In this brand new interview, punks Downcast are here to talk about their new single and video, “Catharsis”, as well as their usual writing process. Check out their answers below!
Hello Downcast, thanks for your time. Would it be possible to introduce your band to our readers, as well as your roles in it?
Downcast are: Liam Edwards (vocals), Ben Lucas (guitar, vocals), Nick Carlyon (drums), Jeff Bowyer (bass) and Leigh Wyatt (guitar).
How would you describe the UK punk scene, from your POV?
Liam: It’s a friendly and welcoming place, for sure. There’s a lot of incredible talent across the whole of the UK. The only problem is that it can be hard to stand out amongst a sea of bands all trying to make a name for themselves in the same industry as you.
Nick: Phenomenal – there are loads of bands using the DIY scene to establish themselves. I for one, have been a part of some amazing punk shows in a previous bands of mine.
Jeff: Punk is all around, but sometimes you really have to look for it. We have a decent scene in our home city, with some legendary venues and promotors putting on great bands frequently. There’s also a lot of DIY stuff going on behind the scenes with up and coming bands putting on their own shows in small pubs. It’s fairly healthy and could be worse. I think if you live in a major city, you’re catered for, but smaller areas it’s a lot harder. The UK in general is dripping with talented bands across the board, and the standards can be very high.
You’ve just released your new single and video, “Catharsis”. What’s the story behind this song?
Liam: The song reflects on an unfortunate situation that I found myself in. It describes some of the struggles and mental battles that I was faced with during and after an abusive relationship. It also depicts my determination to make different decisions moving forward in order to live a healthier and happier life. Unfortunately, a lot of people will find themselves in similar situations, and often it’s unpredictable and you can’t prepare yourself for it.
I think the best thing you can do is remember that you cannot change the past, but you can take the knowledge and understanding that you have gained from that experience to recognise red flags in the future and make sure you are only surrounding yourself with people who have good intentions.
How’s your usual writing process and where do you find your inspiration?
Liam: Ben and I have been writing songs together for years, and we’ve found a few different methods that work for us. Sometimes the lyrics and melody come first, and sometimes the guitars and drums come first. Usually we’ll get something down as a basic structure and then continue to build on top of it. Having programmes like Logic Pro at our disposal makes this so much easier than it would be without them.
I think the great thing about Ben and I is that we have fairly different music tastes, so we’re never trying to imitate the sound of another band. We do a lot of the initial stages of writing separately before bringing it all together. In my head, I’m writing lyrics to some Citizen-esque emo song, whereas Ben thinks he’s writing the next chart topping pop-punk song.
My inspiration comes from the things happening in my life and the desire to get certain things off my chest. I’m lucky to have this outlet as a form of catharsis.
Ben: Usually I will demo and instrumental track and then send it to Liam. He will then add vocals, and we build the song from there. Occasionally, Liam will have some lyrics and a melody in mind, which I will write music around, and we go from there.
Nick: I use guitar pro to record drums for demos. I feel it helps me remember what I’ve written, and to write the actual notation helps put every single beat in place. I write drums after the structure of the song has been finalised and sent over from the other members.
Jeff: I tend to find inspiration after I’ve been to a sweaty show and had my face melted off. If I hear something good, I need to deconstruct it, and then it rubs off into my writing. The processes tends to vary with every song, there’s no set rule or routine. When you get the itch, you get that riff down and share it with the band, then we all jump in and start building.
You guys are set to play a series of shows this Summer. When and where can we (hopefully) see you live?
Liam: Unfortunately, the shows that we had coming up have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we have recently signed with Bedlam Bookings, who will be working closely with us on planning tours from August onwards.
Speaking of live shows. Best one you’ve done so far and why?
Nick: The first and only show I’ve done with the band so far was at The Mothers’ Ruin in February, and it was rad.
Ben: I loved the show that we recently played at the Mothers’ Ruin in Bristol. It was the first show with our current line up, and it was a lot of fun.
Jeff: My first show with the band was excellent; we played with some sweet bands. It was a blast playing in a tiny sweaty venue for the first time with these guys, and we had a fun crowd.
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!
Ben: Thanks to everyone who has checked out ‘catharsis’ and any of our older music; it means a lot.
Nick: Whilst waiting for all this to blow over at the moment, check out our Spotify playlist ‘LOCKDOWN FAVOURITES’ as well as our latest single ‘catharsis’ if you haven’t already.
Jeff: I’d like to thank everyone who has supported our band from the beginning and since our new release. Now is a great time to get into downcast, as we are cooking up some big announcements. Once we beat the apocalypse together, of course. Keep safe everyone.
Thanks for your time!
Live picture by Tom Dodd Photography