Cold Summer: The A-Team Interview
August/30/2012 09:26 PM
Pictured L to R: Dan Feast (vocals), Chris Harrison (guitar), then Chris Hepworth (bass) and Justin Eastwood (drums)
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
Interview with the Band
August 15, 2012
By Nicole Hanratty
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The Cold Summer "Wake" EP was released on iTunes August 6th, 2012 (which you can also listen to at the Cold Summer website). Play it through and you'll hear what I heard when I first listened. Something special is going with this post hardcore band. The music they are writing compels you to move in rhythm with the beat, their lyrics are full of thoughtful prose and yet this England based band has given a different voice to post hardcore punk.
"Mistakes" is a song that you breathe in, then play again, just to be sure it was that good. The lead singer, Dan Feast sings “A Is For Arson" in such a way that he takes punk and blends a rhythm that you can feel. "Wake" and "Car Crash" both take you somewhere entirely different, into the hardcore world where the punk voice is blended with melodies. And then you realize that when Cold Summer says that they're a band that is "dynamically challenging perceptions and conventions of what a band playing heavy yet melodic (passionate but not pretentious) punk / hardcore influenced rock should sound like," they aren't kidding. They are that complex.
How did "Wake" come about? The band had previously released their "Transitions" EP but was not content to sit still. So, they say, they "found their muse with local and enthusiastic engineer/producer, Bob Cooper (Nai Harvest, Calls Landing) and during April 2012 booked a weeks recording session spread out over two different studios, Chairworks and Propeller based in Castleford, West Yorkshire. The result of this creative and productive session formed the band’s new release, the five track EP ‘Wake.’"
I caught the guys in the studio one night and was super excited to meet the faces behind the music. We set out to chat via Skype, but because of unforeseeable technical difficulties, we instead chatted via instant messaging. Their personalities unfolded before my eyes--even via IMs--and it was easy to see why this band is so special. While all the guys were present for the interview, Justin took the helm at the keyboard.
Nicole: Hey, so I can just text you some questions?
Justin: Yeah that'd be great really sorry this hasn't worked out!
Nicole: No problem, maybe just start by telling me what you all are working on tonight.
Justin: We've been working on a new song basically, to complete our set.
Nicole: I'm fascinated by the compelling battle between the hardcore punk sound balanced against the beautiful melodies. What inspires that?
Justin: Well, we are into a diverse range of bands really and we don't like to be limited to one genre, so I guess that’s the inspiration and the drive behind it really.
Nicole: Who are some of the bands you are into?
Justin: In terms of mainstream bands, Alexisonfire, Deftones, Thrice, Rise Against, Queens of the Stone Age, Jeff Buckley. The really melodic stuff we do--well “Mistakes” the final track on “Wake,”--“City and Colour” (Dallas Green from Alexisonfire) that’s a key influence. (Dan, our singer, does that stuff.)
Nicole: Does Dan do all the vocals--is his range that broad?
Justin: Yes he does, however in terms of us playing live, and him being able to not 'do too much' we are looking at adding both Chris's (bass and guitar) to do backing vocals as well. As obviously switching between singing and well, I guess screaming / hoarse vocals takes its toll a little bit!
Nicole: I would imagine so!
"Mistakes" has an alternative sound but is such a beautiful love song seemingly about trust and the violation of trust. Does anyone want to talk about the story behind that song?
Justin: The song, although it may [seem] at first impression to be a love song, it's actually about someone having a split personality. It does reference people who make a mistake and realize it, for example, people who do a lot of things under the influence of alcohol and regret it instantly under the realization of what actions they've done, and how people can change.
Nicole: So, lyrics “I showed you both sides to my heart,” is a reference to split personality?
Justin: Dan is saying from a third person view, like the two sides of a story, as in how people can see you in control (good side) and then a bad side (when your perhaps not in control).
Nicole: Can you give me a little background on how you came together as a band, how you met, etc?
Justin: I’ve played in bands for about 6 years… After the dissolution of my previous bands, I formed a band and through placing ads, I found Chris, and both Chris's have always had the intention to do a band together, but been busy with art and University studies. Basically we did start the band two years ago, with another vocalist, but things didn't work out, so we placed an ad and found Dan. We’ve built our friendships pretty much around the love of music and well, this band!
…It can paint a picture of a band being put together when it’s presented like that, but that is not the case at all! It's kind of worked out really well how we've met each other, and are pretty much on the same page with each other.
Nicole: I like that! Does Dan write all the music or is it a collective collaboration?
Justin: In terms of writing the music we all really contribute.
Nicole: You're just played a few shows recently. Do you have any coming up?
Justin: At the moment we don't have any shows booked, we played one last weekend with Lemuria from New York.
Nicole: Will you be playing with Lemuria again?
Justin: We hope so when they return again to England, they've had a very successful tour, played a few festivals and sold out a few venues. They have quite a loyal underground following as well as picking up new fans on the way. We've just picked up a very popular music magazine on our break from practice today, Kerrang (English) and they have a couple of pages spread!
Nicole: What did Chris and Chris study at University?
Justin: Chris Harrison studied Fine Art. Chris Hepworth - is doing a PHD in biology.
Nicole: PHD in biology...is Chris Hepworth off the charts smart?
Justin: Haha at the question mark! He is in that field... He has worked very hard! We have a good mix of creativity and smarts I guess...as a band!
Nicole: No university for you and Dan?
Justin: Ah for me, I finished my course a few years ago, I have a BSC in sports technology, golf operations. Dan finished at college doing music performance.
Nicole: What are your age ranges?
Justin: I'm 27, Dan 29, Chris Harrison 25, Chris Hepworth 24.
Nicole: The music you are writing now, it gets added to "Wake" or it will start a new album?
Justin: At the moment the new stuff will be on a new album, but we are intending to carry over the tracks recorded on “Wake.” We might re-record them to some extent, but we've developed a good relationship with the guy who recorded “Wake,” Bob Cooper.
Nicole: What is your group dynamic like? You all seem like you have unique personalities---well at least via chat.
Justin: Yeah I guess we have a little bit, not to the point where we clash though!
Nicole: Chris Harrison is a painter? Or he studied art?
Justin: Chris is an oil painter but he did also study this at university. He did steer away a bit from the theory side.
Nicole: So between the four of you, you could run the world?
Justin: We’re kind of like the A-team I guess without the blowing cars up and gun fire!
Nicole: Love it! Are any of you married, in serious relationships or devoted to being bachelors while spending so much time in the studio?
Justin: 3 of the guys have girlfriends, serious as in they spend a lot of time together - I’m single so I guess the last phrase applies to me!
Nicole: Can you each tell me what is on the top of your playlist right now?
Justin: We were just discussing this- haha
Nicole: No cheating!
Justin: Chris Harrison - He's liking the new While She Sleeps album, a local band that have been gaining a lot of attention at the moment. With the release of “The Sick, Sick,” he's also liking Letlive’s latest album, which kind of reminds us of the impact Glassjaw’s “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence” had on post hardcore.
Dan - Liking the new Your Demise as it’s quite a diverse sound compared to their earlier stuff. He never gets too bored of Enter Shikari another English band kind of a mainstream post hardcore band, but have a bit of a unique twist with the use of electronic elements in their sound.
Chris Hepworth - Bit of a surprise, this one. Chris is speaking very highly of a band called Attack Attack!; they've approached their new album with a bit of a fresh approach, and done it off their own back after leaving a high profile record label. To add a bit of credibility he's a massive Deftones fan, and he's been also digging La Dispute’s “Wildlife” album.
Nicole: Credibility dually noted and added.
Justin: Well, I saw last night a band I thought I’ld never ever see, I saw Refused play in Manchester so I’ld been listening to them quite a bit in anticipation. I’m a massive fan of a local band called Marmozets, they play like a very interesting diverse style of rock music, mathematically challenging and very energetic. I’m a fan of a few New York punk bands, End of a Year Self Defense Family, Bridge & Tunnel and Aficionado.
Nicole: So I hear a little more diversity in the music picks..tell me one thing you all LOVE unanimously ---not necessarily music---anything!
Justin says: We've got a rule in this band if you don't like Deftones or appreciate Limp Bizkit musically not lyrically then you shouldn't be in, haha. Outside music, we can't say having a good time drinking as I’m straightedge (don't drink), we like to keep fit, like we're keen cyclists, we keep very fit exercising.., so not very rock n roll, haha.
Nicole: hahah I love it!
Justin: We cancel out any vices haha exercising.
Nicole: Okay- if you each tell me your all time favorite movies, then we can call it a night.
Justin: Dan and both Chris's are saying Star Wars, I’m going to go with that too. I studied media at college, so I got into Wes Anderson films like Royal Tenenbaums. Chris Hepworth also likes From Dusk Till Dawn
Nicole: Good call with Royal Tenenbaums.
Justin: Awesome cast and storyline!
Nicole: Totally agree. It was really great to spend some time chatting with the four of you.
I hope I will get to see you perform one day!
Justin: So appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. We'd love to play in America, it is surprising how many American bands we've managed to play with this year.
Nicole: Please stay in touch and THANK YOU for spending a little time with me! You guys have a great night!
For more information about the band visit:
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