Those Who Seek interview

Last night Those Who Seek, a “progressive heavy pop-punk” band from Manchester, played The Vic, Derby. I caught up with them and had a chat about messiness, blue trees and pierced ears.
Sadly, it was impossible to use the video due to light quality, but if you want to have a listen, there’s a snippet posted here, or you can read the whole article below.

So you guys came together in 2012, how did you form?
MATT: We started out as kind of a side project in, like, late 2011, us two [Matt and Nathan] wanted to make an electric band which was what kind of formed Those Who Seek, from that, we just went through a few members, and Dan joined in May 2012 was it?
DAN: Spring
MATT: Yeah, spring sometime. And then after that, during the  summer I was doing a side project with Sean anyway. Then our guitarist left, and as I was working with Sean so he joined. Then our bassist left just before we were recording our EP.
BRAD: It was right before a gig as well.
MATT: Yeah, it was a week before we played Academy 3 in Manchester and I think it was two days before we recorded or something ridiculous, and it was just because he didn’t want to pay the money but we’d already booked it, everyone knew that we’d booked it, then… we asked Brad.
SEAN: And he has a beard.
And he’s just stuck around since then?
MATT: Yeah, and he drives us places.
SEAN: He’s a nice person as well.
BRAD: laughs Thanks.
You recorded your EP in January, what were your influences for that, musically and lyrically?
BRAD: Well, I joined the band like one day before so I don’t really know.
SEAN: [musically] A mix of Bring Me The Horizon, You Me At Six, a bit of Deaf Havana in there… Lower Than Atlantis, all those pop punk-y things…
MATT: Pop punk-y bands that we sound nothing like.
SEAN: [lyrically] Matt’s just got a lot of issues that he needs to let out.
MATT: Yeah, lyrically, one of them was about me being… a bit emotional about a girl, ’cause that’s just generic. And then, one was about a girl being a slut.
I guess that was Sex Won’t Fill Your Heart?
ALL: Yes!
MATT: That makes me happy. Veritas Occulta is about the government, so that’s a political rant. And then Look To The Skies is kind of… a mix between my religious views, and my views on aliens.
BRAD: And Nathan’s a pilot.
MATT: Yeah, Nathan is a pilot. It has nothing to do with the song.
Should I ask?
MATT: If you ever see a plane in the sky, Nathan will go “that’s a Delta 479” and we’re just like “we don’t care”.
NATHAN: laughs I don’t do that any more.
Any more?
NATHAN: Yeah, I was a sad kid.
Fair enough. The music video for Run From Me, where was it shot, why was it shot there?
DAN: A random fucking park!
So, absolutely no meaning behind it at all?
BRAD: The meaning behind it was, Matt said he found a blue tree. The tree wasn’t even blue! laughs
MATT: Basically we couldn’t afford to pay for a place inside so we just found the nearest field.
BRAD: He showed us the colour, he was like “it’s this shade of blue”.
SEAN: It wasn’t. We got there, and it was fucking green.
MATT: It was blue-y green.
SEAN: Yeah it was in a public park so we had old couples going past on nice romantic walks.
MATT: We didn’t have any speakers though, so we just had to guess where in the song we were by Dan’s drumming. So it sounded pretty crap from a distance. No, so we kind of filmed it there to represent love and kindness.
BRAD: And blue trees.
MATT: And blue trees.
Should I put that in as your answer?
MATT: You can put that in, put in brackets “I think they were joking”.
Okay then. Dan – your ear. Should I ask?
SEAN: laughs Oh.
MATT: You’ve done your research!
DAN: I guess this is about the potato thing?
Yes, yes it is.
DAN: Well, we went Alton Towers, was that the Alton Towers day?
ALL: laughing Yeah, yeah.
DAN: And they said to me, “shall we pierce your ear later?”, and I was there like-
MATT: If you got drunk.
DAN: And we bought these can, like twelve, and I ended up having-
SEAN: No, we bought like forty.
DAN: No, we brought like-
SEAN: We brought more than twelve-
DAN: We didn’t buy forty.
BRAD: I don’t think the amount of cans is important.
DAN: Well, I ended up having nine or ten or something.
MATT: But he still wasn’t drunk.
DAN: And I was kind of there like, “d’ya know what, I’m feeling confident now”.
MATT: We used one of my old stretchers, a plastic, old stretcher.
BRAD: It was going well until someone lost the stretcher. So we had to improvise with a paper clip.
SEAN: Yeah, we used a Stanley knife-
MATT: ‘Cause the paper clip wouldn’t go in properly! So we ended up trying to hack through.
BRAD: The skin at the back wouldn’t tear so we had to go with a Stanley knife.
MATT: So in the end, it was a potato, a Stanley knife, and a paper clip.
Is it still pierced?
SEAN: No, it got infected and he had to do it again.
DAN: What was it that finally went through? Was it the paper clip?
BRAD: Yeah, I held a potato behind your ear and just felt it go [punches palm].
ALL: laughter
BRAD: We were at it for an hour.
DAN: Was it the paper clip? I thought it was an actual earring.
SEAN: We just got an earring and were pushing it through.
DAN: The thing was, it was a mill[imetre] bigger than you’re supposed to get it done originally.
Who decided it that it was a good idea?
MATT: All of us.
SEAN: It was a good idea.
DAN: Yeah, “Dan, you would look good with a stretcher!”
MATT: “Let’s pierce your ear with a paper clip!”
BRAD: He had long hair as well so we couldn’t even see where his ears were.
How did you get endorsed by Atera Apparel?
MATT: Basically, I messaged lots of clothing brands and record labels and stuff. From there we spoke to them and he was like “yeah, I really dig your track” so he said he’d come and see us but he couldn’t make it in the end, so we filmed the show and sent it over to him and he said “yeah, we’ll endorse you then”.
You describe yourselves as “progressive heavy pop-punk”. What?
SEAN: It’s just all of our different interests.
DAN: We don’t know what genre we fit under, I think we should just be “alternative”.
SEAN: Each song is a different genre.
MATT: Like you mentioned in the review, it’s full of different genres. Like, the new stuff we play tonight, that’s completely different again. Our new one’s quite Architect-y.
SEAN: Post-hardcore.
MATT: Then the other one’s quite… The Story So Far-y.
When you’re getting ready, who takes the longest?
NATHAN: Equipment-wise, or doing-the-hair-wise?
MATT: Nathan.
NATHAN: I don’t do my hair at all! You have all your vocal stuff to do.
SEAN: “I need to get some Strepsils from the shop.”
BRAD: Before every show he’s like “I need some warm water, I need some Strepsils.”
MATT: Basically it’s cause I get ill almost all the time, so I’ve had a chest infection for the past six months, I recorded the EP with a chest infection, still got a chest infection.
DAN: I recorded the EP with Nova Virus.
NATHAN: Yeah, he was puking in the studio. It was hilarious.
Who’s the messiest?
MATT: How do you mean, musically messy, or messy messy?
As in, if you were on tour, who’s underwear would you be picking up all the time?
ALL: Dan’s.
MATT: No, Dan would be wearing the same one’s over and over!
Okay then, musically messy?
SEAN: Dan, he goes out of time a lot. He does it purposely though.
DAN: Yeah, I do it purposely though, and not when we’re recording. Except on Sex Won’t Fill Your Heart.
SEAN: Yeah that was a bit messy.
MATT: I’d say we’re all pretty tight, on stage.
SEAN: I’m so tight that I only have to record half the song, and then they just double it, ’cause I’m that good.
What’ve you got coming up, plans for future recordings?
MATT: We’re going to the studio with Matt O’Grady in January, who’s worked with the likes of You Me At Six, Your Demise, Bring Me The Horizon and many more. We’ll be releasing a single out of this and then we’ll fill everyone in with the future EP we’re working on as things progress from there. But at the moment we’re just pretty stoked to be back in the studio, especially with someone who’s worked with some of our favourite bands.

Ever met someone you admire at a performance and been starstruck?
MATT: Yeah, when I was 13 and met You Me At Six I was pretty wobbly on the knees.
SEAN: I met a band called This Town Needs Guns earlier this year, and my god they’re incredible, a must listen for anyone who likes any sort of music!

The largest crowd you’ve played to, and the smallest?
MATT: We played to a crowd of like 200-300 when we headlined the Manchester Academy (Club), that was pretty crazy to be
honest. I’d say the least was tonight at Derby, but it was definitely a fun one.
SEAN: Largest must be the headline club academy gig, and I’ve once played to an audience of 4 at a pub called The Bay Horse in Manchester with a band I used to be in!

What’s your worst experience on stage, or the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you while performing?
SEAN: Needing the toilet is generally one of the most annoying things that happens on stage.

First album you ever bought?
MATT: Take Off Your Colours / You Me At Six
SEAN: American Idiot

Best album you ever bought?
MATT: While She Sleeps / The North Stands For Nothing
SEAN: Best album would probably have to be ‘OK Computer’ (Radiohead), or Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘Plans’

First gig you ever went to?
SEAN: First gig was McFly at the MEN Arena in Manchester!

First gig you ever played?
SEAN: In year 5 I performed Wonderwall with my friend Danny at my Primary School’s talent show (which we won, if I may add).

Would you rather never listen to music again, or never create music again?
MATT: I’d rather never listen to music again
SEAN: Would rather never listen to music again I think.

Would you rather do a track featuring Gwen Stefani or Mick Jagger?
MATT: Definitly Mick Jagger, he has some solid tunes and more importantly I have no idea who Gwen Stefani is and/or if it’s
male or female.
SEAN: Gwen Stefani would be a laugh.

Weirdest place you’d like to do a gig?
MATT: I’d love to play a show on like a beach to loads of people and everyone would have to be naked.
SEAN: Would love to play a gig in a bathroom, the acoustics in there are brill.

Best band with a similar size fan base to your own?
MATT: I’d say Jacks Not Smooth from Manchester, those guys are some brilliant dudes with some great tracks.
SEAN: There’s a band called Goodlife from Manchester that my old band used to gig with quite a bit, and I absolutely loved ’em!

You can check out the EP review for the band here, and when you decide you like it, download it for FREE here

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