Q&A: You Me At Six

You Me At Six are set to take the rock world by storm next year when they return with their best album to date all thanks to a cabin in the woods.

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Still in their early 20s the Surrey quintet has gone from strength to strength since they released their debut album, Take off Your Colours in 2008.

The first single to be released from Cavalier Youth, ‘Lived A Lie’, was featured in FIFA 14, a game the band are not silent about playing during tours, proved You Me At Six have still got their original edge and style but with a more mature sound.

Since the release of 2010’s Sinners Never Sleep followed by multiple headline shows and a sold out and momentous performance at the infamous Wembley Stadium for The Final Night of Sin – which has since been released as a DVD – fans have been waiting eagerly for the fourth album.

Similar to Sinners Never Sleep the boys returned to Los Angeles to write and record Cavalier Youth with producer Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory) but the recording process was more successful this time round with less tension and more productivity than before.

Speaking with drummer, Dan Flint we got to find out all about Cavalier Youth and what fans can expect from their upcoming support slots with 30 Seconds to Mars in the UK and Paramore during their Australian headline tour.

Hi Dan, how are you?

I’m great thanks, how are you?

Doing well, cheers. You’re just back from your first headline tour in America how was that?

It was incredible we couldn’t really ask for any more, it exceeded all our expectations. I mean on the final night we played to a thousand people and sold out the TLA (Theatre of the Living Arts) in Philly so we all sat around thinking “when did our band headline a thousand people in Philadelphia? Like, that’s absolutely crazy.” I think considering we haven’t even got a record label out in America at the moment it’s really impressive to say and we’re really proud of that. All the fans were incredible it kinda felt like the UK felt a couple of years ago so we’re definitely on the right path over there.

What were the major differences between the American fans and UK fans?

I think at the moment the main difference is in the UK people know every single one of our songs from the first album (Take Off Your Colours) all the way to Sinners (Sinners Never Sleep) and they’re very switched on to everything that we do and obviously the crowds are quite big because we’ve been building up a fan base for a while now.

Whereas in America they’re still very new to us, they know a lot of the songs that we’ve played on support tours and a lot of the singles that we have. Some of the older songs are sort of just being introduced to them now which is also a really fun thing to do for both us and for them. They’re hearing songs that they’ve never heard live before so they’re really enjoying that and hearing us play for longer than half an hour. Honestly we’re a couple of years behind in America so the crowds are a bit smaller but it doesn’t mean to say that they’re not any less passionate than the UK and everyone at the shows really wants to be there. They’re not there just to sort of check us out they’re there as full on You Me At Six fans and they’re loving every second of it, great feeling for us to have really.

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You guys have a new album coming out soon, how long have you been working on Cavalier Youth?

Almost all of last year we spent sort of coming up with ideas, people were writing riffs and were sitting down in dressing rooms or meeting up together and trying to think of a few ideas and directions in which we wanted to go and how we wanted. After the summer last year we all went away to a house in the woods in Henley and we got snowed in one time, we basically lived in this cabin in the woods, very isolated, and we just wrote songs and hung out and we were just good friends and had so much fun and in between having fun we were writing songs.

Even if it was four o’clock in the morning we could get up and we could play and we could do whatever we wanted to and, y’know, if a song wasn’t quite happening we’d leave and we go to the pub down the road and we’d get some lunch. We just did it differently, far more relaxed, and that goes for the whole recording process it was just a lot of fun really and I think that shows in the songs.

What direction have you guys taken with the new album? Is it similar to Sinners Never Sleep, quite rocky, or can we expect some surprises?

There are definitely some surprises. There are some big rock songs on the album but at the same time it’s not the heavy screaming side of stuff which Sinners had a couple of. It’s more an album I think anyone can get into. The songs were absolutely torn apart, every single one, we spent so much time on them. This time we spent weeks and weeks and weeks tearing apart each song and we had them demoed and we just listened to them over and over and even after we thought they were to the best of our ability we then went into the studio with Neal Avron, who’s one of the best producers of all time and such a pleasure to work with, then he even tore apart our songs and said “that bit is the best it can be, but going into the second verse it could be better” and stuff like that. He would leave us and we would get on with it for an hour and think “how can we make this better?” and he would come back in and say “yeah, you’ve nailed it that song is much better “. I think it’s just an album of well written songs from start to finish there’s no filler in there.

If you’re a fan of You Me At Six already then you’re definitely going to love the album, it’ll probably be your favourite one so far. We’re all just really excited to get it out.

Are there any surprise collaborations in this one too?

No, it’s all us this time it’s no one but us and we’re really excited about that. We’ve done the collaborations thing before and it was spoken about but no one that popped up we were incredibly eager to work with so I think we just thought “it’s not really needed”. This album is all about us really.

You’re supporting 30 Seconds to Mars soon does supporting bands with large fan bases help You Me At Six?

I think it’s going to really help especially in Europe. We’re going to places we’ve never played before like Lisbon and Milan and the first time we’re going there we’re playing to huge arenas so I think it’s a great platform for our band and radio stations in places of the world that’s never played us, like Norway, are playing ‘Lived A Lie’ and we’ve been able to turn around and say we’re going on tour with 30 Seconds to Mars we’re playing this huge arena on this date and they’re going  “that’s incredible we’ll play your song on the radio.” I think actually playing the shows is going to give us a huge leap in Europe and also we get to come back and play a tour in the UK without having the pressure of headlining.

We should hopefully have  another song out by the time we play in the UK which means we’ll be playing a couple of new songs and we get to sort of road test those and see how fans are reacting to those without having that pressure of trying to actually sell tickets ourselves and headlining. It’s a great way to end the year and a good set up for the album and then after it comes out next January I’m sure we’ll just be focussing on headlining ourselves.

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The Gaslight Anthem – Old Haunts

A cherry bomb, you are a mystery
Exploded, sparkling quiet nights
My teenage heart packed all my misery, baby
To fingertips that might ignite
And all along you knew my story, didn’t you
And all night long I carried yours
Your blood was mixed wine and robbery, baby
And left us always wanting more

So don’t sing me your songs about the good times
Those days are gone and you should just let them go
And God help the man who says
If you’d have known me when
Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts
Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts

Cherry bomb, your love is surgery
Removing what you don’t regard
And every breath felt like a funeral, baby
While you were packing up your car
And with the window down
I hear your tired mouth
You borrowed everything
And wore all your old welcomes out
And shame on you, my love
You sold your youth away
Memories are sinking ships
That never would be saved

So don’t sing me your songs about the good times
Those days are gone and you should just let them go
And God help the man who says
If you’d have known me when
Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts
Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts

And shame, shame, shame, shame on you
You kept your mind and heart and youth
Just like a tomb
And shame, shame, shame, shame on you
You kept your mind and heart and youth
Just like a tomb

And don’t sing me your songs about the good times
Those days are gone and you should just let them go
So God help the man who says
If you’d have known me when
Old haunts are for all those ghosts
And don’t sing me your songs about the good times
Those days are gone and you should just let them go
And God help the man who says
If you’d have known me when
God help the man who says
If you’d have known me when
God help this man who says
My baby, if you’d have known me when
Old haunts are all we’ve ever known

INTERVIEW: Knock On Effect

Knock On Effect is taking the music scene by storm after the release of their first EP Jump the Gun with the band performing better than ever.

L-R: Liam Bryce, Scott Lever and Scott Beaton

L-R: Liam Bryce, Scott Lever and Scott Beaton

Sitting in a small Gourock pub three fifths of indie rock band, Knock On Effect is waiting to get interviewed.

Not long after the release of their first EP Jump the Gun and a knock out performance in Glasgow’s iconic King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, where the godfathers of indie rock, Oasis, were first signed after a gig, the band are making their way to a bright future.

Knock On Effect formed in 2011 after the boys met at school, parties and football  with each member doing their own thing – singer Mick McLennan and guitarist Scott Lever working together, guitarist and vocalist Scott Beaton having individual success before joining, bassist Liam Bryce had never played bass in front of anyone before and drummer David Hughes was in another band, the five piece decided to join forces – one practice session created Knock On Effect who secured their first gig one week later.

Scott Lever recalls that: “[they] just started jamming and it all came together”.

Their most recent four track release Jump the Gun, aptly named after the bands tendency to get things done quickly, has three originalsongs that were played during their first practice even if they “sound a lot different now”, recalls bassist Liam, the EP draws on musical influences from bands including Stone Roses and Dundee kids The View mixed in with the talent and own musical twist of Knock On Effect.

Similar to other performers the band are doing their best to build their fan base and work hard to ensure people realise that they are not like other artists out there and this is clear in their music.

Taking influences from all types artists has improved the quality of songs getting produced explained guitarist and vocalist, Scott Beaton: “getting influences from other types of music brings something to it, like, hip hop base lines and things like that are pretty cool.

But you won’t catch me rapping.”

As an unsigned band Jump the Gun was recorded using savings and in a bid for perfection was recorded twice.koe

He continued: “We can’t afford to go recording again” when asked if an album is next on the cards, “we recorded the EP twice.

The first time we didn’t like it so we scrapped it and went to record it again.”

The attention to detail can be heard on the EP and the bands progression since forming is evident through the song writing and performance that the five piece are not only ambitious and strive to be the best they can be but have learned to work well together.

Liam said: “We’re a better live band and our songs are getting better, more complicated and advanced.

We’ve noticed people have started getting more into some of the songs which is the best compliment.”

Songs are inspired by wild nights out, friends and daily experiences making the EP an honest reflection of the band and, although the demos are something the boys would like to forget, it is obvious in the music that as a band they work well together to make memorable music with the talent that runs through the boys – even if some of the songs have no meaning at all.

Scott Beaton laughing said: “‘Words Were Weapons’, it’s quite funny because it doesn’t mean anything to me at all…when you see people singing along you’re like ‘this doesn’t mean anything to me so I dunno what it means to you’”.

Slick rock songs infused with melodies and lyrics that begs to be played on repeat there is little room to wonder why King Tuts, another Glasgow venue added to the bands hit list after already playing gigs in The Garage, O2 ABC and its sister venue the Academy, has crowned the boys one of the most successful acts to perform in the venue with their growing fan base.

Scott Lever said: “Even the guys in King Tuts said it was the rowdiest crowed they had seen in a long while.

Hopefully they’ll have us back.”

King Tuts has spurred the boys on to attempt to organise more gigs for an EP tour around Scotland’s music scene but the dream of performing to a sold out Wembley crowed is one the band all share, with no hesitation when asked if they would give up their daily routines to be able to perform their music worldwide for a living.

Already having great success with their first music video for ‘B.I.A.S (On the Run)’ featuring live shots of the band performing and working in their personal studio, a studio which the boys believe has improved the band as it is their private space where they can spend as much time as they want writing songs and practicing, thoughts on making ‘Shadows’ into the next visual release is at the front of the bands mind.

The boost from another music video and plans to record a new album next year besides performing in local venues is the way Knock On Effect are going to make their name in this business, but with a successful release of Jump the Gun (available on iTunes) and their minds set on making the most of their talent the boys from the West of Scotland are one step closer to performing at Wembley.

Twitter: @KnockOnEffect1 Facebook: KnockOnEffect

Pictures: Caroline Armour  Full band image: Mark Gordon

Music Monday: Fall Out Boy stream new album

Fall Out Boy have made their new album, Pax-Am Days available to stream ahead of its October 15 release.

The American  quintet have revealed the latest release, a follow up to Save Rock and Roll, is not an album but should be treated as more of a mix tape.

Pax-Am Days was recorded over two nights with producer, Ryan Adams in July and the band have already released a music video for single ‘Love, Sex, Death‘.

Fall Out Boy will embark on an Australian and European arena tour starting later this month.