote some better ones, and that’s how the EP came about.

CHRIS MUNDAY (vocals): Out of our initial set, we really liked two songs, one of which was ‘Strike One’. We heard them both and all said: “Right, that is the kind of sound we want to go for“. We then started writing with that in mind.

JORDAN POOLE (drums): It just took us a bit of time, because we all have different musical tastes, and we were trying to find a sound that blended all of these together.

LIAM: It was an organic process, the way everything came out.

CHRIS: The music started to get harder, and more fun to play.

JORDAN: I suppose it became more hectic and energetic. I think a lot of it came from the bass tones, as well.

LIAM: Yeah, like when we first started, we were kind of basic (see what I did there?), but now, we’re much heavier.

From where did the title ‘Well, At Least We Tried’ originate?

LIAM: That’s a good question, actually. The title came about because it has kind of become our motto, because you know, all of our music sort of ties into those first seven songs that we wrote, like they weren’t very good, but at least we were trying to do something different.

CHRIS: I like the sarcasm of it.

LIAM: It all stems from our local music scene, which I think is now just starting to branch out more, and we feel we’re part of that.

CHRIS: We were trying so hard to be different, but at the same time, we were also trying to make it work as well.

LIAM: That’s the magic!

(All laugh)

How was the recording process?

LIAM: Sweet.

CHRIS: Yeah, Sam Bloor, who produced the EP, is a fucking genius! We spent about three days with him in the studio, and he really helped us, being very vocal in his input, and urging us to experiment a little more with sounds and stuff. He helped us to fucking nail it!

LIAM: He made a crap band sound half decent.

(All laugh)

How would you describe the EP, both lyrically and musically?

CHRIS: Lyrically, I just write things that sort of come to mind. I always go down a dark, negative avenue, for instance, ‘Attack, Attack’ is about everybody having an opinion, myself included.

LIAM (laughing): You do know that’s how people work?

CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, but I meant on social media. Rather than expressing an opinion to their friends and family verbally, everyone now seems to write it down as posts or tweets, it’s like they want the whole world to know.

Saying that, I do get sucked into that world sometimes. Actually, the first line I wrote for that particular song was: “I can hear my finger bones cracking as I’m typing“, and I thought to myself: “I’m really getting fucked up over all this!“.

There’s another line in it, which reads: “I wish I could delete the dead“, because I saw all these profiles of people who had passed away, and I wished I could delete them, but there’s this sentiment that you feel you would be losing something if you did that, and that’s where that came from.

There’s other things as well on the EP that are politically motivated, and there’s also the fact that I’m getting older now.

LIAM: Musically, I think Chris’s dark lyrics contrasts to me and Jordan’s sound, which is a little more light-hearted, a bit more quirky, I suppose. It’s just trying to get the balance between the two exactly right. We don’t want to depress anyone! (All laugh) We want to sound heavy, but upbeat as well.

CHRIS: It sounds like: “Everyone’s going to die, let’s be happy about it!

(All laugh)

Chris, how is your new music different to what you did when you were part of Stone The Alchemist?

CHRIS: Alchemist was rather concepty. That was when I was more inspired by goth bands such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, whereas what I’m doing now with Liam and Jordan is completely different musically.

I’m writing more in terms of what’s going on in my life now and how I’m feeling, and I would say that was the main different between Alchemist and this. Alchemist was more about just telling a story.

What can the band’s fan base expect from this EP?

CHRIS: The EP is a big one. That’s the long and short of it, really. As long as many people as possible like it, that’s it.

LIAM: The thing is with the EP is that we want to get as much feedback about it as possible.

JORDAN: And lots of money!

(All laugh)

CHRIS: Yeah, I just want £25,000 cheques constantly coming through my letterbox! (laughs)

LIAM: That would be nice! We just want as many of our fans as possible to give it a listen.

CHRIS: The other night, I had this massive debate with my mum, where she said: “Chris, you do scream a lot on this“. I replied: “Yeah, that’s what I want to do“. It’s like with this first release, we want to make a fucking statement, and be as loud as humanly possible.

LIAM: We don’t want to sound cool and go: “We want to be different“, but like any art form, if you’re doing something that’s already been done, say if I painted the Mona Lisa…Actually, that’s a great idea! I’ll paint the Mona Chris! (All laugh) We just want to do something different, that’s all.

What is the plan for you all from now on? Another EP, maybe even a full-length album?

CHRIS: At the moment, we’ve just got to get back to the writing stage more than anything.

LIAM: Yeah, we haven’t written anything since we finished recording the new EP. I mean everyone’s really busy, but now, I think we’ve started to consider what we’re going to be writing next.

JORDAN: This EP’s taken priority, really.

CHRIS: There’s one song that isn’t on the EP that we want to sort of go back and record.

LIAM: We have thought of just releasing that as a single, but anything can happen.

CHRIS: Maybe another video or something like that? I’ll just say that there’s more to come.

‘WELL, AT LEAST WE TRIED’ IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM YOUYESYOU’S BANDCAMP PAGE youyesyou.bandcamp.com/releases

MORE INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE www.facebook.com/YOUYESYOUOFFICIAL