FROM: PRESTON | FOR FANS OF: NASTY, ASTROID BOYS
For the last five years the British hardcore scene has been at an all time high, and with it countless bands have been coming through. But like all genres, this soon means a mass oversaturation of similar sounding music, busting out the same breakdowns, riffs, and with it a new identity crisis. Enter Preston’s GASSED UP, who not only drive a new ferociousness right into the heart of UKHC but with it bringing the energy and intensity of another British gem, grime.
“If a band wants to succeed, then they will do everything physically possible to make sure that happens…”
FIRST OFF IT SEEMS LIKE GASSED UP SITS BETWEEN THE GRIME AND HARDCORE WORLD. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO MARRY THESE TWO GENRES TOGETHER?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): It all started when I was playing some riffs in a practice room and our vocalist just began rapping over what I was playing. We had all grown up listening to hip-hop and grime, so when we were jamming these ideas, it just clicked. We felt like both genres fused together well and it was a unique style that we hadn’t heard before, therefore Gassed Up was conceived.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): Both genres are a mental release for artists and listeners. They are aggressive and carry a lot of energy. Bringing them together allows for the creation of music with a wider scope and draw fans of different music together into one place.
DO YOU FEEL THAT SOMETIMES THIS CAN BE SEEN AS A GIMMICK BECAUSE BOTH GENRES IN SOME RESPECT ARE HEAVILY OVERSATURATED?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): Definitely, also due to the fact that a lot of our early material had a lot of tongue-in-cheek themes. We’ve started to take a more serious approach to our song writing now, so we will keep the Gassed Up element alive, whilst also tackling some more relevant issues.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): Both genres are saturated, yes, but I believe we have developed a stand-alone sound. Many fans have expressed appreciation of our music because we have our own style. The genre bending we are able to achieve, I think, will continue to benefit us as we drift within our personal spectrum writing songs. As Jack said, we are currently making music that is mature and progressing outside the realms of being a “gimmick band.”
DO YOU SOMETIMES FIND THAT MUSICIANS TAKE THINGS TOO SERIOUSLY RATHER THAN JUST ENJOY IT? WHAT KEEPS THIS BAND MOTIVATED?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): If a band wants to succeed, then they will do everything physically possible to make sure that happens. I think you need to maintain a balance. Gassed Up remains motivated because each member is driven by their love for music and that is where success begins. I am personally driven from talking to everybody who comes out to a show to support us.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): What drives me is the fans’ reaction to our music, playing shows, talking to fans, making music and becoming closer as a unit as a result. Watching people go ballistic to our sets is where it is at for us.
“We’re trying to make sure we remain on a positive pathway.”
AT THE SAME TIME DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS COLLABORATION OF GENRES HAS ALLOWED YOU TO HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES? AND DO YOU FEEL THAT PEOPLE DON’T REALLY REALISE HOW SIMILAR THOSE GENRES CAN BE?
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): As I said previously, the genres both infuse aggression, energy and a heavy sound, so the transition wasn’t difficult at all and I have barely even had to adapt my vocal styles. Opportunity wise, this collaboration has opened many doors for us, as we have played hardcore shows, hip-hop shows, metal shows and slam shows.
IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS IT SEEMS THAT GASSED UP REALLY HAVE GONE TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND WITH IT BEEN AWARDED A LOT OF SUCCESS. HOW ARE YOU MAKING SURE THAT THIS BAND ISN’T JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN BUT HAS LONGEVITY?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): We are taking things one step at a time and trying to make sure we remain on a positive pathway. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and every day we are striving to achieve our goals, with the help our manager, Jay at Elicit Music.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): We consistently write new music and consistently play live. Our hard work will keep pushing us forward, because we never stop.
YOU’RE A BAND THAT IS CONSTANTLY PLAYING LIVE. THEY SAY THAT NOWADAYS ITS ALMOST JUST AS IMPORTANT TO BE A GREAT LIVE BAND BECAUSE SO MUCH CAN BE ACHIEVED IN MUSIC PRODUCTION. DO YOU AGREE?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): We try and play as many shows as we can because playing shows is what we love. The amount of energy we witness at our shows blows our minds, and really pushes us to rea h out to more fans across the country. Great production can sometimes be a mask and live shows will remove this. So with good songs, energy and plenty of rehearsal, you can’t go wrong in a live setting.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): As musicians, we are constantly listening to new music and constantly learning from other musicians. But nothing compares to seeing your favourite bands live.
YOU HAIL FROM THE NORTH OF ENGLAND WHICH AT PRESENT HAS A VERY STRONG SCENE WHEN IT COMES TO HEAVIER MUSIC. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS? AT THE SAME TIME WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF THIS?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): We’ve all grown up in Lancashire, so to see a lot of shows still happening makes us proud of where we come from. There are always plenty of opportunities to play in the North and we have built quite a following from consistently playing shows. This does, however, mean that sometimes it is hard to branch out of the north and to play to new fans, as there are less consistent shows in different locations.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): I think we are lucky because although we are Northern, we have managed to get our music heard all over the world, not just in the UK. It’s great having a lot of venues up north to play at, bur we really want to be branching out and hitting places we’ve never been before.
“Building a national scene will just give you a lot more opportunities.”
GASSED UP REALLY SEEM TO HAVE A SENSE OF UNITY, BOTH AS A BAND, AND ALSO IN TERMS OF PLAYING A PART IN THE UK / NATIONAL SCENE. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO NOT ONLY BUILD A LOCAL SCENE, BUT ALSO A NATIONAL ONE?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): It’s very important to support local musicians, as there is a lot of talent out there yet to be discovered. It’s also important for bands to create networks and friendships as this is what keeps negativity out of the scene. Building a national scene will just give you a lot more opportunities, which is why social media is very important for local bands.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): The local scene is where bands thrive and can really get a feel for what they are trying to achieve. Reaching out on a national scale can only increase your opportunities and get your music to more ears.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER BANDS IN THE UK YOU’RE CURRENTLY SUPER EXCITED ABOUT?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): Watch out for Street Soldier, Back Down, One Down and Guilt Trip.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): All the above, as well as God Complex, Moralslip, Loathe and Bleach.
FINALLY, WHY IS IT MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO NOT ONLY SUPPORT ESTABLISHED BANDS BUT UPCOMING ONES?
Jack (Shaw, Guitarist): It’s very important to support new bands, especially if their talent is going unnoticed. Keep supporting established musicians so they can keep inspiring bands like us. The power of music is massive so help to keep the bands you love going.
Dan (Crossley, Vocalist): You must support local bands in order for the scene to thrive. We need the blend of old and new as opportunity really pushes creativity.