The buzz surrounding Neck Deep of late has been akin to a hornet’s nest shattered with rocks. Jumping from strength to strength and touring alongside pop punk powerhouses like The Wonder Years and Real Friends, the UK five-piece will soon embark on their first tour of Australia alongside local trailblazers Trophy Eyes and Forever Ends Here. Bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans recently sat down with Killyourstereo.com to talk about the tour and the band’s upcoming debut album, ‘Wishful Thinking’.
What have you been up to lately Fil?
Just sat around waiting for [the] tour to start really. I spend most of my time off just watching The Office and eating crap food.
It didn’t take long at all for the band to blow up. Was this a planned process or did it happen organically?
It was completely organic. When this band started it was never meant to be a serious thing but events transpired and it grew really organically.
Did you ever expect the success and worldwide recognition that Neck Deep has received to come so quickly?
No way. We never thought for a second we would be able to do half things the we have already achieved with this band or that it would affect and inspire so many people. It’s really humbling.
There are some who view your sound as the next link in the chain for pop punk, following on from the likes of The Wonder Years and The Story So Far. Would you agree with this?
I guess so. I mean I personally don’t feel like we have done something completely original. We aren’t one of those bands who want to play something nobody has before just for the sake of being original. We just write music we enjoy and we like to play and whatever people think of it is fine with us.
How did the band arrive at the album title for ‘Wishful Thinking’? Is there special significance behind it?
‘Wishful Thinking’ basically ties together a lot of the ideas behind the album and the record’s artwork. It’s a tribute to the movie ‘Big’ where a kid gets his wish granted to be older as he is tired of being young; he then finds out the responsibilities of being an adult aren’t as fun as he thought. I think that’s something we can all relate too. So basically ‘Wishful Thinking’ just summarises those feelings.
Did the writing process for ‘Wishful Thinking’ change in comparison to the EPs?
Not really. It only changed in that it had a lot more purpose and pressure behind it. The first two EPs weren’t ‘really’ written for any purpose other than for fun, so whatever came out was cool with us. Whereas with the album we knew it would be something serious, we actually wanted to try and make it something we were really proud of and something our fans would enjoy.
What sort of lyrical themes does the band explore on ‘Wishful Thinking’?
I don’t want to give too much away but it covers some new ground for us as a band. I feel like the lyrical content is just really easily relatable for people and covers things that everyone feels on a daily basis, as well as some more unique ideas.
Can fans expect any surprises or curveballs in the album’s content?
I feel like certain elements of the record will come as a surprise. I think we have remained true to the sound that gained us so many fans but also added enough new vibes to keep it interesting. I think fans are really going to like it and be stoked on the new sound we have.
The video for ‘Crushing Grief (No Remedy)’ was quite a creative concept. What other things have you guys got up your sleeves in the lead-up to the album’s release?
We are a super hands on band when it comes to the creativity that goes into our band, we all take a really invested interest in these sort of things. We have a bunch of cool ideas and concepts that we are going to be doing to promote the album, mostly things that will please fans, as we owe a lot to them and like to do things that will make them happy.
How did the band come to be signed by Hopeless Records?
They approached us and the whole thing happened very organically. We had a bunch of meetings and talks about our ideas and if we would fit, it felt perfect and we decided it was the place for us!
Is it hard having such a relentless touring schedule?
It is. Touring is really hard and being away from family and friends and all that jazz but the pros always out weigh the cons and it’s so much fun that’s its worth it.
You guys have had the opportunity to play alongside a respectable number of prominent and longstanding pop punk bands. Has this been an intimidating experience for you?
At times it has, but all you can do is just hit the stage and play the best show you can and just be happy you have the chance. It’s more intimidating realising that people consider you to be that size of a band to even play those sort of shows in the first place.
What are you most looking forward to about coming to Australia?
Holding a koala, going to the beaches, water parks, the sun, the food, the people and the shows.
Oh, and the accent. It’s totally hot.
I understand this is the first time you will be touring in a headlining role. Are you excited, scared, or a bit of both?
A little of both. I think we are all just super excited to get out there and do it, really. We have seen the ticket sales for the shows and its been amazing so we are past that worry of nobody showing up. We just want to get out there and do our thing.
Have you had a chance to look into Trophy Eyes and Forever Ends Here?
I personally haven’t had a chance to do that yet. I’ve heard really good things about them though and some of the guys have messaged us already about hanging out so I’m really looking forward to meeting those dudes and having some fun and making new friends.
Tell me about the craziest thing the band has ever done.
Wow, that’s a tough one. Probably something that happened on a night out after a show or something. Probably not crazy but more stupid. I can’t think of anything specific right now but I’m sure when we get to Australia we will have something to talk about.
What does 2014 hold for Neck Deep?
Our album release and a heck load of touring.
Are there any comments you’d like to finish on?
If you buy our album then you can be my best friend.