FROM: NORFOLK | FOR FANS OF: WHILE SHE SLEEPS, BLOOD YOUTH
We thought CANE HILL was the most productive band of 2018, what with a debut record, a second EP, a live record and consistent touring, but it seems like you don’t have to be signed to a major label to really kick up the hard work to the next level.
Having hailed as one of Discovered’s ULTIMATE new bands to check out in 2018, British heavy hardcore outfit, HOMELANDS decided to take 2019 up a notch, and now with two phenomenal EPs of solid choruses, blistering riffs, and now two phenomenal EPs under their belts, it’s safe to say that 2019 is their year.
“sometimes coming forward with song ideas about something really hurtful is the only way of really talking about it…”
FIRST OFF 2018 SEEMED TO BE A PRETTY HECTIC YEAR FOR YOU. HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT YOURSELVES BOTH AS PEOPLE AND AS A BAND OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “Yeah we’ve been pretty busy! I think we’ve learned a lot about each other as individuals, just because of the sheer amount of time we’ve spent together. We’ve all used the band as an outlet for a lot of bottled up stuff, and sometimes coming forward with song ideas about something really hurtful is the only way of really talking about it. It’s been really therapeutic for me personally and I can see the positive effect it’s had on my bandmates”
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS AND ALSO SOME OF THE LOWS?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “I think we’ve all enjoyed pretty much all of it. Anytime we get to go jump around onstage in front of an open minded audience it’s a highlight. The general response to our first EP has been a general highlight to the year. Low points would include early mornings/late nights and working on bank holidays after playing a show.”
WITH THE LOWS WHAT HAS KEPT THIS BAND MOTIVATED? ESPECIALLY TO KEEP PUTTING OUT SO MUCH MUSIC?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “Luke and Jacob keep writing bangers. It is a lot of work as we’ve done pretty much everything for both EP’s ourselves, but it’s worth hearing it all finished. We genuinely buzz off it.”
IN THE SAME YEAR YOU PUT OUT NOT JUST ONE, BUT TWO RELEASES. IN A TIME WHERE DIGITAL MUSIC CAN BECOME SO DISPOSABLE, WHAT INFLUENCED THIS DECISION?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “I think it was more of a case of us having a huge amount of material written to work with, and really wanting people to hear it.”
DO YOU FEEL BECAUSE OF HOW QUICKLY PEOPLE’S ATTENTION SPANS CAN CHANGE THAT IT’S IMPORTANT FOR BANDS TO KEEP DELIVERING SOMETHING NEW?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “Yeah definitely! This year we’re working with a new batch of songs, and the plan is to release as much of it as often as possible.”
“As much as this band is an outlet for us emotionally, it’s also a lot of fun for us.”
BOTH RECORDS SEEM TO HAVE DARK UNDERTONES, SORT OF A REFLECTION OF SELF, THEMES SUCH AS ANGER. ARE BOTH RELEASES CONNECTED IN SOME WAY? IS HOMELANDS WHERE YOU GO TO VENT?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “Yeah for sure, pretty much all of us have put into both EP’s lyrically, and it’s all pretty personal. Both EP’s are about mental illness in one way or another. A lot of ‘Hurt People Hurt People’ was written over several years and most of what I’d written I don’t necessarily agree with any more, or think the same way. With ‘Hail’ it was kind of a reflection of the same subject but from now. It was why we went with the artwork designs, showing treatment of mental illness through time.”
THE ARTWORK FOR HAIL SEEMS TO HAVE A DARK NARRATIVE BEHIND IT AS WELL. CARE TO ELABORATE WHAT ALWAYS INFLUENCES YOUR DARK APPROACH TO ARTWORK?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “The artwork for both EP’s was planned and done by our friend Noah Elliott. We wanted them both to represent treatment of mental illness. ‘Lost and Found’ was written about me dealing with my mother being treated for mental illness, while simultaneously trying to hide the symptoms of what I was going through, for fear of ending up in the same place. I guess the chair was an extreme version of my worst fear. With ‘Hail’ it’s pretty obvious from the first track we’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts. Being able to talk about things like that is hard, and being able to rip the band-aid off in a way by putting it all over social media and spotify at least breaks the ice I guess.”
AT THE MOMENT THEY’RE SAYING THAT THE BRITISH HEAVY MUSIC SCENE IS STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE. WHAT ADVANTAGE HAS THIS HAD FOR HOMELANDS?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “We all live in Norfolk and things usually take a while to catch on here so maybe this will be our year? In all seriousness, though it’s pretty crazy the amount of really good people we’ve met online and through shows who’ve helped us push our name. If the UK is doing well it’s because of these saints!”
AT THE SAME TIME YOU’RE ALSO YOUR OWN UNIQUE STYLE AND SOUND. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT, MORE SO THAN EVER BEFORE TO STAND OUT?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “I honestly don’t think it matters as much as it used to. Some of the top-selling records every year are near carbon copies of each other but they still sell. I think people react more to authenticity than a riff they’ve not heard before. Having said that I don’t want to release the same EP, single or album twice. As much as this band is an outlet for us emotionally, it’s also a lot of fun for us musically and we have a laugh experimenting.”
FINALLY, WHEN YOU STARTED THIS BAND WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS? DO YOU FEEL ANY OF THEM HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED YET?
James (Clayton, Guitar) “Well we wanted to release both EP’s this year. I guess that’s mission success. There’s a lot more we plan to do though. More music and more shows!”
HAIL IS OUT NOW – SPIN IT HERE ON SPOTIFY