Being in a new band is hard enough these days, but when someone breaks into the studio you’re recording in and steals the majority of your equipment (as well as the studio’s) it obviously makes things a touch more difficult. That’s what happened to Manchester four-piece Landmarks, when they were making their new EP, In Spite Of It All. Which is precisely why the band – vocalist/guitarist Brad Shea, bassist/vocalist Adam Long, guitarist Nic Foley and drummer Thomas Cordner – chose that name for the record.
“When the robbery happened,” says Shea, “we were probably about just over halfway through recording. There were no vocals on any of the tracks and I think we were missing Nic’s guitar, but the drums and bass were done and about half of my guitar was done. Thankfully, the owner, Matt Heap, got a tip-off about somebody that might have done it and he turned up at the door with the police and saw his equipment in the hallway straight away and got it all back!”
Their third EP, its five songs are a continued evolution for the quartet, who formed a little over three years ago and whose sound has shifted from straight-out pop-punk into a more nuanced, considered and complex style. That was something that started with previous EP, Fighting Gravity, but which has been fully realised this time around.
“A lot of the songs on that had that kind of bouncy pop-punk element to them,” explains Shea, “but we did try and move away from it a bit then. When our guitarist James left the band after our European tour last year, we found Nic, and he’s good at writing that kind of music, which is the kind of music we all love and was the direction me, Tom and Adam wanted to head in anyway, so it came together perfectly. But despite the line-up change, this is very much continuation from Fighting Gravity.”
Not only does this EP mark a progression in sound, but also one for their aims. In Shea’s words, they’re “not looking to do a Neck Deep or anything like that”, but it’s certainly a sound that, without compromising their integrity, should open many more doors and ears for them and see them climb another rung of the ladder.
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“If we can start getting some consistent tours, getting our name out there to more people and possibly even a little bit of radio play, I’d be happy with that,” says Shea. “I’d see that as a step in the right direction that we can hopefully build on when it came to another EP or possibly an album. I think too much too soon can sometimes ruin things, and I think that patience is a virtue. That’s not to say that if we’d have been given bigger opportunities we wouldn’t have taken them, because of course we would, but I’m happy with the way things have progressed. We’re consistently creeping along!”
To that extent, Landmarks see themselves as part of a booming and like-minded scene – one that cultivates and encourages creativity and success rather than looks on their journey as a competition against other bands.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he says. “It’s not just the Manchester scene, but it’s the northwest scene. There are bands from Liverpool, Wrexham and Blackpool, too, and it feels like the whole of the northwest is coming together. There’s a really good energy and it’s a very friendly environment, which really inspires us to keep going and going. We’re really hoping for success with this EP, but what would be more important is to have a core fan base that continuously shows support and love towards us. We’re not trying to be the world’s biggest band – we’re just having fun doing it and we want to keep doing that.”
Landmarks’ EP In Spite Of It All will be released on August 12 through Scylla Records. For more on the band, visit their Facebook page.