#3 | OCT 2015
4. CREEPER 8. ALL TIME LOW 10. JIM ADKINS 12. FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND 14. PANIC! AT THE DISCO 15. ALLISON WEISS 16. PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH 17. CEREMONY
About to Break 18. DILLY DALLY 19. DEMOB HAPPY 20. SVALBARD
FEATURES 22. BRING ME THE HORIZON 30. SPEEDY ORTIZ 32. DEAFHEAVEN 36. THE FRONT BOTTOMS 38. NO DEVOTION 42. TELLISON 46. MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK
48. ALBUM REVIEWS 56. LIVE REVIEWS
upsetmagazine.com Editor: Stephen Ackroyd (email@example.com) Deputy Editor: Victoria Sinden (firstname.lastname@example.org) Assistant Editor: Ali Shutler (email@example.com) Contributors: Alex Lynham, Amie Kingswell, Danny Randon, Emma Matthews, Emma Swann, Heather McDaid, Jack Glasscock, James Fox, Jessica Bridgeman, Jessica Goodman, Kristy Diaz, Phil Smithies, Ryan De Freitas, Sarah Louise Bennett, Tom Barnes, Tom Connick, Will Richards 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.
Riot! THE LOWDOWN ON EVERYTHING HAPPENING IN ROCK.
LOST BOYS THE
WORDS: ALI SHUTLER. PHOTOS: EMMA SWANN.
THERE’S A DEAFENING NOISE BUILDING AROUND CREEPER, BUT THEY JUST WANT TO ESCAPE REALITY.
“Those other bands don’t have a patch on us. PATCH! Geddit?”
was that kid at school who would just play with a deck of cards and do magic,” starts Creeper frontman Will Gould. “I hated how boring everything was and I didn’t like how a lot of the people at school treated others, so I’d escape into a bit of fantasy. I just loved the idea of it because it makes the real world seem a bit more magical. It makes it seem like anything’s possible.” After the past few months, it’s an attitude Creeper must feel at home with. Releasing a self-titled debut EP last July on little more than a whim, and agreeing to play a single show to launch it, the band that today are sat on sofas at their record label HQ are in a very different position indeed. They’ve found a home on Roadrunner Records, a summer of festivals lays behind them and their diary for the rest of 2015 is filling up fast. “I’m blown away everyday,” continues Will. “We’re trying not to let everything become a normal thing. The first time we came here it was like, ‘Why are you letting us in here?’ We don’t want to break anything. It’s just this weird little bubble and I feel like any minute
it’s going to pop.” Despite the hooks of their ‘The Callous Heart’ EP, all brash community and soaring spirit, it’s unlikely to put a pin to their world just yet. “People should beware ‘The Callous Heart’ because it’s people breaking out,” warns Will. “It’s going to a place where you’re running away from all your responsibility. In our story, it’s kids from broken homes, it’s people running away and not putting up with that anymore. It’s a mark of change for us.” “It’s the inclusion as well,” adds guitarist Ian Miles. “It’s saying we were those kids who were in a weird place. We were anxious, nerdy kids and we can do this together. You can be part of our gang.” “It’s a battle cry,” Will adds. “The record is five songs long and it looks at our own lives through the guise of Peter Pan and all those fairytales. It’s all very real and sincere, but it’s fantasy as well. It’s those real wishes to escape and run away but seen through a world where you can put this record on and disappear from your own life. “ “Our band’s always been about escape. Always,” he continues pointedly. “We’ve been on tour, running away from responsibilities 5
back home our whole adult lives. Since we were 18, Ian and I have just been touring, never making any money, never advancing in anything back home, just always playing, always running away.” “I feel like I’ve been working on this record for a long, long time,” Will explains. The ideas started forming while he and Ian were still in their old band, Our Time Down Here, and the visuals started taking shape while Will was working in a call centre. “I got thinking about ‘Bad For Good’ by Jim Steinman. It’s this ridiculous record about Peter Pan and I realised that, that story mirrored our lives so strangely yet accurately. I related to the characters so much more now. “I feel much more of a kinship now with the idea of escaping somewhere else, out of the horrible real world, than I ever did when I was young because I was so lost in my imagination when I was a kid. The Peter Pan story is timeless and I think it’s something people need again. It’s relevant not only because when you’re having to get by, the real world is dull as fuck but a lot of other things have been mundane recently. “Some of the heroes kids have to look up to are awful. I don’t think we’re those people to take their place but at least we can offer something that’s a bit more responsible, and offer an escape for 15 minutes so they don’t have to think about that shit. How much shit do you have to think about when you’re a kid?” he asks. “To think you’re going through all that horrible stuff and then your role models are so shit and just want your money. That’s all they want, they want their fame and their money. I felt like it was important to remind people you can always escape in a record.” “I just became obsessed with the idea of floating out of the window,” Will continues. 6 upsetmagazine.com
“I worked in a call centre before doing this. I hated it so much, and I just wanted to escape in the most fantastic way possible. When it came to doing this record, I had the idea of these back patches. We’d make a ‘Lost Boys’ that wasn’t gender specific. I wanted to make something where we could all escape together.
having such a diverse crowd. “Hopefully for the time we’re a band and are available to do this, I hope we can be a positive force for young people. That’s what I’d like our band to be and that’s our message, I guess. It’s not so bad to escape for a little bit.”
LL WORLD IS DU ” AS FUCK
“That’s what Ian and me have been doing for years and a lot of our fans feel exactly the same way. They want to escape but there are so many things we’re running from, I feel like we needed something to bind us together.” “This is going to be our logo,” declares Will of ‘The Callous Heart’’s artwork. “It’s more than just a band logo. It’s not clever marketing, this is going to stand for something. We can make a world out of this. This is going to be our symbol. The concept itself, with all of the Lost Boys stuff, was inspired by the first few shows
No, Will. You’re the singer. You do the singing. Lazy sod.
“We’re really proud of this record and if people don’t like it, there’s nothing we can do about it,” Will says with a smile. “We’re really happy with it and we worked really hard on it. It’s something different, it’s fantasy and reality put together that we started dealing with on the first record, and we’ve gone to town on it this time. It’s a lot more of the direction we’re hoping to go in. It’s still punk rock, but tempered with bits of fantasy. “For a long time there’s been this real lad rock thing, and people are tired and want something new. A lot of the kids that we meet were waiting for something like this. We were completely oblivious to that until they told
us. The fact a band like us is being given a chance like this… It’s unprecedented for someone to give us this much rope to play on.” As the band swells, more and more attention is being focused on the five people behind the music. “It’s difficult,” reasons Will. “You get wrapped up in stuff but the kids are incredible. They’re some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. We have a responsibility to a degree, I don’t want to let those kids down. Whether they need us or not, if they’re coming to the shows, we have a responsibility. “We’re getting more and more messages recently about depression and self harm and that’s stuff we can really relate to. Some of our music comes from that place. You end up in a position where someone’s confided in you and you have to react. We’re not professionals so we’ve found some charities we send people to. It comes with a responsibility and we’re prepared to be that person,” says Will with determination. “I know what it’s like when you’ve got something on your mind, on your chest and the very least we can do is listen to people. They spend the time listening to us so they absolutely deserve our attention. We try our best to help them as much as we can. We try and get out the front of every show and meet all the kids.
MOOSE BLOOD TALK ALBUM TWO
“It’s difficult for me because sometimes I get really anxious and awkward and I hate being in a situation like that. Most of the time it’s fine, but sometimes I’ll have days where I don’t want to speak to anyone, I don’t want to get on stage. To try and put on the sort of show we’re known for when I’m feeling like that is really difficult. “I realised we need to go out and speak to people and be there, because they’ve taken the time to come down. They’re me when I was their age and I need to offer them the same thing that bands I really liked, did. I need to go out and say hello, irregardless of my mood. It’s a tricky thing but the fans have been incredible. It’s insane, it’s really humbling. I don’t know why we’ve been blessed with all these things. Boys like us shouldn’t be trusted with nice things,” he grins. I don’t know why life’s tossing us a bone but it’s lovely.” There’s a growing sense that Creeper are going to be massive. Beyond the arena promise of ‘The Callous Heart’, there’s something in their chemistry that feels potent. “It’s nice that people think that, but I don’t know,” says
Will, slightly uneasy with the idea. “It doesn’t enter my pool of consciousness.” “What does, and I know this is the corniest thing ever, but what does massive mean?” asks Ian, trying to grab hold of the idea. “Because, to us massive is writing a really fucking great record.” “Our aspirations are still to write songs, make records and cool visuals,” reasons Will. “To tell a story and try and take people from their mundane lives for as long as we can. If we broke up tomorrow, I’d be happy with that world we made. That tiny little thing we managed to create.”
‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’ has taken Moose Blood to America and back and while there’s plenty of life left in the record yet, the band are eager to double their back catalogue. “We’re going to start writing and knocking some ideas about for a new record but we’re going to be playing these songs for years to come,” says frontman Eddy Brewerton of what the rest of the year holds for the band. “There are a couple of songs finished. This tour is the cut off, and then we’re going to
sit down properly and write, which is exciting.” “We all had jobs before so you practiced and wrote songs as and when you could, but now, that’s all we have to focus on,” explains guitarist Mark Osborne. “It’s fantastic. It’s completely different now. We’re all in completely different mindsets and lifestyles. Writing the first record, there was no pressure, no expectations. We were just a bunch of mates writing some songs for the sake of wanting to do it, which is still how it is, but now somebody wants to put your record out.” P
“The main thing for me is hoping we can inspire somebody to make something else,” adds Ian. As the band gain a natural traction, people are rallying behind them. There’s a movement to Creeper that feels fantastical. “We’re just ideas people, there’s no real magic to that,” offers Will. Change, difference or just a ruddy ace record. “The magic comes when you try and make something.“ P Creeper’s EP ‘The Callous Heart’ is out now. 7
MARMOZETS ARE READY TO RECORD
With their star rising by the minute, Marmozets are set to head back to the studio to work on something fresh.
Alex’s live emoji show peaked with Praise Hands. Nobody was impressed with Smiley Poo.
“A new album will be recorded very, very soon.” That’s the news from camp Marmozets. “We’ve been ready for ages,” says Sam Macintyre. “Almost as soon as the last album was done we were like ‘right, let’s start writing.’”
“We’ve been mega busy with touring. It’s been great but it’ll be nice to hit the studio and get a feel for the new stuff,” adds Jack Bottomley. “We’ve got a completely different sound,” explains Sam. “It’s a lot more mature and a lot more together. As you get older your songwriting obviously gets better. That last album, we wrote two years before we released it, so this new one will be four years further ahead. It’s new, it’s very new and very now.” “It’s more focused on our influences. You get to know how gigs go and what sounds better in what rooms. The direction we’re going in, it will sound better live,” promises Sam. “We have a sound. We’ve finally found it. I mean, we’ll probably saying this in five albums’ time but at the moment we’re dead set and excited.” P
(B AC K TO T H E) F U T U R E H E A RT S
ALL TIME LOW HEAD TO ARENAS IN 2016
ALEX GASKARTH’S BAND HAVE ANNOUNCED THEIR BIGGEST UK TOUR TO DATE - INCLUDING A STOP AT LONDON’S O2 ARENA. “The UK has been very good to us lately,” starts Alex Gaskarth backstage at Reading Festival. In a few hours time All Time Low will take to the main stage and, despite the “Reading Jitters,” will put in an energetic, polished yet goofy set. It’s no wonder the band have a run of arena shows booked for early next year. “We’re stoked,” explains Alex. “We’ve been working our butts off , touring forever and there’s just an amazing support group over here. The fans have been rabid, showing up and telling their friends about us.” “They have a nice appreciation for rock music here, not everywhere in the world has that. We feel at home here,” adds Jack Barakat. “There’s definitely a pressure to deliver. We’re going to have to bring our A-game. All Time Low shows, we never really plan them. Keep it loose and see what happens,” Alex says with a smile. “It’s going to be insane though. We did a tour with You Me At Six earlier this year and we just kept getting requests for more Future Hearts, to come back and bring more new record. ‘We’re not playing enough new songs’ so we figured, let’s just do it again. “
“It’s very nerve-wracking putting out a new album because it’s so easy for fans to fall back on the old stuff,” reasons Alex. “What’s been cool with this record cycle is that people are really getting behind the music.” “It’s All Time Low with a new energy,” Jack states before Alex continues.“I think it’s just a better record. We learnt a lot. It has elements of all the stuff we’ve done in the past, but we do it all a lot better now.” “The big thing this time is to bring the whole Future Hearts album and put that in arenas and deliver. Give the fans what they want. We’re ready for the challenge.” P
All Time Low play: FEBRUARY 10 CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena 11 LONDON The O2 12 MANCHESTER Arena 13 BIRMINGHAM Barclaycard Arena 15 GLASGOW The SSE Hydro 16 DUBLIN 3 Arena
ARE GOING INTO THE STUDIO THE FOLLOW UP TO ‘TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES’ IS UNDERWAY. Against Me!, fresh off the back of conquering the Reading & Leeds main stages, are set to head back into the studio to work on a new album. “We’ll be recording all of October,” explains frontwoman Laura Jane Grace. “We’ll see if we’re done and if we’re not, we’ll take a short break and get back into it in the New Year. We’ve been writing all tour. Musically, they’re songs that are fun to play. It’s about wanting to have fun. I’ve always wanted to have fun but this feels different, not caring what other people fucking think.” After Against Me! are done recording, they’re just going to roll with whatever comes next. “It’s
not like I have a list but I don’t feel done,” states Laura. “Half the band is new. It feels like there are new things you could do musically or you haven’t reached your full potential as a four piece based on everyone’s musical abilities. In the past there were moments where I felt the four of us couldn’t do anything more interesting, but now there’s that much more to work with. “It’s more of a challenging thing as well. Playing with Atom and Inge, they are amazing musicians so when they came into the band, James and I were like, ‘Fuck, better pick up our game and practice a bit’. Feeling challenged by the people you’re playing with is a big thing.”P
HOPE LIKE NEW SONGS “I
JIMMY EAT WORLD FRONTMAN JIM ADKINS IS GOING IT ALONE.
WORDS: ALI SHUTLER
fter twentyone years in the game, Jim Adkins is still finding new audiences. “It’s the best thing ever,” he exclaims, sat in one of north London venue Union Chapel’s more spacious back rooms. “I’ve got such an insane opportunity to play beautiful places I’ve never been to. One of the main reasons I got into music is to explore.” “This year is a result of me trying to do something different between band records and it just led to this,” he explains. “I wasn’t sure exactly if ‘something different’ meant producing, solo work, co-writing or starting a yoga studio. It just evolved into me doing a series of singles and a solo acoustic tour.” Tonight, Jim’s performing in London as part of a European tour that sees him stripping Jimmy Eat World classics down to their acoustic bones alongside the handful of self-shaped solo material that’s been drip released throughout 2015. There’s also a cover of Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl’. “I’m here by just following the natural progression of saying yes to shit,” he ventures. “I’m discovering things about it that I hadn’t anticipated before, and that’s cool. It’s challenging in a way that playing with the 10 upsetmagazine.com
band isn’t,” he admits before expanding on the dynamic shift.
“In a band setting you’re responding off what you’re hearing. By yourself, you are solely in charge of leading the momentum and direction of what’s happening and you can change that depending on how you feel at any point. It’s a meditative process in a way. The audience plays a big role in it, they’re like the band members you’re getting feedback from in this setting. I learnt a long time ago to reset my expectation meter to zero walking on stage and then you just see where it goes. That’s true with playing a set at Reading Festival and it’s true for playing with just a guitar to twenty people at a house party.” While this venture has grown into slightly more than twenty people at a house party, the idea of one man with a guitar holds true. “I hope people find something in it they like. I’m playing some Jimmy Eat World songs that might be familiar, but I’m trying to present them in a way that’s different. I hope it’s an awesome fan experience depending on whatever that means to fans,” he offers. “And I hope they like my new songs.” This new solo venture came about from, “just trying to be productive and do something different. If you do the same things, you’re going to get the same results. While
I’m very grateful with the results I’ve got from playing music so far, you’ve got to push yourself. You’ve got to change things. That only helps to inform all aspects of what you’re interested in.”
“I think I’ve gotten better at talking to people because it’s just me,” he continues with a grin. “I’ve learnt about letting go of certain aspects of perfection because it’s just me, and I’m going to fuck up. You have to roll with it sometimes, and that’s good,” Jim says before talking about the writing process. “It’s just an informative experience being the only person, working without the filter of the band. You have to finish it. You. Personally. You have to make the choice when it’s done.
momentum of wanting to pursue the future,” he says, on the battle between the yesterday and the tomorrow, “I think I’m at the age where they work together.” From PVRIS via Paramore to Taylor Swift, Jimmy Eat World’s influence can be felt across the music industry. “It’s weird,” says Jim. “When any fellow musician says they relate to what I or the band have done, it’s always weird. We create this stuff in a bubble and it is a huge compliment when you get feedback that things are happening outside the bubble because of what you’re doing. It feels good.
“Since no one has any expectations, it’s freeing. That doesn’t mean to say I feel restricted playing with the group. It’s just different. I hope this opens the door a little bit to expect me to do this in the future. It’s the Wild West out there. Why couldn’t you just put out something when you’re happy with it? You can. There’s no reason why not, so we’ll see.”
“I’ve just always tried to be honest about what I like and what I think is good. People pick up on that. It’s not presenting something with the idea of chasing a trend or a particular demographic. It’s really just about what I like. If you can be honest with yourself about that, and continue to do so, people will pick up on that and relate to it. There’s always going to be a connection there.”
“I think the gratefulness for the history helps adds to the
For many, a solo project is a chance to escape from being
“I’m here by just following the natural pro gression of saying yes to shit.” JIM ADKINS
‘that guy from that band’ but for Jim, “It’s not even on my radar. I’ve been the guy from Jimmy Eat World for 21 years so that’s going to be hard to outrun.” After so many years creating, it’s things like this solo project that keeps it fresh. “It’s things like deciding you’re going to do something a little bit out of your comfort zone,” he starts. “Really, there is no such thing as a comfort zone, there’s just a zone of fear preventing you from learning anything. It’s just the idea of
trying to grow, that in itself is exciting and is momentum enough, to see what’s next.” With plans to get the band back together in November to start work on their next project, well after the cobwebs and beer cans have been cleared away from the studio, Jim’s ambitions are as stripped back yet as universal as his solo venture is proving to be. “Just being happy that whatever I do next, is my best work. Whatever that ends up being.” P
TIGERS JAW TEAM UP WITH KEVIN DEVINE THE PENNSYLVANIAN QUARTET HAVE COVERED THE CURE FOR KEV DEV’S SPLIT EP PROJECT. WORDS: RYAN DE FREITAS
Jim Adkins is really excited about his new solo career. Look! Thrilled!
n the latest and third instalment of Kevin Devine’s ‘Devinyl’ series - in which he releases split EPs with a range of collaborators – Tigers Jaw have tackled a cover of The Cure’s ‘In Between Days’. Covers aren’t new territory for the Scranton duo, with covers of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gypsy’, Lee Corey Oswald’s ‘You’re The Soul’ and most recently, Title Fight’s ‘Safe In Your Skin’ & ‘Where Am I?’ already part of the band’s sizeable repertoire. However, the band are quick to point out that they can still be a daunting task. “I’ve always been intimidated by doing covers,” admits Ben Walsh, one half of the indie-punk outfit. “I never think my voice is quite right to adapt to different styles, so we just try to do the song justice but make it sound like a Tigers Jaw song. Of course, when a band of such legendary stature as The Cure are involved, there’s added pressure. “I must admit I was very nervous to cover them,” Ben continues. “So, before going into the studio, we listened to a whole lot of
Cure songs and did our best to capture the vibe of the band and specifically ‘In Between Days’.” Tigers Jaw have been busy since the release of 2014’s ‘Charmer’, with their recent Studio 4 acoustic session, a heavy touring schedule and now the release of this split EP. Clearly, cover songs aren’t the only thing on the band’s mind. “We’re always in the process of working on new original material,” reveals Ben. “I don’t really have a time frame because we’re trying to let it happen organically, but it’s an ongoing process.” Up to now, the only material we’ve heard from the band since they became a twopiece is ‘Carry You Over’ on a Will Yip ‘Off The Board’ compilation, but according to Ben, the ‘new original material’ they’re working on will most likely end up part of a bigger project. “I tend to gravitate towards the mind set of writing for a full length, so if I had to predict what’s next I’d think a full length over an EP.” Good news – it sounds like we won’t have another four-year wait between Tigers Jaw albums. P 11
FUNERAL FOR FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND ARE SET TO BOW OUT WITH ONE LAST TOUR.
elsh posthardcore band Funeral for a Friend were one of the genre’s most enduring; but after (nearly) fifteen years, and seven studio albums - most recently this January’s ‘Chapter and Verse’ - they’ve decided to call it a day. “I guess the main reason behind it is time,” says lead vocalist Matthew Davies-
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT DURING YOUR TIME IN FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND?
My favourite moment? Wow, there are a lot. Getting to make music with your friends, being able to travel the world and visit places i’d never even dream i’d get to see. Meeting people along the way who have become so closely intertwined with our lives in ways we could never have imagined. It’s been a lot of work but the music we’ve made, for better or for worse are milestones in a huge part of my life that I can never forget or regret.
Kreye. “Fourteen and a half years is way longer than any of us considered this band would exist for, and to have pretty much ticked off all the ‘musical bucket list’ options we had was good. We made a record that we loved and we felt that it marked a full stop for us, it was us coming full circle again and that really gave us a sense of closure so it felt like the right move.” It’s something the band have been considering for a while - “on and off since we finished recording ‘Chapter and Verse’,” in fact. “I think we all felt that record was a full stop and to try to continue past it was a bit pointless. “We didn’t articulate it fully until last Christmas. I felt that I had done everything I could do in Funeral and it felt time for me to move on and as it turns out everyone else felt the same way.” The band’s last hurrah will take the form of a tour early next year, which will see them play a rotation of two different sets on a run of dual nights in Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London. “We decided that we’d like to play both [2005 album] ’Hours’ and [2003 debut] ’Casually Dressed…’ one last time as both those records really stand as a testament to what Funeral is in a nutshell. “There will be a few surprises along the
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way but only those who want to come along to say goodbye to this band will get to find out what those are.” “We’re not a complicated band,” Matt continues, “we don’t like pomp or over dramatic theatrics. I’ve always believed if you can’t captivate an audience with just the music and the 4/5 people on stage giving it everything then there’s no point. “That’s just me I guess. We’ll have one final statement to make after Shepherd’s Bush, but that’s something we’ll divulge near the end. “There’s nothing left to give [in terms of new material], we gave everything during the last record and our Hell Is For Heroes cover was the last time we’ll step inside a studio together. That’s crazy to think, but it’s cool as one of our very first shows was opening for that band. It’s fitting that our last piece of recorded material would be that.” P
Funeral For A Friend play: APRIL 05/06 CARDIFF, Y Plas 08/09 MANCHESTER The Ritz 10/11 GLASGOW Garage 13/14 BIRMINGHAM Institute 15/16 LONDON O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
NEED TO KNOW TALL SHIPS AND ALLUSONDRUGS JOIN WE ARE THE OCEAN’S NOVEMBER TOUR
BEHIND THE SCENES
MAYDAY PARADE HAVE AIRED THEIR VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE ‘ONE OF THEM WILL DESTROY THE OTHER’, FEATURING REAL FRIENDS’ DAN LAMBTON.
Taken from their new album ‘Black Lines’, released 9th October, the band let Upset behind the scenes of the shoot. “Making the video was definitely crazy,” says guitarist Alex Garcia. “It’s hard to tell from watching the video, but the director was dumping water on top of us while we were fake playing. “This made it so hard to not freak out or laugh because while the music was blaring loudly, so we could properly rock out, we’d be randomly dunked by a bucket of water.” “Imagine the ice bucket challenge but do it nearly 50 times while trying to give it your all in a performance,” laughs drummer Jake Bundrick. “That sums up our new music video. Cold, wet and invigorating.” P
Tall Ships and Allusondrugs are joining We Are The Ocean on their upcoming UK tour. Kicking off in Birmingham on 9th November, the stint features ten shows including London’s O2 Academy Islington.
CANCER BATS PLOT JANUARY 2016 UK TOUR
Cancer Bats have confirmed details of a lengthy January 2016 UK tour. The run is in support of the band’s Ross Robinson-produced fifth album, ‘Searching For Zero’, released earlier this year. Visit upsetmagazine.com for details.
MOOSE BLOOD, NEVER SHOUT NEVER AND MORE JOIN VANS WARPED TOUR UK
Six extra bands have been added to the Vans Warped Tour UK line up: Never Shout Never, Moose Blood, Man Overboard, Beautiful Bodies, Heck and Kenneths. The event is taking place on 18th October at London’s Alexandra Palace. They join headliners Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides. 13
W O R D S: RYA N D E F R E I TA S
DOGS ON TOUR
Comprised of members from Snowing, Hop Along, Algernon Cadwallader and Glocca Morra, it’s easy to see why Dogs On Acid are fast gaining traction. It helps that their debut LP is bloody brilliant, too. Despite only forming last year, the Philadelphiabased outfit are already heading over to the UK in October.
Getting over here so early is a nice surprise, but it’s not the done thing by US bands: what’s got them so keen? “It seemed like an interesting, unorthodox way of touring on a new record, especially being a new band,” explains drummer Nick Tazza. “A partial or full US tour was also possible - and probably less complicated, but we were given the opportunity to tour the UK and took it. I think we all had the same ‘why not?’ philosophy behind it.” An admirably laid back approach, and it’s not like a band with Dogs On Acid’s collective experience are naïve about all this, but as Tazza rightly says, “it’s too easy to look at those negatives and say, ‘No, this might be a bad idea’ and pass on something that has the potential to be a really great experience.” P Dogs On Acid will tour the UK this October. Visit upsetmagazine.com for dates.
Brendon’s one step closer to the hedge, and he’s about to... erm... stare smoulderingly into the middle distance?
PA N I C ! AT T H E D I S C O
DEATH OF A BACHELOR
BRENDON URIE TALKS THE FOLLOW UP TO ‘TOO WEIRD TO LIVE, TOO RARE TO DIE!’, AND ANNIVERSARY PLANS...
think people are going to be really excited,” Brendon Urie begins. “I’m just excited to show people this album because it’s so different.”
Panic! At The Disco, he says, have a finished fifth album that they can’t wait to release. “I don’t know how to describe it. Someone asked me which of our previous albums is it most like, and I said the first album. At that moment in time, it was the most exciting shit we’d ever done. We’d never done anything remotely close to that before, and that’s how I feel now. That’s how it felt when I was writing this record.” Every Panic! Album marks a confident leap forward, and that evolution is why the band have retained such relevance. “I think it’s important for people to make an effort to change, to make a serious effort to do something new,” Brendon explains. “It’s scary because it’s so easy to fall into a pigeonhole where you’re known for one thing and just do it very well all the time. To be able to push yourself forward and reinvent is awesome.” “There’s a hint of that baroque pop,” he continues, steering back to the album. “I can’t get too far from that because it’s part of me. Plus my voice hasn’t changed, it’s been the same since I was 18, so that’s a good through.”
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“Writing a song on piano and putting it with hip-hop beats is very cool,” ventures Brendon of how the as-of-yet untitled album came together. “I produced a lot of the album. I just sat there, making beats all day, then I’ll go back to it the next day and sing over it. I wrote a song ‘Death Of A Bachelor’,” he begins before pausing and pointing out, “actually that might be the first time I’ve said that,” highlighting just how fresh the album still is. “I wrote a song called ‘Death of a Bachelor’ on piano. It’s very jazzy, very Sinatra-esque so I sung it that way but then put it with this beat that sounds like Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’. It’s a bizarre mix but it’s so cool. I‘m really excited for people to hear that and all the songs really because they’re all like that, very different. With the album sat at the record label, waiting for a release date, Brendon has a few months to kill before a new tour cycle kicks off. Coincidentally, debut ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ hits its tenth birthday this autumn. “We’ve talked about a couple of parties. Right now it’s a piñata filled with various objects that I won’t reveal just yet. I’m talking to three different people, management and whatever. I want to be shot out of a cannon, I want to set myself on fire. I want to do this thing right, but we’ll see.” P
igned to a new label, made a new record, recently got engaged, what more could I ask for?” begins Allison Weiss. “2015 feels like my year so far.” It does seem like a fantastic few months, and it’s only set to get better with the release of her latest album. What strikes through from a very early point in ‘New Love’ is that Allison’s talent for relatable lyrics is still intact. In fact, she practically leans out the record and throws an arm around you for a chat, with exceptionally infectious background music to your musings on the ins and outs of life and love. “In the past, all of my song writing was very spur-of-the-moment and inspired by things that were happening to me at the time of writing,” explains Allison. “This record is different, because I was able to sit down and really think about what I wanted to say and the topics I wanted to address. I combed through old diaries and dug into things from my past that I hadn’t quite resolved, and thought about new ways I could approach those topics.” Some of the topics at hand are difficult, with words on depression and anxiety wrapped up in what ultimately feels like an uplifting track. Does that disparity between topic and music have any significance in either putting the topic down, or perhaps for the listener? “Writing songs is definitely very cathartic for me. It’s also sort of become my way of talking about the things I think I may have figured out. “I listen to music for the feelings it evokes, much of which has to do with lyrical content. I’ve learned a lot about myself through the music of others, so I try and sing about the things I’ve learned myself. As for the disconnect between the upbeat music and depressing lyrics, I think that just has a lot to do with my love of catchy pop songs. I love how some of the saddest songs in the world are the songs you’d hear on the dance floor.” In anticipation of the album’s release, Allison reviewed her own album on her new label, SideOneDummy’s Twitter account, and while it was entertaining and poked fun at herself at times, listening back to one’s own music is something many avoid, but not Allison. “My typical routine is to finish a record and then listen to it about 1000 times to make sure I did it right,” she says.
WEISS ON THE
NIGHT Yes, Allison. We did just use that title. Hope you like it.
LA- BASED SINGER- SONGWRITER ALLISON WEISS RETURNS WITH A NEW ALBUM, ‘NEW LOVE’. WORDS: HEATHER MCDAID. “Spoiler alert: nothing is ever perfect. I literally have OCD, so that might have a lot to do with it, but I know a lot of artists who do the same thing. It’s interesting to give your album to someone you admire and then listen back to it, wondering what they’ll think of it. For the SideOneDummy Twitter review, I channelled my inner bored music blogger. Maybe it’s my Freudian way of beating any critics to the punch.”
“S p oiler alert: noth i ng is e ver pe rf ect.” Running alongside all the positive build up has been some well needed discussions operating within the industry, with one Twitter feed in particular spotlighting the treatment of women involved, from musicians to journalists and fans. As someone in the industry, how does she feel about this, albeit broad, topic? “I can say I feel like it’s getting better all the time,” begins Allison. “I see more and more amazing women in music being recognised for what they’re doing. Obviously we have light years to go, and we may never truly be seen as equals, but at least we’re making progress.
“I think the word fangirl is offensive and detrimental to the music industry. I think teenage girls are some of the most important and influential fans that a band could have, and instead of using this word fangirl as a negative, the fangirls should be praised. People come up to me at the merch table and apologise for fangirling and I’m like, ‘I fucking love fangirls!’ I love people who are passionate about their favourite things.” Passion is infused in the industry from the musicians at the start of creation through to the fans waiting to buy a new album, or queuing hours to witness something special in a live show. What you’re passionate about can be a labour of love, and for Allison, she never seems to stop. If she’s not working on an album, she’ll more than likely be filling the space with EPs, while hitting the road as much as she can. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been making stuff. It’s important to me to continue creating. That’s what this is all about. Whether it’s making a record or designing a poster, or coming up with a cool tour idea, I just want to always be putting something new and fun into the world.” P 15
AHEAD OF A HUGE LONDON SHOW THIS MONTH, GUITARIST MIKE YORK CHRONICLES PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH’S CONTINUAL PROGRESS SINCE THE RELEASE OF ‘KEEP YOU’. WORDS: WILL RICHARDS.
“WE’RE KIND OF TERRIFIED”
ack in January, Pianos Become The Teeth played the biggest headline show of their career at London’s Underworld. This month, they’re surpassing that at the Scala, the only British date of a month-long EU run. It’s clear the UK has taken to the Baltimore natives and their third LP, ‘Keep You’. Guitarist Mike York is a little scared, regardless, admitting that the band have “absolutely no idea” how things are progressing for them across the Atlantic when they’re not here themselves. “On this tour we’re playing in Budapest, and in Croatia, places we’ve never been to before, and have only dreamed of visiting. It’s exciting and so scary, hoping we draw a crowd in these “I feel parts of the world.
cycle, as we’ve always been a slow burning band, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I feel we can make more of a lasting impression that way, if things come slowly. “I would definitely say that this has been the most popular album we have done, and I think people are most into this record. That’s been awesome for us, [but] it’s not like it was an overnight explosion and we’re playing arenas or anything like that, but it’s definitely been a steady increase in the crowds we’re playing to. People have been really open and excited about hearing the new stuff live.”
have that one massive record, sometimes it makes it easier to be able to go out on tour and not have to think about anything because, no matter what… say your next record doesn’t do so well, you’re still going to be playing to 1,500 people. There’s pros and cons in both. I think all of us together prefer being in a band that’s a slow burn, because we’re not a band you immediately put on as background music when you’re hanging with your friends. “We’re a band who have a lot of layers, and for a lot of people, they need to really sit down and digest it. I love music like that; I feel like music, or any art, should be challenging, and if you’re not challenging both yourself and your audience, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You should constantly be pushing the boundaries of the things you’re doing – that might be alienating people, or it might draw in more people – but as long as you’re staying true to yourself, people will see that and see through what you’re doing.” P
like music , or any art, should be challenging.” Mike York
“Our last London show was the biggest headline show we’ve done to date, and so many of our friends have told us that the Scala is a great venue. We’re so excited, but kind of terrified, hoping that a thousand people come and see us. The step up between the Underworld and this has kind of passed us by as we have been touring America and are kind of blind to it.”
‘Keep You’ has been out for nearly a year now, and Mike can definitely see the progress the band has made, but struggles to put it into perspective. “It’s hard to quantify just how much has changed over one album’s
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This idea of Pianos Become The Teeth being a band who change and grow subtly with every next step is something the five-piece talk about a lot among themselves, and one which is informing their next movements. “You definitely have more excitement within yourself and satisfaction that every record that you do is better than the last, that more people are supportive of than the last, that more people come and see you play than the last. “That said, we still aren’t a huge band, and for bands who
Pianos Become The Teeth play London’s Scala on 20th October, with support from Milk Teeth.
NEED TO KNOW FORMER DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE GUITARIST CHRIS WALLA ANNOUNCES SOLO ALBUM
ENERGY CHANGES, YOU’VE JUST GOT TO RIDE THE WAVE ”
Formerly of Death Cab For Cutie, Chris Walla has announced a new solo record. The instrumental ‘Tape Loops’ is set for release on 16th October via his own label, Trans Records.
BARONESS CONFIRM NEXT ALBUM
CALIFORNIA FIVE - PIECE CEREMONY RETURNED TO THE UK AFTER A LENGTHY TIME AWAY. WORDS: ALI
eing in Ceremony is exactly like growing up,” explains guitarist Anthony Anzaldo. “You don’t see it happening until you’re ten years older and you see old pictures of yourself.” Later on tonight, Ceremony will play their first London show in three years and in the process become the first band to headline the rejuvenated MOTH Club in Hackney. All polished brass and glittered ceilings, it’s a venue that demands attention but then Ceremony, ten years into the game, are a source of constant evolution. Starting life on the outskirts of hardcore, the band have slowly but surely toyed with the realms of possibility. Earlier this year they released ‘The L-Shaped Man’ and took another step into assured, creative freedom. Sure the glimmer of the venue is eye catching, but not as much as the Californian five-piece shifting before you. “Ceremony fans know the drill with us,” continues Anthony. “This is our fifth LP and every one has been so drastically different to the last. They know that going into a new record. Obviously you lose certain people with every album, but you hope that you gain more than you lose. The core fanbase that we have, they know it’s going to be different, they know we’re going to something else. With that, it’s always going to be good,” he offers before singer Ross Farrar repeats “it’s always going to be good,” with steadfast conviction. Ceremony have a point. 2006’s ‘Violence
Violence’ is different to 2010’s ‘Rohnernt Park’. ‘Zoo’ is further away still but by the time we reach ‘The L-Shaped Man’, the band are barely recognisable. “They’re still there,” says Ross of their earlier tracks. “They still inhabit a part of our lives. When we first started getting into punk, we made those songs. They’re nostalgic. It’s not like we think hardcore is lame but at the time that music felt honest to us and now, making these songs is honest to us.” “It’s all come back full circle,” offers Ross before Anthony explains. “We started the band with this name and this aesthetic and it was such a contrast. Our music was this abrasive, hardcore alongside this image of a rose and ‘Ceremony’ written across the top. Now it all makes more sense.” “It’s not as different as it used to be,” adds Ross with a smirk. Every move Ceremony makes comes with poise and composure. Their attitude towards the future though is slightly less considered. “It’ll figure itself out,” says Anthony. “Being six months ahead of time has been our thing forever. If you get farther than that, you drive yourself crazy. You start thinking about when you’re going to write the next record, or what it’s going to be called, or where we’re going to be…” The band have more pressing concerns. “We’ve got to play London tonight for the first time in three years first.” P
Baroness have announced upcoming album ‘Purple’, which will be released on 18th December. The band have also premiered their animated, new music video for lead single ‘Chlorine & Wine’.
HOP ALONG RELEASE STRING OF EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Following the release of their latest album ‘Painted Shut’, Philadelphia’s Hop Along have announced a European tour. Visit upsetmagazine.com for details.
“ WE HAVE A SECRET RECORD THAT NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO HEAR.”
ABOU T TO
BR E AK
DILLY DALLY WITH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘SORE’, TORONTO PUNKS DILLY DALLY ARE SHOWCASING SOMETHING SPECIAL. WORDS: JESSICA GOODMAN.
THE BEST N EW B ANDS THE HOT TEST N EW M USIC
oronto quartet Dilly Dally might be releasing their debut album, but they’re no newcomers to the music scene. “We have a secret record we
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recorded four years ago that no one’s ever going to hear,” frontwoman Katie Monks teases. “We didn’t know what we wanted as much back then. Now we have more of a sound. We know what we want more.” That certainty has been a long time coming. Dilly Dally have been performing in various guises for the past seven years. At the band’s core lies the permanent duo of Katie and Liz Ball, high school friends who pledged their allegiance to the Dilly Dally cause before they ever picked up instruments together. “We
were like, ‘Yeah, let’s start a band!’ So we went and we got the tattoos for it,” Katie laughs. “The tattoo artist was like, ‘You really shouldn’t get these if you haven’t even played a show yet…’” Thankfully, the pair were not to be deterred. “We were appalled that he didn’t have faith in Dilly Dally. We got the tattoos, so that was that.” Jump forwards a few years, and with the addition of Jimmy Tony on bass and Benjamin Reinhartz on drums, Dilly Dally’s lineup is at last complete. “Liz and I have been playing in Toronto once
Whilst most people might shy from baring themselves so openly, the frontwoman relishes it. “It’s like sex!” she exclaims. “It’s amazing! It’s like I’m stripping my emotions in front of everybody. You’re so vulnerable. The more vulnerable I make myself, the more people enjoy it, and the more it makes them feel good about themselves. It’s easy.”
Don’t dilly dally on... oh, nevermind. a month for the last six years under Dilly Dally,” Monks recalls. “Every shit bar and every crummy hole in this city, we’ve played it. Over time I think we just started to get frustrated that no one cared about what we were doing.” Frustration led to creation, and changing their setup, the group found their forte. “People reacted differently to us live once we started playing with Ben and Tony. Ben is an incredible performer. He makes us all play in a bigger way. Tony does as well. We became louder and more angry. We were just like, ‘Now will you guys listen to us?’ It affected the live show so drastically that it felt like something really special was happening with the four of us.” That ‘something special’ is showcased in the form of ‘Sore’, the quartet’s first full-length record to see release. “It’s pretty animalistic stuff,” Monks describes.
“I have a great story!” Katie proclaims. “One time there was this guy at a party, and he was like, ‘You stand up on stage, and you sing and you play in front of all those people?’ He said, ‘You are so brave’. I don’t get scared – I feel so comfortable doing it, you know? But I was like, ‘I guess that is brave, thank you!’ I took it as a compliment, and I started thinking quite much of myself. Then I said, ‘So, what do you like to do?’ He said, ‘I skateboard’. And he was like, ‘Last year I skateboarded into a bus, and I was in a coma for eight months, and now I can’t see out of this eye…’ He told me he had all these health problems…” she trails off in disbelief. “I put my hand on his shoulder and said ‘YOU are the one who is brave.’ I’m not fucking brave. I don’t have the guts to fucking skateboard.”
“Deeply personal and spiritual experiences I’ve had in my life. I’m a smart person, but I live my life through what I feel. So that’s what the record is. If I felt like I was oppressed because I was a woman, and the deep anger and sadness I would feel because of that, that’s on the record. Deep feelings of love for my friends, that’s on the record. Feelings about just wanting to have sex with somebody, that’s on the record.”
Thomas Armstrong (drums and vocals) spares a few minutes to talk about his band’s debut album, after a wet trip back from rehearsals.
‘Dream Soda’ has been described as a “concept album without contrivance”. What does that mean? I mean, it’s not a concept album in the traditional sense, but there’s these common threads underlying everything, whether it was something in the room when we were recording it together, or in the artwork or in the lyrics. Dream Soda is us trying to make something real that both satirises and undermines the empty products and promises we’re sold to supplement our happiness in life.
When it comes to feats of bravery, Dilly Dally are completely modest. Their hopes, however, are as admirable as they come. “I hope that when people hear the record they find it empowering,” Katie expresses. “I hope that all people across the board hear it, and it makes them want to get up and do something with their day. I just want it to have a positive effect on people.” “If they’re feeling depressed, and shitty, I hope it makes people feel like “she’s made sense of it all, and turned it into something beautiful. Maybe I can do it. Maybe I might try.””
Did you have a specific idea of what you wanted to achieve when you first started working on the release? When we locked ourselves away in the remote cottage in Wales to write the album we just wanted to make the best record we could. It’s our first album so we worked on balancing out tracks that have been around for longer and getting them to where we wanted them and had a load of fun making new tracks. Also lots of whisky.
“There’s tons of bands that get started saying, ‘We started our band because we liked other bands in school’,” she continues. “I want to make people pick up instruments, a pen, or whatever they want to express themselves with, and run over to their fucking desk or wherever, and get to work.” P
If there was one thing you’d like everyone to know about the record before it’s out, what would it be? That we poured ourselves into it and went a bit mad and came back and you should listen to it really fucking loud on some bigass speakers. P 19
“IF I WANT TO FEEL SOMETHING, I’LL LISTEN TO MUSIC.”
ABO UT TO
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PROMISE. WARNING. NEW ALBUM ‘ONE DAY ALL THIS WILL END’ IS A CRY TO CONTINUE. WORDS: ALI SHUTLER.
f it doesn’t have heart, what’s the point?” asks singer Serena Cherry. “I’ve always seen music as a cathartic thing. The music that affects me the most is the stuff that’s emotive, whether it’s poppy, hardcore or dance.” On first impressions, it’s difficult to place such an eclectic range in the cut throat snarl that is Svalbard but on debut album ‘One Day All This Will End’ it’s that open-minded desire for feeling that rages throughout. “If I want my brain to be stimulated, I’ll read a book. If I want to feel something, I’ll listen to music,” she continues. “With Svalbard, that’s always been the most important thing. Even live, if it doesn’t have heart and doesn’t have the thing that makes you fired up, then what can you give to your performance? We have certain songs that, every time I play them, I can feel myself tense up because I’m so in the moment and in that lyric.”
Recorded with Lewis Johns in the spring of 2015, Svalbard can’t quite believe that ‘One Day All This Will End’ is almost upon us. “It’s at that stage where it doesn’t feel real but I’m really excited that it’s all coming together and people get to hear the songs that we worked so hard on.” Each of the eight tracks on the album has a more direct attack than previous Svalbard material. The individual topics, from ‘The Vanishing Point’s desire to hold onto hope amid various lineup changes to the message of “positive discrimination is still discrimination and needs to stop,” that rattles through ‘Expect Equal Respect, give ‘One Day All This Will End’ an overwhelming desire to push things forward. It’s felt in every word, every shuddering riff and every poised moment of calm. “It starts off with ‘Perspective’ which can be taken as quite a negative, bitter song and by the time you get to the end of the album, with the instrumental song ‘Lily’ I’d like it to have taken people on the journey that it takes me on when I listen
to it,” Serena offers. “There’s a hopefulness at the end. ‘Lily’ is about a cat I rescued, she’s sat next to me right now. It’s about second chances and not everyone being the victim of bad fate. I wanted it to just be the melodies and instruments that had this uplifting power. It’s why we wanted to close the album with it. There’s a lot of underlying positivity there.” The band have the expected hopes of their music “to be spread far and to play it where we can,” but there are no concerns about success. “I’m not worried about how many we sell. I’d rather sell a few copies to people who will really listen to it and enjoy it, than sell hundreds and thousands of copies. We don’t want to be a big band at all. If we did, we wouldn’t write the music we do.” ‘One Day All This Will End’ reflects the band that crafted it, wholly and truly. “There’s a desperate hope in there. There’s a heart that’s very frantically trying to live and be the best it can be but encountering a lot of hurdles and smiting along the way.” P
DEBUT ALBUM LIFE IS PERFECT - OUT NOW ORDER FROM: WWW.ONLYRIVALS.IE
f a c e book .com/on l y ri v a ls | twi tte r. c o m / o n l yr i val s
WORDS: TOM CONNICK. PHOTOS: PHIL SMITHIES.
THEY’VE CONQUERED READING & LEEDS. THEY’RE DOMINATING THE AIRWAVES. WITH THEIR LATEST ALBUM, BRING ME THE HORIZON ARE READY TO RULE ROCK ONCE AND FOR ALL. 23
bout a mile north of Sheffield centre lies Neepsend, a suburb of the city whitewashed by early twentieth century industrialisation and its subsequent post-Thatcher destruction. As with most such places, it’s largely derelict now, boarded up windows and copious graffiti replacing what was once a bustling hum of industry. Sadly, these streets are perhaps now more famous for their problems with prostitution, as immortalised in early Arctic Monkeys single ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ – but amongst the wreckage, at least one legal local business is booming. The former site of Samuel Osborn & Co steelmakers is now home to the Drop Dead warehouse – the hub and flagship store of its impossibly popular namesake clothing line, and a second abode for each of the members of Bring Me The Horizon. Sheffield’s Steel City nickname may be long-since made redundant, but with Bring Me’s new album ‘That’s The Spirit’ looming large, it seems metal will always have a place within these walls. Indeed, while the warehouse below churns out clothing orders from across the globe, the upper corridors are shaking as pre-production for the band’s massive Reading and Leeds sub-headlining slot hits full swing,
each of newest member Jordan Fish’s sub-drops and samples echoing around the building. “He’s the last piece of the puzzle,” smiles the band’s iconic frontman Oli Sykes. “He just unlocks so many possibilities for us, that weren’t possible before,” Oli continues. “I think it’s been apparent really since our second album that electronica is stuff that we’re into and wanted to mix in, but we’ve had to rely on other people to interpret what we want. It weren’t ever someone who could bring something to it, just like another band member who can bring it as an instrument and be like, ‘this is what I’m gonna do’. It just used to be more saying, ‘right, this is what we want; can you do it?’ So we’ve been limited in what we could do.” ‘That’s The Spirit’ is the sound of Bring Me The Horizon finally becoming limitless. Recorded and produced entirely by the band themselves, it’s a bold, melodic new step for a band who started out swathed in nails-onblackboard deathcore extremity. “I think it’s every record label and management’s worst nightmare when a band turn around and go, ‘We’re gonna self-produce!’ because it’s always shit,” jokes Oli, “but we were confident that we knew what we were doing and we knew what we wanted” While the band might have hired mega-producer Terry Date – who boasts Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Deftones as
past clients on his packed CV - for ‘Sempiternal’’s knob-twiddling, it quickly proved to be nothing more but another barrier to what Bring Me really wanted – to take the whole thing on themselves. “It’s kind of something we’ve done for every album,” he divulges, “but we never got credited for it. I think that’s ultimately something we got fed up with: with ‘Sempiternal’, there were still people going, ‘Oh, Terry Date really sorted them out and made them good!’ It’s like ‘Nooooo! We did this on our own!’ “Even with ‘There Is A Hell…’ and ‘Suicide Season’, I feel like I produced it – I probably over-produced it to be honest,” he laughs, “’cause I was sat there going, ‘Do this, do that, do that’. It’s still always been in our control. So it came to the point where, if someone comes in – a big name or whatever – it’s just gonna be a compromise for what we really want. You have to plan your battles; like, ‘I’m not happy with that, I’m not happy with that; but I’ve gotta pick one’. Rather than just being like, ‘This is how I want it. Can’t I just have it like that?’ “Even mixing and everything, it goes through a hundred times, and when it’s someone else doing it it’s still not exactly how you want it. With ‘Sempiternal’ it was like, ‘yeah, we really know what we want and we don’t wanna fight for it.’ So yeah, it just felt like the natural thing to do.” Every step Bring Me have taken has been underpinned by that desire for natural progression. While ‘That’s The Spirit’ might see them at their most overtly melodic to date, the band’s evolution is easily traceable, each release sharpening their assault and introducing those electronic flourishes. ‘That’s The Spirit’ is like nothing that’s come before, though. The earliest indicators of its gargantuan leap forward came late last year with ‘Drown’ – a track written with the band’s year-ending Wembley Arena headliner at the forefront of their minds.
“WE’RE GETTING MORE CONFIDENT, BUT WE S T I L L A L W AY S H A V E
T H AT N I G G L I N G F E E L I N G LIKE WE’RE JUST FLUKING IT.” - OLI SYKES
“It wasn’t a conscious thing to do,” explains Oli of Bring Me’s melodic new dressing, “like, write ‘Drown’ and see how it goes because it’s so different - but at the same time I think the overall positive reaction to it and response just gave us that confidence to go, ‘Right, we won’t make any compromises with this
album, we’ll do exactly what we want and not worry’. I mean, there was still a doubt here and there, but in the end we did exactly [what we wanted]. Even ‘Sempiternal’, we compromised slightly. Just like, we still kept it heavy because we didn’t want to transition too quick. There’s nothing on that album we don’t like, but at the same time, we would’ve been too scared to do a record like this then. “Luckily it’s never happened to us, where we’ve had a complete backlash on an album, but I know even if we did we’d never be like, ‘Right, let’s go back and write ‘Sempiternal Part 2’’, because as soon as you do that, you just put final nail in t’coffin. You’ve admitted defeat, and you’ve gone back to something that you’ve obviously wanted to step away from.” “We’ve been through a lot and I think this is the first time that we’re all good,” he ponders. “Everything’s good and everything’s a lot clearer, I guess, off the back of ‘Sempiternal’. That was our first campaign where it just felt overall positive – there weren’t really any big downs. I guess we’re all in good spaces and good places, and we’re a lot more of a unit that can do everything on its own now.” 26 upsetmagazine.com
hat unit mentality is clear, each member of the band laughing and bouncing off one another as they roam the streets of Sheffield. Each of their cars is emblazoned with ‘’That’s The Spirit’’s umbrella iconography – it’s almost mafia-like, the sense of second family among the five of them, but this is a gang that’s distancing itself from the underworld. Last summer, as Oli accepted ‘Sempiternal’’s AP Award for Album of the Year, he opened up for the first time about the problems he’d faced leading up to its creation. “I wanna say something that I never thought I’d actually talk about,” began his acceptance speech. “Before we wrote ‘Sempiternal’, I were a fucking drug addict. I was addicted to a drug called ketamine. I was on it for years, and I was fucked off my head. “My band wanted to kill me; my parents wanted to kill me; my fucking brother
wanted to kill me. Everyone wanted to kill me; they wanted to take me to hell. But they didn’t - they stood by me, they supported me through all that shit, and we wrote ‘Sempiternal’ because of it. When I got out of rehab, I didn’t wanna fucking scream anymore; I wanted to sing it from the fuckin’ rooftops”“ It was a poignant moment – while Oli had never shied away from confronting his vices through song, to finally admit to it in public “were cool”, he admits. “I have no problem about talking about it now. I wanted to write about it and sing about it, and I wanted ‘Sempiternal’ to be about it and overcoming it, and everything about it – but I didn’t want to come back out and do the cliché, ‘I’m saved!’ Y’know, like the recovering addict fucking gag, for publicity. I just didn’t want that, because the people that do do that and everything they say, to me anyway, is just complete and utter bullshit. The whole fact about it being a ‘disease’ and ‘seeing the light’ and ‘handing yourself over to God’ – just the way people act about it, like they’ve been through some terminal illness and recovered, I think it’s so offensive to people who actually have to go through stuff, things that aren’t self-inflicted. So I didn’t want to make it all the focus.
“It’s just a cheap way to get attention. It obviously makes good content for lyrics and things, and when it came to the end of if and I won that award at AP, that’s when I decided I wanted to come forward and outspokenly say about it, because it was over – we didn’t need to promote ‘Sempiternal’ anymore, but I did want to share it with everyone; where I’d been and what had happened. Because I’m not embarrassed about it, I’m proud that I’ve been through it and overcome it, and I know there’s so many people out there going through similar things – I think it’s important to let them know that I’m just the same and it can happen to anyone. “I just didn’t want it to be like, y’know – if it were this album now and I started going, ‘I’ve just been to rehab’, cause that’s all it’d be about rather than the album, rather than what everyone else has done for the album. There’s so much more to it than just one person and one person’s experience. That’s the only thing that were important about coming out with it all. “People, they’re saying it’s terrible, but it’s almost like they think it’s cool. Like, ‘Oh man, I used to just drink straight whisky and I’d do lines of coke off hookers’ – you’re still glorifying it! You’re still making it all about you and making sure the spotlight’s on you. I didn’t wanna come across like, ‘I were fuckin’
“A N Y B A N D T H AT JUST GETS BIG OVERNIGHT AND IT’S NOT REAL, IT JUST NEVER craaazy, man!’, cause I weren’t – I were just in a bad place. It weren’t romantic – it were just sad. It’s not like people try and make it out; that’s not what it’s about.”
- OLI SYKES
It’s a dark turn that Oli admits he was all-too-easily drawn into, as the band began to take off before he’d even hit his twenties. “It’s so easy to completely lose touch with reality – because you don’t have to be in touch with reality if you don’t want,” he states. “Look at the huge bands that have done it, and they come out 30 years later and they don’t know how to write an album anymore because they’ve just been in the haze for so long. They’ve lost all touch, social touch, all touch with what music is, just everything, because you never have to… you don’t even have to wipe your own arse if you want. You’re not living in reality. And that’s a really important thing for us – getting back to reality every now and then – making sure everyone’s grounded, making sure we’re not burning ourselves out and stuff. “We’re just lucky that it were just me. It was just me who had the addiction and that everyone else wasn’t on the train, wasn’t into it. I have such a new outlook on people who get
fucking destroyed in tabloids – people like Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber and stuff like that – people fucking rag on them, but it must be so hard when everyone around you is using you, and they don’t want you to get better because they’re riding your coat-tails – they’re taking the drugs with you and it’s not in their interest to make you better. They’re selling your stories, taking your drugs, and if you got clean, everyone would just fuck off. “I saw that with my own life – all the people I thought were my friends, when I came off drugs, I had nothing in common with them. It was really sad to see that our only connection was drugs – it was fucking weird. I lost so many friends, or what I thought were friends. It’s not like I even lost them like fell out with them, just lost any touch with them and any common ground. So yeah, I look at those people now, and I just think it’s so irresponsible for people to be destroying them when they’re going through that, but I guess people don’t see it like that. They just want a story, don’t they?” Ultimately, it was the four other members of Bring Me that proved to be Sykes’ safety net. “I’m just lucky that I had a bunch of people around me that weren’t interested in what I were doing and wanted to see me get better and, y’know – strong family and friends,’” he confides. “The hardest thing is to help someone when they’re in that state, because all you do is kick back – you try and help someone and they just tell you to fuck off. I guess I’m just lucky for that.” 27
week later and a couple of hundred miles down the road, Sykes is addressing a ten-thousand strong crowd from the centre of Reading Festival’s main stage. “If it weren’t for you, I’d be a drug addict,” he admits. “If it weren’t for you guys, I’d be fucking dead.” It’s a rare moment of serenity amongst the set’s bluster, sandwiched between a nine-pit strong rendition of ‘House Of Wolves’ and a rain-soaked, deafening singalong to ‘Sleepwalking’. “This is fuckin’ it,” grins Oli as they step on stage to ‘Happy Song’, “tonight we’re gonna make history.” It’s yet another gargantuan milestone for the band. “It’s just weird – it’s just surreal,” stutters Oli ahead of the set, “because no matter how far you get, or how big it gets, or what you do, you can’t shake that feeling of ‘We’re just fluking it!’ So everything feels, not undeserved, but we’ve never had any goals or ambitions, and we’ve always just been catching up with what we’ve been asked to do. So it’s like, play Wembley and we’re like, ‘Are you sure we’re gonna be able to do that?’ And then it happens and it works and stuff. Again, with Reading, when we got the offer we were like, ‘Are they sure? We’re not that band yet!’ And [management] were like, ‘Well, they think you are’. I think we’re getting more confident in ourselves, just because we’re getting to that point where you can’t argue with the constant things, but we still always have that niggling feeling like we’re just getting lucky and fluking it.“ Just as ‘Sempiternal’ marked the end of the darkest period of Sykes’ personal life, the one-two of Wembley Arena last December into Reading & Leeds this summer is the full stop on Bring Me
The Horizon’s first phase. Back in the shadow of what was once Neepsend’s Stones Brewery – the last remaining relic of which is the pub opposite, which drummer Matt Nicholls, master of the understatement, describes as “quiet” – the group are gearing up for step two. The iconic ‘BMTH’ lights that formed the backbone of both ‘There Is A Hell…’’s stage set-up and the video for album highlight ‘Anthem’ lie discarded in a pile on the warehouse’s second floor. “We’ve done it to death,” admits Oli when quizzed on the band’s migration from those heavier roots. “We don’t want to get out of the scene because we hate the music, we want to step outside the scene and be more accessible to everyone because it’s our lives – it’s what we want to do. We don’t listen to the music we listened to five years ago, ten years ago – you grow out of it. Metal and heavy, extreme music is awesome when you’re like 15, up to like 20-odd, but I think for most people… it’s just like sweets and burgers,” he laughs, ”after a while that food that tasted good to you when you were a kid; your tastes mature and stuff. So us trying to do what we did then, it wouldn’t make any sense to us, we wouldn’t be able to do it justice. There’s bands that are already out there that do that stuff good, so it were less about feeling like we had the option, and more like we had no choice but to do it because if not I feel like we’d have just failed. “When you try and write music for other people, it just never works. People see through the bullshit even if they don’t know it – even if at first bands are successful, it’s a fad – it so quickly dies, because it’s not real. I think that’s something that people don’t even know what they can see, but they do. That’s why any band that just gets big overnight and it’s not real, it just never lasts.” “We wanted it to still hit hard,” he says of the band’s new, fiercely melodic
“IT’S SO EASY TO C O M P L E T E LY L O S E
direction, “but in different ways. I feel like we’ve hit you as hard as we can with how heavy we can be, but I don’t think we’ve hit you with how powerful we can actually get stuff across. We wanted to just be big in a different way – be heavy and powerful in different ways. And do it in complex ways, do it in ways that are really difficult. To write a ballad-y, slower, soft song, it’s not easy to get it to hit and to have weight behind it – it’s not as easy as people might think. It’s fucking difficult. It’s so much more than just chugging and sub-drops and stuff, you’ve gotta do tempo changes and key changes and it’s just a lot more difficult.
TOUCH WITH REALIT Y.” - OLI SYKES
“People might think these songs are simple, but it’s not simple, it’s really hard – or at least it is for us!” he laughs.
The Bring Me The Horizon pen was by far the most popular at the new Sheffield zoo.
Hard though it may be, ‘That’s The Spirit’ showcases a band ready to take on the world like never before. Having battled through drama since day one, and subsequently emerged at the other side of Oli’s own personal traumas stronger than ever, Bring Me The Horizon have opened themselves up to a whole new world, reinvigorating their passion and lighting the spark on another decade’s worth of development. “I think if we had one thing that we wanna achieve with this, I think it’s to step out of the scene we came from and just be genreless,” states Oli. “Just be our own thing. Bands like Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park and stuff – they just stepped out of the scene they came from, and now they’re just a band that people love. Y’know – pop punk fans don’t like Fall Out Boy, just people love Fall Out Boy.
Same with Linkin Park - you don’t like Linkin Park and then only nu-metal, you like Linkin Park and Jay-Z and whoever else! That’s the most important thing for us – we don’t want to be elitist. “Music shouldn’t be like that anymore, it’s such an old-school way, “ he enthuses, “to be like ‘I only like hip-hop’ or ‘I only like indie’ and there’s no mix, because it just sucks. It’s just a weird way of being, having all these mini wars between different genres. Music’s the last thing we really have that can be whatever people want it to be and it can be really fucking amazing without having anyone come in and put their own stamp on it, y’know? Even cinema today, it’s gotta be a 12A or it’s gotta have product placement to pay for it – music’s the last thing that can still remain untouched, and it shouldn’t
separate people, it should bring people together.” Sykes’ passion for unity echoes throughout ‘That’s The Spirit’ – far from the electronic embellishments of old, the band’s experimentation this time takes the fore, dragging every genre under the sun under the band’s umbrella. Expanding their horizons like never before, those crowds in the tens of thousands are sure to become a mainstay of Bring Me’s future. True to form, though, Oli’s hungry for more. “For us, we don’t want to be just a metal band, we want to be just a band,” he states, looking to the future. “We want to be a band that anyone can like.” P Bring Me The Horizon’s album ‘That’s The Spirit’ is out now. 29
expectations for it,” says Sadie. “Whenever anyone likes it, we’re like, ‘Yes! Us too.’ It’s my favourite thing I’ve ever worked on, ever.”
“We’d toured our first album extensively before we recorded it but with these news songs, we barely played them live before we went in the studio. We didn’t have a set way of how they would sound live which resulted in more interesting recordings, FOLLOWING THE REL E AS E OF TH E I R N E W AL B UM ‘FOI L DE E R ’, which was the point. To figure out the best SPEEDY ORTIZ ARE F E E L I NG MOR E C ON F I DE N T THAN E VE R way to way to present B E FOR E . them live is always an WOR DS : AL I S HU TL ER . evolution,” says Sadie before recounting the record was angry, very rooted in the past ’ve been glee she gets from trying to recreate and is highly specific,” Sadie explains. complaining that the keyboard parts on ‘My Dead Girl’ “On this one, I wanted to do something it’s the first time live. “Rearranging songs and figuring ever I’ve not that could be applicable to people out how to trick my preexisting ear into other than myself. Even though I’m been home for sounding like vintage synths is funny. still somewhat of a pessimistic writer, Halloween,” smiles I’m so excited every time we play it. ‘Foil Deer’ is forward looking. It looks frontwoman Sadie It’s always been important to me to at addressing problems and healing Dupuis. “I’m a play complicated guitar parts while from them instead of dwelling on big fan of Halloween but from what I I’m singing or I’d get totally bored. them. It’s not just a music evolution, it’s understand, no one does it like America.” Everything we write is slightly harder about trying to get better and be better Despite the lack of trick or treating than I know how to play, just so I can instead of firing shots at the demons potential, Sadie is looking forward to get better by writing that song.” Speedy Ortiz’s upcoming European tour. of my past.” It’s been a year since they were last over It’s not just their album that tenses with Named after a sculpture in Amsterdam and, with a fantastic new record to their musical growth, as Sadie ventures. “I name, it promises to be a different and recorded over three weeks instead think we’ve all of the four days that ‘Major Arcana’ experience. become more took, ‘Foil Deer’ set out to be “more confident expansive and nuanced.” Months “The as after its release, first the record is still revealing secrets. “We never had
musicians and people. Before I did this full time, I was a teacher. I taught at a university so I’ve worked with kids before. In that job there was a level of mentorship that came with it. I always assumed that our audience was our age but we’ve started to see younger people at shows. They want to talk about how to start a band or how to get good at guitar when the very male-dominated scenes they operate in, intimidate them. I‘m always having fun on stage but looking more confident or that I’m having fun has become more of a focus for me. I have these people I’ve met who are now seeing women visible in rock. Playing proficiently is important to me because it doesn’t exist in my town. That’s a big aspect that’s changed; now I’ll throw in an extra riff or jump around a bit more.”
never been something I’ve sought out or got excited by. All the shows I like, ten people go to,” she admits. “The more we’ve been playing these bigger venues, it’s hard for me to know what I should be delivering because the way I like listening to music most is at home. I’m just trying to play the songs in a way that makes me feel good about them and is interesting to someone who likes the records. More than that though, I want people to feel safe and have a good time. The best thing at a show is a space that’s welcoming.
“I want people to fe e l safe an d have a go od time at our gigs .” Sadi e D upuis
From its inception ‘Foil Deer’ deals with the role of performing. “I used to have to drink a lot play and I was nervous,” continues Sadie. “I was pretty shy and I still am. Steeling yourself to have this public face and persona, not only for yourself but for the people who might take meaning from you, can be useful or important.” ‘Foil Deer’ came from this idea. “I used to have to get drunk to play shows and I didn’t want to drink anymore, so I got real into glitter and real into getting dressed up to play and that bolstered my confidence. I could do whatever I needed to do without getting messed up to do it. You go on stage and if you have a message you want to deliver, sometimes you have to sugarcoat it a little bit.” That message may be a
personal one but the songs of ‘Foil Deer’ also draw from the narratives of the everyday. “Usually there’s a reason for me to write a song in the first place,” she explains. “For me, there’s a specific meaning to every song but I prefer that more open interpretation especially with this record. A lot of the stories I was writing about, I was frustrated about hearing other friends with identical stories about being devalued in their professions or their personal relationships because of their gender identity or their sexual identity. It’s funny, I don’t think about them when I’m playing them though. It’s the way I set things up for myself. One of the reasons I used to get nervous playing is because there’s a lot I need to remember to do. Between the guitar and the singing I’m mostly thinking, ‘How can I not fuck this one up?’” It’s never a case of steely eyes and by-the-books recreation for Speedy Ortiz though. “I’m always making stuff up on stage,” laughs Sadie. “There are certain songs where I’ll sing a harmony for a verse because I fucking can. It keeps things fun. In the same way, we change up setlists up every night. I can’t understand bands who go on tour and play the exact same set every night. It must be mind numbing and I think it would feel the same if we did the songs the same every night. The songs are generally evolving the more we play them in terms of music and the performance.”
“Usually I’ll be selling our merch because we want to meet the people coming to our shows and find out what they’re about. I like hearing about people. There are friends I’ve made just from people who came up after shows,” says Sadie. “They tell us, ‘Hey, you guys came through here a year ago and there weren’t any bands with women in our scene, so now we’ve started a threepiece that’s entirely compromised of women. Maybe we can play with you in a year when we’re ready?’ I tell them to send me their demo immediately. That’s exciting, that’s the most gratifying part of this.” P Speedy Ortiz’s album ‘Foil Deer’ is out now.
“While I really admire performers who have elaborate live shows, that’s
didn’t want a graphic cover, I wanted fine art,” explains Deafheaven frontman George Clark. “I wanted a literal cover art, visceral but very sad and introspective.” Turned onto sculptural oil painter Allison Schulnik by Touché Amoré’s Nick Steinhardt, the end result proudly adorns the front of the band’s new album, ‘New Bermuda’. “We committed before we saw it. I saw this painting. It’s this man at a piano
and when I was in this depressed state, I was always on my keyboard writing music, desperately trying to climb my way out of whatever I was feeling. I saw this painting, it was all greys and blues and black. That’s how I feel, that’s what I did, that’s what we need.” After conversations back and forth, “She sent us that back and it’s perfect. I love it. There’s so much,” he starts before gesturing. “She paints with such emotion. You can feel that scrawled into the canvas, I really love that about it and it just worked. That’s
it,” he states before adding. “It’s totally not like ‘Sunbather’ either, which is maybe the best part.” And that’s the thing about Deafheaven’s ‘New Bermuda’. It’s very aware of ‘Sunbather’s presence in the room, it’s hard to ignore a record that reached so far, but the band don’t give it so much as a second cursory glance throughout. There’s no shadow play here. “We’re a forward thinking band,” George offers from a corner of London’s Scala. Last time he was here 33
was 2012, Deafheaven were supporting Russian Circles, and today “it’s good to be back headlining. It’s an odd feeling but a good one.” This weekend the band took in their first ever headline slot at a festival, courtesy of Bristol’s ArcTanGent, all of which provided a nice little distraction from the imminent release of their new album. “This whole part is very stressful only because it’s all ramping up,” admits George. “I don’t know what anyone thinks of the record and I’m just in this limbo. I feel good about it though. I feel happy with what we accomplished and that’s all you can really do,” he offers. There are a few nerves but he “chosen to push them aside.” It’d the same trepidation felt by felt by the fans. “We didn’t want to write the second ‘Sunbather’,” he states. “That was a huge thing. There was a lot of internal pressure because, when people recognise a record and it gets all this attention, I think the natural way to be is to do keep doing what you’re doing. We didn’t want to do that. That idea seemed boring. There’s only so many big crescendo, uplifting parts you can play before it’s tired. That was the hardest part about writing ‘New Bermuda’. Keeping true to our sound and knowing that we like but taking in other influences and not doing the same thing twice.” Simply put, they haven’t. For all the beauty and vibrancy that made ‘Sunbather’ such a surprising, engaging listen, ‘New Bermuda’ takes the band onto new, far reaching shores. “Even the vocals are stepped up from the past couple of releases,” George ventures. “I think they shine in a way they haven’t before. Everyone’s just got better at their instruments so there’s room for everyone to do their thing. There’s a greater sense of urgency and
‘New Bermuda’ is about moving forward but the past few years still lay heavy on the band. Ascent has turbulence too. “It was weird,” preludes George as he looks back. “Before ‘Sunbather’ came out we were homeless. It was a hard few years and we started touring a lot, we toured all the time and we were playing a different city every
“If I’m not being creative I get depressed really easily. I got in this huge slump.” - George Clark
it’s much more concise to a point, which is something we consciously wanted to do. It’s a mixture of that idea and just knowing you’re doing something that you weren’t doing before.”
day. It was such a fast pace and by the time we’d gotten home, the record had done better and we were financially on our feet so I moved to Los Angeles. I got the apartment, I got the girlfriend and we got a dog. It was everything I ever wanted, at least for the past five years. I wanted a normal life. I wanted some stability because I lacked that. That regret that comes with living this lifestyle. When you’re on tour for that long, you’re used to that lifestyle of everything going a hundred miles an hour then it immediately drops down to zero. You get home, you get back into a routine and I found myself really unhappy with that routine. I started thinking, what is it about me that makes it so I’m still unhappy? I started digging into that idea. This is everything I’ve ever wanted and I have it and I’m realising it’s not really what I want or it’s not what I thought it was going to be. That idea of false promise made me really bitter, unfortunately. That’s what the record has to deal with,” George explains.
offers. “But it took a while to get there.” The dark whispers that lay below ‘New Bermuda’ are fraught with pain and while Deafheaven are consciously avoiding the well-worn path, some things are simply inescapable. “It was a focus early on to be very soul bearing,” starts George before someone interrupts and asks about entrance music for tonight’s show. The answer is a smirking “something heavy.” “If I’m going to spend so much time on this,” he continues without a pause.” If my life is going to be this band, then I have to give it my all. I have to really show what I’m about and that involves a certain amount of intimate revelation. You have to give
duo of Kerry and himself that bore ‘Sunbather’. “We were just pushing each other forward. There was no real head butting. Aside from being a band, we’re friends and it’s hard to fight with your good friends.” With that shared experience of tour bonding them together, ‘New Bermuda’ basks in that connection. Beyond the chemistry of the creation, the album winks at a journey shared. “When we were touring ‘Sunbather’ and travelling the world, we would take film recordings of things. As an homage to the last couple of years of our lives, we threw those in. The bells on ‘Brought To The Water’ are from a church in Amsterdam. At the end of ‘Baby Blue’ there’s rain from a thunderstorm in Malaysia. There’s an automated train voice from New York. It’s just stuff like that. We hear something cool and we record it. Because the record deals with a lot of the feelings from the past couple of years, it mixes in well with that. It sounded heavy and it made sense with the song. There’s that other side of it too, where it just sounds cool and you cant lose grasp of that. There is a deeper meaning and you can get into all of this but a good riff is a good riff and a cool bell sample, is a cool bell sample,” George balances.
“False promise made me really bitter; that’s what the record has to deal with.” - George Clark
“’Sunbather’ is a little more dreamy, a little more hopeful and reaching. ‘New Bermuda’ mostly deals with realities of day to day life and being an adult. It’s something id never been. I’ve never done adult things and now I’m paying bills, I have a TV. It’s all these normal things and it just ends up being, is this what I want? That’s where the inspiration for this record comes from. Los Angeles is my New Bermuda. It is a destination that you go to, to find the paradise way of living but before you get there, the ocean of reality pulls you under. You’re backhanded with adulthood, complacency and routine. It’s a record that’s about feeling trapped and uneasy in your own skin,” he continues. “Not knowing how to balance these two lives that are happening. It’s very Jekyll and Hyde.” That sense of rage against the unease that’s threaded throughout ‘New Bermuda’ stems from a daily struggle for expression. “If I’m not being creative and I’m just sitting with my thoughts, I get depressed really easily and that’s what happened,” George states “I got in this huge slump. While we were experiencing these high highs, in my personal life I was experiencing all these lows and I was able to write about it, we recorded the album and now, I’m not so down on life. I also have this new thing to reflect on so I’ve been able to handle the balance a little bit better,” he
yourself up and that’s very vulnerable at times. It’s scary because you’re inviting random listeners into these very personal moments of your life but in the same respect, its more rewarding that way. I really couldn’t do anything other than that. There’s the other side of it as well,” he admits, that balance everpresent. “I really don’t know if I could write about anything other than that. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.” It’s an attitude that has taken the band this far and can be found nestled in the foundations of ‘New Bermuda’. From the eleven day recording process that saw the band commit the album straight to tape to the creative process that proceeded it, Deafheaven are a band that are ok with just feeling their way forward. “The main reason the songs are so long is because we don’t want it to end,” offers George. “It’s not really about shutting off normally it’s more an issue of continuing on. We’ll have something and decide to play it twice because that’ll build momentum but I think we all have an idea of when to cut off. When you’re all in a room playing and then one person just stops, then its good. It’s a feeling. Though it’s moved from me and Kerry [McCoy, guitar] in a room with an acoustic guitar, it’s still very organic and flowing. It’s not stiff whatsoever, which is great.” “Writing a record is stressful but we had a good personnel,” George says of the now cemented five-piece that crafted ‘New Bermuda’, as opposed to the core
“One thing that was surprising early on was people connecting to us and realising the things I’m talking about are universal. People shared the same feelings and that made me feel more comfortable. The words themselves really connected and in that sense, I felt this sense of togetherness,” reasons George. “We do that with the live show as well, we like there to be a sense of we’re all in this together. It’s very communal and it really just heightens the experience.” Away from the physical environment of shared music, ‘New Bermuda’ offers a world of connection that adds to the experience. “Every piece is there to make sense,” George implores. “There’s nothing shallow to it. Every part of the release is meaningful and I invite people to look into the lyrics, look into the cover art. If you already like the record, that will give you a greater understanding of it and a greater understanding is all we can really ask for.” P Deafheaven’s album ‘New Bermuda’ will be released on 2nd October. 35
k c a Bon TOP
NEW JERSEY QUARTET TH E FRON T B OT TOM S DI S CUS S G O OD I DE AS , I NFLUE NCES , AND K EE PI NG S HOWS SAF E . WOR DS : H E ATH E R MCDAI D .
he Front Bottoms are one of those bands who never seem to stop. Between churning out new videos and EPs and continuing with a relentless touring schedule, they’ve also found time to get signed by the infamous Fueled by Ramen and record a new album ‘Back on Top’, which is ready to be released into the world. Time to pause for breath? No, thanks. “We’ve been a band that kind of does everything in-house,” explains Brian Sella, singer and guitarist. “We’ve always in the past sat down with each other and figured out all the problems, and all the music videos we’ve done ourselves. To have a label as big as [Fueled By Ramen] say they like what you’re doing is cool and let’s work together and try to figure something out... it’s very exciting and positive. We couldn’t be any happier about it! “You know, when you work on something as hard as we worked on this album, all you want to do is get out and play it for people, let them hear the stuff you’ve cared so much about for so long and you hope they like it. It’s very exciting.”
idea can throw it in. I think that’s why they have those links that they have.” There’s a consistency to The Front Bottoms, in that each album seems like a neat progression; here they’ve pushed themselves to be bigger: there’s some massive songs in there, real rocky vibes being wrapped up in massively catchy surroundings. It’s like an old friend with a new leather jacket, really. Which is kind of fitting, actually, considering one of the high points for Brian seems to be his acquisition of a motorbike. “We got together, I would come with a skeleton of a song and I’d sit down with the boys and we would try to work it out. Then we recorded this, probably the most professionally that we have ever done, so I think we all learned something. In the past it would be like ‘let’s go in and record some songs and see how they come out’. I think this time we all had a vision and we worked with a really awesome producers.” “I mean, I bought a motorcycle when
been noted that they seem to tackle life in a band by going full throttle, rarely pausing for breath. By this point, is it as integral to the band’s identity as the music itself? “Absolutely,” says Brian. “We’re definitely a band that likes to go on tour. We’ve been overseas now like seven or eight times. “It’s probably not necessary to go over that much, but we like to stay busy. At least ten of our friends live over in the UK and we just go over because we want to hang out with them and we want to play shows. So, it is exciting to be able to travel like that too then play music to people who want to hear it. It’s very exciting and it is important to us to go over there as much as possible.” The live show is a vital component to both being a band and a music fan, the opportunity to bridge the gap between the band and listener, beyond just the common ground of their record. But there has been a particularly dark few months in terms of safety in alternative music and its general approach to women, with an upsurge in the conversation and need to ‘save the scene’ and keep it a safe and enjoyable place.
“ I b o u gh t a motorcycle ; that inf luenced me a lot. It changed my life . ” B rian Se l l a
Their videos from ‘Back On Top’ have so far all followed a common thread, following a character journey or travels, a whole lot of walking or cycling, but have all been quite different in their settings. “All the ideas for videos come from either a member of the band or one of our good friends who makes a lot of our videos,” begins Brian. “I like the vibe or the energy of us just sitting down and creatively thinking ‘Okay, we need a video. What should we do?’”
“We like to things very genuine and keep it under a budget,” he adds. “Personally, I work best when I have restraints, when I have $500-1000 budget to make a music video. I think that they all kind of have a common thread between them because everybody throws their creative ideas in and we just kind of work it out and see what happens. I like to not have any idea what I think the final product is and just go into it with an open mind, let everybody throw ideas in. It’s a genuine artistic process, like whoever’s around can be in the video, whoever’s got a good
I was writing this album,” he explains. “That influenced me a lot. It changed my life, my lifestyle; I don’t usually say I’m going to sit down and write about this or that, that these songs are going to have these themes. Just because of where my life is right now, the songs tend to have common themes because you know I’m writing about a certain time in my life that I’m going through. “There’s definitely motorcycles and riding motorcycles and crashing motorcycles as the theme. Finding yourself is a theme, getting older is a theme, it’s just all of that stuff. You know, when you finish the album and listen back to it, you’re like ‘Ah, shit! There are some common themes on this album’. I didn’t even realise while we were writing them, working on them, recording them. At the end you’re like this must have been a little part of my life for the past year. Speaking of parts of his life, it’s already
Brian admits he’s not fully versed with the ins and outs of the last few months so can’t talk of it beyond his own band, but maintains that regardless of what scene, if any, people believe The Front Bottoms to be in, his goal is for their shows to be a safe haven for everyone. “We just try and keep our shows individually safe, to make sure everyone’s having a good time because that’s what it’s all about, and listening to the music. We like to keep an open mind and make sure everyone can get involved with anybody who’s around, woman or man. In terms of The Front Bottoms, we just try to keep it that everybody’s welcome and everybody’s having a good time.” At a Front Bottoms show, everyone is indeed having a good time, and with ‘Back On Top’ about to be unleashed into the world, it won’t be long until they’re back on our shores, having a good ol’ time with their growing crowds once again. We can’t wait. P The Front Bottoms’ album ‘Back On Top’ is out now. 37
LETTING G O , OF THE PA S T .” WITH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM, NO DEVOTION ARE SET TI NG OUT EXACTLY WHO THE Y AR E . WORD S: H EATH ER MCDAI D. PHOTO S : TOM BAR N ES.
t’s something I’ve never experienced before,” recalls Geoff Rickly, looking back on No Devotion’s first shows as they come ever-closer to their debut release. “Having people just waiting for us to make our first song, not knowing what we are but just wanting to be a part of it. I just hope they know we don’t take that for granted, we work our asses off to be good enough to deserve all the support and love we’ve been given.” That hard work culminates in ‘Permanence’, and they couldn’t be more excited for people to hear it. “I think that everything every single song on the record is something that I’m really, really proud of. I think it really gets across who we are what we are trying to do, what’s different about us, what’s new, how we blend together. I think this record helps tell the whole story.” It’s a story that developed over time. It took hearing ‘Addition’ before Geoff knew this was something he truly wanted to be a part of. “The first demo was a lot heavier and I just didn’t know if I wanted to do a lot of heavy rock. Then I heard the rest of it and thought ‘Shit, they’re great at this kind of stuff!’ so I cut down the
“ T H I S A L B U M R E A L LY GETS ACROSS
WHO WE A R E , W H AT ’ S DIFFERENT A B O U T U S .” G E O F F R I C K LY
Geoff Rickly, proving nobody in rock knows how to iron a shirt. We ask you.
4 0 upsetmagazine.com
demos by what I really like and when I finished, it was pretty obvious what kind of band we were going to be.” Not only had the band got Geoff excited with this new endeavour, but it changed his creative process, from the lyricism to capturing first takes. “Usually I try to find a point of view and find something new that has never been said before,” he explains. “With this band I just wrote completely heartfelt songs that
were very immediate and what was happening to me in that moment. Detailing love and loss, regret - everything was very personal and I knew it wouldn’t be political, it wouldn’t be a post-modern Thursday. It would be very classic, very romantic, very real.” Stuart Richardson, bassist of No Devotion, also produced the album, meaning that they could capture their sound in its infancy, not losing that original passion or
emotion in finding a producer later in the process. “The difference is unbelievable actually,” enthuses Geoff. “When you get to producers, it’s like translating it into another language. It’s like, ‘It says pretty much what I wanted to say but it’s not exactly what I want to say’. Having a producer in the band, you can actually capture all the sounds that you want as you’re going along. “From the very first demo tape that we made, we kept those sounds, we kept the
tracks. The first day that I was in the band, I sang in a song and that song is on the record; the vision it tracks from Stu’s bedroom, it’s amazing that you get to keep your best takes. With Thursday my best takes would be on a demo and you would never get to redo it and it would never work quite as well. We get to keep it all.” In doing so, this album is a collection of all the best versions of the songs they’ve ever done, whether it was the spark in a first performance,
or something honed later in the studio. “The funny thing is for a first album I think every song stands out. I love every one.” “I think ‘Permanent Sunlight’ - that’s one of my favourite songs, a lot faster, a lot brighter than the rest of the record. It has the most hope in it, it’s just a super positive song. It’s got a great beat so you can dance if you want to, you can jump up and down. That song was one of the last songs that we wrote. “A lot of the darker songs on the record we had to get through first. We’ve all been through a lot of hard times in the last couple of years. I think we had to write the harder stuff, we had to write songs like that - ‘Why Can’t I Be With You?’, ‘Grand Central Station’ - those songs had to come out first and then we could find a little bit of light at the end. “To me that’s the most interesting idea, the contrast of those two songs: ‘Grand Central Station’ is really slow and dark and heavy. Then you have ‘Permanent Sunlight’ that’s really bright and pretty and fun to me. That’s why I always look at bands like The Cure for that contrast of a really slow, silly, happy song and the really dark, furious, heavy song - that’s a thing I always loved. I love that I get to be in a band like that right now.” It is exciting to find someone so enthusiastic for what they do and where they can go. When Stuart spoke to Upset earlier this year, he called the album “a statement of intent”, so it’s worth questioning - what is the intent of No Devotion? “It’s about letting go of the past,” says Geoff. “A lot of this record is about letting go of a lot of the things that happened to both of us in the past
and starting something new, building something real from the ground up. I think when people get seventeen years into a career and have a devastating thing happen, I think it’s really hard to find something new. A lot of the time they try to recreate what they had and they put out a half-assed version of the thing they just had. That’s what I’m used to; it’s always watering down the same old shit. “We had this really long talk about that, like it can’t be that, it can’t be like our old bands. It has to be new, it has to have new life, it has to be worth something. It can’t just be the same shitty old thing again. It has to be real. That’s what ‘Permanence’ is about: building something new. “It’s to make sure the families in the future have a legacy because they don’t have that from their old band, they don’t have a legacy anymore. It got erased. That’s always been my intent is to help these guys find something good, something real, something meaningful, something that’s worth being proud of. They’ve lost everything they have ever worked for and all that we do now is all that they will be remembered for, so that really been the intent of this record.” While it’s an important milestone for the band, Geoff hopes that it can also provide an escape for the listener. “I think this record is my favourite to just tune out the world and drift through space, listening to this record and losing yourself, being in a totally beautiful moment - that’s the thing I do when I listen to music. It’s a really enveloping record. “People really getting to experience the record like that, to just turn it up and get lost in it is all I could really hope for. “ P No Devotion’s album ‘Permanence’ will be released on 25th September. 41
AS THEY APPROACH TH E RELEASE OF THEIR THI R D ALBUM, TELL IS ON ARE T WE LVE YEARS IN AND STILL NOT SELLING OUT WEMBLE Y THAT’S JUST FINE BY TH E M, THOUGH. WORDS : TOM CONNICK . PHOTOS: SARAH LOUI S E B E N N ET T.
COMFORTI N SOUND
Tellison are heading out on a UK tour with Upset. Catch them at: SEPTEMBER 18 LONDON St. Pancras Church 19 SOUTHAMPTON The Joiners 20 BRIGHTON The Hope 21 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach 22 HULL Fruit 23 LIVERPOOL Bumper 24 LEICESTER The Firebug 25 BOURNEMOUTH The Anvil 26 NORWICH The Owl Sanctuary 27 LONDON The Lexington
Seriously, you too Tellison? SOMEONE LEARN TO IRON A SHIRT.
e just wanted to be a band really - make records, go on tour - there was never any grander plan than that.” As Stephen Davidson, frontman of Tellison, explains in “one of the few pubs that aren’t awful” near his East London flat, the quartet’s ambitions have never been particularly lofty. Theirs is a twelve-year career that’s the epitome of underdog - plagued by bad timing and doubly-bad luck, seemingly on the edge of a breakthrough just as the music industry “was essentially sinking”, their scrappy charm never quite delivered the quartet the rock’n’roll dream. Sometimes, though, that’s not the point.
“I worry sometimes that I’m very negative,” Stephen admits, “especially in interviews; it comes across as if I’m moaning, and I don’t want to do that because it’s fun - that’s why we do it! It’s fine - we still get to do fun things and play to lots of people and have a good time.” “I, for a long time, felt bad - like I’d failed,” he continues. “I still, sort of, on some level do. The yardstick by which people measure bands - if you put us on that yardstick, we’re a failure. We should give up, probably, because the odds are getting slimmer!” He laughs, but anyone pressing play on Tellison’s new album ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ might worry that Stephen’s in need of one hell of a hug, as opener ‘Letter To The Team’ fades-in with an apology penned by Stephen
to the other members of Tellison, past and present, “for the mess we’re in – this holding pattern of defeat, on defeat, on defeat.” It’s not as mopey as it might seem, though. “I love black, ‘gallows’ humour,” says Stephen of the track. “I just thought it’d be a really dark but funny thing to do. And then my brain just kept going, like, ‘Imagine if this is the first song - he quits the band in the first song!’” he cackles. Influenced by his day job at the company that creates the Football Manager games, where “if you suck, they fire you”, it’s a typically wry slice of Stephen’s observational lyricism. “When the idea occurred to me that I could write a kind of resignation letter I was sort of thinking about culpability and liability,” he explains. 45
“So much of the world seems to basically boil down to who’s to blame - ‘Who’s at fault, here?’ “I was thinking about that in terms of the band. I sort of run Tellison, and have done for twelve years - if this was any other pursuit or professional endeavour, I would have been fired a long time ago! Things clearly aren’t working out! “I felt guilty about having these four people in the band, and these two other guys who’ve been in the band previously, and how I’ve been forcing them to write songs with me and go on tour with me and make records, and the fortune and glory that we were all, I guess in some way signing up for, has not materialised. It’s a sort of weird, cathartic, dark joke… slash, not a joke! Cause as I say, I should probably have been fired. If this was anything else, we should not still be doing this, for so many reasons. It doesn’t make sense!” Stephen’s honesty when it comes to Tellison’s fortunes – or, rather, lack thereof – is a deliberate outlier in a world of macho posturing, where “you’re encouraged to behave as though you’re all rock stars already.” “We’re pointedly not,” he says matter-of-factly. “I live in a shitty flat, I have a full time job… we fit being in a band around everyone doing the same thing.” It’s not a grin-and-bear-it situation though – Stephen quickly admits that “the cottage industry” they find themselves in is vastly preferable to being a member of “the hit factory”, despite the challenges he might have when expressing these beliefs to those outside the DIY bubble. “If I say, ‘Oh, we’re gonna play [London venue] The Lexington!’, my parents are like ‘…is that another pub?’,” he laughs. “It’s a weird thing, because I still do feel like, ‘Not selling out Wembley! Another failure of a year!’ It’s just something I find myself pondering. If we play a London show and it sells out and we 4 4 upsetmagazine.com
“NOT SELLING OUT
Stop laughing! LEARN TO IRON. (What? Shut up. Ironing is cool. - Ed)
WE M B L E Y ! ANOTHER. FAI LURE OF A YEAR!”
“Most people I know who make a living in the music industry, at one stage or another they compromise - they do music they don’t really like, or maybe don’t behave in a way that I would feel comfortable behaving as a human being or whatever. Jack and Kev [owner of Alcopop!’s sister label and Tellison’s last home, Big Scary Monsters], are amazing. I have nothing but good words.”
walk on stage, I’m not being like, ‘Ugh, god! Only a hundred people!’ It feels insane. More and more, that’s the thing I do respond to - I’m not going to shows at Wembley every week! The things that are selling it out aren’t things I’m interested in. So perhaps my interests do lie in those smaller, more home-brew DIY efforts.” It’s this belief in the dirty fingernails approach that makes Tellison’s recent link-up with Alcopop! Records the perfect pairing – while Stephen smiles at the idea that “[label owner] Jack’s been trying to put us out for years,” that persistence is undoubtedly a common trait. “Alcopop! makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons,” ventures Stephen. “Lots of people start labels and put out a single, but not a lot of people put out, I think we’re 123. It’s hard to do that, and I respect him a lot for doing it.” “We got a few other offers from people, but none of them were as generous or had their eye on helping us, really. It was always like, ‘Uh, a third album from a band who’ve been around ages and not really done anything? I guess we’ll do it, but it’s not gonna be good!’” – he breaks off with a smirk – “I think they saw it as, ‘I guess we’ll take a punt on this, but you’re coming to us on a bended knee.’ Whereas Jack very generously and graciously didn’t treat us like that!”
As ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ approaches release, then, Tellison are feeling a lot less drab than their chosen album title might suggest. While lead single ‘Tact Is Dead’ might have lamented the nature of a daily slog to-and-from a minimum wage job, there’s no ‘rock’n’roll dream’ vs. ‘real life’ battle here. “It’s all my real life!” Stephen exclaims, “It just doesn’t, from the outside, look like what my parents would think of as a professional band. But it’s our band. It’s weird and it’s probably quite unique, and it doesn’t work in a way that I’ve seen any other band work, but it’s still alive.” “Underneath all my posturing and being like, ‘Oh, we’re also-rans and we’ve fucked it up, we’re a failure!’ - I still do it; on some level, I think we’re good,” he admits with a smile, “and increasingly, that’s enough for me.” P Tellison’s album ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ is out now.
More Stately Mansions
Matt Skiba & The Sekrets
Big Morbid Death Pop!
“a trickling rivulet that gathers emotional momentum, eventually leaving you gasping for breath without you even knowing why.” – The Line of Best Fit
The latest album from the Alkaline Trio frontman, featuring Hunter Burgan (AFI) & Jarrod Alexander (ex-My Chemical Romance)
UK Tour: 23/11 Bodega, Nottingham 24/11 Bush Hall, London 25/11 Deaf Institute, Manchester 26/11 King Tuts, Glasgow 27/11 The Hop, Wakefield
– Out Now –
– Out Now –
– Out Now –
The Demon Joke New solo album by former OCEANSIZE-singer and long-time Biffy Clyro live guitarist Mike Vennart
n the apparent era of reunion tours, a band travelling the world in celebration of an album they brought out a decade prior seems an increasingly rare occurrence. But it’s 2015, and Motion City Soundtrack’s epic ‘Commit This To Memory’ has taken them all around the world in celebration, but while having one foot firmly in the past, they’ve kept their eyes set on the future, with ‘Panic Stations’ on the horizon.
“We were just writing songs and it was very exciting. We asked if he wanted to be the guy and he said ‘Hell yeah!’ and then we just started writing a ton of stuff. I guess I went from being not excited to very excited again. When you’ve been with those guys for so long and when something changes the dynamic of that, the unit changes. Luckily we found a guy who was very excited about playing music which propelled us forward.”
“I think that the interesting thing is that the age of people is anything from ten years old to 55,” explains Justin Pierre, on their ongoing tour. “A lot of younger people had older siblings that had that record and introduced it to them but they were too young at the time to actually come to shows. Also, a lot of parents of people who were in their teens 10 years ago are coming out to the shows now. It’s fascinating. An anomaly.”
‘Panic Stations’, the result of that propulsion, has strong nautical themes, from the artwork to much of the lyricism. It’s quite different to what they’ve done before, so what was the thought process behind that? “I think when I was younger I didn’t really question anything and words just kind of came up. Some songs were harder to write than others and then somewhere around ‘Even If It Kills Me’ I couldn’t find the words and I had to work really hard to figure out what things meant. I started on another project out with this band and the writing was just whatever came to mind off the top of my head
For fans new or old, there’s another album ready to be added to their collection, and the wait is almost over. “I’m excited, I’m anxious, I’m nervous,” he begins. “No, all good things. We recorded that over a year ago, so yeah it’s about time!”
With the new album being such fun to record, there are naturally some songs that stand out to them. “I think ‘Pleasure To Meet You’ is one I really like,” says Justin. “I think it’s the only outright positive song on the record. Not that the others are negative just a little bit more... I always confuse this word - I want to say melancholy, but that’s a lot more depressing than it is. To me melancholy is infinite sadness, but I think it’s real meaning is deeper than that. ‘Pleasure To Meet You’ is one, particularly the bridge, I lift from a time in my life where I was extremely lonely. “’Gravity’ is another one that’s interesting too. I feel like when I sit and really think about it there’s something really lonely about this record. I don’t really question a lot of the things when I’m writing them, I just sort of write; I find that story then I write towards that story but as a whole but with the finished product it takes me a few years to make sense of it all. I think there’s a lot of loneliness on this record but I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily it’s just a way of being.” It’s an exciting time for Motion City Soundtrack, both in looking forward and reflecting on what they’ve achieved this last decade or so. Has the tour they’ve undertaken given them the opportunity to just stop and think? “[The touring] part is excellent, most excellent,” he begins. “I was thinking about that the other day when I was walking around: had I done something else for a living I don’t think I would have ever left the country. Some people never leave the country, state, or city that they are born in and I guess I couldn’t imagine my life being any other way.
“ I trust my i n sti nc ts a lot mor e , tho u gh I sti l l d o q uestion al mo st e ve ry th i ng . ” J USTI N PI E R R E
An album being sat on can make fans impatient with excitement, but what is it like when it’s your work? “It’s nerve wracking,” admits Justin. “It’s happened to us twice now but this time it was more my fault because I went in and had a kid and that threw a monkey wrench in the plans. I have been busy, so it hasn’t been too bad.” This album has been the first for the band since the departure of drummer Tony Thaxton, who felt life on the road was taking its toll on him. They parted more than amicably, all moving on to new roads. “The trajectory of that, at least from my point of view, there was an initial bit of fear, then the team all huddled together and decided that we still wanted to do this. I remember we had two gigs lined up so we called up our buddy Claudio and asked if he wanted to fill in for that and he said yes and then we just started playing together.
and that freed me up. I used a bit of that with this band. “I have just gotten to a point where I think I just trust my instincts a lot more than I used to, even though I still do question almost everything. I think whenever you’re writing, it’s in such a compact, short period of time, whatever you happen to be going through or thinking about kind instils itself into every song a bit. On the last record [‘Go’] there was a lot of death, it was just weird. I think of that record as being a very floaty album. I felt like I was watching my life unfold around me but I wasn’t in it. I don’t know how to explain it. “So with this record it was just a lot of fun to write and to make this water theme. I just filled every song with as much of those words and phrases as I could. It was a conscious decision to do that but I don’t know what inspired me to do that, it’s just sort of what was happening at the time.”
“Having a family of my own now, I think I’m starting to appreciate my time at home a lot more on a different level than I ever have before. This is a job but it’s a very fun job. I enjoy what I do for a living and I’m grateful I’ve gotten to do it for this long. If I were never able to do it again, I would have fond memories from it and I will be okay but if it continues I will continue to be grateful.” P Motion City Soundtrack’s album ‘Panic Stations’ is out now. 47
Bloody great, m8 Prrrretty good It’ll do Bobbins
BRING ME THE HORIZON THAT’S THE SPIRIT
eeee Thought ‘Sempiternal’ made Bring Me huge? You’ve seen nothing yet. ‘That’s The Spirit’ will make them one of the biggest bands in the world.
decade into a career that many were convinced held little more than some flash-in-the-pan MySpace success, Bring Me The Horizon hit their own glass ceiling. From their earliest days as a screeching banshee of deathcore’s worst tropes, through to ‘Sempiternal’’s Wembley Arena-filling anthemia, the Sheffield group had fine-tuned every element of their being, until every chug hit like a torpedo, every scream shook spines. It was time for a change-up. Enter ‘That’s The Spirit’ and the band’s jaw-dropping emperor’s new clothes. Almost entirely gone is the screaming; so too are the breakdowns. In their place 4 8 upsetmagazine.com
stand an album that’s more CHVRCHES than The Chariot, and a band who’ve never seemed more confident in their approach. Early singles ‘Happy Song’ and ‘Throne’ might have marked ‘That’s The Spirit’ out as something of a left-turn, but in context they’re little more than baby steps. Opener ‘Doomed’ judders into life like the bastard comedown of a Berlin techno weekender, until frontman Oli Sykes reveals his stunning vocal transformation. Gone is the safety net of grit that he fell back on even in ‘Sempiternal’’s soppiest moments – with ‘That’s The Spirit’ he’s dives straight into a feather-weight croon that’s flooring. From there on out, nothing’s out of bounds. ‘Avalanche’’s arms-aloft ode to overcoming dyslexia is backed by a carnivale horn section, something that would stake a claim for the most left-field addition on the album were it
eeeee eeee eee ee e
not for closer ‘Oh No’’s saxophone solo. No, really. Lyrically, ‘Oh No’ sees Sykes tackling his problems with drug addiction in the most head-on manner yet, but before that he lays down the band’s first ever ballad – an ode to newly-wed spouse Hannah Snowden – with ‘Follow You’. “Cross my heart and hope to die, promise you I’d never leave your side,” he sings in caramel tones – a world away from the snarling, spitting Sykes of the band’s earlier odes to lost love. Admittedly, there are times when Sykes’ lyricism trips up on itself, or when the band’s dedication to ditching needless breakdowns and heaviness leaves them treading water with little more than a slightly forgettable fuzz - that’s the beauty of ‘That’s The Spirit’, though. It may not be perfect, but Bring Me The Horizon never were. They’re a group that relish the fighting and the thrashing that comes with every step of an evolution. It’s that which marks out ‘That’s The Spirit’’s true majesty –so much more than just the next rung on the ladder, it’s an open door on a whole new world and another decade of innovation for one of modern metal’s most consistently vital and vibrant bands. Tom Connick
Deafheaven go darker on their tense third album.
t’s something as old as art itself - the expectation of an artist’s upcoming effort after previously producing a groundbreaking piece of work. We find ourselves in this position again in light of Deafheaven’s 2013 LP ‘Sunbather’. How could a record of that calibre be topped? One that mixed disparate genres so effectively that it drew attention from all across the spectrum, even from people who don’t normally listen to ‘heavy’ music. Born from the cramped conditions of a San Francisco apartment, ‘Sunbather’ contemplated light and dark in equal measure and offered feelings of hope and desperation for a better situation. ‘New Bermuda’ comes with a much tenser, confrontational mood aided by an expectedly crisper production. ‘Brought To The Water’ and ‘Luna’ introduce searing texture, with more of a distinctive
black metal phrasing than ever before. ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Comeback’ are a step up. Separated briefly by an eerie-sample led moment that’ll remind most of GY!BE, both tracks offer the most post-rock serenity heard so far, It’s a shame there aren’t any standalone ‘interludes’ like the kind found on Sunbather, something that paid dividends to that record’s eventual form. Instead, Deafheaven experiment further on a fifth track, ‘Gifts For The Earth’, detailing a story of suicide at sea via an Interpol-esque indie-rock setting and a powerfully crushing refrain. The beautiful melodicism that defined the band’s first record hasn’t gone completely, it’s still there on every track, just perhaps a little more scattered. A bleaker affair, ‘New Bermuda’ might not be as uplifting as ‘Sunbather’, but it’s still an incredible set of post-metal compositions that’ll move people nonetheless. James Fox
KICKING EVERY DAY
THE WINTER PASSING
There’s something intrinsically resigned in All Dogs’ music. Tales of loss and self-deprecation ring with a dull heartache that feels all too familiar. But performed with the quartet’s unfailing energy, the group find purpose amidst the pain – reason to keep fighting. ‘Kicking Every Day’ is a soundtrack from after the darkness. Rediscovering hope with a poignant determination, All Dogs take the listener by the hand, and show them that no matter how long the space between the two, beauty can follow a battle. Jessica Goodman
A DIFFERENT SPACE OF MIND
The underground is heading overground.
Treading a tightrope between the gnarled tone of emo’s sharpest incarnations and the sickly sweet melody of its radio-rock breakthrough, The Winter Passing’s debut LP is a razor-sharp indicator of the progress of the burgeoning underground scene on this side of the pond. Tied in knots by the intertwining vocals of brother-sister duo Rob and Katie Flynn, it’s a debut that longs to break free of their Irish home, and with any justice will see the group crossing seas for months to come. Tom Connick
Purpose made to shoot straight for the heart.
Search and Destroy/Spinefarm
Hiatuses, huh? They suck.
In their first album posthiatus, Atreyu waste no time in going full throttle and reassuring fans that they’ve not lost themselves in the process of taking a step back. ‘Heartbeats and Flatlines’ is slick and pounding, while ‘Moments Before Dawn’ begins eerily and lurches into more sombre tones. ’Brass Balls’ channels a classic rock swagger with vocals that don’t quite match up at times. There are sparks of how they’ve pushed for something fresh upon their return, but much of ‘Long Live’ can feel repetitive, holding on to a good thing when they find it. Heather McDaid 49
eeee Dilly Dally have arrived with something brand new.
Every bit as raw and scathing as it’s title suggests, ‘Sore’ is a venture through intense emotion and passions stripped bare. With songs dating from the start of Dilly Dally’s eight year history right up into the present, this debut is a chronicle of the band that created it along with everything that made them who they are. Like a habit that can’t be kicked, Dilly Dally place themselves firmly on the edge of disaster. Their ability to remain in complete control of the wildest and most savage of emotions makes them effortlessly captivating. Katie Monks’ words are ripped straight from her vocal chords, rasping as they lay out the most intimate of affections along thundering percussion and searing guitar solos. Opening track ‘Desire’ pummels with a thrilling addiction. ‘Snake Head’ meanders with it’s own torment before it drags the rest of the world kicking and screaming with it. Dilly Dally aren’t newcomers, but they’ve crafted a debut as refreshing as can be. Jessica Goodman
5 0 upsetmagazine.com
LIFE IS PERFECT
Barley Regal / Dog Knights
DIY or die.
The UK DIY scene is essentially one big game of six degrees of separation from Playlounge, which gives Nudes one hell of an advantage. The latest of Playlounge frontman Saam Watkins’ numerous projects, there are points on this self-titled debut LP that veer a little too close to the ‘day job’ to form a truly individual identity. When Nudes do break free there’s moments of gold – ‘The Dig’ and ‘Even With Broken Bones’’ harks back to the 80s hardcore punk in particular – that point to an exciting new guise for one of DIY’s most prolific songwriters. Tom Connick
Life is only going to get more perfect from here, lads.
Ireland has produced its fair share of Really Bloody Huge rock bands over the years. While it’s still early days for Dublin’s Only Rivals, there’s enough evidence on their debut full-length to suggest they’d not be too presumptuous to start shopping around for the requsite wrap around shades and beanie hats. ‘REPLACE // EXCHANGE’ is a legit, five star nirtocharged banger, but it doesn’t stand alone. Far from it. This is the sound of limitless potential being realised. Before long, they’ll be taking perfection for granted. Stephen Ackroyd
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK RESISTOR
And now for something completely devastating. Two minutes of faint feedback, two minute of all out assault. That’s how Destruction Unit kick off ‘Negative Feedback Resistor’ - a false sense of security followed by an almighty sucker punch. It’s a tirade which doesn’t stop, either. Songs bleed, blows keep falling. It isn’t their style to wrap things up with a nice little bow. There’s little chance of much making that carefully curated tracks of the year playlist - this is an album in the old fashioned way. A body of work to sink battleships. Stephen Ackroyd
THE CALLOUS HEART EP
BELIEVE THE HYPE!
With their rise far from slowing down, Creeper are going stratospheric. Creeper’s self-titled debut EP was crafted in the relative solitude of the unknown. Now signed to Roadrunner Records, the band are in a very different space. You can feel it in every shuddering movement of ‘The Callous Heart.’ From the unifying gang cry of ‘Black Cloud’ through the whispering confession of ‘Allergies’ until the pointed release of ‘Henley’s Ghost’ - a nod to Wendy Darling - ‘The Callous Heart’ is bewitching. ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ is a hurried call to arms while ‘Lie Awake’ manages to grapple with a sense of hope. Not only does ‘The Callous Heart’ sound bigger, it’s got ambition to match. Every proud declaration comes with a secret admission, every leap forward met with newfound potential. As Creeper’s platform rises, so does their ability to surprise. Ali Shutler
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK
Another great Motion City album, pure and simple.
DUST & DISQUIET
Big Scary Monsters
Bold in the most unexpected ways.
When releasing the first teaser of this album to fans, it’s interesting - and indeed, highly telling - that Tesseract chose to take a section from closing track ‘Seven Names’. The most cinematic of the tracks, as well as a melodic powerhouse, it’s a good bellwether for ‘Polaris’ as a whole. For a progressive metal band like Tesseract, ‘Polaris’ is bold in all the most unexpected ways, striving to be accessible yet complex and catchy as well as heavy. Maybe their best album yet. Alex Lynham
An expansive world that feels like home.
As Caspian fade into ‘Dust and Disquiet’, the immersion is gentle. The tranquility of opener ‘Separation No. 2’ gently laps at the musical landscape before the rippling beauty of ‘Rioseco’, wind chimes and all, gift the vast horizon a sense of comforting intimacy. The serene reflection is soon shattered though. From the frantic ‘Call Of Arms’ through the juddering might of ‘Darkfield’, Caspian disrupt, but don’t destroy, the aching cinema before them. Ali Shutler
“Let’s do this,” says Justin Pierre, as Motion City Soundtrack hit play on record six. It’s their first since drummer Tony Thaxton’s departure, but it doesn’t take long to get really into the swing. ‘Anything At All’ begins in their usual infectious manner, where ‘Lose Control’ stands out as something robotic and sharp. Nautical themes pepper the album, blending perfectly into their more straight forward lines of thought - no forced anchors or buoys in sight. ‘Over It Now’ returns to their synth-fuelled glory, with familiarity sailing through to the closer. ‘Days Will Run Away’ lulls you in before saying farewell in a sheer explosion. “It’s not the weight of the world, it’s just the way that I am,” sings Pierre. In essence, ‘Panic Stations’ is a pitch perfect Motion City Soundtrack album. Heather McDaid 51
Simple and relatable.
“It’s a pattern I’ve always found, I get messed up, I write it down.” It’s this sincere lyricism that strikes through immediately from Allison Weiss; even in candyfloss-sweet moments she keeps it startlingly real, from the one that got away to the emptiness good advice can hold when you need it most. Her stripped bare honesty sits neatly within brilliant songs. It’s instantly fantastic, and only gets better as you listen more. Allison Weiss is divine. Her lyrics are each a journey in themselves, her crystal clear vocals piercing straight through to the consciousness of the listener, tugging at the strings to which they can relate. You’re invested in the darker moments of ‘Out of this Alive’, and euphoric when ‘Who We Are’ takes the fore with its infectious optimism. ‘New Love’ captures the freedom of adventure, ripe for blasting on the wide open roads. Heather McDaid
What a cracker.
COHEED & CAMBRIA
THE COLOR BEFORE THE SUN
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
Beware the studio sheen.
Eagles Of Death Metal don’t take themselves too seriously. The ominous and sarcastic tones of Josh Homme over ‘Silverlake’, a song that lyrically is a joke about wannabe rock stars, is a good representation of ‘Zipper Down’’s humour. The first EODM album in seven years doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but their musicianship makes their profoundly aware tongue in cheek styling an endearing listen. Jack Glasscock
‘Junk DNA’ and ‘Underneath Your Tree’ are an ode to the nineties. A decade that has influenced Demob Happy’s approach; ‘Man You’re Wrong’ is equipped with Cobain flair. Think moodily-chic snares, gruff riffs and crooning vocals, that explore everyday struggles in an everyday, work-hard-and-make-do way. ‘Dream Soda’ is a puzzle of influences and, as far as a debut offering goes, a story that’s only getting started. Emma Matthews
A bit of a giggle.
This album comes at a time of extreme transition for Alex Giannascoli: once a scrawny teenager taking the DIY route, he’s now approaching the game with record label backing and production far beyond the comfort of his bedroom. Do not let the newfound finesse dwindle your expectations: a stoned bedroom demo vibe still resonates throughout ‘Beach Music’, making it a delicately dreamy listen. Danny Randon
This is personal.
When you’ve spent years exploring fantastical realms of science fiction, perhaps the scariest next turn is more than returning to earth, but removing the characters altogether. ‘The Color Before the Sun’ sees frontman Claudio Sanchez’s thoughts and feelings told through music, his bold declaration that Coheed and Cambria can still make it personal. ‘Eraser’ is punchy, ‘Colors’ is an airy lullaby, where ‘Ghost’ is quite sombre. In scrutinising the person, the lyrics take a new centre-stage and many songs are toned down almost in reflection of the experience being dealt with. While they’re firmly grounded, they’ve still got a knack for the epic, with ‘Atlas’ driving the sing-alongs and ‘You Got Spirit, Kid’ bringing a real punch. When they hit it big you might as well still be in another galaxy. Heather McDaid
17 tracks. 17!
The Shears twins have always had a disregard for the conventional. Favouring selfsatisfaction over structure, the duo’s shambolic clash of electric hooks and garage punk has become infamous – and synonymous with a good time. If enjoyment were to be measured in the amount of times the ridiculous is made real, then with second album ‘Haha’ The Garden are going for gold. Whether they’re having a laugh or making a statement of true intent, it doesn’t matter. Embodying their “Vada Vada” philosophy of
creative expression and disregard for genres, The Garden act every bit out of instinct. 17 tracks is a mammoth feat – for both band and listener – but the duo have a way of making each song as addictive as the last. Jessica Goodman
ONE DAY ALL THIS WILL END
A massive debut.
Nothing makes you feel more alive than a hardcore record that reminds you that everything dies. Your time here limited, efforts eventually futile. However, right from the opening notes of ‘Perspective’ there is optimism to be found amongst the fury. Nothing is
forever, but that’s okay. Svalbard took some time in releasing their debut album. It shows. ‘One Day All This Will End’ is blistering posthardcore of true ambition and scale. Kristy Diaz
CITY AND COLOUR
IF I SHOULD GO BEFORE YOU
An upbeat exploration.
If the new City and Colour album was a film, it would start in a bar. Smoke filled, the group would be jamming out in the dimly lit den. They’ve nailed that suave vibe. City and Colour’s acoustic flare has found its place in a bigger mix of styles, the production is refined and, really, ‘If I Should Go Before You’ offers more than just a lyrical story, where you find yourself inadvertently wandering down hot streets from the comfort of your own couch. Heather McDaid
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
A huge depth of sound.
The overwhelming presence on ‘Permanence’ is the synth work of keys-man, Jamie Oliver; ominous and haunting tones hover throughout. Geoff Rickly’s vocals are distorted, often sparse and yet powerful. When he reaches an emotional peak on ‘I Wanna Be Your God’, he almost echoes Refused’s Dennis Lyxzen; an exciting prospect. Instrumental monolith ‘Death Rattle’ divides the album: the first half an obtuse soundscape, and the latter a more tangible collection of songs. This second half is where the band’s anthemic qualities shine. Jack Glasscock
A complicated web of love and loss.
A massive step up for an already much-loved band. TWIABP’s 2013 debut LP, ‘Whenever, If Ever’ arrived at the crest of the emo revival wave. As great as their first album was, the sheer brilliance of the songwriting on ‘Harmlessness’ shows just how unrefined it was. Virtually everything on this album is ‘bigger’ than anything they’ve done before. It was hard to pinpoint exactly where the band could have improved before hearing this, but they’ve absolutely nailed it. Ryan De Freitas
Putting the band’s taste for a frenetic mosh pit aside, Mayday Parade’s fifth LP is their heaviest yet. Songs like ‘One Of Them Will Destroy You’ and ‘Let’s Be Honest’ are filled with punch. Forget about the five-piece’s Capri Sun equipped, overly polished pop punk. It’s a thing of the past. Instead, think gutsy riffs, aggressive snares and a feisty attitude. For a band who’s recreated their sound time and time again, these stark new influences are sure to divide opinion. Emma Matthews 53
“So, we’ve got an idea for our promo photos...”
Ghost Ramp / Caroline
A tightly-honed frenzy.
PROTOMARTYR MENACE BEACH THE FRONT SUPER BOTTOMS
THE AGENT INTELLECT
TRANSPORTERREUM BACK ON TOP
Homegrown trippy guitar Post-punk bruisers fuzz rules OK. explore new avenues on an inquisitive effort. For those with a penchant As they continue to move away from their fierier first incarnation, Protomartyr’s drabberthan-thou aesthetic finds the forefront on ‘The Agent Intellect’. Largely propelled by the snotty, sarcastic vocals of frontman Joe Casey, the band nevertheless weave a myriad of variations on their postpunk formula around them. ‘Dope Cloud’ sees them shudder with an almost Oughtesque twang, where ‘Clandestine Time’ takes on an almost theatrical, wilting horror, looped vocals and driving things further into hypnotism than ever before. It’s an intoxicating concoction, and one that sees Protomartyr defend their crown as one of postpunk’s most versatile and unique prospects. Tom Connick 5 4 upsetmagazine.com
for the fuzzier side, there’s no band currently doing a better job of ‘it’ than Leeds’ Menace Beach. Their debut album, practically flawless, was only released at the start of the year. Now, only a few months later, they’re dropping a new EP - and the standards haven’t slipped. Title track ‘Super Transporterreum’ is a trippy ride via Grade A guitar pop. ‘Hey Toupe’ isn’t just a blinding but of rhyming, but a tumbling, psych-thrash to celebrate. ‘Ghoul Power’ is detuned, off-kilter brilliance while closer ‘Radiate Me’ pulls killer hooks out of nowhere at will. If Menace Beach hailed from more romanticised climes, they’d be quickly proclaimed as the next great saviours of slacker rock. But slackers don’t turn out releases this good, this regularly. And anyway, who wants to be a saviour anyway? Menace Beach have better things to do. Stephen Ackroyd
Fueled By Ramen
It might have been two years since Wavves released ‘Afraid Of Heights’, but with Nathan Williams’ neverending list of side-projects, the band has remained at the top of their game. Their most collaborative record to date, ‘V’ is a swirling mix of attitude, infectious hooks, and scream-your-heart-out choruses. Album opener ‘Heavy Metal Detox‘ is as refreshingly intoxicating as a hair of the dog remedy. The lyrical defeatism of ‘Way Too Much’ is combatted by the track’s explosive energy. ‘Pony’ is a life-affirming rush of anthemic choruses and spiralling guitars. Down and out of luck, the songs own up to issues of youthful angst with a casual honesty, letting loose like it’s the only thing that matters. When disorder takes hold, ‘V’ offers the solution: ride the wavves until you land exhilarated on the other side. Jessica Goodman
New label, big ambitions.
Despite a strong, steadily growing fanbase, it’s The Front Bottoms’ recent signing to Fueled By Ramen that sees them becoming labelmates with the likes of Paramore means that there’s a real weight of expectation on the New Jersey indie-punks for the first time. But hey, they’ve bravely titled their first album on the label ‘Back On Top’, so it looks like they’re not too fazed by it all. In fact, with the way they kick off ‘Motorcycle’, the record’s opener, with an almost obnoxious choral swell that gives way to five big, bold distorted chord strums, it sounds like they’re having fun with that very idea. This is The Front Bottoms at their best, with enough massive moments to see them propel their popularity even further. Ryan De Freitas
EVERY OPEN EYE
Not a rock band. Definitely a good band.
With their banks of synths and shiny production, it’s pretty obvious that Chvrches aren’t really a rock band, but since when did genre boundaries matter? From a mutual apreciation socieity with Paramore through to their smarter-than-your-averagepop edge, the Scottish three piece can fit in whatever hole you choose to place them. That’s what happens when you’re able to write songs this good. From the direct (‘Empty Threat’) to the creepingly brilliant (‘Down Side Of Me’), Chvrches are a band confident in what they are. They know their own rule book, and though never sticking slavishly to the script, whatever direction they take is definitely them. Cheesiness aside, they say it best themselves: with ‘Every Open Eye’ Chvrches really have taken the best parts of themselves and made them gold. Stephen Ackroyd
Doesn’t matter how long the queue for the loos is. Go before you get on stage.
READING 2015 THE COMPLETE
REVIEW OF THE
WEEKEND OF THE YEAR!
his is it. The biggest weekend of the UK rock festival calendar. Reading & Leeds isn’t confined to a single genre, but across the weekend some of the biggest bands in the world sign off on the summer. From Bring Me The Horizon to All Time Low, via PVRIS, Moose Blood and more - this is the complete story of Reading 2015.
PANIC! AT THE DISCO, MAIN STAGE, FRIDAY
s Brendon Urie strides out on the Main Stage of Reading Festival, it feels like a homecoming. Sure, Las Vegas may be the inspiration behind the bulk of the back catalogue aired today but Panic! At The Disco (eeeee) grew up at this festival . From their infamous main stage debut through to the start of their second wave back in 2011, the band’s evolution has been mirrored by the crowds at these events. From the off, the band sparkle beyond sequined jackets and glittery microphones. A cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ provides the first truly magical moment of Reading 2015 but with ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’ following a few songs later, the crowded field wasn’t left long for the second.
For recently expanded threepiece Drenge (eeee), gearing fans up for the rest of the weekend on the main stage seems the ideal chance to live out the quintessential rock star dream. It’s one they embrace with poise and pointed style. From the ultra-smooth ‘Let’s Pretend’ to the rugged polish of ‘Running Wild’ the band soak up the experience and swell as their to-the-bone rock washes over the field. “Who likes dancing?” mumbles Eoin Loveless. Laying the grooves for the rest of the weekend, the band don’t wait for an answer. They say you won’t get anything by kicking and screaming, but God Damn (eeee) seem more than happy to break that rule. In fact, rules are far removed from the pair’s atmospheric yet visceral crunch. “This is from our album called
Words: Ali SHutler, Emma Matthews. Photos: Amie Kingswell.
BACK! BA CK A L E X IS O N
F IR E , M A IN
S TAG E , S
AT U R DAY ith Alexison fire’s (eee e) split their appear still relativ ance on th ely fresh, em moment. Ra ther than an ain stage is a definin deliver. Tigh g un tly their reunite wound and impeccab necessary cash in, the ly delivered band d front. “For , they bask everyone ou those of yo in u who know t the way, ge who we ar t to the fro e, push nt and sing stresses Ge this one w orge Petti ith us!” like Alexison t. By the end of the set, it’s fire never w ent away.
‘Vultures’ and it’s fucking horrible,” smirks Thom Edward. “You should get it,” he says with a wink to the packed tent. Their music may be vicious snares atop malicious shrieks but there’s a sense of unity that twists the violence into companionship. With a headline tour on the horizon, God Damn are going to be seeing these friends, both old and new, again very soon. Despite their powerful stage presence, Japanese four-piece Bo Ningen (eee) find a way to sneak into your subconscious. Conjuring a hazy mist of acid punk, their music stretches on, twisting this way and that. It’s an acrobatic affair that’s held aloft by a confidence in their own craft; the unblinking eyes that look out from the stage met by an audience transfixed by their creation. All Time Low (eeee) spent the start of 2015 co-headlining an arena tour with You Me At Six. Earlier on in the day they announced they’d be returning to those venues, flying solo. It looks like the band are finally growing into the success they’ve always smirked at, but as guitarist Jack Barakat bounces about the stage with a gleeful smile spread across his face, they haven’t got a care in the world.
ERLOAD! BUZZ OV
PVRIS, THE PIT, SATURDAY
et’s not beat around the bush, PVRIS (eeeee) are destined for much bigger things than their set in The Pit suggests. The stolen glances and nervous smiles that once littered their set have been replaced by three musicians who’ve finally caught up to the pace of their ascent. PVRIS aren’t the starry eyed kids they once were. They’ve quickly realised, through hard work and sudden exposure, that there comes a point where you can’t wait for things to happen. The crowd, spilling out from the tent, responds en masse.
Picking at their surroundings with the youthful freedom of children in a candy shop, ‘Lost in The Stereo’ sees Barakat hurling himself into the welcoming masses while ‘Weightless’ is a chance for the crowd to lose themselves in a deafening singalong. All Time Low are still blowing up fast, but that doesn’t mean that sense of fun is in decline. There’s a conga line struggling to form in the Lock Up Stage. Not through lack of enthusiasm, more everyone trying to partake at once. This is The Menzingers’ (eeee) show though, so group activities were a given. From the fraught spirit of ‘I Don’t Want To Be An Arsehole Anymore’ through the jubilant skip of ‘The Obituaries’, The Menzingers bind the crowd together with a connection deeper than hand on shoulder. Killer Mike turns to El-P and shouts with sheer delight. “There’s a pit the size of Ireland over there.” El-P looks out with a smirk promises to “give you fuckers something to mosh to.” Earlier in the set the Zack De La Rocha sampling ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’ comes with the warning that “shit’s about to get fucked up,” but in all honesty, everyone knows the score by now. From the off, Run The Jewels (eeee) demand a reaction. The pair are unrelenting in their verbal attack. “God damn, the UK knows how to throw a rap show,” praises Killer Mike. 57
READING 2015 Though Limp Bizkit’s (eeee) hour long set relies heavily on a sense of nostalgia, it’s one that the band embraces. This comfort in sound that the band have recently rediscovered gives the pantomime delivery a surprising depth of passion. The hits are re-energised and back to back covers of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name Of’ and George Michael’s ‘Faith’ are as jarring as they are brilliant. The hat might have changed colour but the sheer frustration behind Limp Bizkit’s music remains unrivaled. True to their word, New Found Glory (eeeee) close off the first day of Reading Festival brilliantly. “This is your party,” proclaims Chad Gilbert before letting the audience know there’s nowhere else the band would rather be tonight. From a soaring ‘Dressed To Kill’ through to the swaggering romance of ‘Vicious Love’, New Found Glory don’t let up. A cover of ‘The Cave’ by Mumford & Sons’ as they close of the festival’s main stage in the distance sees band and crowd united under a smirk. It’s the positive, “you can do anything” message of ‘Ready & Willing’ that spills over from their set and into the night, though.
SATURDAY There’s a lot to be said about the evolution of Reading Festival. The fact that Babymetal (eee) opening the main stage is met with nothing worse than bemused looks says a lot. An opening montage declares the band a musical revolution. While the future of rock lies somewhere else on today’s main stage, nestled between Royal Blood and Metallica, there’s no escaping Babymetal’s ability to limber up an inquisitive crowd. We all know what FIDLAR (eeee) stands for by now. It’s that attitude the West Coast punks take to the main stage of Reading 2015. This size of 5 8 upsetmagazine.com
“After me, lads. Y-M-C-A...”
stage isn’t somewhere you’d expect to find them, sure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. And anyway, it’s not like they’re about to be fazed by the occasion. Sure, FIDLAR may be the ultimate sweatbox party band, but give them scale and they’ll still bring the fun. Risk? Nah mate. The gamble paid off just like we all knew it would. “Lets have a good time, yeah?” demands Marmozets‘ (eeeee) Becca Macintyre as the band finally take to the main stage. Sure, their
A QUICK CHAT WITH...
haven’t seen my family in months,” offers Sam Macintyre a few hours after Marmozets‘ main stage slot. “It gets a bit emotional at times,” continues Jack Bottomley. “It’s good though. Last time our family saw us play was seven months ago so it’s been a while. At least they know we’re doing alright and we’re still sane.”
BRING ME THE HORIZON, MAIN STAGE, SATURDAY
As flares ignite to the band’s tongue-incheek safety video and pits begin to open before the band take to the stage, Bring Me The Horizon’s (eeee) coronation is a circus of chaos from the off. Any questions about their ability to deliver on such a grand stage are quickly dismissed, Oli Sykes’ power stance as pained ringleader offset by a mischievous grin. Every visit to the band’s catalogue, past, present and future, sounds forwardthinking and devastatingly relevant. Umbrellas or crowns, Bring Me The Horizon reign.
slot was announced mere months ago but their arrival feels long overdue. They look at home as they drench fans with piercing screams, cutting riffs and an overwhelming sense of good will. The crowd forgets about the oncoming storm and scrambles together for a mid-day mosh. With a debut album on the horizon, No
Devotion (eeee) are on the cusp of something special. This may be the first time a majority of the crowd are treated to the band’s atmospheric grasp but it doesn’t take long for frontman Geoff Rickly‘s husky pleas to make them feel welcome. As microphone stands are dragged about the stage and the band exchange knowing glances, there’s a sense they’re slowly dialling up their attack. If you’ve seen Metallica (eee) before, and there’s been plenty of opportunities to, you know exactly what to expect. Tonight, as the close the Reading main stage, it’s no different. They play their songs, there’s some lights and that’s pretty much it. Yeah, Metallica are one of the greatest bands in the world but after a day of so much risk, danger and
A QUICK CHAT WITH...
always felt like festivals were a way to taste test bands,” begins Frank Iero backstage. “You see as many as you possibly can in a slightly abnormal setting and if you like it enough, you see them in their natural habitat. I hope that people enjoy our set but also that it acts as a gateway to a real show.” “After this we’ve got two Belfast shows, a Dublin show then we’re going to go home and start writing,” says Frank. There are no definite plans for a second album (“We’ll see, who knows”) but there’s the beginning of a next chapter forming.
genuine excitement, their set feels by the books. “We are Metallica and this is what we do,” cries James Hetfield at the opening of the evening. We know Metallica, we know.
with these songs for a while now has transformed them into a different beast. With only one album down it‘s too early for the band to demand fireworks but the goosebumps are free flowing.
“We stand against all the things that punk rock should stand against,” declares Laura Jane Grace as Against Me! (eeeee) take to the main stage. The band’s back catalogue is a scrapbook of diary entries but today the stories transcend the author. Eighteen years in and the band are still as excited, brilliant and challenging as ever. On their elevated platform, they stand tall.
As Black Foxxes (eeee) storm on stage five minutes ahead of schedule, it’s painfully clear they’re not letting this morning’s early start ruin the chance of a highlight. Their fiery sense of excitement is contagious. As the crowd edges closer, a whispering wonder can be felt radiating from all corners of the stage. It’s hard to keep up with Fort Hope (eeee) as they run around The Pit, but all eyes are firmly glued in their direction. The band may be avoiding their gaze with sunglasses, perhaps to conceal pounding festival hangovers, but the set is still an eyeopening introduction to the band. “We heard him on YouTube and he was fucking great,” yells Jon Gaskin, inviting one enthusiastic fan on stage. As the pair perform ‘New Life’ together, it underlines exactly why Fort Hope are grabbing so much attention. Third time’s a charm as Lonely The Brave (eeee) return to Reading, this time bringing their fraught atmosphere to the main stage. Living
FRANK IERO, THE PIT, SUNDAY
ess than a year ago Frank Iero (eeeee) took to the stage of The Barfly for his first post-My Chemical Romance UK headline show. It was fraught with brilliance, but there was a sense that the whole thing could collapse at any minute. But today at Reading Festival, his set feels like the beginning of something permanent. From the front to the back, Frank has become a commanding ringmaster. Everything sounds fuller, more together and wrapped with steely determination. Months of exploration has found the band shoulder to shoulder, in sync. Iero’s history is entwined with the festival, but today feels part a glorious new chapter.
A year on from the release of ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, from Time To Time‘ and Moose Blood (eeeee) are riding high. Heartfelt and moving from the off, the homely anthems of friendship and family soar while the band try and stay grounded. As the tent spills over with those curious to investigate the thunderous applause of their homecoming, it’s a battle Moose Blood are far from finishing. Putting his usual spit-fire fury aside for a minute, Frank Carter (eeee) is showing everyone what a big softie he is as he cradles his daughter on stage. It’s the first time she’s seen her Dad play, giving Carter one more reason why today needs to count. Debut album ‘Blossom‘ has been out for a matter of days but every scratched vocal growl is echoed back with meaning. Free from the shackles of an album campaign, Manchester Orchestra (eeeee) offer nothing but their very best. From the stuttering curtain drop of ‘Pride’ to the fiery pleas of ‘Cope’, the band takes the crowd by the hand. More tent-wide choir than audience participation, there’s a special sort of atmosphere flowing around the Festival Republic stage. They say the first time is always a special one. For the Beartooth (eeee) that’s exactly the case. ‘Beaten In Lips’ allows fans to reach dizzying heights as they clamber on each other’s shoulders, where as ‘Body Bag’ sees a pair of skinny legs being hurdled over the barrier in a desperate plea to get to the front. It would be no surprise to see the band bumped up the bill for next year’s festivities. P 59
HEVY FESTIVAL 2015
ardcore and punk is the beating heart of Hevy Festival. So it seems fitting that genre-newbies Black Peaks should get the riffs rolling early on day one. “It’s time to wake up,” roars frontman Will Gardner, as the Brighton four-piece tease new material from the main stage. Across the site, Creeper are belting out new single ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ like it’s an old favourite. Even tracks like ‘VCR’ are delivered with a fresh sense of confidence which suggests these South Coast punks know they’re on the cusp of something special. “This festival is full of bands that are so good they make us not want to be in bands anymore,” proclaims Heck’s Matt Reynolds, as the Nottingham four-piece tear at the seams of the second tent. That said, an unreleased track suggests the former Baby Godzilla boys are carving out a new mathcore path for themselves. Back on the main stage, Touché Amoré feel a million miles from that hiatus, with a flawless festival set that flies by in a flash. The Dillinger Escape Plan follow suit, annotating their usual chaos with beaming lights and the kind of riff-to-gut ratio that almost makes fans forget about the unfamiliar barrier gap. But it’s headliners Coheed and Cambria who take ownership of the crowd. Without a peep from frontman Claudio Sanchez, they storm through ‘In
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Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3’ in full and shred like they’re powering a time machine back to 2003. Vales are a sight to behold on day two, with vocalist Chlo Edwards using her power and formidable presence to get the Cornish quartet noticed. Milk Teeth are busy battling technical issues on main stage. But as frontman Josh kicks at his mic stand in frustration (a maneuver that backfires as his leads fly loose), the sheer passion displayed by all four members has the crowd cheering them on. Arcane Roots also suffer a power outage during ‘Million Dollar Question’ before the brilliance of ‘If Nothing Breaks…’ ensures a triumphant finish. The Get Up Kids playing 1999’s ‘Something To Write Home About’ should draw more punters than it does, but those that cram up front hang on Matt Pryor’s every word. The delicate notes of album closer, ‘I’ll Catch You’ provide Hevy’s biggest pinch-me moment. While headliners Thrice may’ve benefited from an album set of their own, instead leaving 2002’s ‘Deadbolt‘ and 2003’s ‘Artist In The Ambulance’ to play tug of war for most nostalgic post-hardcore track. With a line-up loud enough to wake up sleeping lions then, Hevy Festival cements itself as a vital part of the UK’s hardcore and punk calendar once more. We didn’t even need to mention the fucking monkeys. P
Words: Jessica Bridgeman. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.
Who should headline Reading and Leeds 2016? “I think over the last few years most of the bands I would have mentioned have already headlined. Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters would have sprung to mind. It would be nice to see some of the legends like The Stones or The Who as a tip of the hat to the early days of the festival. I’ve always hoped that Them Crooked Vultures would do something else too, so maybe if I talk about it, I will jog some memories.” ASH WEAVER, GOD DAMN The Doors, Pink Floyd and Pantera would be perfect, but not very likely unfortunately. Realistically, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails and Fleetwood Mac would do the trick for me. I saw Fleetwood Mac live for the first time this year and they were phenomenal. ANDREW BUSHEN, LONELY THE BRAVE Bjork, that’d be cool. Has she ever headlined before? I don’t think anyone would care…everyone would care. I don’t know if New Found Glory fans would care but Bjork would be cool. Bjork and then
some Sugarcubes songs. Or us. CHAD GILBERT, NEW FOUND GLORY “I think The Maccabees have a good chance of becoming a headliner because they’re a really brilliant British band, have gone away for three years, come back and still got a Number One. They’ve got better at everything they’ve done, even though it was great to start with. I don’t think a band like that should be held down. I’m sure Foals will be doing stuff. Probably Royal Blood, they’re basically there now. Alt-J should be headlining certain things, Florence and the Machine will carry on headlining things. It’d be nice to see some newer headliners.” JOFF ODDIE, WOLF ALICE “I would love to see Biffy Clyro headline it again. They’re one of my favourite bands, good friends and they deserve to headline it. There’s all the footage of them opening the main stage and for them to come back and reap the benefits of their work. They’ve always been about career and doing what they do and staying true rather than adjusting. They were able to make their path and
everyone came around it and they’re fucking huge now. There’s excitement in seeing bands who work hard and work true, get the pay off.” ROBERT MCDOWELL, MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA “I think let some of the new blood have a go. Foals would be pretty bloody epic I reckon and I totally think they are more than capable of kicking the hell out of a main stage now!” JAMES BROWN, PULLED APART BY HORSES “Tough one. I’d personally love to see Foals do it. Depending how this album goes I can really see them being in the running. Plus we’ve all heard Foals live, they’re unreal. Failing that Neil Young, all three nights. Just let him play whatever he wants and hand him the cheque, he’s the king.” MARK HOLLEY, BLACK FOXXES
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