Category Archives: Features

BUNKERPOP – ‘Bunkerpop’ ALBUM TRACK-BY-TRACK

Bunkerpop band photo

by ZAK SLOMAN

Recently, rapidly-emerging Hull five-piece Bunkerpop unveiled a self-titled debut album, which they had spent the best part of a year working on, constantly tweaking what had been recorded to ensure that the release would be the best it could possibly be, as well as being an accurate reflection of the band’s eclectic and distinctive sound.

Unlike the majority of albums, the collective opted to split their first offering into four parts – all named after colours – each comprising of three tracks, and they were happy to go through them all in detail with me.

RED SIDE

‘START SOMETHING WITH A STOP’

This track started off in life as a tune called ‘Disko Socks‘, which we used to play live, and was quite a favourite in the early days. It didn’t quite work on the recording, so we basically took everything off the live take and stripped it back apart from four bars of Jonathan‘s synth line, which we repeated over and over again.

It’s the most Kraftwerk-type tune we have, and conjures up images of speeding down the autobahn in true krautrock style.

‘(ARE YOU READY) FOR SOMETHING’

The obvious choice for the single from the album. It has elements of The Chemical Brothers and charity shop Daft Punk to the sound. Paul and Jonathan did the vocoder parts, with the original dialogue coming from a YouTube clip of a crazy preacher man trying to convert the masses at a church.

‘BUNKERPOP THEME’

The first track the band ever practiced together in full. Jonathan started it with a squelching from his synth, Carlos joined in, and the rest of us followed.

The dialogue track came from a promotional record bigging up a 1970’s local radio station somewhere in the south of England, and Trevor – the band’s bassist – has a selection of bizarre sound effects records that we draw from when we need something a bit odd to add to proceedings.

BLUE SIDE

‘STOP’

This is the track we used to open every live set with for the first year. It came about from an improvised jam, and we really loved it. Paul added the Camberwick Green acoustic guitar to give it a nostalgic feel that took us all back to our childhoods.

‘KIJK’

This tune started off being called ‘Three Times The Stabs‘, and it was called this right up until about a month before the final mixes. It has been described as “Super Mario on acid” by fans of the band. It’s a live favourite, and was BBC Introducing‘s track of the week a few weeks ago.

‘LUISTER’

This started off as the weakest track on the album, as it really wasn’t doing anything. The three tunes on this side all meld into each other, and this really was a bit lame, so Mark and Paul cut it up, sliced it, spliced, thrashed, and added chopped-up bits from the original live take to come up with something we rather like, so it’s bizarre.

The three songs on this side are Dutch brothers….the English translation is ‘Stop, Look, Listen‘.

​WHITE SIDE

‘NEWTOWN’

The only track on the album with “proper” lyrics. The words are descriptive of the boredom of city centre living and town centres in general. It highlights town centre planning, town centre furniture, town centre zombies, and town centre mediocrity….which we quite like. It also features our friend Salbo Baggins (The Dyr Sister) on strings.

‘DON’T UPSET THE HAWK’

A one-chord live jam that was pretty boring until we cut it up in the studio and added overdubs. Nice, fuzzy, and percussive. Carlos the drummer plays a blinder.

The dialogue comes from an Australian TV interview with Lou Reed. Lou wasn’t playing that day, so the interviewer’s questions were more interesting than his answers.

Also, watch out for the new video made by Nicholas Broten of Fonda 500 for this track…one of our personal favourites from the album.

‘WET BRAINS’

Wet Brains‘ was the first song we practiced after Paul returned from an eight-month trip travelling around Europe.

It’s in ‘B’ minor, which is unusual for us, as we normally stay in the majors. It’s very dub and laid back right until the end when the band goes nuts. It also features sound effects from a steam boat, and Nicholas Broten on razor guitar.

BLACK SIDE

‘HARMONY WHEEL’

This was originally about three minutes too long, so we cut much of it out. It’s a very playful tune which reminds us of a Henry Mancini tune called ‘Baby Elephant Walk‘ for some reason.

It’s a delightful plod through the jungle, and the dialogue once again comes from one of Trevor‘s sound effects records.

‘LOVELY ENO’

This was the biggest surprise on the album. It’s basically a live improvisation towards the end of the last recording session with a few overdubs from Mark in the studio eight months later.

Basically, we had some spare time, so we just pressed record and went for it after a few false starts, which we kept on the record as we really rather liked them. Paul and Trevor both play bass on the live take, and Jonathan‘s parts were recorded with his headphones plugged in, so we didn’t hear what he was playing until we pressed the recorded playback.

It’s a gorgeous, atmospheric piece of muzak.

‘ACTION AFTER WARNINGS’

Action After Warnings‘ is a song title we had for ages, but couldn’t find a tune to fit. It was going to be the album title too. This tune basically followed straight on from the improvisation of ‘Lovely Eno‘….we just kept on playing. Mark, Jonathan, and Paul added overdubs of guitar, keyboards, and melodica in the studio…and hey presto!

THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FROM BUNKERPOP IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THIS – AND THE BAND – CAN BE FOUND HERE & HERE.

 

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A CHAT WITH BUNKERPOP

Bunkerpop band logo

by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in the spring of 2016, five-piece Bunkerpop have been building up a devoted legion of followers, initially in their home city of Hull, and now spreading across the UK, with a truly unique, mostly instrumental sound drawn from an eclectic range of musical influences, as well as live performances that actively encourage audience participation.

However, the genesis of the band happened to be a complete accident. “We were originally practicing just for a David Bowie tribute night at the Adelphi (a popular live music venue), which Jonathan – our keyboard and synth player – had organised.

During the practice session, the five members suddenly began to jam with their instruments in unison, and sensing positive vibes from this impromptu musical collaboration, they all decided to meet again for another practice, where the quintet put together their first track, entitled ‘Bunkerpop Theme‘.

With a name stemming from both an unforgiving windowless concrete space underneath a stand at the city football team’s stadium, and a song by Mancunian post-punk singer-songwriter LoneLady, Bunkerpop got to work on honing their approach to songwriting.

We have a three-pronged approach to songwriting. Sometimes, somebody will start playing something, and then the rest of us join in, which is sometimes very successful, and occasionally awful. Other times, we’ll start from scratch in the studio, build a tune up that way, and then practice it for live performance. We also combine those two approaches to come up with a third way, where we will record a live take, then splice it up, add things, take things away, and spew it out the other side.

The latter approach is what the quintet opted for when it came to recording their recently-released debut album.

We recorded it over three sessions, and we got our friend Bob Wingfield to engineer and press record whilst we basically played live. We then took the recordings, and worked, re-worked, and worked on them again. Some stuff was dumped altogether.

This is something the Humberside collective would consistently do over the next 12 months, taking many hours and days making everything as perfect as it could possibly be, and once they were completely satisified, the band sent it over to mastering supremo Pete Maher, who has worked with the likes of the White Stripes and U2, who – in the five-piece’s words – “gave it a shiny finish“.

Unlike the majority of bands and artists out there, Bunkerpop mostly eschew lyrical content in favour of samples of dialogue and sound effects. It plays a big role in what they do, and how the outfit present themselves, and this way, “the songs are open for interpretation, and we trust the listener to have enough integrity to come up with their own thoughts and feelings.

This is something that also applies to the album as a whole, with the offering comprising of three songs on four sides, all named after colours. “We decided not to number the sides, as we didn’t want to have the listeners to think which one is best, so instead, they’re coloured sides. Each side is a mood, so the listener can choose a mood instead of an order.

And this is reflected in the overall sound, which the band have described as “gorgeous“. “It’s groovy and strange. You can dance to some sides or you can chill out to others. Some of it is very pretty and nostalgic, whilst other parts are aggressive and fuming with the state of it all.

Now the album has finally been released, the quintet are currently on a summer tour, which will see them play festivals and venues across the UK, and although rather gruelling, playing live is something they simply love doing. “We do not stand for mediocre, because why should anyone stand for that? The audience play a big part in any of our performances, and stage invasions are encouraged. We include the whole room in a performance, and there is no boundaries between band and audience. We have our uniforms as we are a team, and we play together to create joy and happiness.

So far, the new release has had an overwhelmingly positive response, and the band have managed to sell half of its initial vinyl pressing, not bad for an outfit who have no major label support, and do pretty much everything independently.

However, the five-piece are not going to let this success get to their heads any time soon. “What really makes us happy is being creative and playing, and we’ll be moving onto recording new stuff soon as with the momentum we have currently, we can’t really afford to stand still. This time next year, Del Boy

THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FROM BUNKERPOP IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THIS – AND THE BAND – CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

TOP FIVE BANDS/ARTISTS TO SEE AT CAMDEN ROCKS 2019

Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

by JOE WILLIAMS

Next weekend, over 400 emerging and established bands and artists will be descending on 20 venues across the famed London market district of Camden for the 2019 Camden Rocks Festival, and for those who are planning to go, here are the top five acts that you simply don’t want to miss out on:

The Wild Things band photo

THE WILD THINGS – Saturday June 1, 2pm, The Monarch

Reminiscent of Paramore, yet with a melodic, self-cultivated British twist, The Wild Things have been tipped as one of the dark horses of this year’s festival.

Fans of the acclaimed BBC TV show ‘Uncle‘ may well recognise vocalist/guitarist Sydney Rae White, who played Gwen, but on stage, she has a different presence altogether, and with a consistent string of songs in their back pockets, there’s no wonder why this British rock quartet have been tipped as ones to watch by the likes of Kerrang!Classic Rock, and BBC Introducing.

The Blinders band photo

THE BLINDERS – Saturday June 1, 7.30pm, Dingwalls

Replacing Welsh rock outfit Pretty Vicious – who have unfortunately had to pull out of playing at this year’s festival – the Doncaster three-piece are one of the more recognised names amongst the British alternative scene, and have been slowly but surely leaving their mark with some truly unique performances.

Accompanied by the powerful and dark tonal range of bassist Charlie McGough, and drummer Matt Neale, vocalist/lead guitarist Thomas Haywood has a stand-out range in his vocals that has rocked every room they’ve crossed since the band started out in 2016.

Three years on, they have recently been promoting last year’s debut album ‘Colombia‘ with much touring, and will be looking to continue their rise with a strong outing this June.

Frank Turner photo

FRANK TURNER – Saturday June 1, 8.45pm, The Electric Ballroom

Headlining the Saturday, the seven-studio album-producing punk and folk singer-songwriter needs no introduction to those close to the indie scene.

Following his time as part of post-hardcore collective Billion Dead, he ventured into his now-renowned acoustic solo career, and has since provided a taste of uplifting and empowering vocals across the world.

As well as taking to the stage as a solo artist, he has also reunited with his former bandmate, Ben Dawson, to form Mongol Horde, along with guitarist Matt Nasir, and Despite having been born in Bahrain, Turner has always been seen as a Londoner, and he will look to return that favour as he returns to Camden once again.

Best Of Enemies band photo

BEST OF ENEMIES – Sunday June 2, 12pm, The Black Heart

Following off the back of the first day, there will be no better place to get yourself settled back into the spirit of Camden Rocks then by going to The Black Heart to see pop-rock four-piece Best of Enemies, who will be making the short trip north from Croydon.

Showcasing their recently-released EP, the band look to take their ever-growing audience by surprise by encapsulating beautifully-paced vocals, and pairing them with addictive hooks.

Hands Off Gretel band photo

HANDS OFF GRETEL – Sunday June 2, 8.30pm, The Camden Assembly

Stemming shades of the 90’s grunge scene, the colourful South Yorkshire outfit will look to kick into a final night of Camden Rocks with the typical riotous swagger that has become a staple of the current line-up’s fearsome presentations.

Performing across the circuit since forming in 2015, they showed little mercy in releasing their debut album ‘Burn the Beauty Queen‘, which received plaudits from all corners of the UK, including Louder Than War, who stated at the time, “It marks the start of a career that could well see them becoming as big as Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, or Miley Cyrus over time….. given the breaks, and skilful management.

The band will certainly be hoping that their appearance at Camden Rocks will lay down further foundations for them to do just that.

TICKETS FOR CAMDEN ROCKS 2019 ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AND BOTH DAYS, STARTING FROM £40. FURTHER INFO ON THIS CAN BE FOUND AT THE FESTIVAL’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

 

 

 

WEAK13 ALBUM EXCLUSIVE

Weak13 band photo

Despite initially forming almost two decades ago, and having amassed a loyal following over that period, it wasn’t until the release of debut album ‘They Live‘ towards the end of 2016 that Weak13 finally got the praise and acknowledgement they had spent such a long time working for.

They Live‘ caught a lot of bands off guard, as they weren’t expecting it at all, and if they’re really honest about it, it inspired some of them to really step up their game” recalls the band’s vocalist/guitarist, and man of many talents, Nick J. Townsend. “Also, it scared the hell out of critics because it meant that they had to tolerate hearing people calling us serious musicians.

Therefore, when the time came for the West Midlands rock collective to begin planning a follow-up, they realised that in order to effectively build on the momentum generated by their first full-length offering, everything had to be moved up to a whole new level.

We simply knew that we had to better ‘They Live‘ in every way possible, and this meant we had to make it bigger, better, and bolder than anything we had ever done before.” states bassist Wesley Smith.

And the best way in which to achieve this, the band quickly realised, was for them to record a double album.

As a rule, independent bands such as ours tend not to make double albums, and mainstream artists shy away from it. Loads of them talk about the idea, but in reality, when you hear the state of modern music releases, many struggle to write even three good tunes,” says Nick, “so we thought about recording twice the normal amount of songs, and making them all hit-worthy, stand-alone bullets.

Another reason for deciding to do this, Nick says, was a desire from himself and his bandmates to create something that would have the same lasting impact as a certain release from years before had had on them.

I remember when I was younger buying the ‘Use Your Illusion’ double albums by Guns N’ Roses, and thinking how brave and massive they were, as releasing what was essentially four albums worth of songs all in one go was unheard of even then, and we thought long and hard about Weak13 doing the same.

And so, for the last couple of months, the collective have been hard at work putting together what will be the first half of a 15-track release, the process of which so far has been relatively smooth and trouble-free.

From a bass point of view, it’s all falling into place very nicely, and its sounding amazing even at an unmixed stage, so that can only be a positive thing.” says Wesley, with Nick adding, “I’ve never felt this confident before in the studio, and I simply haven’t been able to get the tunes that we’ve recorded so far out of my head. Hell, I’ve even been playing air guitar to the raw mixes while listening to them in my car!

However, despite all of this positivity, the band’s devoted legion of followers will have to wait almost another year for the album to come out, with Wesley explaining, “We’re looking at getting it out by April or May 2020, as we want to make sure that everything sounds as good as we know it can be by then, but even that could change, as it ultimately depends on whether we’ll be happy with it.

Despite this though, Weak13 say that their second full-length offering will be well worth the rather lengthy wait. “It will have that classic Weak13 feel, but with a few shocking turns and twists” teases Wesley, with Nick adding to this by saying, “There will be a wider range of crazy shit happening. The last record did a really good job of introducing our sound, but this time around, it feels so much stronger, as we’re going to be doing a lot of brand new things that I know our fans are just going to love.

In the meantime, the band can exclusively reveal to us that the album is going to called ‘Aluminium‘, with Wesley saying, “We will leave the puzzle of why we’re calling it that to for the listener to solve when they hear certain lyrics and see the album cover, and interestingly, aluminium is the 13th element of the periodic table.

However, Nick is keen to point out that while that link is purely coincidental, the title is still important, concluding, “It will make more sense when you hear the whole album.”

‘ALUMINIUM’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM WEAK13 – WILL BE RELEASED IN APRIL/MAY NEXT YEAR, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND HERE.

ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE AWARD-NOMINATED VIDEO FOR ‘CLOSURE’ HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOlfLaGUu_I

 

 

 

 

 

CAMDEN ROCKS 2019 PREVIEW

Deaf Havana band photo

DEAF HAVANA

Frank Turner photo

FRANK TURNER

by ZAK SLOMAN

Just over six weeks from now, summer will be here once again, and for proper music fans, that can mean one thing most of all – festivals.

However, if spending a weekend in a mudbath, being pelted by torrential rain, is not for you, then the Camden Rocks festival will in no doubt be of much appeal.

2019 marks ten years since the inaugural festival, and this year’s line-up – comprising of 400 established and emerging bands/artists, spanning a diverse range of musical genres, all performing across 20 venues dotted over an area of London that is a genuine hotbed of alternative culture – looks set to be the best to date.

To find out more, I recently spoke to the founder/organiser of Camden Rocks, Chris McCormack, about its origins, the planning that has gone into this year’s festival, as well as what can be expected from it.

How did the initial idea for Camden Rocks come about?

At the time I was booking loads of great little bands in Camden, and I decided to try and use some of my contacts to build something a bit bigger and put together a showcase for these bands, to try and get some of them connected with the right people, and start to get things happening for them, and it kind of snowballed from there, really.

When did you start planning for this year’s festival?

Planning is year-round. We’ll have a bit of downtime in the summer, which you need after doing something as intense as this, but otherwise, we’re on it all the time, seeking out new bands throughout the year, and putting plans in place.

Ash band photo

ASH

The Pigeon Detectives band photo

THE PIGEON DETECTIVES

Which bands/artists playing are you personally looking forward to seeing?

So many. Ratboy, Skinny Lister, Pretty Vicious, Buster Shuffle, Queen Zee, Rascalton, Strange Bones, Roe… I could go on and on! Give our Spotify a listen, and you’ll hear for yourself that there’s going to be loads of really exciting stuff this year.

This year marks exactly a decade since the first Camden Rocks. Honestly, when you started it, did you ever think that it would become as big as it has?

I never really thought about it, to be honest… it’s just gradually and gradually got more out of hand!

Ratboy photo

RATBOY

Pretty Vicious band photo

PRETTY VICIOUS

What can music fans expect from this year’s festival?

Two exciting high-energy days of musical discovery. Whether you know a load of bands on the line-up, or if you know none, you are guaranteed to find something that gets your blood pumping.

What have been your main personal highlights of Camden Rocks over the years?

I’m a massive Sex Pistols fan, so having John Lydon play with Public Image Ltd was a real highlight for me.

And finally, are there any bands/artists you would realistically love to get onto further festival bills?

The Sex Pistols.
Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

 

CAMDEN ROCKS 2019 TAKES PLACE ON THE WEEKEND OF JUNE 1-2, AND FURTHER INFO ON THIS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH ITS OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

 

WHY EVERYONE LEFT – ‘This Is Not A Test’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

Why Everyone Left EP Cover

Italian pop-punk trio Why Everyone Left recently released a lively video for their new single, ‘Bouch’. Continuing their trend of DIY-ing it, frontman Enzo Cappucci was responsible for directing, with the addition of drawn elements from artist Luca Zetti. Enzo commented: “I wanted the visuals to match perfectly with the song, so not the usual playback stuff… it kinda looks more like a hip-hop video!

‘Bouch’ is the first track to be taken from upcoming EP ‘This Is Not A Test’, which will be released on November 2. For the EP, the band were determined to be very hands-on, with Enzo producing and recording all of it, bar the drums, himself, and Seb Barlow (Neck Deep, WSTR, As It Is) at Celestial Productions handling mixing duties.

The resultant five-tracker sees the band declaring: “I think we finally found our way with this EP. The previous ones were too heterogeneous, this time there’s a connection from start to finish.

Taking influence from the likes of State Champs, Four Year Strong and A Day To Remember, ‘This Is Not A Test’ sounds like long summers spent drinking with your friends, delivering big, bouncy riffs and infectious vocal hooks, and now, Enzo is here to give us an insight into what to expect from the record…

‘PICK YOU UP’

Nothing but an angry, fast pop-punk song. The perfect way to start a record. I love how punchy and powerful this song is, old fans will definitely feel the connection between this and older songs like ‘The Only Promise’ and ‘Ten Thousand Times’.

Even though you can tell we went more poppy on this record, it was important to me to still keep that punk rock vibe, it’s where we come from, and it will always be a part of us. 

The guitar riff at the beginning is one of our hardest ones to play, it’s fucking hard to record – too fast!

‘STAND BY’

Probably my favourite song of the EP.  You can definitely hear a strong State Champs influence in it.  I was really into them [State Champs] when I started to write this song; I love the way Derek sings, I love how fast he can sing on rock tracks, I think it’s pretty unique in the pop-punk scene today.

This is the first and only song of the EP we have already played live, we played it first at a festival in July, and the response was insane! I hate to play unreleased songs live, because people will just stare at you and that makes me so nervous, but with ‘Stand By’, the crowd still partied!

This is Seb Barlow’s (mixing engineer of ‘This Is Not A Test’) favourite track too, and he also sang some extra little backing vocals in the chorus.

‘BOUCH’

This is where everything started. Back in late 2016, with the first song I wrote for the record, I just wanted to make something memorable; a song people would start to sing when they hear our band name, and I think it’s kind of worked.

That vocal theme at the beginning definitely helped. It was our first time putting a hip- hop beat in a song, and I totally love it, we should do that more often.. lol!

There’s a funny story about this song. We were touring Europe in September 2016, we were in Austria, and we were driving to Graz, and at some point, I had realised that I had lost my phone. To be honest, it was a shitty phone, but it had the ‘Bouch’ demos on it, so I had to find it!

We drove back to all the service stations we had stopped by on our way, and at the last one, we found it, which was crazy, as we had wasted something like three hours for that, but it was worth it in the end!

‘WHISKEY & COKE’

This is the last song we wrote for the EP. In fact, the record was done, but I felt it was missing the fun element, so I wrote this song, and when the band first gave it a listen, they loved it, so we ended up replacing another track from the record and putting Whiskey & Coke in its place!

This song is just about getting drunk and falling in love at parties. In the last few years, it seems talking about having fun has become really non-trendy in pop-punk; I miss that. Haven’t we all grown up with all that ‘American Pie’ stuff? The fast vocal part in the second verse is probably my favourite part, as it’s so weird!

‘DEAD INSIDE’

Since the ‘Been Home Enough’ EP, I felt I needed to write songs where I could put all my saddest feelings about things I’ve been through, and also things I haven’t. People can relate to that way more easily than to other feelings, and I just wanted to write something that could help them in their hardest times.

I loved how our fans reacted to ‘Longs Night And Drives’ back then, and actually, some of them have had tattoos done of ‘Still Golden’. That really made me realise how these songs can be important and helpful. We literally spent months on the riff at the beginning, couldn’t find the perfect one, but we managed to get it right before we sent the song to be mixed.

Why Everyone Left band photo

‘THIS IS NOT A TEST’, THE THIRD EP FROM WHY EVERYONE LEFT, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 2.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

BANDCAMP

YOUTUBE

 

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