Over the past couple of years, there’s been an impressive boom in the UK pop punk scene.
Beartrade. Boston Manor. Creeper. Gnarwolves, Neck Deep. All of those bands could, to varying degrees, be described as pop-punk, but each have added their own twist on the genre. It’s Bristol’s Weatherstate who’ve have really subverted it, though.
Formed from the ashes of previous bands in 2013 by Harry Hoskins (vocals/guitar), guitarists Joe Hogan and Callan Milward and drummer Toby Wrobel, Weatherstate infuse their catchy songs with just enough of a discordant grunge vibe to ensure that their songs are – very deliberately – not quite as catchy as they otherwise would be.
“This is our catch-22,” laughs Milward. “It’s almost like our Metallica complex back in the ’80s, where Metallica were too punk for the metal shows but too metal for the punk shows. We’re torn between scenes, where what we pride ourselves on is melody – which does come out in all our songs – but at the same time we like to go against the grain of what pop-punk is. We love a lot of pop-punk, but it’s quite oversaturated at the moment, so we try to keep it as fresh and unique as possible.”
New EP Dumbstruck is the latest example of how the band are breaking the mould of the punk/pop-punk scenes, and its four songs are gritty, gravelled blasts of restless frustration about life as a mid-20s something in the UK.
“It’s about the reality of becoming an adult,” says Milward, “and all the shit that gets thrown at you when that happens. Our songs don’t tend to be about heartbreak or anything clichéd that you’ve heard before – they’re about real life situations.”
Originally scheduled for release in 2015, Dumbstruck has been pushed back to the start of 2016 after the four-piece realised that being in a band isn’t always an easy ride.
“We delayed it because of a few internal problems,” explains Milward. “It wasn’t plain sailing, from all the organisation standpoints, and getting closer to release we didn’t have much of a choice. It was completely out of our control. But I think it’s for the best, in terms of getting stuff right. We found there’s been a lot of growing pains with the band but we’re all on board now and we’re just really excited to get it out!”
It’ll be their only their release in as many years, after 2013’s self-titled EP and 2014’s Dead Ends EP, but the band are more than happy to take things slowly, developing and evolving over time. As such, beyond the release of Dumbstruck, the band haven’t planned much out. They definitely want to write a full-length, but they have no plans to rush into anything.
“As we’ve been writing as a band,” says Milward, “we’ve found our feet with our sound more and more, and we are all absolutely on the same page, especially compared to previous bands, where there was some conflict. But with this, the whole songwriting process has been effortless. It all feels so natural. A lot of bands, I find, sometimes blow their load a bit early with a full-length, because that could be your defining release. So we want to play it safe and be realistic. But it is brewing, and there will be a full-length at some point – maybe next year, maybe 2017. But we’re looking forward to doing to it when we do it.”
For more information on Weatherstate, visit their Facebook page.