This Is Out Of Love’s World (and we’re all invited!)

Photo by Ashley Bea Photography

Formed from the ashes of bleak hardcore band Canvas, guitarist Daniel Marsh, vocalist Ricky Clarke and bassist Jack Rogers decided to start a new project-with the sole purpose of having as much fun as possible. This is reflected in their eclectic mix of 90’s skate punk, alt rock and grunge, with copious amounts of sugar and caffeine. Music made by hardcore kids always seems to hit harder, and Out Of Love are no exception to that theory.

Cut to early 2020, after releasing the music video for S.L.U.M.P, Out Of Love were set to play their first hometown show until COVID set back everything they had worked so hard for. 

Thankfully their time off the road was well spent, releasing two EP’s over the various lockdown periods, signing to Venn Records and gaining a significant amount of traction in a scene that desperately needed reviving. On a gloomy Wednesday afternoon, I sat down with Rogers- now fronting Out Of Love, over Zoom. It’s two days before the band’s debut sold out show in Milton Keynes and the anticipation is nail biting.

Hey Jack! How did you get involved in music in the first place?

I was exposed to like punk rock and hardcore from a very young age because I had cooler cousins that were older than me. They would just give me a box loads of CDs like Slipknot, Green Day, The Offspring. Whatever you could think of that was big in the 90’s they would chuck at me. I loved Slipknot. Then I found Dookie by Green Day. Burnout was the first track and like a light bulb went off in my head. And I was just like “Yeah this is cool, catchy poppy music”, but has an edge that I’d never experienced before. They were my gateway into these coasts of the West Coast, hardcore and punk scene and all the East Bay bands, like Descendents and NOFX, all that kinds of stuff. So I got really into that, which then obviously led to like discovering more of the hardcore kind of bands in that world. And yeah, I just started going to shows I saw, like, I saw my first concert was Green Day when they did in Milton Keynes in 2005 for the Bullet In A Bible live DVD.

I was also in some terrible cover bands in secondary school, covering Nirvana and shit. Then we formed Canvas, which we did really well with for five years. Sadly we weren’t around long and then that broke up, and then I was lucky enough to kind of join Acres and do some fill in for them and tour. Out Of Love was kind of born through just boredom with me and Dan really, he was someone that I’ve always written songs with.

Tell me about your first single “S.L.U.M.P” and where the lyrics came from?

“S.L.U.M.P” was just born out of frustration, again, really it was kind of a very , coming of age thing where in 2019 everyone around me was changing. I felt I was still in the same position I was when I was 18. I had this constant feeling of anger and jealousy, I don’t really know of where it came from. I kind of just felt like I was stuck in this, for lack of a better word, slump where I was trying my hardest to do things. Nothing was really working out. Everyone else around me was kind of growing up achieving these little milestones and I was stuck at home doing fuck all. So it’s about that really!

Does your band name refer to a relationship breakup, or doing something for someone else out of love?

It’s both, that’s what I love about it! We all consider this to be a passion project and we’re doing everything literally out of love for ourselves and the music we wanna write. Initially, it was just in the lyric of the song “S.L.U.M.P.”, we had the song before we had the band name. And then I got the band name while we were looking through the lyrics, we didn’t know what to call and I was like, Well, ‘Out Of Love’ fits perfectly. Naming your band is the hardest part when you start a new project, every band name is taken out of context and it sucks. So it’s totally fine. You can call your band whatever you want.

How the fuck are all of you so happy right now?

We’re just delusional, haha.  I think lyrically I wouldn’t necessarily say that our music is that positive. All of it has an undertone or a mystique of pessimism and self doubt, but I think because it’s kind of sugar coated immediately with poppy riffs. In that sense it doesn’t have as much of a hard hit as if we were still writing angsty hardcore music. 

How did you manage to record three EP’s without having played a single show?

It was the main thing that kept us all sane I think. If there was no creative output for us, and there was no abandon nothing to do, we’d all be in a completely different situation, we’d be kind of losing our minds, but the last year and a half, because there was nothing else to focus on, apart from writing music and recording music, we could just like, get our heads down and kind of still stay clear of all the noise and just focus on being creative.

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What was it like performing at House Of Vans earlier this year?

I was really, really nervous. I think the rest I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, I’m pretty sure we were all shitting ourselves. Because I’ve always said like, I never really wanted to do a live session in any band I was in just because I know how bad most of them sound. But we’re really happy that the guys at Vans invited us down and we were stoked with the outcome. It was a great day. Everyone was super, super nice and supportive and we made some really good friends. Overall it was a great experience! I’m so glad we got to do it, even if it definitely felt like diving into the deep end.

All the songs are very short at the moment, what’s up with that?

I think we’re just really lazy. Nah I’m kidding! The only rule in this band is to have fun. If it feels right, do it and we never want to force anything into a song, If it’s not supposed to be there. If we write a song, and it’s a minute long, and it sounds great, it’ll be a minute longer if we write a song, and it’s 14 minutes long, and it sounds great. In the future some songs may be 14 minutes long as there’s no real rules, but at the moment we’re just hammering out, on average, two and a half minute tracks, and I think it keeps the listeners and me as well, because I’ve got such a short attention span. It kind of keeps me excited and engaged because anything after about three minutes, I kind of just switch the fuck off. I’d rather just listen to something short and sharp and then you face rather than kind of long doubt. And there’s those parts that I call that kind of give them everything they want and you’re trying to squeeze all of the energy into such a short space of time. I think it’s more important than loaning it out and, and boring people, especially with kind of music but yeah, the way I like catchy punky songs to be to be short, sharp and memorable.

I feel that, I love Self Defence Family but sometimes it feels like the songs just meander aimlessly. I also find it weird that Drug Church end up touring with so many tumblr friendly pop punk bands but maybe that’s just me!

Yeah I still don’t know why, I’m sure that probably kills Patrick (Kindlon) a little bit inside…

Tell me about Dog Daze? On my first listen I thought it was a more wholesome version of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ by Iggy and The Stooges.

I was walking my dog one day and had the chorus/melody stuck in my head and was convinced that someone else wrote it. As soon as I got home I tried searching for it and luckily as far as I’m aware it was something original my brain made! That’s actually one of my biggest fears, writing a song, putting it out and then being like, “Oh my god, that sounds just like that’s like I had no idea”. 

Initially I wrote it about loving someone the way you love an animal and how unconditional it is. You love them who they are and not like what they do or who they hang out with or whatever. Then after writing the lyrics I was like “No, this actually sounds like I want to be like some sort of submissive person in a dominatrix kind of relationship”. I sent it to the guys and half of them were like, “Oh, this is really good”. And the other half were like “You’re fucking sick”.

So yeah, it’s been the funnest song to write, even the way we recorded it. In the last session, we put bongos in there and other percussion pieces. It was definitely fun to just mess around even the way the rhythm flows and stuff is completely different to what we’ve done. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I really, really like it.

What’s the deal with this third EP? You’ve released Sniffin Glue from it so far…

So it’s one of four tracks we recorded with Sam Bloor at Lower Lane Studios in Stoke On Trent last summer. We just decided “Fuck it, we’ll just go out there and record some songs again and see what happens”. So we just took a bunch of ideas and ran it off with my friend. We see him as like a sixth member of the band, we’ll run everything by him and he’ll be like, “This is shit, this is good”. He really kicks our butts into gear and makes us better musicians. So I can’t see us recording with anyone else right now. I can’t stress this enough like, he’s THE dude.

Has there been any clashes of opinions over songs so far?

I like to think we’re all on the same page. Really. It’s kind of again, the one where we have in the band is that if everyone’s enjoying it and it’s fun for everyone and it feels good for everyone, we’re going to do it. If it doesn’t feel good for one person. We’re not going to do it.  So it’s really important that we all need to be behind what we’re doing. Whether that’s like the bands we play with, or the music we record or the merchant puts out, like everyone needs to be 100% behind it. Otherwise, it’s just not what we want to do. 

Finally, what are you hoping to achieve out of these live shows?

I just want everyone to be included and just lose themselves for a minute and just forget about the bullshit that’s happening in their life. Just like a big just one big kind of A happy space where everyone can express themselves. We’re also happy to be playing shows with people we genuinely love. That dosen’t mean that support should be pigeonholed into bands that sound a bit like yours to fit a bill. One day we might have an acoustic opener or a rapper, who knows? I think there’s nothing worse than going and see one of your favourite bands and the support is just like a bad version of that headline.

Honestly, launching Out Of Love just before pandemic wasn’t ideal, so we’re happy to play anywhere. I couldn’t care less where it is or how many people are there. I just want to play shows now and we’re all really, really ready. Just try it out and see what happens I guess. Everyone is welcome no matter who you are, where you come from or what you believe in. Just don’t be a dick!

Sniffin Glue single is out now via Venn Records, listen here.

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Death Goals create unbridled chaos to kick your mates to

Death Goals are a two-piece band that can never keep still. Taking influence from the likes of The Chariot, Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge, The Hertfordshire math-core two piece made up of guitarist Harry Bailey and drummer George Milner were set for greatness last year. For obvious reasons this hasn’t happened (yet) but their debut The Horrible And The Miserable gives us plenty of time to practice coming out of mosh retirement for when the time is ready. We sat down and dove deeper into what Death Goals are all about.

How did you guys start?

H: Oh, god, so I (Harry) started Death Goals when I was at university. My old math rock band was dying. I was bored of not playing shows so I decided that I’m going to form a two piece. Because then there’s only one person I have to argue with to do shows, and that’s easier. So I spoke to the other drummer in my course, who I knew was into, Deafheaven and Converge. So we wrote a load of songs for the show. It’s been bullshit since day one. I used to be really spontaneous seeing, like oh ‘The Black Heart’ needs a support act two hours before the show. 

So I’d message our old drummer like; “Will, we’re playing this show”. Then he’d go, “What do you mean, we’re playing?” So it got quite frustrating. I don’t do that anymore. Because I can’t. That was the joy of being in London, I could literally be like, “I’ve got all my gear here. I’ll see you outside of New Cross in an hour”. Then we did our little split with Pupil Slicer, and that was sick, then we did an EP. We kept going through different drummers, George at that point was sort of a quasi manager. He sort of expressed to me “I want to work with Death Goals but I don’t want to be in Death Goals”. And then as his old band Pet Lib was kind of on its last legs he said “I’d quite like to be in Death Goals please”.  So we wrote an album and now we’re stuck together!

What influences did you grow up with and how did it influence what you write now?

H: I would see George at math rock shows like TTNG, but the first time it really clicked for both of us was realising that we loved Every Time I Die. There’s loads of things that we have in common but its also varied, I don’t fuck with black metal at all for example! 

G: I love black metal so much 

H: You like the post rock stuff more than I do but I really like the weird experimental hip hop sound and hyper-pop. 

G: If you listen to this album and think it sounds similar to a band, chances are we’ve gotten drunk together and been like “Oh my god isn’t this the best band of all time?”. I think we’ve been like that with every single one of our influences. What we like to do is show each other music as much as possible even if we know that we might not like it. I’ll always be sending Harry slam or deathcore, you know, the greebiest shit possible and he’ll fucking hate it.

H: You made me a playlist of exclusively Myspace bands from the 00’s era and there’s some cool shit on there even if its not something I’d usually go out of my way to listen to. My partner recently got me into Phoebe Bridgers and it’s like “Why have I not been listening to this before?”.

How did you decide which songs would make it onto The Horrible and The Miserable?

G: So…

H: Call it what it is, I was an absolute diva about it!

G: So because we worked on the record predominantly through lockdown, even when I wasn’t officially in the band Harry would always send me stuff and I’d make sure to give feedback. It paid off because it felt like there weren’t any disagreements or arguments, if something didn’t work we very quickly moved on. However when it came to actually deciding what songs we would take into the studio, yes Harry was a complete diva about it!

H: Okay but, was I wrong?

G: No.

H: For the most part the basics of the songs had been written in my room, George added bits in but I’d done everything to start it going. In the end it felt like having to decide which kids were going to Uni and which ones weren’t, with Uni being the album. I think there was one song we had a disagreement with.

G: I’m stubborn, I didn’t want to admit that you were right…

H: No and that’s a good thing that we can be democratic about these discussions without it being an argument. You used to send me paragraphs, almost books worth of lyrics and I’d have to cut it down into eight lines because come on…

G: I just love me some words, love me a big old Thesaurus hahaha. I sit there with like 14 tabs open on my computer and thinking “What words will I be using today”?

H: It’s why we don’t play scrabble anymore. But yeah it’s all about refining it into something easier to digest.

Are you saying that you intentionally cut lines down so they can fit as four words onto your merch?

H: Yes, absolutely, I am always thinking about that NEXT 👏  MERCH 👏  PIECE 👏

What’s the story behind the track “Gender Traitor”?

H: Basically I was walking home from work one day and the idea of the line “I’ve been swapping saliva with gender traitors all my life” popped into my head. And then when lockdown happened you saw the rise of some horrific anti-LGBTQ stuff. That was the moment where I felt like I needed to speak out against this more. This is a time where I’m obviously quite annoyed that people want people like us dead. So I just wrote a song saying they can fuck off ennit.

Going back to influences, what would you say is your favourite breakdown?

H: I’m gonna say all of “Orchestra Of Wolves” by Gallows, the entire thing is hard.

G: That final breakdown in “I Used To Hate Cell Phones but Now I Hate Car Accidents” by Norma Jean.

Before the world ended, what was your favourite show?

G: I wasn’t even in the band at this point but there was a show in Hitchin where everything got moved down the road due to noise complaints. Your Death Goals set at the time brought me out of mosh retirement kicking and screaming. I was already super stressed with trying to make this show work and thought “You know what, I need to kick someone in the head”. I’m excited to play a Death Goals show because I’ll still do the exact same thing from the drum kit.

H:  Our mate Rob from Chinned was putting on these shows at DSI Studios in London which was basically a practice space. Basically a sweaty box of greebs fighting each other. At the first one I split my guitar head and decapitated my tuning pedal by just yeeting it into my pedal board. 

Where do you see yourselves in the future?

H: You know what, I went through so many drummers it felt like no one gave a shit and when lockdown happened I was tempted to just start some one person metal project from my bedroom, but luckily our friend Joe Booley (BSR Records) took interest and we got things moving again. But yeah I don’t know, playing something like Arctangent or Reading & Leeds would be really cool. 

G: In 10 years time we will headline Reading, we will have sold out and released a hyper-pop album, then go on tour with 100 Gecs and become super rich and famous. Okay but for real, there’s obviously bucket stuff list we fantasise about but I think last year taught us to take everything out one step at a time, because then when it actually does come around to us doing these bigger things, like I think we will appreciate it a lot more. That being said, Oh my god, it took us five years to get here.

H: It’s patience, patience is a virtue. I really do appreciate sitting on stuff, like making sure that the songs that you’re actually good, and like, the videos are good and like having these plans like being able to have a team, that was really nice. Its exhausting doing all of that shit yourself.

What changes would you like to see in the music industry moving forward?

G: Everybody gay now please. We gay. Every discord chat gay. 

H: I’d like to see more queer and fem representation on lineups. But like, actual representation, not just “Oh look we’ve put three queer bands on there”. It’s like, no, there are so many incredible queer artists that can and should be put on lineups. And it’s just like, “Oh, well, okay. Well, one member of this band who have like eight members who are all, you know, cis men, one of them is queer. So we’re inclusive”. 

G: Yeah like, no, you’re not. I think as well in the background of the industry, it’s an uncomfortable thing. You go to have a meeting with someone who as soon as you start talking about the fact that you’re a queer hardcore band, they have that look in their eyes. It’s like, “That’s not very marketable at all, is it?”.

Which songs on The Horrible and The Miserable mean the most to you?

H: For me “Shrike’ is a big one”. I’ve had that lyric “Goddamn my insecurities they always get the best of me”, for a very long time, almost four years now I think. So purely just seeing how people really enjoy that. So like, the song in itself isn’t very deep. It’s just a complete rant about being just mad, anxious and paranoid. “Hellen Keller Is Teaching Me How To Talk To Boys” was the first time me and George really collaborated with one another, and I was like “Oh hell yeah”. When you came up with that bridge part I was completely blown away. 

G: “Hellen Keller” was also a big one for me because it was the sort of music that I had wanted to play in my head for years but could never find the right people to do it with. That song encapsulates the fast-nest of what I wanted to play with the fucking heavy discordant breakdowns. And then when I wrote the “This is an anthem” line I remember being so gassed on it and was like “Harry fucking listen to this right now!”. When we were trying to assign who would scream which lines on which track I was just like “I have to do it”. I’ve not been outwardly queer for a while but I always felt sheltered by it because it was a weird conversation to have with people that I grew up with. I didn’t really meet a lot of other queer people until I started to get a lot older. And so I didn’t have it in my head that talking about it was like a normal thing to do. So for me, this album has been very much like, I’m showing my face. Every time I listen to it there’s a real passion inside myself telling anyone who said I wasn’t queer enough to fuck off really. My favourite track overall is “Exit Wounds”. It’s about the time I spent in rehab and periods of drug abuse which I’ve spoken about to friends but not outwardly. It’s a conversation I always hated having, like if someone offered me anything at parties and I would have to turn them down saying “I’m actually in recovery thank you”. It was always really uncomfortable even if I was doing it for the right reasons. And when Harry sent me the demo for it, I’d like i’d sat on this, like really heavily metaphorical lyrics that I’d written about, and I had never used these. And it just worked so perfectly.

H: I had no idea the song was even about that until we started recording.

G: It’s nice to have that. I’ve always been blunt about these topics in the past, I’ve always been very, like, “This is my mental health”. This is this, that and the other. And I think now with this album with how open, Harry and I have both been open about things of mental health and things with queerness. When I listen to “Exit Wounds”, it feels like a big step towards something within myself, but also just knowing that as we continue on as a band, where it’s going to be more, I guess, therapeutic to actually talk about things that we’ve we’ve both held back on for so long. It’s honesty.

H: It’s quite honest, so I don’t see why we wouldn’t want to keep going. This album is the first step in being able to be more open about all those sorts of things. Hopefully, we can just keep building on that. 

The Horrible And The Miserable is out now, purchase here.