“We didn’t really have a strict outline of what we wanted it to sound like,” answers Neck Deep bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans when asked what exactly they wanted to do with their new record. His answer’s simple, which looks to be the essence of the album itself. “We just wanted it to be us but bigger and better. We didn’t wanna change the style, we didn’t want to not change the style. We just wrote songs and it kinda just naturally happened. It was just the same as last time, but bigger and better.”
Having released their debut full-length just last year, Neck Deep are already picking up the pace. The Wrexham five-piece are set to release their new effort ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ this August, and if the band want you to know anything about it, it’s that it’s exactly who they are. Just, you know, even better.
“We just wanted to top our last album” continues frontman Ben Barlow. “We just wanted to write a better record. We wanted to stay true to who we are and what we do, but just do it really well and I think we actually did that. I think the team that we worked with really knew that as well, and I think that everything just really fell into place with this album. We just wanted to work with the right people and write some killer songs; why complicate it with the idea of, ‘Oooh, we want to go in this new direction’?” he laughs. “We’ve got plenty of albums to try that!”
Following on from a series of EPs and their first full-length ‘Wishful Thinking’, the band decamped to the good ol’ USA to work with the likes of Andrew Wade, Tom Denney and A Day To Remember’s own Jeremy McKinnon.
“Dream team!” exclaims Fil, when the trio are brought up. “I mean, that team basically wrote everything that A Day To Remember have ever done,” continues Ben. “As songwriters they are amazing and that’s kinda what they helped us do. On ‘Wishful Thinking’, a lot of the songs didn’t really change from their demo form but we really went into the songwriting process this time around. We looked into the songs and asked, ‘How can we make this better? What needs to change?’ We were just always wanting to improve the songs and that’s something that we didn’t really do before. Now, I feel like we have developed as songwriters and musicians from that experience that they gave us.”
Have no fear: whilst the band may have upped their game in terms of the writing process, ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ is still, in its purest form, exactly what you’d hope it to be.
“If you were to listen to this record for the first time,” concludes Barlow, “you’ll just say, ‘Yeah, that’s Neck Deep.’ It’s totally Neck Deep, but the best version of Neck Deep.”
Taken from the August 2015 issue of Upset. Neck Deep’s album ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ will be released on 14th August.