This week Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s The Wonder Years released their fourth album - ‘The Greatest Generation,’ a record that sees the pop punk quintet reach their creative peak in a number of ways. With a wealth of material in their discography, Already Heard's Sean Reid and Tom Knott took on the tricky task of picking out the five best songs from The Wonder Years. Find out what we picked and let us know if you agree or disagree?
Following the release of their superb 'Signals' album, Mallory Knox have certainly become ones to watch in recent months. We caught up with the band to discuss joining Search & Destroy Records, how vital the festival season and touring are, what it feels like to be a part
of the expanding British rock scene and much more.
Over The Ocean have crafted a compelling, brooding record with their latest effort ‘Be Given To The Soil.’ With intense specific precision and delicate accuracy that echoes the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros. Jesse Hill from the band to discusses how the
album came together, the importance of precision, being compared to post-rock pioneers and more.
After a top ten UK album and an outstanding UK tour with festival dates on both sides of the Atlantic to follow, Bring Me The Horizon are having a fantastic 2013 and are now featured in the latest edition of "Versus." It's ‘There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’ vs the bands latest release, 'Sempiternal.'
We catch up with Newcastle Indie Rock quartet Alexander to find out more about their debut album 'Say Hello' for a “Already Heard Track Guide” feature.
Having briefly returned to the UK for the Hit The Deck Festival before starting a European
tour, we caught up with vocalist/bassist Ned Russin to discuss the bands progression in sound, differences between UK and US festivals, their recent split with Touché Amoré,
having friends on tour and more.
Hailing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Over The Ocean have crafted a compelling, brooding record with their latest effort ‘Be Given To The Soil.’ With intense specific precision and delicate accuracy that echoes the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros, the quintet take you on an honest, dark journey that demands all of your attention. Over The Ocean are not a band you play as “background music” as you become immersed in the their stunning sound.
After blowing us away with ‘Be Given To The Soil,’ we caught up with Jesse Hill from the band to discuss how the album came together, the importance of precision, being compared to post-rock pioneers and more.
Already Heard: Can you introduce yourself and your role in Over The Ocean? Jesse Hill: My name is Jesse Hill, and I play guitar and sing. I also write the lyrics.
AH: For new listeners, how would you summarise the bands sound?
Jese: This is always a difficult question for me, because I’m too close to the music to be objective. I would describe it as being dynamic and very moody.
AH: From hearing ‘Be Given To The Soil,’ the album has a strong post-rock feel with comparisons being made to Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, and Sigur Ros. Would you say that’s fair?
Jesse: That seems fair. We have certainly referenced all of those bands at some point during the songwriting process. The uncomfortable thing about comparisons like that is always the fact that we have a pretty straight forward vocal sound, which all of those bands have done away with.
AH: Can you tell us how ‘Be Given To The Soil’ came together?
Jesse: This album came together in around three or four months of writing. Some of the songs were arranged as a group, some I wrote more or less on my own and then brought them to the band to flesh out. We did quite a bit of writing for this record with me, Ben (the bass player), and Whittle (the drummer). Basically just the rhythm instruments. Writing songs this way helped us build frameworks for the other guitars to decorate. I think we’ll do more of this kind of writing in the future.
Cambridgeshire melodic rockers The First are set for big things in the coming months. Having just completed a UK tour alongside fellow up and coming bands I Divide and Anavae, the quintet are now set to play Download Festival for the first time as well as release their debut album.
As their new single ‘Take It Back’ shows, they have a sound consisting of powerful melodies, vicious guitar lines and memorable choruses, The First have all the characteristics to emerge from the underground.
With an exciting few months ahead, we caught up with bassist Adam Masters to find out more about the band, their new single, playing Download and more.
Already Heard: Who am I speaking to and can you tell us your role in The First?
Adam: Hey it’s Adam, the bass player and secondary lead singer!
AH: For new listeners, how would you sum up the bands sound and who would you compare it too?
Adam: Imagine if Young Guns and Alexisonfire had an intimate evening… Catchy chorus’ with call and response vocals, and riffs that would remove one’s eyebrows!
AH: This month you’re heading out on the road with I Divide, Anavae and Underline The Sky. What can we expect from The First at these shows?
Adam: We’ve spent the last few months really pulling apart our live show, and taking into account what people want to hear, we’ve also added a load of new material.
Formed from the ashes of pop-punk group Paige, Hertfordshire’s Young Classics have come out armed with a wealth of experience. Their members have shared stages alongside some of Britain’s finest talent, including You Me At Six, Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon, and they’ve released two singles, ‘Don’t You Dare’ and ‘Lungs.’
2013 looks to be a good year for this quartet. They’re currently working on their debut album and, if their singles are anything to do by, it’ll be packed full of big, bold anthems that will get fans singing along in no time.
We caught up with guitarist Aaron Hunt for a quick chat to find out what direction the band is going in, how the writing and recording process for the debut album is going and what else we can expect from Young Classics this year.
Already Heard: Hi there! Could you introduce yourself and your role within the band?
Aaron: Greetings Already Heard. I’m Aaron and I play guitar in Young Classics.
AH: Young Classics formed from the ashes of Paige. What prompted the demise of Paige and the formation of Young Classics?
Aaron: We never really all sat down and had “that chat” as a band but we all knew that after Paul (Hinwood) our keyboard player leaving the sound we had been working on since, we simply couldn’t use the name Paige anymore, purely because we wasnt “Paige” anymore. After so many lineup changes and experiences we’d all had during Paige, we felt that something new and different had been unsaid but inevitably coming for a while.
AH: How does this band differ in terms of sound? Do you feel that Young Classics is going in a different direction, compared to the direction that Paige was once going in?
Aaron: Definitely but it was never a conscious decision/process, I think for a while after we knew we were “done” with Paige. We just wrote songs as a four piece for the fun of it and hadn’t really even had any idea for a name or idea of becoming a new band. I think it was only after a while into mixing our ideas for this unnamed project, that we all just thought that we have an album of songs and we all really like it, we should try and do something with them. As far as direction, goes I definitely think that we’re now on a completely different level both as both song writers and musicians as we were and the natural progression of that is to change direction.
Formed from the ashes of three of Brighton’s most beloved bands; Mimi Soya, The Auteur and The Ghost of a Thousand, Hero marks a new start for the five-piece. With their brand of soaring melodic rock, the bands debut single (‘Raise It Up’) is a preview of what’s to come as lead vocalist Hero’s confident vocals compliments the bands powerful pop-rock approach, whilst former Ghost of a Thousand drummer Memby Jago adds swagger and edge to the bands sound with the end result being a well-rounded rock band.
With an EP in the works, Already Heard caught up with vocalist Hero to discuss how the band came together, how Hero differs from previous bands, why releasing music for free is the best option for the band, future plans and more.
Already Heard: Can I ask who I’m speaking to today and you’re role in Hero?
Hero: Hello my name is Hero and I write songs with the other lads and sing when necessary.
AH: As we already know, Hero is made up of members from former Brighton-based bands. How did you all come together?
Hero: Well, when I left my old band I started writing jams with Jules (Bowen - guitarist) in our living room. We thought they could potentially go somewhere so when The Auteur dissolved, I took the opportunity to ask Alex (Rumble - guitar) and Kerry (Williams - bass) to join. From there we wrote and played shows but an element was missing. I suppose it was a sublime bit of fate that upon meeting the Ghost (of a Thousand) on a train back in ‘09 and showing them my solo stuff then, Mem would end up playing with us. We are massive fans of Ghost and he dug what me and Jules were doing. It was a good day for music when he joined!
AH: In comparison to your previous bands, what makes Hero different?
Hero: It’s different when you take all the bits that have worked in previous bands and leave the bullshit at the door. For me, my venture in to the music has been a real tough one, marred with a lot of heart ache. This project breathed fresh air into it all. This industry is still full of frightened time wasters, but it’s a lot easier to deal with that prospect when you are in a band with not only the best musicians you know, but actually your best mates, your family. It’s an amalgamation of all the creative efforts and visions we have come across in our lifetimes.
Later this month Kent rockers IRIS release their new single ‘Lights At Ten.’ It’s a punchy, pop-rock number and is the first slice of the bands forthcoming full-length. With its soaring chorus and slick, powerful guitar lines, ‘Lights At Ten’offers plenty of promise of what is to come.
Having toured up and down the country since forming in 2010 and played with shows with a crop of rising UK bands; Arcane Roots, Mallory Knox, Hildamay, Feed The Rhino, and Sonic Boom Six, IRIS are now set to follow with their dynamic album, which sees the band collarborate with producer Oz Craggs (Feed The Rhino) once again. On top of that, the quartet head out on a short run of UK shows in May.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Adam Smart took some time out recently to discuss ‘Lights At Ten’, how the new album is coming along, the growing “underground” British rock scene and more.
Already Heard: Can you tell us who you are and your role in IRIS?
Adam Smart: I am Adam, the lead singer and rhythm guitar player.
AH: This interview is part of our “Recommends” series which highlights new bands to Already Heard readers. For those who are unfamiliar with IRIS, how would you sum Iris’ sound?
Adam: I would say the IRIS sound is a mixture of rock, pop, post hardcore and punk with catchy choruses and heavy hooks. It’s 100% honesty, lyrically and musically. We don’t have one particular band or scene that we sound like.
AH: Next month you’re set to release a new single called ‘Lights At Ten.’ What should we know about it?
Adam: It is the first single we will be releasing from our album which will be out later this year. It’s kind of a fresh start for us and is 3 and half minutes of where we are at now.
AH: The single is a preview of your debut full-length and sees you working with Oz Craggs (Feed The Rhino) again. What can we expect from the album?
Adam: Well there’s only a few songs complete right now but personally I think they are the best songs we’ve ever wrote. The album will be a journey through all our influences, and will encompass everything we want to achieve musically over 12 songs. Because it will be our first album the majority of it will be up-tempo and exciting. All of the tunes will be great, we won’t release it until that is the case!
With a Billboard 200 album already under their belts, Columbus, Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots are set to make a splash here in the UK with the release of their new single ‘Holding On To You’ on 8th April.
Their own brand of “Schizoid Pop” could be described as mash-up between Fun., 3OH!3 and Hellogoodbye with piano-led melodies and energetic pop hooks.
Since forming in 2009, Twenty One Pilots has self-released two albums and their latest album, ‘Vessel’ is set to be given a UK release in June through the acclaimed Fueled By Ramen and sees the band working with producer Greg Wells (Weezer, Adele, Aerosmith.)
Already Heard caught up with the duo; Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun as they arrived in the UK for their first headline show. They discussed their new single, joining Fueled By Ramen, working with Greg Wells and more.
Already Heard: Could you introduce yourself and your role in Twenty One Pilots?
Josh Dun: I’m Josh and my role in Twenty One Pilots is to play the drums.
Tyler Joseph: I’m Tyler and I sing and play the piano.
AH: This is your first time here in the UK. How does it feel to be here?
Josh: It feels cold…
Tyler: But at the same time…we’re from a place that’s from similar weather.
Josh: So with that being said, it feels like home…and it’s crazy! It’s an honour to be here on the other side of the world and getting to be a part of the culture and play music with people here in England.
AH: While you’re here you’re playing a sold out show at The Barfly in London. What were your first reactions when you heard it was sold out?
Tyler: I screamed, like a little girl…
Josh: I fainted…
Tyler: He fainted… and I screamed that he fainted.
Josh: It was crazy… When we first decided to come over and play in England you just don’t know.
Tyler: You assume that no one knows who the heck you are and that no one’s going to be there, that’s the assumption.
Josh: That’s how it is in the states sometimes, you just don’t know if anyone’s going to show up.
Tyler: To have people coming to this show, it’s great.
AH: For UK fans, what can they expect from a Twenty One Pilots show?
Tyler: Well there are only two of us on stage and I hope that they recognise the invitation to be a part of it because we need them! We’re going to work for them at first, to prove to them that they don’t owe us anything but then after that hopefully invite them to be the show.
Fresh from releasing an astonishing album ‘Colorado,’ which we gave 4.5/5 and as well as receiving favourable reviews from an array of publications, Greenboro’s Unifier are set for a busy 2013.
After a slight name change (due to legal issues) ‘Colorado’ sees Unifier step things up a notch and challenges for a spot in arenas with their anthemic tracks which come across like a pop-hybrid of bands like Foo Fighters, Brand New and Alkaline Trio. Tracks such as ‘Bitter? Better?’ offer bags of melody yet manage to remain dark and moody without coming across as melodramatic and childish.
We caught up with Vocalist and guitarist Aslan Freeman to discuss their comparisons, influences, working with Jesse Cannon, the name change, his love for Dave Grohl and more.
Already Heard: Can I ask who I’m speaking with today and what your role is in Unifier?
Aslan Freeman: My name is Aslan, and I sing and play guitar.
AH: From listening to the album there are clearly comparisons to bands like Foo Fighters, Brand New and Jimmy Eat World, would you say these are accurate comparisons? How would you describe your sound/style? Of those comparisons how much would you say they’ve influenced your song writing and influenced you in general?
AF: Those are definitely accurate comparisons for us, we’ve had quite a few people compare us to one or all of those bands at this point. All three are bands that we collectively love and each has influenced us in some way. I’d say we try to take the clever melodies and overall simplicity from Jimmy Eat World, the big, aggressive sound from the Foo Fighters and the dark poeticism from Brand New. When people ask what genre we are we usually just stick to saying “Rock” and not getting too far into all the messiness of subgenres. If someone is really curious, hopefully they’ll go listen to our music and decide for themselves what we remind them of!
AH: What was it like having to change your name from ‘Future Ghosts’ to Unifier? Did this change your opinion on the music industry at all?
AF: Honestly it changed my opinion of the social networking industry more than anything. Overall we were definitely more upset and frustrated by trying to deal with all of the websites who had removed our content with little or no notice than we were about the rest of the situation. We did receive some great press because of it, which is nothing to complain about, and now that we’re pretty much back on track with our websites nobody has any regrets. We’re happy with our new name and even more motivated to move forward than before.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon and with comparisons to Brand New, Make Do and Mend, and Balance & Composure, emo rockers For The Life Of Me are set to unleash their debut EP, ‘Closure’ this week.
‘Closure’ is a strong, impressionable set of songs that takes the bands wide range of influences and condenses them to an admirable form. After a stuttering start with members leaving, For The Life Of Me are now on their way to bigger things.
Already Heard recently spoke to guitarist Austin Davis and bassist Jeff Galusha to discuss the making of ‘Closure,’ their comparisons and influences, the Portland music scene and more.
Already Heard: Hi. Can you tell us who you are and what you do in For The Life Of Me?
Austin: Hello sir. I’m Austin, I play guitar and take on some songwriting duties. Jeff: Hey, I’m Jeff. I play bass with stinky fingers.
AH: The band formed in late 2009 and you’ve all been in separate previous band. How did you come together?
Austin: Two of us were in a band together; two others were in a band together, etc. So we all knew each other for a long time. All of us grew up around music within our families so it’s something we’re always doing, and at the time none of us had any other projects going on. It was just good timing I guess.
Jeff: Pretty much just some phone calls and texts saying “Hey, let’s get together and do something like this…” And we started practicing in my parents’ freezing garage for a while, which I’m sure they weren’t excited about, but luckily they let us.
AH: Unfortunately two members left the band. What happened then?
Austin: We were actually really close to just moving on but we didn’t want to see all of our hard work go to waste… again. Plus, we thought the songs we had written so far were pretty decent. We even took to Craigslist to find a drummer, which was very weird at times, inviting these random dudes into our sweaty little practice room. In the end it worked out well and we found a hot new drummer, Chris (Forrette.) We taught the new guys the songs and now we’re back to playing shows and starting to write new stuff. It’s been quite a long road but I’m really glad we kept it going.
AH: You’re now set to release your debut EP, ‘Closure.’ What is the EP about?
Austin: The EP itself is about many different things. Generally, whatever ails you, regrets and mistakes, facing those pieces of your past that haunt you and finally dealing with them.
“Austrian emo” isn’t a term you hear often but as ‘How to Draw a River, Step by Step,’ the stunning debut from Austrian natives Rika, it does exist and having joined “emo revivalist” label Count Your Lucky Stars, the quartet are set to get more attention. And so they should as ‘How to Draw a River, Step by Step’ is “midwest emo” in it’s purest form; breathtaking, compelling and majestic.
Thoroughly delicate and passionate, Rika effectively combine guitar, bass and drums with sweeping violins and brass instruments to produce a textured, brooding sound that softly leaves you hooked from start to finish.
Vocalist and guitarist Stefan Fellner recently spoke in depth to Already Heard about how the album came together, joining Count Your Lucky Stars, being part of the “emo revival” and more.
Already Heard: Hi. Can you tell us who you and your role in Rika?
Stefan: Hi, I am Stefan and I sing and play guitar, organ etc. in Rika.
AH: On the press release for the new album, you’re compared to the likes of Snow Patrol, Mineral, and Death Cab for Cutie. That’s quite an odd mix however does it describe exactly what Rika’s sound is like?
Stefan: Mineral and Death Cab were definitely an influence for quite some time for us, although I don’t listen to them as much as I did a couple of years ago. I kind of get the Snow Patrol comparison, I was never really into them though. Generally, all of us listen to a lot of different stuff, so the “odd mix” maybe describes it best.
For the album, we wanted to depart from the sound of our earlier releases and incorporate different instruments and sounds. We have been writing songs for eight years now and already felt like repeating ourselves, so we tried to make it interesting and somewhat challenging for us and keep it varied and exciting, so you don’t get bored with it halfway through.
AH: The band formed in 2005 but it’s taken nearly eight years to complete your debut album. What delayed the album? Was there any setbacks?
Stefan: To be fair, we’ve been playing in this line-up since late 2008 or early 2009, the only original members being Natascha and me. Before that, we’ve had a couple of lineup changes, people moving to different places etc. so that was a setback to begin with.
We recorded the instrumentals for album back in the summer of 2011 and I had a hard time writing lyrics and finding vocal lines for it, so that took a lot of time. We had some additional recording sessions for strings and horns in 2012, and took our time for mixing etc. We probably could have finished it earlier, but we wanted to make sure we were happy with every aspect of it.
Hailing from the Welsh music hotbed that is Newport, South Wales Hot Damn are just one of the many up and coming pop punk bands who are gathering momentum both here in the UK and overseas. Later this month the quintet release a new mini-album entitled ‘Sleep Alone’ through Boston, Massachusetts label We Are Triumphant.
‘Sleep Alone’ shows the band in a sincere light and finally sees the band landing on their feet after experimenting with their sound at first. Now Hot Damn are a confident and honest pop punk band that echoes the style of Transit and Balance & Composure.
With such a confident collection of songs in ‘Sleep Alone’ and shows alongside Man Overboard soon, expect to hear a lot about Hot Damn in the coming months.
Already Heard recently spoke to vocalist/guitarist Chris Evans to discuss those early “experimental” days, the emerging UK pop punk scene, joining We Are Triumphant, ‘Sleep Alone,’ why South Wales continues to produce quality bands and more.
Already Heard: Hi. Can you tell us who you are and what you do in Hot Damn?
Chris Evans: My name is Chris and I sing and play guitar in the band.
AH: Since you’ve formed in 2009, you’ve experimented with your sound. Can you tell us how the bands sound has developed from those early days until now?
Chris: Yeah when we first started out we had a different line up and didn’t really know what sort of direction we wanted to take the band, I think musically our sound has grown along with us, back then everything was a lot more basic whereas if you listen to any of the tracks off ‘This Weather…’ and ‘Sleep Alone’ you can see first-hand there’s a lot of thought going into the stuff we are putting out now
AH: Would you describe yourselves more than just a regular pop punk band?
Chris: As far as genres go I wouldn’t fully put us as a pop punk band, I don’t really like to put a label on it cause at the end of the day we write and put out music that we want to hear.
AH: Your sound has been compared to the likes of Transit and Man Overboard. Who would you consider as influences?
Chris: To be compared to bands like that we are really grateful for, we each listen to loads of different styles of music, but some of the bands that influence our sound are bands like The Story So Far, Balance and Composure, Such Gold and The Wonder Years.
With their debut EP set to be released next month, San Diego’s Idlehands are the latest indie rock hopefuls however the ‘Common Soul’ shows the quintet as a mature, sincere band that takes great care in their craft.
Tracks like ‘The Venetian Hour’ are subtly progressive and encompassed by the bands passionate approach. As we find out from this interview Idlehands are a genuine band who refuse to give in to trends and they play the music they want to play.
Already Heard recently caught up with guitarist Michael Brekka and vocalist Johnny O’Hagan who told us how the band came together, why they’re described as a “modern indie” band and more.
Already Heard: Hi can I ask who I’m speaking to today and can you tell us your role in Idlehands?
Matthew: You’ll be speaking to two of us. We’re an equal opportunist type band, mostly. We like doing these things together. We do almost everything together. Even coloring books. With that said, Phil (Di Raffaele) plays drums, Michael plays guitar, Seancarlo (Ohlin) plays guitar, Johnny sings, and Matthew (Joaquin) plays bass.
AH: Your sound has been described as “modern indie.” For new listeners how would you sum up Idlehands’ sound?
Matthew: Mostly like the Accordian Worm from ChalkZone.
Johnny: That term was coined by the producer we worked with during our recording of the EP. It was at first said as a joke, but then taken seriously when it stuck. We function as an indie band on a higher budget scale. It’s not because anyone backs us, it’s because we put everything we have into Idlehands. That would be where the word “modern” is justified. Our sound falls under the giant category of progressive rock with an eclectic background. All of us are different people with our own specific tastes. The tension is what gives it a unique sound.
Based out of Westchester, New York self-proclaimed “folk & roll” quintet This Out Ghost recently released their début full-length, ‘Family Room’ a record that draws inspiration from the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins and Good Old War and blends with warm, comforting melodies.
Tracks like ‘Foreign Language’ and ‘Twenty Six’ are full of youthful optimism, whereas ‘Dirt Road’ has yearning matureness that is plain and simply satisfying. ‘Family Room’ proves to be a consistent album that hits all the right spots and makes This Out Ghost the perfect choice for “Recommends”.
We caught up with vocalist Ian McGuiness who formed the band after moving back home from Los Angeles. McGuiness discussed how the band came together, using Kickstarter to fund ‘Family Room’ and more.
Already Heard: Can I ask who I am speaking to today and what your role in This Old Ghost is?
Ian McGuinness: Yes! This is Ian McGuinness. I play acoustic and sing in the band.
For readers who have yet to hear ‘Family Room’. How would you summarise the bands sound?
IM: We like to call ourselves a Folk & Roll band. We’ve been deemed Power-Folk too but I think that was more of a live-show branding. At its core, our music is intelligible, sincere pop. Everything revolves around the melodies. They carry the song.
AH: From hearing the record, I get the feeling it’s a warm indie rock record that sees comparisons to bands such as Death Cab For Cutie and Good Old War. Were there any bands in particular that have influenced This Old Ghost’s sound?
IM: Absolutely and you’re right on the money with Death Cab and Good Old War. If it wasn’t for Good Old War, I’m not sure our band would exist. I always have a hard time interpreting my adoration for them but they’ve had a significant affect on my growth as a song-writer. And Death Cab is one of those bands who inspires hope that it is possible to make great record after great record. I don’t know how they do it.
Leeds Pop Punk quintet Make Your Mark formed from the ashes of fellow Leeds band Left Right Goodnight in late 2011 and over the past 12 months they’ve been building a strong following with their brand of so called “pissed off pop punk.”
Their début EP, ‘Moments’ has seen Make Your Mark be compared to the likes of Fireworks, Apologies, I Have None and Transit and following it’s release last May, they’ve played shows whenever and wherever possible including shows alongside Me vs Hero, With The Punches and Nai Harvest.
2013 is starting off bright for Make Your Mark, first with the Already Heard-sponsored UK tour alongside Calls Landing later this month, followed by a new EP later in the year.
We caught up with Zak from the band to find out more about Make Your Mark’s history, their new material, the Leeds music scene and more.
Already Heard: Hey Make Your Mark. Who am I speaking with today and what is your role in the band?
Make Your Mark: Hey I’m Zak and I play lead guitar.
AH: This interview is part of our “Recommends” series which highlights exciting new bands. For our readers can you give us a brief history about the band? I understand you were part of an old band called Left Right Goodnight?
MYM: We’ve all played in LRG at one time or another. Mert (Vocals) and Dan (Guitar) were the founding members and involved till the end. Don (Bass) had an stint in the early days before leaving and I was fan turned member who got to play the last show with the band back in 2009 supporting A Loss For Words at Cockpit 3. After a few years off we decided to start jamming again, had a few line up changes but then finally settled with the line up we have today with the addition of James on drums. We spent a few months practicing, we wrote a bunch of songs and decided to record our debut EP moments in February 2012.
AH: Your début EP ‘Moments’ has seen you be compared to Fireworks, Apologies, I Have None and Transit. What bands would you say have influenced Make Your Mark and who would you compare yourselves too?
MYM: When we started writing we didn’t really have a style in mind, we would just play music we enjoyed and liked the sound of. I think Transit’s full length ‘Listen and Forgive’ had just come out before we went to record, so on the production side of things, we definitely took a lot from that record. The comparisons to Fireworks took us all completely by surprise, we are all big fans but never really felt like we were writing music that even came close to the quality of theirs. We all have similar tastes but I think we’ve all been individually influenced by other artists and when we bring it all together we create our own awesome amalgamation.
Since forming in 2011, Leeds pop punk/emo band Calls Landing have a handful of releases under their belt and have shared the stage with Man Overboard, The Story So Far, Such Gold and Into It. Over It.
The quinetet’s sound is reminiscent of their US compatriots Transit and The Wonder Years; sincere yet lively and as the band tell us in this interview, their new material promises to be “deeper and darker.”
Later this month they’ll be heading out on the road with fellow Leeds band Make Your Mark for a run of UK shows - sponsored by Already Heard. In the process they’ll be previewing new songs and from the sounds of it, getting very sweaty.
To find out more about Calls Landing, Already Heard caught up with the band to find more about their history, the tour with Make Your Mark, new material, future plans and more.
Already Heard: This interview is part of our “Recommends” series which highlights exciting new bands. For our readers can you give us a brief history about the band?
Joe (Armitage - vocals): Its a strange one really. I knew Cam (Hurley - Bassist) and Jonny (Straughan - guitarist) from our previous bands. We played together a couple of times in Newcastle. When those guys moved down to Leeds I went to hang out at their student Halls. After that I wound up pretty much living on Jonny’s floor in flat 1104. Me, Jonny and Cam had talked about forming a band. Jonny knew Charlie from the 6th floor and Cam was in a Uni group with Jordan. We asked those guys if they wanted to jam and we got together in a practise room and that’s where it all started really. The funny thing was at first it was just a side project as we all had other musical commitments. At first Charlie was reluctant to even Jam with us! But after that first practise it became clear very quickly that there was a strong musical bond. As people we barely knew each other but the music sort of spoke for its self.
AH: Despite hailing from the city of Leeds you have quite a US-friendly sound. What bands would you say have influenced Calls Landing and who would you compare yourselves too?
Charlie: I dig The American Scene and The Smiths, Morrissey’s haircut influences my drumming a lot.
Joe: My influence is Hydrogen. Given enough time and the precise fundamental forces, hydrogen will eventually clump to form matter. Calls Landing is made from that matter. Also, I love Brand New.
Jonny (Straughan - Guitar, B/Vocals): My influence is Hanson.
Jordan (Rio Hill - Guitar): As I like to think of myself as a chef outside of this troupe, I’d say a big influence on me is Saturday Kitchen, it manages to combine different elements of cooking. I like to translate that into my guitar playing as I pull influences from as many places as I can, be it heavy metal, blues or pop. I seem to be the bands’ resident mosher, so I’ll keep to my moniker and say my main influences are probably guitarists such as Kerry King and Tony Iommi.
Cam (Bass, B/Vocals): Johnny Bravo, he has been a role model for my generation, he has taught us how to properly behave around a woman. One day I will make sure we have a song called ‘Hey pretty lady’ dedicated to him. He will influence our music as much as he has shaped me. Cartoon Networking.
With their début album being self-described as “ambitious” hard rockers Heaven’s Basement are setting big expectations for themselves but thankfully the quartet back it up. Their latest single ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ is a catchy slice of bold hard rock that sees them being compared to former tour mates Papa Roach and Shinedown. Aaron Buchanan provides confident soaring vocals whilst Sid Glover’s riffs and Chris Rivers’ drumming are brash and have swagger.
Having worked in Los Angeles with Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, ‘Filthy Empire’ is set to be unleashed on February 4th through Red Bull Records and is tracks like ‘Nothing Left To Lose,’ ‘Fire, Fire’ and ‘I Am Electric’ are anything to go by then Heaven’s Basement are certainly set to be Britain’s next big hard rock hopefuls.
We caught up with drummer Chris Rivers to discuss ‘Filthy Empire,’ joining Red Bull Records, working with John Feldmann and more.
Already Heard: First of all who am I speaking to today and what do you in Heaven’s Basement?
I’m Chris, I play drums for Heaven’s Basement.
AH: It looks like 2013 is going to be a big year for you with the release of ‘Filthy Empire’. You’ve described it as “ambitious” and “modern.” What can we expect from the album?
Exactly those words above and more. We wanted to capture the energy of our live show as much as possible on the record. You’ll hear 12 tracks that shows everything Heaven’s Basement can offer, and gives you an insight to what the future holds for us in terms of the dynamic variety that’s on the record.