VEINS (from l-r): Dan Appleyard (drums), Stephen “Stevie” Rees (vocals/guitar), Scott Warner (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Taking influence from the likes of Deftones, The XX and The Smashing Pumpkins, alternative rock three-piece Veins blend together layered guitar riffs, gritty basslines and mesmerising drum beats to create a sound that is epic and atmospheric.
Last year, the band brought out an acclaimed debut single, supported live the likes of Holding Absence, and were even played on BBC Radio 1.
Now, the Northamptonshire outfit are preparing to release a new track, entitled ‘Blood On My Hands’.
When I chatted with them recently, they told me about how the forthcoming offering was put together, what can be expected from it, and their experiences so far as a band.
How did the band get together?
Scott and Stevie had been in a band together previously, and in late 2015, decided that they wanted to start a new project. After an initial attempt with a different drummer that didn’t pan out, Dan was brought in and things clicked.
How did the name Veins come about?
It stems from an in-joke, but then we just kind of thought, “Veins – that’s a good name“, and it stuck.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
Stevie is the main songwriter. Usually, he comes up with melodies and song ideas and then we all build upon that to structure a song, although sometimes, one of us might just come up with a riff and it will go from there.
What inspires the band lyrically?
It’s usually either personal stuff, things that have happened to people close to us, or what’s going on around us in the world. It all has a basis in reality, but then becomes a bit more abstract.
Last year, you brought out your debut single, ‘Ambi’, which got much positive reviews, and was played on BBC Radio 1. Did any of you expect the reaction that it got?
We obviously loved the track, but you never can be sure how a release is going to go down until you get it out there, and it’s always a little bit more nerve-racking when it’s your first release, as it’s your chance to make a first impression.
Therefore, it was a relief when other people really liked it. We certainly weren’t expecting it to find its way on to Radio 1, so that was amazing. We have Lal Muttock at BBC Introducing Northampton to thank for that.
And later this month, the band have a new single coming out, ‘Blood On My Hands’. How has the recording process been for it?
We recorded the new single with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Wildhearts etc…) who also recorded ‘Ambi’ with us. We knew how we wanted it to sound and knew Russ was the man to help us achieve that. He is an old friend who we’ve worked with in other bands, so it’s always a fun experience.
What can be expected from the forthcoming release?
‘Blood On My Hands’ is fairly upbeat with big choruses. Lyrically, the theme is a story of “love is war“. Whilst the world falls apart, you have to decide which side to pick… and whether to choose to fight or take flight. It’s about rolling with the punches and fighting towards being better.
You have played with the likes of Holding Absence and Press To Meco. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?
We love playing live. We’ve mostly played quite small venues and are often told our sound is much larger than the venues we play, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity of playing to some bigger crowds.
This September, we’re playing the Rocked Up Hootenanny at Rockingham Speedway. That is going to be a 1000-2000 capacity festival and we’re on the main stage, so that is pretty exciting.
The only two bands announced for the main stage so far are us and InMe, but there’s more to be announced soon.
The band also played at last year’s Camden Rocks festival, alongside such outfits as Feeder, The Damned, and The Coral. How was that for everyone?
We were on quite early, in one of the smaller venues, but we really enjoyed the gig. The bonus of it being over early meant we could go and check out all the other bands and enjoy the rest of the day.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2018? An EP or album release, maybe?
We’re writing at the moment with the intention of getting an album together. That is the big focus for 2018.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
Just to keep writing and playing music we enjoy, and hopefully getting it out there to like-minded people.
‘BLOOD ON MY HANDS’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM VEINS, WILL BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 23.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.