Today’s track of the day comes from Leeds’ hugely versatile rock band As Sirens Fall, with their heavy riffed, ballsy track ‘Smoke’.
Imagine your life flashing before your eyes, all the best moments enter your periphery like a slideshow of wonderful memories, filling you with a sense of contentment. Well the last year for Leeds’ As Sirens Fall has been exactly that, with only one exception: their life is far from over, it is only beginning. It is brilliant to see a group grow right in front of you, progressing with every show they play, every song they write and blossoming into an incredibly talented, exciting band.
Pre-tequila shots, GIGsoup’s Evie Myers caught up with vocalist Mikey Lord after an energetic and sweaty set at William Control’s Synths and Sinners show at the Key Club in Leeds.
You’ve been a band for two years now, can you briefly tell us who are and how did this all happened?
We are As Sirens Fall and I don’t know, we just played lots and lots and lots of shows. Lots of shows! In the first year, it was like getting on for 105. It was like 3 a week so there was very little sleeping or eating. Enough to survive though, that’s what matters. So much caffeine involved. Harley from Curses and Cures actually bought us a box of Red Bull tonight just because people in bands know it’s essential.
Your latest single ‘Smoke’ has just released its music video, how well was this received?
It’s going so well! It’s going really nice. People seem to be loving it and all the reviews are really nice. Everyone’s been so supportive about it because we spent two years on the back of one song called ‘From Across the Waves’ and then we spent so long working and working and working, so that our first release was something we were really proud of and we could look back on and at no point be bored of it or think “why did we do that?”. Picking the singles from that was pretty hard work, but now that they’re out and the EP is out, the support and the response has been so positive, it means the absolute world. Because we spent so long working on this thing and the panic and the tension was huge because we’d said nothing about it and then like a week before, we started to drip feed things before we announced it was coming, it’s just terrifying. It’s gone down really well, it couldn’t have gone better to be honest. Everything that’s happened this year has been a dream come true, just step after step of things going so well. It makes me happy that song, it kind of came together really quick, it was written in about 8 minutes.
As Sirens Fall have had quite a busy year, how well do you think it has gone for you guys personally?
It’s gone so well, it couldn’t have gone better! In January, we got to play the O2 Academy and we won the SoundWave competition which was incredible. Then in March, we went down to Cardiff to record with Romesh Dodangoda who is a producer we’ve all dreamed of working with for years. He’s this wonderful man who has an incredible talent for getting the best out of bands without stressing them out. Then we shot the music videos and played Download and went on the headline tour. There was Bingley Music Live, there was the whole Kerrang! TV thing: everything that little old us has dreamed of has happened this year. It’s been the best 10 months, and it’s been very overwhelming! The thing is we’re so busy, we don’t have the time to sit down and take stock of it. After the Will Control tour is finished, I’m probably going to sit alone, in my bedroom and just go “oh God, how did we get here?”. All these things have happened, it’s crazy. It feels like yesterday that I was 16 years old, singing and playing guitar in this terrible pop rock band and now all these things that I thought would never happen have actually happened!
What’s the highlight of this year been for you?
Oh my God! For me personally the highlight would be… oh my God, that is the hardest question! It’s literally been the most positive year. We’ve all been going to Bingley Music Live for years as punters, so to walk out on the main stage of Bingley Music Live and on top of that to get to play a cover of ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie on that main stage was incredible. It was an amazing thing! I’m sure, well I hope that we’ll be there again. I love it.
As for the EP itself, The Hospital Party, it feels like it touches upon a lot of personal struggles and demons. Can you give us a little insight into the inspiration of the EP?
Yeah, of course! It definitely does, I referred to it a few months ago as a kind of a cross section of my own mental health over the course of the last few years. It’s not to worry, I’m doing really well now, I’m okay! Happy as Larry, top banana you know! But I had a lot of problems with things like depression and anxiety and a cocktail of other mental qualms, let’s say. I wanted to be really honest in my song writing and just put it out there and just say “look, it’s like this but I’m okay now”. And the idea is that hopefully some kid that’s 18 years old like I was, and is sitting alone in a bedsit somewhere in Leeds, who isn’t as strong as I was in order to get through it might hear it and think “man, this guy’s just as screwed up as I am, and he’s okay”. I mean he’s a bit weird but he’s okay. All the best people are weird. Who wants to be normal? It sucks! It’s the worst thing.
As a band based in Leeds, would you say there are any benefits or struggles being in a smaller city as opposed to somewhere like Manchester, London etc?
Do you know what? I honestly think Leeds is probably the best city for music in the UK outside London. I genuinely think so. Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are all amazing too but London is like The Capital, well it literally is, it’s amazing. But Leeds is incredible because every sixth building is a venue and every sixth person is in a band and every sixth one of those is in a good band. It’s an amazing city to be a musician in, everyone’s so passionate about it and if you’re not a musician, people are still really receptive and there will always be people at shows. We’ve been playing in Leeds, like I said for two years, we’ve played every single venue in this city six times, well maybe not literally but quite a lot! It gets to the point where you think in a smallish city that you start to see the same faces over and over again and stop seeing new people. But every single time we play a show, the crowd is getting bigger yes, but it’s also completely fresh crowds of people from different groups and different kinds of people. They are constantly getting into music and it’s really good how supportive people are of it, it’s awesome. I was worried when The Cockpit closed down in Leeds, it was my favourite venue ever and it was a tragedy, but I was really worried then that it would lose that drive but if anything it’s just given more of it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
For those of you listening, I’m tapping my nose. That’s all I can do! After the Synths and Sinners tour, we’ve got a couple of really cool things to announce that are happening before the New Year that I cannot say anything about yet. And in the New Year, we’re going back to record and we will work from there. It’s all incredibly exciting. It’s going to be a wicked six months, hopefully, I’m very excited.
This As Sirens Fall article was written by Evie Myers, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo credit : W.D. Photography and Graphic Design