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Boston Manor – Be Nothing.: Exclusive Album Stream

Blackpool-based quintet provide an intelligent, impassioned hybrid of pop-punk and emo with their debut album, Be Nothing. available to stream 3 days before official release exclusively with The Independent

Remfry Dedman
Tuesday 27 September 2016 10:57 BST
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Boston Manor in 2016
Boston Manor in 2016

Emerging from the North-West of England in 2013 to a thriving British pop-punk scene, Boston Manor have caused a stir amongst fans of sophisticated, heart-on-sleeve, melodious punk rock. With 3 EPs already to their name (2013’s Here/Now, 2014’s Driftwood and 2015’s Saudade) the time has come for one of the most exciting bands in British pop-punk to release their debut full length album, Be Nothing. through Pure Noise Records on Friday 30th September. The album is available to stream 3 days before official release exclusively with The Independent below.

Walking a tight line between emo, indie and punk, Be Nothing. is 10 intelligently crafted anthems of brutal honesty, wrapped up in sweet melodies, shimmering guitar lines and frantic punk intent. Unlike a raft of recent bands who focus on the ‘pop’ to the detriment of the ‘punk’, Boston Manor balance the two key elements that make up the genre perfectly. Whilst many troupes of pop-punk are present, there are enough other elements to indicate that Boston Manor could branch out into a wealth of different musical areas and ideas; an enticing prospect for a band this young, capable of writing anthems of this startling quality, whether it be Laika, Broken Glass and Burn You Up.

We asked vocalist Henry Cox about recording their first full length album, the DIY approach and being involved in all elements of the band

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How did your DIY experiences shape the nature of the band and the way that you operate now? What are the benefits and the disadvantages to approaching things with a DIY ethic?

Being DIY gave us a very strong work ethic. We had to keep up with other artists that had a whole team behind them, which meant we had to be industrious. Keeping everything as low cost as possible without compromising quality, finding a way around things; basically problem solving. We roughed it for so long on tours, pretty much sleeping outside some times. It definitely toughened us up. Being DIY was also all about just making friends, helping people out as much as you could, which meant in turn they would help you out. ‘I'll get you a show up here, you get us a show down there’. I think a lot of the ethics & the ideals we learned as a DIY band are things we still put into practice today. The advantages are that you can be spontaneous, & you don't have to work to anyone's schedule but your own. The down side is the lack of financial support as well as not having the expertise of a team behind you. The bigger you become, the busier you become & it's all about efficiency, dividing up the work & playing to one another's strengths.

Could you tell me a little bit about your experience signing to Pure Noise Records?

Pure Noise are awesome, they're really trusting; they allow us to have total creative freedom & really back what we're doing. We'd been talking to a few labels when we first spoke to PN, we had a meeting with them & we knew right away that they were the guys for us. You hear a lot of horror stories about bands being ripped off by labels, so we were super sceptical when we first started having those conversations. When you initially start getting lawyers involved it all gets quite serious & scary to a band that have previously just been writing songs in their bedrooms & playing shows in basements. Pure Noise were really sensitive to that & really put our minds at ease. We were also big fans of their roster which made working with them seem all the more attractive.

You write, produce and film all your own music videos … how important is it to keep the artistic elements of the band as DIY as possible to you?

That isn't strictly true; we’ve worked with two amazingly talented filmmakers over the past year - Chris Porter & Lewis Cater. I did a degree in Filmmaking at the Manchester School of Art & shoot music videos outside of the band. So initially I did all the music videos with the help of a few friends. I still shoot some of them now & will be doing another one soon for the album. Chris & Lewis have worked on a lot of our recent ones as directors & editors & have done an amazing job. We fully believe that the visual element of a band is a crucial component of its art as a whole & like to be involved in everything from videos to photos to artwork in any way we can. With the videos, often I’ll write a treatment & sent it to either Lewis or Chris & they’ll adapt it, add to it & then bring it to life; collaboration is part of the art.

How has the experience of recording a full-length album differed from recording your EPs?

It was totally different. Recording a full album has such wider boundaries than just working on an EP. If you're only working with 4 tracks then you can't stretch yourself too much because the songs have to have some consistency. If you're working with ten tracks or more then you have more to play with. We sat down & thought about the record as a whole piece of work when we first started working on the album, rather than just diving in & seeing what we came out with. We definitely pushed ourselves artistically, we're by no means re-inventing the wheel but I think we pushed ourselves creatively & surprised ourselves with what we came out with. It was a really challenging few weeks; when you're locked in working on a track for 13 hours a day, you can get a bit of cabin fever. You also start obsessing over tiny things which don't really make a difference. Sometimes you have to learn when to just leave something alone.

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What are your personal highlights from Be Nothing.?

There's a moment on every song which really excites me. I'm so proud of the whole record, it's honestly one of the best things I've ever achieved. I think songs like Broken Glass & Fossa are exactly what I had hoped we'd be able to write. I wrote a lot of the melody to Broken Glass before the song itself was written, which is opposite to the way we usually write. It was a pretty organic process, which I think was also quite a cathartic experience.

Be Nothing. is released via Pure Noise Records on Friday 30th September on Vinyl, CD and digitally and is available to pre-order now. The band begin an extensive tour of the UK in Plymouth on 18th November

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