Last year, Bristol was voted not only the best city to live in the UK, but also Europe's "coolest" city – thanks, in no small part, to its flourishing underground music scene. Joining city-mates Idles and Lice in the explosion of exciting, visceral bands the city is producing are Pushing Daisies, the neo-grunge squad on a mission to bring big emo choruses to the masses.
We catch up with frontman Bert to get the lowdown on the band, their journey so far and where they're headed next.
Can you introduce yourselves – where are you from, who does what and what are your roles in the band?
"We're Bert, who's on vocals and guitar, Tom on drums, James also on vocals and guitar, and Conor on bass. We’re all from Bristol."
How did you guys meet and start making music together?
"We were all in different band in the local music scene and when Pushing Daisies first started it was just me (Bert) and a couple of other friends. After some line-up changes we all found each other wanting to really go for it as a band, so it made sense for all of us to come together so we all had the same outlook."
What were your key influences/inspirations in getting the band together?
"When PD first started it was, "Let’s make a Title Fight kind of band". We were very DIY-based, but since we’ve all come together as this line up we’ve started to create our own style of music and take everything a lot more seriously."
How would you describe your sound in three words for people who’ve never heard you?
"Big emo choruses."
3. Picture Frame
5. Night Masquerade
What makes you special/different to other bands out there?
"I really think that we like to push ourselves in our songwriting between our songs. As a collective we’ve always said we don’t want to release a set of tracks that all sound the same, and we feel especially in the new EP Take Me Back To The Light there is something for everyone on there."
What’s the story behind the new EP Take Me Back To The Light – how did you approach writing and how did it come together?
"It’s been two years since our last release and I think the time alone really does make a difference. Instead of forcing songs to be created, we were able to really take a step back and wait for the songs to be made, go back change certain parts until they really were what we wanted. It all came together with Sam Bloor who produced it and to have an input from outside really makes a difference."
What’s your favourite story/anecdote from recording the EP?
"We stayed in the studio throughout recording with no shower, one little co-op and not a lot else. The one that sticks out most was me and Tom stayed up pretty much all night one night thinking there was someone breaking in or some ghosts or something supernatural. Turns out next door is a steel mill..."
What, in your opinion, is the stand out track on the album?
"Personally I think Luxury is the stand out track, probably because it means the most to me lyrically and I love the chorus in it. This may or may not be our next single..."
What do you hope people will take away from the album and your music in general?
"For us, Take Me Back To The Light is a fresh start, it’s a point in our lives to put all the negative things we’ve been through behind us and we really hope that this record can let other people do the same and create a more positive future for themselves."
What's been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
"Easily, every time anyone is at one of our shows and sings back our songs, such an unreal feeling."
What can people expect if they come to see you live?
"A true, raw live show packed with a lot of emotion."
What are you most looking forward to about the future – what’s coming next?
"Who knows? The way this record was created – no time limit, nothing like that – it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done, so that’s definitely something we want to stick to. I guess we’re looking forward to just seeing where this record takes us. We can’t wait to meet as many people as possible on the road that we’ve been able to connect with through this record."
Pushing Daisies' new EP Take Me Back To The Light is out 11 May. Catch them live at one of the dates below:
25 Apr: The Cavern, Exeter, UK
26 Apr: The Palladium Club, Bideford, UK
22 Jun: The Bobbin, Lancaster, UK
23 Jun: The Alma Inn, Bolton, UK
24 Jun: Broadcast, Glasgow, UK
26 Jul: Fat Lip Fest, Bristol, UK