Bringing Brighton rock bang up to date, the boys will head out on tour across the UK later this year.
And we caught up with drummer Dan Searle to bring you yet another rushonrock exclusive!
rushonrock: The new album’s winning rave reviews across the board so how exciting is that?
Dan Searle: Of course it’s great. It’s been a really, really long wait for us to get this record out there. We finished it last June and so the whole process has been really drawn out and, at times, frustrating. It’s such a big deal for us that other people can finally judge our work. We put so much time into writing it and we’re very proud. As a band you just want to release your latest work as soon as possible but that’s not how it works in the real world. The best thing about being in a band is about making and releasing records but the annoying thing about this business is that you can’t just release records every six months. When the time for a new album does come around it’s a very big deal.
rushonrock: So why has The Here And Now taken seven months to see the light of day?
DS: It was purely a record label thing. To be honest we were livid when they told us the release schedule. But we were told by everyone who works with us that the timing was perfect for our band. And judging by the reviews and the reaction to the record they were right. Autumn and the build-up to Christmas is a busy time for new releases – bringing it out now gives us a pretty clear run.
rushonrock: So what’s in the album title? Why The Here And Now?
DS: The whole album is about us appreciating where we are right now and what we do. Appreciating the here and now. Obviously our situation looks like a dream situation from the outside and so to hear us complaining about it seems ridiculous. But when we’re away from home for weeks on end things aren’t always as glamorous as people may think. The album is just reminding ourselves that we’re really lucky people and we should make the most of our situation. The whole album is just incredibly positive and its main messages could apply to anyone really. The key message is just to make the most of your life. The grass isn’t always greener and we’re hoping some people will relate to the record and it might help them to get through some bad situations. We’re not saying we’re perfect – everyone gets miserable – but we’ve made a record to lift the spirits.
rushonrock: A number of new songs do have that made-for-arenas uplifting feel – was that a conscious decision?
DS: The Here And Now does mix things up musically but some of the more uplifting songs we played live last year were the tunes which really connected with the audience. It’s something we wanted to explore.
rushonrock: Your music is increasingly described as progressive metal these days – is that a label you’re comfortable with?
DS: I don’t think we’re a metal band at all. I don’t really understand why people think we’re any kind of metal band and the new record certainly doesn’t have any metal influences at all. I don’t really pay any attention to labels.
rushonrock: So were you metal and, if so, have you changed?
DS: It’s not like we purposefully changed with each album. We just like playing music and playing different music. As a musician you just get bored playing the same stuff over and over and we like to stay fresh and mix things up. We like to try new things and that’s why we will always sound different from record to record. I know we’ll get flak for it. We always have. But we don’t make records to make money – we could stick to a tried and tested formula to do that – we make records because we love music. A lot of other bands might make the same record over and over or make the record people expect them to make but those bands are probably pretty shit. We have so many songs and we’re always writing so it stands to reason we’ll always be evolving. Around 80% of the songs we write don’t even get recorded and they’re all very different. Plus this is the longest gap we’ve had between albums so there’s bound to be a change in our sound.
rushonrock: But your sound doesn’t just change from album to album – on The Here And Now it changes from song to song…
DS: It does. But that’s because there’s such a spread of material on there. Some of the songs might have been a year old when we recorded them and some just a month old. That time frame meant there was key differences between certain songs but we always wanted to make the most diverse record possible. We are very conscious that we don’t repeat any of the same ideas – not just from album to album but also song to song. Have we done that here? I think so. It’s not as if we decide we’ll have so many light songs and so many heavy songs but we do try to keep the records as balanced as possible.
rushonrock: Expectations for the band in 2011 are very high but do you feel any pressure?
DS: I think the most stressful part of bringing out a new album is the time you spend in the studio getting your vision of the record across to the other band members. When it comes to playing and touring and looking at how well the album is doing commercially we’re a lot more relaxed. We’re not focused on sales. This band has evolved from a hobby and that’s our attitude. There’s no pressure with a hobby.
rushonrock: Do you believe the UK rock and metal scene is healthy right now?
DS: I think the UK as a whole still has a reputation the world over for producing great bands. When we go to America people talk about it quite a bit and there’s still a huge interest in what’s coming out of this country. You look at bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Enter Shikari and they are bands which are doing well on both sides of the Atlantic. The music history of this country is very impressive and bands like that are maintaining that reputation. British bands are a lot more original – in America it seems bands just like to rip each other off. There’s the same corporate vibe across the whole of the country and that’s reflected in the music scene over there. In that respect things are a lot healthier over here.