Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Straight from the heart of Bristol, one of the epicentres of creativity in the UK, IMMERSE are a band that bring hope for better days. The post-hardcore quartet lay out all the pain, disparity and fears that come with being human. But it’s not all gloom; the band confronts these feelings head on to generate positivity and optimism - “These are unavoidable rights of passage that everyone can relate to. It’s how you confront them and let them affect you that will make you who you are”. There is a sense of unity as the band battles issues together with their fans.'
I recently caught up with the band to discuss their amazing new track 'Here's Hoping', their distinctive sound and how they been coping during the lockdown...
"As I got older I discovered bands like Slipknot/Parkway Drive/Architects and I instantly fell in love with their energy and heavy breakdowns. I like to think that IMMERSE brings together a lot of the sounds that I grew up loving into a cohesive fresh sound. "
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lockdown, what kind of things have you been up to since the lockdown came into effect? For me, the first month of lockdown was really welcomed as it gave me a nice break and time to relax from a hectic start to the year. I work in live events so I’m very stuck at the moment! It’s given me the opportunity to spend time with my family and do things that I wouldn’t normally have time to do such as golf, cycling and writing new material of course. I’ve also been learning Spanish which has been ‘divertido’! How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, holy shit! THIS is what I want to do with my life? I started writing music at about 10/11 years old and I knew straight away that I would love to do it as a career. I listened to bands like Good Charlotte and Blink 182 so my songs were very similar to that style. As I got older I discovered bands like Slipknot/Parkway Drive/Architects and I instantly fell in love with their energy and heavy breakdowns. I like to think that IMMERSE brings together a lot of the sounds that I grew up loving into a cohesive fresh sound. Your latest release, ‘Here’s Hoping’ was released on June 28th on YouTube via Dreambound to an amazing reception. How did the recording process go for the track compared to your original EP ‘Suffer’? We decided to approach the recording process differently this time around. We went to Johnny Renshaw again to track drums at Bandit Studios. However, I tracked all the Guitar, Bass & Synth at my home studio set up. This meant I could record in my own time and fit it around my work schedule (as well as saving £££!). Vocals were recorded at Northstone Studios by Jayce Lewis as we wanted to make sure they were done top quality and get valuable input from Jayce. We then sent it all over to George Lever [Loathe/Sleep Token] to mix & master. It was great to work with multiple producers on these new songs and George brought everything together beautifully.
‘"Here’s Hoping’ was actually the first song we wrote after Suffer. It came together so naturally. I think it’s a song that represents our sound perfectly with a nice balance of melodies and riffs."
Speaking of the video release via Dreambound on YouTube, can you go into the partnership with Dreambound in more detail? How did this come about?
We worked with Dreambound on ’23/19’ and were really happy with how the track went down. Dreambound provides a great platform for bands of our genre, so we sent them the video to see if they would consider it for their channel. They really enjoyed it so they agreed! This meant the song could get the best possible coverage to new fans across the world.
‘Here’s Hoping’ explores quite in-depth themes of betrayal. How did the idea for this theme come about when creating the song? Archie wrote the lyrics for this song when he realised that someone he considered a friend showed their true colours. He got sick of them playing the victim for what they were doing to their friends and constantly making up lies about who they were and eventually just decided to cut them out of his life. With both ‘23/19’ and ‘Here’s Hoping’ dropping suspiciously close together (yes, we noticed) does that mean there is an upcoming album or EP on the way?
aha yes, they are part of an upcoming release. I can’t say anything more at this time!
"We can always guarantee plenty of energy at our shows and when it’s a headline set, there’s always something extra special thrown in…"
‘Here’s Hoping’ shows new unheard depths in your sound and just how far your sound and musicianship has come since the release of ‘Suffer in 2018, was this a conscious choice or a natural evolution of your sound? ‘Here’s Hoping’ was actually the first song we wrote after Suffer. It came together so naturally. I think it’s a song that represents our sound perfectly with a nice balance of melodies and riffs. It’s the most ’Suffer’ sounding song of our new material but is far more polished. We’ve definitely refined our sound and can’t wait to share more new music with our fans! I love keeping people guessing with our music. You guys recently announced a UK headline tour for 2021, what kind of things can we expect to see from an IMMERSE headline show? During lockdown, we’ve had the time to create an exciting new live set including our new songs. As the tour isn’t until early next year, it means that it’s completely fresh. We can always guarantee plenty of energy at our shows and when it’s a headline set, there’s always something extra special thrown in… If you could choose any one person to do guest vocals on one of your tracks who would you choose and why? Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. They are one of my favourite bands and I think he would make a huge chorus with us. It’s a dream of mine to meet both of the Madden brothers!
"I’m always exploring new ways to approach song writing and incorporate elements from genres that you wouldn’t expect in Post Hardcore. I want to maintain a high quality throughout our entire catalogue so I can be truly proud of what I am doing."
If you had to choose one song from the IMMERSE catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why? So far it has to be ‘Here’s Hoping’. It captures the elements that we started with during our debut album but represents our progression and possibilities for future music. Earlier in the year, in an interview with Amnplify, you stated that you have been going to festivals since you were 16. Which UK festival is your favourite to attend and why?
Download Festival. The people are great, it's brilliantly run and the bands that play there are the best in the world. ‘Here’s Hoping’ shows a lot of maturity for IMMERSE and it is truly impressive how much energy and skill is packed into the track. Is it a goal for you when creating new music to push the boundaries of what the definitive IMMERSE sound can be? Every song that I write gets my 100%. I put a lot of work into every section of our songs so that it sounds interesting whilst remaining fresh and true to us. I’m always exploring new ways to approach song writing and incorporate elements from genres that you wouldn’t expect in Post Hardcore. I want to maintain a high quality throughout our entire catalogue so I can be truly proud of what I am doing. I’d love to collaborate with other artists on future releases to see where our signature sound could develop. Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you a scene kid when you were growing up? If not, what kind of music were you rocking out back in your formative teenage years? I wouldn’t call myself a scene kid aha but I loved Green Day, Good Charlotte, Blink 182. Pop punk is the sound of my teenage years and I still love it today. I think it’s important to explore all musical genres as you’d be surprised what you end up getting attached to!