DISTANT BLUE (from l-r): Joe Cliff (bass), Peter Wronko (drums), Ed Binding (vocals/lead guitar), Kieran Hodnett (rhythm guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Taking influence from the likes of Green Day and Blink-182, Distant Blue take you back to a period when pop-punk reigned supreme, with a fun blend of explosive power chords and deep lyrics drawing from the band’s past experiences.
2017 saw the East Midlands four-piece make quite an impact on their local music scene, with unmissable, highly energetic live performances, including an appearance at Nottingham’s Macmillan Fest, and a well-received single, ‘Amber Leaf’.
I spoke to the guys prior to their recent set supporting Dream State in Derby, and this is what they had to say:
How did the band form?
ED BINDING (vocals/lead guitar): It started off just being me and Peter. We had been in bands together before, and we decided to embark on a new project. We started looking around for people to join us, and one day, we asked Joe, who I’ve known for my entire life, and Kieran, who used to go to our old school, if they wanted to jam with us.
PETER WRONKO (drums): Joe and Kieran were kind of in the band before they became official members.
ED: Yeah, when me and Peter were in bands with other people…
KIERAN HODNETT (rhythm guitar): I used to follow them around. I was their number one supporter.
ED: And now, you’re in a band with us.
KIERAN (laughing): Yeah.
ED: Congratulations, bud.
From where did the name Distant Blue originate?
PETER: Honestly, a friend of ours, who is actually coming to see us tonight, came up with the name.
ED: Distant Blue is actually the title of an Architects song, but we didn’t know that at the time.
PETER: She suggested that we call ourselves by that name, and we thought, “That sounds good“, but when we realised that it was actually a song by Architects, we all went, “Oh, shit!”
ED: However, by that time, we had already brought out T-shirts and everything with Distant Blue on them, so it was easier to keep the name, but we’re doing alright with it so far.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
ED: It’s quite loose, like sometimes, I’ll write a song and bring it to the lads, or we’ll just go into practice and jam something.
What inspires the band lyrically?
ED: Past experiences, mainly.
PETER: Growing up, girls…
ED: Girls, yeah. (laughs) A little bit of politics in there, as well, but we don’t tend to dwell on that too much. It’s not really worth our time. Just general life, really.
KIERAN: Yeah, what we go through.
Last November, you brought out a single, ‘Amber Leaf’, which followed your debut EP, ‘HolyWater’. How was the reaction to those releases?
ED: Generally, really good.
PETER: I don’t think ‘HolyWater’ was very good, to be honest. I felt it wasn’t recorded to our best quality.
ED: We do plan to re-record it, though, but I think ‘Amber Leaf’ got a good reaction.
PETER: To be honest, ‘HolyWater’ was a bit raw, but when ‘Amber Leaf’ came out, everyone was like, “Woah! It’s a catchy song, that!”
So when were you thinking of re-recording ‘HolyWater’?
ED: Maybe in a couple of years.
PETER: At the moment, we’re focusing on newer stuff.
KIERAN: Maybe when ‘HolyWater’ reaches an anniversary or something.
ED: Yeah, we’ll re-release it then to a much higher quality. Maybe, we could even re-write some of the songs from it, but that’s just all ideas at the moment. Nothing is set in stone.
The band are supporting Dream State here tonight. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?
KIERAN: Love it.
ED: The best thing there is.
PETER: It’s better than sex!
KIERAN: That’s going down in history!
PETER: It’s all the adrenaline you get when you’re up on stage, playing the music you’ve written as a band, making the crowd happy.
ED: Yeah, any feedback from the audience, for us, is crucial, even if it’s negative.
KIERAN: And if it is negative, at least it’s constructive criticism.
What are your plans for the near future?
PETER: We’ve got some big plans, and hopefully, they will happen. We just have to keep pushing ourselves.
ED: Hopefully, we won’t let anything slip too soon, but we hope to break out of the East Midlands, and get to further parts of the UK.
KIERAN: Expand our audience.
ED: Just get out of Nottingham and Derby, really. We’re sat on a few tracks at the minute, so we can pick and choose when to bring them out. The future is bright.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
ED: To just enjoy ourselves and have fun. If we get anywhere, that would be great, if not, we keep on trying, you know what I mean?
PETER: We won’t let anything stop us.
KIERAN: Hopefully, if we can become that band who can be uplifting to anybody who finds themselves in a bad mood, more people will listen to us, and that would be one of our end goals.
ED: Yeah. Adding onto that, knowing that others out there can get joy out of listening to your music, connecting to them on that level, that would be some achievement.
‘AMBER LEAF’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM DISTANT BLUE, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, SOUNDCLOUD & BANDCAMP.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: