INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Backseat Drive are a rock/metal four-piece from Staffordshire, comprising of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Callum Parton, lead guitarist Alex Flannery, bassist Jack Trubshaw and drummer Richie Rogers.
Having formed two years ago as part of a college project, the fledgling quartet have started to make themselves heard on their local music scene, with a sound they describe as “Loud, in your face, and designed to get you moving.”
Their just-released debut EP ‘Born to Die’ has had nothing but good reviews so far, and it looks as if they can only grow from now on.
Here’s what they had to say when I chatted to them:
How did the band get together initially?
CALLUM PARTON (vocals/rhythm guitar): The band originally started as a college project in 2015 between myself and Alex Flannery, we were performing cover songs for grades originally, but during the second year of our course, we teamed up with Jack Trubshaw as an engineer for the demo track of ‘Born to Die’.
ALEX FLANNERY (lead guitar): As our final performance at college, we played at the O2 Academy in Birmingham. We needed a bassist last minute for the gig, so we asked Jack to play, which was good as he pretty much saved us.
Then after college finished and everyone was going to uni, our original drummer left and then we were advised by someone to get in touch with Richie Rogers, and we quickly saw how fantastic he was as a drummer.
CALLUM: We have going as a proper band for almost a year now.
How did the name Backseat Drive come about?
ALEX: I’m glad you asked! The name came through me and Cal singing Iron Maiden on the back seats of a bus, this was a regular thing for about a month, and we sometimes had people joining in, so our name is quite close to us.
Which bands/artists influence you all?
JACK TRUBSHAW (bass): Between all of us, we’ve got a pretty eclectic taste in music, so to a certain extent that influences the music that we write. Primarily, we’re influenced the most by bands like Dorje and Metallica, however more recently, we’ve been working more progressive ideas into our material, so I’d also say that bands like Arcane Roots and Karnivool would also be pretty big influences for me personally. I know in terms of drumming, Dream Theater is a pretty massive influence on Richie’s playing style as well.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
Songwriting can happen in many different ways. Musically, when we set foot into a rehearsal with a few ideas, we can stitch them together, and add new parts. We tend to work much like a machine with writing music, songs such as ‘Lunar’ were put together in next to no time, and it was all a feel thing which was just refined over time.
Lyrically, we always tend to approach a track from an emotional point of view, the track ‘Solis Occasus’ is about watching your last ever sunset and the feelings and appreciation for life you feel may be about to end, whereas ‘Time’ is about all the hard times you may face.
We like to think of our EP as a mini document of life, going from a youth of decadence, where it’s all drinking and fun and games, all the way through to the end of a life, the title track ‘Born to Die’ is a reminder of the fragility of life, and how it should not be taken for granted and lived to the fullest.
Keeping with the subject of the EP, how was the recording process?
JACK: The EP was produced entirely in-house with virtually no budget, so we’re really happy with the results. We recorded the drums at Stafford College, however, all of the rest was done at my house, so as you can imagine, whilst we were all trying to juggle jobs and full time education, it has been a pretty big task for us over the past few months.
I actually acted as the mixing and mastering engineer and the producer for the project, so in terms of the quality of what we’ve managed to produce, we’re all really proud of it.
What’s planned for the rest of 2017?
Well, besides our individual commitments, we’re all eager to get back into the studio and write new material. We already have a handful of ideas, so we’re hoping we can produce another EP by the end of this year.
What’s important for us now as a band is to grow and to find our audience by getting out there and gigging as much as possible and produce as much content as we can. We’re very appreciative of all the support we’ve had so far with the release of the EP, and we just want as many people as possible to hear what we do as a band.
BACKSEAT DRIVE’S DEBUT EP ‘BORN TO DIE’ IS AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW FROM iTunes AND AMAZON MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/…/album/born-to-die-ep/id1205817369 & https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X8ZYRKD/ref=sr_1_1…
FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/BackseatDrive666/