** Plus ** Counterfeit, Poppy, Chastity Belt, Press Club, Proper, Twenty One Pilots, Nervus, Petrol Girls + loads more
October 2019 upsetmagazine.com
The Faim Of Mice & Men The Menzingers
“The perfect soundtrack with which to meet the apocalypse” KERRANG - KKKK
“Black Futures could do for British rock music what Daft Punk did for French EDM in the Nineties” THE INDEPENDENT
“Arguably the debut album of the year already” CLASSIC ROCK - 9/10
“Black Futures embrace sonic anarchy on their full-length debut” METAL HAMMER - 8/10
OCTOBER 2019 Issue 48
HELLO. What can you say about blink-182 that hasn’t already been said a million times before? Legendary doesn’t even come close to describing a band who have been a staple of the scene longer than many of you reading this have been alive, and yet still they’ve never lost their spark. Even with a reshuffled line-up, there’s still magic running through their veins, so we’re obviously cockand-indeed-ahoop to welcome them to the cover of Upset for the first time this month. That’s two in a year, Mr Hoppus. You should probably take your own drawer for when you stay over. They’re not the only long term faves rolling up this month, though. There’s finally a debut album from The Faim, The Menzingers are back in predictably fine form, and Of Mice & Men have a fearsomely good record to tell us all about. Add to that all the fun of Reading 2019, and we’re in for a big one. Enjoy!
Editor / @stephenackroyd
Upset Editor Stephen Ackroyd Deputy Editor Victoria Sinden Associate Editor Ali Shutler Scribblers Abigail Firth, Alex Bradley, Beth Casteel, Dan Harrison, Dillon Eastoe, Jake Hawkes, Jamie MacMillan, Jasleen Dhindsa, Martyn Young, Paris Fawcett, Patrick Kinsella, Steven Loftin, Sam Taylor Snappers Beto Barkmo, Daniel Rojas, Frances Beach, Ian Laidlaw, Jamie MacMillan, Jess Flynn, Jonathan Weiner, Patrick Gunning, Sarah Louise Bennett P U B L I S H E D F RO M
RIOT 4. READING 2019 14. NERVUS 16. COUNTERFEIT 20. PETROL GIRLS ABOUT TO BREAK
32. THE FAIM 34. CHASTITY BELT 38. OF MICE & MEN 42. THE MENZINGERS 48. PRESS CLUB REVIEWS
50. BLINK-182 53. 65DAYSOFSTATIC TEENAGE KICKS
W E LCO M E TOT H E B U N K E R.CO M U N I T 10, 23 G RA N G E RO A D, H A S T I N G S, T N34 2R L
All material copyright (c). All rights reserved.
THIS MONTH IN ROCK
Everything you need to know about Nervus’ new album. p.14
EVERYTHING HAPPENING IN ROCK
Reading Festival. One of the standout moments of the music calendar, it’s a melting pot of some of the best bands and most exciting artists. As you’d expect, we were there to capture all the fun. This is what went down... 4 Upset
Counterfeit are back, and they’re promising it gets better. p.16
What does Ren from Petrol Girls take on tour? Find out here. p. 20
Twenty One Pilots prove why they’re one of the biggest bands in the world During their headline set the previous night, The 1975 couldn’t have been more open, more welcoming, more in love with the occasion. Twenty One Pilots aren’t so certain. See, Twenty One Pilots don’t trust strangers. As underdogs and outsiders, they’ve built their clique with trust. Their Bandito Tour has already seen them lap the world once and was a marvel of surprise, storytelling and intimacy. Like ‘Trench’, it was for the people who found themselves in the music of TOP. Tonight though, The Biggest Cult Band On The Planet headline Reading Festival and it’s a brave new world for the group. Sure, they’ve done festivals before but they were always out to turn heads. At the top of the bill, all eyes are already on them. Reading isn’t so wild about newcomers either. As every light dies, Josh walks out, torch in hand, and asks the crowd to follow them. ‘Jumpsuit’ sees them coming out the gate with a snarl while ‘Heathens’ quivers and shakes, a toe-in-the-water to see how much pace the festival can handle. ‘The Hype’ sees Tyler finally crack a smile, betrayed by the camera lens and he’s off the stage for ‘Holding On To You’, using his friends in the front row to lift him up to get a closer look at what’s out there. He must like what he sees. A snippet of P. Diddy’s ‘Bad Boy For Life’ sees them declare, “We ain’t going nowhere, we can’t be stopped now.” Threat or promise, that’s left undecided. From here on out, Twenty One Pilots start to play. ‘Stressed Out’ is delivered with the same urgency and excitement that helped it define a generation. “We have such a deep respect for your festival culture over here. It really means a lot to us for you to let us be a part of that,” starts Tyler. “So this next one I dedicate to you as a thank you note,” he continues before a heartfelt and surprisingly beautiful cover of Oasis’ ‘Don’t
Look Back In Anger’. Those who live every lyric of Twenty One Pilots and those who think they recognise that one from the radio suddenly have a common ground. Singing together, they’re all friends now. Now the fun can really begin. “How’s my hair? My wife trimmed it right before I came onstage. She did a good job, it’s looking fresh, right?” Tyler asks with a smirk, a subtle dedication to the person who inspired the heartburst of ‘My Blood’ before things open up further. Twenty One Pilots want to see dancing, so they get security guards in the front row to show the festival their moves. Turns out dad dancing is always funny and good at removing inhibitions. “This is your festival. This is your show. You can do whatever you want,” starts Tyler. It’s a promise that continues through the lion’s pride anthem of ‘Cut My Lip’, the clique proudly displayed on the huge video screens before a track by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike lets the whole place get goofy with a hopping, primary school dance routine. Tyler and Josh are pop stars who shine in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be silly with it. As ‘Trees’ brings things to a close, Josh and Tyler are once again on the crowd as confetti rains down and fireworks light up the joy. Scrambling back to the stage as the festival carries the refrain, the pair can’t quite believe it. Even from the back, you can see the loss for words. Friends or strangers, it doesn’t matter how things started. “We’re Twenty One Pilots. And so are you,” Tyler manages. Right on cue, another sky full of fireworks takes off, shifting the spotlight but there’s no hiding anymore. They’re one of us, and Reading belongs to them. P
Last year, iDKHow being brilliant was the worst kept secret of Reading & Leeds. Playing to a very busy The Pit, the cult band dealt in mystery and delight for those in the know. This year there’s nowhere for them to hide as they stand exposed on the main stage. Good job they adore the spotlight. Their decadent dance of glamour, threat and glee has always sounded louder than the secret clubs they’re used to, and today, with plenty of space to explore, the band quickly make it theirs. “It’s been a while since we played any new music,” says Sam McTrusty, before launching into the freshest of cuts. It’s called ‘Volcano’, and it’s a proper stomper from a band who have a history of baiting the mainstream. “World exclusive” aside, Twin Atlantic seem fully recharged and ready to go. Sparky and full of vigour. Their set may be relatively short for a band of their stature, but within seven songs they manage to prove they’ve still got what it takes to roll with the pop-rock punches. ‘The Chaser’ is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, while ‘Heart and Soul’ remains a total banger. Clearly, there’s more to come very soon. When it does, it’ll be worth the attention. Amongst the frenzy of wild hair, Press Club are dominating their own little
corner of Reading. The Aussie punk newcomers are filed to the brim with a new energy that bounds between the sweatbox crowd and their own fired up chaos. Soon after, blossoming with the ferocity, Dream State are what the Lock Up is all about - bands who start up to channel their own struggles, and through it they find it all happening. Singer CJ is restless, but fuelled by an anarchic truth; she’s now someone who captures those dark and scary feelings for others. A point proven by the stream of fists raised furiously in the air in solidarity and the rife singsongs, particularly during ‘New Waves’. The echoes of hope that resonate around the Lock Up are the only thing louder than Dream State’s fury. Main stage suits You Me At Six: they’re more than ready to fill the vast space and stake their claim as a band willing to give it all, and step up when the time comes. New number ‘What’s It Like’ holds a bit more snarl to it live
You Me At Six just dropped a new curve-ball, ‘What’s It Like?’. We cornered Josh and Max to find out more about it. Josh: If we wrote songs that didn’t make us a bit fearful, then we’d be doing the wrong thing. This is us flexing our muscles. I’d rather give our fan base something that’s real and something that isn’t contrived and isn’t just fucking slamming it easy. I’d rather give them something that we know is a risk, and we know feels good. Max: The song came from Dan, Matt and Chris. Josh and myself were doing another writing day and when they sent over the idea, me and Josh lost our minds. They said, ‘this is just us messing about’, and we’re like, ‘no, this needs to be a song’. It’s the sort of music we listen to and get excited by, but it’s also dangerous. Josh: We can do what the fuck we want. We’re not here to please anybody. We’re here to do something for ourselves because at the end of the day, if you’re in a studio and saying, ‘that’s nice, I reckon people will like that’ and being all polite, just fucking cancel it. Stop making music. We’re not here to do it for anybody else, and we’re just lucky that we have a fan base which is moving with us. Their tastes have developed so much, in the same way our tastes have become more6 eclectic. P UPSETMAGAZINE. COM
We’re backstage at Reading with Milk Teeth. Any hints of a turbulent few years remain firmly a distant memory following a powerful opening set on the Main Stage that proved just how brilliant the band is, whatever the circumstances. And what better way to celebrate than by answering a bunch of our questions.
is the record’ and not have anybody say ‘maybe it should be a bit more commercial or maybe it needs to be way more produced’. We did the opposite and stripped everything back. Em: When we give production references, Becky and I always say the same stuff. It’s Pixies, Placebo and Nirvana. It’s screamer of an album. It’s fiery and fun, and it’s angry.
Hello Milk Teeth. That was a fantastic set. It felt like you put a lot of care and attention into it.
Becky, it feels like you’ve started getting more confident in your voice on social media. Is that ‘cos of Em or is it a reaction to the state of things? Becky: I got in trouble for being outspoken in Milk Teeth long before I met Em. But when things weren’t great in the band previously, I lost my voice for a really long period of time. I was there but I wasn’t there, if that makes sense. Now though, we have a new team and new members and I actually feel like I have the support that I needed the whole time. Em: When I’ve compromised on the message or what I feel is right, I end up just feeling really uncomfortable and hating what I’m doing. There’s no way you can make good music like that. There’s no way you can play good shows like that. Becky: It’s nice not having to censor myself 24/7. P
Becky: We did really try and put a lot of thought into it just because it was a special one. We could have just gone and done what we normally do and I feel like that would’ve been okay but why not use the platform to try something different and give people a bit more of a show. You can’t promise that you’ll get to do it again. You’ve got to make the most of that opportunity.
And you’ve signed a new record deal and the album is recorded. Can you tell us when it’s out?
Becky: It’s out early next year, but there’s a bunch of singles before that. I’m so excited because with this record, we had the freedom to be like, ‘this is how we sound, this 8 Upset
compared to the recorded version, but it’s, as always, those big-hitter singles from yesteryear that do the job. ‘Underdog’, teased by Josh at the very beginning of the set, leads to breakout dance troupes all over the shop. It’s impossible to ignore the absolute riff-show Puppy bring to the Lock Up. Amongst the flared fake flames, comes a truthful and exuberant rocking time that is as much face-melting as it is fun. Next up, with the setting Friday sun pouring into the tent with spotlight precision, it’s somewhat emptied out for Laura Jane Grace’s first solo return to Reading, but that doesn’t stop her absolutely tearing up a punkcious storm, filling every gap with a soulful directive. PUP have never been ones to indulge in hype, hyperbole or grand, over the top statements so if they’re reading this, they may want to look away now. Ready? Good. PUP are probably the best punk band around. 2019’s ‘Morbid Stuff’ saw them take their scrappy rock show to dark corners of misery, rage and hope and today’s set on the Lock Up is a celebration of being imperfect but trying to be better. As the band scream admissions of guilt in four-part-harmony, it’s clear they’re not the only ones feeling shitty. With the world very much on fire, PUP offer a sanctuary. It’s a chaotic, carnival reminder of the power of people.
What a daunting sight the Reading stage must be for the first band of the day; the one to break the silence. Counterfeit are more than up to the challenge. Appearing with a new-found love of what they do flowing through them, and a bit more scruffy, to say they blow the cobwebs away is an understatement.
The lights dim, ‘The 1975’ (‘A Brief Inquiry version’) plays out and Matty Healy bursts into laughter. Not too long ago, the idea of The 1975 headlining Reading was laughable. Hell, the last time the band topped the bill at a UK festival, it almost broke them. But things have changed recently and there’s been an air of inevitability around The 1975 headlining tonight. But still, despite the acclaim and the numbers, it feels a touch ridiculous. As the band kick straight into the cluster fuck of ‘People’, it’s pretty clear why. ‘People’ isn’t the sound of a band trying to broaden their appeal. It’s a gang connecting to their roots and remembering when they felt young, invincible and like they wanted to set the world on fire. They never want you to lose that spark. Back in the day, The 1975 played in garages, covered Fall Out Boy and had a whole other existence as the grungy emo thrash of ‘Drive Like I Do’. The music may have changed but The 1975 have always been a punk band. Thing is, they’ve also always been so much more. When people didn’t listen, they just put their heads down and did things their own way. Before they were the biggest band in the country, they always believed in themselves. And people found themselves in that. It’s why the connection between band and crowd is so electrifying. Tonight, when Matty grabs the camera and sings down the lens, it’s intimate. He’s talking directly to each and every person. Just like he’s always done. Turns out the impossible might just be possible after all. All it needs is a little faith. And tonight, The 1975 tell the crowd of Reading to believe in their band. To believe in each other. And perhaps most importantly, to believe in themselves. P
Belief and saying something: The 1975 headline Reading
Riot_ Blossoming into their pop-rock stride, increasingly Against the Current feel like a band comfortable in their own skin, not trying to be anything they’re not. Bright, shiny and infectious, there’s a lot to like. Having just flown in from the States - “first day in the UK after two and a half fucking months” there are no signs that Dinosaur Pile-Up are slowing down as the trio brutally whip the jampacked tent into a frenzy. It’s nothing short of chaos in The Pit. Thrashing their way through with the unhinged urgency of a band with nothing to lose, Dinosaur Pile-Up never let it get in the way of a good time holding every moment close to their chest and then launching them for everyone to be a part. Where do you start to talk about Poppy? If excitement can come from the places where different, dangerous things happen, her appearance at Reading 2019 might well be one for the ages. One thing’s for sure, she’s making a statement. Surrounded by a PVC-clad, fully made up band and greeted by chants of her name, her journey into the louder arts still has the hint of the ridiculous about it. Regardless, nobody could describe it as anything less than absolutely fascinating. There’s no denying that in an arena full of serious people making earnestly sincere music, Poppy’s arrival is a more than welcome addition. The behemoth action of Of Mice & Men is unstoppable. Gearing up to release their sixth album, the metalcore fivepiece are at Reading to remind everyone just why they’re so bloody good. It certainly takes something
special to compete with a headline set from Twenty One Pilots and make it look like no bother at all. With determined looks upon their faces, Of Mice & Men take to the stage, stoking the brutality inside every onlooker. The moment ‘Warzone’ takes aim, its an onslaught of pyro, a flying shoe (and hobbling owner chasing said shoe), cups and inhibitions.
The final day of Reading 2019 is all about that rock’n’roll in all its glory. First up are Milk Teeth. Unashamedly outspoken, they appear onstage with protest statements adorning their
equipment, shirts, flags and, of course, the big screens. On a day that is set to be surrounded by punks and rockers ready to stand up for what’s right, there’s no better start than Milk Teeth. SWMRS weren’t meant to be playing Reading’s main stage. Pull-outs from elsewhere on the bill have thrust them into a deserved slot on the festival’s biggest platform, and they’re not planning on letting it slip by. Expanded to a six-piece, they’re still as infectious as ever, but with a depth that more than fills the field ahead of them. It’s not just the music that’s the message here, though. SWMRS represent something altogether
more interesting; a generation of music fans striving to make the world around them better. The Faim’s ascent is already looking pretty damn assured, but as they take to Reading’s de-facto second stage, they’re still more than willing to prove they’ve got what it takes. A rock band with ambitions above the norm, they’ve got the pedigree to suggest big things. Recent single ‘Humans’ in particular sounds like a band pushing at the edges of the mainstream consciousness. With a debut album still to come out of the blocks, they’re already in pole position for a significant upgrade very soon indeed. It’s 30 degrees, and we are sweaty, Dear Reader. We’re not just mentioning that for sympathy, we’re setting the scene for Hot Milk, a band whose lead vocalist, Hannah, has opted to wear a black boiler suit. That doesn’t stop her leaping on stage and immediately calling for the crowd to riot. With crowd members are bouncing off of each other like pinballs, it’s a raucous start to the afternoon. Bounding out onto the stage, it’s a full-on pop-punk party with Stand Atlantic. The Aussie bunch have clearly been making some waves due to the packed out Lock Up stage, rousing singalongs and joyous bouncing. Enter Shikari are relentless in all the best ways, and this Reading & Leeds weekend they’re aiming to do more sets across the pair of sites than anyone else. Starting with a low-key stripped-back set on the Introducing Stage, the many faces of Enter Shikari are out to play. A band that can adapt to any setting, it’s when they’re running at full steam that
The most brilliantly surprising artist at Reading & Leeds 2019 was Poppy by an absolute mile. What started as a YouTube art project looking at obsession and surveillance evolved into a spider web of creativity. “I get bored easily, so I like to do new projects and pursue new ventures,” she admits backstage. Her graphic novel ‘Genesis 1’ was released in July alongside the ambient album ‘I C U (Music to Read To)’ and next, she’d like to get into video games. So far there’s been two studio albums, the electropop shimmer of ‘Poppy. Computer’ and the vibrant shape-shifting of ‘Am I A Girl?’ while the latest phase of the takeover is an excitable, colourful blend of pop, metal and imagination. Welcome to the world of Poppy. This latest chapter is soundtracked by new single ‘Concrete’, “an adventure that you need to listen to, to believe it.” The track “transitions through all different shades of music so I’m calling it postgenre,” Poppy smiles. But it’s
not their first step into heavy music. “When I was making my last album ‘Am I A Girl?’ we’d be listening to bands like Nine Inch Nails, Limb Bizkit, Rob Zombie and Gary Numan on the way to the studio. When it came to close out that album, I wanted to make a song that sounded like those bands. It sent us in this whole new direction.” The result was ‘X’, a track that flickers between sunshine relax and blood-soaked nightmares. The ‘Choke’ EP, which included the track ‘Scary Mask’ featuring Fever 333, swiftly followed and further signposted the path Poppy was heading down. ‘Concrete’ was “written around the same time as ‘Scary Mask’,” she explains. “We just wanted to see if we could one-up ‘X’. And I feel like we did. It’s a taste of what is to come on the new album, but we’re leaning harder
into the heavier direction on the rest of the record, which is exciting. I feel like I’ve got to awaken this dormant creature inside of me.” There’s no backlash though. “My fans seem ready for it because it seems like a natural progression. After ‘Am I A Girl?’ I feel like they knew it was coming.” But still Poppy isn’t backing herself into a corner. “We have songs that go in all different directions on the record. We have a section that’s in F-sharp, and there’s also a seven-minute song. I want people to be transported to my world. I think it’s more of an experience than just saying that I am an artist, period. With this new music as well, people are calling it metal, but they’re the ones calling it metal. I’m calling it postgenre, but it is pop music with breakdowns.” P
“I FEEL LIKE I’VE GOT TO AWAKEN THIS DORMANT CREATURE INSIDE OF ME”
When Joe Mulherin was first starting out as Nothing, Nowhere he worked with producer John Feldmann, who mentioned that Travis Barker really liked his stuff. “I didn’t believe him. Like, no one’s heard of me,” he explains. A few years later, and with more mutual friends in their social circles, Joe heard that Travis wanted to work with him. “It was a no brainer. I showed up at his studio in LA, and he was even more chill than I thought he was going to be. We just made music for hours. It went so well I went back. And I kept going back. I even went out to see him while he was on tour with blink-182 and we’d be recording in his green room. It was sick.” They didn’t set out to make an EP, but this month they’re releasing their collaborative ‘Bloodlust’ EP.
Inspired “by a little bit of everything” it sees Nothing, Nowhere telling stories. “I was having dreams about being a vampire. I thought about killing your past self but framing it as actually killing someone. I just got burnt out from talking about me. I get tired of talking about my personal emotions. Even though music helps, sometimes I just need to take a break from myself, from my own brain, so I’ve been really into stories lately. Taking my emotions and putting them into someone else’s story.” “I just realised within the past year or so that I don’t have to write every song like it’s a therapy session,” he continues. “And that’s probably a good thing. I got it out of my system. Believe me. Anyone who’s listened to ‘Reaper’ or ‘Ruiner’ knows. I’ve always been about experimentation and right now, I’m having the most fun ever experimenting.” P
“I WAS HAVING DREAMS ABOUT BEING A VAMPIRE”
they become unstoppable, however. Their main stage set during the blistering afternoon sun sees them don matching blue and black suits; they’re every part kings of the underground. Warning that they’re purveyors of “the kind of songs that would make your Dad say music was better in his day,” bursts of fire give further life to every breakdown, burst beat and frontman Rou Reynolds’ guttural growl. Another band using their platform to spotlight global warming, there’s a giant projected image showing the earth’s changing temperatures, with each year defined during a behemoth outing of ‘Juggernauts’, followed by a quickfire onslaught featuring ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’, ‘You’re Not Getting Any Sleep Tonight’, ‘The Last Garrison’ and ‘…Meltdown’. Saving the best till last, their final set at Reading is on The Pit; an all-out frenzy, it’s utter anarchy. As Sunday’s setting sun pours through the tent, silhouetting Rou, the festival may be approaching its end, but the pulse is well and truly alive. Technical issues can bring down a festival set before its even begun. That’s the problem nothing, nowhere. is having to contend with. Finally hitting the UK, long delays reduce proceedings to a capsule set. It does leave room for the lead taster of a forthcoming EP alongside blink-182’s Travis Barker, though; ‘Destruction’ positively throws sparks. It’s just a shame there’s not time for more. Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve lost until its gone. Sure, it’s not as if we didn’t appreciate them the first time around, but there’s
There’s no denying that
It’s Against The Current’s second time at Reading, and a lot has changed for the band since then.
AGAINST THE CURRENT
are every-inch a headliner; their very essence lies in giving their audience a time to remember, and tonight is no different. From the unmistakeable driving force of ‘The Pretender’ to the rousing, beyond euphoria of ‘Everlong’ and all the bits along the way - including a true Rick Roll with a teasing snippet of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ with Rick Astley, before properly launching into ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ - Dave Grohl refuses to let any momentum wane. Impressive, given their billed three-hour set time. Foos may get flack for making a fourminute song last three times as long, and being a bit ‘Dad-rock’, but really, is there a band that have been around for as long who can still be met with nearunanimous adoration? Reading proves the wheels on the Foo’s train are far from static. P
something special about The Distillers’ appearance on an absolutely baking Reading main stage in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Tightly packed in formation and prepared to raise the temperature even further, there’s a razor blade sharpness to their music which sits counter to so many of their peers. It’s the back end of the set, and all-time MTV 2 megabanger ‘City Of Angels’, that really takes it to boiling point, though. Packed with attitude, it’s a welcome return. Frank Carter is a Reading institution – come rain or shine, he’ll be there. Partway through today’s set, he even tells an anecdote about attending the festival 19 years ago and seeing Foo Fighters play third from top – conveniently, that’s where he and the Rattlesnakes are now. They make the most of it, too. Frank’s crowdsurfing by the beginning of the second song, and he doesn’t really return to the stage for much of the next 15 minutes. Dean, the guitarist, gets in on the action too, with Frank shouting across the crowd “I’ll race you!” Before diving back in himself. It’s chaos, but it’s organised chaos. The band never miss a note and Frank’s a master of whipping the crowd into a frenzy. It might be a hundred degrees in the shade, but people are leaping about regardless. There’s a reason he’s an institution, you know.
How’s this year been for you? Chrissy: This has been a very developmental year for us. We feel like we’ve done a lot of brave things behind the scenes and for people to see. We’ve made a lot of changes. ‘Past Lives’ was a really important step for us and it’s going to be instrumental in where we go next. Do you know when you’re heading into the studio? Chrissy: We haven’t booked out a schedule. We’re right at the beginning, but have started writing with just the three of us and no other producer or writer in the room. That’s really important because when we do bring someone else in, we’re going to have a very good idea of where we’re going, what we want, and have a really good foundation for what comes next, so it’s going to be very genuine. For the past two records, you’ve ended up writing something like 50 songs before cutting it down. Will: I don’t want to do that again. I feel like if you write five songs straight off the bat, there’s a reason why. They mean something. We just want to make the album, the EP, the whatever instead of writing as much as possible and then going through and picking. Chrissy: The ‘Gravity’ EP we wrote and recorded in nine days and that record did so much for us. It still connects. P Upset 13
Everything you need to know about...
Nervus have never been ones to she away from big issues, and with themes from fascism and austerity, to mental health, their new album ‘Tough Crowd’ sees them taking it up a notch. Em Foster tells us more. + From a writing perspective, my main influences were ‘Less Talk More Rock’ by Propagandhi, ‘All-Amerikkkan Bad$$’ by Joey Bada$$, ‘The Feeding of the 5000’ by Crass, ‘RBG’ by Dead Prez, and ‘I’ve Been Expecting You’ by Robbie Williams. + The guitar solo on ‘Flies’ was recorded through a Ladyfuzz pedal, designed by our very own Lucinda Livingstone. + Listen carefully to second single ‘They Don’t’, and you might hear a popular TV theme. Ten points to those who get it. + During the album recording process, we holed up in the 14 Upset
middle of nowhere and made sure to watch cinematic staples: The Equalizer, Some Kind Of Monster, Clown, and The Fugitive. Also loads of the woman’s world cup. The influences are obvious. + The keys on ‘Fake’ are a result of Paul and Em being left alone in the studio without a producer and recording until 1 in the morning. + On the penultimate track ‘Burn’, we’ve invented a genre. We’re calling it Camp Fire Punk Rock - it’s gonna be big, you heard it here first. P
Nervus’s album ‘Tough Crowd’ is out 27th September.
Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy have properly, officially announced their upcoming worldwide tour, The Hella Mega Tour. The trio of bands will be hitting the road together next spring, with dates in Glasgow (24th June), London (26th), and Huddersfield (27th). They’ve also new albums coming, with Green Day’s ‘Father of All Motherf**kers’ due on 7th February; Weezer’s ‘Van Weezer’ coming on 15th May; and Fall Out Boy’s ‘Greatest Hits: Believers Never Die - Volume Two’, out 15th November. Phew. 14 UPSETMAGAZINE. COM
Jamie Campbell Bower is a man of many talents. He acts, models, writes but, of course, he’s also the frontman for rock outfit Counterfeit. When they first appeared in 2015, and with debut album ‘Together We Are Stronger’, they held a wave of anger; clothed in leather jackets, tight haircuts and scowls that burned. This time around, Jamie and the rest of the band have decided that enough is enough. “I’m excited to begin a new chapter of the band, and of my growth as a person,” he says excitedly. “I think by the end of the last
Words: Steven Loftin. Photos: Patrick Gunning.
Riot_ cycle we were so exhausted from giving a strong, angry, almost negative energy, that we went through into a new thing that’s got a bit more joy and bit more hope and a bit more fun to it.” He’s currently posted up in Yorkshire, a world away from his new home-base of Los Angeles. Eagerly prepping for Counterfeit’s upcoming tour, but more importantly, the release of new single ‘It Gets Better’. There’s no more apt way to demonstrate that you’ve embraced a more positive outlook than a song that rouses as much as it offers advice and a reassuring pat on the back. “When we started writing I was like ‘Man, I’m just really… sad?’” Jamie chuckles with disbelief in his voice. “I’m really sad with what’s going on in the world, and I need to try and pull myself out of this.” “While [the debut] definitely had messages of positivity in it, it was very much self-absorbed and in itself,” he continues. “With [‘It Gets Better’], what I wanted to try and do is pull myself up and make myself more aware; to speak honestly and truthfully about the things that I’ve experienced and what it is that I’ve seen. What it means to be a person.” Holding this concept tight in his palm, it became the voracious building blocks for the new era of Counterfeit; one that he’s more than happy to share because really, we’re all going through the same motions. “That concept was important because on a personal level. No matter what I go through, or what I feel when I’m in the lowest depths of my person - this too shall pass. “On a social level, my whole meaning of existence at the moment, including this band, is to try and unify people, to make them look at one another as people again.” It’s why a Counterfeit show may appear to be an exorcism of sorts. Someone who professes
to give “one-hundred per cent of of me, I’m like, I’m comfortable who it is I am in any art form,” the sure, but I’m actually really tortured artist is by no stretch a ‘uncomfortable’ because it’s character, but the dumping of all painful. Happiness, joy, love the emotional turmoil that Jamie and acceptance of yourself and feels at the time. accepting of our surroundings is “I definitely can enjoy that role uncomfortable.” because it feeds into the negative Not a rock star hiding in the parts of myself that I am very shadows, Jamie’s ready to be the aware of but the journey that I’ve self-confessed “stroppy” figure been on,” he says. who leans into the emotions and “I’ve always tried to be open waves of life. and honest, particularly with “I’m a sassy, theatrical those people who connect motherfucker. I have no problem with the music and who come with that. I used to want to be the to the shows, so if I ever meet hard guy, the tough dude - I don’t somebody and they want to talk care about that anymore,” he about addiction or depression, enthuses. they’re talking to somebody who “I wanna me be! And camp! understands And theatrical! what those Be stroppy, things are, and loving, and the depths that giving and kind those places and just sharing can take you that. I think that too, the places hopefully what they can take this journey and JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER this experience you within yourself. moving forward “Recently I was stood outside a will give me and teach me is a real hotel, getting into the character, sense of myself, and just being and I had an actor say, ‘Are you okay with me. That’s what I want alright, man?’ And I was like ‘I’m for everybody.” just in it, I’m just fucking in it’. He With the second Counterfeit said, ‘You know, you don’t have full-length fast approaching, to be the tortured artist? What Jamie wants it to encompass the you’re doing is entertainment’. same therapeutic feeling that he’s “And I said, ‘Yeah I do see that, been discovering on his journey and I do agree. There’s an element to this point. of entertainment to anything “As the process goes on, I’m that’s in this industry. But my trying to put as much of myself in goal as an artist is to always be there as possible. Even with the as truthful to myself as possible’. artwork, I’ve created a character I’m never going to sit there and that’s based on a fucking sing about something that I don’t teddy bear that I still have!” he believe in.” chuckles. “He still travels the Delving into the many facets world with me, and his character of his life brings with it its own is going to be a part of the world of subliminal charge. “I try not to Counterfeit!” let it weigh on me, but I’m not So, with all that, it would seem sure I’m conscious of it... yet,” that Counterfeit - a name that he smirks. “Perhaps I’ll become itself implies a level a conscious more conscious of it. I’m not imitation - are now the antithesis sitting in as much pain as I used to that very word. to, I’m moving forward from it “Yeah, totally! Maybe it was... with each day that passes, and call it serendipity, call it foresight, that’s really enlightening for us. call it whatever you want,” he “If I sit in that pain, and I’m ends with a husky laugh. P in my ego, and all the bad parts
“I’M EXCITED TO BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER OF THE BAND”
FIND OUT WHAT YOUR FAVE BANDS TAKE ON THE ROAD. THIS MONTH...
Mallory Knox have announced they’re going to split up following their upcoming tour dates. The band - who released their self-titled fourth album this summer - explain in a statement: “Unfortunately we’ve reached the point where we feel we’ve taken Mallory as far as we can both professionally and personally. This isn’t an easy decision for us to make.” Catch the band on the road throughout September and October.
As It Is are ending ‘The Great Depression’ era with a November headline tour. The shows will also mark their final run with guitarist Ben Langford-Biss, who has issued the following open letter regarding his departure: “I am incredibly grateful and proud of everything we have achieved and created together, and for everything you, the fans, have allowed us, however it is time for me to pursue other paths and projects in my life.” “This was by no means an easy decision,” he added. The November tour will see them perform in Southampton (9th), Nottingham (10th), Glasgow (12th), Manchester (13th), Leeds (14th), and London (15th). 20 UPSETMAGAZINE.
COM 20 Upset
REN FROM PETROL GIRLS
Bumbag. Totally essential! Must have many pockets. This is the only way I actually manage to keep my passport, earplugs, phone and everything safe - by strapping them to my body. Swimming stuff. The inflatable flamingo (Clive) isn’t always necessary, but swimming stuff is. You never know when an opportunity might arise! It’s a free shower, and it always lifts me out of a bad mood. DRUGS. I recently started taking magnesium tablets, and it’s revolutionised touring for me. I used to ache all over my entire body from all the headbanging and sleeping in weird positions - but magnesium has miraculously destroyed tour ache! I also always have painkillers on hand, especially if my period’s due, and I take antihistamines whenever I need to knock myself out to sleep. Rock. and. roll.
Ever had to pack for a tour? You’re gonna be spending weeks in a small, intimate space with several other smelly people and - for hours a day, not a lot to do. You’re gonna need to be prepared. That’s why we’ve asked our fave musicians for tips. This month, Ren from Petrol Girls lets us inside their tour suitcase.
Good book(s). I’ve got massively back into reading as a way of switching off from everything and staying off of my phone. My friend Zeba Talkhani’s memoir was a big highlight of last tour! Eye Mask. Personal curtains! Also works well as a “fuck off I don’t want to talk to anyone” sign. Flask! Perfect for a standard cup of tea (I take my own Yorkshire tea bags everywhere) as well as brewing ginger and honey plus various herbs to defend from tour flu and soothe my throat. Saves my voice every tour. #flasklyf P Petrol Girls tour the UK from 14th September.
METROPOLIS MUSIC & THIS FEELING BY ARRANGEMENT WITH SOLO MUSIC AGENCY PRESENT
STAR CROSSED SPECIES TOUR 2019 03.10 - NEWCASTLE THINK TANK 04.10 - GLASGOW STEREO SOLD OUT PETE’S 05.10 - EDINBURGH SNEAKY 10.10 - LEEDS BELGRAVE MUSIC HALL SOLD OUTINSTITUTE 11.10 - MANCHESTER DEAF 12.10 - LIVERPOOL EBGBS 16.10 - CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH 17.10 - BRISTOL THE LOUISIANA SOLD OUT ARMS 18.10 - SOUTHAMPTON JOINER’S 19.10 - BIRMINGHAM CASTLE & FALCON 23.10 - NORWICH WATERFRONT STUDIO 24.10 - LONDON OMEARA 25.10 - BRIGHTON GREEN DOOR STORE SOLD OUT FOUNDRY 26.10 - SHEFFIELD THE
replicr, 2019 65daysofstatic September 27th replicr, 2019 65daysofstatic
THE BEST NEW BANDS. THE HOTTEST NEW MUSIC.
WANT A NEW BAND CRUSH? CHECK OUT THIS LOT! >>>
WIVES Drawing comparisons to lo-fi slacker punk royalty, WAVVES and FIDLAR, NY four-piece WIVES are about to drop their debut album, ‘So Removed’.
MISS JUNE Noisy New Zealand punks Miss June are coming to raise hell in the UK very soon indeed catch them on tour from 28th September.
BLOODBATHER Florida metalcore trio Bloodbather have just signed to Rise Records. FFO Code Orange and Knocked Loose, new material is on the way.
Escaping the bible belt for life in NYC, Erik Garlington spends his time crafting tunes that encompass family, race, and sexual identity, with infectious enthusiasm and charming wit. Joined by drummer Elijah Watson and bassist Natasha Johnson in Proper., the trio have just dropped their latest album, ‘I Spent The Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better’ via indie legends, Big Scary Monsters. Hey Erik, how’s it going? How are you finding New York at the mo, it must be an exciting place to live? Hey! I’m great! Coming up on five years in NY and still loving it every day!
What brought you guys together, how did the band form?
I knew I needed to be in a band with black people, so it was literally just years of searching. A few times, I gave up and enlisted some white friends, but it rarely lasted. They never seemed to get just how special this band could be. Then I met Eli through a mutual friend and asked him to play drums. We spent like five months practising and recording and then I did an acoustic set at a friend’s house and met Natasha there.
And you’re already two albums deep - give us the tl;dr for
your past few years.
“I LIKE BUILDING SUSPENSION AND KEEPING PEOPLE COMING BACK”
any particular faves? Are there any no one’s picked up on yet?
We surprisereleased our first record and kinda hit I don’t think the ground anyone’s running. picked up on US and UK/ the Dear and EU tours, the Headlights late-night reference in TV, SXSW, ERIK GARLINGTON ‘Art School’. etc. Then we That one’s decided to definitely my favourite. The write a new record and kinda do entire first verse was supposed to the same thing. We wrote the new be nothing but band references, record in about six weeks and but it kinda started to feel like a then BSM happened to hit us up Mad lib, so I cut it down. There’s on our second UK tour. Of course, a Brand New reference in there we said yes cuz it’s fuckin’ Big that some people are missing Scary Monsters! We cut the record and plotted for five or so that I’m making fun of BN and months before finally surprise their fans so that one’s always releasing this one as well! fun to explain. Oh, and there’s a Community reference in What are the benefits of ‘Curtain’s Down’ that I love and releasing like that? feel very sly about. I’ve just never liked when bands take 3+ months to release half What are you guys working on the album as singles and tease at the moment, are you straight announcement. It’s like this new into new material, or taking it trend of movie trailers showing a one album at a time? 10-second preview of the trailer I don’t start writing new material you’re about to watch. It just until I know we’re gonna release a doesn’t make any sense to me! project. I’ll write down ideas and I like building suspension and record parts here and there, but keeping people coming back to I just hate sitting on a complete check-in for the latest update. song for years! The record’s only been out a few weeks so right now You guys have a few references we’re just pushing that and lining to other bands and musicians across your music, do you have up some tours! P
M n O t I B lam e Wo rds : Ali Sh utl er. ine r. jas , Jo na tha n We Ph oto s: Da nie l Ro
My Y o u t h
blink-182 have spent a big chunk of 2019 touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1999’s ‘Enema Of The State’. An instant and enduring classic, it was the first of three albums that took the band from Warped Tour pop-punk heroes to one of the biggest bands in the world. “’Enema’ is an album that we’re proud of and it really did stand the test of time,” starts Travis Barker. It was the first blink record he drummed on, and at the time, he had no idea he’d be in the band for the long haul. “I was poor, I was sleeping on people’s couches. I have a friend who’s always said, ‘man, I just want to be a rock star, and I want to play in front of millions of people’. Can I share something with you? My only goal in playing music was to somehow find a way to play my drums and still make enough money to eat and have somewhere to sleep.” “It’s an absolute joy to play that album front to back,” continues Mark Hoppus. “Looking back on it twenty years later, there’s nothing that I would change about it. I still think that every song on there is a banger.” Six days after the final show of the run, they’re releasing their new album ‘Nine’. Anyone expecting nostalgia needs to look elsewhere though. Sure, the band are proud of their legacy, but they’ve still got plenty left to say. The best way to honour their story so far is to carry on as fearlessly as they’ve always done. “When Tom [DeLonge] left the second time, Travis and I had a conversation because we could very easily ride off into the sunset and play greatest hits sets into infinity, but that’s not what we wanna do,” Mark continues. blink could spend the next few years continuing to do anniversary tours for ‘Enema’ followed by 2001’s ‘Take Off Your Pants And Jacket’ and 2003’s ‘Self-
Titled’ and sell out arenas around the world. “We don’t want to be a legacy band. We want to continue to write new, exciting and vital music.” So with Tom gone (again), they recruited Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba as a temporary replacement, and then a full time one. “It was an odd thing to walk into,” he admits, but the band quickly set to work on ‘California’. “I felt like we needed to go back and replant our flag, as to what blink-182 is,” Mark explains. “We had to strip blink-182 back to its very foundations. We had Matt as a brand new member, the band had gone through a lot of turmoil for a bunch of years, a lot of it very publicly, a lot of it behind the scenes and I felt like we needed to re-evaluate, ‘what is blink?’” “We just made a bunch of songs, and it was like redefining blink,” offers Travis. “Yes, this is all the stuff we still like. Yes, we still like all the old stuff that we play.” It was a record that proved blink-182 could still be a band. “Towards the end of the tour cycle for ‘California’, there was kind of a renaissance of blink. There were people discovering blink for the first time because of popular culture coming back around to rock music, as well as a lot of artists citing blink-182 as inspirational to them, from Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At The Disco to The Chainsmokers and Juice Wrld. All different kinds of musicians were talking about growing up listening to blink, and we released ‘California’ in the midst of all that.” The shows became a multigenerational space. “It’s an interesting mix of people that are coming to the shows right now,” continues Mark. “We have life long fans, and we have people who are coming out to some of their first shows, and that’s fucking awesome. You still see the same amount of joy, excitement and people singing your songs back to you as you had twenty years ago. I love it.” With the band re-energised and validated after ‘California’, they then asked, “’Okay, where can we take blink in 2019, and what do we want this band to be?’ That’s what
‘Nine’ is.” To start with the band returned to the studio with John Feldmann, who produced and helped write ‘California’, to just make music. Twenty songs in and they were all pumped by what they’d created. They thought they were close to having a finished record. “Then Travis was like, ‘yeah, I don’t think we have it. I think we’re just making ‘California Two: Electric Boogaloo’, we gotta do something different’,” reveals Matt. “People should either love or hate what you do. For it to be okay, that’s just the worst thing imaginable. We had a bunch of stuff that was okay. It wasn’t new or exciting, and it wasn’t pushing us out of our comfort zone.” “They were great songs, but we realised that’s not what we want to be doing,” continues Mark. They broke off for a little bit before regrouping with the mindset, “Okay, now let’s really write the album that we want to write,” Travis explains. “Let’s write the songs that we are proud of. Let’s not repeat ourselves or make the same album twice. We made that the goal.” With a freshly cleaned slate and a new purpose, the band set to work. Travis took the lead, playing the band a bunch of different beats he’d been working on for an eclectic mix of artists. “’If you guys like any of it, I’d rather it go to blink than anybody,” he reasoned. “We just experimented a little more, in the same way we did on ‘Untitled’. For whatever reason, when we made that record we were stoked on the idea of ‘song is king’ and whatever we write, it can’t be right or wrong.” Mark agrees on everything apart from what their sixth album was called. “We want to push what blink-182 is, we want to surprise people, and we want to do something that stands the test of time. It’s the same energy we had on the ‘self-titled’ album where the songs could be different but still feel like they lived in the same world.” There’s nothing on ‘Nine’ that sounds like ‘I Miss You’, ‘Feeling This’ or ‘Always’. That wouldn’t be exciting enough. Instead it, just like ‘Untitled’, takes the idea of blink-182
“WE DON’T WANT TO BE A LEGACY BAND. WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO WRITE NEW, EXCITING AND VITAL MUSIC” MARK HOPPUS
and challenges it time and time again. Working with different producers, the band opened themselves up to adventure and experimentation. The result is a record that’s their best since they came back from hiatus. “When we were recording ‘Untitled’, we were referencing The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, The Cure and all these giant rock bands,” Mark reflects. “We almost jokingly named that record ‘Our Pet Sounds’ because we wanted people to listen to it and be like, ‘fuck, I had no idea those guys could do that’. I want people to do that again when they listen to ‘Nine’.” “There’s forward motion, and it still feels like blink, it’s just blink 2.0 times two now,” adds Matt. “We were very unified in what we wanted this album to be,” Mark picks up, “and we were all pushing each other to do different stuff. We wanted to push the boundaries of what people think blink-182 can be, and what we think blink-182 can be. We put a lot of work in to make this album a special one. “For me, blink-182 is about the chemistry of the people in the room. We were all in the studio, throwing ideas at one another. Matt has does an amazing job of stepping into a potentially very difficult situation. He makes blink his own while paying respect and honouring the shoes that he’s filling. Matt is vital part of what makes blink-182, blink-182 right now. On this record, even more than on
‘California’, you can really feel and hear his fingerprints all over the songs, especially on things like ‘Black Rain’ and ‘Darkside’.” “It’s only record two, but also, it’s record two,” beams Matt. “It’s a huge deal I’ve been asked back. The fans, whether they love it or not, they’re having it. The guys are happy, so I’m psyched. It’s surreal, but I’m grateful. It’s a beautiful thing.” Recently Matt posted something that said he ‘was really into identified flying objects’. “I thought it was funny,” he smiles. “It wasn’t aimed at Tom, but people flipped out. If that was a jab, I’m not a very good boxer.” Since he joined the band, he’s had to live with the shadow of Tom hanging over him. It must be weird to join a band as revered as blink and have people constantly ask when you’re getting fired. “Tom’s been nothing but nice to me and amazing to our band. I have nothing but nice things to say about him. It’s just one of those things. One day we were in the studio, and I said to Mark, ‘At some point, Tom is going to come back, right? He has to. It would be awesome if he wants to wait a while though ‘cos I’m having way too much fun right now’. “I think it’s kind of inevitable. It seems like they’re all friends and they talk. I’m just glad we have this record, and I’m happy to be doing it. I feel like I have carved out my own space. It’s something that’s taken until now to do, but I know my own role in the band as a third of blink, and it’s something that people have, at the very least, settled into enough to be like ‘okay, well this will do for now until hopefully, Tom comes back’. “There are people that love both, but really, what people think of me, I don’t care. How I feel personally and how my bandmates feel, that’s what’s important to me. I can’t really put it into words other than things have gelled.”
Travis isn’t so sure about breakdowns, tragedy and hope, Tom’s return, though. “I don’t with a persistent sense of loss, know. I mean, I love the guy. I despair and uncertainty. There’s talk to him from time to time, a whole load of chaos and not and we’re friends, but whether much control. two friends ever share the same “One word that comes up a lot musical vision again, that’s in blink songwriting is the devil,” something I says Matt. don’t know. “That guy is It’s kind of mentioned unknown. a lot on this It depends record as on the time a symbol when we of evil and meet up and wrongdoing. if we meet up There’s and if that definitely conversation darkness and MATT SKIBA happens. evil to this It’s like ‘Hey, record, but what is your vision? What are it has to be hopeful in the way your goals’ and then, ‘What is our that blink is hopeful. Mark writes vision, and what are our goals?’ some dark fucking shit though. “If we can all align, then yeah, That guy’s brain goes to some that’d be awesome one day, you dark corners. And it’s amazing.” know? If we can’t, we can’t. It Writing for ‘Nine’ was similar is what it is. I don’t really know to how ‘Take Off Your Pants though, I’m very just present. And Jacket’ was written. “We’d I don’t even look at where I’m written this whole group of playing tomorrow. I just live in songs that we liked, but they the now, and I feel like that’s were mostly dark,” reflects Mark. what works best for me.” “Lyrically it was a little dark, and Lyrically, ‘Nine’ tackles our manager was like, ‘it’s cool, everything from breakups, but there’s got to be some happy
“AT SOME POINT, TOM IS GOING TO COME BACK, RIGHT? I THINK IT’S KIND OF INEVITABLE”
moments on there’. We did the same thing with this record.” 90% in, they realised they needed something more upbeat, which is where ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Blame It On My Youth’ came from. “Mark said to me one day that if you’re singing about happy days or something that you want to happen, you’re not seeing it
from a happy day,” continues Matt. “It’s coming from a bad place.” The band have always balanced a jovial, boyish sense of humour with more serious moments of loneliness, loss or longing. Mark, like a lot of blokes, isn’t great at opening up. It’s easier to make jokes, but in his lyrics, he can be open, honest and vulnerable. “It’s strange because, on this record, we worked with so many different producers to try and keep everything sounding fresh,” he reveals. “It’s weird when you walk into a room with someone you’ve never met before, you sit down to write a song, and they say, ‘Okay, well what’s going on in your head? What’s your deepest fear? What’s your darkest thought? What’s your emotional vulnerability? What are you suffering from right now?’” In one way or another, ‘Nine’ glances at all of these questions. “It’s always strange for the first hour. It feels like a blind date, but you have to abandon yourself to it. If you try and protect yourself and you’re not honest, then you’re going to come out with a song that’s only mediocre, and that feels hedged, safe and protective. Nobody wants to
listen to that music. “People want to listen to music that’s honest, whether that’s ‘I’m having the time of my life with my friends’, ‘I’m in a really dark place, and I feel like nobody can hear me’, or ‘I want to take over the world’. If you’re just making shit up, then it falls flat. When you’re in the studio, you may as well be honest and try and get a great song out of how you’re feeling, rather than write something terrible.” ‘Heaven’ is a little different, though. Once again built around a beat Travis brought in, the initial song just didn’t connect with him. “To me, the beat feels like it relates to the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub,” he explains. The deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, the Pulse Nightclub shooting saw 49 murdered and 53 injured by an American terrorist, and it took place four miles from where Travis lived. “We had to write about it because it’s all we could think about,” adds Matt. Matt has Alkaline Trio. Mark, as he’s proved with Simple Creatures, could happily exist writing, producing and singing outside of blink, and Travis
is perhaps the most in-demand drummer around. They don’t need blink, but they do it because they enjoy it. It still feels fresh. And there are new places to go. On their ‘Enema Of The State’ anniversary tour, Lil Wayne opened for blink-182, and during a hometown show in California, the band were joined onstage by Goody Grace, Jason Aalon Butler, Alex Gaskarth and Josh Dunn at various points in the evening. Unlike most pop-punk groups, blink don’t just live in their scene. They helped define it, then branched out without abandoning those roots. “Travis has been at the forefront of all this forever,” praises Mark. “When he first joined blink, he listened to punk and played in punk rock bands but listened to heavy metal and loved hip-hop. He added all these different influences to blink that weren’t there before. He’d put a Latin beat in the middle of a punk rock track or use a hip hop beat over rock and roll guitars.” Back then, music genres followed strict rules, and as a kid, you were defined by what music you listened to. Now, though: “Genre’s dead. People just like songs. I have a 17-year old son, and if you asked him what kind of music he likes, he wouldn’t even know how to answer you. He’d just say everything.” So rather than worry about who’s
listening or what their fans want from blink, the band let the songs lead on ‘Nine’. “When I write trying to figure out what other people want from blink, it feels watered down,” argues Mark. “I write mediocre songs. blink does its best work when we just keep our heads down, live in our little studio world and write stuff that is important to all of us. That seems to connect with people. If I try and second guess what people want from blink, it’s not gonna be good.” Travis and Mark have been writing music together for twenty years. For artists who like to constantly change, that’s an impressive run. “Having no rules, that’s what makes a blink album exciting for me,” starts Travis. “We’re not confined to being anything. We’re not in the studio taking suggestions. We don’t have like a goal at hand. We’re just doing what comes out. The most exciting thing about it is not like being confined to a style or being boxed in.” Travis is very in demand as a drummer and a collaborator. Recently he’s worked with everyone from Lil Nas and Halsey to Nothing, Nowhere, Machine Gun Kelly and Yungblud. “I have to like what they’re doing, or I have to like them as people. Pretty much everyone that you see my name next to I like, I endorse, or I really am proud of the music we created together. There’s plenty of stuff where I just say, ‘I’m not around’ or ‘It’s not really my thing’. I do love all styles of music, and I grew up listening to all styles of music, and that keeps me creatively satisfied.” Thing is though, blink doesn’t feel like The Day Job or a chore. “With ‘Untitled’, there was no difference between what blink was doing and what popular music was doing. It wasn’t like blink sounded like something throwback or nostalgic. And I can say the same thing about
‘Nine. It’s very modern. same time we’d write a song like “Working with artists like ‘Adam’s Song’. We were trying Yungblud and Machine Gun to write the best songs that we Kelly [on their track ‘Not Okay’], could and try to put on the best I’m proud to say it wasn’t much shows that we could. different than working on the “We were totally written off blink album. Working on blink by the press and by the punk and working rock scene. on whatever Everybody new artists, was worried it isn’t much this was a joke different band. Now right now. though, we’ve And that’s stood the really test of time, satisfying. It and people shows blink respect blink. is doing We’ve had a exactly long career what I really in music, and MATT SKIBA believe in I guess we my heart we just feel more should be comfortable doing.” now.” blink feel unburdened to There’s still something to do what they want. There’s a prove though. freedom to ‘Nine’ that sees the “In some ways, I still feel like I band get weird, wonderful and did back then; like we have to go more interesting than they really out there and prove ourselves in have any right to be. It’s not even every single song and with every out, but already the band are single show. In everything we do, moving forward. we need to put our all into it and “We have an EP that’s try and do the absolute best that coming out really soon with we can. We don’t take anything collaborations with ‘Pharrel, for granted, and I definitely don’t Lil Uzi and Juice WRLD,” grins feel like we can sit back now and Travis. “We’re working on other relax or coast. I never want to feel songs for that, and there are also like that. I always want to have talks of a Christmas EP possibly. that hunger, that drive and that Who knows, though? It depends ambition. I want people to come what we’re like on the day.” to every single tour and be like As for what the band mean ‘oh shit, that’s way cooler than in 2019, “I don’t really sit back the last one’. I want every album and think about it. We’ve been to come out and have people say, moving at such a rapid pace for so ‘oh cool, I didn’t expect this. I long. I’m just in it. I’m present.” didn’t know they could do that’. I One of the most noticeable feel a little more comfortable, but differences between ‘California’, also more hungry.” is the lack of ‘joke’ songs on So will blink be spending 2039 ‘Nine’. There’s no ‘Built This doing a 20th-anniversary tour Pool’ or ‘Brohemian Rhapsody’. for ‘Nine’? “I hope so! When we Mark doesn’t wish people took recorded ‘Enema of the State’, I blink more seriously though. Not had no idea we’d be still talking now, anyway. about it twenty years later, so “Back in the day, like in 1999, anything’s possible in this world. we wondered, ‘why don’t people I hope that we can tour this take us seriously as musicians?’ album twenty years from now. I’ll We’re doing videos where we’re be nearing 70, but it’ll be great.” parodying boy bands and just P blink-182’s album ‘Nine’ is out 20th September. making jokes onstage, but at the
“MARK WRITES SOME DARK FUCKING SHIT; THAT GUY’S BRAIN GOES TO SOME DARK CORNERS, AND IT’S AMAZING”
S T A T Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.
If you’re were making a list of anticipated albums at the start of 2019, you’d best have kicked it off with the debut from The Faim. But not any longer - the band’s first fulllength, ‘State Of Mind’ is here. One of the hottest new talents on the rock block, we pinned down frontman Josh Raven after an explosive set at this year’s Reading Festival to get an introduction to what’s sure to be one of the most important albums of the year. Hey Josh. It feels like it’s been a quiet year for the band. What’s been happening? From an outside perspective, it probably feels that way, but behind the scenes, we’ve been working every single day, man. We really, really grind. We try and give as much as possible. For us, this is an opportunity to be the best we can be. We want to seize every sort of opportunity with both hands. We find ourselves growing becoming the best versions of ourselves. This year has been a huge journey, and the last three years have been an even bigger journey. This album is a reflection of all of that. It’s really
exciting to have it almost out there.
What can you tell us about the debut?
It’s an album that’s been in the making for a while. It’s an acknowledgement of the past and a real perfect acknowledgement to the future for what we want to do with The Faim sonically and conceptually. We’ve been growing, and we’ve been learning a lot. We want to put that into our music.
When was it finished?
We didn’t finish it until after our tour with Andy Black in April. It was meant to be finished, and we were meant to be on holiday, but of course, that’s what happened - no rest for the wicked. So we kept grinding and kept working, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re very lucky, and it’s very humbling to be able to have such an incredible opportunity.
What’s the story behind the title?
Music allows me to tap into a stream of consciousness and a world of thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do normally. It puts me in this state of perpetual expression. It lets me get out some of the things I hold back subconsciously or even consciously. Music tends to break down all those barriers. It’s got this beautiful energy. I feel like each song is a representation of the states of mind that I feel through my personal experiences, through our journey as a band and through all the things we’ve been through together as friends. ‘State Of Mind’ was the perfect way to represent the album as a whole. Individually each song as has got its own identity, but the title definitely reflects a certain part of ourselves that we put out.
Did you worry about trying to tie all those different songs together as one thing?
We thought it would be difficult at
first, just because of how different a lot of the songs are. But there was a realisation that yeah, these songs can to be quite different but what ties them all together is an emotion but also the sheer expression and intensity of it. We’re very, very happy with the result. That’s the main thing we wanted, really. We couldn’t be more proud to release something very personal. I feel vulnerable releasing it out to the world, but in its own way, that’s therapy, and it’s very exciting to do.
Yeah, it’s out real soon. After three years of work, how are you feeling about showing off all these sides of yourself?
Honestly it’s a little… nerveracking is the wrong word, but it does feel like taking the armour off. Releasing the EP was one thing, but this album, there’s a lot of songs. I’m a very honest person in the way I put myself out there musically, but I’m also quite private in a lot of ways. When it comes to writing songs, it’s important to take away all those obstacles and boundaries. With this album, you’ll get to see a lot of the different personalities, different events and experiences that make up the strange person that I am.”
What do you want people to take away from the record?
I want people to get their own unique perspective. I don’t want everyone to have the same thought. I want people to be able to go back and find their own perspective and their own message. That’s important because music for me, it was never really a definite thing. I wouldn’t even consider myself a musician. I’m like an impulsive, emotional wildcard who happens to write music. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but for me, music is more of an expression than it is something that you can sit down and really calculate. P
The Faim’s debut album ‘State Of Mind’ is out now. Upset 33
“WE’RE COMING INTO OUR OWN” Words: Patrick Kinsella. Photos: Beto Barkmo.
Seattle quartet Chastity Belt ended their last tour abruptly, a flurry of shows cancelled as lead singer Julia Shapiro decamped for her friend Kate’s house in Asheville, unsure whether she’d continue with music. “Yeah, it was about that. Should I quit music? Why am I doing this? But also, like, what else could I do?” While Shapiro openly admits that she’s always questioning, always ruminating, this particular stream of thought came from disillusionment with how music had changed for her and her band. “When we first started, it was so different from what we’re doing now; it was a lot more pure. Now it has all these other things attached to it, it’s more business-y than creative, so much emailing! And that takes up more time than actual songwriting and making music, so that’s kind of un-fun. It’s because we’ve gotten bigger and added more people to our team. Essentially it feels like we’re running a small business, which we are. A lot of people think we’re just fucking around and I’m like, ‘you don’t understand’. Some days I’m like, ‘what have I actually done today?’ and then I realise, I was emailing for hours.” It was only a few months, yet in their nine years together it’s the longest time they’d ever been apart. When they did get back together, they slipped back into groove remarkably quickly, square pegs, square holes. “We wrote four songs very quickly
and then yeah, pretty soon we had a full something and then the next one we have album to record.” One of those songs, more skill. On this one, we all had the ‘Rav 4’, openly told the story of Shapiro’s tools to describe what we wanted.” doubts about continuing with the band. Another first came in the form of “Lay in Kate’s bed / It’s true what she said contemporary musician and co-producer / that giving up can take some guts,” she Melina Duterte (Jay Som), the only female sings. “That song’s about cancelling that producer they’ve ever had. “Generally tour we were on. The next day we were it can be easier to communicate with supposed to play in Asheville, North women on creative things, that’s what we Carolina. One of my best friend Kate found - she’s also a friend, Annie [bass] lives there, and we ended up driving is dating her. It was nice to have Melina there, and I spent a few days at her’s, a there as an outside observer because it little bit lost and just processing, trying does get hard sometimes deciding on to figure out what I was doing with my things when it’s your own music. She also life and what to do had a lot of good ideas next. She drives a about guitar tone.” Rav 4 and much of Whereas in the past, that time was spent Chastity Belt have driving around in it, had to come into the just figuring things studio fully rehearsed, through. That line a result of only having [“Driving in a Rav a few days to record. 4”] just came out. I This time, they had had the melody, and a full two and a half I was just singing weeks ahead of them. random lyrics, and “The previous three I thought that was albums have all felt pretty funny. I told rushed, with this Kate, and she was album we had a couple JULIA SHAPIRO like, ‘you have to of weeks - maybe two keep that lyric’.” and a half weeks, so Ironically that period of doubt led we were able to experiment with sounds. to Chastity Belt’s finest album, and the We were kinda open to altering the songs, record most reflective of their united particularly the newer ones, and we talents - there’s a reason it’s self-titled. could play around with different tempos. With ‘Chastity Belt,’ the band create a It felt way more relaxed.” mood, the sonic structures subjecting That experimentation comes across you to a hypnotic daze, a stretched-out prominently; on ‘Elena’ their voices joust, fog to extricate yourself in. Gone are overlapping each other as if exchanging the direct lyrics and the singalong riffs. shade, while on ‘Apart’ they repeat that Indeed, this is about as far away from word over and over again to frame the ‘Cool Slut’ - a raw song proclaiming, chorus. ‘Effort’ shows them at their most “ladies it’s OK to be slutty” - as you can experimental, the outro made up of just get. “We’re maturing,” Shapiro jokes cello and guitar eerily weaving over offhandedly. one another - who’d have thought the While Shapiro has always taken the terms Chastity Belt and instrumental lead on songwriting, ‘Chastity Belt’ is would ever meet? “We’re coming into more reflective of their voices as a whole, our own, as we play together more, the each member inputting more than ever more intricate we can get with our songs before. “Lydia [guitar] and Gretchen because we understand the way we play [drums] are bringing more songwriting music. Things come together so easily to the table; it’s the most songs they’ve because we’re so good at playing music written on a Chastity Belt album.” together,” Shapiro remarks. In a similar It’s also symbolic of their increased vein, we won’t mince our words - Chastity understanding of the recording process, Belt are one of the best bands around and this being the only album they’ve if, as they say, this is them ‘coming into ever co-produced. “We’ve all got more their own,’ then they’re set to become experimental since the album before frighteningly good. A band for the this and we’ve all got better at listening history books. P Chastity Belt’s selftitled album is out 20th September. and mixing, with each record we learn
“A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK WE’RE JUST FUCKING AROUND AND I’M LIKE, ‘YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND’”
HOW TO 38 Upset
SURVIVE Words: Beth Casteel.
It’s been a decade since Orange County outfit Of Mice & Men became a beloved staple in the alt-metal community. Since their initial introduction into the scene, they’ve proven themselves to be a mainstay, despite adversities that
would eventually come their way during their storied career as a band. Plagued with line-up changes, they’ve held strong, and following the departure of frontman Austin Carlile in 2016 released their fifth album with bassist Aaron Pauley stepping
into the role. We always start with the music, ‘Defy’ certainly defied any and the music was always the trepidation of a post-Carlile four of us, so that didn’t change. world. With Of Mice & Men’s first Then as far as when [Austin] was Pauley-led album under their in the band versus when he’s belts, the group quickly went not, we would work on lyrics back into the studio to start and vocals together versus work on the songs that would now I work on them by myself. eventually become their sixth But overall, the process hasn’t album. changed at all. That’s part of ‘EARTHANDSKY’ is their what allowed us to get past all of latest effort, that; it wasn’t and it’s so drastically one that different. It showcases was us doing the band what we knew doing what and doing it they do the way that best: giving we knew how fans pure, to do it. unrelenting earworm Tell us about AARON PAULEY tracks that the recording you’ll want to process, how listen to over and over again. did that go? To celebrate the release, As far as the release goes, that’s Aaron Pauley discusses the meticulously planned. However, record in more depth and offers when we’re in the studio, we an insight into what Of Mice & don’t try and stick to any rigidity Men have “ben threw” (sorry) in or defined plan, or preconceived their decade as a band. notion of what we want to accomplish. A lot of that is about the fluidity and how we’re feeling ‘EARTHANDSKY’ is your sixth in the moment. You know, what studio album, and it’s your excites everybody when we’re tenth anniversary, too. How sitting down listening to things. would you say the band has
“FANS WILL PROBABLY BE SURPRISED AT HOW UNRELENTING IT IS’”
evolved in that time frame?
I came on board in 2012, and every year we try and refine our craft more and more, whether it’s musicianship and the musical side of things with making records, or as live entertainers. Something we’ve always been trying to do is not necessarily evolve, but refine what we do more and more. You know, cause every time we play a show, every time we go on tour, every time we get in the studio, every time we start to write songs, we find that the process becomes easier and more fluid.
This is your second album leading the band. What has been the biggest difference from having Austin in the group to then releasing ‘Defy’, to now creating this one? 40 Upset
And what about the lyrical content?
That was harder for me than in previous records because of where I was at in my life, and also regarding my mental health. Through that kind of struggle, it produced something that has been a very fruitful and rich record regarding the emotional content.
Did you try experimenting at all?
I think this record was probably, at least since I’ve been with the group, one of our least experimental in regards to saying outright, ‘okay, we’re going to experiment with these sounds’. A lot of this record was us feeling more like we were settling into what we do
best, which is making heavy, aggressive, emotive music. I feel like ‘Defy’ is a more experimental album in regards to the songwriting; this record is more potent though, overall.
it is. Typically, in the past, we would write more emotionally dynamic records; we’ve always prepared our track listings to take you on a journey. We’re going to take you on some ups, and we’re going to take you on some downs. And this record is so much more unrelenting; it pretty much kicks your ass until it’s over. I think if people are paying attention to the fine details, and the lyrics, and the way the stories all intertwine without doing something as cliché as a concept record, if you find that thread and you follow that thread through, it offers a lot more than some of our previous records.
What themes you were trying to explore, and what do they represent to you?
Do you think fans will be surprised when they first listen to this record? What do you hope the takeaway is going to be? I think that fans will probably be surprised at how unrelenting
A few of the songs have concepts, and I’d come up with a handful of ways that some of the songs could kind of interact, lyrically or somatically or musically with one another. That’s another thing too; some of these songs musically interact with one another in a way that if you got creative and put them into some sort of studio app, you can kind of see that it’s almost like puzzle pieces. It’s funny, but I think more or less, it was just about writing very honest, visceral music that makes us feel something when we’re playing it. I know that sounds really cliche and corny, but that sort of innocent approach to creating something that somebody is supposed to connect with on an emotional level. I think it’s lost in the studio because you’re trying to think of how to make something good, and good is a quality. Good is qualitative. But having somebody feel something, there’s no real way of measuring that, you know? We tried not to think too much about it. The most thought that went into it was probably on the lyrical and vocal side. And a lot
of that is literally me just sitting with the instrumental saying, ‘What is this song saying to me?’ Then figuring out how our story fits in with all of it.”
You mentioned the record tells a greater story, can you explain how and what fans should be looking for?
I would encourage fans to watch our three newest music videos as they all tell a bigger story which will be revealed as the record is released. A lot of what we’ve done with the continuity of this record we’ve kept very subtle, and [we’ve tried] not to expose the fact that we’ve crafted something that definitely has a concept. I would definitely encourage people to watch the music videos and pre-order the album. And if you get the physical copy of it, that all ties into the videos and ties in with the songs and there’s other content that you will get with the physical that you won’t get with just the digital.
How has the reaction been to the new songs so far? ‘Mushroom Cloud,’ ‘How To Survive’ and ‘EARTHANDSKY’, which are the three singles we’ve released from the record, have some of the best and craziest reactions [live]. It’s a good feeling to be 10 years in and have a new album coming out and have people care about the new material rather than just saying ‘play the old shit’. It’s nice; it lets us know that in doing our due diligence and creating music that connects with people when we play live it connects and that’s what it’s all about.
What is the rest of 2019 looking like for Of Mice & Men? New music, new touring. We’ll be coming to a city near whoever is reading this. P
Of Mice & Men’s album ‘EARTHANDSKY’ is out 27th September. Upset 41
It’s a little after midday in Cincinnati, Ohio, and The Menzingers’ Greg Barnett thoughtfully explains down the phone line: “I lived here for the first three years of my life, but I don’t really remember it. It’s surreal coming back here to a place you have a connection to but don’t have a connection to. “I walk around hoping to feel something special, but I’m like, ‘Nah, this is just like anywhere else’,” and it sounds like a Menzingers song that hasn’t yet been written. The band are playing in Cincinnati as part of their summer US tour as they continue the relentless schedule that has taken them around the world following the release of ‘After The Party’ two and a half years ago. That album, the band’s fifth studio offering, took The Menzingers to new heights with the all-too-real struggle of punks trying to age with dignity to the soundtrack of some of their catchiest, well polished, tunes to date. That album casts a big shadow as a defining moment in the life of The Menzingers and Greg is first to admit they weren’t sure where they were going to go next. But ‘Hello Exile’ has them holding a mirror to themselves and looking deeper than ever before. Wrestling with the stinging heartbreak of ‘Strangers Forever’, lamenting political upheaval in ‘America (You’re Freaking Me Out)’ or describing
Words: Alex Bradley. Photos: Jess Flynn.
how the hangovers only last longer the older you get in ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking’, this album has Greg Barnett’s mind under a microscope. “There is a lot of isolation and love and loneliness that gets talked about throughout the album,” he explains. “And the word ‘exile’ is just so powerful to me; it’s pretty intense. We wanted [‘Hello Exile’] to have a doublesided meaning of acceptance towards that, and also the negative context of exile. “I have this 2,000-page book about Napoleon on my nightstand - I read three pages and pass out immediately - and he was exiled twice, and that’s always stuck with me. A lot of those themes of feeling isolation, desperation and loneliness carry through in a lot of these songs and really did fit the overall work of the album.” The similarities between the singer and Napoleon are pretty thin; don’t expect Greg to appear wearing one of those bicorn hats anytime soon. But, in his own way, he is leading The Menzingers revolution as they head into the unknown. That revolution comes from the closure that came from ‘After The Party’ - the closure on their 20s, their struggles as a touring band, Greg’s own struggles - has given The Menzingers the freedom to explore their sound and look inwardly on its follow-up. Musically, the shackles are off too with the band feeling less pressure to deliver the classic punk rock, high production, singa-long hits which decorated the last album and instead craft an album that is a snapshot of who The Menzingers are now; warts and all. Greg explains: “The success that we got from ‘After The Party’ allowed us to experiment with ‘Hello Exile’ in a way that if it weren’t successful then we’d have been like, ‘Okay, we need to write a hit record, a bunch of singles, we need to do this’. But we really didn’t do that this time around. We want to write songs that we
want to write regardless of if they song about 100 times. I had so could ever get on the radio or many different versions of it. I was whatever.” so particular about exactly what I mean, there is still the big, I wanted to say. It’s very difficult shimmering, summery bop of to write overly political songs; ‘Anna’ as the lead single but that they can come off a little cheesy itself is a departure sonically too. sometimes.” The changes are subtle, but they While it was one of the last help create ‘Hello Exile’ as an lines to be written for the album album that is “pretty vibey” in the and was potentially going to be singers own words. A lot of that is polarising, it quickly became down to the continued relationship one of the singer’s favourites. He with producer Will Yip. admits: “That line always meant “He has this ability to pull a lot to me because there is such things out of us that we have never an insane disconnect with the seen before, never heard, and we people that you love between these knew we wanted to sound different generations. It’s insane to me how to ‘After The Party’ and we all went everybody knows people in their in with that context,” Greg claims. lives who vote against the interests “We knew we wanted the drums of their children that they love, to have a big and it’s just live booming surreal to me sound; we how that could wanted the happen. guitars a “It’s very little bit more frustrating subdued. We to live in a wanted the society where vocals to have these things some effects on are allowed them and really to happen. be present It felt very on top of the important to mix. Make it say something. so that it’s a I don’t have all storytelling the answers at GREG BARNETT album and all, but there have sonically was so much the instruments reflect that.” frustration for how fucking upset One of the finest moments on I am that right now to have to live ‘Hello Exile’ comes with all those through this.” production notes in force in the The Menzingers, over all album’s opening track ‘America six of their albums, have never (You’re Freaking Me Out)’. Had it shied away from including social not been for summer jam ‘Anna’, commentary and politics into their and that they’re still working on “a music, but it isn’t what defines pretty extensive plotline” for the them either. “Politics is always music video for the track (which personal, and I think it’s a part will see the band team up with of all of us. It would feel wrong to Whitney McConnaughy who made not say something. I don’t think the outstanding video for ‘I Don’t we’ve ever been a band that shove Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’), our beliefs down other people’s it would have been the first single throats. I’m a pretty tolerant for the album, too. person, but it gets to a point An anthem for disillusioned where I feel like I’ve just got to say American’s everywhere, the something.” opener doesn’t mince its words as It’s not the only swipe at the Greg asks: “What kind of monsters world around us either with Tom did our parents vote for?” May taking the lead on ‘Strawberry “I rewrote the verses to that Mansion’ which takes aim at
“I’M A PRETTY TOLERANT PERSON, BUT IT GETS TO A POINT WHERE I FEEL LIKE I’VE JUST GOT TO SAY SOMETHING”
climate change. They’re two, very current and very relevant, topics on ‘Hello Exile’ but the tracks which make up the backbone of this album have actually been kicking around for quite a while. Greg points out deeper cuts like ‘High School Friend’, ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking’, and closer ‘Farewell Youth’ as some of the first ideas for LP6 and the personal nature of each of them ultimately shaped the songwriting for the entire album. He states: “There are always these songs that never get finished and sit on the back burner. I may show it to the band, and it’s like ‘that’s pretty cool, but the idea is not really formed out’.” The album’s darkest point, ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking’, took a year to get fully realised but the thought of playing the song live and digging up those emotions comes with some trepidation for the singer. “I feel like I have always reconciled in the past a lot of things and topics of what we sing about and then, by the time we’re ready to play them live, I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m ready to move on’, but these are pretty tough. “I guess I’ve never felt afraid for my family to hear some of these songs,” he laughs. “I think about getting a phone call from my parents when they hear ‘I
“IT’S INSANE HOW EVERYBODY KNOWS PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES WHO VOTE AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF THEIR CHILDREN”
Can’t Stop these setlists Drinking’, in a way we that’s not don’t kill going to be a everyone in fun one, but the crowd!” he it is what is.” jokes. While “People that that track come to the remains shows want as one of to hear ‘The the more Obituaries’ introspective every single and intimate time, and it moments on makes sense; the album, you’ve got to ‘High School play the hits GREG BARNETT Friend’, and things however, was like that. But transformed from its acoustic then again, you kinda want to bare bones into an anthem for play a few deeper cuts and a reminiscing about high school lot of the newer songs and tie hi-jinx. everything in. I don’t know if “I’m really really happy with we’ve necessarily figured that out those two songs in particular yet, but this fall before the tour as they’re super personal to me. we are going to try to find a way to They mean a lot,” Greg reveals. cram everything in and find the The Menzingers will bring creative ways to do it all.” ‘Hello Exile’ to the UK early next Regardless of the plan for year and at the moment the plan touring, when the album drops for that tour has more questions this October, it will be one of the than answers for how the band stand out records of the year. plan to fit an ever-growing list of There was no hangover from “must play” songs into their set. ‘After The Party’ but instead, the “We wanna play longer sets, opportunity for The Menzingers but we’re already playing an to take all that made that album hour 20 and by an hour 10 you so special and turn that spotlight look out in the crowd, and people back onto themselves for one are exhausted. We want to fit all of their finest works yet. P The Menzingers’ album ‘Hello Exile’ these songs in, up the production, is out 4th October. do everything but we gotta write
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ESS GANG Words: Sam Taylor. Photo: Ian Laidlaw.
When Melbourne punks Press Club arrived with their debut album ‘Late Teens’ last year, it prompted an avalanche of praise for their ability to perfectly capture what it’s like to be, well, in your late teens. On their second outing ‘Wasted Energy’, they’re looking out to the world around them. Drummer Frank Lees tells us more. Hello Frank, how’s it going? Are you good? It must be an exciting time for you, with a new album.
I’m very good, I’ve recently fractured my shoulder, so I’m just on light physical duties, which is nice for a change. We’re excited about the new album! We’ve had a heap of positive reactions, so we’re quietly basking in that. All in all, I think everyone in the band is feeling very loved and excited to be touring this new record.
Tell us about the record - when did you start working on it, and what was the process of piecing it together like?
We started writing songs not long after we finished with ‘Late Teens’. We had grand plans at that time to try and release multiple albums a year, but we
weren’t quite organised enough to pull off a feat like that. It also got pretty busy after the release of ‘Late Teens’, with touring and gigs and things, so the process slowed down a hell of a lot. When I think about it like that, it kind of makes sense that this album sounds more diverse musically, because the songs were written in various stages in our lives over the last couple of years.
months ago. Before that, he was renting a place beneath a larger studio in Melbourne called The Aviary, which was also where we recorded ‘Late Teens’. I think he moved out cause it was costing him a boat.
Much of the record focuses on change, do you feel to be going through a period of transition yourselves?
“THE STAKES SEEM TO BE GETTING BIGGER”
In some ways, yes and others, no. This one must’ve While the stakes been on the way seem to be getting to being finished bigger, with us FRANK LEES at the point you going overseas released ‘Late and now releasing Teens’ in the UK, was that a bit our second album, we are still weird? running the band ourselves; and ‘Wasted Energy’ was basically still abiding by the same rules done by the time we got over to and values we set out when the Europe in April, so our focus was group started. That being said in two places at once. We hadn’t though, we’ve all grown a lot in been in that situation before, so the last few years, and I think it was a little weird. Although we we might all be a little wiser and had to go back and relearn some more comfortable in ourselves, stuff off that first album. So it still all good mates too. sort of gave a new lease on life on What are you up to now, a few of those songs.
How long have you guys had your own self-built studio for, is that a new thing? What’s the story behind that?
That studio really belongs to our guitarist, Greg [Rietwyk]. He’s a freelance recording engineer, so he does a lot of other bands’ stuff out of that space as well. There’s also a couple of other guys who use that room as well so we can’t really claim it as solely ours. Greg started building the studio in one of the spare rooms in a warehouse that he works at, probably about six
presumably there’ll be a slightly longer wait for album number three?
I don’t know, we haven’t talked much about the third album yet. I think it would be nice to try and come up with something really quickly. Like, taking a bit longer to do this second album was great, and we got some really positive results, but maybe it would be cool to really nut out an album in a few intense months? If we do go down that route, you might not be waiting all that long. P Press Club’s album
‘Wasted Youth’ is out now.
Rated_ THE OFFICIAL VERDICT ON EVERYTHING
blink-182 find themselves. Even without core member Tom DeLonge - still absent on his quest to believe - perhaps more than any of their peers, blink feel like a constant; a presence to rely upon, always tying the scene around them together with invisible string. That spell isn’t going to be broken with ‘Nine’, either. A record of textbook latter-day blink-182, it’s a testament to just how comfortable Mark, Travis NINE and Matt are in their own skin. e eee Evolved but never standing still, it’s a record that knows exactly what it’s attempting elevancy. That’s the word to achieve. Never drifting into that haunts every iconic ‘Hello, fellow kids’ territory, there’s a maturity to the likes band eventually. After of ‘Heaven’ and ‘Black Rain’. At a spell in the sun, it’s easy for their heart, blink have become those giants of generations the template for their craft - the past to lose their vitality; strength of the material on show always running the risk of being is evidence of that. There’s fun usurped by something fresher, too, though - especially the short, shinier and newer. sharp thrash of ‘Generational For most, it’s a fatal curse. Divide’ - a fleeting moment that Before long, they’re a memory of proves they’ve still got that fire a long-gone era - reduced to the too. No matter what the calendar odd ‘remember them?’ shared says, blink-182 are still the mark between those old enough to have by which every other band of lived through their heyday. But their class should be judged. P for a select few, they live on. Like Dan Harrison perpetual icons of something bigger than the band themselves, they’re virtually timeless. That’s the tier in which
CAR BOMB MORDIAL eeee
‘Mordial’ is an unrelenting experimental odyssey that takes Car Bomb’s metal sound and warps it in a multitude of directions. It’s an album where nothing is quite as it seems; you’re pummelled by heavy riffs on the visceral ‘Fade Out’ and ‘Vague Skies’ before being pulled in different directions as ‘Scattered Sprites’ evolves into odd drum patterns and spacy, winding guitar solos. Four albums in and the Long Island quartet are firmly indulging in their own cultivated DIY aesthetic, and it’s resulted in a sonically diverse record that both challenges and excites in equal measure. P Martyn Young
CHASTITY BELT CHASTITY BELT eeee
When a band is four albums and nine years in, and only now deploying their self-titled record, you can tell that they’re about to say something important. After some brief time apart working on other endeavours, ‘Chastity Belt’ sees the eponymous quartet teaming up with dream pop magician Melina Duterte - better known as Jay Som - to create an album that feels both deeply personal but also wondrously poignant. A signature record to treasure. P Dan Harrison
CHELSEA WOLFE BIRTH OF VIOLENCE eee
This past decade, blackened folk-rock has redefined the way that we think about heaviness. Chelsea Wolfe did it in her latter albums by combining her sweet blues-ladened powerhouse vocals with haunting
electronics to create desolation, so it’s surprising to see her strip everything back to its core as she revisits her roots on ‘Birth of Violence’, and it shows just how brilliant each of her powers are. Perhaps this isn’t the record that people expected from Wolfe, but it’s the one that she needed to make. P Paris Fawcett
CITY AND COLOUR A PILL FOR LONELINESS e ee
City and Colour’s 2015 effort ‘If I Should Go Before You’ was largely built of lengthier, rockier arrangements and new LP ‘A Pill for Loneliness’ burrows further down that rabbit hole. ‘Strangers’ bustles in on chugging palm-muted chords and morose rhymes, while ‘Astronaut’ lays out under the stars in a sprawling six minutes. The anchor, as ever, is Dallas Green’s airy, unique vocal, floating over shimmering guitars and tumbling drums. While some of the tracks here can meander on a minute or so too long, Green will always have that one-of-a-kind voice to carry his music wherever he wants. P
GIRL BAND THE TALKIES e eee
Recorded in a stately home on the outskirts of their native Dublin, Girl Band’s second album ‘The Talkies’ sounds like what would happen if they had been in The Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s terrifying ‘The Shining’ instead. A startling record, eerie and difficult at times to listen to, to say it isn’t going to be for everyone is probably the only obvious thing about it. But for those it clicks with, it will be opening strange doors into a world of beautiful nightmares for years to come. P Jamie MacMillan
HALFNOISE NATURAL DISGUISE eeee
Sometimes, there’s no need to mention it. Yes, Zac Farro’s other band might be international megastars, but HalfNoise are much more than an add-on to the Paramore story. In fact, they’re becoming their own fabled tale at record speed. From the hazy psych of ‘Who Could You Be?’, they’re a band who know exactly who they’re trying to be. Effortlessly cool and riding a vibe of their own, at times their aesthetic is almost audible. Grainy Super 8 and over-exposed filters abound, there’s something reassuringly assured about HalfNoise’s third full-length. This is no side-project. It’s a disguise so natural it’s a basically a second skin. P Dan Harrison
THE NOTHING ee Given what frontman Jonathan Davies has been through over the past few years, you’d expect ‘The Nothing’ to be a deeply personal record from
Korn. The album’s title, he says, is taken from a place where dual and paradoxical elements exist together, yet this deep introspective narrative seems lost in an album that fails to make an impact. For the most part, the lyrics feel static and overly simplistic, and there are very few standout hooks or riffs, which from a band who are as iconic as Korn are, is just disappointing. P
A PICTURE OF GOOD HEALTH eeee LIFE’s first album, 2017’s wryly titled ‘Popular Music’, was a chaotic collection of bangers held together with spit and sawdust and recorded across multiple periods. As a result, it felt like more of a potted history of the band than a coherent statement of intent. ‘A Picture of Good Health’ is also chaotic and also feels like it might fall apart at the seams, but there’s a steel thread running through it this time. It feels like a ‘proper’ album in the way that their debut didn’t – recorded over four weeks and with its feet firmly planted in one direction, it’s the album the Hull punks deserve. P Jake Hawkes
TOUGH CROWD eeee ’Tough Crowd’ is Nervus’ most dynamic effort to date and tackles socio-political topics head-on. Given the current shit show Britain is facing at the moment, the album offers a sense of relief. It’s not so much a comfort blanket, however, but instead a mammoth protest sign. Some parts come off as maybe a bit too literal, but that doesn’t really matter when you know this band don’t give a fuck about what anyone else thinks. The beautiful but tragic ‘Where’d You Go’ is a perfect way to end an album that has so much to say about the damage done to our society, delivering with unapologetic wit. P Jasleen Dhindsa
OF MICE & MEN EARTHANDSKY eeee
‘EARTHANDSKY’ continues to expand on Of Mice & Men’s metalcore roots, but elevates those classic breakdowns and screams to a heavier hard rock sound. The band have taken no mercy in showing a different side of themselves, presenting a newfound sense of cohesion; from the song titles, the darker lyrical themes and even the cover art, ‘EARTHANDSKY’ feels like a carefully constructed addition to their catalogue. P Beth Casteel
SLEEP ON IT PRIDE & DISASTER eee
With ‘Pride & Disaster’, Chicago four-piece Sleep On It offer up ten tracks of well-produced melodic punk jams that put a positive spin on life’s ups and downs, while maintaining their
with glee, while ‘Where The River Runs’ shows a whole different side, full of emotion and heart. The Faim have delivered, but that was never in doubt. P Stephen
signature punchy pop-punk riffs. The powerful delivery of said lyrics by frontman Zech Pluister, with their riff-heavy backing, help elevate the songs from the band’s 2017 debut. P Beth Casteel
Justin Hawkins and Vin Diesel isn’t an obvious comparison. But just like the muscular star and his beloved Fast & Furious films, there is always a nagging doubt as to whether The Darkness’ frontman is fully in on the joke, and on ‘Easter Is Cancelled’ there are signs that they are losing sight of the joke altogether. Opener ‘Rock And Roll Deserves To Die’ is classic Darkness, not subverting but leaning fully into those hair metal tropes perfectly. Unfortunately, that is largely as good as it gets. Tracks like ‘How Can I Lose Your Love’, feeling for all the world like a sad sequel to ‘Growing On Me’ and ‘Live Til I Die’ suffer from being stuck firmly in a strange MOR territory. Like much of the album, they have forgotten the fact that when The Darkness stop being funny, everything stops working. P
To say that we are living in ‘crazy’ times is one hell of an understatement. With so many intent on ripping not just the present but the future up too, the past becomes ever more attractive. The Menzingers’ sixth album, ‘Hello Exile’, serves up big portions of nostalgia for those better days, tapping into the anxieties and anguish of a generation that sees their future hurtling towards them on the horizon before they ever really grew up. If ‘Tellin Lies’ was a significant evolutionary leap, ‘Hello Exile’ is a smaller step, but one that nudges them further away from their punk origins into the next part of their journey. P
EASTER IS CANCELLED ee
THE FAIM STATE OF MIND eeee
Since the time The Faim first burst onto the scene, we’ve known they were heading for something big. It wasn’t just the list of names onboard that marked them out as a sure thing - from the word go they sounded like the kind of band to make waves. In the time in between, they’ve evolved spectacularly. Now, with debut album ‘State of Mind’ finally on the table, they’re a fully formed sensation in waiting. Opener ‘Tongue Tied’ packs a vocal that Patrick Stump would sign off
HELLO EXILE eeee
VOID OF VISION HYPERDAZE eeee
Encompassing all the darkest depths of the human psyche, Melbourne Metalcore quartet Void Of Vision see no light at the end of the tunnel. Instead, there’s just an intense blackness in which they revel on their thrilling second album ‘Hyperdaze’. The band has never shied away from the bile and fury that characterises their music, and here it’s ramped up to maximalist extremes. An album that packs a massive amount into its 12 tracks, ‘Hyperdaze’ succeeds in establishing Void of Vision’s manifesto and hammering it home perfectly. P Martyn Young
A SHORT Q+A WITH
65DAYSOFSTATIC Paul Wolinski lifts the lid on the band’s latest offering.
Hey Paul, did you have any specific goals going into this album? What was your headspace like?
The goal was simple: we’d unravelled all of our compositional techniques and wanted to put them back together. The computer game soundtrack (for the game No Man’s Sky) was massive, sprawling, literally infinitelylong in the game and it came out as a four vinyl boxset. Then our own algorithmic experimenting generated hours and hours of music. All of this was rewarding in its own way but was in danger of going a bit prog, and we felt that what some of it lacked was a sense of purpose or intentionality. We wanted to make a record that was focussed and laser-like in its intentions, a record where no note or noise was a waste of frequencies.
It kinda feels like a soundtrack to the end of the world, what are you hoping listeners take away from it? That the world is ending. Look at what is happening. There’s
65DAYSOFSTATIC REPLICR, 2019 eeee
65daysofstatic have always forged their own distinct path and they continue to travel down their experimental journey with sixth album, ‘replicr, 2019’. Heavy on atmosphere and portent the band strip back their expansive sonic pallet to its most primal form, ramping up the darkness and despair throughout bleak soundscapes and punishing noise. P Martyn Young a sliver of time left to build any kind of inhabitable future for humanity. It’s socialism or barbarism. Time to pick a side. Records that allow people to find a temporary calm or retreat from the world are invaluable these days, but this record is not like that. It is not designed to give listeners a means to escape their dread, it’s designed
to antagonise or perhaps weaponise it.
Do you think immersing yourself in such an emotionally heavy vibe impacts your view of the world? It’s the other way round. Immersing ourselves in the world impacts how we make a record. You just have to watch the news.
What else are you guys working on at the mo, do you have any other exciting projects in the pipeline? As well as the album we’re currently doing this subscription project called A Year of Wreckage (check http:// subscription.65daysofstatic. com). We are releasing music every month to subscribers for a year as a series of EPs. We also launched our own podcast called Bleak Strategies. So far it’s been mostly unorganised chatter about our old records and why capitalism is bad. P
Read the full interview at upsetmagazine.com.
EVERYONE HAS THOSE FORMATIVE BANDS AND TRACKS THAT FIRST GOT THEM INTO MUSIC AND HELPED SHAPE THEIR VERY BEING. THIS MONTH, SOEUR TAKE US THROUGH SOME THE SONGS THAT MEANT THE MOST TO THEM DURING THEIR TEENAGE YEARS. WITH... SOEUR DR DRE Anything on the ‘2001’ album
Tina: Musically one of my favourite albums of all time. Although I quickly realised I couldn’t really relate lyrically, I still loved listening that album to death.
DESTINY’S CHILD No, No, No
Tina: As a young girl, not only did this song and literally every other DC song musically resonate with me, but the message of independence, girl power, friendship and loyalty struck a chord and most probably shaped me in some way. Even today I can’t help but break into dance when I hear a DC song. I’m not ashamed either.
OXIDE AND NEUTRINO Bound 4 Da Reload
Tina: I remember my brother playing this song LOUD and becoming completely obsessed with garage for about ten years through my teens. It didn’t matter what the song was about back then. Later on, I’ve discovered how important lyrics are but back then all I wanted was music to dance to.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Bulls On Parade
James: Every teenage house party had this blasting out the parents’ hi-fi.
BIFFY CLYRO Bodies in Flight
James: Probably another house party singalong to be fair! I think early Biffy still has a foundation in the music we’re writing now.
James: Probably where it all started to change for me, listening to the weirder side of rock and realising there’s a whole other world .
Anya: I wasn’t exactly a normal kid, I struggled a lot and felt like I didn’t belong. Listening to this song helped me realise that I wasn’t alone in that.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Bombtrack
Anya: I remember being about 12/13yrs old, I’d woken early at my big sister’s student house and was raiding her laptop for some new music to put on my iPod. The name “Rage Against The
Machine” seemed promising, so I hit play and fell immediately in love, I’d never heard anything like it.
PJ HARVEY Man-Size
Anya: I didn’t discover PJ Harvey until I was about 16 or 17 when a boyfriend of mine insisted I listen to the album ‘Rid of Me’; it honestly changed my life. I love how you can almost see the movement of her face as you listen to her singing, the fearlessness with which she experiments with her voice and the unapologetic intensity of her emotional expression. It taught me a lot. P
Soeur’s EP ‘No Show’ is out 23rd September.
Featuring blink-182, Of Mice & Men, The Faim, The Menzingers, Poppy and more.