Scottish pop punks WOES have been making a stir the past few months, touring with the likes of Neck Deep, Seaway and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. I got the chance to talk to DJ (vocalist), about the band’s latest EP “SELF HELP”!
Hello DJ. Thanks so much for taking time to answer a few questions for Distrolution! I feel like I shouldn’t even ask this question but as we always start with this one… Could you please introduce yourself, as well as your band to our readers? Hi everyone, my name is DJ and I sing in Woes. We’ve been a band for about 2 years. In that time we’ve released 2 EPs, toured the UK and Europe a bunch of times with the like of Neck Deep, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Seaway and more! We’re a pop punk band, we have big riffs, big choruses – all that good stuff. We have aspirations of becoming a hip hop band in time though.
You have recently dropped your new EP “SELF HELP”. Can you tell us more about this release? For those who haven’t heard it yet, what kind of songs can we indeed expect on it? Self Help was just us trying to do as much as we could with pop-punk in 5 songs. Each song has a different feel, which I really like. But they all have a lot of energy, which I think is really important for any punk song. The lyrics are really emotional, introspective accounts of some of the best and worst times of our lives, which is where the title comes from! After finishing the EP, I felt like I had a really good handle on where I am in my life right now. And the things that I’ve been through to get here. Writing these songs was a very cathartic process.
According to you, which song best reflects the spirit of this EP and why? Tough question! I think you would get a different answer from each member of Woes, but for me it’s High On You. It’s a really upbeat pop punk song musically, lyrically it’s about sitting in the van, wanting to go back to a specific moment, or relationship. But knowing that it’s not possible any more, because you’ve uprooted your life to make music and go on tour all the time – and since the EP came out, we’ve been on the road non-stop, it’s been great! But there have been a lot of those moments in the back of the van.
How long have you worked on this EP and how would you describe the writing process? We were working on it for about a year all in, it started as an album, but then as we went on we whittled it down to an EP. We done a lot of the recording ourselves, which was a great learning process, but very stressful. We were working full time jobs, writing and recording at night and on the weekends, then touring on top of that. So by the time the EP was handed in, we were all very drained, it wasn’t a fun process. But when we started to play the songs live and see the reactions to them, it was great!
Are you happy with the feedback you received so far from both your fans and the media? Yeah, the feedback has been great so far! As I mentioned, we had kind of fallen out of love with these songs, but seeing people going crazy when we played them and singing them back to us was an amazing feeling. Which made the struggle we went through worthwhile in the end. We’re a much stronger, better band because of it.
Over the years, you’ve been touring with a lot of bands such as Neck Deep, Seaway or Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. What tour was your most beautiful / memorable one, and why? Most memorable was Neck Deep – that was our first ‘proper’ tour and we were playing in sold out 2000-5000 cap venues every night. It was just a crazy experience. EU tour with Rattlesnakes was awesome too, our first time in Europe and we went all over. From scorching sun in the south of France, to a snow storm in Copenhagen. All in our little van. A very memorable experience!
To finish, what is one lesson you’ve learned that you think is important to pass onto other bands?
There’s loads, but a couple things:
- Go to shows/be nice – so much of music is about who you know, or who is willing to vouch for you. So go to shows, make friends, contribute positively to the scene.
- Work hard – seems obvious, but there are people out there who literally work on music every second they’re awake. If you want to do something in music and you’re wasting time playing video games and getting drunk every weekend… that’s probably why you’re not getting anywhere.
- Leave the echo chamber – there’s probably a lot of people around you telling you how great your band is, or how cool it is that you went on a tour. That’s nice, but seek out feedback from people in the industry with nothing to gain from giving you honest feedback… And act on it!