PREY DRIVE is one of these bands that I didn’t know anything about before this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Steve: I rarely use “normal” chords such as bar chords etc, I like to use inversions with a 3rd or 5th as the root, and I know Paul will usually play the root on the bass – so sometimes chord progressions are quite simple but they sound different. Its always nice to chuck in a little riff or lick to break up the usual chord progressions too – its really hard to be 100% original now, most chord progressions have been done to death – but there are always ways of mixing them up and making them sound new. And sometimes I just get lucky when I pick up a guitar….
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Steve: For the album we went to a studio to record drums, bass and rhythm guitars. It gave us a chance to experiment more with sounds and capture far more “live” instruments. The EP was recorded in my bedroom so we had limitations, however we also recorded all vocals and extra guitars in my bedroom for this album and it’s all worked out really well doing it this way.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Brad: I don’t particularly try and have a message in my songs/lyrics as such. I mean who am I to preach to anyone? However what I always do, (and to sound cliche’) is write honestly from the heart and let people take away what they want from that. I’m a pretty quiet and introverted person and I find it hard opening up to people or talking about my problems in conversations. The only solace I found in recent, difficult times was writing openly about it on this album. All of these songs are linked to each other, sometimes sharing lyrics and phrases and have reoccurring themes. I’ve also purposely tried to disguise the doom and gloom with quirky sections or words and there’s a lot of 90s pop culture references aswell as nods to lyrics in some of my favourite songs.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
Steve: That’s a difficult one. There are guitar parts in songs that are influenced by Thrice, Circa Survive and Dance Gavin Dance on this album, but I wouldn’t say we sound like them that much. There is a ‘poppier’ edge to some songs too, but that just came from adding loads of extra guitars to the record when I was snowed into my house back in March!
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Steve: Christian had a photo of the log flume at Great Yarmouth that he’d used for a university project, and we all saw it back in January and thought it’d make a great album cover. We were looking for something simple, ideally a nice photograph, and so we decided to go with it. The record also contains a lot of lyrics about Brad’s life, and he was born and raised around the Yarmouth area, so it felt suitable.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Steve: Artwork is definitely still important. So many people will see your artwork before they hear your music, so it has to be appealing. It’s also important for physical release: we’re releasing the album on vinyl and so having a tangible format with great artwork is key. Sometimes people will buy music based solely on the artwork too.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Brad: Good question…it’s generally about feel. You know when something sounds right and when it doesn’t. It differs from song to song. But a song like ‘Pancakes’ for example, I knew was going to be a favourite in our set. I knew I wanted something short, fun and memorable (and a bit silly) so people would remember it. I wrote the lyrics to the song first and when I came up with the line – “she made pancakes for me” I knew what I was calling the song…
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Steve: There has been a resurgence in vinyl over the past 5 years or so, which is great. Its a lovely format that has a unique sound and feel, and having a large piece of artwork on a vinyl cover is really cool. We hope people continue to buy vinyl but streaming sites have played a huge part in getting our songs heard. We’ve been lucky enough to be added to 4 great Spotify “Rock” playlists with hundreds of thousands of followers, and it gets our songs out there. Seeing our tracks on playlists next to bands such as Basement, Fatherson and The Hunna is awesome.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Steve: Playing live is super important for us. We recently did a run of 5 shows in the UK and got a lot of feedback about how good our live show was. It spurs us on and we’re now looking into how we can take that to the next step and put on an even better live show. If we play well live, we gain new fans, sell more records and that just enables us to keep doing what we do.
What lies in the future?
Steve: We’re just about to film a video for the 2nd single that we’re releasing, “Foxes”. This will come out mid-September and then the album “Once More With Feeling” drops on November 5th. We’re hoping to do a European weekender in November as well as more UK dates until the next of the year. We’re also looking into returning to Europe around next February time, for a full album tour, and that’s something we’re all very excited about doing!