Category Archives: Features

YOU KNOW THE DRILL – ‘Selfhood’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

You Know The Drill EP Cover

West Midlands pop-punk quartet You Know The Drill recently announced details of their forthcoming sophomore EP, ‘Selfhood’, which will be released via Scylla Records on June 22.

The band’s vocalist, Benji Yapp, said about it, “Selfhood’ is a word which describes the quality that makes up a person and just being aware and proud of who you are, which really resonated with us as we wrote this EP. We tried not let ourselves be limited by the pop-punk label, and write without worrying what people were going to think, which definitely ended up benefiting the record.

A first taste of the upcoming release was also unveiled recently, in the form of single ‘Snake Eyes’, which premiered on the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show.

Now, the Birmingham four-piece are here to reveal more about the EP, track-by-track…

‘OVERCAST’

‘Overcast’ is a song about realising who you are, your downfalls, and owning the mistakes you’ve made in the past. This song started with the jumpy, hyped-up intro which Damo (bass) and Brad (drums) came up with together in Damo’s living room, and we all worked on it from there.

Ever since the song had that faded-in intro, we knew it was going to be track one off the EP, and although we haven’t played it live yet, we know it’s going to be the opener of our set for a long time to come.

It’s definitely the song we’re most excited to play live, because of the pure energy and the back-and-forth vocals, and we’re hoping it’ll go down really well.

‘HOMESICK’

This first thing I wrote for ‘Homesick’ was the chorus, and it was one of the rare occasions for me where it came so naturally when writing it, to the point where the lyrics I initially penned down ended up being the final lyrics.

Lyrically, it is one of the most revealing songs that I’ve ever written, which is about my doubts in being able to make it in music and wondering whether it is all just a waste of time, but then it’s disguised in this really fun, bouncy pop-punk song, and that’s what I love about it.

We had a show the day after this song was released as the second single, and we weren’t really expecting anyone to sing along to it just yet, but as soon as we started that intro, there were about six or seven people singing it back at us and getting involved, which was absolutely insane, so if that’s the kind of reaction it’s getting already, then I can’t wait to see how well it goes down elsewhere.

‘SUSPECT’

I’m sure that if I looked hard enough, then I could find voice recordings of myself hiding in the toilet at work singing a super rough chorus of ‘Suspect’. ‘Suspect’ is the story of someone who feels their significant other may not be faithful to them and how it is affecting their relationship.

One of my favourite lyrics is taken from this song in the chorus, “We’re separated like the sea between the shores“, which to me, I think, is a really powerful metaphor for feeling distance from someone.

It was this song in particular that made me really desire a summer release for the EP, because it has such an uplifting vibe throughout, despite the contrasting lyrics!

This track also features one of my favourite moments on the EP, which is in the final chorus when it drops into this big, open quarter-time section, which just feels so powerful, and kinda makes you wanna go out and rule the world!

‘BLOSSOM’

In between writing sessions down in Eastbourne, Luke (guitar/vocals) would head outside and sit on a brick wall with an acoustic guitar, whilst a dog called Maddie would come and keep him company.

Within a couple of days, he had written this super pretty acoustic track which we knew we just had to put on the EP, so we worked on that too and put it on the record.

Lyrically, I see it as a continuation of ‘Overcast’, only this time, an apology is being made, as well as promises to be better and to grow from the past.

This is the only track on the EP which was recorded entirely at Nightcrawl Studio in Eastbourne with our good friend, Rich Dack. We recorded all of the acoustic late on a Saturday night, and it was the most chilled-out environment to record in, we’d be playing PS4 and hanging out with his dog, Amy, between takes. It was just so relaxing, and I think that comes across when you listen to the song.

Luke did have to re-record one line for this though, because we realised a couple of months after recording that he had actually sung “I lost control of all my goats” instead of “I lost control of all my ghosts“, which was really funny because none of us had realised that for ages.

‘Blossom’ was tentatively titled ‘Maddie’, named after the dog I mentioned earlier, for a long time, but we felt it needed a more fitting name, and ‘Blossom’ just seemed to fit perfectly with the lyrical themes and overall sound of the song.

‘SNAKE EYES’

‘Snake Eyes’ was the very first song written for the EP, and it all started with a clean guitar riff just before the verse kicks in, which Luke came to practice with, and it just expanded from there.

In terms of composition, it changed a lot throughout the writing process, to the point where we ended up cutting sections we had already recorded vocals for. We were very lucky to have Joey Fleming of In Her Own Words lend his vocal talents to the outro section of ‘Snake Eyes’.

All the way along, we knew we wanted someone to feature on that section, but we weren’t sure who, although we did toy with the idea of Joey for ages before actually asking him, assuming he just wouldn’t have been interested, so it only goes to show, don’t ask, don’t get!

Continuing of from the themes of realising your mistakes and then owning them and making them right, ‘Snake Eyes’ touches on realising your self worth and allowing yourself to want better out of your relationships.

You Know The Drill band photo.jpg

‘SELFHOOD’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM YOU KNOW THE DRILL, WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH SCYLLA RECORDS ON JUNE 26. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT NOW FROM iTunes OR scyllarecords.myshopify.com

ON JUNE 23, THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING AN EP RELEASE SHOW AT THE OASIS MARKET IN BIRMINGHAM.

MORE INFO ON YOU KNOW THE DRILL CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/YouKnowTheDrillUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/YKTDUK

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/yktduk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/YouKnowTheDrillUK

 

 

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RINGGO 5 TAKE US BEHIND THE SCENES OF THEIR NEW VIDEO

Ringgo 5 band photo

Hailing from Jakarta, Indonesia, pop-rockers Ringgo 5 will soon be gracing the stage in the UK and the Netherlands. Concentrating on the south coast of England, the quintet will play the following dates: May 18 – Brighton, World’s End; May 20 – London, 100 Club, and May 22 – Southampton, Joiners Arms, before heading to the Netherlands to play in The Hague on May 25 at Tong Tong Podium and De Rotonde.

To give us a taste of what to expect, the band recently unveiled their video for single ‘Valeria’, which is taken from their debut album ‘Emotion’, and the five-piece gave us a behind the scenes insight…

Ringgo 5 video photo 1

Hi Ringgo 5 – So to kick off, why did you pick ‘Valeria’ as your single ahead of your first UK tour?

We picked ‘Valeria’ as our next single, because of its catchy tune, and also because it was an easy listen for the audience. We even told ourselves when we recorded it that it had to be one of the singles on our ‘Emotion’ album.

We also did some research, asked our friends and families about our next single, and they chose ‘Valeria’.

What is the video about, and how did the concept for it come about?

The video is basically about a guy who adores a girl named Valeria, and has been stalking her through his CCTV because he is too shy and introvert to confess his feelings to her.

However, little does he know, Valeria does the same. She also adores this guy, and has been stalking him through her CCTV. Both of them are basically too afraid to confess their feelings, which are ambiguous.

The concept of the video came from Ryan, our lovely friend who got the idea from the lyric, “On this blue screen, I can feel you“, the five of us, and our director, Fariz Adnan.

Ringgo 5 video photo 2

Where did you shoot it?

We shot everything – every scene – at our guitarist Rishad Marciano’s apartment.

Ringgo 5 video photo 3

Can you tell us about anything interesting or unusual that happened?

Nothing really unusual happened – but it was a very tiring day for Nabil and Robert, as they went to a music festival to see Oh Wonder and Blackbear just hours before the shooting of the video – and we didn’t finish filming until around 2am!

Finally, what are your thoughts on the outcome?

The video came out just as we had expected – shout out to our director, Fariz, and crew, our producer, Adis Putra, our lovely friend Ryan, and last but not least, our parents, who have been supporting and trusting us ever since we started. Massive love.

Ringgo 5 Single Cover

‘VALERIA’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM RINGGO 5, ALONG WITH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM, ‘EMOTION’, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, AMAZON MUSIC, DEEZER, AND THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE ringgo5.com

FURTHER INFO ON RINGGO 5 CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ringgofive

TWITTER: twitter.com/RINGGO_5

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/ringgo5

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

FIGHT FOR FRIDAY – ‘Someone You Could Trust’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

Fight For Friday EP Cover

Taking the title of their forthcoming EP from a beloved The Wonder Years song, vocalist/guitarist of Manchester-based emo pop-punks Fight For Friday Seb Harper reveals: “‘Someone You Could Trust’ is relevant to the context of the EP and the message we are trying to portray: the effect that other people can have on someone’s happiness, health and life experience.”

As their first band, the project began life as an extra-curricular school activity at the tender age of 14, picking a name which “sounded pretty cool. Not so much anymore.”

Now seeing the eldest member turn 20, they say: “We’ve achieved more than we’d initially hoped – playing at huge venues such as Manchester Academy, Fac251; releasing our first EP in 2016 and having toured the UK twice. We are nothing more than a high school band that didn’t stop, carrying on to get to the stage that we are now. It wasn’t the quickest journey but its definitely been the most fun.”

Within their genre, the four-piece are inspired by the likes of The Story So Far and New Found Glory, creating scrappy and lively pop-punk, in combination with flairs borrowed from classic rock and hardcore.

In the lead up to the EP’s release next month, the band are pleased to give you further insight into it with this track-by-track…

‘LIFE HITS YOU HARD’

‘Life Hits You Hard’ is our take on the fast EP opener, as we really wanted to push that high energy sound that we label ourselves with constantly. It was actually the final track that we wrote for this record, with its origins coming from the fact that we desperately wanted to open the EP with a bang.

The song came to life from one chord progression in the intro, and we really just pushed it out from there. Our plan from the start was to make this song as fast and direct as possible, no messing about with any interludes or build-ups, as we didn’t want to give people a chance to calm down. It’s the epitome of what we are all about.

Recording this track was simple and straightforward, probably because it’s a simple song! We went into the studio knowing exactly what we wanted this track to sound like, so there really wasn’t much work that needed putting into getting it record-ready.

We wanted there to be a song on this EP that described our journey as a band since we formed around four years ago, when we were around 15, 16, so we thought what better track to use to portray our past, present and future than the song that perfectly defines our energetic attitudes.

Starting out as school kids, it has always felt like bands around us have looked down upon us in the past and not taken us seriously, which is why for the past four years, “We’ve got nowhere fast.”

We’re still confident on our ability, we’ve been learning and improving together since we formed, and now we are at the point where we are happy with our sound, attitudes and where we are hopefully heading, and that’s the message of ‘Life Hits You Hard’.

We’re unbelievably happy with the outcome of this song, there wasn’t really much that could go wrong with it, so it really has had a perfect outcome for us! For any gig goers out there, we’ve been opening all our shows with this song, so brace yourselves!

‘TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT’

This is the oldest track on the record, originally written in mid-2016, and this probably affects the fact that ‘Take it Or Leave’ is our thrashiest, rawest song.

Having said that, it feels like the writing of this track was a turning point for us as a band, as it marks the transition between our more childish punk vibes and trying to create something more meaningful and intricate.

Over the years, we’ve altered and edited bits of this song, meaning it contains elements of us at our rawest, but also moments of detail that we never had when we first wrote it.

Most of the track is loud, angsty and edgy, but as it draws to a close, the vibe completely flips as everything stops into a mellow, questioning build-up until the song kicks back in, but instead of the angst and edge, we went for emotional, powerful vibes that completely contradict the first five or so minutes of the record.

We really went to town with recording the end of this song. We’d been excited to go crazy and add as many tracks and sound onto the final section for a long time, so it felt good for the ideas we had to come to life. We layered up track after track of different vocal lines and harmonies, and got a few bits of gang vocals in there too.

We’re really happy with how this turned out, it could have been very sloppy and messy, but luckily with the help of producer Dave Page (White Bear Studios), it came out better than we imagined.

‘Take It Or Leave It’ is the breakup track that every pop-punk record apparently needs. The lyrics tackle the topics of insensitivity, selfishness, and how people can change for the worse without explanation.

Hopefully, this breakup song doesn’t come across as cheesy and whiny, but rather a more mature, introspective analysis on personalities.

Having so much hope for this track, and spent so much time planning it out, we were worried that the outcome wouldn’t reach our high expectations. We were blown away by how the finished track sounded. It met every hope we had, and more.

We’ve been playing it live for around two years now, so we know it unbelievably well! Sometimes, we feel that this song isn’t our best because we’ve had it for such a long time, but people’s reactions to us performing it reminded us that it’s not too bad.

‘I FEEL BAD, BUT YOU SHOULD FEEL WORSE’

The feel-good song. This one’s upbeat, catchy, and incredibly happy, yet somehow it has ended up as our heaviest track. We wrote this with the intention of creating something for people to sing along and have a good time to, which it ended up being for a while. It’s even got a cheesy key change!

When we took it into the studio to be recorded, our producer Dave said he didn’t like the key change. We took his advice, and somehow ended up changing the tuning from Drop D to Drop C and writing a 30-second breakdown to precede the key change.

It’s a really different song to what it was before the studio and it captures all vibes, from sing-along to throwing down. Mega EZ-core vibes.

The lyrics for this track don’t really mean a huge amount, we just wanted to get people psyched and have a melody to sing along to, and we think the chorus really captures that inspiring catchy vibe.

This song has changed almost completely during its time in the studio, and in our opinion, 100% for the better. We’re so glad that this track turned out the way it did, as it’s gone from being our least promising tune, to our most exciting and out-there banger.

‘TARGET PRACTICE’

To us, ‘Target Practice’ is the best and most meaningful song that we’ve ever written. It’s a track that captures our more serious personalities, and it’s also a song that we can all relate to lyrically and musically.

You can expect to find a mellow edge to this song, switching between calm and questioning energy, straight into full-on, anger-driven hooks.

We wrote this after pondering on different variations of the intro riff for quite a while. When we finally decided to elaborate on the riff, we didn’t want to overcomplicate the song into something technical, yet unenjoyable.

We wanted to find that perfect mix between technicality and simplicity that creates an interesting yet catchy tune. The ending of the track is our first attempt at a real instrumental section, which hopefully shows our more creative edge.

Similar to ‘Life Hits You Hard’, the recording of this song was really straightforward, mainly due to the fact that we knew exactly what we wanted to come out of it, and it wasn’t really too complicated to record at all.

The lyrical content of this track talks about how other people can try their best to bring you down when they see you doing well for yourself. Certain people will try anything to ruin your happiness when they don’t have it themselves, and you’ve just got to brush it off, show people that you’re better than that, and rise above them.

We’re really pleased with how this song has come out. The recording has captured every bit of emotion that we put into the writing of the track, and it has come out better than anything that we could’ve hoped for.

Hopefully, people can relate to this song as much as we do, and it can be one of those tracks that might inspire somebody to do great things with themselves and others around them.

Live, it’s quite a difficult song to perform! We love to put it last in the set because there’s no better track to finish a show with, but that can take its toll, as we probably need the most energy to do this song justice.

We love playing it though, and we can tell that it’s a good one, because people seem to be immersed throughout the three or so minutes that it lasts.

‘HEADACHE’

There was no better track to end the EP with than ‘Headache’. It’s our emotional anthem, and a massive contrast to the vibe at the start of the EP. Our nickname for it is ‘Sad Song’, because that’s what it is, a sad song, but having said that, it still contains all the catchiness and high energy attitude that we contain.

We wrote this just after the news of Chester Bennington’s death, so when we sat down to write the lyrics for the track, that was the main thing on our mind.

It got us thinking introspectively and how other people’s actions can affect somebody massively, especially when there’s nobody around to listen to you and give you the helping hand that is needed.

Recording this, we tried a couple of things that are unique to the track. We double tracked each guitar with an acoustic guitar part to add thickness and depth to the sound, which we think worked really well.

The bridge section of the song came together whilst we were in the studio, because we felt that that section felt quite empty and boring, so we wanted to add another dimension to it.

Luckily in the studio, there was a piano, so we made full use of that. The melody that we played throughout the bridge is a variation of one of the riffs that opens as well as closes the song, acting as a little theme for it.

Once again, we’re so happy with how this track turned out. It sounds so huge, which we were aiming for, because if the song was slightly sloppy or weak, it just wouldn’t have worked.

Again, we have only David Page to thank for the amazing job that he’s done on every track of this record, as he helped them reach their full potential.

Fight For Friday band photo

‘SOMEONE YOU COULD TRUST’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM FIGHT FOR FRIDAY, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD AND PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON MUSIC, AND BANDCAMP FROM MAY 11.

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER A PHYSICAL COPY OF THE EP NOW AT fightforfridaymerch.bigcartel.com

THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING WITH CATCH FIRE AND COAST TO COAST AT SATANS HOLLOW IN MANCHESTER ON APRIL 26. FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Fight For Friday gig poster

MORE INFO ON FIGHT FOR FRIDAY CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/fightforfriday

TWITTER: twitter.com/Fight_ForFriday

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

 

 

LAYOVER – ‘Your Laughter Never Leaves’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

Layover EP Cover

Birmingham emo-punk quartet Layover recently unveiled the video for ‘Slumber’, a track which is taken from their forthcoming EP, ‘Your Laughter Never Leaves’, out via Fox Records on May 4.

Having gone on hiatus in 2016, this 2018 version of Layover can be considered a clean slate. Founded in 2014 and previously releasing “very DIY” material that is misaligned with their renewed energy and considered aesthetic, the band’s vocalist, Luke Rainsford, explains: “The sound of our old music does not represent us, and we have matured as musicians and people since then. We come with a new direction to start in a genre we are more passionate about.

The four-piece gave us an insight into what can be expected from their first studio recording with this track-by-track guide…

‘HUNGER PAINS’

‘Hunger Pains’ was the first song we wrote for the EP, and we class it as a bridge between our older pop-punk style, and our newer emo vibes.

Originally, Brad (Fisher, drummer) and Dom (Cattell, guitarist) were messing with the idea, and it just kept developing over time. Even though it’s our oldest song, we still changed parts of it over a year after we first wrote it, so we’re super happy with how it’s developed.

The song is about how I (Luke) was in a really bad place with my mental health, and the guilt that surrounded me about dealing with it whilst my mum was struggling with the late stages of terminal cancer.

Lyrics like “I’d never want you to know just how much I was hurting, ‘cause it’s nothing compared to what you’re facing” show how I was hiding a lot of the things I was struggling with at the time, such as self-harm and suicidal thoughts, even though in hindsight, it was something I shouldn’t have been ashamed about, and is something that we have tried to express openly on the entire EP.

This song is one of our most energetic songs, and it’s so fun to play live because of it.

‘COFFEE AND FLUOXETINE’

This track was pieced together in two halves. We had the first half of the song, and were joking around with some tappy guitar parts for fun, but we ended up really liking it, so it stuck.

We’re really stoked on how the track goes from a pop-punk vibe to a bouncy emo style at the end, similar to ‘Hunger Pains’, and it’s one of the songs that’s most enjoyable to play on the EP.

The title of this track is in reference to how I used to take my anti-depressants along with coffee in the morning, and even though the song itself is mostly about relying on people too much to cope with my mental health, it is written about a particular friendship with someone that happened during one of the worst parts of my treatment, and how a lot of people struggle to help their friends who are going through a bad time.

This song is mostly about a friend who was also struggling with their mental health, and about how we were both too ill to support each other through a difficult time, and she ended up having to break off the friendship.

This isn’t a break-up song, and it’s not intended to sound like I believed I was entitled to any sort of friendship or support from her, instead it is more about the sadness of my mental health affecting my close relationships with people, and about how a lot of my coping mechanisms were built around having people there to support me.

‘HOLLOW ME OUT’

We’ve always loved having short tracks, so this one was super fun to write. We’re so proud of the interesting rhythms and time signatures we used, without it sounding too strange. I’m also super happy with how the vocals came out too.

Musically, it’s just full of interesting patterns and rhythms, especially on drums. I feel really lucky to be able to fit vocals over some super talented musicians, and the fact that they let me pour my heart into songs like this with a more instrumental focus, I’m very thankful for.

We’re super proud of how the first half of the track is very focused on the instruments, whilst the second half becomes more vocal focused, as it ends up being sort of like a short highlight reel of what we can do, which means it’s incredibly fun to play live.

This song is about feeling incredibly uncomfortable in the skin you’re stuck with, and just wishing I could be anybody else. A lot of the time, I feel as though my experiences that have contributed negatively towards my mental health have all been things out of my control, and it can be easy to believe that the world is out to get you.

This track is my way of saying how I feel as though I’m alone in my struggles, even though I know that’s not true, it’s very easy to think that on the bad days.

‘SLUMBER’

We wrote ‘Slumber’ together in Elliot’s small home studio, not long after we reformed, and it came together so naturally.

This is the one song on the EP that didn’t take much effort to write, it just sort of framed itself in an incredibly simple yet effective way. It’s probably the most simple track on the record, but the most emotional vocal-wise.

When we wrote it, we only had the first finger-picked riff, and just built it up in the space of an hour or two. This song is so incredible to play live, just because of the raw emotion, and we’ve seen so many people cry or become incredibly emotionally invested in this song whenever we’ve played it live.

I wrote this track bout the loss of my mother, more precisely about the night I was told via phone call about her passing away. Throughout the song, it’s written as a kind of open letter to my mum, detailing my regrets about not spending enough time with her or telling her how I felt enough.

I have always been unfortunate enough to buy in to the stigma around expressing emotions in men, and at the time of my mum’s passing, I was always very awkward and almost ashamed of being open emotionally with my family. This is something I’ve moved past, as I’m now extremely comfortable with admitting when I feel weak, and this song was definitely the turning point for that.

There is definitely still reference to my mental health in this song, in the lyric “I stare at your ashes and wish I was taking your place“, which is in reference to the strong suicidal feelings I had at the time – mostly dealing with the struggle of having to see someone I love pass away, whilst also having difficulty with my own thoughts on mortality and death.

‘YOUR LAUGHTER NEVER LEAVES’

This track was the last we wrote for the EP, and initially, it was a little rushed. We ended up piecing together loads of little ideas we had for other songs into one piece, and we ended up with one of our favourite tracks on the entire release.

The chorus of this song, we believe, is super powerful and catchy, and musically, there are a lot of really cool melodies on the guitar that compliment the vocals so well.

I’m personally super proud of the call-and-response style of the guitar and vocals in the intro, as well as the way some of the higher lead-style parts of the chords in the chorus sit under the vocal melody.

Mostly, we’re just really proud of the mood and the vibe this song conveys – especially in a live setting. It is both somehow chilled out yet bursting with energy at the same time, and it’s very cathartic to play.

The lyrics of this encapsulate the themes of the entire EP, which is why we decided to go with it for the EP title, as well as the closing track. The lyrics “Your laughter never leaves” and “Who would ever guess that I would end up sentimental?” are based around knowing that even though somebody is gone, they will always be present in my life.

Specifically, it’s about feeling my mum’s impact on the decisions I’ve made, and how I still remember all the amazing times we had, which can make things a lot easier when dealing with my bad mental health days, or days where I get upset about her passing. “I’ll never crack a smile again without picturing your nicotine-stained teeth” is my way of saying “Whenever I’m doing something that makes me happy, or having a good day, I know that you’d be proud of me and smiling too.

Layover band photo

‘MY LAUGHTER NEVER LEAVES’, THE NEW EP FROM LAYOVER, WILL BE RELEASED VIA FOX RECORDS ON MAY 4. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT NOW DIGITALLY AT foxrecords.bandcamp.com AND PHYSICALLY AT foxrecords.limitedrun.com.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE SUPPORTING TINY MOVING PARTS AT THE ASYLUM IN BIRMINGHAM ON APRIL 14. FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Layover gig poster

MORE INFO ON LAYOVER CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/layoverUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/LayoverUK

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/layoveruk

 

 

COVE – ‘A Conscious Motion’ – BEHIND THE ARTWORK

Cove EP Cover

With exactly a week to go until Kent alternative hardcore/metalcore quintet Cove release their sophomore EP, ‘A Conscious Motion’, the band have decided to give a greater insight into the creation of its artwork…

Cove artwork sketch

We worked really hard on the artwork for ‘A Conscious Motion’ to create something that we felt was unique, interesting, and also bold. Ben Brazier came up with the initial emblem idea, and we all collaborated on the other details to create the final outcome.

Cove EP Cover prototype

We’ve always had a DIY ethic within our band, from artwork to music to merch, we like to do as much ourselves as possible. We all came together on the artwork, and created it ourselves, as it’s more personal to the band, like with the music, it feels so much better when it’s collectively come from our own heads.

It started with us all reading over lyrics from the new EP, an ongoing theme especially in Ben Shortens’s lyrics was “the sun”, with lines like “I’ll take us from this burning sun”, “I watched your soul fade like a dying sun”, plus the song ‘Solis’ is Latin for “Sun”.

We used a sun logo for the artwork of the ‘Solis’ single and wanted to carry on that theme, but make it less obvious this time around. So we were looking for something that would reflect that ongoing theme in the lyrics.

It was tricky at first, we bounced around a few ideas, we didn’t want any sort of artwork to be the same old idea that made you think of other album art, especially in our genre of music.

The goal with this band was always to be a heavy band that didn’t have the typical aesthetic of other heavy bands. Ben Brazier drew up some symbols and rough ideas (some of which we have included above) before arriving on a symbol we really liked.

It’s simple, to the point, and doesn’t instantly strike out as being affiliated with our genre of music. We knew, as soon as we saw it, that it was going to be the main symbol for ‘A Conscious Motion’.

We spent a lot of time bouncing around ideas for the background, there were countless sketches and textures we tried before eventually arriving on the finished outcome, there was something about the rough texture that stood out to us, we felt like it complimented the emblem perfectly, it wasn’t distracting enough to take away from it, but still made the artwork eye catching and interesting, we always ask for the lights in venues for our sets be blue, and that was a theme we wanted to carry on through the artwork of our music, hence going for a cold blue texture, linking the live and the recorded together.

Cove band photo

‘A CONSCIOUS MOTION’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM COVE, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 23, AND YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT NOW ON iTunes.

FURTHER INFO ON THE UPCOMING RELEASE, AS WELL AS THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

 

SCREECH BATS – ‘Wish You Were Her’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

Screech Bats EP Cover

Punk rock quartet Screech Bats will self-release their sophomore EP, ‘Wish You Were Her’, on March 30. As the follow-up to 2016’s self-titled debut release, vocalist Esme Baker explains its inspiration: “It’s about women who have, for entirely different reasons, had a profound impact on my life, but are no longer in it. Including a feminine face in the artwork to mirror the title, but somehow censoring the eyes, gives the character anonymity, making whoever we are talking about a total enigma.

Reminiscent of the artwork of their debut, but more refined, it serves to highlight the maturity that the London four-piece’s music has found in the past two years.

Recording with James Routh of Sonic Boom Six, often until the early hours in a Blackpool rehearsal room, the band opted to strip back to a rawer form of their sound.

The result is a heart-on-sleeve alternative rock with punk rock roots, topped off with distinctly British vocals à la Lower Than Atlantis; the influence of the likes of Against Me! and Jimmy Eat World is clear.

If like us, you find yourself wanting to know more, read on as Baker discusses ‘Wish You Were Her’ track-by-track…

‘BLOOD IN MY HAIR’

The first track on the EP is a pretty intense one. Our usual process is that Kit demos the guitar and basic drum parts, and brings them to us to work our vocal lines and the rest of the details together.

The lyrics for this were the toughest part – and it’s one of the ones where I had to write and rewrite the words over and over again to get them right, and I guess that is because I was trying to write about an enormous and sensitive topic.

The song is about the death of a friend, and grief and loss is a topic I have been wanting to write about for years, but it’s only recently that I have felt emotionally mature enough to sit down and give it thought without just dissolving into a devastated mess.

I am glad I wrote about this now and not before, because with a few more years’ experience, I have been able to look at death and grief from many angles, and despite yelling “I’ll see you in Hell” several times in the song, the overall message of the track is meant to be a positive one!

At the stage of life I am at now, I feel strong enough to look back, think about death and grief, and really think about what it means to die. Of course, I don’t have the answers, but it was a very cathartic experience to muse over death with a philosophical and open mind.

During the song, in the verses, I revisit the night where we all found out, who was where then, and the initial screaming grief that accompanied the revelation. In the chorus, I try to think about the idea of Heaven and Hell, and how this friend had died so young, and during a point in our lives that, if there was a Hell, we would all certainly be going for our numerous “sins” and our drug-addled, angsty-teenage, hedonistic lifestyle choices.

Alongside this, in the pre-chorus – I tried to look at the idea of death just being a part of life, “if we’ve all risen up, from the Earth – death is just us falling back down again” – nowadays, I find it easier to accept our mortality, and doing that allows me to breathe a lot easier – there is a lot of comfort in it, and the ability to be comfortable in my mortality definitely allows me to enjoy this ride to the grave a Hell of a lot more.

This is the track I get most nervous about performing live, it is impossible to do the choruses without brimming over with emotion. I have to really put myself in every second of it or I can’t seem to perform it at all, and I feel utterly drained and always need a second to recover after we play this one!

‘GET BETTER’

‘Get Better’ is the single from the EP. It was a bit of a dark horse choice for the single, because Kit wrote it in triple time, making it feel very different to our other recorded tracks.

It isn’t the most catchy tune on the EP – but we decided on it, because we love that it’s a bit unusual and the message in the lyrics is something we could all get behind, as mental health issues have certainly had a profound effect on all members of the band in different ways, and we want to use any platform we can to attempt to de-stigmatise the issue, and put out the message to sufferers that they are not alone, and moreover, the message that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel and a happy future, even when this feels impossible.

I have suffered from myriad mental health issues for as long as I can remember, and we have a history of severe mental health issues on both sides of my family, so I don’t remember a time where depression wasn’t part of my life.

I never thought I could be the person I am now – I wake up every day thankful to still be here, and looking forward to the future! The person I was four years ago would never have believed I could feel this way and it’s incredible.

Of course, there are other factors that helped me on my way to recovery, my amazing family and my awesome friends, but this song is for the catalyst of the biggest change in my life, without whom I honestly believe I would not be here – my doctor and her incredibly hardworking team who nursed me back to health when I didn’t want to wake up anymore. 

I wanted to get these words out, not only as a thank you, not only for myself, but on behalf of everyone she helped and continues to help through the course of her career, but also as a way of reaffirming to myself that I was doing better, and I will continue to work at being better, and finally, as a way of showing people that yeah, recovery is tough, but it happens, and even in the absolute depths of despair, I want to give people living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully that serves as a reason not to give up.

I absolutely love performing this song – it is one I really look forward to in the set – the triple time is a really nice beat to slip into, and the way the words sit in the verses is very satisfying to sing. I also love performing it because, again like ‘Blood In My Hair’, I believe and feel every word.

‘EVERY GOOD THING’

We wrote this song a little differently to the rest of the tracks on this EP. It is the oldest song on the record, and it’s the one where Kit wrote the melody line and a large portion of the lyrics, as well as the guitar parts. It is really cool to be able to swap roles in the writing process like this, as it leads to a nice amount of variety within the five songs.

It is, in essence, about anyone who has stayed in a relationship (any kind of relationship – romantic, friendship, or even in a band or project) with someone for far too long, and their heart is no longer there.

It’s a trap we all find ourselves in, where we stick with someone or something well after the passion is dead and buried, because of some warped sense of loyalty, or the fear of being alone, fear of making the wrong choice, or simply the will to remain in the comfort that is in the familiar.

Either way, this kind of stagnant relationship can feel like a prison, and will often drive you crazy with frustration, and lead you into being someone you really don’t want to be.

In the chorus, we have the line “and I should feel guilty, but I don’t”, and I think that really can sum up this feeling – you can be driven so mad by someone you are sick of that you can no longer feel compassion for them, you grow full of contempt, even if they haven’t done anything wrong – and it’s such a sign you need to get out.

We wanted to write this song just because it’s something we have all experienced in one way or another, and it’s certainly a feeling our audience can relate to as well.

This one is a really fun one to play as, unlike the rest of the tracks on ‘Wish You Were Her’, we wrote this song when we first formed, and have been playing it live since our first ever show! So we know it back to front, inside out, and can just have fun with it at this point.

‘JUST LIKE YOU’

This is another song where Kit smashed out the instrumentals and I took approximately a million rewrites of the lyrics to get it right!

This was originally a really angry song about someone who totally broke my frail little heart, but after Kit vetoed my original title of ‘Crying’s So Much Better When You’re Wanking Over Skype’, I amended it to be a bit more feel-good.

The long and short of it is, I fell pretty hard for someone who saw me just as a bit of fun. I was enormously hurt and focused all my attention on working out what was wrong with me, all the reasons why this person didn’t want me, was it my weight?, was it my height?, was it my sense of humour?, was I not confident enough?, or pretty or sexy enough? To get over these feelings, I tried to shift my focus from all the bad things about me to working out what was going on with her.

I knew this person well, and I came to realise that she just needed the self-esteem boost. She was ageing, and not ageing well, she had always only relied on her looks and sexual attention from people to feel validation, and now her looks were waning, she was just clutching at vulnerable, lonely people to feel better about herself.

Realising this helped get over the rejection, and the more I look around me, the more I see other people in the same kind of situation – facing rejection and hating themselves because of it, rather than seeing it as the rejector’s loss that they are missing out on someone rad.

Although I guess the song is a bit of a “fuck you” to this person, and it feels good to tell her that I now KNOW there are plenty more fish in the sea, and I now KNOW I’m great and worth something – in the end, the message of the song is: don’t give a damn about people who don’t treat you with respect, just because one person doesn’t see how awesome you are, doesn’t mean the next one won’t.

This is my favourite track to perform, because I love hammering out all the lyrics of the first line in the chorus. “No-one says ‘I want you’ like a desperate woman, and nothing says ‘I’m ageing’ like an act of desperation” might be my favourite moment to perform out of the entire set!

It’s such a fun song to play, and we always have a really good time doing it.

‘THAT VALENTINE SONG’

We close the EP with ‘That Valentine Song’, because we wanted to finish strong. As soon as Kit showed us the demo for this track, I knew it would be a banger. It was the only one I managed to write a vocal line and lyrics to all in one sitting, maybe only took about an hour to smash out, which NEVER happens to me!

I was living with my ex at the time and, (like everyone’s ex is), my ex was an utter piece of shit. I was in the classic toxic situation of sharing with someone who wanted to put me down at every turn.

Calling me a whore, telling me how to do my hair, telling me to take off my make up, telling me what not to wear – either I looked too slutty, or I looked too fat, leaching all of my money, shitting all over my self-esteem and good nature, doing everything they could to break me, and still I was utterly and completely devoted to this person.

I sat down and wrote this song, knowing I was living with “my hateful valentine”, and almost laughing at myself for putting up with such a monumental turd of a person, sapping my years away.

Needless to say, we split about three months after this song was written, and my life improved exponentially. For the love of sweet baby Jesus – if someone makes you feel this way – LEAVE THEM. THEY WILL NOT CHANGE, AND THEY ARE NO GOOD FOR YOU.

Its another super fun one to play live – I love dancing around to Kit’s solo – another excellent moment in the set, and we are all hoping this one will become a bit of a sing-along song, it’s one that gets stuck in your head, and we usually get a nice reaction from the crowd with it too, so it’s always a pleasure to play.

Screech Bats band photo

‘WISH YOU WERE HER’, THE SELF-RELEASED SECOND EP FROM SCREECH BATS, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 30. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT NOW FROM THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.screechbats.com

FURTHER INFO ON SCREECH BATS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ScreechBats

TWITTER: twitter.com/ScreechBats

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/screechbats

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/screech-bats

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

 

FORBIDDEN SEASONS – ‘Promise’ – BEHIND THE ARTWORK

Forbidden Seasons Album Cover

With exactly a week to go until Italian metalcore/post-hardcore quintet Forbidden Seasons release their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Promise’, the band have given us an insight into the creation of its artwork…

The artwork of our new album, ‘Promise’, was created by MZ Design, a studio we’ve been working with since our first EP, ‘Paramnesia’; it’s a good team of trusted people, and their works are really great!

In our artwork, there’s always our mascot, the moth; the moth lives an ephemeral life full of risks, nevertheless, in the short time she has, she fulfils her obligations and succeeds in her life cycle.

Compared to our world nowadays, our situation is kind of the same; we have to deal with the adversities of life, trying to reach our goals, spread our wings and fly, like the moth does.

We chose the style of the artwork together with MZ studio, and the graphic knowledge of our bass player helped a lot.

We considered a lot of ideas, like using a female figure or the face of a baby to represent the innocence of promises made to children, but in the end, we decided to use these in video clips and other material, that way, it’s more eloquent.

The final idea was to represent the minimal but marked contrast between the black in the background, that stands for darkness and obscurity of thoughts, and the gold of the moth, as the glimmer of light in our minds.

The background texture is like a ruined page of an ancient book, and this theme is brought to the entire booklet, also with the choice of the font.

Forbidden Seasons band photo 2

‘PROMISE’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM FORBIDDEN SEASONS, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 16.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE & HERE.