Vocalist James Harris says of the recently released record: “Head Under Water covers the idea of how dealing with depression and anxiety can sometimes just feel like you are drowning in a sea of hopelessness, the ball and chain in the imagery showing how you can feel chained down by those struggles and anchored at rock bottom.” Better Than Never decided to take maximum advantage of their girthy line-up during the writing process, the members sitting down as a group and working together on every track for several months, trying to perfect every aspect. The result is an EP jam-packed with hard-hitting layers: the dual vocalists are used to maximal effect, triple stacked guitars cleverly interplay and the lyrical content delivers a punch to the feels. With the EP now out, the band are pleased to give you further insight into the writing and recording process …
“We dedicated hundreds of hours into demos before we went into the studio. Sat in mine and Jim’s living room where James’ computer seemed to have gone from temporarily living to a much more permanent fixture. Me and James had spent the past 6 months writing and demoing new ideas before we got the whole band involved as we knew recording was imminent. It felt like every night an assortment of the band were round perfecting every second of the song, writing on the demos and ordering countless Chinese takeaways. We actually named the first track of the record 126 after the house number where we spent all that time together hanging out and writing.Our first aim when recording our second EP was to avoid the mistakes we made the first time around. We don’t regret our first EP on any level but it taught us so much about the best way to go about things for ourselves and how to make the process as natural as possible.
‘When it came to recording the full EP we had producers and studios floating around in our heads, but it was fairly clear from the onset we wanted to record with Ian Sadler at Emeline Studios down by the seaside in Whitstable. His work with ROAM sold us straight away before even getting onto the countless other talented bands he’d worked with. Recording with Ian was unlike anything else we’d experienced in the past. He was meticulous and wanted every single note to be perfect, it felt like he cared as much as we did about how well this record turned out.”
“The first night of recording we decided to stay in a little campsite just a few minutes walk from the studio. Don’t ask me how this came about, it might have been my idea but how we found ourselves in a tent on that first windy night and not a hotel was beyond me. I didn’t have the worst time, despite the tent collapsing on my head at some point in the early hours of the morning, but I couldn’t say the same for the rest of the boys. We were spending £50 a night for an empty field and shower block – so when Ian regrettably offered us to just sleep in his studio the decision was made.
‘Ian’s studio is well equipped and state of the art so I’m not trying to subtract from its value when I point out it didn’t have a shower (why would it, most bands would just stay in a hotel). We tried to offer the campsite owner a little hush money so we could stop by every other morning and have a quick shower but he wasn’t biting. Obviously this left us no choice but to break in at midnight and use the showers anyway (we did try to pay).
‘All the recording went surprisingly smoothly. I felt bad for James, he had been paranoid all week that he would get ill and wouldn’t be able to record his vocals. He had spent the whole week refusing to share food and drink with us, I was surprised he allowed himself to use the same bathroom as us! When it came to his day to record, the boy drank so much water that he couldn’t stop himself weeing. I swear I must have seen him drink about 15 bottles of water in the space of a few hours and it resulted in him having to take loo breaks in-between literally every two or three takes. By the end he was just weeing out pure water (sorry if that’s too graphic, if not I’ve attached an image of just how clear it was).Overall we were extremely happy with the way the EP turned out. Ian made it sound so much better than we ever could have imagined and were so happy that we could finally share it with everyone and we hope you like it as much as we do.”
Watford’s finest Lower Than Atlantis have released another track from their upcoming album Safe In Sound, which is titled Had Enough. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 tonight with Annie Mac and marks the third track to be released from the album so far ahead of its February release.
Frontman Mike Duce said “Had Enough was the first song written for Safe in Sound and felt like it perfectly picked up from where we left off with the self-titled, but also took things some place new. We feel that it’s one of the best Lower Than Atlantis songs ever so we can’t wait to share it with the world! The album feels like a much truer representation of our band than the last record and the success of that album meant we had to challenge ourselves to write bigger and better songs this time around. The song is about exactly what the title suggests! Everyone has one of ‘those’ days and this song is the soundtrack.”
See the video below:
In addition, Lower Than Atlantis have announced the support for their upcoming 2017 UK tour will be Young Guns, Hands Like Houses and ROAM. See the poster below:
Opening track Better Ash Than Dust gets the EP off to a burning start for Stick To Your Guns, with a catchy riff and screams right from the off which build and build going forth through the verse. It eventually becomes one of their signature pre-verse breakdowns with a good old “bleugh”. This is followed by a punchy second verse that is far more the STYG styling-of-old which leads into a melodic chorus and descending back into chaos for the third verse. At the end though, they bring the track to a close with an interview with Nina Simone titled On The Role of an Artist, where she talks about the youth of the day being involved in everything political and that art is reflective of the time (read that interview here). It’s pretty clear to see this lot are putting a statement out already…
Second track Universal Language is another hardcore gem here as it opens with a quick, brutal-sounding riffs and a breakdown that shows Stick To Your Guns have stayed at the top of the game for all these years. The bassline throughout just radiates hardcore vibes even from the tone employed and when coupled with the chugging guitars and pounding drumbeat it leads to a polished-yet-rough hardcore with a sky-rocketing chorus that will stick in listeners’ heads for a long time following the listen. Many more breakdowns follow and it follows abruptly to keep the effect resonating for a long time to come. Third track No Tolerance has a lot of potential and goes in very strong to begin with but finishes far too quickly at just 2:24. It opens as you’d expect with a huge riff and screams and continues throughout, with a fade-out on the guitar playing the song to its end almost as soon as it had begun.
Fourth track The NeverEnding Story is the highlight of Better Ash Than Dust. It has a bass-led riff to open and ripping through another verse of pure anger as Jesse Barnet bellows about “grabbing at anything to stay on your feet” and bringing it home with the soaring chorus of “all of this means nothing to me, I’m tired of suffering through all of everything”. The control of the pre-chorus is admirable and the chorus is refined and melodic as with the previous ones and the style of the heaviness re-emerging is here as well. Closing track The Suspend shows that if “progressive hardcore” was a thing Stick To Your Guns would be pretty good at that too. The introduction leads well into the verse as the band build up further to a pause and re-intro and it proceeds “I won’t live forever but I will die taller” and further develops to become a a slow-paced hardcore anthem that is the perfect ending to a great release.
Sadly the EP is far too short at only 16 minutes, but what there is displayed in that short period is that this band don’t give up. Through over a decade, it appears the constant refreshing of members has kept the sound clean and ever-evolving and Better Ash Than Dust is proof Stick To Your Guns are going just as strong now as ever.
Hertfordshire’s finest alt-rockers Lower Than Atlantis just added a new photo to their Facebook profile that indicates a cryptic clue for something upcoming.
The photo depicts a wave design, and it seems unrelated to any of their past material so the internet is naturally going wild speculating what it could mean..
After keeping their heads down in the studio for almost 6 months now and a “Recording is well underway” Facebook post a couple of weeks ago, it seems some new music may be surfacing soon ahead of their Reading & Leeds appearances.
See the design below:
The band hit the Main Stage at Reading & Leeds festivals in August, see the full lineup below: