More often than not, you’ll hear the cliche that a band has forever to make their first album. For Exeter’s Sancho Panzer, it didn’t quite take that long, but their recently released debut album proper, ‘Your Own Accord’, did come some eight or so years after the trio first started recording it.
Forming in 2004 as a four-piece, the band’s original singer Al Tickle left in 2007. The remaining members – vocalist/guitarist Adam Tildesley, bassist Jon Pratt and drummer Jules Tabberer-Stewart – decided to carry on as a trio.
“Before Al left,” explains Tildesley, “things were going pretty well for us. There’s no hard feelings with Al – I was out with him just the other night – but when he left we really tried to find a replacement. We auditioned quite a lot of people but it never worked out, so in the end Jules convinced me to take over the lead vocals.”
Thanks to their debut EP, A Current Archetypal, the band were enjoying a surge of momentum, and they’d even started laying down the tracks for what would become Your Own Accord. But then life, as it has a habit of doing, just kind of got in the way and, in Tildesley’s words, the process of making the album “dragged on.”
Just a bit.
“It got to the point where we had 10 tracks finished,” he says, “and it had taken us a few years at that point. We’d spent loads of money and we needed to do remixing and we needed to get it mastered and so we all just kind of moved on. We were still a band, but the thought of actually carrying on with it was a bit daunting. But in the last couple of years, it was my idea to go and record a couple more tracks and get it finished.”
Self-described as post-punk, the album is full of rip-roaring, punchy tracks that straddle different eras and varieties of punk from the UK and US, all with dose of social conscience, a defiantly uncompromising attitude and a vicious knack for melody. And while the majority of the songs might date back a few years, they sound just as relevant today, blending in smoothly with the two tracks the trio wrote most recently.
“It’s such a chunk of time ago and things do move on,” says Tildesley, “but in a way, because they never came out, it doesn’t feel too weird to me yet.”
For Sancho Panzer, the fact that Your Own Accord is now out there in the world after all these years is its own reward, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stop looking towards the future. And they’re not, but they’re looking at it with a cautious eye, rather than leaping into it.
“We do have hopes for this record,” admits Tildesley, “but we’re pinning anything on them. It’s just such a relief to get the thing out, to be honest. And it seems to be getting a good response. We’d love some festival slots or tours, but it’s all wish-list stuff. It’s not as if we’ll be crying ourselves to sleep if we don’t get it, because as far as we’re concerned, just getting the record done…it was quite a struggle, so it’s satisfaction itself, really.”
Moving forwards from this album, though, the band are determined to not have another near-decade wait for the next one.
“My ideal thing would be to maybe make enough money to go back into the studio quickly and make another record,” Tildesley says. “That would be fantastic!”
Sancho Panzer’s album Your Own Accord is out now. For more information, visit their Bandcamp page.