Sheffield has birthed a plethora of great bands over the years. The Yorkshire city has given us Def Leppard, Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys. Yet most recently, there’s been a deluge of bands from the heavier end of the spectrum: Bring Me The Horizon, Rolo Tomassi and While She Sleeps.
Although Story vocalist Bill Hobson started out in a band that played Arctic Monkeys covers, the five-piece – completed by bassist Tom Walker, guitarists Liam Gratton and Matt Baxter and drummer Chris Ogden – are much more inspired by the heavier side of things, something the band’s second EP, Hopeless But Hoping, amply demonstrates. Yet despite its mix of huge riffs, dramatic soundscapes and impassioned screaming, there are also more quiet, tender, fragile moments on the EP that show off the band’s more vulnerable side.
“We like to show people how every song doesn’t have to sound the same,” explains Hobson. “We can go from being heavy and chunky and lively to digging down deep and getting a softer feel to our music.”
It’s no surprise, then, that the EP’s five songs – which were produced by Ogden – convey a wide range of emotions, from extreme anger to abject sorrow. But then again, it was something of an emotional rollercoaster to make – hence the EP’s title.
“It was a dark time in my life,” says Hobson, “where literally the only thing keeping me going was the music. Literally, I thought, ‘At the minute I’m so down, but everything in the end turns out fine’ and that’s what we wanted to show to people.”
Formed in the summer of 2014, Story are still a very fresh band, but with the impending release of their new EP, they’ve already ensured that they’re going to be passing a significant milestone. Well, for them, anyway.
“We’ve all been in bands before,” explains Hobson, “but none of us ever got past our first release, so to bring out a second EP is absolutely massive for us. I can’t wait for people to hear it. And we want to take this to our max. We’re all willing and we’ve all got the same drive to take the band as far as it will go.”
That’s something, Hobson hopes, that their crossover appeal might well help happen. Because while they don’t fit perfectly into one specific genre of music, their songs are heavy enough to appeal to the hardcore crowd and possess a certain something to appeal to even a pop crowd – a perfect balance that they captured with a recent cover of Adele’s Hello.
“A lot of people don’t like heavy music,” says Hobson, “and a lot of people stereotype bands, unfortunately. They’re like, ‘Oh, you play that kind of music, do you?’ But when those people do come to gigs, they think ‘You’re actually alright!’ So we just want more people to hear us so we can get out there. And with bands like Bring Me The Horizon becoming more mainstream nowadays, there’s more opportunities than ever for heavy bands. We would love to be in the position that they’re in and we want to be in the position that they’re in. There are no boundaries for us.”
Hopeless But Hoping will be released on March 4. For more information, visit the band’s official Facebook page.