New Band Of The Week: Groundculture


Sounds Like:
Melodic hardcore that’s designed to inspire change

For Fans Of:
Stray From The Path, Stick To Your Guns, Counterparts

Listen To:

At the time of our interview, Newcastle hardcore quintet GroundCulture are yet to play their first gig, but they’ve already grabbed some serious attention. After raging debut single Confessions was played on the BBC Radio One Rock Show, they’ve already landed a support slot with scene legends Every Time I Die.

“I think we’re still a little shocked,” says frontman Roy Watson. “For a lot of artists this takes years of grinding their lips off. This band was literally just me and Mattie [Turner, guitar] before we even decided to draft anyone else in. I was a guitarist, and not in a million years was I expecting to be fronting the band. It was a bit weird for me, to be honest: to go from being an axeman hiding in the shadows! I’m shitting me pants to stand up on a stage in front of 600-700 people at an Every Time I Die gig. It’s quite daunting, but we’re Geordie boys and we’ve got the craic!””

Naturally, screaming your lungs out in front of a room of people for the first time is a daunting prospect. When it comes to the music, however, Roy has nothing to fear; there’s real substance behind this buzz. It takes just one listen to the band’s self-released, self-titled EP – five accomplished, adrenaline-fuelled tracks that blend super-strong melodies with Stray From The Path meets Stick To Your Guns social and emotional PMA – to sense that the band are on the cusp of something that’s about to kick right off.  

After best mates Roy and Mattie formed the band, they decided to hole up in the studio, honing and crafting the band’s sound and message before heading out on the road. Following a series of intense writing sessions, the pair ended up with almost 40 potential tracks that were whittled down to five for the EP, with Roy taking responsibility for all the lyrical content. Soon, though, it became clear that the band’s previous singer was unable to relate personally to the emotional nature of Roy’s lyrics. 

“All that stuff was real to me,” remembers Roy. “And also with it being my personal story, Mattie said, ‘It’s probably best if you take over’ so I’ve ended up learning how to scream and everything. There’s a dualism to the lyrics. On one hand I’m trying to talk to myself, to pick up on the negative experiences I’ve had and I’ve tried to spin it in a positive manner in order to come to terms with situations or losses. When I perform it I’ll be trying to find the positivity in the things that have gone down in my life. The likes of Compassion, that song means a lot, I cried in the studio recording that. I sat with photos of my little ’un and just random things around my feet.

“Maybe down the line I’ll be able to open up more about it. It’s a bit of a weird one,” he adds, on explaining the lyrics further. “Energy speaks, doesn’t it? Say you have a room of 2,000 kids: you can either be putting out morbid words and negative lyrics which are gonna affect the overall energy of that crowd, or you can be putting out positive things that really connect with people. That’s the reason I wrote these songs, to let go of frustration.” 

Groundculture's self-titled EP is out now.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.