Boston Manor "Welcome To The Neighbourhood" Interview
Boston Manor's upcoming album "Welcome To The Neighbourhood" comes out on September 7th through Pure Noise Records & we had the chance to chat with Henry Cox (vocalist) about what went into the album and what you can expect from it!
- What did you learn during the first album cycle that you were able to use and improve on while working on this new record? What was the creative process like overall?
We had such a long time on this album cycle of playing these songs that by the time it came to write another record; we’d been on the road for two years. That gives you a lot of time to figure out what kind of band you want to be. We were just saying the other day, that we always get told we sound very different live, a lot heavier. I went back and listened to the first album a few weeks ago which I hadn’t done in a while & all the guitars sound so clean & the vocals sound so gently sung. We realized that over the last two years we’d been figuring out how we wanted to sound by changing the sound of our existing songs. I think on our new album you can definitely hear that transition & where it comes from.
The creative process was amazing; we wrote it over a year on the road; then we lived together for a month and honed the songs (and actually wrote a lot of new ones). Then we went to America and did pre production with Mike Sapone before recording the album to really fine tune the songs. He really helped us find the guitar tones & synths that give the album its identity.
- The concept of this album seems to be personal and deeply rooted in a harsh reality, what are you hoping listeners take away from this glimpse into your neighborhood so to speak?
I’d be lying if I said the record relates to direct personal experiences. It’s more of an observation of things I see; both at home & abroad. Blackpool where we’re from (the aforementioned neighbourhood) is definitely a part of it; but it’s intended to be a metaphor of the wider cultural landscape.
- What art / music did you connect with and draw inspiration from during the writing and recording process?
We grew up listening to a lot of alternative music from the 90’s so we definitely carried a lot of that across; bands like Deftones, Failure & Korn. But we’re also big fans of Nine Inch Nails; so we wanted to implement some of the electronic aspects & use them to add to the chaos & the melody. We watched a lot of films when writing & recording. A lot of Kubrick, Holy Mountain, Ridley Scot Movies. Also we watched the matrix a lot. Often whilst we were tracking we’d have a film on muted in the room; sometimes if the film fit the mood we’d try & adapt the guitar tone or the phrase to fit the scene.
- Your live show is obviously a particularly special event that strongly engages with your listeners, how are you hoping this album will translate live and what can people expect if anything different when coming to a show in this new era?
It’s definitely different, some of the songs are slower than our previous album but we’re focusing on creating an atmosphere and building up tension. We want people to engage with the dynamics of the song, so when it’s building they’re just vibrating man, and when the song kicks in they’re just not on the ground. All I have to go off is Halo, and at the time of writing this we’ve only played it live 4 times & the crowd already go off more to this song than anything else in the set. I think our U.K. headline run is gonna be something special.
- The single “Halo” comes with a very visual interpretation of the song through the music video, what story were you trying to portray through it?
To be honest the video & the song are kinda separate. We knew this video would be the first thing people saw from the album so we wanted to set a tone with it. I think the video fits the ‘vibe’ of the album & the world it lives in pretty well. We’ve put a lot of work into the videos from this album; I often come up with creative concepts & mood boards & develop them with the band & then we take them to the director. I’m excited for people to see the rest.
- If you aren't writing from personal experiences it certainly seems like you have to delve into a level of empathy to speak to some of this subject matter, as an artist why do you think that's necessary and needed in today’s society?
I think it’s imperative. I mean equally I don’t want to just ram one idea I have down people’s throats; a good writer should be able to be duplicitous in their work. By that I mean that you should be able to write about something but not be so heavy handed that it prevents people from connecting with it in their own way. If you wrote a song about being mad at the government, a kid who’s mad at their dad who left them should also be able to connect with that song.