Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Found Power: Cold Summer

 With enough luck, I should be able to let this new feature to my blog take off. I've always wanted to have the chance to interview members of up and coming bands from across the world, so with enough luck I can interest some bands and make this at least a monthly thing, with the title of "New Found Power" because the world really doesn't have enough Damageplan references.

For my first interview of this feature, I've been lucky enough to pose questions to Wakefield quartet Cold Summer, who I got to know in June with the release of their second full-length EP Wake, a collection of bold songs bursting with hardcore energy, giant hard rock melodies and a wide outburst of emotion throughout. It was the follow-up to their debut EP Transitions released in January, the first steps of a young British rock band bursting with grated potential to be leaders in the country's current rock music scene where bands like Young Guns and Lower Than Atlantis reign with their ability to craft songs with intoxicating hooks while displaying progressive and post-hardcore influences off as well. But I haven't looked at the band since June, so it seems like time we did some catching up...

Last time you were featured here was when I looked at the stellar Wake EP in June, which feels like ages ago since I was still at school. How has life in Cold Summer camp been since then? 

Not too bad really, we’ve been busy writing some new songs to add to our set and since that’s taken a lot of the time we have around working full time and everything else in life, we haven’t unfortunately spent a lot of time on the road . I wouldn't say we’ve neglected it but we haven’t been out there as much as we’d like to be. Our last show was back in August supporting Lemuria and it’s just come to my attention and I was sincerely in absolute shock it had been 8+ weeks since we’d played a show. However the shows we have done have been pretty great so we’re now looking forward to a few more of them in November / December playing some new tracks as well as the ones off of Wake.

As you said, one of the big stories is that you guys are in the middle of recording some new songs. Is the material on Wake a good indication of what to expect? Or will there be some unexpected curveballs thrown in there?

Wake was our first release we were happy with. We’d previously released a demo with our old vocalist in the early stages of the band and Transitions was discarded to some extent. I think people could see we were still developing but the way they were executed and factors involved didn’t work for us so I’d say yeah Wake is a reference point and a good indication of a fairly new band finding our sound so yeah, I mean there will be some characteristics people will perhaps hear on our new songs, but will no doubt see other ideas/inspiration coming into play now we are in this supposed comfort zone of finding the bands sound with a settled group of people involved.

Are there any further plans for a full album in sight yet?

Well, a big factor for us is with continuing our recording partnership with Bob Cooper (Hawk Eyes, Watch Commander, Burn Daylight) we’re really set at our next release being a full album, it's going to include songs from both the Wake session (with additional mixing, mastering, vocal takes) and the 3 songs we've just recorded now, we had some limitations with time and money before so we felt a tiny bit under whelmed only releasing a 5 track EP because we were really happy with those songs but had several we were still working on that we didn't have finished in time to record, let alone the money together to get them down in the studio.

I was happy to see more things being done with A is for Arson with it gaining radio play and having a music video made, which is seriously awesome because it's definitely one of my favourite individual songs of the year. Are you planning on doing anything further with it like including it on further EPs?

Yeah, we felt that was the best one to work with as a music video. It was the most suitable song to build visually around the music and lyrics we’d created using implicit and sub textual connotations with the help of a friend acting and the set we put together, though I think literally ‘burning buildings down’ would have got us in a lot of trouble! Having radio play is something completely new to us and we were quite appreciative that these all came off the back of pretty much reviewers like yourself and who just happen to work at a radio station. If all goes to plan, yeah all the songs off of ‘Wake’ will make it onto our debut album, it is a bit of shame though that the music video is currently offline due to some red tape legal issues between us and the production company who filmed it, so we’re looking at filming another one soon for one of the new songs especially if this isn't resolved.

When you toured with Lemuria in August, did you win yourselves some new fans at those shows? And how's the turnout for your local shows, do the people of Wakefield come along for some post-hardcore?

Well yeah I think to say we’ve not been on the road as much as we would have liked, things have gone really well, we always seem to get a good turn out at shows wherever we play, I guess this is a combination of good luck and we try our best to help promoters out with promoting the shows too. One thing that excites me is we get to play a variation of shows with slightly different styles (but all in the punk / hardcore realm I guess!) like when we played with Lemuria & our friends Hearts & Souls we were pretty much the heaviest band on the bill, the week before we had played in Wakefield with some heavier bands (Foundations, Anchored by Avarice) so it definitely works for us being able to play these different shows and not sound out of place, have someone who’s never heard of us before listen to our record when they get home.. or worst of all clear the room.

In Wakefield it’s a very weird predicament. It’s a very healthy musical city, you can name several high profile bands that have come from this place, you can name some bands that have toured and toured for a decade from here and you can no doubt be here all day naming bands from here that are currently active, what there seems to be though is something you could call a music scene, well for for our style I guess. I have to fully back the indie music scene as there seems to be some form unity or scene as you will.  Like any place it’s clicky I guess. We’ve actually not played Wakefield that much apart from like our first show, there isn’t that many venues putting shows on, our practice rooms sometimes host DIY shows where we’ve played one, but usually they are down the straight forward hardcore route.. so we’ve not been asked to play one of those yet, once we add some two step parts I can see that happening. I saw a friends band who did face a few confused faces and folded arms when they did! The Hop is a good venue but we’ve had a few invitations to play that we’ve had to decline due to clashing with other shows we’ve had booked but our fourth ever show  there is our next one this coming Saturday, so at least when we do play it’s a special one and we’re supporting a great punk rock band called The Cut Ups who are on their UK Tour.

Looking on your Facebook description page, the list of bands that influence you is amazing as well as fairly diverse, going from Queens of the Stone Age to Tool to A Day to Remember. How do you manage to look at the style of this giant list of bands and manage to do your own thing with it? And what's your collective favourite band out of them or favourite band ever? I'm tragically into talking about just bands.

Yeah I guess that list can be a bit of a misleading one as I’m sure some of those bands don’t particularly mix that well and it is a diverse one, we just put it together as bands most of us listen to on a regular basis with varying taste and I guess a bit of tolerance as well. I don’t agree with it being a source of validating a bands sound or genre specific, I’m confident one or two boxes are firmly ticked in that we’re a band passionate about writing our own music and bands who put out records we love, I think that’s our outlook as a band so we aren't really into being too tied to rules of what you can and can’t listen to if you want to be classified as a genre specific band, having said that I think if we’re to be given a tag, the post hardcore tag suits us fine, we’re influenced by bands of that genre, we like heavy, aggressive, emotional music but we also like to write melodic, structured songs that sometimes that style of music can’t delve into without sounding like another band.

Well, it's not the first time Facebook's been misleading. Coming from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, is there some kind of bursting wave of underground bands worth checking out that no one knows about? Who are the other local heroes?

West Yorkshire is quite active and its encouraging stuff we have some really great bands around us that have a similar outlook but with us all not really sounding that alike at all. For me an underground band that have threaten to surface as of late are Marmozets, they are from Bingley and have been lucky enough to play a few high profile tours and festivals this year, they put so much energy into their playing, and then coupled with the fact they are very good musicians it opens so many doors for their song writing especially on the EP ‘Vexed’ and single ‘Good Days’ that has just come out, for me they have The Perfect Beverage of passion and progression. My friends play in a band called Curses who make a bit of unholy racket they put out an awesome EP a while ago but as of late have been a bit quiet despite in the past playing Ghostfest and supporting bands like La Dispute and Touch√© Amore. They’ve been hard at work writing some new songs and they have a bit of a line up shuffle so they should be back playing shows very soon. Again on the heavier side of things we have our friends in Armgeddin’ Outta Here who have put out a great first demo as of a late and we’ve played with a couple of times, really good dudes and they are awesome live. Our friends in Hearts & Souls well like a lot of bands I like to talk about do what they do in a similar fashion to us, they really do their own thing and despite our two bands sounding very different we still play shows with these now and again, and it has been pretty interesting hearing this bands sound evolve further when we’ve heard their new stuff live over the past couple of months.

 Big thanks to the guys in Cold Summer for their words. Do yourself a favour and listen to and buy Wake. It's definitely worth it, especially if it's a sign of what's to come for this band. They're really cool guys who know what they're doing and what they're talking about. And it's always great to get the words of other people on this blog.

If you are a singer or member of a rock and roll band and would like to have some kind of interview, you can contact me, by finding me on Skype at "andyrfdavidson" or finding me on Twitter at @AndyrfDavidson or finding me on my Facebook page. After all how cool would it be to introduce the world to some New Found Power, right?

Cold Summer's Wake is out now via Self-Release.

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