At the start of the pandemic, there were a few instances where it felt as though everyone was pulling together, arranging shopping drop-offs (lovely) or livestreamed workout classes (no, thank you). But, as with any very stressful situation, it didn't take long for the cracks to start showing.
"I saw a lot of appalling behaviour over the last 18 months, and it made me feel quite depressed," Boston Manor vocalist Henry Cox reflects. "As soon as people are placed under difficult circumstances, they should come together, not start lashing out and taking everything for themselves."
It was from this frustrated spot that the Blackpool favourites' new EP was born. 'Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures' showcases what's perhaps some of their best work yet; a heavier, beefier iteration of the band, but one that still retains all their previous charm and rawness.
"It was a really great opportunity to exorcise all of the frustration and pent up emotion of the previous year and really process those thoughts and feelings," Henry continues. "It felt so refreshing doing an EP, with no expectations placed on us. We really just fell back in love with being in a band."
Hello Henry! How are you doing, what are you up to today?
Hi there! Today I'm in the studio! I've just ordered an extra spicy Phõ, and I'm about to lay down some vocals.
It's an exciting time for you guys, with a new label deal and a new EP - how have you found the past few months? Have they been busy?
Yeah, they've been super busy, actually. After Reading & Leeds and Slam Dunk, we went into a bunch of writing sessions. We've spent the last two weeks working in the studio on some new music as well as rehearsing for our upcoming US tour. It's been really fun; it feels great to be back at it.
When did you start work on the EP, was it all penned during the pandemic?
So we tried to write all last year; it was the first time we'd had an extended period off the road in about four years. But I think with the uncertainty combined with just not seeing each other, we really struggled to write anything. I think everyone was struggling mentally, and nothing was really coming out, which probably made it worse. In January this year, though, we just suddenly sprang to life and started writing loads of songs. We first went into the studio in April this year to record the EP, then after a month or so at home. Then the Download Pilot event, we decided that the EP was missing something, so we wrote 'Carbon Mono' one afternoon and then went straight back into the studio to record it.
Were these songs always going to be released in this form, or did the idea for an EP come later?
Yeah, I think after the 'WTTN' cycle going straight into 'GLUE' with no break and then the breaks being thrown on so suddenly, we didn't feel like diving straight into an album. We were also working with a new producer and on a new label, so we thought an EP would be a great way to test the waters. It was so enjoyable to make, partly because we were back together doing it for the first time in a year and a half but also just because the songs were so fun.
Do you have a favourite track on the EP?
'I Don't Like People (And They Don't Like Me)', partly because the name is a bit silly and also because it's such a cheeky song.
The EP talks a lot about alienation, in part due to recent events. Has that feeling eased with lockdown ending?
Yeah, it has somewhat. To be honest, a lot of the alienation I was feeling wasn't in the physical sense. It was more in the sense that I was so disappointed with how people in this country behaved over the pandemic that I felt like I no longer could identify with my fellow man.
You've already got a tour booked in for early next year, are you ready for it? What else have you got coming up?
Yeah, I'm really excited to headline again! We're bringing production that we've never been able to do before, playing loads of music we've never had a chance to play and playing some cities for the first time in almost four years! We also have a big US headliner planned and tours in Australia and Europe.
Anything else we should know?
Go stream our EP, share it with a friend, and if you like what you hear, get tickets to our UK headliner next year! Hurry, though, because a lot of the shows are gonna sell out.
Taken from the December 2021 / January 2022 issue of Upset. Boston Manor's new EP 'Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures' is out now.
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