MOSH: How has the weekend been so far for you guys? You haven’t played Slam Dunk before, have you?
RJ: No, we’ve never played. I came last year and it was great. It was good vibes so I knew we’d enjoy it.The shows have been really good.
MOSH: Have you managed to catch anyone’s set/ looking forward to seeing anyone today?
JCB: I’m going to see the Bronx, I haven’t managed to catch those guys yet. Stray From The Path as well, they’ve been amazing – we caught their set on Saturday. Decade, who we just took out on the road, have been amazing we love those guys. We caught Don Broco and Crossfaith yesterday as well so we’ve just been running around trying to catch as much as possible.
MOSH: The album has been out for a few months now and you guys have been touring across Europe and the UK. How have the past few months been for you guys?
SB: More than anything we can really expect. I’m not sure I expected anything and then to play the shows and see the feedback we got, talking to people at shows and seeing their enthusiasm has been fucking awesome.
MOSH: You guys are a pretty young band, but you spent a lot of time on the road so people have really hyped up the album before it was released. Did you feel there was a lot of pressure leading up to it?
JCB: I think so. With anything creative that you ever do, you always struggle with that in general. You have weeks of going “Oh my god, this is great, I can’t wait to get this out” and then you have weeks and moments of going “Holy shit, is this right or is this the worst thing I’ve ever fucking done and people are going to hate it?” There was pressure with it for sure, and we were constantly back and forwards on FaceTime everyday like “Is this any good? Do we do this?”
It’s not something we should concern ourselves with but if you’re being honest, everyone will go through that. Whatever it is you are putting out into a public sphere for people to either appreciate to judge, you’re always going to fear that. So there was this pressure, but once it was out, there was a definite weight that was released.
MOSH: Especially since the general reaction has been great.
JCB: From what we’ve seen and from people that we’ve spoken to, the reaction has been nothing short of overwhleming for us. We’re a young band, we made a record and then people are listening to it and liking it. That’s fucking crazy.
MOSH: The record is called ‘Together We Are Stronger’, which is a great sentiment but is there any particular reason why you decided to go with that?
JCB: Yeah, when we started the band, that saying and that motto was our complete ideology. Behind the album, with the lyrical content and the whole throughline of what the record is, there is a sort of semi-political message behind it for sure. It’s not something that we purposefully went out and tried to achieve, I think that’s just the nature of writing – you take in what’s going on in your environment and our environment at the moment is incredibly disjointed and confusing.
On a more personal level as well, for me as a writer, what I was trying to do lyrically was expose myself as much as possible in my flaws and what it means to basically be a person. In opening myself and us up to that, it’s the hope that maybe somewhere out there there’s somebody that feels the same way. The unity that comes from that is our togetherness and is therefore our strength. So that was predominantly the message, but I think behind the record there’s also this idea of hope that it’s not as bad as it all seems.
MOSH: So some of the lyrics are pretty heavy – was it quite difficult at times to write or was it more cathartic for you?
JCB: I think a cathartic process is in itself a painful process. By going into the things that are painful and writing about them or releasing them, one does alleviate some of that stress and that pain. In terms of actual writing time, the song by song came pretty quickly. It’s a blessing, I think as a band releasing your first record, you don’t have all this outside noise of being confined into one space. Therefore your freedom is a lot more, so there was never a conscious thing of “Do we have to write like this?” It was just natural for us. It was both cathartic and painful.
MOSH: Your live shows tend to get pretty intense – you’re always in the crowd, one the crowd, climbing up things. How important is it for you to break that boundary between the stage and the crowd?
SB: For me, the way that I feel is I want to play a show the way it feels to go to a show. I know what I feel when I go to one and I can’t help but want to feel that way when I’m on stage as well. It just happens, it’s always a great shared experience.
MOSH: Do you ever fear things might get out of hand?
SB: It’s not a fear, but a sense of hope.
JCB: It’s a demand! No, but really, we’ve been fortunate that the people that come to our shows are such a varied and wide group of people. We don’t have the fear of someone going out there and being a fucking idiot in the middle of a circle pit, which we’ve all either read stories about or seen. If that were to ever happen at one of our shows, we would sure as shit call someone out on it because that’s not cool and that’s not okay. We like to get our crowd going, but what I really enoy about our shows is that there’s always a level of respect for the audience and audience members between themselves, and that’s we try to push.
MOSH: Can we expect the same atmosphere today as at one of your headline shows?
JCB: I hope so.
RJ: We’ll be doing the same, we’ll keep rolling with the punches.
JCB: We go out there and play, at festivals or headline shows, we are going to go out there and do the same thing no matter what. I don’t think a band or an artist should change their performance based on their crowd. I’ve said this a lot, our show is always a very reactive show and if it’s a slightly more languid audience I’m going to get in there and get the crowd going. Like “Come on, we need to do this. It’s together time. You want to go stand around? Go see Ed Sheeran.”
MOSH: As you’ve spent most of your time on the road, do you still remember your first show?
SB: It was at the Academy in Islington. December 18th 2015. It was good. I’d been at university for a while so I hadn’t been playing shows ffor a long time. It was the first show I played in like years. Performance wise, we’ve changed a lot but I remember getting on stage and feeling fucking awesome. I loved it.
JCB: We were fortunate enough at our first ever show to have Steve Bewley, who does lights for Shikari. he came and did lights for us at our first ever show.
MOSH: Did you shit your pants?
JCB: Yeah, I shat myself several times during that show. Then I decided it would be a good idea to take my trousers off mid show.
MOSH: Mid shit?
JCB: Yes, I went full GG Allin on it and it was amazing. No, I promised people that if we sold it out, I’d get the date tattooed on a part of my body. And we did, we sold it out so I got a tattoo on my leg.
TM: What better way to get to the ladies than to take your trousers off?
JCB: Right? People need to see that.
SB: I’m not too sure about that…
MOSH: What are your plans for the rest of the year? I’m assuming it is too early for me to be asking for about new material at this point?
JCB: We’re definitely thinking, we’re definitely writing. We’re planning, but mainly it’s festivals for us. We’ve got some incredible bills that we’re playing on – we’re playing Reading & Leeds on Dan Carter’s stage, which is great. Next weekend we’re in Switzerland and Prague playing with Mallory Knox, Linkin Park, Machine Gun Kelly, Enter Shikari. The whole summer is kind of booked up with festivals, which is going to be great. We’re definitely writing and thinking. The first record was such a flow that that we want that to happen again. We just need to see how it goes, get into a room and make some serious noise.