Back in November, Blackpool quintet Boston Manor signed to Pure Noise Records before the release of their latest EP. Since then, Upset named ‘Saudade’ one of the best EPs of that year, alongside the likes of Against The Current and fellow UK pop-punk representatives ROAM. 2016 sees the band go on to even bigger things: before setting off to Europe and America as part of the label’s Pure Noise Tour with Knucklepuck and Seaway, they headed back to the cosiness of the studio.
Returning to Southampton, they’re working once more with Neil Kennedy at Ranch Production House. “He’s the bomb,” vocalist Henry Cox says of the producer, who’s worked with some of Britain’s brightest young bands, including Creeper and Milk Teeth. “It was the natural choice to return to him for the album.”
The success of their peers hasn’t put extra pressure on the band though when recording their first full-length – they’re already good at that themselves. “We’ve always been very fortunate to have a super supportive fan base,” says Henry. “I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, we’ve always been perfectionists, we give ourselves a hard time and push one another to be as good as we can be.
“I think particularly in the early stages of the writing process we felt a lot of pressure; we sort of didn’t know where to start, and were second guessing every beginning of an idea that we had. After the ball got rolling, things picked up speed we settled into it. By the time we came to recording it; we’d ironed out a lot of the kinks in pre-production, so the pressure just came to nail our takes.”
The band found themselves with a little more time than their last visit, leaving space for tightening and improving. In comparison to recording their recent EP, Henry explains that the full-length process was a little easier. “We knew the songs better, they were 95% there going into the studio which gave us more time for experiments and textures towards the end. ”
With the currently unnamed album on the way, Henry reflects on Boston Manor’s busy touring schedule, and its impact on the creation of new tunes. “The past three years of touring have massively changed who we are as people and musicians,” he explains. “I am not the same person I was when this band started.”
He makes it clear that Boston Manor will keep exploring new horizons. “Stylistically, we’ve only ever written the music that we want to write, that will never change; we’ll always write for ourselves and no one else. That being said, we’ve become more comfortable in taking risks and challenging ourselves to think differently. Time on the road has allowed us to just listen to so much music through one another and people we’ve met.”
Alongside passionate vocals and driven pop-punk riffage, the twisting and turning of drum tempos are what keeps ‘Suadade’ at high momentum. Will the album see a change in the band’s sound? Henry reassures: “In some ways; if you enjoyed the last EP there’s definitely a lot of stuff in this record for you. We really challenged ourselves, there’s some songs that are a little more out there, and there’s some stuff which is a lot poppier than we expected.”
Overall, it seems that things are looking up for Boston Manor. For the frontman, the dedication and effort in the studio has paid off. “It was the hardest I’ve worked at anything in my life and I’m super proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s a record I love – and I’m so excited for us to share it with people. Hopefully people will enjoy it as much as we do; but right now we’ve made one of my favourite records. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
And more than that, he says – It’s something that will be in a milestone in my life, and I can only hope it’ll be a milestone in the band’s life also. We’re getting to go to some crazy places over the next 12 months and I hope the album allows us to take that further.”
With Henry’s positive outlook on Boston Manor’s debut record, it begs the question of what it could mean for the Lancastrian pop-punks. In a nutshell: “Change, experience and a lot of hard work.” Yet, for the vocalist, one thing is certain. “It’s going to change everything. Hopefully for the better.”
Taken from the April issue of Upset – order your copy here.