BY SAMANTHA LLOYD
Interviewed by: NAOMI JEREMIAH / DAVID LYDIARD
Most bands would avoid such an unlucky number as 13, but not As Sirens Fall. Due for release on 13th April 2018, the new EP ‘Where Lost Things Go’ will no doubt cause some serious waves in the rock/pop music world. Featuring a guest appearance from Benji Webbe (Skindred), DTF asked frontman Mikey Lord about the upcoming release, working with Benji Webbe, mental health and that unlucky/lucky number 13.
“I would like to think that nobody else would have chosen that date which means all the luck that’s saved up on that day is now reserved for us”. But luck certainly isn’t something these guys need, as they seem to be carving their own path through to the top. 2016/2017 has seen As Sirens Fall (ASF) deliver shows to sold out venues after the release of their debut EP ‘The Hospital Party’, appear at Download Festival for 2 consecutive years, and this year they are opening the main stage at Amplified Festival. “It’s gonna hopefully be quite a busy summer. Which is always good!” says Mikey. Peeping over the horizon is their first European tour and with a plethora of live dates for their ‘Lily’ UK tour about to kick off in Leeds at The Key Club on 21st April, we have no doubt that 2018 is going to be huge for ASF.
So far ASF have released 2 tracks from their upcoming EP ‘Where Lost Things Go’; ‘In My Mind’ and ‘Lily’. “That song [‘In My Mind’] had been in our catalogue for years, we’ve been together since August of 2014, and we started writing pretty much straight away. We weren’t gigging for about 6 months, we didn't tell anybody the band was going on etc., and we were writing away, and I think ‘In My Mind’ was probably one of the first sort of 5 or 6 songs we wrote, and as far as I’m aware it’s one of the only songs to survive the first few gigs that we played, so it is a super old track”.
“And I remember when we were writing it, there’s this part in the bridge where I start repeating the words “Take the power back!” And I remember at the end of that first sort of run through of the track, years ago I said, “How amazing would it be to have Benji Webbe’s voice there!” And everyone was like, “Yeah! Isn’t that a funny idea...?” And 2 years down the line, we’re standing in an attic in Wales, making a music video with him for the track that he’s featuring on and it’s that song, it was insane and it just felt really special, and kind of cathartic to have that sort of come true really”.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect right now. Skindred are due to release their new record on April 20th (something a lot of bands are doing to avoid the unlucky 13th of April release date), and Benji Webbe has also featured recently with Florence Black, so having him feature on a track with ASF must have felt kind of surreal and just a little bit insane, “Yeah, absolutely!... I think a lot of people do, a lot of musicians and bands and artists, especially in the pop scene, they all try and sort of crowbar featuring artists into their songs, to sort of expand the audience, and it’s nice to know that we’ve wanted Benji Webbe’s voice on that track since day one because we knew his voice would just fit. It wasn’t about who he was, it wasn’t about Skindred or anything like that, it was just the fact that he’s got this voice and this manner about him that we knew would fit that song and having sort of completed that task let’s say it feels really special and really pure. Yeah, super, super proud of that”.
The difficulty with working with someone that you’ve idolised can be that once you meet them in person, they aren’t what you thought they would be. That’s not the case with Benji, states Mikey,
“He’s a lovely person, he’s super professional whilst at the same time being really personable and, I don’t know if you’ve seen him live, but yeah he’s exactly how you would expect in person. Pretty
much the same, just a really nice dude, and, works fast, works well”.
The newest single release ‘Lily’ is a real earworm of a track, it kind of burrows its way into your head and as Naomi Jeremiah pointed out during the interview, she’s had it stuck in her head all
week: “I’m glad that worked!” jokes Mikey, ‘Lily’ has a very different sound to the previous release with Benji, “ ‘Lily’ is, I would say, probably the youngest song on the EP. We wrote it literally,
probably, 10 days before going into the studio, [we] all felt like immediately this is one of the best things we’ve ever done, it’s just huge. It just felt really special when we were writing
Every artist and band differs in the way that they construct their material for a release, some work separately before bringing their offering to the band, but not ASF, “The way we write we always
write together, it’s very rare that one of us will have an idea and bring it to the rest of the group, and then we’ll sort of attack it together. It’s very much a group effort from start to finish to
make a song happen. And in doing that it means we write a lot, and quite a lot doesn’t quite make the cut. You know, we’re very strict, and we only want to perform and put out what we’re super proud
of, and ‘Lily’ was one of those moments where we all just looked at each other and like this is something else!”
One of those songs that didn’t make the initial cut was ‘She Runs With The Wolves’, Mikey’s favourite on the new EP, “It was written about someone that was very, very special to me, who unfortunately passed away, and we’d initially scratched the track, and then after brought it back and we pumped the drums up like 20 beats per minute, and changed some of the chords, changed some of the melody and it became this upbeat bouncing epic track that sounds so different to anything else we’ve ever done, and erm, it’s got this huge ending on it which I don’t want to ruin it by describing too much. I’m really excited for people to hear it”.
The whole EP is such an awesome record, “It’s a huge step up from the first EP,” explains Mikey, “We’re just super, super excited about it. Best EP that we’ve ever done”. And it’s one that ASF has
been sitting on for a while, biding their time, waiting for the right time to deliver it to the fans, “We had the EP ready but we didn’t want to put it out until we could give it the shows that we
felt it deserved. That’s not me trying to, sort of purvey arrogance or anything like that, it’s just we’re all so, so proud of these songs, more than I can say emotionally and physically went into
making them happen. We had to put them out and partner it up with the live experience that we felt that they deserved, you know? So yeah, really, really excited to hit the road with these
The excitement of writing the music and recording it can spur a band on to release their record as soon as possible, but to have the discipline in saying “We’re going to wait until the time is
right” is a commendable thing states David Lydiard, “I’m glad that we have [waited] as well,” continues Mikey, “Despite the fact that we’ve been sitting on these songs for the better part of a year,
these are songs that no one’s heard yet, which is mad to me that we’ve had them for a year. But yeah, it’s that the time is right now, but it wasn’t when we initially thinking of putting it out and
I'm glad we waited”.
Continuing the message along the lines of mental health, a topic heavily ingrained in the debut EP ‘The Hospital Party’, ‘Where Lost Things Go’ seems to hold true to that theme of writing, “Yeah totally. I mean, the first EP especially... that was kind of a cross-section of my own mental health. I would say from the ages of 18, maybe 17 to about 20, it was very sort of honest and open, and sort of dealt with all sorts of facets of the things that I went through on this sort of journey of self-discovery. ‘Where Lost Things Go’ I feel builds on that, it’s less completely focused on mental health, it’s definitely almost totally about mental health but the focus is on wider things, and loss and grief, and loathe and I guess the outward effect as oppose to the inward. It’s also probably the most honest I’ve ever been lyrically, it’s very, very open, almost to the point that it worries me a bit, But we’ll see what happens when it’s out”.
But that’s what music is all about isn’t it, it’s the open expression of your life experiences and feelings that you’re laying bare for all to judge and through music you’re opening up parts of yourself and expressing opinions of people or events that you maybe wouldn’t just outright say to peoples faces, “Well, yeah that, and there’s also a point that I don’t really do this anymore, but, when was younger I would write songs about other people in my life and I’d feel good getting it out of my system. But when you put it out and think, I’ve just sort of recorded and set in stone my opinion of this person right now, which may well change, which they might hear and get upset by or they may be happy about or... and then it’s a difficult quandary, but I found the best way to battle it is to be completely honest. That’s the point at the end of the day, to express yourself, and if you’re not being honest then what’s the point?”
In some ways, I guess that music really is therapy for the soul.
‘Where Lost Things Go’ is due for release on Friday 13th April 2018, and if you pre-order it now you can get the single ‘Lily’ instantly. https://fanlink.to/wherelostthingsgo
As Sirens Fall are:
Mikey Lord - Vocals and Keys
Adam Doveston - Guitars and Backing Vocals
Richard Hadley - Guitar and Backing Vocals
Jason Doveston - Bass
Jarlath McCaughery - Drums
Find out more about upcoming tours and band news on the following links:
To read the full EP review from DTFMedia please go to this link:
To hear the interview in full, check out out podcast here: