Left in the Wake describe themselves as “melodic upbeat progressive hardcore with metal and punk influences”, and I think there’s something to be said for a band who can’t easily be defined. They’ve recently released their album, The Banner We Follow, and we had a chat with them about the record and their influences.
To start us off, can you tell me about yourselves and your current album, The Banner We Follow?
Yeah we’re Left in the Wake from Madrid, there’s 5 of us so we have the typical metal band set up, 2 guitars, bass, vox and drums, I’m from London myself and the rest of the guys are from here. We released our first full length album in March which we recorded at “The Metal factory studios” in Madrid.
The album is mainly about hope in despair, the idea that whatever happens in life, there is always a way to get through it as long as you’re willing to make changes, sacrifice something important or wait as long as it takes. The Banner We Follow is a metaphor for the thing that keeps you going so it could be anything from your football team, your passion for music, religion, whatever, it’s just that thing that keeps you alive.
What’s the reaction to the album been like, both online and at shows?
So far really good, we still have a lot of work to do in Spain as it’s hard winning people over in the Spanish scene unless you’re a foreign band (UK, US, France etc) and the scene over here is very metalcore, thrash, punk orientated and we’re not really any of those, but we have been winning people over at our live shows recently so it’s just being able to get the bigger crowds in to show people what we can do.
Who’s influenced the work musically and lyrically?
Musically we have lots of influences from rock, prog and classical music types to newer sounding punk, melodic hardcore and metal bands, to name a few artists I’ll say Pink Floyd, Misery Signals, Poison the Well, King Crimson, Bon Iver etc… lots of music but no real pattern ha ha.
Lyrically I have no idea… I write about things that motivate me, or that make me angry, I don’t like writing about things that I don’t feel, I know a lot of artists write story like lyrics with a narrative and some crazy outcomes but that’s not really me, I like saying it how it is and giving my view on certain subjects.
How do you go about writing music – is it a case of jamming together in sessions and seeing what happens, or working separately and bringing it all together?
We used to write in bits and pieces at home and try and make it all work in the practice room but we found that you lose connection with a song if you’re not involved in it. There are parts of songs that we play live and think to myself “I remember the argument we had over this bit of the song and now we love it”. These days or at least for the album, we write together in the practice room, we have ideas, jam a bit and come up with bits and pieces.
We’re firm believers of the “no idea is a bad idea” approach… unless there’s too much beer involved.
How do you feel this release is a development from your previous work?
Definitely, there are a couple of songs on the last EP where you can tell we were trying to change and escape the “metalcore” genre and in the new album I feel we managed it, as I mentioned before, our writing style changed a fair bit for the album and we were happier with the way the direction was going.
And, finally, what can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
This year we have been doing some national touring to promote the album, we’re going to be in the UK from the 8th of August to the 17th starting in Manchester and making our way down to the south coast which will hopefully be a good experience… you never know with overseas shows.
We’re buying a Van so we can start expanding our European operations to Germany and France and we’ll also be looking to start writing some new music which I personally can’t wait to do!