Neck Deep - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the chance to interview the UK pop/punk band Neck Deep who are currently in the studio recording their new album. Check out the full interview after the jump.

For those who aren’t familiar with your group can you tell me how Neck Deep started and what inspired you guys to get together and form the band?

Fil: The band started with LLoyd and Ben just writing songs and jamming out for fun really. Lloyd was in another band with a couple other members of Neck Deep, they were called 'Spires and were a hardcore band! The original Neck Deep songs were just jammed out for fun and we never really intended to start a full band. Anyway, a couple songs got released online and had a great response, so then we wrote the first EP 'Rain In July' and a full line up was formed from friends, coming to do it properly I suppose. So in terms of inspiration, to start with the band didn’t really have any, as it didn’t actually happen in that sense.

You released your newest EP A History Of Bad Decisions as a pay-what-you-want release. Has the response to that release been what you expected? Why did you guys decide to do the release as a pay-what-you-want?

The response was fantastic and we couldn't have been happier with how it was received. We felt like it was a slight change from the previous EP in terms of sound and such, not so much that it was a massive stepping stone, but we felt like our sound had developed some what. So we were really excited and a tad nervous to see how people reacted too it, but to our relief it turned out that everyone seemed to love it, so we were stoked. Also all the reviews we saw on it had really great responses and most people seemed to see how we had developed our sound slightly and advanced somewhat. We were pleased that people understood that, it’s ultimately more important to us that our fans enjoy our music more than critics, but it’s always great when you get good feedback from them too.

The reason we did it as a ‘pay what you want’ was mainly because we felt like this EP was more like the second half of the first EP. So we wanted to release it quite quickly, for our fans to have whilst we started a full length, which we know will be a fairly long process. We also felt that as it was only 3 songs, it didn't really seem fair to charge money, especially as now we’d rather people just download and enjoy our music, it’s not about making money off it. 

Alternative Press premiered A History Of Bad Decisions EP. What was it like working with them on the premier?

Really great, to us Alternative Press is like a huge deal and something we have all fantasized being a part of, so to know that we were on their radar and they were into what we are doing is a great feeling. They actually also featured us in their magazine a couple issues back which was amazing! We were in the states the time that issue was in store and I remember going into a Hot Topic in some mall in Florida and finding AP, flicking through and seeing our band in the magazine, that was great.

You guys are currently working on your new album right now. What can you tell me about the recording process so far? Are you experimenting at all with any new sounds or techniques in the studio?

The recording process is quite scattered in that we are sort of doing everything in different places and such. The drums are actually finished now as Dani tracked his drums at Outhouse Studios with John Mitchell. We will start tracking guitar in the next week or two, with Seb Barlow (Ben’s brother), who recorded our previous EP's. In terms of new techniques in the studio and recording, I don’t think we are doing anything crazy like recording in a Cathedral or doing the vocals under water, that whole process is pretty standard this time, but I feel like the songs themselves have quite a new feel to them. I don’t wanna give alot away, but it’s for sure a new step for us in terms of sound, we really didn't wanna recycle the same sound. We aren’t just writing a record of the same songs you have heard from us, and I think it’s coming out great, I feel like the songs are some of the best.

Do you have any songs in particular that you are really excited to record and excited for people to hear?

I can’t really answer this question without giving things away but yeah, listening to the pre-production for the album there is for sure songs on there that I already know will be my favourite. I’m really excited to hear when they are done and just to show everyone, especially for playing them live, as I listen and just think 'man that part is going to off'. So yeah, I think  everyone in the band has their own like personal fave songs even at this early stage.

What do you feel like your biggest accomplishment as a band has been thus far? What is something you’d really like to be able to accomplish once you finish your debut full length?

Personally I feel like our biggest accomplishment was playing the shows we did in the USA. The band went over there for a week really for a holiday, but we played 2 shows last minute whilst we were there and it was the most insane thing ever. Both shows were rammed to full capacity and just having that many kids like literally screaming the lyrics to these songs in our face, whilst being so far from home was fantastic. Considering the band is less than a year old and we managed to do that is pretty special and already like a highlight of my life. We filmed the whole thing and it’s on Youtube as like a 20 min documentary type thing and the footage from the shows is in there for people to see.

In terms of what we would like to achieve when the full length is done… I think getting to do a full US tour, rather than just 2 random one state shows is for sure something we want to do, especially because of the amount of requests we get a a day to do it! That or, wow to play Warped tour, that’s just if were talking about dream ambitions though. 

You are part of a fairly large pop/punk movement in the UK that includes yourself and a few other bands (like Save Your Breath, etc…). There is also currently a big pop/punk movement in the U.S. (with bands like The Wonder Years and The Story So Far). How would you compare those movements and what albums and what bands do you draw the most influences from UK pop/punk or US pop/punk?

I think the two movements will always work hand in hand because the scenes that have come and gone over the years always go both ways. The US does something and it does get big in the UK naturally, so I think those things are always going to correlate and be one in the same thing. To answer the second part of that question, I think from a personal point of view I draw more influence from US bands/albums in the pop punk genre, purely because although there is a big pop punk movement in the UK at the moment there isn’t a massive list of bands doing it and most of the heavy hitters of the genre are from the US. But having said that, we don’t take huge amounts of inspiration for our band from other modern pop punk bands, more of it comes from old generations of pop punk for us. We grew up listening to New found glory, Blink 182 and such. We don’t try and replicate what we’re listening to, we just write music we enjoy, let to flow, and it sounds how it sounds.

I guess that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have any closing comments you’d like to make?

Get stoked for the album cuz its going be gnarkill. 

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