When you think of pop punk, it’s easy to be instantly transported Stateside. Hanging out on a sun-drenched beach, heading to a pool party with red cup in hand, jumping in the car for a road trip to Warped Tour; it’s a genre that’s somehow come to embody an entire way of life. But what you probably don’t think of when putting on your favourite pop punk record is, well, North Wales. Wrexham quintet Neck Deep are doing everything within their power to change that. With their debut record ‘Wishful Thinking’, they laid the foundations. It’s with their second effort ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’, finally out today (Friday 14th August), that they’re really making the genre their own.
Having decamped to Florida last year, the band found themselves working with the impressive trio of Andrew Wade, Tom Denney and A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon, who all offered a hand to help Neck Deep’s vision of direct simplicity come to life. “They’re pretty much responsible for A Day To Remember’s success and it’s pretty clear why, after working with them,” offers frontman Ben Barlow. “Tom is just a riff machine!” he laughs. “We were actually meant to have a week just with Tom before we went into the studio with Jeremy and Wade, but he was really sick so we missed out on a couple of sessions. We got the bones of three songs out of him though. He gave us some ideas that he’d been working on and, sometimes, we’d just sit and jam something out.
“Jeremy is awesome,” he continues. “He’s obviously a big figure within this world, and it was great to work with someone who has done as much as he has accomplished. I trusted his judgement on a lot of things, but at the same time, he wasn’t too overpowering, he didn’t want to change our sound. He said from the beginning, ‘I want this to be a Neck Deep record. Anything you don’t like, let me know.’ We had a good rapport going on. Some of his ideas turned to be some of my favourite parts on the album. He was a super chilled guy, really humble. Wade’s just a genius and works super, super hard. All of them were just full of ideas, really nice dudes who were great to work with and seemed to just really get what we were about.”