Pop-punk. It’s the vogue genre right now in Britain’s alternative scene. If a teenage kid is picking up a beat-up Fender in the UK today, they’re dabbling in pop-punk.
We’re in a lock-up. No, this is not a brilliantly worded cry for help hidden in a magazine; we are squeezed into the lock-up which serves as, Yorkshire outfit, Safeguard’s practise room. Whenever someone tries to stand up they inevitably brush against the cymbal of, drummer, Connor Dale’s kit. Its cosy, to say the least.
What does the future of pop-punk look like?
We get a jokey response, more than expected from a bunch of quick northerners.
“I think it’s (UK POP PUNK) stronger than ever, personally.” -DECLAN GOUGH
I think “Bleak” and “orange” (great reference to those old network ads) were the best responses we got. When a serious answer is finally produced it is Declan Gough, the band’s frontman, who speaks.
“I think it’s stronger than ever, personally.”
Declan has that nervous, sinewy energy in him when he talks, it’s like, even though he’s sat fairly still, there is a ball of crackling excitement brewing, waiting for a chance to get out.
“I think there’s a new wave coming” he continues.
“There are bands that are starting to, not fade, but they’re not doing as much and they are making way for new bands.”
He hasn’t said it but we’re sure that Safeguard are part of that new wave.
On the back of their debut EP, I’m A Stranger To Myself, released last year, Safeguard has moved on from their status as a local band, gaining attention and a deal with Wilhelm Records.
“I think it’s kind of humbling when a person mentions us in anything” says Zak Lonsdale, the bands bassist, a man who you will never see without his hat.
“I still think that we don’t see ourselves as being a band that people would enjoy listening too, I’m not saying we are shit!”
They all laugh. It’s a great atmosphere; it’s one that breeds positivity. It’s born of true friendship and a band of mates who genuinely enjoy hanging together.
“Yeah, this band’s like big a relationship.” Laughs Declan.
“We might fight sometimes but generally we all enjoy spending time together. It’s just the more time we spend together, the more cohesive we become as a unit.”
It’s a great sign for a band, so early into their career, to have their heads screwed on, to be hitting the heights but have their feet firmly on the pavement.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t have high aspirations for the next year.
“We’ve signed to an American label so it would be really big to go to America to play a few shows, that would be a dream come true.” Says Zak.
Declan nods frowns and states the obvious:
“We’ll have to get a van though.”
Level-headed, still doing things with a DIY nuance and on the way to an American tour? We sure hope so, either way, the future certainly isn’t bleak, or orange, it’s there for Safeguard’s taking.