Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello! Thank you for having us! We’ve been as good as to be expected with the global pandemic going on, staying safe and missing our friends!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hangman”?
Hangman is one of our heavier political tracks in the vein of one of our older songs War of the Roses. We wrote it before quarantine and slowly managed to record it over distance during isolation. It covers a lot of topics that have had a spotlight shone on them due to the global pandemic such as class disparity, the militant use of the middle class by high class society to keep the lower classes down, the hypocrisy of conservatism and all those great really cheerful subjects.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I wish I could say COVID inspired it but actually it was the elections in the UK with the Tories beating out Labour once again. Seeing someone who very clearly wants what’s best for the country and its people like Jeremy Corbyn lose out to a very obviously self centered, idiotic, hypocritical stain like Boris Johnson really just pushed me over the edge in terms of wanting to write more political music.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
We’ve got a pretty standard visualisation video that we’ll be releasing alongside it just so people who want to listen on YouTube can. Apart from that we’re not too sure about a concept video or anything, it’s hard with two people in the band that come under shielding. If the song is as successful as we obviously hope it will be then it’s likely we’d go back and make a video.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was strange. We couldn’t get studio space or anything like that so we decided to do it all in house. We’re used to writing without everyone present due to the fact that Josh, our vocalist, lives on the other end of the country, but usually there are at least three or four people present when finalising song ideas, and due to COVID that obviously wasn’t possible. So it was a lot of sending each other home recordings of ideas and then hoping they got the idea across.
What role does London play in your music?
Being from south east London is strange, you’re part of one of the biggest, richest cities in the world but you never get to interact with that wealth. I think that gives a really unique perspective of being cut off from something that the rest of the country thinks you’re a part of. It’s coloured lyrics and stories we want to tell, and while Josh usually uses a pretty ambiguous, all over the place accent, occasionally his south east London accent comes out in songs, it especially comes out in Hangman.
How has Taking Back Sunday and Northlane influenced your writing?
Okay so hear us out, we know it’s really weird to see those two bands next to each other when it comes to influence, but it’s due to members having their own musical upbringing and loves and us never wanting to turn those influences away from the core sound of Sidelines. Taking Back Sunday is a huge influence to Josh, having grown up on Emo and Post Hardcore music while Northlane is a huge influence on Kiran with his Metalcore roots. We take things that we love from Taking Back Sunday like their build ups and overly emotional lyrics and stick them to things that we love from Northlane like huge breakdowns and self analytical lyrics. Stitch it all together and you have Sidelines.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
We’re always writing, we’re not sure if we want to stick to singles or release something bigger like an EP, it’s a learning process and we’re always looking to learn. We have a few songs that are forming but nothing finished yet, we like to take our time with writing to make sure we can write the best songs possible.
What are some of the social issues you are seeking to tackle on?
Where do you start? There is so much to be done in UK society let alone the world as a whole. Black Lives Matter is obviously a pretty huge cause with a spotlight on it at the moment which is great. However, I think the most important thing the UK needs to work on is this perverse view of our past as some sort of paragon of knowledge educating the masses through colonialism and expansion. Once we can look back at the past and acknowledge that we committed thousands of atrocities in the name of “The British Empire” we can look at the modern world in a more realistic light and act on what needs to be done for the people in the here and now. I think the fetishisation of our past as a country is a huge roadblock to progress in current times.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Hangman will be coming out 4th of September but we have nothing concrete planned after it’s release.
What else is happening next in SIDELINES’ world?
When COVID passes we plan on doing the usual band stuff, touring, playing as many shows as we can without our hearts exploding, writing and releasing more music, all the fun stuff!