INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
How did the band get together?
I initially came up with the idea of doing something a bit more experimental after the demise of a pop-punk band I was in. Once I came up with our first song, ‘Silhouettes’, I took from there to try and come up with more tunes that were fresh yet familiar.
From where did the name Tenements originate?
I wish there was some incredible, unique, profound reason for the name Tenements, but in reality I thought the word was cool after looking at the tenement flats outside my flat window. Tenement buildings are most common in Scotland and New York, so it’s pretty cool to have a Scottish word for your band name. Patriotic af!
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
Lyrically, it started out as writing about a different mental health issue and basing a concept around it, but now, we’ve also branched into the political side of things. I make us sound far more serious than we actually are.
Musically, we take the aspects of every genre that we enjoy most and see if we can jigsaw it together. Whatever sounds cool to us, we hope sounds cool to the listener.
We love what we play, and I feel if the honesty shines through in your writing, it makes for stronger material. If you don’t believe in your own music, why should others?
What inspires the band lyrically?
We mostly like to highlight topics surrounding mental health. Given that it’s now become a focal point of conversation in media as more and more celebrities are coming out with their experiences, it’s showing that we are all not alone in the things we have to cope with.
I like to take one subject of mental health per song and relate it to a tale. We have so far covered topics such as paranoia, sleep paralysis, stress, anxiety, depression and phobia, and I also read a lot of sociology essays and listen to philosophy podcasts.
I try as much to keep it different lyrically, and hope to open up minds and conversation.
Recently, you brought out a single, ‘The Fear’, which has been very well-received so far, most notably by Kerrang! Radio DJ Alex Baker. How have you all found the response personally?
None of us have ever been in a band that has yet to reach this height, so it’s been really cool, and we’ve been extremely thankful for the exposure and opportunity that has been offered to us this past year.
It isn’t something that we take for granted, and it pushes us to continue to pursue what we do at a high standard.
The track was taken from the band’s debut EP, entitled ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Is Only Getting Stronger’. How was the recording process for that?
Arduous, not in a sense that it was a difficult experience, but as we wanted to give this release our absolute all, it came with a bit of stress and anxiety. During the recording time, we found ourselves between bass players, which caused other members to learn parts in minutes.
Our producer, Bruce, brought out the absolute best in us, and continuously pushed us to be the best we could, and you can hear the devotion and passion poured into every note of the EP.
It was an incredibly fun two weeks, and as we are always writing, we’re looking forward to working again with Bruce in the future with a full line-up.
And what can be expected from the upcoming release?
Lots of melody, lots of breakdowns, and us instilling the notion that “everybody is lying to you“.
Also, three songs from the EP are to be featured in a soon-to-be-released horror film. How did that come about?
We had a friend who was in contact with the film’s producers, Matt Shaw and Michael Bray, who were looking for a band to provide music for their film ‘Monster’, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.
As far as we know, it has premiered and been picked up by an international distributor, so when we know more details of a release, you all will know. From what we’ve gathered so far, it’s very spooky!
Over the past year, the band have supported the likes of InVisions and Bertraying The Martyr. How were they as experiences?
We’ve been very fortunate that in the short time this band has been together, we are yet to have that gig where we only play to the sound guy. With every gig, our fan base grows, and we’ve already got to the point where strangers are grabbing the mic and screaming out our words.
And how is it overall, for you all, performing live?
Live is where our songs come out most. We all have a big part to play, and do everything that we can in the time we’re given to make sure we have a lasting positive effect. Come see for yourselves!
EP aside, what’s planned for the next couple of months?
More writing, and touring, which we are soon to announce.
And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?
To keep our passion, and to always push ourselves to be the best we can. We want to take our music anywhere that will have us, so hopefully, you will see a lot more of us.
‘WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU IS ONLY GETTING STRONGER’, THE DEBUT EP FROM TENEMENTS, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 31.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: