Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Ben Adsett0
Q & A – AUSTEROS 2
Back in 2014 I spoke with Jeremy from Austeros just after their first EP release (Model Home), a lot has changed since and the band are now about to release their first full length on Specialist Subject. The band has been kind enough to catch up again and discuss what they have been up to for the last two years.
Hello! Long-time not speak, how’s everything going?
Yeah it’s all going alright! Life’s pretty hectic at the minute, trying to plot a move to Bristol from Cheltenham. You’d think it’d be easy because it’s so close, but a move is a move no matter how far you’re going!
How have you developed as a band over your previous releases?
Well we have a new drummer. Nath played with us a lot last year as a substitute drummer while Bo was away, but it wasn’t just a case of swapping drummers, our whole process has changed since Nath joined. We’re writing in a more collaborative way, and consequently our sound has developed a fair bit. I’m not very good at describing music, but I’d say it’s less pop-punk. Also on a more personal level, the band feels more complete now.
We are a matter of days away from the release of Painted Blue your first full length, how did it all come together?
It came together quite nicely, we’d written some of the songs before Nath joined, so we had a good starting point to write the rest of the record. To me the songs that we wrote after Nath joined sound distinctly different, and I prefer them.
Painted Blue tackles some pretty heavy subjects and is full of honesty was the song writing process taxing?
Nah it wasn’t taxing at all, in fact it was the opposite. It’s such a relief to be able to get some shit off your chest. The only stressful thing about it is when people you know hear your lyrics and worry about you, but that’s par for the course. My biggest worry when writing about my mental instability is my mum hearing it. She’s a real worrier. If I could write about less personal stuff I would, but I’m not very a very gifted lyricist so I can only say what I feel!
The artwork is (as always) beautiful can you tell me more about it?
It was done by an artist called Billy Mather. I was at a venue in Brighton that was covered with his work, and I asked the bar staff who made it. Years later I got in touch with him for our record cover. We’re so pleased with it. You should check out his other stuff.
How important is the sleeve design to a release?
I’d say it’s not very important. I wouldn’t write off an album because of its cover. Some of my favourite albums have covers that I don’t think are great, but you soon forget about your initial thoughts of the artwork once you get into the music.
This is the first time you haven’t released through your own label Don’t Ask, was this just the right time to move onto another label?
Yeah it was. We really want to focus on just being a band for this release, rather than being band and label. Putting out records isn’t just a case of making a facebook page, setting up an online store and placing vinyl orders. If that’s the way you do it you’ll end up sitting on thousands of records for years. We’re excited to have Specialist Subject behind this album, they’re our favourite label.
Is Don’t Ask still going strong?
It’s not actually, we decided to take a break. As much as we enjoyed doing it, we want to prioritise our own band for the time being. We’d either be doing a half assed job on other peoples’ records, or a half assed job on our own band. Juggling the two would be a full time job, and we’ve already got jobs!
Specialist Subject is almost a quality mark for the UK punk scene, was this influential to your label decision?
Yeah totally agree. And yes it was. We’ve been fans of all the Specialist Subject bands for some time, but it’s not just about their amazing roster. They have a really honest way of putting out records. We really wanted to cement ourselves in the DIY indie-punk scene, and they are the best label with which to do that. There’s no bullshit. No contracts, no agency / management attachments; you’re still free to be a DIY band.
Have your influences changed as you developed as a band?
Yeah definitely, I have a new favourite band every week! Every band I listen to influences what I write. Thankfully Steve and Nath are there to make it sound like Austeros and not some wholesale rip-off band.
I think the album is heavily influenced by Dinosaur Jr, Woahnows, Cayetana, All Dogs to name a few.
What was the last show you went to for fun?
We go to our own gigs for fun! Haha. But I know what you mean. Me n Steve recently went to see Nietzche Trigger Finger launch their EP in Bristol. Nath was there too cos that’s one of his other bands! The next show we’re going to is next week, also in Bristol – the Dead Punk all dayer. Particularly excited about seeing Caves, Doe, Personal Best, Shit Present, Good Grief, Arteries, Colour Me Wednesday and Muncie Girls. Fuck, that’s a lot of class bands!
Who would you recommend listening to at the moment?
Have you heard those 2 new Woahnows tracks from their doube A side? Highly recommended. Also really into those couple of new songs from the upcoming Hotelier album. Same with Pup. Martha and Happy Accidents also have new albums coming out, and I’m dead excited for those. Oh, Erica from RVIVR and David from Spoonboy / Max Levine Ensemble have started a new band called Somnia, which is gonna be amazing.
Where can we find out more or buy some records etc.?