RELEASE (from l-r): Aaron Roden, Caleb Allport, Mayson Nicholson, Tom Price, Jack Mitchell.
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
It is difficult to determine the exact genre of music that Release play, as they have a very eclectic range.
This hasn’t put anybody off them though, as their sound, together with politically charged lyrics, has made them one of the most talked about bands on the Stoke music scene.
They’re now spreading their message across the country, recently supporting Clay in Manchester and are about to go on a nationwide tour.
I sat down with them to talk about their seemingly unstoppable rise.
How did you all first get together?
TOM PRICE: Well, myself and Caleb got to know each other more when we started at college.
CALEB ALLPORT: We were both looking for a band and we wanted to start writing similar music with similar ideas and backgrounds.
TOM: We both decided to have a jam some time, and when we were talking about starting a band together, I asked Mayson and two other friends of ours to come along and we all just got on really well, with Aaron joining us some time later.
CALEB: We all gelled musically from the word go.
We started off doing covers of the Buzzcocks and Joy Division, then after a couple of practices, we progressed on to doing our own shit, and now here we are.
How did the name Release come about?
CALEB: It took time to agree on one.
We’d all agree on a name, but then we just kept changing our minds!
TOM: I think it was actually Caleb who came up with Release.
CALEB: Yeah, I suggested the name because I wanted our music to provide a release for not only ourselves, but for others too.
I believe everyone needs a release of some sort, like a kind of escapism whether it’s through drugs, football, music whatever.
TOM: People can come to our shows and get out all the anger and stress of work or family issues and have a good time.
CALEB: I personally wanted to provide a release for people and I think the rest of the chaps do as well.
It’s a good feeling when you’ve been doing what we set out to do from day one.
How would you describe your music?
TOM: I’d say hard hitting rock with a mellow alternative sound.
We’re very influenced by many genres of music.
CALEB: Versatile, with a punk attitude and punk sounds and influences, yet melodic and with heavy blues influence from the guitar section.
Like Tom just said though, we’re heavily influenced by so many genres of music.
You’ve already mentioned the Buzzcocks and Joy Division. Which other bands would you say have had a significant influence on your music?
CALEB: The list is endless!
TOM: I’d say groups like Rage Against The Machine, Black Sabbath, Public Enemy and the Wu-tang Clan.
CALEB: For me, it’d be The Streets, New Model Army, Jamie T, Rage Against The Machine, Bowie, Red Hot Chilli’s, Bauhaus, Foals, even dance artists like Joy Orbison and Jamie xx, I could go on forever!
TOM: The 80’s synth era really hits us too.
CALEB: There’s a big metal influence from Tom as well.
TOM: Yeah, the big four and Pantera are great influences towards myself, as well as hardcore music.
In regards to songwriting, is there a primary songwriter in the band?
TOM: Caleb is the primary songwriter.
CALEB: I’m more lyrics and ideas for the songs, though I suppose I provide most of the backbone.
TOM: He can write what we all feel and put them into the right lyrics, we also write songs on political matters and stories from the past.
CALEB: And the rest of the four geezers do what they do best and mould the dollop of play dough I give them, if that’s a good metaphor!
Do you see yourselves as a politically motivated band then?
TOM: I’d say so yes.
We’re strong believers of politics in the UK, and also what’s happening in other countries.
CALEB: It’s a big part of a lot of our tracks, it’s something that we all have a passion for and we strongly believe in our views of fairness and various other political values, man.
A big political event that has happened in the UK already this year was the vote to leave the European Union. How do you see that affecting the British music industry?
CALEB: I can’t see it affecting the music industry in a positive way when it comes to the economy, whether it be record sales or ticket sales at gigs.
When it comes to leave the EU, personally I think that a number of huge organisations will move their HQs to a country that will remain in the EU.
Therefore, they will be job losses and quite a few people won’t be able to enjoy luxuries such as going to gigs, so that could be a negative.
But on the other hand, it could inspire some great music and various other politically influenced art forms which, as past history has shown, could create a great movement in this country.
But at the moment, who knows?
You’re from Stoke. What’s your opinion of the city’s current music scene and how do you think it compares with other cities in the UK?
TOM: I think that Stoke’s music scene has definitely progressed more over time and more bands now are trying different things, which gives Stoke a variety, rather than having lots of bands trying to do the same thing.
How does the band’s recording process go?
TOM: What we do is record as a full band,and then start with the drums, then bass and then guitar and vocals.
If there’s anything else in the song like synth or effects, then it’s usually done at the end.
CALEB: During the process, we usually have creative ideas pop up in our heads, whether it be using a drill on a pick up to create an obscure sound on the guitar or even just an added snare in one bar. It varies.
What have you got lined up over the next couple of months?
TOM: A lovely summer tour from the 1st to 6th September.
Where will you be playing?
CALEB: The tour starts in Cardiff, then we go to Bristol, Cheltenham, back in Stoke for a headline at the Underground, Manchester and we finish the tour off in London.
We’re also playing the Ashcomberry festival near Leek on the 27th August.
There’s some shit hot venues we’re playing at, so we can’t wait to get on the road, hopefully gain some more followers and have a good old time.
How has the reaction been from the venues you’ve played on the road?
CALEB: To be honest man, I couldn’t have asked for any better reactions from the crowds we’ve played to.
It’s such a heart warmer when someone doesn’t know you from Adam and comes up to you after a gig to congratulate you on how much they enjoyed our set etc…
It really does mean the world and also makes it all worth while in a lot of ways, as much as we do it for ourselves and our own enjoyment.
We also, like any artist, like having people who are on the same wavelength as us, it’s a great feeling and we’ve received that from many of the places we’ve played, so thanks a lot to them lot who have taken the time to come and see us and support unsigned music.
Other people think we need chucking in a mental asylum, but it’s all good fun!
What’s your long-term aim?
CALEB: I think I speak for everyone when I say we wanna take it as far as we can go, although never forgetting the main thing is that we enjoy it to the max.
I don’t want a normal job and I want to do what I love for a living.