Since forming in 2011, Leeds’ four-piece Cold Summer have been honing their brand of experimental melodic rock. With two EP’s to their name so far, the quartet ended 2014 touring with U.S. stoner rockers He Is Legend. Since then they’ve been balancing their time between writing new material and commitments outside of the band. Now after some time away, Cold Summer are set to return in April with ‘Fight To Survive’. Their third EP is their most focused effort to date. Today Already Heard is hosting the exclusive video premiere for ‘A Time Imagination Forgot To Inspire’.
The first single from the EP proves to be a fierce, melodic slice of post-hardcore as the band, made up of vocalist Dan Feast, guitarist Chris Harrison, bassist Chris Hepworth and drummer Justin Eastwood, take on the evasive world of the music industry. With their continuous DIY approach, Cold Summer provide an intriguing message on ‘A Time Imagination Forgot To Inspire’.
In addition to premiering the video, we also spoke to the band to learn more about ‘Fight To Survive’.
AH: It’s been over two years since we last heard from Cold Summer and now you’re back with a new single and EP. Can you bring us up to speed with what the band have been up to over the past 18 months?
Justin: After the He Is Legend tour (towards the end of 2014) we actually finished writing and recording ‘Fight To Survive’ and work on this was pretty much completed by early 2015.
Assessing the year we had ahead of us in terms of happenings in peoples lives, I guess outside the band, we accepted keeping things ticking over the best we could by playing some one off shows as and when we could. The time we’d spent in the past touring was more heavily focused on writing / time in our practice space. We felt we needed to do this to ensure our new release was going to be a big step up from what we’d done previously, so it felt the time was best invested in that under the circumstances and then plan for the EP to be released in early 2016.
Dan got married last year, Chris (Hepworth) completed his doctorate and Chris (Harrison) has been working towards further qualifications in teaching. So without really falling too much off the radar but admittedly not hitting the road as much we would have liked in 2015, we made the best of the time over this 18 months period that we honestly weren’t used to!
AH: You’re premiering the video for ‘A Time Imagination Forgot To Inspire’ with us. What is the track about?
Dan: Personally to us how there seems to be a lack of inspiration / integrity / honesty in some areas of mainstream music today, or more specifically the music industry that sells it. It just feels to me that we are living in a time imagination forgot to inspire, it didn’t feel like this for me growing up listening to bands that I’d hear being played on the radio for example, but I certainly feel this way now.
Justin: It does feel like some bands or artists are presented (at their own expense) with no time to develop as an artist organically, my understanding is it’s just like a 2 year cycle to sell sell sell and then its what then? they most likely call it a day.
There always seems this stigma of being I guess part of the hype machine or trend and bands like feeling that they must comply or even there doesn’t seem to be the urgency to step back from this mentality which is why you see so many bands I guess crash and burn in this way.
AH: The video ends with Dan holding a sign saying “inspire.” Is this something you want to achieve with ‘Fight To Survive’?
Dan: Its not the whole of story, but we feel that we want to inspire people to do things off their own back and find their own way in music, kind of telling people that don’t need to replicate whats in fashion, they don’t need to rely on that. It stems from us being a band that writes all our own music with I guess a sense of individuality about it, of course we have influences but its not to the point where we carbon copy what they do. Theres no pretension of being rockstars in the fame and money sense too, we do this for the love of doing it.
Justin: And going further with social issues like sexism and peoples socio-economic background relating to art & music, it might seem weird coming from a group of 4 guys or whatever but we are like aware of inequalities which in 2016 shouldn’t be happening. As an example on the subject of sexism, I had a friend in a band left the most disgusting comment directed at her on a youtube video by a so called ‘fan’ recently which as an example really highlighted the problem that still exists, this presents for any female wanting to pick up an instrument that they are going to have to deal with stuff like this if they do and they shouldn’t have to.
We just want to be able to inspire people regardless of their gender and also socio-economic background, there shouldn’t be anything stopping someone picking up a guitar, a bass, singing, playing drums whatever they want to do, end of.
AH: From hearing ‘Fight To Survive’, it seems the band has improved in all areas; song structure, production and as a collective. What were your intentions when you began writing the EP?
Dan: For us yeah like you’ve mentioned to make an EP which was a big step up in those areas, we’ve ultimately matured as a band which I feel shows across the board.
Chris Harrison: We didn’t feel that the last recordings we’d released had really captured how we wanted to sound on record and hadn’t carried over the characteristics we liked from playing live. For me personally, I’d even go as far to say this feels like our first release or the first one we’re collectively happy with.
Justin: As the guys have said we’ve certainly set out with this EP to step up and show how we’ve progressed over the years. For me actually playing songs live and refining them which I don’t see a lot of bands doing these day has played a big part before recording songs.
Chris Hepworth: We certainly spent a lot more time on getting the songs ready to record. We’ve always really been a prepared band for recording sessions but we took that experience a lot further this time around.
AH: Lyrically there is a renewed anger on this EP. What is that influenced by?
Dan: A lot of it stems to anxiety more on a personal level to me but also I can imagine people can relate to this themselves as well on different levels. I guess to sum it up, the EP is about the anxiety I face in modern everyday life.
Chris Harrison: It certainly reflects the frustration we have as a band towards the government, all the cuts to services like the NHS. I feel everyone who feels this way and effected by it can relate to this anger in the EP.
AH: In the bands bio, you state the EP is a “call to arms for an apathetic generation.” Care to expand on this?
Dan: Though the lyrics to me weren’t written perhaps so much from this perspective, I can see how people can relate to them and feel how this can be a call for them to do something about the anxiety being caused in their lives.
Chris Hepworth: I hope it doesn’t come across that we feel everyone is lazy! It just feels like a call to arms for people to channel their frustrations, we want to inspire people.
AH: In the past you’ve took a very DIY approach. Do you plan on carrying that on with this EP?
Justin: Yes. With us not being busy with touring, we had reached out to labels and even management/booking agents/press for everything around the release as we’ve never had this in place in our band. We didn’t feel any harm in seeing what could be done for us with a little bit of help that I guess we’d lacked in the past.
Discussions with various people broke down, it certainly feels like the people we’d spoken to didn’t perhaps see an easy place for us in the rock music industry (or I guess a straight forward way to market us) which we strangely agree with from their business perspective.
It didn’t feel too much of a detraction from what we’d set out to do in the past, but we felt in some way we needed to move forward (do more shows / more tours / press opportunities) but certainly with a mentality to stick to our guns and not see it as a negative thing if people were not wanting to work with us. We know what we are capable of DIY and we certainly don’t see any harming limits as such.
Personally I think if we are in future to work with people, they need to 100% believe in our band. The friends in bands that I know that have a “team” in place, all the people working with them 100% believe in their band and thats how it should be.
AH: To finish this off, why should readers check out ‘Fight To Survive’ on April 1st?
Dan: Tempted to say simply “because we’re not another generic double bass-pedal breakdown band.”
Chris Harrison: I feel with this EP we offer something different on every song but still leaving the listener aware that its the same band.
‘Fight To Survive’ EP by Cold Summer is released on April 1st.
Have a new video or song you’d like to premier on Already Heard? If so contact Sêan Reid to find out more.