Blackpool rock band Boston Manor talk about their meteoric rise and their emotionally engaging debut album Be Nothing as well as signing to pop punk label Pure Noise Records. We caught up with guitarist Ash Wilson to get to know more about one of the most exciting new acts around.
Your new record Be Nothing was produced by a revered producer in Neil Kennedy who has helped to create records for the likes of Creeper and Milk Teeth. What’s it like to work with a producer who has worked with those type of bands?
Neil is the absolute man and a good friend. Working with someone who’s produced those bands is great because he delivers a unique sound to the music and always has some out of the box ideas. We really pride ourselves on taking a different approach to the norm, and he’s a great producer to bring that out of us.
The debut record is dark, but arresting, it never loses that compelling stride. It’s massive in its direction too. What was it like recording such a colossal record?
Wow. Thank you, that’s really humbling to read. [laughs] We didn’t set out to purposely write a record like this, we just want to write these big songs with some interesting hooks, so it’s cool that’s what comes across. It was hard work, it’s never easy writing your first album and you can only do it once. We wanted everything to be as good as it could be, so we spent a lot of time on every detail, how we play certain sections, how Henry should sing a line, even down to the artwork. It’s really important.
You’ve only been a band since 2013, and it has been a meteoric rise. Has the spotlight scared the band or have you embraced it?
I think compared to a lot of bands we’ve had quite a slow incline. It’s just really rewarding knowing all the hard work we’ve put in is coming to fruition. We’re definitely embracing it, as scary as it can be sometimes.
There are many rock bands out there. As a band you do so well at keeping the music fresh and interesting. What is the secret?
Thanks! We don’t really have any secret. We’re influenced by a lot of different genres of music so maybe subconsciously it comes from that. I honestly don’t know though!
The band’s last record was an EP called Saudade. It was a softer contribution with flair and great instrumentals, as well as heaps of emotion. But what is like to go from creating a few songs to a list of tracks?
It’s really cool. When you write an EP it’s just a selection of songs, but I feel like an album is more than that. We kinda wanted this album to be one body of music, so in a way the record flows through different emotions & vibes from start to finish. We had a chance to pull back on certain songs and push parts in others, whereas on an EP you can’t do that. With EPs you have to portray your message in a short space of time, but in an album you can elaborate on certain parts. I enjoy it a lot more.
You’ve toured with bands such as Knuckle Puck and Moose Blood. What is like on the road for Boston Manor?
It’s really long and uncomfortable, you sleep rough most nights on people’s floors and get showers if you’re lucky. It’s mad. I wouldn’t change it for the world. On the other side of touring, we get to play cool venues, get to know and play with bands we’ve looked up to. We get to be tourists every day and meet new people. More people should get in bands and tour, it’s a whole new experience and it really strengthens you as a person. I miss my family, my cats and my girlfriend when I’m away, but I’m on the road with my best friends and I love every second of it.
You’re embarking on a UK and European tour with Can’t Swim. It’s your first full length trip. How will you prepare for such a massive span of dates?
We’ve done similar length tours before, you get used to it after a while. We’ll have just been back from a month long US / Canada tour with Like Pacific so I think we’ll be okay! It’s gonna be fun playing to people as a headline band. We’ve never had this opportunity so we can’t wait.
The songs are always infectious and the subject matter emotive. You do pack such sentiment into the tracks. Are the lyrics reflecting anything personal?
I don’t want to give anything away. I think people should make their own mind up about what the song means to them. The story behind each song is pretty personal, but if people can apply their own experiences to certain songs that’s cool with me.
You’re now signed under the Pure Noise moniker. How does it feel to be amongst some the biggest names in rock?
It’s honestly mind blowing. We love this label and have done for such a long time. We truly are humbled to be a part of such a cool and dedicated record label.