Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
JAMES: Very well thank you, doing the best we can during these strange times to keep pushing on until we can all start going back to some normality!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “D.N.A.”?
JAMES: Yeah it actually use to be called ‘Blame’ in its early days. It was one of the later songs to be made on the album and the idea was to add some adrenaline and heaviness into the catalogue which we think it does!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
JAMES: Not necessarily a particular event it was more just that the songs we had were all very much the same tempo and we needed a really rocker! I also always wanted a riff which has a 1 note bass punch in it so after a couple goes at getting the right riff to start something off the rest just came easy! Scott had a great chorus which is why it use to be called ‘Blame’ but he went back and revamped the vocals which turned out awesome as you hear them today. I think Bring Me The Horizon were quite influential on this track especially with writing the Verse.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
JAMES: The filming was awesome, we had covid restrictions in place as we shot it at the end of last year before the 2nd lockdown kicked in here in Scotland. We had a great time filming the video though and in our opinion it’s the best one we’ve done so far. At one point we had to wear coloured eye contacts for the UV FX, which took us 40+ minutes to get in with a great deal of pain! haha Worst part about that is you can only see Scotts eyes in it and the rest of us didn’t work so it was in vain!
The single comes off your new album Against The Wall – what’s the story behind the title?
JAMES: The story of this song sums up our time as a band so far. It hasn’t been an easy ride for us for various reasons and this song has some hints to that. Although at the same time when we make music we try to make sure the song can remain as universal as possible to allow anyone listening to take their meaning from it and relate in their own ways. People tend to respond most positively when their backs are up against the wall!!
How was the recording and writing process?
JAMES: It was great. It was a huge learning curve in so many different ways, I would never have thought I’d be sat looking back at these songs and with this new found understanding on how to write music as a whole with how it goes from point A to the finishing line as a collective team. Seeing some of the songs on the album evolve from the early days of Mason Hill into what they are now was a privilege. You write a song and think it’s great not realising its about to go through so many more filters like for example when Scott did the final vocals with Brian Sperber, it just took the music to a whole new level and it was very exciting to be a part of. The main bulk of recording was done at Riverside Music Studio here in Glasgow, Scotland. Long hard but creative days, we went in so well rehearsed and ready to do it like a well oiled machine but still came out with a couple new bits added. Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters / Biffy Clyro) mixed the record and again brought a whole new dimension to the finished sound, something we were thrilled about!
What role does Glasgow play in your music?
JAMES: Glasgow has a great music scene. Me and the guys played several underground clubs which saw us begin to gain loyal followers who support not only us but many other new grassroots bands. Glasgow has some huge bands and artists that have came out of it such as Biffy Clyro and Lewis Capaldi! We hope that some day we can be one of the next big things to come from Glasgow and represent the heavy rock genre.
With your music getting so much momentum – how has this influence the band? Has it put any pressure when working on new music?
JAMES: It does cross my mind from time to time that given this independent debut album hit the UK charts we have a fairly high bar to try and reach! So yeah a little bit of pressure but at the same time ready for the challenge and will use the debut album to our advantage and try to enhance the 2nd album in as many ways as we can. I don’t think writing good music will be an issue.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
JAMES: The inspiration was the band. Mason Hill is grassroots and we have done so well to get so far with only an EP we knew a debut album was an urgent requirement so great care was taken with the songs. There are different meanings behind different songs but to summarise it all simply comes down to having this drive to put Mason Hill on the map with great kick ass heavy rock songs along with some slow meaningful tunes to show another side of us such as ‘Who We Are’ and ‘Where I Belong’. We are trying to reach all types of music fans and be that bridge for those who aren’t into heavy rock to encourage as many people we can to turn onto the rock scene.
What else is happening next in Mason Hill’s world?
JAMES: At this point we are all sat patiently waiting for the pandemic to ease off so that we can all go back out gigging. We have announced a 24 date UK tour of the debut album which hopefully can take place in September and October. Aside from that I’ve began writing some new music which so far is sounding brilliant and I very much look forward to the next phase of getting our follow up album started!