I recently had the pleasure of holding a Skype interview with West (guitar) and Phil (bass), two of the members of UK pop-punk outfit Neck Deep. Check out the interview below.
1) How did Neck Deep begin? How long have you been around?
W: The band as an entity has been around for about a year. As a full band, though, we’ve only been around for about seven months.
P: Lloyd and Ben got together to write some pop-punk just for fun, and it was never really gonna be a band. Then, that’s where it started about a year ago, and then it ended up with us wanted to do it properly, with full on members and stuff, so that’s when it became a real thing.
2) Since the ‘History of Bad Decisions’ EP is three songs, mind doing a track by track?
Up In Smoke – Ben writes about 99% of the lyrics to our songs. That one’s about him. Everyone seemed to think it was about a girl, but it was actually about him and his parents falling out, and his relationship with them and the decisions he’s made. You know, just about the usual things that everyone goes through about living up to their parents and things like that.
Tables Turned – Another one about a girl. (laughs). It’s the girl that (Rain In July EP) was written about. ‘Rain In July’ was written all about this one girl. Interesting bit of trivia about this song! It’s more of a “looking back” thing. Obviously the EP is called ‘Rain In July’, and so the first lyric of “Tables Turned” is “I felt the weather getting better”, which is making a reference to that time. Nobody knows that!
Head To The Ground – Again, just about a girl. (laughs). It’s about a past relationship that he (Ben) had.
3) When and where was “History” recorded? How long was the process?
W: It was recorded in the same place we record everything, Ben’s bedroom. Our vocalist’s brother, Sam, does all of our recording. He’s almost like part of our manager as well. He’s like the sixth member of Neck Deep.
P: He’s the guy that’s sitting behind the computer telling us what to do.
W: We call him the “Keyboard Gremlin” ‘cause that’s what he does all day.
P: He records other bands and such, he has his own sort of bedroom studio.
W: We then outsourced all of the guitars to Sam Pura (Panda Studios). He did the re-amps on all the guitars.
4) It’s funny that you bring up Sam Pura. I was about to say that you guys remind me of a British “The Story So Far” a little bit. I hear a few different influences all throughout your songs. Who do you take inspiration from musically?
P: We really like that band, so we definitely take that as a compliment. I think maybe the stuff we have written for the new album is, not really taking a new direction, but it’s not as much like that.
W: We actually got to take the time to sit down and go through the new songs (for the new album). ‘Rain In July’ was written just as though we weren’t meant to be a band. We weren’t really meant to be a band; we were in other bands, all of us, apart from Ben. All those bands have stopped now, and now we’re doing this.
W: For all of us it’s completely different. For me, before I was in Neck Deep, the only pop-punk that I listened to properly was Green Day when I was younger. Other than that, I’ve always loved Alkaline Trio, but they’re not really considered pop-punk, are they?
P: Apart from the obvious like New Found Glory, I don’t really think we really sit there and go “Oh we wanna play like this”. We all listen to everything, so we all just write whatever comes out. I personally listen to loads of pop-punk bands, like The Story So Far, Such Gold, Real Friends, all that kinda stuff.
W: Listen to ‘Old Again’ from Florida. They’re a good band, and they need a bigger following.
5) Which lyric on the EP has the most significant meaning to you? (Or one of the most significant?)
W: One of my favorites, the bit I like the most out of the new songs, not because it’s got a deep meaning or anything, is “pressure” in the chorus of ‘Up In Smoke’.
P: It’d probably be a lyric from that one. This song is a bit different as it’s about parents, and everyone has that sort of relationship, so it’d probably be a lyric from that.
6) What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
P: We’d like it to be catchy and have everyone like it and such, but in terms of the message…
W: If you can derive something from it, then good on you.
P: If you relate to any of the songs in any kind of way, then that’s a good thing. If you listen to it and it explains something to you, then that’s good.
W: We’re not a political band or anything like that, so if people can find something nice from it, then good on them.
7) What are your future plans for the band?
P: We’re literally in the middle of finishing up writing our first full length. We’re in pre-production for the next month or so.
W: We just came back from America, too.
P: We haven’t done too much in terms of shows lately because we’ve been writing, but next week we’re playing with Enter Shikari, then we’re playing with The Story So Far in Manchester a few days later.
W: We want to get back to America as soon as we can. It’s insane. We turned up in Florida for these two shows, thought “oh, we’re going to play to about five people, or something”. Turned up, and it was absolutely insane. You can see the videos of it on YouTube. YouTube “Neck Deep Florida” or “Neck Deep house show”.
Check out Neck Deep on Facebook at www.facebook.com/neckdeepuk and follow the band on Twitter @neckdeepuk.