WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON
WSTR’s new album is sassy and sarcastic, their plans for 2019 are top secret and they’d love to play a show with My Chemical Romance (who wouldn’t?). Just three of the interesting facts we learned recently about Liverpool’s latest pop punk giants when we fired over some questions at frontman Sammy Clifford.
The band are currently over in the States having a blast on tour where they’ve so far met with a great reception. “They welcomed us so well like they’d been waiting for us for years,” Sammy told us. “It was so humbling.” Two albums in and the band have definitely been doing pretty well for themselves, making waves all round the world too, building up their fanbase both here, Europe and across the pond. ‘Identity Crisis’, their follow up to debut ‘Red, Green Or Inbetween’, is out now, and it’s a hell of an album. “We just hit a million Spotify plays on it within the first week too so it’s all smiles,” said Sammy, explaining the incredible response they’ve had. “Sounds cliche but we’ve genuinely been blown away…So many lovely comments and people seem to be really connecting with it.”
“I’m constantly thinking about the next step.” – SAMMY CLIFFORD
WSTR have been nothing if not prolific, with two albums in two years since their formation pretty good going. “We never really stop writing,” Sammy confirmed. “I’m constantly thinking about the next step.” That’s certainly encouraging for fans of the band, and he went on to explain that, “these songs [on ‘Identity Crisis’] were a lot more thought out. We concentrated on the science a lot more…we stripped it back a lot and put more personality into it.” The album certainly feels more mature and developed than their debut, and Sammy described it as, “pretty sarcastic and sassy. There’s a lot about social media and how messed up it is.” The cover art is interesting too, but the band would rather leave that to the imaginations of the listener rather than expand upon its meaning.
“it felt right…it was like one big family out there.”
There seem to be a lot of pop punk bands floating around at the moment, and sometimes it must be hard to stay afloat and relevant within the genre, but it’s something WSTR feel they haven’t had too much of a problem with. “We don’t really think about anything like that,” they told us. “We just write what we want to write. I think every band starts off in a little niche scene and the ones that breakout, well they break out, and the ones who don’t usually stop. It was metalcore last time and this time it’s been pop-punk….[but] I think each band that’s doing it properly is differentiating from each other.” It certainly seems to be working for them anyway, and their blend of pop-punk has landed them some favourable gigs in the past year, including a slot at Download which they all enjoyed. “The whole weekend was such a good vibe,” Sammy enthused. “Download is my favourite festival. It’s the first one I ever went to and I loved it….I watched all the headliners, Marylin Manson, the Hives…it was great.”
After that, the band played their album release show in hometown Liverpool, which they confirmed “it felt right…it was like one big family out there.” Following on from this US run, they’ll be returning to the UK in December for a headline tour. “We’ve played all these venues before but only as support…we’re definitely looking forward to this one.” Remaining tight lipped about plans for the future however, Sammy told us, “everything for 2019 is top secret at the moment, but we’ll definitely be seeing you around.” We should hope so too.
IDENTITY CRISIS IS OUT NOW VIA HOPELESS RECORDS