It’s been a whole four years since the beloved ear-shattering guitar quartet from Philadelphia last came to our shores. Priding themselves as being one of the first bands in the US to do a full nationwide tour since the pandemic hit two years ago, they’ve finally been able blast out hit after hit from their latest record The Great Dismal with sold-out shows across the world. Whilst the lineup has fluctuated over the last 10 years or so, leader Dominic Palermo couldn’t have a better group of people to join him on the road, with Christina Michelle (Gouge Away) on bass and Benny Meed (Dead Swans) on drums. Ahead of their Brighton show at Green Door Store, I was lucky enough to speak to Nicky and lead guitarist Doyle Martin of Cloakroom about their return to the UK and the context behind that sample on ‘Say Less’.
Your first EP Downward Years To Come came out 10 years ago, how does it feel looking back on it?
Nicky: That’s a long time to remember! But yeah, we did that record with Kyle Johnson. So the lineup was a lot different. We didn’t really quite comprehend what we were doing, not that we do now either. But yeah, it felt young. Things felt more like a band, as recording Sons and Lovers still felt like the demo that got put together by us. Downward kinda felt the same, except that, got put on vinyl. It was also kind of the first time that I felt like we were starting to see what our sound might be. As far as like, where we’re at now it’s like a whole different planet!
(At this point in the interview, Doyle asks my girlfriend for a ‘tiny cigarette’ which we call rollies in the UK. I watch as he constructs it together and doesn’t even need to lick the paper to fold it.)
On The Great Dismal it felt like you took a more ‘cinematic’ approach to songwriting. Would you say that’s a fair statement to make?
Nicky: I mentioned Sound Of Metal in a previous interview, but I also watched a lot of movies by Yorgos Lanthimos and Akira Kurosawa during quarantine, so it coincided with us demoing the album. I think I watched a movie or two a day during that first year so yeah, I watched good shit, some bullshit, I downloaded the Criterion app at one point, which was cool because I would never usually have the time to sit down and appreciate shit like that. So yeah, it was definitely an art-filled time when we wrote the record.
I wanted to know more about why you chose that sample of a woman talking about shopping at a mall as a form of exercise for the song Say Less, what’s the context there?
Nicky: That song is about people speaking to you too much. Like whether it’s just on some like, punishing shit. Or if it’s like, someone just trying to like, talk your ear off. Or if it’s like some coke head shit, like, it’s kind of like a mixture of all that. So the video that we use is like, it’s like this pretty unused video of this lady that’s like, looks like she’s on a bunch of amphetamines at the mall. And she talks about working out at the mall through shopping. So it was it seemed like a good my friend sent it to us when we were in the studio and I just was like, “I’m gonna sample this”.
Doyle: Not a lot of views on it either before we used it!
You recently posted some photos of yourself with Full Of Hell, what can we look forward to hearing from both of you?
Nicky: They’re very close friends of mine, but aside from a live stream set and being on a few bills we’ve kept what we have planned for Roadburn Festival pretty quiet. So hopefully one day we’ll get to record something together unless it’s a complete disaster of course. It’s just gonna be me and Doyle but even then it’s always hard trying to get everyone to rehearse together. We’ll see how it goes.
Despite all the bad luck you’ve had over the years, do you feel like there are people out there that get the wrong impression about you? Do you still get accused of being a ‘tough guy’ band?
Doyle: I mean, we are a tough guy band dude, hahaha.
Nicky: It’s awful, we still get that from certain people online and in person. I think it’s just people don’t know how to handle someone that’s as open and honest as we are and things like that. And, you know, we don’t really follow the same guidelines and rules that everyone does. So like, we kind of alienate ourselves in that way. And the easiest way to misinterpret someone that’s put themselves in a different spot is the kind of like give them something that they don’t understand whether it’s like a being called a bully or like, whatever it is, that’s how they deal with not being able to understand that we just want to do things the way we do things.
What do you love most about touring the UK?
Nicky: Mostly just getting to see our friends that we don’t get to see face to face very often. We don’t have the same lifelong connections in mainland Europe so we consider y’all to be our real friends. Ben who’s filling in on drums is someone I’ve known for over 10 years, for example. We had fucking breakfast at his parents’ house in Worthing this morning with beans mushrooms and eggs, shit ruled. No matter how many times I come over here you guys still sound funny to me, I can’t get enough of it! I also just love being in Brighton in general, it’s for sure one of my favorite places to visit.
I know it’s probably a question you get sick of hearing about but is Horror Show done for good?
Nicky: Short answer, no. I don’t have the energy for it and the people that were involved with that like I owe them a fair bit of respect to just like not bother with it anymore. Every once in a while we would hit a show or something like that and I didn’t feel like it was disrespectful to Joshua who passed away or anything but… I’ve had the thought of like recording again, maybe a third final little EP but it just seems doesn’t seem right. Plus, the people that are coming back around, bringing their old band back and trying to do it again like they just end up embarrassing themselves most of the time and I don’t want to accidentally do that to myself. I’ve managed to make it this long without like not completely embarrassing myself.
Right, so my follow-up question to that is…will there be any more Death Of Lovers material in the future?
Nicky: I’ll probably do something again, like that. The thing with that was, I think that there’s a medium which existed for why I did that band was because, at the time, the lineup was a little bit more fluid as far as writing and stuff. But now that like, it’s back to like a band again new people. And there’s absolutely room for change. I think that like I can probably appease what I want to get out of Death Of Lovers with Nothing. In some sense, I would expect big changes because I’m not going to make the same record again. Maybe that’s when I’ll embarrass myself along for the ride!
Finally, when can we expect a new record from Nothing?
Nicky: I don’t think we can release records at the same pace that we did before the pandemic, but also it feels like there’s way less pressure now to do so. The Great Dismal felt like an amazing way to end being in this band for a decade, almost like closing the final chapter of a book. I got what I wanted out of an album during a fucked up time and now I’m hitting up shows with these guys and it’s sick.
Doyle: I think next year we might start writing again but for now we’re just chilling. I mean, when I joined the band you guys already had a bunch of demos ready to go.
Nicky: Yeah I want to feel less pressure on my shoulders, we’ll start up again when the time feels right. It will be good to write a record with Doyle and do it that way.
Doyle: Are you gonna tell people I did that? That I housed Nicky’s pint?
Nothing will play the Sunday of Outbreak Festival in Manchester on 26th June. Get tickets here.
Launder aka John Cudlip has announced his debut album Happening, set to be released on July 15th via Ghostly International, pre-order here. Alongside the announcement he has released “Chipper” and “Unwound”, the first two singles from the album which were both co-written by DIIV‘s Zachary Cole and Colin Caulfield.
The first tastes of Launder’s debut offers up two breezy and intoxicating soundscapes that engulf you in their bliss. With “Unwound” swallowing you in its grunge-infused, riff driven melody and “Chipper” engulfing you in the shimmer soundscapes of its glittery guitars, you feel yourself floating away on a cloud of sound created by Cudlip and co. The tranquillity of the sounds is juxtaposed devastatingly with Cudlip’s devastating lyrics that contemplate addiction struggles, “I’m half asleep, quickly fading, From your street, into the pavement” he sings on “Unwound”, bringing a whole new side to the dreaminess that’s created; quickly turning into a nightmare.
Middle school friends Sam Boyhtari (bassist) and Logan Gaval (guitarist) have been making music together since their early teens, with Greet Death being a long-term passion project accumulated from previous experiences growing up in Flint, Michigan. Established in 2011, the profound success of their slow-burning studio releases Dixieland and New Hell and signing with veteran hardcore label Deathwish, Greet Death make a brand of quiet-loud shoegaze at a slow tempo and sad thoughts that keep you up at night.
With the addition of fellow Michigan rockers, Jimmy Versluis on drums and Jackie Kalmink on bass, we sat down on Zoom to discuss what makes them all tick, and diving deeper into their latest single releases.
In terms of songwriting, do you and Sam have a Blink 182 Tom and Mark situation going on where you have songs specifically catered or is it more of a collaborative effort?
Logan: That’s pretty much it. Tom and Mark thing, I think, me and Sam always thought that it was cool that when you listen to a Blink 182 record, there are Tom songs and then there are Mark songs, but then there are also songs where they clearly collaborate, you know, so we pretty much just dropped that from Blink 182 Or, as you say, blink one eight two which I thought was really cool. What do you think of Blink one eight two, are they your Beatles?
I’ve got mixed feelings. The self-titledalbum, in particular, holds a lot of nostalgic value for me. When I was 11, I was given the Greatest Hits CD which got me really into drums, I never got to see them in their heyday, but I did see that reunion show that you mentioned, in 2009, So before Matt Skiba joined.
Logan: Yeah same, we saw them on the reunion tour, but it was before they put out all that new stuff. So they just played the hits and it was awesome.
So aside from Blink, what made you interested in guitar music and more specifically this genre of slowcore guitar music?
Logan: I’m honestly not sure. There’s a super old photo of me as a child playing an inflatable guitar. And then after that, my parents bought me a toy classical guitar, but I’m not really sure why. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that everyone in the band is around about the same age. When we were growing up, it was still very cool to play guitar, in movies and TV, skateboarding or becoming an artist in general. Those are the coolest things that you could do. I’ve always gravitated toward the guitar specifically. A lot of my earliest obsessions were guitar rock bands such as Nirvana and Guns and Roses, Ramones, and Good Charlotte. I’m not sure how exactly that correlates to the music that we play now, but I’ve always been pretty about guitar music. Jim can speak now and probably say something smarter.
Jim: I grew up on a lot of pop music and the music from my parents. So, as far as guitar music, I was really blown away by “Good Times Bad Times”. That was a big song. So it was from the Led Zeppelin two disk- this fucking thing they reissued five times, I had that. I remember being blown away by that kind of guitar. Black Sabbath was a big one. My parents totally let me listen to whatever and showed me whatever so that was neat for music. For the guitar music that’s more adjacent to what we do, I think probably getting into thrash in middle school is- I know that everybody in this band, at one point or another was obsessed with Metallica. Maybe not for Jackie though!
Jackie: I grew up on similar classic rock stuff as Jim. I was a huge Boston fan. I think that was my favourite band for my eighth-grade year or something. So I always kinda liked that poppy rock, sort of sound. I feel that being in this band is really cool because it’s a mix of more accessible songwriting. To play the music itself, It’s really cathartic because you just load a bunch of fuzz on.
Logan: That’s honestly a very good answer, Jackie, thank you for saying that. I don’t know if many people have picked up on this and I know aesthetically we come across as shoegaze or slow indie rock, but honestly, we’re mostly inspired by classic rock chops, even down the equipment we bring to concerts. We use a lot of super loud tube amps and pedals that aren’t really necessary with today’s PA systems. When I’m onstage I just feel I’m on some kinda School of Rock shit you know?
I love that! Jackie, how did you end up joining Greet Death?
Jackie: So Jim and I are still currently in a band called The Fever Haze and we’ve known Logan and Sam since before Greet Death. We went on tour together and yeah eventually we just naturally thought it would be cool to join.
Logan: We scalped Jim and Jackie because no one else wanted to be around us. In a way, The Fever Haze is minor league Greet Death. We drafted them, made them sign a contract and now they can’t leave.
How did you end up getting signed to Deathwish?I’ve not seen many bands from your scene be on their roster, to be honest.
Logan: I can’t remember if it was Jacob Bannon or someone else’s podcast, but Jasta from Hatebreed saw that we had recently signed to them and said “Oh fuck yeah, this shit could be played at Target!” I don’t know how much of a compliment that was intended to be but whatever. I’m aware the label has a very passionate audience but for whatever reason, they picked up our first record Dixieland and put it on their website. I think we were selected by a few staff members in their playlist picks over the years. I believe that was mostly this person, Mark Connolly that used to work at Deathwish. So I don’t know, I don’t know how much responsibility he had for us getting signed, but I have a feeling that it was 99% him. And he’s also now our manager.
I think another thing I read said that at the time we were selected, Jacob Bannon was really sad. So even though Greet Death has that sort of pop, rock feel I think lyrically, it’s still driven by the same emotions. I feel like it’s coming from a place in common with a lot of heavier music. And certainly, like, some of the textures with the guitars are reminiscent of metalcore or whatever you’d call that. To be honest, I don’t know, I think we still stand out on their roster, but I like that because a lot of our work isn’t typical of a heavy band. I feel like it works, even though it is kind of weird. I’d rather stand out in that way on the label than just be on like, you know, ‘we’re on the shoegaze label is like one of 100 different bands with reverb pedals’ or whatever.
One of my favorite facts about your band is that the title for New Hell came from an exploding ice cream machine at Logan’s work rather than something necessarily deep and profound.
Logan: Yeah, we love transforming the mundane into depressed, that glorious arc. That’s the connection that people need, like, take some boring shit and make it very sad. That’s what the people want. So that’s awesome. And as you mentioned that fact about Dairy Queen. So the general theme is; you think things are bad, and then they just keep getting so much worse. That’s the basic theme of that album, especially in shitty fast-food jobs.
What has it been like to record and write the new material during the pandemic?
Jim: I’ve recorded with Jackie more than anybody. So getting to lay down a lot of what we’ve put out so far with her has been like second nature. And so basically, recording new songs, new material. With Jackie, as she’s joining the band, it felt very, very seamless. The studio we recorded is great because it’s a cool place to hang out. You can just, fuck around and watch Bar Rescue and Trailer Park Boys or play Mario Golf or whatever. And maybe you’ll get to recording something, but at least you’re together. So that was that’s the only difference I guess it’s just that it was just even more comfortable for me to record with the new material.
Jackie: So since the pandemic has happened, I feel like I’m kind of a studio rat now. And it feels like having the band in there with me is a really fun way to kind of put stuff together without it all being completely set in stone.
Logan: Originally Sam and I would write a song and hash it out on the road, but obviously this time around, there weren’t really shows when we were developing our new material. A lot of those ideas were pitched and developed in the studio rather than months in advance. So I think for example ‘I Hate Everything’, the final recording is the third or fourth time we had played that song, having learned it just an hour or so beforehand. I definitely think I’ve always appreciated live recordings. I think it’s really easy to just keep revising and making revision after revision as weeks and weeks go on when you’re trying to make some sort of solid recording. I texted Sam, earlier in the pandemic, and I just told him that we should try to come up with some songs just to see what would happen if we tried to record them as quickly as possible.
What you’re starting to hear now is this stuff that we came up with at the height of the pandemic and a lot of it’s being described as mellow or acoustic. And I think a lot of that is just me and Sam not really feeling like rocking the fuck out. In those songs, you can hear that you can hear the environment that they were created, and you know, that it’s not that we’re writing something intended to make the crowd sing along and get lighters out, It’s just made out of sticks and stones, staring at a wall in the dark. I hope people don’t think that we’re not capable of doing the fuzz-rock thing. It doesn’t feel that much different than our older stuff. I think some of the textures are a little different, but I’m also not interested in making the same record twice. There’s a piano in the studio. So Sam has been using that a lot and he’s a very good piano player.
On “Your Love Is Alcohol” you talk about getting drunk with your girlfriend whilst watching Fox News, have there been any particular moments of watching that channel that has seemed funnier or even more ridiculous when you’ve been drinking?
Logan: I would like to clarify that. It was me and my girlfriend drinking, passing a bottle of Tito’s vodka back and forth. At this time, I lived with my parents still. So I would, I would hear the Fox News broadcasts that my parents were listening. That song to me is just about how my relationship with my girlfriend has helped me live in a lot of ways. It’s certainly taken away a lot of the pain and the fear of, you know, whatever, like the things that we all deal with.
Another song I wanted to have more of an insight about was ‘Crush’ from New Hell, what was the inspiration behind it?
Logan: When I wrote that song it was mostly just like intrusive thoughts in my head late at night. Hold on let me get the lyrics up from Genius….so it’s definitely a breakup song and not having a mutual group of friends with that person….I mean other than that, I know I was listening to a load of Big Thief at the time so at least that’s where it’s at musically speaking.
Okay so, in verse one you got some basic problematic, soft boy stuff, talking about killing yourself out of spite. By the idea that if I killed myself, what I would really want is to watch everyone around me hurt. So I’m not going to do that because I don’t believe in the afterlife. Damn, this is a sad song. I don’t normally do this. In general, the song starts off with a lot of unhealthy ways of coping with heartbreak. And then the last verse is basically if I were to run into you, I’d like to think I’m in like a better place now and I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone in any way.
Speaking of which, have you caught up with Big Thief’s new material?
Logan: Dude no I actually haven’t just yet. I would say I’m much more of a fan of the group’s solo material under the name Buck Meek but it’s been on my list. As you can tell though I do fuck with that band, another great band. carrying the torch for guitar music.
Any thoughts on your upcoming tour with Infant Island next month?
Logan: I always think it’s interesting to have a tour package with an interesting juxtaposition between the bands. Cloakroom have been hugely influential to us. But I think people can only take so much of slow, heavy, quiet, loud type music, you know. And before that, we had an opportunity to tour with Deafheaven, nowadays they’re more similar to our sound than they were back in 2019. I think it’s an interesting dichotomy. It’s also just fun to tour with different kinds of bands. For some reason, it’s always ended up being heavier bands. I’m looking forward to watching Infant Island play every night. They’re very good. I’m also looking forward to not going to work. I would say, that’s like, number one.
Jim: I’m excited to go to San Diego, home of Blink 182 and I’ve never been there so I’m excited about that. There’s a few other cities that I don’t believe we’ve been to. So that’s always interesting. A lot of times, it’s kind of hurry up and wait, you don’t get a lot of time to hang around. But we typically get in the habit because we have two people that like to drive through the night to get somewhere usually in the early hours of the morning or the night before. So then you can kind of set yourself up to go around or take a nap or go to a park or something. So I’m excited for more of that just more bonding time. And yeah, I’m excited to see Infant Island every night. I think we like to tour with those bands just because we want it to eventually be Portrayal Of Guilt. So yeah, we’re just like trying to we’re just trying to work our way there.
Jackie: Yeah, I definitely am looking forward to not having to go to a day job. That’s probably my number one also, but I think what I’m really excited for is like to meet the people in Infant Island. On the last tour we did with The World Is (TWIABPAIANLATD) and Bent Knee I made some really good friends with both of those bands. I’m really excited to like meet another set of people who all become lifelong friends with because we spend too much time together.
Logan: Jackie’s doing fucking doughnuts in the parking lot by the sounds of things, that’s how stoked she is!
I’ve never done an interview where someone has looked up their own lyrics onGenius before..
Logan: When you asked me that earlier I was living in a fucking nightmare. So in an interview like confronted with my own writing I was like ‘damn it’s kind of fucked.’
Well as much as I love the shoegaze genre, sometimes the lyrics feel more like an afterthought because of all the layers so when I discovered you guys it was a great change of paceto hear something so relatable!
Logan: When I think of New Hell, I think of Sam and I before we left for the tour at Great Lakes Crossing which is an outlet mall in Michigan, buying new shoes there. And then I remember showing him the demos on my phone-it’s fun to like go back since my short term memory is really fucking terrible, but my long term is painfully clear – crystal clear visions of whatever I was going through at the time, whether it was at the mall or in my bedroom. I remember it all.
LA-based four piece GOON have today shared “Garden of our Neighbour“, the latest single from their upcoming two-part EP Paint By Numbers, set to be released on February 25th. The title of the new single was also used by the band as an acronym for the bands name for a secret show last year.
The rich sonic textures of “Garden Of Our Neighbour” are one of its greatest assets. Swirling synthesisers and hypnotic guitar lines allow you to become lost in the soundscape they create. Fusing elements of slow core, shoegaze, vaporwave, field recordings and psychedelia, GOON create a memory evoking and transportive three and a half minute trip through their colourful and ever-shifting world.
Kenny Becker of GOON said about the track:
“it’s like our version of “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath, or “Minor Threat” by Minor Threat, “Meat Puppets” by Meat Puppets, “Bad Company” by Bad Company. I wrote and recorded this song entirely in one night. I met up with our drummer, Andy at our rehearsal spot that day, recorded him drumming along to a simple midi chord progression, had the chords on a loop, and record him drumming into the Tascam 5 minutes at a time…..I got really excited by the idea of having strong contrast between intimate small vocals and massive synths and drums. Vocally, I was really going for a Sparklehorse vibe: up close, super dry, not double-tracked. Not something I’ve really tried much before, but I love how it came out”
Bristolian dream-pop duo Sun Spot share terrifying visions of life turned upside down in a new video for “n-Body” directed by Harry Steel.
Formed in 2018, the group returned this year with their latest foray into dark and experimental indietronica in the form of a new EP; Clipping, released via Rosecoloured Records on the 3rd of September.
Filmed in Bristol’s Upside Down House, the video is a stylish visualization of the new single thanks to director Harry Steel (Haunted Mattress, Muskets, Heriot) and long-time collaborator and A/V wizard Jack Sargent (Sargeshoots, Adoring).
When asked about the ‘n-Body’ video frontman Will said:“We had the best time making this happen! We love working with Harry Steel and we’ve been lucky enough to have him provide several visuals for ‘Clipping’ so it felt like he really understood what we and the record are all about. Himself and Sarge (Sargeshoots) were a literal dream team and that, with an actual upside-down house to run wild in made for a very good and very weird time. I don’t know what to tell you -everything’s upside down!”
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.
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 Gluesingle is out now via Venn Records, listen here.
Francis of Delirium, the project of 20-year-old Luxembourg-based Canadian Jana Bahrich, has shared new single “Come Out and Play” along with an accompanying music video animated by Bahrich. This is the latest single since their second EP Wading, released earlier in the year.
Combining elements of shoegaze and metal, Bahrich creates a sound that is both ominous and indulging. You find yourself becoming lost in her transportive soundscapes, both mesmerised and terrified at the same time. Just as you think you’ve found safe passage through the song the dooming chorus kicks in and you’re thrown down into whatever hell Bahrich is summoning.
Of the track, Bahrich said:
“I kept thinking about clowns when making this song, I watched Felini’s ‘8 ½’ and the closing scene where a procession of clowns play in a band stuck with me. I had them in my mind for months, thinking about the way they hid behind painted faces, keeping so much hidden from the audience, and also just how sad they seemed. I wanted this song to feel dark and to have an eeriness that would make sense in the background of some weird art movie about funhouses and carnivals.”
Hull based six-piece Low Hummer have shared new single “Human Behaviour“, the second preview of their much anticipated debut album Modern Tricks For Livingdue September 17th via Dance To The Radio records. Pre-order here.
Glistening synthesisers and grinding guitars soundtracks the mellow vocals of lead-singer Aimee Duncan as she battles with the complexities of youth and longing in love. “Cheek to cheek / Hand in hand / In loving sorrow / This ageing shadow / I don’t know enough to be young” she sings as the vocals swirl in glorifying layers of despair and beauty. Low Hummer are at the beginning of soundtracking a generation.
Dan Mawer on ‘Human Behaviour’:
“I’m always conscious that at its most basic level, songs can be a diary entry, and often be a reflection of who a person is long after they’re gone. My unhealthy obsession with death made me write a song as if I’d passed away, but still had the chance to tell my loved ones to carry on and live life to the full.I imagined the feeling of being able to lie with someone you miss one last time, and thankfully wrote the chorus in half an hour. The rest of the lyrics came together thanks to lots of cutting and pasting newspaper clippings together until they fit the rest of the song.”
Bristol 5-piece Oversize have today shared new single “Drive”. Formed just before the pandemic took hold the band sought to refine a sound that draws inspiration from the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr. whilst tying in elements of New Wave and Shoegaze.
Kicking into action with a grinding yet subtly melancholic riff, Overdrive’s new single is packed with full blown untampered energy. Their mixture of emo-core and shoegaze is to be marvelled at, these boys are ones to watch.
Wings Of Desire have today announced their latest EP Amun-Ra, set to be released on August 13th via WMD Recordings. The announcement also comes along with new single “Choose Life”, following on from “Better Late Than Never” which will also feature on the new EP.
Soaring soundscapes and sailing guitars soundtrack the band’s satirical spoken word life-goal checklist. Imagine Arcade Fire wrote the soundtrack to Trainspotting with Wolf Alice on production duties.
Speaking on the new single the band said:
“Choose A Life is about our automated programming which convinced us that once we get ‘there’ we will be happy. That once we’ve acquired the material check list we will be fulfilled, but this is never the case. The song explores finding joy in the smaller moments of the everyday, the mundane, those micro expressions that we take for granted. And realising that you don’t have to bend the world to make your mark. That it’s better to just enjoy it.“