Interview With Neck Deep - 6th February 2014
Photo Of Neck Deep © Copyright Neck Deep James caught up with Matt West from Neck Deep before their recent show in Birmingham with We Are The In Crowd, here’s what he had to say.

For those who are new to Neck Deep can you tell us how you came together as a band and came up with the name Neck Deep?
Matt: We used to be in other bands and we had come back from a tour that was pretty crap, an were unsure of what to do now, so Ben who is the brother of a guy we record with (and now the lead singer of Neck Deep), asked Lloyd the other guitarist if with wanted to record some pop punk stuff, so we said yeah and did a song and that’s how it started. It was never meant to be more than a bunch of us sat in a mate’s room, then we put the song on the internet and its grown grossly out of proportion from there, so we all jacked our jobs in. And the name came from a Crucial Dudes song called Boomroasted, Ben thought it sounded cool so we used it.

Back in 2013 you signed to Hopeless Records how did this come about? And how have you found being on such a solid record label with such a great roster of bands?
Matt: Well we booked some cheap holiday on a last minute deal, Lloyd rang us up one morning whilst he was skiving in a stock room and was like “I’ve found flights and a hotel to Florida for £250 for a week, do you want to do it?” and we were like YES! So we thought whilst all 5 of us where going we may as well try and put on some shows whilst where out there, so we booked 2 shows with 2 days’ notice and they were packed. From that, we got allot of attention and they noticed us and signed us up, and it’s been great, we couldn’t ask for a better label. We’re the first British band to be fully signed to the label too, which is pretty weird.

You released your debut album ‘Wishful Thinking’ back in January, how has the album gone down with your fans and the press so far?
Matt: Really really well, even if people turned round and where like, its crap, I’d still like it. But everyone has turned round and said they’re really enjoying it, which is nice to see our hard work paying off. I do love the album, but if everyone universally said what’s this rubbish then maybe not. *Laughs

How did you find the whole writing and recording process for ‘Wishful Thinking’?
Matt: We have a set writing process, with Lloyd writing all the guitar parts, then Ben putting down the vocals, then we’ll put a very basic drum track down and then Danni will come in and we’ll re-record the drums with Danni’s input. It’s just the way we’ve always worked, I’m yet to put anything musically to the for front, but it’s probably for the best as we’d probably end up sounding like Metallica if I had my input, *laughs its worked well so far, and we’ve got as far as we have by doing this, so if it aint broke don’t fix it.

So does this mean you’re not into the music you play?
Matt: No, I love it, it’s the stuff we all grew up on like Greenday and Blink 182 and all that, but we all listen to lots of different things, like Danny for example*who is currently sat across the room eating Cornflakes from the box, he’s into allot Metal.

So does this mean you’re going downstairs for the Trvium and Killswitch Engage show tonight?
Matt: Oh we all are, we love Killswitch, definitely!

What themes and stories do you cover within the tracks and which is your favourite track of ‘Wishful Thinking’?
Matt: Ooh, well the old stuff was like girls and how they’re rubbish and how they split up with you and things like that, but the new stuff we’ve tried to cover allot more lyrically than the normal tropes of the genre. I think Ben pulled it off perfectly, but then again I am probably the wrong person to ask about this as I don’t really know Bens workings *laughs. My favourite track changes though, as I’ll keep listening to the album and it’ll change, cuz I’ll be like, I love that part, but I think at the moment its Damsel In Distress as I love playing it live!

You spent the majority of January touring solidly across the UK on your headline tour, how was this?
Matt: We didn’t expect it, but over the tour we sold out every venue but one which was so unexpected. One of the highlights for me was playing out local venue (Central Station, Wrexham), because when we’ve played there before in other bands we’ve had like 15 people show up, but 405 people showed up on the day and I’ve never seen it as busy. But every show was great, so many people every night, it was a bit bewildering.

You are now back on tour across the UK supporting We Are The In Crowd, how did this come about and how have you found the tour so far?
Matt: Fil was talking to Tay at Warped UK, weren’t you Fil,

Fil: Yeah *laughs, Fil is across the room putting on his jacket, to go out and get some food.

Matt: Yeah, he was like yeah we’d love to tour with you guys

Fil: That was before it was happening and confirmed, and she was like “are you doing it?” and we were like yeah

Matt: Now were on it, so that’s how it came about, we met her, pestered her to be on it and that was that.

FIl: It was weird, because she was like “we really want you to be on it, have you confirmed it yet” and we were like yeah, we said yeah ages ago and were waiting to hear back if it’s happening.

Matt: Then it materialised it and here we are.

How’ve you found the shows?
Matt: It’s cool, its different from the crowd we normally play too, but it’s great, say if 5 people coming away from the show check us out then that’s awesome, it’s been fun playing bigger rooms than were used to. It’s also allot stricter with load ins and outs but its fun.

At the end of February you are heading out to America for a lengthy tour, how much are you looking forward to this? How different is it playing in the states than in the UK?
Matt: Well we’ve only really played 2 shows there, so it’s hard to say. But we have the fun of being from Britain so we have people coming up and seeing us just because of where we’re from. It was good last time we went, and some shows have sold out, in advance. Like Chicago, that sold out and got upgraded then it sold out again, so that’s weird as we didn’t realise we had a fan base in Chicago. It’s going to be ace, and we get to eat Taco Bell every day, and the good Taco Bell not the shit that’s over here.

Is that the one in Manchester?
Matt: Yeah it’s shocking, don’t put yourself through it. When we came back from the states I thought I’d try it out, and I nearly ended up crying it was that bad. I mean if you’ve not had the proper one, then it might be good, but once you’ve had the prime Taco Bell to the thing they have in Manchester, then it’s awful. I wanted to run a spear campaign to make them get the good stuff like they have in the states.

Since you formed as a band you have had a massive journey in such a short time but what would you say your main highlight has been so far?
Matt: It’s difficult to say, the acoustic show in Banquet was cool. As when we started a year ago we went in to buy some records and they were like “You should come play in store” and we were worried that no-one would turn up, then a year later we were back to do it and it was packed. But my personal highlight was America, being far away from home for the first time and seeing people that far away know the words to your songs is awesome, I’d also say Australia too for the same reasons, but wow factor wise was Florida, as we’ve played 20 minutes down the road from home before and no-ones gave a shit, and then to be that far away its just mind blowing.

Is it different attitude out there, for smaller groups?
Matt: I think it is, because the music scene is more unified over there than over here, say if someone came to our show over here, most probably wouldn’t go to a hard-core show. But in America, we played a show with Vices a down tempo hard-core band from New York, and people where bothered by the change in music and moshed along to them just as they had done to us. The attitude to listening to music over there seems broader than over here, as it tends to be people just listen to one genre.

Dani: Isn’t it Vice? Vices was Australia.

Matt: Oh same thing *laughs

Where do you hope to see Neck Deep in a year’s time?

Matt: Still touring and travelling, hopefully go to Japan at some point as it’s a personal life goal. But If I can go there for free with the band that’d be cool, I just love that I’m 22 years of age and this is my job, it’s crazy.

Have you got anything in the works for after America?
Matt: Maybe, we can’t really say at the moment.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Matt: Zebra, every time! In fact is used to be my favourite animal when I was little, I used to have zebra teddies and everything. So I’d pick them because there ace! I mean, Giraffes have a hassle having that long neck, I mean if they’re stud up and a gust of wind comes along a boosh, they’re knocked over. They do look good fighting, but if they time it wrong then there head could fly off! But I’d definitely go for zebra, 100% of the time, zebras are the way forward, everyone should be a zebra! Have you seen those zebra donkey hybrids? The zonkeys, they’re little zebras, they should make a Shetland zebra that you could have in your garden, that’d be sick!

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
Cheers for all your support, and thanks for listening and enjoying the album weather you’ve bought it or illegally downloaded it, thanks!

Interview by James Daly
 Band Members

Ben Barlow
Lloyd Roberts
Matt West
Fil Thorpe-Evans
Dani Washington
 Latest Releases

Neck Deep - Wishful Thinking
Release Date - 14th January 2014

1. Losing Teeth
2. Crushing Grief (No Remedy)
3. Staircase Wi
4. Damsell in Distress
5. Zoltar Speaks
6. Growing Pains
7. Say What You Want
8. Mileage
9. Sweet Nothings
10. What Did You Expect?
11. Blank Pages
12. Candour

 Band Related Links
Neck Deep Facebook