CHAPTER AND VERSE: (front left): Darren Gosling (guitar), (back left): Ash Morton (drums), (centre): Josh Carter (vocals), (right): Jonny Hopwood (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From the east end of London, Chapter and Verse are currently ascending at a rapid rate.
Since getting together in early 2015, the quartet have garnered much praise with a diverse, noisy alternative rock sound abundant in passion and raw emotion, which has seen them compared to the likes of Circa Survive, Crooks, and Saosin.
With this, the band have also wowed crowds across the UK playing festival appearances, their own headline tours, and support slots for such outfits as Courage, My Love, and Dead!
Chapter and Verse’s frontman, Josh Carter, spoke to me about all this, getting Metallica legend Lars Ulrich’s seal of approval, as well as what the band have lined up, prior to their recent set in Derby supporting Dream State.
How did the band get together?
Me, Darren and Jonny were all in bands previously, doing lots of different things, but it got to a stage where we decided that we wanted to do something brand new, and from scratch, so that’s what we did.
The band started off as a three-piece, then later on, we drafted Ash in. We were lucky to find him, actually. We found him on an internet forum, and we brought him in through that.
It’s a pretty boring story! (laughs)
How did the name Chapter and Verse come about?
We took about six months to come up with that name. It was so tricky, because every name that we came up with that we thought sounded cool turned out to already belong to someone else.
One day, we came across this phrase, “chapter and verse“, and we felt that pretty much summed us up, because the specificity of that phrase we felt worked well, and that was that.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
It varies. A lot of the time, one of us will come forward with a skeleton, or a rough idea, of a song, where we want it to go, and we’ll adapt it from there, so it’s normally a case of adapting a whole guitar piece in a very useful manner, adding vocals to it, Darren will make it his by making changes to it, or we’ll adapt it from the lyrics, but we’re all big contributors, there’s no main songwriter, so it’s a massive team effort.
What inspires the band lyrically?
A lot of things. I personally find it really hard to write about anything that I don’t really feel too strongly about, so it’s not like there’s just one type of topic, I just write about things that feel real to me, that I’ve thought about a lot.
Sometimes, it’s things that I really need to get off my chest, or that I feel really strongly about, or that I have something to say on. Normally, if I’m not full of opinions on a topic, I can’t write anything on it! (laughs)
Usually, when I know what my goal is, I’m able to sum it up in a sentence, and it kind of all splurges from there.
Last year, you brought out a single, ‘Magazines’, which followed your 2016 debut EP, ‘The Wolves Back Home’. How was the reaction to those releases?
The reaction to both of them were great. The EP, it’s old for us now, it was the first thing we’d ever done as a band, and at that time, we were still finding our feet, trying to figure out what we wanted to sound like, what we were good and bad at, but it was all received really positively.
The first EP was just five tracks, which we wrote individually, whereas with the new EP that’s coming out later this year, ‘Glow’, and also with ‘Magazines’, we have put a lot more thought into it, learned how to tie everything in better, develop our sound more, become more mature, and it seems, judging by the reaction to ‘Magazines’ as a single, that more people are excited about what we’re going to do next, and I hope that they also recognise the maturity that we think the new EP has.
Speaking of ‘Glow’, how has the recording process for it been so far?
Very good. We’ve completely finished recording the EP now, we’ve actually been sitting on it for a while now. We recorded it with Neil Kennedy, who has worked with bands like Creeper, Milk Teeth and Boston Manor.
On our first EP, we approached him, asking if he could help us record it, but this time, he actually came to us and said, “If you’re thinking of doing another record, I would love to get involved.”
Neil was a lot more hands-on with the second EP, so that was good. He had lots of ideas on tones and sounds, he would listen to what we had done, and he would say, “What you’ve done here is great, but what you’ve done there is not so great.”
He did a lot of channelling of what we do, and I think that has helped ‘Glow’ to flow much better.
When do you think you’ll be releasing your second EP?
There’ll be some more tracks coming out first, and hopefully, a new video, I don’t really have a release date for them at the moment, but it will definitely be at some point later this year, hopefully by the summer.
Going back to ‘Magazines’, that was recently played on Metallica legend Lars Ulrich’s Apple Music Beats 1 radio show. How was that as an experience?
The weirdest, most bizarre thing ever! (laughs) It was really odd, because even now, we have no idea how it happened. We had nothing to do with it, nor did our management.
The first we knew about it was when we were sent a tweet from Lars himself about two hours before the show first went out, and we were researching it and everything, wondering if it was actually real or just someone playing a practical joke on us.
It was just a really bizarre experience, because Darren is a huge Metallica fan, they were his first love, so I think he was really touched by it all.
Has Lars been in contact with you since he played your track?
No, he hasn’t. He’s been tweeting about his show more. He’s got bigger fish to fry! (laughs)
You’re currently supporting Dream State on their UK headline tour. How has that been going for you so far?
It’s been really great. We’ve only got four shows left after tonight, and the Dream State guys, and girl, have been lovely to us so far. Obviously, we’ve been playing to a lot of crowds that have probably only come for Dream State, so it’s been good to introduce ourselves and our music to them.
We’ve been treated very well, and a lot of people have been cool with us, so yeah, it’s all been really positive. There’s really nothing bad to say about it up to now.
Overall, how is it for the band playing live and touring?
We’ve done headline tours and support tours for other bands, like Courage, My Love, and Emp!re. We try to get out onto the road as much as we can, as much as we’re able to. We base a lot of our songwriting on how well it will go down live, because staying on form live is really important to us, so we try to do it as much as possible.
I presume there will be some live dates this year, after your current tour has been completed?
Yeah, definitely. We’re hoping to announce another tour soon, that will happen hopefully before the summer, but I can’t say anything else about that at the moment, and then after the new EP comes out, we’ll be in festival season.
We’ll be playing the 2000 Trees festival, a handful of independent ones, and hopefully soon, we’ll be able to announce more of the festivals that we’ll be playing.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
Someone who interviewed us recently summed this up perfectly. In order to do an album, we have to earn it first, so we want to get to the stage where we feel like we are ready to make an album that we can be proud of, so yeah, that’s our main goal.
‘MAGAZINES’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM CHAPTER AND VERSE, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY, DEEZER & SOUNDCLOUD.
‘GLOW’, THE BAND’S SECOND EP, WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.
FURTHER INFO ON CHAPTER AND VERSE CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.chapterandverseuk.com