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My first chat with the band happened with bassist Sam Bettley on their first ever US headliner tour where the band pulled in a huge amount of people to fill the space where I just again caught up with the boy who started the band Ben Bruce just two days ago now at a point much further in their career. The band released their sophomore record 'Reckless and Relentless' this April but being the songwriter he is Ben has already started writing the follow up to the record even bringing in a second bus on this tour to start recording some of the tracks. As well as talking about the songwriting of the band, we talked about their journey so far as well as the always important first musical experiences that Ben had!
The band is one of the hardest working bands I have the pleasure to speak too as can be seen currently while on a co-headlining run with Hollywood Undead. The band finds themselves in Maryland today and read on for our exclusive with the band below!
I did talk to Sam last year during your headliner and you've toured so much since then. You did Warped Tour, you headlined here, you headlined over seas at home. How has this past year been for you?
It's been pretty crazy. It's been good. It's been up and down. We went through a really rough patch a little while ago, well actually we do still drink far too much, but we just went through a period of getting obliterated before we even went on stage. Bad things happened and I think we learned a lot this past year about each other and about touring and just doing it properly because actually last time you interviewed us, it was our first ever headlining tour. We were still babies then. We didn't really know anything. It's been a good year though. We've had fun playing and we've met all the goals we wanted to reach and now we're setting new ones.
Perfect and then you have 'Reckless and Relentless' out which is the second one but I know you started this band a long time ago so are you even writing the next one?
I've started writing yeah. I started writing it about four months ago and now it's seriously sitting down and trying to write a lot more. We're actually bringing a second bus on this tour with in the next few days and turning it into a recording studio so we can record on the road.
Then how do you go about the writing process? Has it changed over time since the first record or is it still pretty similar?
Still the same. I just sit down on my labtop and write a bunch of demos and then I'll take them to James and we'll sit down together and go through them and improve them. Same formula as always.
And do you think it's going to be pretty similar to the past release since this new one is so different from the first one?
It's going to be different again. It's still going to sound like us. The choruses are still going to be eighties fueled and anthems but we have to keep it fresh and change it otherwise we're going to get bored and everyone else will get bored of it.
Then I've talked to a bunch of british bands like Architects and You Me At Six who are just now breaking out here in the states. You guys have been broken out for a while so what advice would you give to bands on their first tour?
Their first tour ever?
Like outside the UK.
Outside the UK.
Like their first time in the states. I know you opened for a Boston band in the smaller room here on your first US tour!
Oh, our first US tour. Yeah we opened for A Static Lullaby with Vanna. I don't know honestly because I don't know how we did it. I know a lot of bands come over and they do struggle and they don't have the impact that maybe they have back home for whatever reason. I don't really know how we did it to be completely honest. I think we just made people believe we were bigger then we actually were and so it caught on.
Then you've been in this band for a really long time! Did you honestly think it was going to get to this point so fast? Like did you think it was going to catch on that quickly?
No, I hoped as everyone does but you can never know. We worked really, really hard and we did things for the right reasons but there's always a lot of luck involved in this industry.
And then a softer one to end. What was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and the first concert you went to?
The first concert I ever went to was Deep Purple with my step dad and first CD I ever bought with my own money was 'Ride The Lightning' by Metallica!
And do you think that influenced you, those musical experiences as a person or for the band?
Oh yeah! I mean I love eighties rock which is obviously quite apparent in this band and I think a large part of it is because of my step dad taking me to see Deep Purple as a kid and taking me to shows like The Scorpions and Aerosmith and Dire Straits and stuff so definitely. It definitely impacted this band a lot just through me and Danny as well.
Then obviously you've been touring a bunch, these past years have been crazy, so what is going to be going on? Are you going to be focusing on your record, do you think you're going to be touring again a lot?
Just touring! We're already booked all of next year.
All next year is already booked?
Yep pretty much. Crazy and we're in the studio at the end of March and the beginning of April but that's the only time we have set aside for that.