PANIC! AT THE DISCO
EDITOR’S NOTE Pop is not a dirty word, and in 2016 its stars don’t always come as shiny and pre-packaged as they once did. Brendon Urie is a pop star. If he wasn’t before, he certainly is after ‘Death of a Bachelor’. At the time of writing, Panic! At The Disco’s new album sits pretty at the top of the US Billboard 200, having shifted 190,000 copies in its first week. Knocking Bieber and Adele off their perch, he’s duking it out with the big boys now. It’s easy to see why, too. The album is a work of crazy genius, shifting direction at will but always sounding both loads of fun and part of something bigger. Our massive cover feature gets under its skin. Better still, Panic! are about to take to the road with the returning Weezer stateside. x Get us on that tour.
IN THIS ISSUE RIOT 04. WEEZER 06. ALL TIME LOW 10. ENTER SHIKARI 12. DIET CIG 14. FARRO 16. BEACH SLANG 18. TONIGHT ALIVE ABOUT TO BREAK 20. THE DIRTY NIL 21. SO PITTED FEATURES 22. PANIC! AT THE DISCO 34. BURY TOMORROWNG 38. YUCK 42. SWMRS 46. GHOST RATED 50. CREEPER
51. FARRO 52. DIIV 53. SIMPLE PLAN 54. TRACKS OF THE MONTH LIVE 56. PANIC! AT THE DISCO 58. BEACH SLANG 59. DIET CIG 60. DILLY DALLY 61. TURNOVER COMING UP 62. MOOSE BLOOD 63. MEET ME IN ST LOUIS 64. ON THE ROAD FESTIVALS 66. SLAM DUNK 68. 2000TREES 69. READING & LEEDS
Editor: Stephen Ackroyd (firstname.lastname@example.org) Deputy Editor: Victoria Sinden (email@example.com) Assistant Editor: Ali Shutler (firstname.lastname@example.org) Contributors: Alex Lynham, Amie Kingswell, Danny Randon, Emma Swann, Heather McDaid, Jack Glasscock, James Fox, Jessica Goodman, Kristy Diaz, Phil Smithies, Ryan De Freitas, Sarah Louise Bennett All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of Upset. Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which Upset holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of Upset or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally. P U B L I S H E D F RO M
THE BUNKER W E LCO M E TOT H E B U N K E R.CO M
E V E RY T H I N G H A P P E N I N G I N RO C K
EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL WHITE IN THE END
A F T E R T H E I R S U RP RI S E RE L E AS E O F T WO N E W SO N G S AT T H E E N D
O F 2015, W E EZ E R A RE BAC K W I T H T H E I R T E N T H A L BU M - A N D T H EY ’ V E C H OS E N T H E M OST
LOA D E D C O LO U R F RO M T H E I R PA L ET T E .
ere they come. Weezer have announced the release of their tenth studio album, their self-titled-butnot-really ‘White Album’. And boy, it sounds like we’re in for a treat. The record will be released on 1st April, and is their fourth colour coded album technically titled ‘Weezer’, following 1994 debut ‘Blue’, 2001’s ‘Green’ and 2008’s ‘Red’.
Including the previously released ‘Thank God For Girls’ and ‘Do You Wanna Get High?’, the ten-track full-length also features ‘King of The World’, which is streaming on upsetmagazine.com now. When’s the last time we went into a new Weezer album three for three on brilliant songs? The signs are better than good. Not just that, the band have announced a huge world tour, which even includes dates in the UK and Europe. We know. Only three so far, but it’s better than we’ve had for a long time. They’ll play Manchester and London on 3rd and 5th April, before heading to Amsterdam on the 8th. Then in summer, they’ll take on the US with Panic! At The Disco. Writing about the album, frontman Rivers Cuomo says the band took their lead from the Beach Boys and Southern California. “The inspiration behind the songs were my experiences hanging around the Westside of Los Angeles, which has been our home since Weezer began,” he
explains. “Hanging out with people in Venice and Santa Monica, the beach, the Hare Krishnas, the Sikh on roller blades with the guitar, girls on Tinder within a four mile radius, seeing other bands, the kids from La Sera. I would just tweet out ‘does anybody wanna hang?’ and then I’d get together with people who responded and talk about life. I love California. I wanted the album to make you feel like you were there with us SoCal weirdos even if you’re in Milwaukee in December. “Obviously my favourite band has always been the Beach Boys, and what I love about them most are the melodies and the chord progressions. I guess the harmonies too. And the orchestration. Can’t forget about the lyrics. So basically everything. I wanted to get that kind of vibe: beautiful tunes and sweet lyrics. I also love the dark side of the beach – Venice after dark, hearing at the Del Monte Speakeasy about how the gangsters used to drag the bodies through the catacombs and leave them under the pier.” P”
NEED TO KNOW... BUMS BUMS BUMS
The Joy Formidable’s new album ‘Hitch’ will be released on 25th March. They’ve just unveiled the first track from it, ‘The Last Thing On My Mind’ - the video for which features lots of scantily clad men. “It’s a song about freedom, about feeling alive and a part of that is about sexual liberation,” explains lead singer and guitarist Ritzy. Watch now on upsetmagazine.com.
NEW BRAND NEW
Brand New – never giving it to you straight, always being a bit secret squirrel. An email from the band’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors ‘label/ shop/whatever/thingy’ that released the leaked 2006 demo tapes at the back end of last year. seems to suggest 2016 will bring with it a Brand New release on an ‘unconfirmed format’. Can you release a record on internet rumour?
LI STENI N G POST
“OBVIOUSLY WEEZER MY FAVOURITE KING OF THE WORLD BAND HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BEACH BOYS.”
Just like the Cuomo-namechecked Beach Boys, it’s Weezer’s ability to hit those harmonies which sets them apart, and when matched with grittier, discordant melody they’re without peer. Few bands have a template that should be massaged rather than aggressively challenged; but Weezer are certainly one of them. With those both hooked up, we can have all the “demented lyrics” Cuomo wants. ‘King Of The World’ is Weezer on top form. Listen now on upsetmagazine.com.
A L L TIME LOW W I L L TA K E T H E U K BY STO RM T H I S M O N TH . WO RDS : H E AT H E R M C DA I D.
“IT’S SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE, IT’S A REALLY BIG DEAL FOR US.” 6 upsetmagazine.com
t’s the mid00s and there are what feels like hundreds of bands on ‘the scene’, touring relentlessly across the UK and US. What a time to be alive. Flash forward to 2016 and half of them have broken up, reformed and are on reunion tours; the other half working on solo projects. There are few who’ve stuck it out, and fewer still who have grown exponentially along the way. For Jack Barakat of All Time Low, 2015 was “one of the best years of my life. We made the album we always wanted to make and it was received how we wanted it to be received. It was a really fun year and we had a great time.” Having a Number One in the UK with ‘Future Hearts’, he says, “was kind of a life-changer for us. Playing arenas with You Me At Six was overall a lifechanging experience. It really changed the way we look at things and the way we do our shows and I think it took our band to the next level.”
T O U R D AT ES FEBRUARY 10 Cardiff, Mo torpoint Arena 11 London, Th e O2 12 Mancheste r, Arena 13 Birmingha m, Barclaycard Arena 15 Glasgow, Th e SSE Hydro 16 Dublin, 3 Ar ena
(l-r) Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.
That next level sees the band return to the UK headlining arenas in their own right - a far cry from the club-sized venues they played all those years ago. “To be honest, it’s one of the only things I think about! It’s something that we have never done before, it’s a really big deal for us and I think for the fans who have never seen us headline arenas. It’s a unique experience - I look to the UK for setting the standard for what we should become and what we should aspire to do around the world. The UK was on it first and because of that, that’s where we tour.” So what is it about the UK that has led All Time Low to grow so rapidly? “I do think it’s a mix of how often we went over to the UK,” begins Jack. “Overall, we love the area, we love this part of the world, we love the cities and I think that if you find a place where your band likes to be and to tour, you’re just going to want to go back and go more often. “I think that’s what happened with the UK, we fell in love with England, with Wales and with Scotland. We fell in love with everything, we fell in love
with this whole part of the world - and Ireland, I know it’s not all part of the UK but we just fell in love with this part of the world. We just wanted to go over there so much more often, and I think that fans know that. They also had a connection with the music, whether it was through TV or radio, or just us opening up and being accessible. Whatever it was, it all came together and it’s beautiful.” What makes their arena tour that bit more exciting is the supports they’re bringing. On one hand, you have the rising newcomer, on the other, you have a classic of sorts. “Every decision that we make or don’t make is ours to do,” Jack says on their input in selecting their tour buds. “We never have a higher hand telling us what to do, which is nice. So any band that we take out on tour is a collective four person decision that we make. “Good Charlotte was a no-brainer. We grew up listening to and idolising them in our hometown [Towson, MD - Good Charlotte are from down the road in Waldorf, MD] and that’s just something that I think is really just special for the band and the fans and it’s cool. Against The Current are a young new band that are up and coming. We always try to take some young Padawans out on tour with us, teaching them the ropes and
hopefully influencing them on getting big later!” This tour is the latest stop on a long journey upwards, and that Number One seems that much sweeter as it was the result of years of hard work, rather than an immediate success. “The long road makes it feel so much better when you get to the finish line,” he admits. “Not to say that we are finished or anything! It’s kind of comparable to when we first started playing Warped Tour. We started playing the smallest stage and then three or four years down the line we were playing the main stage - it feels so good when you look back. I think we definitely appreciate it more than if we had done it overnight.” Another exciting thing on the horizon is the possibility of new music. Alex Gaskarth tweeted that he was working on some new things - but was that the next All Time Low album? Well, yes it is. The band who never stops are, surprisingly, not stopping for breath just yet. “We’re definitely working on new All Time Low songs - it’s happening. Anyone that is a fan of our band knows that we don’t take too much time between albums. We like releasing music and we like touring and doing it non-stop. We’re already working on new music and we don’t plan on slowing down!” P
ack at the start of January, Mat Cothran - one half of Run For Cover signed indie-rock outfit, Elvis Depressedly - tweeted in typically frank fashion: “the media don’t give a fuck but i do have two albums coming out this year one of them very soon.” Followed by, “if anyone is interested in a conversation about them hmu.” “The two releases I’m speaking of,” he later explains, “are a reissue of my band Elvis Depressedly’s album ‘Holo Pleasures’, with six ‘bonus’ tracks that were left off the original recording, as well as a release under my Coma Cinema project, which will be the successor to my last album under that name, ‘Posthumous Release’. [The new Coma Cinema record] is called ‘Tasty Mask’.” With Elvis Depressedly gaining popularity, it makes sense from a promotional point of view to re-release material from the band’s pre-RFC days that might have fallen under the radar. Mat however, isn’t too susceptible to that sort of thinking, and his reasons concern the transparency of his art, rather than the marketability of it. “Over time I’ve come to enjoy the ‘bonus’ album more than the original album,” he explains. “I think
people will be able to hear the transitional period that lead us to make ‘New Alhambra’ which was a more groove-influenced record and less fuzzy.” All pretty straightforward on the Elvis Depressedly front then, barring a release date, but Mat takes care to clarify that it’s the Coma Cinema project, ‘Tasty Mask’ that the ‘one of them very soon’ part of his tweet was in reference to – and he seems pretty set on delivering on that half-promise. “I’d like to release ‘Tasty Mask’ in February, barring some misfortune,” he reveals. “As of now I have no idea if it will be self released or not. I know people want physical releases but that won’t be possible if I release it on my own, the upside though will be it can come out sooner rather than waiting the months and months it takes for vinyl to be manufactured - and for a press cycle puppet show to be constructed.” People do want physical releases. In fact it’s almost stranger now for an album - especially coming from the broad sphere of music that Mat tends to occupy in his work – not to come out on wax than it ever has been. With that in mind, Mat reassures that while nothing is set in stone, he is “in talks with cool people” for a potential vinyl release in the future.
As you’ll know if you follow Mat on social media, he’s not a man who tends to mince words (“press cycle puppet show” should give some indication as to his regard for niceties). With that in mind, it’s still refreshing to hear someone so forthcoming about their music, especially with a release looming. “I think people who got into us through ‘New Alhambra’ might not necessarily be into ‘Tasty Mask’ right off the bat,” he confesses, burying the cliched ‘we’ve progressed, but still kept our identity’ spiel many artists spin. “As Elvis Depressedly has become more popular, and Coma Cinema less so over the years, I feel it’s necessary to use this as an outlet to explore a darker, more experimental kind of record.” An endlessly intriguing prospect to be sure, but then Mat himself is an endlessly intriguing man, infamous for publicly decrying all manner of industry wrongdoings. “I’m not really anti-industry so much as I am aware of the game being played and those who are preyed upon,” he clarifies. “The music business is very classist. The richest get so many breaks that other artists don’t, and there are so
“I’VE BEEN FUCKED OVER A LOT.”
E LV I S D E P R E S S E D LY ’ S M A T C O T H R A N H A S N E W L O T S O F M U S I C
O N T H E WAY , A N D R E A L LY S T R O N G O P I N I O N S . R E A L LY , R E A L LY STRONG OPINIONS. W O R D S : R YA N D E F R E I T A S
many vile people out there waiting to drain what little money an up and coming artist is making. Managers, for instance, are a truly disgusting breed of people. There’s absolutely no fucking reason an artist with little more than a Bandcamp page and a few write ups about their song needs a manager.” “There’s so much manipulation,” he continues. “A young artist nowadays would be better off hiring a lawyer than a manager, and better off doing their own digital distribution than letting a label do that for you. It’s no more difficult for an artist to have their music on Spotify than it is for a label to do it. The gate is open, the industry geezers are the ones locking it.” There seems to be something bubbling in the DIY community, something that doesn’t just stick to the ‘we don’t need these people’ ethos that that scene represents, but actively pushes forward a mantra of outright refusing to become someone else’s commodity. Few are as flagrantly outspoken about it as Mat is on that matter, but it’s a sentiment clearly shared by a number of bands – and not solely by default of shared ideologies either. For Mat, a love and respect for the music and the artists behind it acts as the driving force for how vocal he is on such matters. “All those artists,” he begins, referring to the likes of Alex G, Girlpool, Told Slant and Teen Suicide, mentioned to him as being his immediate peers and potential revolutionaries, “are some of my best friends.” “We’ve all been drawn to one another in an almost cosmic, kind of incredible way. I think Rachel Levy of the project R.L. Kelly introduced me to Alex G’s music and it just floored me. Girlpool, Sam Ray [Teen Suicide frontman] and all his projects, these are just my favourite people in the world making my favourite music. I’m the oldest of all the bands mentioned, and I try to look out for them if I can, without being a know-it-all. I’ve just been fucked over a lot and to see that happen to them would kill me.”
Clearly, Mat’s rhetoric is born from love and a feeling of responsibility to protect his friends and fellow artists. “I feel in my heart,” he states, “that if you have a voice that reaches people and you’re not talking about what’s wrong with the things you care about or know about – and in my case all I know is music and the music business - then you are failing in your job as a person.” It’s damning, sure, but for Mat it’s not just about watching and commenting on what others do. It seems as though he wants to be far more than just a talker, but he recognises that to achieve his lofty aims, forthrightness is key. “My goal,” he outlines in conclusion, “is to create a system where artists who don’t have the privileges of the rich and connected would be able to let their art be presented on the same stage as those that do then we’ll see who has the real talent and who bought their way in. If we can have equality in art, we can have unilateral equality - and art is my life so I want to be a part of that worldly equality wherever I can.” Ambitious and election-worthy as his closing statement may be, it’s hard not to admire a person with something to say - and the spine to say it. P
TO U R DATE S FEBRUARY 22 Nottingham Rock City Basement 23 Leeds Key Club, e’s Frog 24 Brighton Sticky Mik Bar (w/ Old Gray) room, 25 London Electric Ball (w/ Modern Baseball) (w/ 26 Manchester Gorilla, Modern Baseball)
BRING THE NOISE SO RO RI T Y N O I S E H I T T H E U K T H I S M O N T H , W I T H A RU N T H AT I N C LU D ES T WO S H OWS W I T H M O D E RN BAS E BA L L . WO RDS : RYA N D E F RE I TAS .
Not many bands get a guaranteed audience of at least 1,500 people the first time they play a country. For Sorority Noise, however, this is exactly what’s happening to them when they head over to the UK later this month. That figure is a bare minimum, too, since it comes from the two sold out dates in London and Manchester they’re playing with Modern Baseball alone. The final headcount for their time away from home will be even larger still considering that they’ve also got Nottingham, Leeds and Brighton dates that they’ll be headlining themselves. It’s a huge luxury afforded to the band, but it’s one that they deserve after dropping one of the best albums of last year in ‘Joy, Departed’ and Cam Boucher, SoNo’s vocalist and guitarist, isn’t taking for granted the sheer size of the opportunity ahead of him. “This is my first time playing in a country that is not directly connected to the United States,” he starts. “And I’m definitely overwhelmed with both excitement and anxiety. It’s always been weird for me to gestate that anyone would be interested in seeing a band I’m performing in play in my hometown, let alone in Europe.” Overwhelmed though he may be, it’s no small help that his camp and Modern Baseball are so tightly knit. “Definitely, [touring with them makes it less daunting],” says Cam. “Bren[-dan Lukens, MoBo vocalist] is my roommate and has been one of my best buds for about three years now . I’m incredibly grateful for their constant support and encouragement and it’s been exciting to watch their band grow into something truly outstanding. It’ll be nice to have them with us, they’re our dear friends and I couldn’t think of a better band to share the experience with.” P
“WE TEND TO COBBLE THINGS TOGETHER AND SEE WHERE IT GOES.”
LI STE N IN G POST
ENTER SHIKARI REDSHIFT
(l-r) Tinky Winky, Dip... wait, we already did this, didn’t we?
“Redshift is a song about bloody good luck! On the grandest of scales! Literally!” says Rou. “Our universe is expanding faster and faster and a few trillion years from now, everything will have sped away from us so fast that all we would see when looking out from Earth is empty space. We would deduce that we were totally alone in the universe. A lost sheep. The last and only biscuit in the tin.” Listen now on upsetmagazine.com.
E N T E R S H I K A RI H E A D O U T O N T H E ROA D T H I S M O N T H FO R SO M E O F T H E I R B I G G EST H E A D L I N E S H OWS TO DAT E . WO RDS : JAC K G L ASSC O C K . year ago, Enter Shikari released their genrebending album, ‘The
Mindsweep’. Today, they find themselves hard at work preparing for their biggest UK tour to date. The boys from St. Albans gaze up at an arena-shaped cliff face they’re about to scale; the shows are imminent, the set list is penned and the production is prepared, but how did they get here? “We’re not really that ambitious as people,” says vocalist Rou Reynolds. “We’re not constantly striving to become a bigger band or anything. When we’re lucky enough to keep stepping things up it always comes as a bit of a shock. But then, once you get past that, it’s just utter excitement really. Your mind just starts whizzing through the various possibilities you have with production and the different tracks that will work better in bigger venues and you just start planning it.” This tour is not a ‘final payoff’ for years of hard work, but an opportunity to expand, progress and amaze. “Even though it’s an arena scale tour, it’s still very DIY. We’re doing all the programming ourselves. I’m doing all the footage and the effects for the screens. So yeah, even though we’ve been off tour it’s felt like we’ve had a day job.” Rou laughs at the realisation of what his obsession for creative control has driven him to. “I’ve
ES T O U R D AT FEBRUARY Academy 18 Glasgow, O2 rn Exchange Co , gh ur 19 Edinb pital FM Ca m, ha ng 20 Notti Arena al uth, Internation 22 Bournemo Centre torpoint Arena 23 Cardiff, Mo r, Victoria ste he 25 Manc Warehouse xandra Palace 27 London, Ale
basically been in front of the screen coding for the last few months and it’s going to be good to get out of the house to see the fruits of our labour on the big screen.” It’s while discussing Shikari’s formative years that Rou remembers “a kind of vibe; this sort of discomfort. It’s not like sitting down at the theatre or going to watch a pop group. I think we’re trying to keep that sense of excitement and exhilaration. This is a way we’ve found we can keep that in the bigger venues. “We’ve always been a band who likes to keep pushing ourselves,” Rou affirms. Enter Shikari aren’t desperate to become the biggest act in the world; they’re desperate to provide the best sonic, visual and even spiritual experience they can. It just so happens that this attitude, paired with their focus and talent is what’s providing them with the pathway to being a bona fide massive band. If anything, Rou appears uncomfortable when posed with the question: what are Enter Shikari looking to achieve with this huge run of shows? “We don’t really think about things that far in advance in our band. We tend to cobble things together and see where it goes. I don’t know really where we’ll go from here, but it’s certainly exciting to be doing something different that’s not our normal circuit.” For Rou to suggest that Shikari don’t plan things may appear contradictory when you consider the time and effort they’ve been putting into their set over the last few months. But that forethought is simply the product of opportunity. In fact, if you want proof of Shikari’s make-do-and-mend attitude, all you have to do is ask Rou about their support slots for the upcoming tour. “At the beginning we were looking at a few bands, but things weren’t working out with schedules. Then The Wonder Years were put forward. One of our techs is a big fan and plays them backstage all the time, so we’ve all grown to really like their music. They’re a great live band; song writing, melodies – really, really good. It’s not your straight down the middle, typical pop punk either.
“Then The King Blues: I hadn’t heard from Itch for quite a while, I hadn’t seen him for about a year. Then I get a text out of the blue saying ‘The King Blues are getting back together, I don’t suppose you’re doing anything or are up for touring?’ So we just sorted that out and it’ll probably be like old friends back together again; a school reunion or something.” Now, with the band’s latest single ‘Redshift’ dropping completely out of the blue recently, is it a sign of things to come from Enter Shikari, or more just a patch of their ever-expanding quilt? “That’s the best thing about being an independent artist really; you’ve got no one trying to fit you in anywhere. You’re given free reign. You’re allowed to be inconsistent. You’re allowed to be erratic. You can make music as you feel and I think that’s what we do. We’re never going to make an album that’s purely heavy and we’re never going to make an album that’s purely mainstream or more immediate. I need that balance. I’m too fidgety; I get bored too easily.” Given Enter Shikari’s passion for progression and their vocal political engagement, it would seem natural for their music to be used to inspire change. “I’m not a full on romantic in the sense that ‘music can change the world’. I think it can be a crucial fuel. That’s what I think music can do. It provokes such strong emotions; it can embolden people and their views. Obviously that can be used in negative ways as well. But, for us it’s important to keep spreading this basic messages of unity and peace and everything else we’ve been talking about for years.” With that statement, you can’t help but continue to be endeared by Enter Shikari’s approach. Where many bands would ascribe their successes to hard work, they’re more likely to suggest that their achievements are down to luck. And where some bands would insist that their music will change the world, they humbly admit their music is more likely to enthuse their fans, encourage growth and fuel activism. That said, Enter Shikari’s first foray into an arena scale headline tour is certainly set to be inspirational. P 11
DIET CIG ARE WRITING AN ALBUM
AT THE DRIVE-IN ARE BACK (AGAIN)
t The Drive-In are back, with a new tour and wait for it - new material too. Alongside the 27-date jaunt, the band confirmed they’re working on new music. “We’re all excited to be seeing each other, to be playing in a room again, and to be making music under a new context,” guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López told Fuse.
“This is where we all came from. We have different families now, we live in different places, but these are our roots, and a true person never forgets their roots. There’s a safety in being around people you trust.” “We cut our teeth in this band,” adds drummer Tony Hajjar. “We slept on floors two inches away from each other in this band. We cooked for each other in this band. This is home, and it’s nice to come back to it and feel so
positive about it.” “Ever since 2012, any of the interviews we have done in between, we’ve said that the door’s always open,” Rodríguez-López notes. “We’ve been talking this whole time since 2012. We all have other projects and families, so we’re constantly sending riffs back and forth, but never putting pressure on ourselves, never feeling like this is something we have to do. We’re just letting it be natural.” P
ith their first incursion on foreign soil a triumph, and touring plans penciled in with the likes of Bully and Slingshot Dakota alongside appearances at SXSW and The Great Escape, Diet Cig are keeping busy. There’s one more thing on that ‘to-do’ list though: write a debut album. “It’s so crazy,” exclaims Alex Luciano backstage at The Lexington. “When we started this band, we had all these crazy goals and somehow, it all came true so fast. It’s crazy to think that a year later, we’re touring in the UK.” Gabrielle-levels of dream achieving aside, the band want to do more than see the world. ”Honestly, I just want to write a record I’m so proud of,” Alex says. A year on the road has set the pair on a steep learning curve towards that goal. A new dream in their crosshairs. “We’re even closer,” he continues. “I think we understand each other better than anyone else can. We can give each other a look and it’s like I’m reading your mind.” From what’s for dinner to knowing when to give each other space, Diet Cig’s relationship has evolved in tandem with their musical chemistry. “If anything, we became best friends,” reasons Noah Bowman as the pair look at each other and laugh. “When we first started on ‘Over Easy’, we literally wrote those songs and recorded them. Now, listening back, there’s stuff that I wish I did differently,” but Noah refuses to dwell on the past. “It’s totally fine now, it’s done with. This new record, we have more time to figure it.” “We wrote three songs right when we got back from our other tour and I feel like they’re the best songs we’ve ever written,” Alex ventures. “We’re finally learning how to write with one another. We’re really settling into this groove of communication with our writing, which is so exciting. There’s just more to these new songs. They keep the simplicity but I think they’re going to be our best songs ever.”
NEED TO KNOW... RE-WRITING THE FUTURE
Hayley Williams has confirmed that Paramore are writing their new album, their first without bassist Jeremy Davis. When asked by a fan on Twitter if the front woman thought she “should say something about a new album,” Hayley replied: “haha, i suppose. we are writing it.”
“It’s coming along,” says Noah. “We’re about halfway through. We’ve put our own timeframe to it and we’d like to get it done sooner than later.” “We want to have it out by the end of the year,” adds Alex. “Late summer, early fall ideally, so fingers crossed.” P
TOP TWEETS @SteadyTheo, Wolf Alice
“So we are up for a Brit, im probably gonna join Little mix by the end of the year.”
GET IGGY WITH IT
Josh Homme and Iggy Pop have teamed up to record an album: ‘Post Pop Depression‘ is coming out on 18th March. If that wasn’t star-studded enough for you, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and Dean Fertita (QOTSA, The Dead Weather) make up the rest of the band.
WHAT ARE THEY ON ABOUT NOW?
“Incase you’re confused, yes I did indeed just refer to myself in third person as the train pirate.”
“My new album is called ‘Kanye’”
A F T E R L E AV I N G O N E O F T H E B I G G EST BA N DS I N T H E WO RL D, J OS H FA RRO TA L K S L I F E A F T E R PA R A M O RE . WO RDS : H E AT H E R M C DA I D.
lot can change in half a decade. Heck, a lot can change in a year. But in 2010 when the Farro brothers upped and left Paramore, many questions were flying around about the future of all those involved. Speed through the subsequent five years and Josh Farro is on the cusp of launching his debut solo album and starting a new chapter, songs neatly surrounding the story of what he’s been doing in life and music, and the fear of going it alone.
band shortly after, but that dissolved pretty quickly. After that I did a lot of songwriting and met a lot of people around Nashville that were songwriters and made some cool relationships. Once I had done that for a little bit, I got the itch to do the band thing again and couldn’t seem to find the all the guys I needed, the right guys, so after a long process of trial and error I just decided to do a solo project.
to a place where I was happy with it. The more I wrote and the more I sang, the more I liked what I heard. It just started as me and a guitar.” Josh and his guitar evolved, in time, into ‘Walkways’, his debut album. “I had a few songs that I had written over the past few years with some of my songwriting friends, and I thought some of those songs might be worth keeping, so I decided to grab some of those and add some that I had just written on my own to that list of songs and I started thinking about what I had to do.
“I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW IF I COULD DO THIS, BUT I GAVE IT A SHOT.”
It’s clear from the opening track, ‘Cliffs’, that he does so with apprehension, but a growing confidence. He sings, almost reassures, that you’re going to make it out alive. It’s like a message as he steps into the unknown that he can do it, and to listeners that it’s a journey they’ll go on together. He’s ready to unleash Josh 2.0, Farro, into the world.
“I left the band in late 2010,” explains Josh. “After that, I wanted to take a break from music for a little. Of course, it didn’t take long - next thing I knew, I was playing music with some of my friends and trying to form another 14 upsetmagazine.com
“I started writing music on my own just practicing, I guess you could call it practicing singing. I would just write songs and see if I could do it. I didn’t really know if I could do this, but I gave it a shot. At first, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear but I thought that there was some potential there and if I worked hard enough, then it could get
“Obviously, I had to make an album, so I started recording with who I randomly met through a producer engineer we did the album with. I was just going to self-produce at first, but then I randomly met Jacquire King [City and Colour, Kings of Leon]. I loved him and we hit it off and decided I wanted him to produce it. Next thing you know, we were recording an album.
On how much Jacquire helped evolve and change his work, Josh notes that, “in ways he did and others he didn’t. I think that’s what makes him such a great producer. He heard the songs - the songs he felt needed changing, we would change in some areas and collaborate on ideas on how to change them, then on others he was just like ‘that song’s ready to go it doesn’t really need anything’. I think that’s what makes really great producers: someone who doesn’t always have to change something in a song - they can see it for what it is.”
In dealing with his life through music, many songs stand out to him for reasons that range from just enjoying the vibe of what he made, to personal ties to the lyrics. “’Walkways’ is one of my favourites because of the energy and the overall feel of the song. I wanted have like a throwback feel - I wanted to go for like the Beach Boys, a lot of harmonies. Although it doesn’t really sound like the Beach Boys, it has that mindset. I’m really happy with the outcome and lyrically I think it is really cool. It takes you on a journey and how I’ve been all over the world, seen so many great things, been to so many great places, experienced so many cool cultures and it says that really all these cool places don’t compare to you. I’ve been thinking about my wife, that everybody’s got that special person in their life or people that when you’re travelling often and experiencing different cultures that are so cool, I think we all have that urge and desire to travel and experience different things, but we are always drawn back to the one we love. It’s pretty simple but I really love it. “Another one I really enjoy is ‘Islands’, definitely a more mellow, darker vibe. I just love the feel of it - it’s very eerie almost, and emotional. I wrote it with a friend of mine, writing about two people in a relationship and finding a place where they didn’t know they had gotten that far, it leads them to a ‘how did we get here?’ sort of thing. The last line is, ‘Why did we say we were an island?’ - it’s off that expression ‘no man is an island’, like you can’t do life alone and even when you’re in a relationship, you need support. I had my parents in mind, they got a divorce quite a few years past and it resonates with me. It’s kind of a sad song... I tend to lean more towards the sad songs, I don’t know why but I do!” So it’s been a fair few years since we’ve heard from him, people will be viewing this both as newcomers and as fans who’ve followed him from his teens - what does he hope people take from the album? “I hope they love it just for what it is. I hope there’s a song for everyone on there. I just want them to enjoy it - I hope it makes them feel all kinds of emotions but overall the feeling I want them to walk away with is happy, to feel joyful and that feeling when you listen to music and it gives you this unexplainable feeling. I hope it resonates with people.” P Farro’s album ‘Walkaways’ is out now.
BEACH SLANG WANT A NEW ALBUM OUT THIS YEAR, ‘FYI’
each Slang’s debut album ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’ came out in October 2015 but it looks like we won’t be waiting too long for a follow-up. “I’m writing the next record now,” James Alex reveals ahead of their sold out London show (but more on that later). “We have a US tour this April and I want to record it before we split for that. I want to do a record a year. It really is one of those, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ things,“ he explains. People have loudly and proudly backed everything Beach Slang have done so far. While that’s affecting the writing, it’s not making things difficult. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t influenced by it but what a beautiful thing 16 upsetmagazine.com
to be influenced by.” Instead of pressure or stress, James feels a sense of responsibility to the people who have taken Beach Slang’s music into their lives. “I don’t want to become fifteenday old bread. I don’t want to stale out. It’s not like I’m being asked to go mine coal,” he laughs. “This is what I love to do so I want to keep things fresh. I want to say to people who like this band, ‘thank you’. It means a lot that people connect with this stuff and I want them to know that I’m going to keep making it for them. It really is that sincere.” With the year pretty much booked up and a tentative release date of “early fall” Beach Slang are excited for the future. “It feels so good and I’m thrilled.” James offers of the way Album Two is shaping up. “I can’t wait to make this thing.” P
NEED TO KNOW... GORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
Deftones’ new album - originally due for release last autumn - is called ’Gore’, and will now be released on 8th April. The full-length lands a little before their rescheduled London date, with the band playing Wembley Arena on 3rd June.
When The Movielife reunited in December 2014, there were crossed fingers when it came to new material. Now, it looks like the band are in the studio. Not only have members of the band been sharing updates, they’re also promising to air new material at their trio of US shows in March.
+ Alcopop! Djs
Thursday 7th April 2016 The Garage Highbury
T I C K E T W E B .CO. U K | T H EG A R AG E H I G H B U RY.CO M
TONIGHT, THEY’RE LIVE B E FO RE T H E M U C H -A N T I C I PAT E D RE L E AS E O F T H I RD A L BU M ‘ L I M I T L ESS ’, TO N I G H T A L I V E A RE H E A D I N G O U T TO V E N U ES AC ROSS E U RO P E A N D T H E U K FO R T H E F I RST T I M E I N A LO N G W H I L E A F T E R A B RI E F RU N A RO U N D T H E I R N AT I V E AUST R A L I A . VO CA L I ST J E N N A M C D O U G A L L T E L LS U PS ET W H AT ’S G O I N G TO G O D OW N . WO RDS : ALI SHUTLER.
AS TH E K I L L E RS O N C E AS K E D - “A R E W E H U M A N , O R A RE W E DA N C E R ?” Last month, Tonight Alive decided to name their fanbase. “Can a band name their fandom?”, they tweeted “We think it’s about time. Hope you like it, Humans. It’s who we are” Then, a few weeks later, their new video to ‘Drive’ drops. Complete with dance moves. Human? Dancer? In your face, Brandon Flowers. This lot are both.
You’re diving straight into the ‘Limitless’ tour with a ten week run. Why are you going in so hard? It’s just that time again! We’ve been off the road for seven months since making the record, which is something we did deliberately to give ourselves and our fans a break, but it definitely reinforced that we belong on the road. We’re ready and excited to play new music and feel the rush again. You mentioned that the touring cycle for ‘The Other Side’ was healing. Was that from the support of fans, overcoming personal struggles or the unity in the band itself? All three played a huge part in the healing process. Through the end of the touring cycle for ‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ and into the writing of ‘The Other Side’ we were facing a lot of challenges internally. There were break ups, sicknesses and letting go of our first manager in a really complicated situation. There was so much I didn’t know how to vocalise at the time, so writing the record really forced me to face my
demons. LI STENIN G POST Any nerves about playing the new songs live? No nerves at all if I’m honest! This is definitely the most natural that our music has felt to perform and I ‘How Does It Feel’ shows a band growing past the pain think that’s because that once defined them as they try and turn it into a writing it took a very positive. The fact this track is probably one of the most conscious shift to exhilarating songs Tonight Alive have ever written is just let go of rules and a happy bonus. Listen now on upsetmagazine.com. formulas and even any ideas of what to their lives and continue approaching Tonight Alive ‘had to’ things the same way, unless of course it’s sound like. working for them. But I’m very aware that we all follow negative thought patterns How do you think the new songs will and get caught up in other people’s change the shape of the set? expectations and subliminal control, so The set is so much more colourful now. I hope to inspire people to take their The highs are higher and the lows are power back and learn how to say no. lower. I love it. I used to feel unsettled about the fact that we didn’t have ‘one What’s the reaction been like to the four sound’, but we’ve just totally embraced songs you’ve released so far? Is it what the polarities in our lives and in our you were expecting? music and for that reason I think this It’s been a passionate response. And I record is more exciting. say that because of course it has been quite mixed but that’s exciting to us and Is it difficult to balance the new material I think it means we’re doing something with the older tracks or do you still get a right. The point we made when we thrill from playing the ‘classics’? were making this record was to do it on I think playing the older material is our terms; and when you start making actually more enjoyable for us now decisions based on your happiness and because of the nostalgic attachment to your standards and not those of others, it. We’re finding that when we headline, not everyone will be satisfied. With our singles are taking on new meaning our age and experience we’re far more and each song really plays a different inspired by risk and intuition in music role in the set for the first time. When we and we totally stand by everything we started rehearsing for the Limitless world did. tour I was really happy to discover all the songs complementing each other so well. And as the release date of the album draws closer, how are you feeling about At what point in the writing/recording for ‘Limitless’? ‘Limitless’ did you start thinking about I’m ready now. I worked my ass off the live show or do you treat them as two writing and recording this album, now I separate entities? want to go and live it. P I find with our music, the show really follows the songs rather than the songs following the show. Certain tracks were kind of screaming to be played live and had a more obvious rock tone to them, but with the nature of the song writing ES style for ‘Limitless’ which was really T O U R D AT about removing any concept of borders or boundaries in our sound, we had FEBRUARY rum to adapt to the songs and relearn our ntish Town Fo 18 London Ke z instruments to suit them. Rit r ste he nc 19 Ma University 20 Newcastle What do you hope people take away C 21 Glasgow AB ntre from a Tonight Alive show? h Pyramids Ce 23 Portsmout I hope people leave our show at the y em ad Ac ol 24 Brist end of the night in a renewed and m Institute 26 Birmingha empowered state of mind. The last thing I could ever want for our fans is to return
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
ABOU T TO
THE BEST NEW BANDS TH E H OT TEST NEW MUSIC
“WE DON’T TA K E O U RS E LV ES TO O S E RI O U S LY. ”
C A N A D I A N T R I O T H E D I R T Y N I L A R E M A K I N G W AV E S W I T H T H E I R S N O T T Y R O C K ’ N ’ R O L L S O N G S . W O R D S : H E AT H E R M C D A I D . P H O T O : P H I L S M I T H I E S .
he Dirty Nil are a band who find themselves falling under many labels - punk, garage rock, or even grunge at times - there’s definitely hat tips to all of them, but what underlies it all is a “snotty” rock’n’roll approach that packs all their songs with a demand piercing through your speakers or headphones - one that you must pay attention. Their live prowess is wild, and it’s been channelled into album ‘Higher Power’, cranking it up as far as it can go. Luckily, the Canadian trio have come from a thriving music scene in Hamilton, Ontario. “There’s a lot of fantastic bands in and around there,” begins Luke Bentham, vocalist and guitarist. “About 45 minutes up the road you have got Toronto too, so there’s some excellent bands up there. There’s a lot of fantastic music, and there’s a lot of mutual support.” The rock’n’roll snark that pushes through is something that binds them all together in influence. “We definitely got together as a band around late-1960s, early 1970s rock music. We have all gone off in all different directions when exploring other types of music but that’s central to the DNA of our band.” Their years so far have seen them release 7”s, and even cassettes, keeping tangible music at the core of what they create. “I think that is kind of paramount in the
FACT FILE Band members: Luke Bentham (guitar/vocals), Kyle Fisher (drums), and Dave Nardi (bass/ vocals) Hometown: Dundas, Ontario (Canada) Formed: 2006, while still in high school Signed To: Dine Alone Records
philosophy of our band,” notes Luke. “Dave Nardi, our bass player, has been the talent of all of our packaging, all of our artwork and our merchandise. He’s really big into vinyl. It’s important to have something you can hold and look at; that’s kind of central to my enjoyment of music, at least.” If we’re talking about enjoyment of music, little can compare to an album that makes you want to listen, that feels like time well spent. Their debut ‘Higher Power’ is one such record, unrelenting and just downright fun. “We had a series of conversations of what we want to do and what we wanted to present, what was going to be our first fulllength album,” he says. “We wanted a more amped up version of us playing live on our best night. “We took a couple songs from our earlier 7” and our 10”, we wanted a very cohesive group of songs that flowed well together. It was definitely a conscious assembly of songs rather than, ‘hey, I’ve got a bunch of ideas, let’s just go record them and see how they fit together’. We definitely put some thought into how we wanted to sound and how we wanted to flow.” Their full-length album is a step up to try something bigger, a fuller vision of what they’re all about: as a statement of intent for The Dirty Nil, what does it say? “It’s a pretty snotty declaration of supremacy. We don’t take ourselves too seriously but we wanted to make a pretty aggressive rock’n’roll record. ‘It’s higher power than your band’.” So you’ve got an album ready to unleash into the world, you’ve just played your first UK dates with more planned as part of a hopefully relentless touring schedule, what else does 2016 hold for the band? “Volume, stars, anger and just a good rock’n’roll show. Come have some fun.” P The Dirty Nil’s debut album ‘Higher Power’ will be released on 26th February.
SO P I T T E D A RE W E I RD, W I L D, LO U D A N D U N FO RG I V I N G . T H E S E AT T L E P U N K T RI O A RE S ET TO RE L E AS E T H E I R D E BU T ‘ N EO’ . J E A N N I N E KOW E L E R , W H O P L AYS G U I TA R T H RO U G H A BASS A M P, TO O K O N SO M E Q U I C K F I RE Q U EST I O N S . WO RDS : H E AT H E R M C DA I D.
How would you describe So Pitted? Loud. How does role-shifting in the band impact your sound? We can’t be anyone but ourselves. How did you approach ‘neo’? Yolo. How much of an indication is ‘rot in hell’ of what the rest of the album holds? Think the singles hold pretty true to the rest of the album. What are the main themes? Mushroom trips. Give us some deets on one or two songs... ‘chop down that tree’ is a sick ass song, there’s a remix that sounds like it should be used in a chase scene from that movie ‘Go’. ‘feed me’ makes me feel like my spirit animal - the sullen brooding teenager. How was playing a few dates with Bully and METZ? Great fun. Bully and METZ can really put on a show! All of So Pitted had the flu though. What should fans expect from you in 2016? So Pitted is comprised of three wild cards, J9 is very moody and you definitely can’t hold her to anything! Anything to add? Hold on to your butts. P 15
WITH ‘DEATH OF A BACHELOR’, PANIC! AT THE DISCO’S BRENDON URIE HAS EMBRACED HIS CRAZY G ENIUS AND COME UP WITH A MASTERPIECE. WORDS : A LI SHUTLE R . PH OTOS : E MMA SWANN.
anic! At The Disco’s debut album ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ was written in a Las Vegas practice space by four kids who knew very little about music but adored it all the same. Surrounded by “shitty nu-metal bands” that sounded exactly the same, the fledgling Panic! were pushed into doing something different. Teenage rebellion or artistic desire for identity, the band wielded a “let’s just do whatever the fuck,” mentality because “we don’t want to sound like these guys.” Two million records later and the rest is history. It’s Brendon Urie’s history to be precise. Now the sole member of Panic!, it’s his decade of memories at the eye of the storm that provide the catalyst for his latest and greatest adventure, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’. Five albums in and Panic! At The Disco are still doing whatever the fuck they want. It’s the Monday morning of release week and he’s in a west London studio. As people set up spotlights, steam suit jackets and compare schedules for the day, Brendon Urie walks over to a beat up piano nestled in the corner, lifts the lids and fingers the keys. A few cautionary notes later and he removes his jacket, pulls up a chair and begins to play. He isn’t practicing or showing off, it’s far more playful than that. It’s almost like he’s reconnecting with an old friend. During the photo shoot, he’ll sing along to a mixture of David Bowie and Kanye West, familiar and at ease with both - except for ‘Stronger’, he skips that track citing it as his least favourite of Ye’s work. Moving upstairs, drinks are poured (just water) and he finds an acoustic guitar and
gets acquainted. “If I hear something I like, I don’t necessarily want to copy it or do the exact opposite, I just want to do what I want to do,” ventures Brendon. “A lot of the time though, that does ends up being different,” he adds with a smirk. Panic! have never repeated themselves or echoed anyone else, but it’s on ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ that their freedom rages with unhinged joy. Written across a three-month period almost immediately after the release of ‘Hallelujah’, Brendon wasn’t out to sculpt a cohesive body of work. “I was just writing songs. I wanted to write a Sinatra song, a Queen song. I wanted to write a rock party song, so it was this mishmash of different ideas that somehow ended up on the same album,” he laughs. “Every song is so weird from each other but I love that.” Going into the process with a handful of thirty-second ideas that “weren’t even demos, just little hooks” and the occasional verse, nothing was fully formed until he sat down “to just write random songs for an album.” It wasn’t until the eleven tracks that make up ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ were complete, that Brendon could step back and see the arching theme that tied everything together. The journey that Panic! At The Disco have been on and their constant, defiant victory. The experiments are just how Brendon goes about writing. “It’s mostly just to see if I can do something that I haven’t before, which is fun. I’d just gotten a piano in the house. It’s this old sixties Yamaha and I’m just in love with it so I was playing with it all the time.
Playing piano kinda put me in the mood to do Sinatra stuff, so half the songs were written like that, on piano, and half were written on guitar.” The ball for ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ only started rolling once their record label, having heard ‘Hallelujah’ and deciding to release it the following week, told Brendon to write the album. “I’ve always been writing, it was just the first song finished,” he explains of the decision to share that track. “That definitely kicked my ass into gear. I love [doing music], I just need a little push. It helps to have people backing you, saying ‘you can do this, just show up and do the work’, which is awesome but yeah, I could just write all day. That push gave me that one-track mind to finish an album, which is good. I’m glad I did it.”
he ease in which the songs were written varied as much as the end results sounded. “Easy is a tough word because some songs sneeze out, metaphorically speaking. They just happen,” like ‘Impossible Year’ which was written in the moment where “everything comes to a head and seems all too overwhelming. Others, I definitely had to work for. I had an idea for ‘The Good, The Bad and The Dirty’ but I didn’t have it fully formed. I knew I wanted to go in a certain
direction but then you really work on it and there are times where you start to doubt yourself.” Falling into the fivepoint cycle that takes in “hating yourself and wanting to quit,” before ending back at the excited origins, Brendon spent a lot of time thinking about what to add to certain songs “because they didn’t feel formed yet.” Breaking the cycle with forward movement Brendon, in his studio at home, kept himself busy. As well as playing every instrument on the record (with the exception of some brass) he provided his own backing vocals. “I’d stack myself like thirty times and just build this wall of vocal harmonies. I’d sing like an operatic woman or something more gospely and I’d just try and change the characters so I sounded like different people backing myself up.” It’s a trick he learnt from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Brendon also helped produce the record, which is something he was constantly chipping away at. “I was producing tracks the whole time. If I was getting frustrated with a song, I’d move over to the next one. I was just doing that the whole time to keep it exciting.” The space and the energy translates to the album’s drive.
“I wanted to call it ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ because, not only was that my favourite song on the record but I felt it tied in all the things I was talking about. All the themes fell into that category and it was exactly what I wanted to get across.” ‘Too Weird..’ sees Brendon playing a larger than life caricature of himself but this record, “is more me,” he offers. It’s that snapshot of reality that gives ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ its conversational charm. “Everything is based off of something I’ve gone through or was going through at the time. There’s a song called ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ and it’s half true, half embellishment. A lot of it really happened at parties I threw or went to but then the rest is stuff I just wish had happened.” Swapping the sunglasses for rose-tints, “it got so crazy that this happened.” That romanticised look back adorns the cover of the record. Taking cues from ‘Don’t Threaten Me…’ it sees Brendon “on my roof, passed out which is just perfect. It’s how I spent most of my time writing. That is my backyard and that is the roof of my studio. I’d be up on the roof all the time, always flipping off the roof into the pool and we had a couple of nights,
these things happening, there’s a car in the pool, there’s all this crazy stuff happening.” Rooted in reality but nipped and tucked to make a more compelling story. “That aesthetic just fit the title of the record and the feel of every one of the songs, which is so tough. I hate having to do that. It’s the hardest thing trying to label something and give it just one aesthetic,” he explains, inadvertently looking at his chameleon career at the same time as the record’s cover. Once discovered though, “it becomes more fun, you can build around it.”
espite the gradually depleting band roster and an ever-changing sound, Panic! At The Disco have continued to build. The band have remained relevant, and people, whether you look at social media #buzz, the amount of copies the record shifted in both the UK and the US to give them career highs or the animated chatter of fans ahead of an album playback later tonight, are still excited to see what Panic! At The Disco can do. Not that Brendon is entirely sure why.
“SOME SONGS SNEEZE OUT, METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING. THEY JUST HAPPEN.”
As with the previous album, 2013’s ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’, Brendon wrote around 15 songs before narrowing it down to the 11 or 12 that made the album. “Everything was so different, I wanted to spend more time on each song to see if I could take it any further.” That attention resulted in some cool stuff like “a weird bridge that sounds like an evil Queen opera,” which we wouldn’t have any other way.
While the attention was the same, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ differed from ‘Too Weird…’ because there was no arching theme going in. “I knew the things I wanted to talk about lyrically but the whole vision of the album didn’t come into place until everything was written.” Taking a step back, Brendon could see how the record fit together and could christen it. 26 upsetmagazine.com
after parties for whatever reason, where you pass out. You’re just there and you wake up like, ‘what the fuck?’” Working with illustrator Nicole Guice, the album cover takes a photo shot by Zack Hall (the band’s long time associate and the co-star of Brendon Urie’s Periscope account) and embellishes it. “I could set myself up in the pool and it doesn’t look as crazy but I imagine all
“I don’t know how to answer that,” he admits. “I would like to think I’m doing something great that touches deep inside, that people can relate to but who knows. I like stuff for different reasons. I hope that people relate to it because I’m talking about stuff that’s honest, very true to me and it makes me feel better if people relate to it. It makes me feel not so alone in feeling this way, which is good.” There’s also the hope that the record is “something new entirely. That’s really what I push for when I’m writing. I’m trying to make myself do something I haven’t before. If people get any inkling of a new form of what Panic! At The Disco is or means to them, then I think I’ve done a good job. People don’t want
to hear tired music, that’s for sure.” For all the triumphs and ideal parties, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is a love letter to being young and reckless while having absolutely no regrets about who you are now. It’s an ode to change. “I wanted to put aside the past because I felt like a different person, I felt like a better person. I’d moved ahead in such a light, that I was able to think about the past fondly instead of being trapped in it still. I was able to look back on memories and think about who I used to be.” For four albums, Panic! At The Disco have been offering up a desire to escape. ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ sees them content with where they are. “I’m more excited for who I am now so I’m able to kill off the bachelor past of me, which is awesome. It’s been this crazy journey that I’m way more grateful of now. I’m way more appreciative of where I’m at because of where I’ve been.”
There are still boundaries to the writing though. If a song starts sounding like it could fit on a previous record, Brendon tries to push it into a “different light to make it exciting and new” but if that fails, it goes in the vault to never see the light of day. “Luckily the vault isn’t that big,” he offers, reassuring and relived. “There are a few songs in there. They may not sound like anything I’ve done before but if I feel it’s hitting the same mark I’ve hit in the past, I just leave it. You have to leave ideas sometimes. Not everything is good.”
me into this weird style because it’s nothing like what I did before,” he offers, referencing David Byrne. “You just have to have faith that, as excited as you are with your stuff, that other people will be get that excited too.” “I actually had that thought a couple of albums ago,” answers Brendon when asked if, with all the ground he’s covering, he’s running out of rabbit holes. “I wonder if I have enough room to move around musically,” he ponders. It doesn’t last long. “The way that music is evolving nowadays, there’s more inspiration, there’s more space to move and there’s more places to go with it. I’m glad that music is evolving and bands are pushing themselves to do great art. Artists are breathing and creating, which is great because it means I have more room.”
“THERE ARE SOME ROCK STARS ABOUT TODAY, SURE. KANYE WEST IS A ROCK STAR. HE’S JUST CRAZY.”
“It’s more of a solo project than people realise, I think,” ventures Brendon of his role as Last Man Standing. “But only because it’s happened over time. Couple of guys left, I took the reins. Another buddy left, I took more of a lead and now it’s just me. I get to do whatever the hell I want, which is just awesome. As opposed to sitting down with three other people and writing an album where you compromise and argue, now I’m able to write and nobody pushes me in a certain way or makes me do a certain thing if I don’t want to do it. I have full carte blanche. No rules. I get to do whatever I want, which is great.” “Where it’s ended up, I feel more comfortable,” Brendon says explaining why, from here on out, Panic! will always be just him. “It just happened over time. It was never a preconceived notion or forethought but I’m so happy with where it is now and I want to continue doing it. It’s so different and it’s changed so much. I love that.” As Brendon gets more comfortable in Panic! At The Disco, the strive to break new ground becomes, “less of a conscious thing. I put more thought into it early on when the band started to change. The changes from the first album to the third album were more of a conscious thing but now, it just happens. My ideas change with how I want to write.”
ach one of Panic! At The Disco’s albums has come with its own accompanying image and adds to the band’s narrative. Their history is diverse and celebrated and sometimes those expectations do play a factor in the creative process. “You have to have faith that someone is going to grab on and like it. That’s a scary thing. The first time that happened was the second album, we just flew off the deep end. Everything we wanted to do was everything people didn’t want us to do. We were being pushed in such a direction we were like ‘fuck you guys, we’re doing a Beatles record. We’re going to go to a cabin in the woods to smoke weed and see what happens’ but yeah, the drive behind it was very real.” ‘Pretty. Odd.’ is still one of Brendon’s favourite Panic! albums. “I wanted to do something different too, we all did. That’s always been the case but you’ve got to hope. I’m going down this rabbit hole and I’m hoping you guys follow
As Panic! expands, Brendon finds more and more doors opening up. ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is indebted to Queen, the Beach Boys, The B-52s and Frank Sinatra but there are also launch pads from Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. The idea that people could get into these artists from these references is a prospect that excites Brendon, “I would really love that.”
From the 808 beat of the title track to the bragging strut of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, Panic! is cutting the old with the new. “I wanted to do that arrogant thing. The chorus of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ is ‘I’m taking back the crown’ and I love that. That’s something I feel is missing from a lot of bands that I really like. For whatever reason, rock is so different to hip hop in that regard. Hip hop is the biggest hype man for himself saying ‘I’m the shit, look at me, I’m flashy and I own all of you’. It’s crazy and I wanted to bring that back into the rock world. You know who does that pretty well? Pete [Wentz] from Fall Out Boy, he’s the best hype man.” “The term rock star is so funny to me,” Brendon continues. “There are some rock stars about today, sure. Kanye West is a rock star. He’s just crazy but there are a few in the past that were so legendary, it’s fun to do that in songs. I’m so not that person in real life, I don’t think, so being able to play that character frees me up to do that. I could never be that guy in real life; it’s just not me. It’s not authentic but to do it in song form, it’s way easier. I like telling the stories, I like 29
“WHEN I WAS A KID I DIDN’T CARE. I WANTED THE ATTENTION. I WANTED EVERYONE TO WATCH ME.” playing the characters, and having that arrogance is, it’s almost like I’m able to hide behind it.”
offering discovery and self-acceptance in song.
“As a kid, I loved the spotlight,” he continues. “The older I get, the more conscious I am of what I do in the spotlight but as a kid, I was rambunctious, man. When I was a kid I didn’t care. I wanted the attention. I wanted everyone to watch me. I wasn’t doing anything in particular that was great but I wanted people to watch me all the time. I think that’s a sign of the times today,” offers Brendon, talking about the internet’s global and readymade audience. “There are so many people who do what they do, put a video on the internet and somebody is going to like it. It’s a little bit more easily accessible but yeah, I like being in the spotlight. I like having that freedom to play characters in songs, for a live show or for a magazine.”
o matter which character Brendon is playing, the decadence, the lust and the sexuality of Panic!’s music never comes close to crossing a line. There’s a respect for his position and the audience. “There are moments on this album where there are some crude lyrics but it’s never trying to be crass or any of that stuff. That’s never where the writing comes from. It’s not trying to make people feel wrong or feel dirty, it’s trying to be fun. I’m going to be who I am,” he starts. “I don’t like necessarily calling myself a role model but I do have young fans and those younger kids haven’t experienced some of the things I’m talking about. To put it into a light where it isn’t so off-putting is probably a good idea,” he explains,
It’s an idea that sparked ‘Girls/Girls/Boys’, a track about sexual fluidity and not needing to put a label on things, which unintentionally started a wider dialogue. Despite not putting himself forward as a role model, Brendon didn’t back away from the narrative around sexuality. “I didn’t anticipate that happening when I was writing that song. I guess I should have but I never think about that stuff because I don’t want that to dictate what I write. I never try and start a social commentary but that was really cool. The fact that it got recognised as I wanted it to was pretty great because that’s something I firmly, firmly believe in. I was excited with the reaction that it got. It made me hopeful for the future. You never know what’ll happen when you put something out like that, that’s talking about such a big issue.” The track started, “just talking about personal experiences, three-ways and stuff. Then I thought about it and it really is the end all message that love is not a choice. It’s true. You never choose if you’re gay or straight or whatever.” Despite this leading to personal question somewhat missing the point, “A lot of times in interviews, they’ll ask ‘well, what do you label yourself as? Are you gay, are you straight, are you bi?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t care. I just don’t care. I like girls, some guys are hot’.” Brendon is proud of who he is, offstage and on. “I do this thing called Periscope and I’m smoking weed on there, I’m showing exactly who I am. I never want to lie like I’m playing this person, that’s what the songs are for. I get to play characters and that stuff but who I am, is who I am. I’m not going to change that because someone wants me to be more PC. I’m going to speak my mind and I’m
going to talk about things that I need to talk about. I am who I am and, I’m never trying to offend people, that’s never my goal, but if I do I don’t want to apologise for being myself.” “I never do [think about my influence], but I do think about what I do. It’s never ‘oh fuck this. I’m a nihilist; I don’t care’, because I do. I put thought into what I do and I don’t try and offend people but it’s going to happen. Not everyone is going to agree with what I’m saying but I think that’s exciting.”
rendon might not ponder the effect he has on others but he knows just how much other people have helped him shape ‘Death Of A Bachelor’. “I could have called this album ‘Conversations With Friends’,” he offers before rejecting the idea because it sounds like a coffee shop album. “That’s really what it was. I just talked with my buddies at the time about what they were thinking or what they were interested in and organically ideas happened.” ‘LA Devotee’, originally conceived as a ‘Dancing In The Dark’, Bruce Springsteen-esque number, evolved into a love letter to LA thanks to conversations with Morgan Kibby from M83/White Sea. Jake Sinclair, the producer for the bulk of the record, also helped. “When you just get along with someone, the ideas flow a little easier. I want someone I’m comfortable with but someone who can drive me to do what I wouldn’t normally want to do. You’re different when you’re around your friends as opposed to when you’re home alone.” It’s that partnership with Jake that also led to a few other layers to the record. The dark chant of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ is actually a warped vocal line chanting, “double, double, double, down. Pushing it all down”, while ‘Victorious’ saw Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo lend a hand. The track was pretty much finished but one part still didn’t feel right and Brendon was getting “so frustrated”. While working on it, Jake, who was also working with Weezer, took a call from Rivers during which Brendon just kept playing the song over and over. Rivers, hearing it in the background, asked what it was. “We told him and he was like ‘I think I have an idea for that, if you guys want it?’ It just sorta happened. He threw it out and it was awesome. I was sitting on it for so long, I felt stuck and dude, to have Rivers do that, that’s the coolest thing.”
“THIS IS MY BEST ALBUM. I’M EXCITED TO SHOW IT OFF.”
It’s not the first time working with Rivers has helped though. After Panic! split in two at the end of the ‘Pretty. Odd.’ cycle, Brendon and Spencer Smith, the band’s former drummer, went to their first ever writing session with Rivers. “I was blown away and we wrote this song, ‘Freckles’. I didn’t want it because it didn’t sound like a Panic! song and he thought about using it, but he didn’t know if it sounded like a Weezer song. It was so different but that was just such a cool experience because he just wanted to write too.” The pair have kept in touch ever since. That session also gave Brendon the push to take over songwriting duties without outside help and we all know how that turned out. That journey gives ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ an extra reflection. “I learnt to drum and play guitar to the Blue Album and now I get to hang out with Rivers Cuomo,” laughs Brendon. “That’s crazy dude, that’s so crazy.”
it my way.”
Despite the many names mentioned on ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, the album is pure Brendon. It’s his vision and his triumph. Across the record, there’s a sense of liberation and that’s only going to continue. Whether it’s a note on his phone, a voice memo or a brand new beat, Brendon Urie creates something everyday. “I do something that inspires because if I let too much time go by, I think I lose that,” he offers. “I feel like I hit a stride as a songwriter but I don’t feel content as a songwriter. I still want to push myself. I don’t feel like I’ve written my opus, that one song where I’m like ‘oh, I could play that at my funeral’. I still want to write that song. Wanting to write the best song I’ve ever written, that drives me a lot. I don’t think I have yet. I think I’ve written some really great songs and this is my best album yet, I think, but I still want to write that one song that is how I define myself,“ he ventures before referencing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’. “He has a million songs that define him but if I had one, that would be amazing.”
. rendon Urie might be dreaming of writing a song as timeless as ‘My Way’ but he certainly lives by the song’s closing message. “To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels, the record shows I took the blows and did
“I’m always trying to beat what I’ve done before as a writer but now I’m trying to excel as a producer and a songwriter,” he starts. “I want to get better and better but there’s still competition. I hear stuff on the radio and if it’s good, I’m like ‘wow’, I want to do something that makes me feel how I felt listening to that song, I want to represent my band in the same way. There are definitely artists who do that, Kanye is a really good example, he puts something out and I’m in love with it already.” He also lists Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, X Ambassadors and Kendrick. “I want to have the same effect on someone,” he offers, dreaming of inspiring an artistic reaction. “That would be great, it would be amazing.” Brendon hopes Panic! will never end. “I love the idea of this band which is why I never, ever questioned keeping the name or going solo with my own name because it’s given me a catalyst for whatever I want to do from the get go.” After talking about The Rolling Stones still going strong at their age, Brendon continues. “I would love to be able to do that at that point, but who knows. It’s evolved over time but I’m hoping to keep on doing it.” “I would love to take it into different places,” he offers of his future. “Maybe write a movie surrounding an album or a Broadway play, that would be really cool. There’s stuff I’m sure I haven’t even heard, that’s yet to be created by someone, that I would love to fall in line with but who knows. There are still so many songs I want to write. Like I said, I still haven’t written the one that defines Panic! so maybe that’ll be the goal to keep in mind.” For a large chunk of Panic! At The Disco’s history, the success of ‘Fever’ and the generation-shaping anthem of ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ looked set to define the band. There’s still a shadow but over the past two albums the band have moved beyond it. “When I go out and get recognised, half the time people don’t know my name
but they’re like, ‘oh you’re the Panic guy, you’re the goddamn door guy’. They know that song which is awesome and there’s no animosity there. It’s crazy that people know that and it’s gotten me here. I owe a lot to the first album. I don’t necessarily compare this record to it, but I do relate ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ to it because, as excited as I was for the first album, that’s how excited I was writing this album. I was the same wide-eyed kid saying ‘Oh my God, this is awesome. I’m so excited about this’. The last time I felt this excited was that first album.” After a decade of moving forward, Brendon Urie is at a point in his life where he can look back fondly and not worry about single moments The ten-year anniversary of their debut saw Brendon “spend September 22nd listening to ‘Fever’ front to back and just being like ‘Wow, this kid cannot sing’. I just sat there and remembered where I was and what had happened in my life up to that point to influence all that stuff, and it was cool. It was a nice little trip down memory lane.” While the upcoming tours are going to include a mix of all five albums, Panic! aren’t relying on nostalgia. “This is my best album and I’m excited to show it off,” and with their schedule filling up fast, there’ll be plenty of opportunities. “Once I’ve expired all the ideas for an album, I’m just waiting around for the live show. All I want to do once the album’s out is see the faces, hear the lyrics sung back to me and elicit some sort of reaction out of people.” Ten years on from a debut album that changed everything, Panic! At The Disco still approach their music with dizzying excitement and a “let’s just do whatever the fuck” mentality. They may have grown as artists and people but that wide-eyed adoration hasn’t changed. Artists now surround the band on a global scale but Brendon Urie remains firm. We don’t want to sound like these guys. P Panic! At The Disco’s album ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is out now.
TO M O
DIES AS T H EY H I T T H E I R TE N TH A N N I V E RSA RY, BU RY TO M O RROW F I N D T H E M S E LV ES AT A TI P P I N G P O I N T. WO R DS : H E AT H E R M C DA I D.
hen you choose the road of music, it’s not always a clear-cut, one way route. With each album comes an opportunity to branch out, to experiment, to veer from your core path; for some it sees bands reach new heights, shaking things up a little, for others, it’s a bit of a disaster. But for Bury Tomorrow, they’ve kept their eyes set firmly ahead, focused on honing their band to be the best they can be.
helped, having been on the road for about a year non-stop before we were writing the album, and continuing to be on the road while we were demoing and recording the album. There’s always pressure to make the album a bit better, but for us it was more about saying ‘this is Bury Tomorrow’, and that’s that. It’s a no gimmicks, no frills kind of album.”
Though that seems a vague spec that most bands subscribe to in some form, for this foursome, it was a case of distilling what makes Bury Tomorrow, well, Bury Tomorrow, and pushing it to the limits. ‘Runes’ set them up for bigger things to come, snagging them a Number One in the rock chart and leading to their biggest venues to date, but ‘Earthbound’ sees them set their sights on bigger things ahead.
They’ve always been in tune with their fans, but here they wanted to make sure that they really heard what the fans take from them and slathered it on track after track. Does their influence seep into the music? “It always does,” he admits. “I think you should listen to your fanbase, whether that’s new fans or people who have been with you for a long time. I think it makes a lot of sense because they’re the people who are going to be buying your record, recommending it to their friends and stuff like that. I think generally for Bury Tomorrow it’s a massive part of our writing and recording process listening to fans and what songs they like. It’s why we want to get the new album out as quickly as possible, you gauge where you’re going to set yourself up for the next year, which bands you should be touring with, where your sound should be going.”
“It sounds crazy but the whole album is around just a live sound and like a live feel,” says vocalist Dani Winter-Bates. “It
While the band haven’t shied away from creating what they dub the musical embodiment of a circle pit, ‘Earthbound’ sees
“IT’S A NO GIMMICKS, NO FRILLS KIND OF ALBUM.” it’s been quite an evolution for the band. They constantly have their sights set on the next step or goal, and that became a driving force in what they write. “Our band’s quite organic in the way that we do things,” explains Dani. “We barely practice and we come out on tour and it all just seems to work, but that’s just from being in a band and knowing each other so long. It’s the same with the writing process - we are constantly trying to write for the venues that we want to play. People like Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, all those big metalcore bands have all been just little bands and they have got a big sound, they are ready to fill out venues. For us I think we are writing towards it: we are not scared to showcase different influences on this album, whereas before we had to stick to a specific formula. With this album we could just experiment more with the different sides of the music.” It’s weird, because when you say metalcore, it feels like a dirty word. It’s one that many in metal shunned, but in recent years there’s almost been an uprising, reclaiming the genre as something exciting. “It was a dirty word,” agrees Dani. “I remember when we first started, we were being put on bills with death metal bands and they would look at us funny because we sung. It was a really strange thing to be asked to deal with. When we first started there were bands like Atreyu and Still Remains who were absolutely killing it, then that era of metalcore by, like, Killswitch Engage died off, and even then they went a different way with their music. them release what could arguably be ten singles, each as unforgiving as the one before. In doing so, they’ve tackled each in more isolated terms, moving away from their more sweeping concepts. “It’s quite anecdotal in places,” explains Dani, on where they’ve gone now they’re free to play around more. “It’s the first time we have ever done that really and had the opportunity to go wildly into different subjects with each track. This is Bury Tomorrow - there is no hiding behind extravagant intros and all that. The lyrics manifest themselves in that way, approaching things that are negative but can be perceived as positive... then there’s the environmental change, political stuff - it just goes into a lot of that. “’Earthbound’ for us really stood out because it was obviously the title track and as a demo it seemed really perfect as the first track we release. I really like the first track on the album - for me it has to hit home as fast as you can go in that it’s totally awesome. We just released ‘Last Light’ which is quite a melodic track and quite serene in places and kind of epic when it comes into the chorus.” Having formed in 2006, marking this year the big ol’ one-oh,
“For us we kind of persevered through that and I think over the last three or four years you have seen a whole resurgence of kids who are into that kind of music. All these bands - Of Mice & Men, Issues, Bring Me - bands who are kind of acceptable for younger people to like, who’ve gained a following. [Back then] you shouldn’t be playing to twelve, thirteen, fourteen year old kids, like that’s crazy. If you had done it, it would have been such a niche market, whereas now it’s not, it’s the mainstream.” ‘Earthbound’ is starting to make waves in the world, but as a flag in the ground for this latest stop in Bury Tomorrow’s journey, what does this mark for them? “I think it’s a standpoint,” he says. “I think we can look back at it in a year or two’s time and go: ‘That set us up for something special’. I think we are at the tipping point of our music - as far as fanbasewise goes, we are pretty much there, ready to go. “Hopefully it is kind of a tipping point. As for getting to this point, I was very young when I started the band and I think now we’re really there, we’re ready. This line-up is the last lineup I think we are ever going to have, and we’re ready to move forward as this new movement.” P Bury Tomorrow’s album ‘Earthbound’ is out now. 37
“ T H E M US I C I N D UST RY I S D U C K E D.”
“ M 8. T H AT ’S C L E A RLY A G O OS E .”
I N 2010, Y U C K FO U N D TH E M S E LV ES AT T H E P I N N AC L E O F H Y P E , TO UTE D AS O N E O F B R I TA I N ’S B EST A N D B RI G HT EST N E W BA N DS . F I V E Y E A RS A N D TH RE E A L BU M S L AT E R , IT H AS N ’ T A LWAYS B E E N A S M O OTH RI D E . WO R DS : J ESS I CA G O O D M A N .
e knew coming in that it wasn’t going to be an easy ride,” Max Bloom sighs. “I’m quite a perfectionist, and the band’s career has been far from perfect.” Indeed, Yuck’s history is a turbulent one. Putting out a celebrated debut album only to part ways with their then-frontman shortly after, the group went on to release ‘Behold & Glow’, a record that they begrudgingly admit wasn’t what really they set out to create.
“There’s so much shit that we’ve had to deal with,” Max considers. “Recording the second album was a really difficult experience for me. I was not in a very good place mentally, so it was a little difficult to handle.” Stepping up as vocalist was a daunting challenge to face, but two and a half years on and any shadow of self-doubt is removed far from sight. “You kind of need distance to see the funny side,” Max chuckles. “Being in a band is something people make jokes about constantly. Musicians tend to take themselves really seriously, but actually it’s all a big joke.” Out of this revitalised confidence comes ‘Stranger Things’. The band’s third record sees them return to the simple structures that served them so well on their debut. Written and recorded over eighteen months in the Bloom family home, the record is a definitive fingerprint of who Yuck are, and have always strived to be. “A lot has changed,” Max recalls. “I recorded the first album myself, but I can’t even begin to explain how unbelievably amateur the process was.” That inexperience was a defining aspect of the sound Yuck created. “I didn’t know what I was doing, but that kind of gave the album its vibe. It was really fun.” The group have come a long way since their early days of piecing tracks together on GarageBand, but that raw drive remains prevalent in the music they put out to this day. From scuzzy punk hits through spaced-out dream pop anthems and beyond, ‘Stranger Things’ is a striking display of the quartet’s capability. “I feel like we’ve made something that is completely on our own terms, and I am so, so happy with how it turned out,” Max states. “It feels quite emotional.” Emotions are certainly in no short supply on the record. “Some songs are about relationships. Some songs are about my battle with depression and anxiety, which I’ve been working with over the past couple of years.” Putting such personal issues to melody can seem like hard work, but in providing 40 upsetmagazine.com
a release for listeners as well as themselves, the record presents Yuck at their openhearted best. “It’s hard for me to talk about,” the frontman hesitates. “It’s much more cathartic to sing about it all and to make it into lyrics.” Shifting away from past uncertainties and into the positive, the band are in an unmistakably brighter place than they were two years ago. “I’m quite a worrier,” Max ponders, “but if you’re making art then you’ve just got to do what you do, be quite bold about it, and don’t be afraid to take steps in whatever direction – whether it’s right or wrong.” Yuck’s worry-free approach on the run up to the release of ‘Stranger Things’ is indicator in itself of how far they have come. “When we were waiting for the reviews to come in on the second album I was so nervous,” Max admits, “because I knew it wasn’t really the album I had set out to make.” In comparison, the band’s latest efforts undoubtedly fall in line with the high standards they set for themselves. “For this album, I’m not scared at all. I feel like I’ve made something I’m really happy with. If people don’t like it then they just don’t like my music taste, or don’t really like the band. I’m comfortable with that. “ Lead single ‘Hearts In Motion’ is a dazzling indicator of what’s to come. With a hand-on-chest, chant-along chorus, the track serves as a fitting introduction that combines intimate lyrics with an anthemic aesthetic. “What I wanted to do with this record was to make an album’s worth of songs that were really fun to play live,” the frontman explains. “On the second record, and even in some ways on the first, it was really easy to get carried away in the studio and start pushing your music to a different place. That can be a really good thing, creatively, but when it comes down to playing it live, it kind of sucks all the fun out of it.” Stepping away from the studio recording format that saw the creation of album two, and withdrawing to the homestead
of their frontman’s parents, Yuck have put an air of fun back into their function. “‘Glow & Behold’ was recorded in a studio, but I don’t think it was the most enjoyable experience when I look back on it.” Which isn’t to say that the band regret it – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There were some great moments and I would never change it. It was a really valuable learning experience,” Max assesses. “I think it helped to put things in perspective. It made us realise what the best way to record and make music is as a band.” Sticking to the “bare elements”, Yuck have crafted a sound that’s more immediate than ever. ‘There’s very little in the way of overdubs and stuff like that. If you’ve got, say, ten guitar parts on a track, when you’re reproducing these songs live you still only have two arms. So it’s just two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, which is just going to make things really fun and easy to play live.” Stripping back to basics while retaining dynamism and distinction could’ve proved a tough act to balance, but the four-piece make it work seemingly effortlessly. “I like listening to a Wire album or something like that where you know what you’re going to get the whole way through. But we’ve never been a band to make an album all in one style. There are so many different influences on this record, and we just try on touch on all of those. That’s just the way we do things, really.” Geared towards the band’s own enjoyment and appreciation, the confidence surrounding ‘Stranger Things’ is an effortless sell. “I wanted to make this record in a really comfortable place, which would be my parents’ house, and make it where there’s no time limit. It was just really fun and relaxed. There were no expectations of how the record would sound, but it came into itself a little bit.” With the album about to drop, the group are itching to take their new material on stage. “I’m really looking forward to playing the new album live. I’m looking forward to playing in general, just having fun with it. Hopefully we’ll play some really fun shows in hot, sweaty venues. I’m really looking forward to that.” With London dates and an extensive US tour already in the works, Yuck are ready to take 2016 by storm. As for how successfully they think they’ll fare, stranger things have happened, right? P Yuck’s album ‘Stranger Things’ will be released on 26th February.
“MUSICIANS T E N D T O TA K E T H E M S E LV E S R E A L LY S E R I O U S LY , B U T A C T U A L LY IT’S ALL A BIG JOKE.”
swim when you’re
F R O M T H E I R A P P R E C I AT I O N O F P O P C U LT U R E , T O T H E I R S U P P O R T O F SOCIAL ISSUES: FEW BANDS ARE AS CLUED UP AS SWMRS.
WORDS: AL I SHUTL ER . PHOTOS : A LI C E BA X LEY. he first proper look at SWMRS came with ‘Miley’. The debut cut from ‘Drive North’ celebrates Miley Cyrus as a “punk rock queen” after Cole Becker saw her, alongside Laura Jane Grace, covering The Replacements’ ‘Androgynous’ for her Happy Hippie Foundation. “It was crazy,” he says. “I used to watch her doing dumb TV shows and now she’s covering one of my favourite songs and she donated all the money to homeless LGBT relief. “ “It’s one of those things where it’s not necessarily about adoration as much as it’s an examination,” he ventures, furthering the statement the band made following the track’s release: “Our song ‘Miley’ is not intended as a sweeping intersectional feminist statement and in no way reflects an alignment with the more problematic things that Miley says.”
“She’s constantly piquing our interest. She went from that to somehow offending the whole world in a day and still manages to play sold out shows, y’know. She’s not really a punk rocker but neither are we. She’s doing what she wants and that’s something that speaks to us.” In a previous life Miley Cyrus was Disney child-star Hannah Montana but she’s not the only one with a colourful past. In a parallel story, SWMRS used to be known as Emily’s Army. Formed in 2004 by Cole Becker and Joey Armstrong after watching School Of Rock, the pair recruited Cole’s brother Max and the band was born. Two albums - 2011’s ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ and 2013’s ‘Lost At Seventeen’ - a string of EPs and a couple of summers on the US Warped Tour followed, alongside an appearance at Reading & Leeds that saw the band spend more time signing and taking pictures with a mob of fans next to the Pit stage than they did playing on it. With Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong producing all their records (as well as being their drummer’s dad), you could already tell where this story was going. However, the band weren’t interested in manufactured fairytales and pulled away. Despite the different spheres of influence, there are similarities between the evolution of Miley Cyrus and the evolution of SWMRS. “Both of us went through a transition of being young and not really grasping the breadth of the business we
were working in, to growing up and figuring out how to find autonomy in the constructs we’d built around ourselves.” Now, with a new name, a new bassist (Sebastian Mueller replaced Travis Neumann In 2014) and a new outlook, SWMRS are gearing up to release their debut album as an entirely new band. ‘Drive North’ is “the first SWMRS album,” Cole states. “The influences are a lot broader and it’s just a lot more mature. We’re a little more refined now. It’s in the same spirit as Emily’s Army but it’s a little more DIY.” The transition between the two bands just happened, without much public fanfare. “It’s been really smooth,” he explains. “At first people were confused because we kinda pulled a fast one on everyone by keeping our social media followers and just changing the name. We treated it as a new band though because the nature of the name change was born out of a desire to break with all the shortcomings of Emily’s Army.”
“We had a really terrible experience with the record label,” says Cole. “They knew the easiest way to market us was via hopping on things we didn’t want to be hopped on. It ended up that people saw us as almost a Green Day derivative, and we wanted to be our own band.” It’s that struggle for self and the discovery that comes with it that rages at the heart of ‘Drive North’. “It’s very much a coming of age album. It’s about coming of age in a place that is the cultural other of somewhere like LA. When you’re in California, LA has so much visibility that you get envious and jealous of their scene.” From the opening of ‘Harry Dean’, through the recorded heart of ‘Figuring It Out’ to the title track, ‘Drive North’ is bigger than specific frustrations and isolation. “It’s about finding your own identity no matter where you’re from. It’s about feeling like I want to be where all the music is happening; I want to be from that scene but really, it’s not important. It’s more important to do what you love.”
he record, grittier, darker and more frank than anything they’ve gone near before, sees the band living up to their search for something more. “I think it’s quite evolutionary. We all got older, we all got tougher. Emily’s Army ended up just being about fun, and this is about fun too, but it’s also about something serious and so the sound had to follow that,” he offers. “This is what we love to do, we want to be able to do this until we die.” ‘Drive North’ is the first time the band have gone into the studio without Billie Joe Armstrong behind the desk. “He really helped us find out who we are as a band, and he introduced us to so much music - but it was important for us to break from everything we knew. That was the idea of SWMRS. We needed to do something completely on our own, without the comfort of what we grew up with. That was the idea behind breaking
“we wanted to
be our own
band.” spirit. What we like about punk is that it’s very activist and very visceral.”
from Billie as a producer. It’s actually strengthened our relationship with him because now he can just watch us as we do our thing and it’s cool.” Taking over was FIDLAR’s Zac Carper. He helped shape the sound of the record by discovering all the band’s left-field influences, and unlocking them. With a more free-flowing palette, SWMRS could build on their punk origins, which was handy because Cole doesn’t exactly rate his credentials. “I’m not really that punk. I grew up in a suburb. We like who we like and sometimes that falls in line with punk.” SWMRS identify more with punk ethics, ”which are very progressive and forward thinking. I think we have a really good idea of what we want to accomplish as a band now, whereas with Emily’s Army we didn’t.” That doesn’t mean the band have settled on a sound - “it’s always going to be changing” - and while they don’t know where they’re heading next, they know what they want. “Everything is always going to come from a very punk
It’s an idea the band have held close to their chests. From naming the first real edition of the band Emily’s Army to help raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis - Max and Cole’s cousin Emily suffers from it - to Cole’s art-project-slashmagazine ‘Boyzine’ that aims to “talk about important issues, feminism and intersectionality to people on a grander scale.” There’s a desire to help people, to create conversations and craft a community in everything SWMRS do. It’s a feeling Cole describes as “hard to avoid. We grew up in Berkeley, which is a very socially conscious place and, especially now in this global climate of activism and the world falling apart, it’s important for us to acknowledge that our influences didn’t just come from there. Part of our tax to the global community is to trying to elevate the voices of people who are marginalised and people who don’t have the same freedoms that we do.” It’s a sentiment echoed and cried by the likes of The Wonder Years, letlive. and The Hotelier. The joy of ‘Drive North’ is weighed against the band’s activist desire and “it’s a hard line to balance,” admits Cole. “The more time you take to think about all the things that are happening in the world, the harder it gets to
pause between them. When Max and I were writing this record, it seemed like the world was falling apart in a lot of ways. But at the end, there’s this hopeful message because a lot of our problems stem from older people and the generation before us. I think our generation has a really good handle on the world. In 15 years the world’s going to be in a better place by far,” he says with absolute conviction.
It’s a belief the band put to record. The message at the heart of their debut is that “you’re not alone. It’s really important that there are a lot of songs about being lonely, about being 17 years old and not really knowing what you want to do with your life. The takeaway is that it’s ok and even if you feel like people don’t understand you, it’s going to be ok.” This reassuring voice can be heard across ‘Drive North’’s frantic, reflective and hook laden bangerz. “Sometimes having weird emotional idiosyncrasies can feel very isolating but in the end, everyone’s got some sort of problem like that. ‘Drive North’ is about breaking down people’s barriers from each other.” Parallel once more, on their debut album SWMRS are coming in like a wrecking ball. P SWMRS’ album ‘Drive North’ will be released on 12th February. 45
Ghost he in t
THREE ALBUMS IN, AND G HOST’S R U N AWAY S U C C E S S S H O W S N O SIG NS OF SLOWING DOWN. WO RDS : A L I S H U T L E R . P H OTOS : SA R A H LO U I S E B E N N ET T
mage is very important to everyone,” starts one of Ghost’s Nameless Ghouls. “Even the artist who doesn’t have an image has an image. Adele has an image. In the indie world especially, people think that bands are so great because they don’t even want to be stars,” he explains before lowering his voice to a whisper and leaning across. “If they didn’t want to be stars, they wouldn’t stand on stage.” Later tonight Ghost will take to the stage of KOKO, in London, for a long sold out show. It’s their final live date of a year that’s seen them nominated for a Grammy, release their best and most successful album yet and seen them properly crossover from being a big fish in the world of metal to being a mainstream concern. They tread the boards knowing they’re stars. The band have already announced, and sold out, their next London show
and plans are already afoot for the one after that. “Image is very important,” the Ghoul repeats before asking why people like bands that dress in everyday clothes. “It’s because they look like you. It’s because you feel you can grab onto them and what they’re doing,” he ventures. “It’s one of the reasons we end up in the limbo. Nobody dresses like we do.” Ghost use their individuality to their advantage though. At the moment they’re sat backstage and, even though doors won’t open for a good few hours, there’s a queue of people standing outside in the miserable winter weather. We’re not talking a straggling group of enthusiasts and bad-timekeepers. We’re talking a mass stretching around the building. Ghost aren’t your typical heavy metal band. Formed in 2008, the group remains anonymous despite demanding more attention with every release. Rumours suggest that Dave Grohl once dressed up and performed with the band, but that’s neither here nor there. The five Nameless Ghouls and current vocalist Papa Emeritus III (the younger brother of previous vocalist 47
Papa Emeritus II by three months) aren’t trading on masks and face paint. The theatrics and smirking characters of Ghost are only part of their story. In a world that can’t keep a secret, there’s an unspoken understanding that we’re all in on Ghost. “If we had not had the image, the music would have stood on other legs,” continues the Ghoul. “If they’d been as attractive legs though, I have no idea. Our anonymity is very important as long as we keep it official, but the further we drift into being a band and the more people that know about us, obviously that’s going to be very tough. Society isn’t built like that anymore.” During tonight’s set the six-piece band will lead the room in a joyful, unifying affair. Costume changes, incense burners, spotlights and podiums all provide backup to the monster anthems that flood latest album ‘Meliora’. At one point there are bearded men dressed as nuns handing out communion to the front row but every grandiose moment of the show feels like an extension of Ghost. There’s a powerful cohesion to the band’s dark pomp and their grand stage show. The band are sheer theatre. And they know it. Despite the relentless and full-bodied belief in the character of Ghost, it was never an overtly calculated move. “It was a business model that sounded very good in the summer of 2010 when we were just about to release one record
on a small indie label in London. The goal was to maybe to sell the first 1000 records.” As so often happens, things snowballed. “That doesn’t translate to now, where we’re doing completely different things. We thought by November 2010 it would be completely destroyed. Every day since, we’ve been like ’alright, another day.’” Since that first record ‘Opus Eponymous’, Ghost have been the subject of more and more eyes their way with every passing day. From their every-growing, hard to pin down fanbase to those less impressed with their tongue-in-cheek critique of religion, their many references to the devil – Papa Emeritus is basically a “demonic anti-pope.” Despite their image, Ghost aren’t the Satan-worshipping black metallers they’re painted as. They’re much cleverer than that. Nothing wears that better than ‘Meliora’. Formed with the idea to create “some sort of proto-music”, Ghost have always been different and on ‘Meliora’, the hybrid nature of their sound comes out swinging. With references to Rainbow, Chris Isaak and French dance music, the Ghoul explains, “the key to understanding what we’re doing is to understand that we listen to a lot of different music. That’s why it sounds different because
the influences and references are not what most other rock bands would refer to or listen to.” Even the heavy elements of their sound are nurtured away from what’s going on around them. “However big our record collections are, many of us come from a hard rock, underground background so obviously, we have a strong love for that. Whenever we want to lean towards something more brutal, we tend to disregard what brutal music is now and imagine we were a band jamming in a circle in 1974. Then we ask, what would be the most creepy riff we can come up with?” Learning from the mistakes of second album ‘Infestissumam’, the band took classic equipment and set out to make this record ”sound crystal clear. The loudest record in the seventies.” “We have a concept for the next record,” the Ghoul teases, before adding, “obviously it isn’t carved out yet. I think it’s interesting when you build in multiple messages in a song. It can have a literal meaning that is graphical, cool and tells a horror story for the entertainment value. I hate to say moral here, but when there’s an underlying message that’s supposed to reflect on something that’s contemporary and real, then it’s up to the listener whether they want to suck in both things or whether they just want to be entertained.” “I like records that are almost filmic. You get sucked into a universe where you can create your own space and time,” he ventures. “At the end of the day though, we are definitely a live band. Our job is to make a show people enjoy. We are an entertainment act. We’re here to entertain people, to make them feel better about themselves and their lives, not to make them feel worse. Sometimes I think that’s one of the distinctions between us and a black metal band or those bands that hover around the same subject. We come from the same scene and the same background but whereas we want people to be happy, it seems as though they want to do the exact opposite.” As the grinning faces of KOKO turn to leave hours later, entertained by the spectacle, the personality and the glimpse into Ghost’s glittering world, you can bet that somewhere in the building, beneath masks and face paint, five Nameless Ghouls and one demonic antipope are smiling too. P
“ I ’ M SO R RY T O S AY IT FOLKS B U T M E TA L CROWDS ARE CLOSEM I N D E D.”
Ghost’s album ‘Meliora’ is out now. 49
RATED CREEPER THE STRANGER
WITH ANOTHER KILLER EP UNDER THEIR BELTS, THE UK ROCK SCENE’S NEW BRIGHTEST HOPES ARE SET UP PERFECTLY FOR A DEBUT ALBUM TO RULE THEM ALL
he Callous Heart’ was a glorious record of escape. It saw Creeper throw out an invitation to join their gang with big songs about bigger unity and, well, it was hard to say no. ‘The Stranger’, a sequel in-kind, deals with the aftermath. Opening with the mournful procession of ‘The Secret Society’, the band soon launch into sky-high chants of “because we’re young” alongside admissions that “The Callous Heart rose and fell,” and “we don’t feel anything”. Front to the back, Creeper are building something new. From the sleeping beauty of ‘Black Mass’ through the open-book confession of ‘Misery’ until the final defeated moments of ‘Astral Projections’, ‘The Stranger’ cuts deeper, is darker and more striking that anything
the band have gone near before. It’s in those shadows that Creeper flourish. The record may deal in defeat but ‘The Stranger’ is nothing but a triumph. In previous outings, Creeper has led the way in forward motion but with ‘The Stranger’, there are more echoes than commands. Instead of short, sharp bursts of inspiration; this record allows the band to paint their narrative across five distinctive but cohesive chapters. Rather than just messages to relate to, ‘The Stranger’ truly represents a world to get lost in. Seeped in wistful romance, the record is a rose-tinted look at the past from the solitude of the gloom. There’s a sense of closure to ‘The Stranger’: Loves lost and found. However, in amongst the misery, the paralysis and the lows, there’s a glimmering sense of hope. An allin-this-together mentality that sees Creeper take their stock and trade of unifying anthems and cut them with brand new ideas and grander vision. ‘The Stranger’ is a collage of punk ideals, childlike wonder and grim fairytales. The pieces that make up the puzzle are glorious and intricate, held together with passion and good intentions. Taking a step back to see the sprawling horizon though and it’s clear that Creeper are looking at a much bigger picture. This is for forever; kept safe in that half dreaming space. Ali Shutler
TRACK BY TRACK
WILL GOULD CREEPER
THE SECRET SOCIETY
This is the first song we’ve ever written like this. We felt the need for a really good introduction song, as our last two records have relied simply on guitar and vocal to open them. Originally I wanted this to sound like the Arcade Fire song ‘Wake Up’. What actually happened was we took that idea and applied some of our hardcore punk sensibilities. There’s influence from AFI here too, but new ideas also from Hannah on the organ and influence from Jim Steinman in the section before. Overall this sets a tone for the journey you’re about to go on.
Again a first for our band, this is a type of song that was a little out of our comfort zone until now. Ian wrote this riff that reminded me a little of The Nerve Agents and we built around it. As the vocal comes in so strong on the song before, we intentionally started it on a dynamic here. Again the chorus for this song was a departure for us, I wanted it to sound like REM. Poppy but not patronisingly so, the way all good pop songs are. ‘I’ve been low. I hate to tell you, but what the hell can I do?’ is maybe one of the most frank lines I’ve written for the band. I wanted this chorus to be an upfront confession, in contrast to the sweeping metaphors of the verse. This was one of my favourites to record.
This is one of my favourite Creeper songs, because I think it’s a good 51
representation of all the things we do summed up in a single song. The verse is fast and brash, somewhere between Alkaline Trio and The Ramones and the chorus could be from a Jim Steinman song. This was one of the easiest songs to write and just all flowed so effortlessly. It hits all of our favorite reference points, there is even a hint of Elvis ‘Lonely This Christmas’ in the middle section.
This was a very hard song to write and sing. I’d been to see The Sidekicks the week before we started writing, and they played ‘1940’s Fighter Jet’ and it really moved me. I decided we should write something stripped back again, Ian and I played around a load and ended up putting together a song that sounded nothing like the one that sparked the idea. The lyrical content was some of the most upsetting to write for me. After it was complete though, I felt a release, almost a weight lifted.
This is the fastest song on the EP, maybe the fastest we’ve ever written? It’s also Ian’s favourite on this record. The chords are very unusual compared to what we normally write; Ian had been saving them for a hardcore band. I had a chorus leftover from when I was writing my space musical and we some how fused them together. The song roars along until it meets its end section. We were looking to take influence from some of our favourite post-rock bands for the climax. There is a huge dynamic as the record collapses on itself and to its sad conclusion. P 52 upsetmagazine.com
Major Bob Music
.MORE POSTAL SERVICE THAN PARAMORE If you leave a massive band, it can be hard to shake off the past. Ex-Paramore Josh Farro gives it a fair whack on ‘Walkways’, with a breezy pop that firmly sidesteps his past guitar-driven pop punk frolics. Closer ‘Home’ says it best: he’s “starting again, starting over”. While ‘Cliffs’ declares - and perhaps reassures - that you’ll make it out alive over a crowdpleasing, pop-driven welcome, much of the album breezes by like the soundtracks for out-of-body experiences or fuzzy flashbacks on happy days from American TV shows, feeling far from a dangerous endeavour. It’s clean, it’s his life over the last few years sprinkled across the songs, it’s a fresh start. If this is his new chapter, it’s one you’d want to have a read of at the very least, especially when you’re needing a calming influence on hand. Heather McDaid
HANDS LIKE HOUSES DISSONANTS
“We knew from pretty early on that this album would make us or it would break us,” said Trenton Woodley on ‘Dissonants’. Following up the breakthrough that was ‘Unimagine’, and doing so without keyboardist Jamal Sabet, was indeed a new challenge Hands Like Houses had to overcome, but overcome they did. Trenton’s vocals are bang on, there’s no disputing it. You hear it on opener ‘I Am’, and by third track ‘Colourblind’ he’s killing it. This is an album bigger than Hands Like Houses currently are, which is probably an indication of how underrated they for some reason have been so far. They’re doing what many others are doing, but they’re doing it well and, in many cases, better. This feels huge. Heather McDaid
FRAMEWORKS TIME SPENT EP
With 2014 debut album ‘Loom’, Frameworks made a firm statement within the scrappy post-hardcore realm, but as satisfyingly chaotic as it was, one thing that record lacked at moments was the varied yet compelling songwriting that the likes of the similarly-screamo-influenced Touché Amoré have perfected. That’s something they’ve improved upon ten-fold on this short-but-sweet EP. In the first moments of ‘Worn Out’ the band instantly feel more focused than ever, launching into a surprising disco beat set to the more familiar shimmering guitars. Vocalist Luke Pate leads an urgent charge of screams which leads to the introduction of electronic beats appearing to jitter in the background, a new addition to Frameworks’ sonic palette. This is already a massive step-up. James Fox
SOME THING EP
South London’s Petrol Girls, self-described as ‘raging feminist post-hardcore’, as well as being known for intense live performances are vocal and dedicated activists. As a result, ‘Some Thing’ does not mince its words. It is deliberate and furious, and justifiably so. Dissatisfied with the sidelining of women and their stories to supporting role status, guitarist and vocalist Ren Aldridge delivers the type of candid lyrics Meghan O’Neil (ex-Punch) would be proud of during ‘Protagonist’: “I’m not your manic pixie dream girl, I’m a protagonist.” Kristy Diaz
THE DIRTY NIL HIGHER POWER
Dine Alone Records
Rock’n’roll is supposed to be fun and feral, the kind of music you can lose yourself in, sweat away while pressed up against strangers and lose your voice yelling to. The Dirty Nil have real moments of grabbing you by the collar through the speakers and demanding your attention. Some songs on ‘Higher Power’ will make you want to yell, others have hooks so catchy it hurts. You’ll get to the end and just feel like you’ve spent the last little while of your life listening to some great music - and probably destroyed your living room in the process. Heather McDaid
.FAR MORE THAN JUST A FAMOUS DAD, SWMRS STAND TALL ON THEIR OWN SWMRS are world-weary. Sure, the four-piece have an average age that means buying alcohol legally in their native California still feels new but they, in one form or another, have been releasing music for eight years now. They’ve played the game, they’ve seen both highs and lows and they know what they want. On debut album ‘Drive North’, SWMRS take back control. There’s a history behind the record but from the opening chime of ‘Harry Dean’, it’s meaningless. The band got out with their lust for life intact and ‘Drive North’ is doused in their multicoloured excitement. It’s considered, fully-formed and oh-so-fun. SWMRS have used their new slate as a declaration of self, a middle fingered salute to anyone who tried to push them down and as an invitation for you join them. ‘Drive North’ is for turning up but SWMRS aren’t a band you’ll turn down. Ali Shutler
IS THE IS ARE
.THIS IS DIIV: FLAWS, MISAPPREHENSIONS AND ALL.
Titling his album ‘Is The Is Are’, DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith isn’t trying to be understood. With his new record, two years in the making, he’s presenting a portrait of who he is – flaws, misapprehensions, and all. “I feel like I’m fighting for my life,” Cole echoes on the title track, and that spirit very much runs through the whole of the album. Whether it’s contesting personal issues, wrangling to create, or disputing with some further meaning, Cole has faced his battles and emerged with an album that not only bares his soul, but also sets the record straight for success. More immediate than debut ‘Oshin’, Cole’s vocals resonate from the forefront of the mix. Guitars shimmer and gleam around him, percussion rolling and driving in waves. It’s almost soothing, but upon delving under the bubbling riffs and distorted squalls, and peering behind the hazy vocals, DIIV presents something a whole lot darker. Glamorous, seductive, and entirely troubled, ‘Is The Is Are’ is the album the band always needed to make. Any sense of euphoric escapism has gone. Cole has found exactly who he is, and now he’s sharing that with you. Jessica Goodman
.A BAND RECHARGED, YUCK ARE BACK ON THE VERY TOP OF THEIR GAME
.PART DEBUT ALBUM, PART AUDIO ASSAULT First things first, So Pitted know how to make an almighty din. Which is good. Swapping instruments, switching positions, throwing a guitar through a base amp - the confines of volume or form don’t apply to this three piece. Nor should they. ‘Pay Attention To Me’ does exactly what it says on the tin, battering on the sheet metal walls like a trapped lioness hungry for blood. ‘I’m Not Over It’ starts with slow strums of feedback before speeding into a thundering march then free-spirited madness - all as loud as possible. So Pitted aren’t the shy and retiring types. In your face, through your ear drums, ‘neo’ is part debut album, part audio assault. Stephen Ackroyd
Anyone who heard Yuck’s gloriously addictive debut album will know that, by rights, the world should have been at their feet during the hazy summer of 2011. And to a degree, it was. A member down, though, and a good follow up never really received the love it deserved. That shouldn’t be the fate that befalls their third full-length, ‘Stranger Things.’ From the sunny fuzz of the infectious ‘Only Silence’ to the swirling woozy vibes of ‘As I Walk Away’’, Yuck aren’t revolutionaries - but rather a band who, when they hit a certain groove, throw out the sort of lo-fi, effortless cool that it’s hard to resist. With the pressure off and room to work on their own terms, Yuck have become exactly the band they want to be. Stephen Ackroyd
SIMPLE PLAN TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
.SIMPLE PLAN 2.0 You don’t go into a Simple Plan album expecting anything more than a Simple Plan album, even if ‘Taking One For The Team’ does, for some reason, feel like Simple Plan 2.0. That’s not to say they don’t push the boat out a little here. ‘Singing In The Rain’ brings a calypso guitar line and an inexplicably Jamaican tinge to French Canadian, Pierre Bouvier’s vocals. And that’s nothing on the funky bass slappin’ that Nelly, yes Nelly, brings on the could-be-BrunoMars ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Bed’. The sheer length of the album goes some way to draining the joy that Simple Plan are clearly trying really hard to build up; while it doesn’t sound like much, fourteen tracks is a lot of Simple Plan to get through. Jack Glasscock
TRACKS OF THE MONTH BLOC PARTY HYMNS
BMG / Infectious
.COMPARISONS AREN’T THE POINT OF KELE AND RUSSEL’S NEW BLOC PARTY It isn’t easy being Bloc Party. Not only have they lost one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock, but they can’t move for the comparisons to their so-called glory era. With ‘Silent Alarm’ and ‘Weekend In The City’ both sitting as defining albums for a generation of music fans, their latest ‘Hymns’ has a high bar to jump. To judge it on the same terms seems almost unfair. Sure, placed in the band’s own history, their fifth album is certainly not the high water mark. Filled with big ideas, it moves from brilliant to baffling at will - on opener ‘The Love Within’ it even manages to be both at once. And yet still there’s a certain quality that remains intact. Kele Okereke’s voice remains a unique joy, and even when those experiments don’t quite connect, they’re daring enough to deserve acclaim. For any other band, ‘Hymns’ would be a brave and celebrated return. Stephen Ackroyd
.WOLFMOTHER ARE BACK It’s hard not to feel a wave of joy as Andrew Stockdale rolls the ‘r’ of ‘riding’ in the first line of title-track ‘Victorious’. Wolfmother are back. The formula has changed, though; more immediate and with fewer layers of instrumentation, aimed at a younger, if similarly longhaired, crowd. Once again, the most frequent criticism that will be levelled at Wolfmother will be a lack of originality. Leave that aside however, and there’s a good record here. Alex Lynham
SUNFLOWER BEAN HUMAN CEREMONY
eeee .THE HYPE MACHINE GETS IT RIGHT Band buzz so rarely results in albums deserving of the noise, but Sunflower Bean are a band to buck the trend. While ‘Human Ceremony’ may be the climax of a million pixels of internet hype, it sounds anything but. Organic, considered and - given chance - brilliantly bewitching, its immediate moments are enough to get excited about. ‘Come On’ is a satisfying jangle that soars as much as it drives onward, while ‘Wall Watcher’ packs a satisfying bassy growl under it’s sky high vocal hook. This Sunflower Bean should grow big and tall. Stephen Ackroyd
Run For Cover
.IT SHOULDN’T WORK, BUT... Across ‘Cardinal’’s eight tracks, Pinegrove’s country veneer is surprisingly unobtrusive, given the thickness with which it’s laid on. That ends up being the case because directly beneath it, lie brilliantly written, truly heartfelt songs – and when that’s at the core of an album, genre descriptors become largely irrelevant. In fact, there are moments on the up-tempo ‘Then Again’, that see Pinegrove placed in a sonic stratosphere not a million miles away from the likes of The Front Bottoms or Modern Baseball. On paper emo-country (countreemo?) shouldn’t work, but somehow, owing to some impossibly charming lyricism and enticing vocal melodies courtesy of frontman, Evan Stephens Hall, it just does. Ryan De Freitas
There’s been a keen sense of intrigue around PUP ever since they started dropping hints on social media that they were cooking something up. When we spoke to them in November, they were keeping their cards close to their chests. Now though, with ‘DVP’, their first newly released song in almost two years, we know all we need to at this point: this next PUP record is shaping up to be bloody brilliant.
BLACK PEAKS SET IN STONE
‘Set In Stone’ is only the fourth track the band have ever released (which seems crazy but we’ve checked using a little industry secret called Google), but it already shows the band refining, polishing and expanding their craft. This is a band that know exactly where the pressure points are. For all the stifling noise and grand movements, ‘Set In Stone’ cherishes that opening moment of calm, carrying it through and allowing it - and the listener - room to breathe.
KILL ‘EM WITH KINDNESS
With a name destined to shock, Norwegian’s Slutface were always going to need really big songs to become more than just a name. Following the one-two of ‘Shave My Head’ and ‘Get My Own’ comes ‘Kill ‘Em With Kindness’, a track that cements the band as seriously great.
LIVE B R E N D O N TA K E S
BAC K T H E C ROW N I N B RI XTO N
PANIC! AT THE DISCO O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON, LONDON
Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.
ine years after their feverdrenched four-night stand here, Panic! At The Disco return to London’s Brixton Academy. Celebrating the imminent launch of their most daring, exciting and best album yet, the band take the recorded high of ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ and run with it. As the radio static of their entrance music soundtracks the death of the house lights, Panic! At The Disco take to the stage and launch straight into ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’. From here on out it’s hit after white-hot hit. Pulling from every chapter of their colourful career, Panic! put in a set of their greatest. From the timeless stomp of ‘Time To Dance’, through the twinkling abandon of ‘The Ballad Of Mona Lisa’ to the electro ditty of ‘Girls/ Girls/Boys’, the band breathe new energy into the already charged classics. The album may not be out for a few more days and the band’s history is revered but there’s an obvious excitement around Panic!’s first ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ show. Tonight, it’s the new tracks that get the biggest reaction. ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ is a smirking challenge to the crowd, ‘LA Devotee’ dances and swells
with reckless freedom and ‘Victorious’ is just that. Assured and full of glee, ‘Hallelujah’ – with the entire room already singing every note of the intro tease – sees Panic! pop at the height of their off-kilter prowess. It’s euphoric and wonderful. Brendon Urie, as always, is the star of the show. Having grown into the spotlightseeking performer he always hinted at, tonight he’s in his element on stage. Jumping behind the drums for the final flourish of ‘Let’s Kill Tonight’, wailing on the guitar for ‘New Perspective’ and sitting proudly at the grand piano for ‘Nine In The Afternoon’ before a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and a snippet of David Bowie’s ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’, there’s a sense that he, like his music, can do anything and go anywhere. Skipping the routine of an encore because they’d “rather just play some more songs,” the twenty-track set is relentlessly electric. “I don’t know how I can put into words how I feel about you guys,” starts Brendon at the close of the evening. “I feel alive and I feel awake,” he adds before the electro stutter of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ kicks in. With the band promising, “I’m taking back the crown,” Panic! At The Disco finally have a track that vocalises just how big, brash and glorious they are. Ten years in and there’s not a contender in sight. P
BEACH SLANG + PETAL THE BARFLY, LONDON Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett.
his is your show not our show,” offers Beach Slang’s James Alex to a sold out Barfly. Their debut album ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’ is driven by a grand, unifying mentality and live that feeling of togetherness rages. “I normally do this with a couple of other people but I decided to leave them home,” explains Petal at the curtain rise of her set. “Hang in there and we’ll make it through.” Kiley Lotz might spend most of the set by herself on stage but at no point is she alone. Through the opening rattle of ‘Tommy’, the reaching admission of ‘Silly Heart’ and a glittering cover of Prince’s ‘When You Were Mine’, the room is hers. Taking the songs back to their roots does nothing to dull the razor sharp emotion. Instead the vocal lines, supported by ever-dancing guitar melodies, are throw into the spotlight and glisten. On ‘Heaven’,
Kiley recruits the tour manager alongside Beach Slang’s Ed McNulty to give the set an extra layer of depth. It shows that at any volume, Petal is stunning. Beach Slang’s dirty punk rock gets straight to the point and their show is no different. The band may switch instruments, recite Ernest Hemingway anecdotes and practice three-part harmonies with varying degrees of success but when the songs hit, they hit hard. Think sugarcoated Jawbreaker or grimy Bruce Springsteen. From the opening rattle of ‘Throwaways’, there’s a soft-hearted chaos which only grows in scale and compassion as the evening ages. ‘I Break Guitars’, ‘Punk Or Lust’, ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’, the band write songs for grabbing life by the scruff of the neck and tonight, that’s exactly what they inspire. “We’re Beach Slang and we’re here to punch you in the heart,” they promise. This is a band true to every word. P
DIET CIG + INHEAVEN THE LEXINGTON, LONDON Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett.
ore than any other month, January is reserved for the discovery of new music. While Diet Cig have spent the past eleven months making a name for themselves with seven songs of refreshing honesty and simple charm, this is their first trip to the UK. Tonight at The Lexington, the third of three sold out shows in the capital, that distant intrigue becomes full-bodied admiration. After the insular sway of first-on Saltwater Sun, the big, brash attack of support INHEAVEN seems even bolder. Swapping bewitching poetry for scrawled declarations of intent, the band are in-your-face from the get go. With more than just a hint of the giants of British rock – Kasabian, Sterophonics, Oasis – INHEAVEN mix swagger with the ability to write instantaneous anthems and cut it with a knowing look. The crowd still aren’t warmed up
enough for the likes of Alex Luciano though, who stays on stage after Diet Cig’s soundcheck encouraging the crowd to stretch before their set kicks in. And kick it does. Her leader of the pack mentality sees her bounding about the stage at every opportunity while drummer Noah Bowman keeps the engine running, smiling as his best friend sees just how far she can push it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent months waiting for tonight or if this is first contact, there’s a warmth to the band that’s instant and overwhelming. Their songs, melodic and to-the point, rage with new freedoms as the pair have the best time on stage. There’s a similar scene off it, as well. Effortlessly cool one moment, resiliently goofy the next, it doesn’t matter how accomplished Diet Cig get they just can’t escape the utter joy they live by. It’s a joy that’s shared by everyone in the room as tonight, both band and audience discovers exactly what Diet Cig are capable of. P
DILLY DALLY THE LEXINGTON, LONDON
Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett.
illy Dally’s debut album ‘Sore’ sees the band on the very edge of disaster. Sugar coated hooks dangle next to broken glass melodies giving the whole affair a sense of wonderful danger. Months on the road haven’t dulled any of the edges though and tonight at The Lexington, the home stretch of the band’s European tour, Dilly Dally storm the place with whole-hearted reckless abandon. Tigercub are far more caring. Nestling moments of sunshine pop beneath big, grimy movements, the three-piece are fluid in their wants. From the hammer of ‘Rich Boy’, “our own personal fuck you to David Cameron”, through the pendulum swing of ‘Bittersweet Motherfucker’ to the crushing flourish of ‘Destroy’, the band are frustrated but motivated. It’s an attitude that spearheads their live show and gifts them a single-minded determination, making them impossible to pull away from. By comparison, Dilly Dally is sheer chaos. Skirting about the stage and tumbling from song to song, the band carry a nervous energy. The songs are more urgent, more on-edge, more fraught with the emotional
weight that inspired them and it’s a marvel to watch. Think the charm of ‘I Bet You Look On The Dancefloor’, maintained and twisted over the course of an evening. Tonight, Dilly Dally are a flickering flame toying with the idea of being extinguished or torching everything that surround them. A decision is never made but somehow, the band have captured a lightning storm in a bottle. It’s impossible to look away. In-between the wicked games of ‘Purple Rage, the rag-tag beauty of ‘Witch Man’ and the snarling want of ‘Desire’, the band glances out at the sold out crowd and breaks out in smirks of pride, disbelief and wonder. Anything can happen in the next half hour but Dilly Dally are in no danger of ever being anything less than a spectacle to behold. P
TURNOVER THE JOINERS, SOUTHAMPTON
Words: Danny Randon. Photos: Amie Kingswell.
n a bitterly cold January evening, it’s not just temperatures that plunge to woeful lows. It’s spirits too. Nevertheless, the lush and serene pastures discovered by Turnover on their near-perfect second album ‘Peripheral Vision‘ promise climates that will warm hearts. Sounding about as far from their native Norwich as you can get, Claws bring some Californian-esque surfer rock sunshine to those who endured freezing temperatures. The juvenile “na-na-na” of ‘Too Much Time’ have them nailing a great balance between Best Coast, The Cribs and The Ramones; scrappy, carefree, and delightful. On record, Teen Brains’ psychedelic post-punk is a moody affair of twanging guitars and dripping reverb that is indulgently retrospective and yet still youthful. Tonight, their tones hang almost awkwardly in the stale air, as the London quartet struggle to captivate the shoegaze-loving kids before them. Having brushed across a number of genres in their time, Turnover seem content in what they deliver tonight. With the exception of two promising new songs, their setlist draws entirely from ‘Peripheral Vision’ and, as a result, the spiralling swathes of cool, delicate and melancholic emo are in no short measure. With their former pop-punk sound clearly a thing of the past, the almost meditative jams of ‘I Would Hate You If I Could’ and ‘Diazepam’ are heart-wrenching enough to unify fans both new and old in resonant moments of euphoria. The likes of ‘New Scream’ and ‘Take My Head’ are delivered with more punk rock urgency (and are met so accordingly with stagedives a-plenty) before a finale of ‘Cutting My Fingers Off’ sees the room abuzz with energy on both sides, but it’s the moments of wistful melody that makes this an immersive and emotive experience. P
TH E S H OWS O N SA L E N OW
MOOSE BLOOD ARE ON THE ROAD THIS APRIL WITH A SECOND ALBUM ON
hat’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nah mate. Moose Blood. They’re set to smash 2016 out of the proverbial park, so what better way to get started than with a good old fashioned tour to crush it into submission. With a new album due ‘at some point this year’, Moose Blood will
T H E W AY T H I S Y E A R ,
2016’S CHAMPIONS IN
WA I T I N G A R E O F F O N T O U R .
head to Bristol on April 13th, then on to Southampton, London, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh before finishing up at Liverpool Arts Club on the 23rd. “We want to be as busy as we can,” says the band’s Eddy Brewerton. “We’ll be putting out this new record and be touring as much as possible. We love what we do and want to do it as much as we can.”
ES T O U R D AT
APRIL ece 13 Bristol Fle 1865 14 Southampton Academy 15 London O2 Islington pton Slade 16 Wolverham s Room Rescue Rooms 17 Nottingham b enell Social Clu ud Br s ed Le 18 r Sound Control ste he nc Ma 20 O2 Academy 2 21 Newcastle Mash House gh ur inb Ed 22 ts Club Ar l oo erp Liv 23
MEET ME IN ST LOUIS ARE BACK
T H E L E G E N DA RY U K U N D E RG RO U N D BA N D A R E
BAC K FO R SO M E ( F I N A L ?) L I V E S H OWS .
h blimey. Meet Me In St Louis are back for their first UK dates in 8 years. Yes. You read that right. It’s happening. After a really-bloody-long hiatus, the much missed quintet are back for two shows this June. Described as “the first (and possibly last) opportunity many fans will have to witness the band performing material from their seminal debut album ‘Variations on Swing’”, they’ll play Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club on Friday June 17th then London’s The Dome a day later. Drummer Paul Phillips says: “The planets have aligned and for the first time getting together to play these songs feels right. This opportunity may not come along again so we owe it to ourselves
in this one life we have to do it, and do it to the best of our ability, and have a fucking good time in the process.” Meet Me In St Louis formed in Guildford in 2005 and quickly gained a live reputation. They released one album – the afore mentioned ‘Variations on Swing’, via Big Scary Monsters. In the time they’ve been away, they’ve only gained in influence. Now they’re coming back as kings of the UK underground. Probably riding massive horses with crowns bigger than a large watermelon.
BRIAN FALLON TO PLAY INTIMATE LONDON SHOW
rian Fallon is set to release his debut solo album ‘Painkillers’ in a few weeks ahead of a short run of UK dates. However, he’s added an extra date to that tour because there’s no such thing as too much Fallon. The intimate gig, takes place at London’s St. Pancras Old Church on 11th April. Speaking to Upset, Brian Fallon explains, “The only goal I set myself when I sat down was ‘can you write a good, simple song that means something to you and to those who will be listening?’ I feel like, as a solo artist, you don’t really have ‘a sound’. I didn’t have to check that what I was writing was fitting in any boxes. I didn’t have to think ‘oh so how does this compare to ‘The ‘59 Sound’? Where will I play it in the set?’ I had nothing, and could start fresh. It really freed me up and I needed that. I was burning out. I was having a hard time.”
We know. We’re excited. We get a bit silly when we’re excited.
ES T O U R D AT T O U R D AT ES JUNE 17 Leeds Brud enell Social Clu b 18 London Do me 19 London Do me
APRIL r, O2 Ritz 05 Mancheste Abc Glasgow 06 Glasgow, O2 O2 Institute m, ha 07 Birming ko 08 London, Ko ol Academy Brist 10 Bristol, O2 Old ras nc Pa . St , 11 London Church
ON THE ROAD VISIT UPSETMAGAZINE.COM FOR THE LATEST TOUR NEWS.
BIG UPS MARCH 30 London The Lexington APRIL 1 Bristol The Louisiana 2 Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
BLACK PEAKS MARCH 31 Newcastle Northumbria University APRIL 1 Manchester Deaf Institute 2 Leeds Key Club 3 Glasgow King Tutâ€™s Wah Wah Hut 6 London Borderline 7 Tunbridge Wells Forum 8 Nottingham Rock City Basement 9 Brighton The Haunt
Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett.
BRING ME THE HORIZON
OCTOBER 31 London O2 Arena NOVEMBER 1 Bournemouth International Centre 2 Nottingham Motorpoint Arena 4 Birmingham Barclaycard Arena 5 London O2 Arena 6 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 8 Manchester Arena 9 Glasgow SSE Hydro
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE NOVEMBER 24 Newport Centre
27 Newcastle O2 Academy DECEMBER 3 Manchester Academy 6 Birmingham O2 Academy 9 London O2 Academy Brixton
CROSSFAITH MARCH 16 Southend Chinnery’s 17 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms 18 Brighton The Haunt 19 Cardiff Y Plas 20 Plymouth The Hub 22 Leeds Key Club 23 Reading Sub 89 24 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 25 Liverpool O2 Academy 2 26 Manchester Academy 2 28 Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut 29 Sheffield Corporation 30 Norwich Waterfront 31 London Electric Brixton
DEAFHEAVEN MARCH 13 Bristol Fleece 14 London Heaven
DEFEATER MARCH 14 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 15 Glasgow Cottiers Theatre 16 Manchester Star and Garter 17 London Scala
FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS MARCH 2 Newcastle O2 Academy 2 3 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 4 Edinburgh Electric Circus 5 Sheffield Corporation 7 Liverpool Arts Club 8 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach 9 Southampton Talking Heads 10 Norwich Arts Centre
FOXING + TTNG APRIL 27 Manchester Sound Control 28 Glasgow Audio 29 Norwich Owl Sanctuary 30 London Borderline
MAY 1 Southampton Joiners
ISSUES MAY 24 Cardiff Y Plas 25 London KOKO 26 Manchester Ritz 27 Glasgow Garage
KNUCKLE PUCK MARCH 29 Southampton Joiners 30 Bristol Exchange 31 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach APRIL 1 London Underworld 2 Norwich Waterfront 4 Manchester Sound Control 5 Newcastle Think Tank 6 Glasgow Audio 7 Leeds Key Club 8 Liverpool District 9 Nottingham Bodega 10 Kingston Fighting Cocks
MUNCIE GIRLS MARCH 8 London The Lexington 10 Exeter Cavern 11 Brighton Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
NAI HARVEST MARCH 25 Sheffield Leadmill 26 Leeds Brudenell Social Club 27 Newcastle Think Tank 29 Manchester Deaf Institute 30 Birmingham Rainbow 31 Brighton Hope & Ruin APRIL 1 London Boston Music Room 2 Leicester Cookie
NECK DEEP APRIL 16 Southampton Guildhall 18 Newcastle University 19 Leeds Beckett University 20 Liverpool O2 Academy
OUGHT APRIL 19 Bristol Lantern 20 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach 21 Manchester Islington Mill 22 Glasgow Broadcast
23 Belfast Voodoo 24 Dublin Whelans 26 London Tufnell Park Dome
PVRIS APRIL 1 Brighton Concorde 2 2 Norwich UEA 3 Newcastle Riverside 4 Glasgow O2 ABC 6 Manchester Academy 7 London Kentish Town Forum 8 Cardiff Great Hall 9 Birmingham O2 Institute
REFUSED MARCH 22 Glasgow Garage 23 Manchester Academy 2 24 Leeds Stylus 25 Brighton Concorde 2 26 Birmingham O2 Institute 2
7 London Garage
VANT APRIL 17 Bristol Louisiana 18 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach 19 Swansea Sin City 20 London Boston Music Room 22 Birmingham Sunflower Lounge 23 Sheffield Plug 25 Nottingham Bodega Social Club 26 Manchester Deaf Institute 27 Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut 28 Newcastle Cluny
MAY 10 Bristol Thekla 12 London Scala 13 Birmingham Asylum 14 Leeds Key Club 15 Glasgow G2 17 Manchester Club Academy 18 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 19 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
MARCH 4 Belfast Mandela Hall 5 Dublin Olympia 7 Keele University 9 Liverpool Arts Club 10 Manchester Academy 11 Norwich UEA 13 Oxford O2 Academy 14 Portsmouth Pyramid Centre 16 Glasgow Barrowlands 17 York Barbican 19 Leeds O2 Academy 21 Folkestone Leas Cliff Halls 22 Brighton Dome 23 Nottingham Rock City 24 Cardiff Great Hall 26 London Kentish Town Forum 27 London Kentish Town Forum 28 London Kentish Town Forum 29 London Kentish Town Forum
MARCH 26 Newcastle Riverside 27 Leeds Wardrobe 28 Cambridge Portland Arms 29 Glasgow Bar Bloc 30 Edinburgh Mash House 31 Birmingham Sunflower Lounge APRIL 1 Manchester Sound Control 2 Bedford Esquires 3 Bristol Stag & Hounds 5 Guildford Boileroom 6 Oxford Wheatsheaf
MAY 12 Norwich Arts Centre 13 Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s 14 Glasgow Broadcast 15 Manchester Deaf Institute 16 Guildford Boileroom 17 Birmingham Oobleck 18 Brighton Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar 19 Bristol Exchange 20 Nottingham Bodega 21 Leeds Brudenell Social Club 22 Bedford Esquires
SO PITTED MARCH 7 London Shacklewell Arms 8 Leeds Brudenell Social Club 9 Brighton Green Door Store
THE SUMMER SET
MALLORY KNOX SET YOUR GOALS + MORE JOIN SLAM DUNK ‘16 66 upsetmagazine.com
lam Dunk 2016 has added eight more names to its line up. Mallory Knox, The Starting Line and The Story So Far will all be playing the three-pronged festival alongside Set Your Goals, Zebrahead, Capdown, We Came As Romans and Miss May I. They join the likes of Panic! At The Disco, Of Mice and Men and New Found Glory. The festival is promising more names “soon” which is exciting. “This announcement again really feels like it represents the anniversary of the festival” says promoter Ben Ray, “Capdown who played the very first event, Set Your Goals reforming to play, The Starting Line with a very rare UK appearance, and Zebrahead who have so much fun they want to play every year! There’s also still so many
bands to be announced, it’s going to be a great year!” Brendon Urie adds, “It’s awesome, it’s fucking cool, and I’m very excited. We haven’t actually played it before, but we have friends who have, and have heard it’s awesome! And sure, there’s a little bit of pressure, I’m not gonna lie!” Tickets are on sale now for £42, or £47 including aftershow. The festival is for ages 14+, and 18+ for the aftershow. There’s also a limited Mega Ticket for £150, which grants access to all three events and includes aftershows, wristband exchange queue jumps and a limited edition t-shirt. The dates for Slam Dunk 2016 are: MAY 28 Slam Dunk North, Leeds City Centre 29 Slam Dunk Midlands, Birmingham NEC 30 Slam Dunk South, Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire
MILK TEETH AND BLOOD RED SHOES FOR LIVE AT LEEDS
A whole bunch of new names have joined Live At Leeds, including former Upset cover stars Milk Teeth, Blood Red Shoes, Los Campesinos! and Slutface. Inheaven, Kagoule and Beach Baby have also been added to the party. This year, Live At Leeds will take place on 30th April.
THE CURE TO TOP BESTIVAL BILL
The Cure will be returning to headline Bestival after a career-redefining set in 2011. Wolf Alice, Ride, Animal Collective, Bastille, Years & Years and Slamboree will also be putting in appearances at the Isle of Wight bash, from 8th 11th September.
THE GREAT ESCAPE ANNOUNCES 100 NEW BANDS The Great Escape has announced a massive list of new names for 2016, the eleventh edition of the Brighton festival which will take place across various venues from 19th – 21st May. Among the new additions are Diet Cig, Muncie Girls, Spring King and Band Of Skulls.
TRUCK FESTIVAL ADDS THIRD DAY
Truck has added a third day to its 2016 event. “Rest assured, we will be on our usual third weekend in July,” say organisers, “with the festival starting on Friday 15th and the music ending with a bang on Sunday 17th.” No acts have been announced at the time of print, but last year featured Don Broco, PABH, Slaves and more.
REFUSED, TWIN ATLANTIC + MORE FOR 2000TREES
precautions are being taken so that the ferocity of our set doesn’t drive out every badger in all the Cotswolds.”
ne of the standout weekends on the rock calendar, 2000trees has announced details of the first bands for its tenth year in 2016.
Headlined by Refused and Twin Atlantic, the event will also play host to an impressive bill including Moose Blood, WSTR, While She Sleeps, Palm Reader, The Smith Street Band, Max Raptor, Blood Youth, Kagoule, Trash Boat, Beasts, Black Foxxes, Muncie Girls, Tigercub, Bellevue Days and Jim Lockey. Twin Atlantic frontman Sam McTrusty
says: “This will be our first headline performance at a festival in England. I hope you can be there and witness history in the making. Whenever we take on new experiences we always up our game, so expect to see one of our best shows to date. Really looking forward to returning to a festival that has given us so much love over the years. Very fond memories of playing the MainStage at one of the coolest festivals in the UK.” “It’s hardly the worst day on the job when it takes you to one of the prettiest places in Europe,” adds Refused drummer David Sandtrom. “We’re very much looking forward to it. Also, we hope
Since 2000trees started a decade ago, it has grown year on year. As festival organiser James Scarlett explains “This is 2000trees’ tenth anniversary so I’m very happy to say that without doubt we’ve booked our strongest ever line up. Twin Atlantic played for us way back in 2010 so to have them back as headliners in 2016 will be very special. And Refused are without doubt one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen so their Saturday night set will be something not to be missed. “One of the best things for me about 2000trees is how much the bands seem to love it. A lot of them stay for the entire festival and the number of campfire sets that take place across the site is ridiculous! Camp Reuben is my favourite – in the past I’ve seen Arcane Roots, Frank Turner and loads of others get up and play Reuben covers into the small hours. Awesome!” 2000trees takes place between 7th and 9th July 2016.
IT’S GOING DOWN. FOALS TO HEADLINE READING + LEEDS
he latest batch of bands has been announced for this year’s Reading & Leeds, and Foals are getting a shot at a headline slot.
Topping the bill in a coheadline arrangement with bedroom blogstars turned chart botherers Disclosure, Oxford’s other finest quintet join Red Hot Chili Peppers as headliners for the 2016 event. “We’re absolutely buzzing to be headlining Reading & Leeds this year. It’s a dream come true,” say Foals. “We’ve worked our way up on our own terms and to be given the chance to headline one of world’s most iconic festivals is a huge achievement for us and hopefully a sign for all bands, that, if you stick to your guns and focus on
what matters, you’ll get there and smash it. Onwards and upwards friends. Long live the guitar band.”
They’re not the only acts joining the line up. Both Parkway Drive and Nothing But Thieves are new additions. Elsewhere on the bill, there’s room for Jack Ü, Imagine Dragons, Two Door Cinema Club, Fetty Wap, Crystal Castles, The Internet, Oliver Heldens and Hannah Wants. That’s as well as The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, Eagles Of Death Metal, Slaves, Hinds, Courteeners, Boy Better Know, Crossfaith, DJ EZ and Ratboy, who’ve all been previously announced. Reading & Leeds 2016 takes place across the Bank Holiday weekend. That’s 26th - 28th August.
LONGITUDE SIGNS UP CHVRCHES Latitude’s sister festival, Longitude has announced its first wave of acts, featuring both Chvrches and Courtney Barnett. The Irish event – which will take place from 15th – 17th July in Marlay Park – will be headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer and The National.
DILLY DALLY JOIN SOUND CITY LINE UP
Sound City has confirmed a new batch of bands, including Dilly Dally, Palma Violets and headliners, Catfish and the Bottlemen. There will also be sets from Georgia, Shura, Neon Waltz, Inheaven, The Big Moon, Kagoule and Holy Esque. The event will take place from 28th – 29th May.
HEVY CONFIRMS REFUSED, SIKTH AND MORE
Hevy has made its first line up announcement, featuring Refused, Sikth, While She Sleeps and Gnarwolves. Headliners are still to be announced, with next year’s 19th – 20th August event moving to a new location in Newhaven, Derbyshire.
Favourite song you’ve written? ‘Death of a Bachelor’. Favourite song to perform? Right now, ‘Victorious’. Best gig you’ve ever played? I still say Reading 2006. That was the best. Being knocked out and coming full force like, fuck you we’re finishing our set. That was awesome, that made me so happy and I was so excited for that show and it held it’s own. Favourite Disney film? I like the classics. It’s either Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast or, I like the new ones. I like PIXAR, I think Up is one of my favourites now because I cry every time. The first five minutes are so sad, it’s terrible. Highlight of your career? There has been a lot of really cool moments but one of them was meeting the President and meeting Billy Joel on the same night. The first time I met the First Lady and President Obama that was really cool, it was because of music. I went there to perform and I was more excited to meet Billy Joel because I idolised him for years. He’s just a little guy, he’s like 5’4”, he’s so nice too, but that was a huge deal. He came over after I performed and said ‘I wanted to meet you, you did a great job’ and I was like, ‘what the fuck, that’s not real’. It was awesome. Favourite Sinatra song? Oh, it changes weekly but right now it’s ‘All The Way’. I have it as my alarm when I wake up. It opens up with strings and I wake up nice. Favourite Beach Boys song? I still think it’s ‘God Only Knows’. That’s hand down one of my favourites or ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, I really like that one. Least favourite song you’ve written? Oh yeah, ok. This is dirty. I would probably say ‘Memories’ because that’s one that I had an idea for, I had it in my head and it came
Brendon Urie VS
THE INTERNET YOU GUYS SUGGESTED SOME QUESTIONS FOR US TO ASK ON TWITTER. WE ASKED THEM. HERE ARE THE ANSWERS.
out nothing like how I had it in my head. That was one instance where I like the song but it’s probably my least favourite. What do you drink on a night out? Whiskey on the rocks, whiskey and ice. Would you rather have wet socks for the rest of your life or lose a finger? Definitely the finger. I can afford the finger dude, I don’t want to be uncomfortable. I’m such a finicky bastard that if I have wet socks for the rest of my life… just take my pinky.
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Topping charts across the Atlantic, casting aside Bieber and Adele in his wake, Brendon Urie is on a charge. Panic! At The Disco’s new album...
Published on Feb 10, 2016
Topping charts across the Atlantic, casting aside Bieber and Adele in his wake, Brendon Urie is on a charge. Panic! At The Disco’s new album...