For part two of our Day of Deference, we have a rather lengthy but fun interview with the quintet from the Cardiff date of their current UK tour! We talk about new EP False Awakening, plug some of their friends’ awesome work and even get interrupted by a homeless man and some skateboarders.
How has the tour been for you so far?
Rob (vocals): The first night (Hereford) went amazing. For us playing a venue we’ve never played, or even a city we’ve never played and having that many people turn up and buy CDs and stuff. For us, it was a first.
Matt (guitar/vocals): It was the first wall of death at that venue.
Rob: Like we’re not stupidly heavy with beatdowns galore but but to have a wall of death, it was just a spur of the moment thing, I was just like “okay this bit you can have a wall of death” and the vibe of the night was just good.
Shaun (bass): Everyone who came to watch us was just so up for the night.
(Proceed to have a full discussion on band etiquette.)
Rob: We’re not massive but to have made what £100 on merch…
Mike (drums): Yeah that was mind blowing, normally we’re lucky to sell a t-shirt.
Rob: Last time we went through Europe, we got 30 t-shirts and we sold 1 of those. We come back today and we have like 100 something t-shirts?
Matt: We had over a hundred when we started, we’ve still got over 100 but we sold like a few.
Rob: They weren’t selling so we put them down to like £5.
Jonny (guitar): I think the jist is the tours been really good. (You can always rely on Jonny to bring the guys back to the topic of conversation – Ed)
(Discussion turns to genres and Neath)
Matt: It’s super nice to be this prepared for a tour, with Europe, we weren’t prepared at all, it was a shambles from start to finish. France has a lot of tolls and we went from the North to the South of France for a show and no-one turned up.
Shaun: We played to the other bands and two people who worked in the venue.
All: This is the best one we’ve done so far and we’re on the third night.
So your EP False Awakening has just been released (March 31st), how have you felt about the reaction so far?
Rob: Again it’s surreal.
Mike: It’s been amazing.
Rob: People always, I say always but we’re not that big, like I scroll through my Facebook feed and I’ll see a picture of the EP artwork and someone will say “this song is my favourite” and just seeing that, like we’ve been sat on it for what a year?
Matt: We recorded it in January 2016 and then our old singer left so I had to go back and redo the vocals in April and then we didn’t release it til now.
Jonny: The single (Departure) has been amazing, the video is doing really well.
Shaun: All the review’s we’ve had have been like 7.5 or 8/10.
Rob: 7.5 is the lowest we’ve got, everything else has been higher than that.
Jonny: We’re exactly above average, I like that.
(Discussion turns to advertising and the population of the world and specifically China)
Jonny: So yeah the EP’s reaction has been really good. (There Jonny goes again bringing the conversation back to the original topic – Ed)
Mike: It’s been amazing to sum it up. To be honest, I’ve not heard a bad word yet.
Rob: It literally does feel like our first proper release. Because talking about money and stuff, our first EP cost us £2500 and this one cost £750. (See guys, this is why merch is an important thing to go buy at shows and stuff! – Ed)
Matt: To record, so we put what we would have spent recording the first one into videos and PR.
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the EP?
Matt: Basically it comes from the stem of our first EP was based on a story of a man who creates a machine that controls the weather which destroys humanity essentially.
Rob: Basically it gets militarised by the military. They use it as a weapon and then the songs explain, theres one called Become Death and like how would you feel if you were directly responsible for killing millions of people and there’s one called The Tribunal which is like the court case.
Matt: False Awakening follows on from that.
Jonny: It’s more like a reaction afterwards. It’s not just based on one guy, its several different stories.
Mike: We’re not a crazy concept heavy band but the EP does have a bit of a concept to it.
Shaun: It’s cool to just have another thing to tie it all together.
Rob: I think it’s easier for me and Matt, we both basically write the lyrics and it’s easier for us to do something that we’ve personally created, like a story, that has got no personal ties to us, obviously we all put personal bits in there every now and again but, but we wanted to get away from singing about your girlfriend broke up with you. I’m not poking at people that do that but it just felt like we wanted to do something different.
Mike: It’s just kinda fun too to actually sit there and create these little stories as well, cause we’ve sat there and we’ve talked about doing like comic books and all this stuff that we’d love to do to accompany these CDs but it’s a bit out of our grasp at the moment, hopefully one day.
Rob: There was talk of having a comic book alongside the release with this so one day.
Jonny: Save that for an album!
Matt: It’s just the money for that and getting people to draw it (so if anyone out there can lend their skills, let us know so we can make this happen! – Ed)
Rob: Oh yeah and Become Death Part II is a follow on from Become Death and it takes the same protagonist and its about the war and like whats the point of going to war with each other and we’ve got JFK in it so.
(Proceed to discuss how lame nuclear weapons are following JFK quote)
Do you have a favourite lyric from the EP?
*Pauses to think*
Matt: For me it’s like either the lyric itself that is important to me or whatever, or it’s like how it fits with the music.
Jonny: I like the “bite your tongue” bit in False Awakening, it’s just a cool little phrase.
Shaun: I quite like “open your eyes, the world is a lie”. I really, really like that.
Rob: Define lyric, can you have like a phrase?
Matt: I kinda like doing the middle bit in False Awakening “I always thought I could save myself, I always thought I could find my own way. I let myself down again.”
Rob: Mine is probably “the path to forgiveness is a long and tired road, I’m tired of repeating every step that I take. I’m so tired of feeling so alone in this place, break out without you” That one for me means something and to Matt because we’ve both, well everyone’s lost someone but that song hits home more for me and Matt.
Matt: Well I kinda wrote that when I knew that my Nan was not going to live for much longer. So it’s not about her but it kinda is as well, like the lyrics don’t really reflect how I felt but it’s still kind of like dealing with coming to terms with knowing that she was gonna die.
Mike: It’s definitely got the big emotional lyrics for sure, hits you right in the feels.
Jonny: My favourite lyric is the one that John F. Kennedy says.
Mike: He’s definitely got the best on there.
(Proceed to discuss how lit JFK is and dabbing, as well as ducks flying over us which fascinate the guys)
You’ve got a hometown release show on April 14th (The Joiners, Southampton, free entry), are you looking forward to that?
Rob: I really hope it goes as well as it is going to go in my brain.
Shaun: It’s going to be a huge gathering as we’ve got a lot of our friends coming down to support us, we’ve got our friends clothing brands, we’ve got friends bands.
Matt: We’re basically trying to pull the whole local scene into one building!
Rob: We’ve got like Vanity Draws Blood which is like stupidly heavy and then we’ve got melodic hardcore bands. We’ve played with all those bands and we’ve made friendships with them and I think you should always play with your friends. Rather than go “I’m going to book this band because they’re gonna pull people”, we just thought well we’ll play with who we want because its our EP.
Shaun: And it’s boosting our friends bands as well. To bring everyone down and to get our friends in and make a bigger show.
Rob: We made it free as well, and it’s on Good Friday so everyone’s off work. At the end of the day, it’s us giving something back to all the people that have helped us.
Jonny: Personally I’m really excited because I’ve been to gigs there so much and played there so many times from when I was really young and now I’m gonna headline that. So yeah I’m excited to play a headline slot.
(Proceed to discuss how Creeper were playing in Southampton on the day of the release which is another reason they put the release show after the EP release date as they themselves would have even gone to see Creeper instead and then a “Now that’s what I call Deference” and a discussion on exactly how many songs they actually have).
Jonny: Yeah well the show should be really good.
Can you tell us a bit about the Departure video?
Rob: Well basically the False Awakening video is about false awakening, like thinking you’re awake and you’re asleep and stuff. The girl that we used in that, Iona who is a good friend of ours, she runs Death Marks, she dies at the end of that video so then we wanted to tell the story of her other half but where she’s actually gay so we didn’t want to make a gay woman act like she likes a guy for the video. We’ve known her and her girlfriend Sian literally since the band started and we thought it makes more sense. Because you look at them and they belong together. The story of it is basically dealing with loss and trying to find a path to get over and overcome loss. So it showed Sian walking along the beach and remembering all the good memories and some of the bad and some stuff happens at the end, which I won’t spoil.
Jonny: So many people have interpreted it in different ways.
Matt: Thats the good thing, you can interpret it like “oh that’s a happy ending” and other times theyre like “oh okay”.
Rob: It’s basically, our old guitarist videoed it (Lovesick Media). He helped us out because we were booked with someone else and they had to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances so we did the whole video in one day.
Mike: It was so last minute but it turned out so good.
Jonny: We were in the woods at like 7:30 in the morning, in the New Forest, and we had some dog walkers like well into it.
Shaun: They were like “we could hear drums from so far away, we didn’t understand what was happening”
Rob: “But now that we see, we like it.” So yeah it’s open for interpretation.
Jonny: And the receptions been really good.
(Talk turns to Donald Trump and building a wall, making Deference great again)
Check out the Departure video below;
For those who haven’t heard of your band, why should they check you out?
Rob: Cause we are sick!
Matt: We try and bridge together all the things that we like.
Rob: We try and appeal to everyone but in a way of being ourselves. (Some skateboarders head past) Oh hello Mr skateboard. We basically want to write original music that isn’t like anything you’ve heard.
Shaun: It’s obvious to hear where we get our influences from.
Rob: I don’t think we’ve quite found our sound.
Mike: A lot of people have said that about the EP, its like you can clearly hear what the influence is but its got character enough to stand on its own.
Matt: If you’re into Architects, Northlane, In Hearts Wake, that kinda stuff, check us out.
Rob: If you like beatdowns, we’ve got them, catchy hooks, we’ve got them, singy choruses, we’ve got them. If you like ring outs, you’re and idiot. Who likes rung outs?
Jonny: If you like notes on a guitar…
Mike: If you like choruses from ex-presidents.
Jonny: If you like JFK, you’re in luck.
Rob: If you like Morpheus, come see us live, So yeah to anyone who should check us out, you should because…
Shaun: We’ve got a little bit for everyone.
We have some fun questions now. Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Rob: He fought the law and the law won.
Shaun: It didn’t go too bad but there was a time when I must have been about 16/17, me and my friends used to go out and stay in an old abandoned school, we cleaned it up and tidied it up because we were going to skate in there. We ended up just staying there every Friday night, just getting absolutely fucked. It got to a point where we were staying there so much that eventually we got semi-raided by the police. They turned up with 5 cars and 3 of them were the dog cars. They blocked off all the exits and we were all sat in there absolutely battered, just basically walking around in our underwear, not knowing what’s going on. They basically just said “go home”. Like its 1am and we done the kid thing of telling our parents we were staying at someone else’s house. A friend of mine got slapped with a bit of a fine for breaking and entering but the rest of us just fucked off. It was weird and like getting patted down with dogs around you is scary as fuck!
Do you have any hidden talents?
(Proceed for band discussion on Matt’s many unhidden talents as he shows them off all the time)
Matt: I kind of show off most of them. My girlfriend seems to be really impressed that I can inward whistle anything. (Does Crazy Frog tune)
You can only save three things from your house during a fire, what would you save?
Rob: I know what one is. Heidi.
Mike: She doesn’t live in my house.
Rob: But if she did, you’d probably save her first. (Mike nods)
Mike: The PC, that’s an expensive PC man that would have to come with me. I don’t really have much stuff. It’s going to have to be my PC, the drumkit and the bed.
Rob: It’s going to be kinda hard to carry them all at the same time.
Jonny: Just throw the bed first and throw the rest onto the bed. Job done, now just what, but how.
How many tattoos do you have and which has the most meaning?
(Discussion on how its an appropriate question for Rob and input on the bands thoughts on his most meaningful tattoos)
Rob: I have 26 tattoos. The one that has the most meaning….. I’ve got Jake from Adventure Time. Oh yeah I have ‘fuck you’ on the tops of my feet. They do sort of have a meaning, as stupid as they sound. Basically when I first started having panic attacks and learning about anxiety and depression and stuff, for me, it was like a big fuck you to my brain. I tell you what my November Rain is probably my most meaningful tattoo. Well no, I’ve got November Rain and I’ve got Buried At Sea. Buried At Sea is an Architects song and November Rain is Guns ‘N’ Roses. Buried At Sea because it’s the first ever like proper metal song I ever heard and it got me to where I am today and November Rain because of the lyric “nothing lasts forever like the cold November rain” so it’s like about all the shit you’re going through, at the end of it, its all going to be okay. Oh yeah me and Matt have got a matching tattoo because we were in a car crash together and we survived. Probably those four, the rest of them all have like other meanings. I’ve got meanings for all of my tattoos so I could be here for all 26 of them.
If you had to pick one song that made you want to be a musician, what would it be?
Jonny: I’m a massive music nerd so I like music that most people hate but I think probably the one that made me want to be a metal guitarist is when I found Avenged Sevenfold. I know loads of people hate them but when I was like 15, I was obsessed. (Get interrupted by a homeless man asking for change, before chanting “go on” at us for a while). Yeah so Beast In The Harlot by Avenged Sevenfold because I bought a Kerrang magazine cause I saw it had a song by them and I thought it was pretty cool so I had it on repeat for like ever and it had really cool guitar work, it was catchy and it was heavy.
Finally, is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Do dabs. Sorry for all the shit you have to read. Please try not to smoke weed while we’re playing. Stay rad, don’t change. Nothing lasts forever. Check out our new EP and if you like it come to a show. Listen to Deference. Come see us at the merch table, come say hey, check us out on social media. We’re all dudes.
Now we have 14000 last words… Come check us out, send us a message, we reply to all our messages. We would not be in a band and where we are now without people’s support.