FROM: GLOUCESTER | FOR FANS OF: PERIPHERY, NOVELISTS
The Uncharted are one of the most exciting bands to be coming out of Gloucester at the moment and although being a seven piece band can sometimes be hard work, or indeed, “like being in Slipknot”, they’re managing to balance things well between them. They have at least, managed to organise the release of debut EP ‘Perspectives’, which isn’t just your average collection of metalcore tracks as we found out recently when we caught up with vocalists Arron Carter (clean) and Pete Lee (screams) for a chat.
CONGRATS ON THE DEBUT EP. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON THESE TRACKS?
P: Last June we started, maybe May. May 2017
A: Then we went into the studio in October…four months of writing. Then we ended up doing another song, so we went back into the studio in April this year. It was a bit longer than we expected because we wanted to do another song
P: We had the whole mastered stuff back by January, February this year and then we were like “oh, it doesn’t really feel complete”, so yeah, it’s a long process but…it wouldn’t have been the same though, in all honesty, if we’d have put it out as a five track instead of a six track.
A: The song Revival, the video that we just released for that…that was the extra song. It actually ended up being one of our favourites.
WHAT’S IT FEEL LIKE TO FINALLY GET THE SONGS OUT THERE?
A: Honestly, so good. I’ve been wanting to get them out for ages…
P: It’s like having an itch you can’t scratch, and then finally you can, y’know!
HOW DID YOU GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH DANIEL KERR? OBVIOUSLY HE’S PRODUCED SOME PRETTY GOOD ARTISTS.
A: A few bands that we know have gone with him and we saw that he was right up our street really for what we wanted to do, and we messaged him and got booked in with him.
P: We made really good friends with him, to be fair. We really got along. Matt the bassist literally wanted to go with him for years…he was like “we need to go to Dan Kerr, we need to go to Dan Kerr”, and we heard his My Hollow stuff, and Shields as well…and we were like, we’ve gotta try it out.
A: Just for our sort of genre as well…we knew that he could help us a lot and bring out what we wanted.
Photo credit: Marianne Harris, 2018
“I wanted to make something people could relate to”
AS A SEVEN PIECE BAND, HOW DIFFICULT DO YOU FIND IT FOR EVERYONE TO BE AVAILABLE AT THE SAME TIME, TO HAVE TO BALANCE SEVEN PEOPLE’S SCHEDULES OUTSIDE OF MUSIC?
A: Yeah, it’s like being in Slipknot. It can be difficult
P: We’ve got like…8 group chats and there’s so much chatting going on that everything just gets lost. We have to make a new one everytime we’re organising something new. It’s like trying to organise a bunch of girls to go on a night out really.
A: Seven different people, seven different schedules, seven different…opinions as well, ways of seeing things, which is also good because musically you can come up with different stuff. It’s a double edged sword, in a way.
DO YOU ALL LIVE NEAR EACH OTHER?
P: Within reason. The drummer lives 45 minutes away from us, but we all live in Gloucester.
WHAT’S THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE IN GLOUCESTER AT THE MOMENT?
P: The bands are great. The other bands that we know and stuff…they’re great fun. But in terms of the scene overall, venues and stuff, it’s a dying breed.
A: A lot of bands do just start, stick around for a bit…then kind of disappear.
THE EP ITSELF TELLS QUITE A COMPLEX STORY. WAS THAT ALWAYS THE ORIGINAL PLAN? DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE IT IN MIND TO MAKE IT A CONCEPT?
A: It was always the idea to write it as a story, for me. I had a couple of ideas about what I wanted to do…the music’s always done first then I put the vocals on after. I wanted to go for an A to B journey, almost like a short story really. So yeah, that was the plan and within that plan there was room for creating new ideas and adding to it.
P: The story was the initial foundation then we took our own emotions or our own stories to put into the story to explain how that character is feeling.
A: Each song has a personal meaning to me when I was writing it, and also to Pete as well and some of the others in the band to. So, every song has a meaning to us, but it was also written in the context of a narrator, like the blending of two worlds. I wanted to make it so that people could listen to it and relate to it, like “oh I’ve felt that way before” or “I’ve seen the world that way before. Now I don’t really see it that way but I can understand that perspective.” That was what I was going for.
IS THIS KIND OF THEME SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE TO CONTINUE INTO YOUR NEXT RECORDS? WOULD YOU CONSIDER MAKING A FULL CONCEPT ALBUM?
A: I definitely would, yeah.
P: Yeah, I would too.
A: I love bands that do that, where their music has another layer to it, it just makes it so much more interesting…something that brings more to their music and makes people more invested in the lyrics. Rather than it just being seven separate songs, for example.
“I’ve always loved to look beyond things and go down the rabbit hole”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS TYPE OF RECORD ORIGINALLY? WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO STRING THEM ALL TOGETHER LIKE THIS UNDER A CONCEPT?
A: It’s the idea of someone starting out with nothing and just feeling like they didn’t have any meaning in their life, and then developing themselves and becoming an individual, creating meaning in their own life and finding a reason to really live.
P: Carter’s basically a bookworm! He loves all that philosophical stuff.
A: [laughs] I’ve always loved to look beyond things and go down the rabbit hole. Obviously it does have a detriment sometimes in terms of…you can really think too much.
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’VE STUDIED, EITHER AS PART OF FURTHER EDUCATION OR BY YOURSELF?
A: I didn’t study it at school or anything, it’s just something I’ve been really interested in and bought the books and stuff, of my own accord.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS THAT INSPIRED THE EP THEN?
A: Lots of Nietzsche…Existentialist philosophers such as Sartre…Camus’ ‘The Stranger’…‘1984’ by George Orwell, and ‘Brave New World’ by Huxley. Lots of different stuff like that. Just constantly trying to understand things on a deeper level.
THE QUESTIONS THAT THE CHARACTER ASKS IN THE STORYLINE…ABOUT LIFE’S MEANING AND HIS OWN PURPOSE WITHIN IT…IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’VE STRUGGLED WITH AND THOUGHT ABOUT A LOT ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?
A: Yeah definitely. And especially with regard to what existence means and how to become yourself and become who you are. I’ve been definitely trying to find that and develop that in my own life…going into those sorts of thoughts and seeing where I come out the other end. It can be a scary place.
P: We all input our own journeys into it. There’s the main individual story but then we’ve all added stuff. For me personally, I was coming out of a toxic relationship and being hurt and everything, so that’s everything I wrote about in the lyrics, it’s my progression through that. Then obviously there’s this story, so it takes out the personal element for me, but also makes it relatable on another level.
“THAT idea of ‘look in the mirror and change yourself first’. That’s where we have the most power. We can control what we do and who we are.”
IT ALSO SEEMED LIKE THE STORY OF THE CHARACTER IN THIS DYSTOPIAN DICTATORSHIP COULD EASILY BE A METAPHOR FOR US IN GENERAL, IN TODAY’S SOCIETY…
A: Definitely. One of the songs ‘Half Life’ is about feeling like you can’t speak out about opinions and stuff, which nowadays is kind of difficult. If you have strong opinions, people try and suppress you and say “you can’t say this, you can’t say that”, so a lot of them do overlap to today’s society and things that are going on – social media, politics and so on.
DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR MUSIC TO PUT ACROSS A WIDER MESSAGE ON SOCIETY?
A: I look on it more from an individualistic point of view. Instead of focusing too much on society and how we can change that, look at what a person can do themselves, how they can change their world and by extension the world outside of them. That idea of ‘look in the mirror and change yourself first’. That’s where we have the most power. We can control what we do and who we are. Once you’ve done that and really developed yourself, then you can look at the outside things a bit more.
WHY IS THE RECORD CALLED PERSPECTIVES?
A: It was the idea of different perspectives on life. So, you could have a philosophy where you don’t see any purpose to life…or a philosophy where you see all the struggles in life as making you something better, making you stronger…So, those are just two perspectives but the EP goes through loads of different ones.
P: Yeah, and different thought processes. ‘Death Drive’, for example, is the thought of destroying everything around you because one thing goes wrong.
A: Yeah, that one was basically the philosophy of Nihilism where nothing has any meaning. If you imagine a person who’s just completely lost hope in anything. That was the idea of ‘Death Drive’. So, people can be in that place after they’ve had a breakup, or something’s happened to someone close to them. The whole idea was to find a way out through it, create meaning again and make life worthwhile again for that person.
THESE KIND OF CONCEPTS AND IDEAS ARE PRETTY INTERESTING. ARE THEY THE TYPES OF CONCEPTS YOU’LL BE PURSUING AND DISCUSSING IN THE FUTURE IN YOUR MUSIC?
A: Yeah, definitely. I’ve always wanted to go a bit deeper on stuff so yeah, 100%
P: Yeah, agreed. We are quite romantic as well though. [laughs]
A: Yeah, we do write love songs too.
DEEP LOVE SONGS?
P: Yes! Every single one of the songs is a deep love song.
A: Six different perspectives of love. [laughs]
“If you imagine a person who’s just completely lost hope in anything. That was the idea of ‘Death Drive’.”
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT A FULL LENGTH ALBUM FROM YOU?
A: Still undecided really. A lot of people industry are saying at the moment that bands should focus on releasing singles and putting out constant content which we do all agree with, but we definitely want to do an album too. It’s still up in the air about which way we’re gonna go with it. We’re probably just going to do a load of songs and then see where we go from there.
P: Yeah, that’s generally the plan.
A: I listen to a lot of music and then within a month I’ve sort of stopped listening to the latest album and I’m on to the next one, so I think what people are saying is right that if you can just constantly be in people’s faces that’s going to be what gets you the attention and gets you out there.
P: We’d all really love to have an album it’s just what we decide on doing. If things really work out and pan out really well for Perspectives, and we think “our fans are crying out for a 12, 13 track album” then that’s probably what we’d look to do, but it’s something we’re waiting on seeing. We’re just going to write for now, piece it together as we go. Once we’ve got the demos, me and Carter will probably start a new concept again and try and work on something new.
A: I’ve got a lot of books to read.
YOU JUST GOT SOME NEW ONES?
A: Yeah, I’ve got loads. I’m looking at them all right now…it’s like they’re ready to swallow me up or something.
P: There’s literally four full book shelves in his room.
A: There’s one shelf of all the fiction I want to read but haven’t had chance yet.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT’S SOMETHING YOU WOULDN’T GO ON TOUR WITHOUT THEN? A LOAD OF BOOKS…
A: Well, I’d take my Kindle.
P: Honestly, when we play shows…we’re like “where’s Carter gone”, and he’s in his car reading his Kindle. We’re all at the bar getting a pint in!
A: Well, you’ve gotta have an intellectual in the band I guess.
A: [laughs] Can’t all be getting drunk!
FINALLY, WHAT ARE THE BAND’S PLANS FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR AND GOING INTO THE NEXT?
A: We’ve got a Halloween show lined up for 27th October at the moment, and our EP release show, which is gonna be big because it’s in Gloucester. This year we’re not touring, but start of next year we’re hoping to. We all work full time, full time day jobs, so it’s finding that time. It has to have a bit of planning.
P: Straight back to writing as well.
Sounds good to us. Big thanks to Arron and Pete for taking the time to chat – we had a lot of fun!
The Uncharted’s debut EP ‘Perspectives’ is out now and available on your usual music streaming sites. Watch this space to hear more about this interesting band with something a bit more to them than simply rock bangers.