These are cynical times. Every day we’re overloaded with news and opinions, trying to decipher who’s speaking the truth, all while negativity slides into being the new norm.
Weatherstate’s debut album ‘Born A Cynic’ is here not to reflect upon society’s miseries, but to highlight our current state of mind - or at least that of vocalist and guitarist Harry Hoskins.
Ever since they appeared back in 2016 with debut EP ‘Dumbstruck’, they’ve been a frenetic, energised cathartic instrument for Harry to pummel his negativity through, often enhancing it for effect.
“I’ve always found the songs, and the band in general, to be a way of me expressing that,” he begins, his Bristolian accent far less angst-ridden than his vocals.
“It’s just I take the bad bits that I’m currently feeling and put them under a magnifying glass and just ramp it up by ten and get as angry as possible or get as happy as possible, or as sad as possible just to really emphasise that and let it come out in the songs.”
Brewing it all to this point was not a forced affair. Harry, along with guitarists Joe Hogan and Callan Milward, and drummer Toby Wrobel, are an outfit that only pull from the real, from that which resides within.
“For me, it’s an outlet,” he says. “It’s all completely legit and true, but I wouldn’t go around day to day life just being bad company and constantly frowning, for example. It’s my way of dealing with those bad bits, so rather than necessarily taking it out on other people that’s my way of getting that out of my system.”
One listen through to ‘Born A Cynic’, and you can hear this nature of Harry’s. On ‘Sympathy’, he calls out: “Collate my thoughts around my head and beat them out instead.” It’s a method that’s rife across their debut.
“A lot of the lyrical themes were inspired by Saves The Day,” he explains. “Often you’d find they would have really positive sounding songs, but the lyrical content would be comically negative; references about hating someone so much that you want them to take a toaster in the bath, or just really ridiculous over the top ways of expressing that.
“I remember at the time listening to it and thinking that resonates with me. They’re a summery pop-punk band but with such negative lyrics. For me, that clicked, and that’s something I can relate to which comes out in some of the content on this record.”
Bringing the building blocks they explored on the ‘Dumbstruck’ EP it was far from a rinse repeat; Weatherstate make sure every moment is meticulously constructed.
“We had some songs in the works after that EP, but it was only ever a couple of songs. [A debut] is obviously a big jump in maintaining that level of intensity,” he explains. “You can’t just have eleven identical tracks. It’s about trying to find that pace, the right song for the right moment - that was a real learning curve for us, [but] I feel like we managed to adapt alright in the end, but it just took hours and hours and hours!”
The hours they spent toiling away brought both raw, punk goodness and frustration, with Harry citing the writing as “a very stressful time”.
“Myself and Callan used to spend nights writing because of our outside work commitments,” he explains. “He would work in the evening as a chef, and I would work in an office in finance so we wouldn’t actually be able to work together and demo until he finished at 10.30 pm. Often our demoing wouldn’t start until then, and it’d go on until 2 am. We were just pissed off with each other at times, but it’s healthy.
“[We were also] just stressed with the focus of thinking we can’t fuck this up, this is it, the moment. If I blow my voice out one day, then we’re done. Those type of stresses makes it a lot more intense.”
The band are keen to keep alive something that’s been the soundtrack to countless generations: the sound of a bunch of people in a garage just making noise for fun, as Harry states.
“It sounds so corny, but you can’t recreate that energy and rawness of a band just plugging in and playing.”
Taken from the June issue of Upset, out now. Order a copy below. Weatherstate’s debut album ‘Born A Cynic’ is out now.
Featuring Dinosaur Pile-Up, Yonaka, Employed to Serve and more in our 2019 Summer Special.