Some new bands struggle to make an impact on their scene, with countless tales of woe Tuskens take a brighter look on touring life. “At the moment it’s awesome, we’ve made so many new friends this past year. Everyone just wants to get out and tour, have a laugh and meet new people”, comment the Bristol based four piece. So just how is it Tuskens have become the glue that seals the Bristol music scene so tightly? Well….
FIRST OFF WHATS IT LIKE BEING A NEW BAND IN THE UK AT THE MOMENT? HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR PEOPLE TO SUPPORT NEW MUSIC?
James (Pope, vocals): “At the moment it’s awesome, we’ve made so many new friends this past year. Everyone just wants to get out and tour, have a laugh and meet new people. It’s really important! I think something that is important for people to remember is that all of their favourite bands were once small local bands, people went to their shows and they grew and developed. So just going to shows, maybe buying some merch or coming and speaking to the bands can definitely help bands out.”
YOU’RE SELF PROCLAIMED POP PUNK, BUT WITH IT BEING A GENRE THAT IS VERY OVERSATURATED AT THE MOMENT DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO WORK EVEN HARDER TO MAKE YOURSELVES STAND OUT?
“It is very oversaturated indeed. I don’t feel like we need to work harder necessarily. We definitely need to work just as hard as everyone else but I think it will still come down to how much we engage with fans and how much we show that we appreciate their support just as much as they enjoy listening to us. Our music is our music and it will always be a representation of us no matter how successful we are, every band is different, Tuskens just writes what feels good as that’s important to us. I think our ‘hard work’ will be directed at forming new relationships with people.”
“Pop punk is getting oversaturated….”
SO WHAT MAKES TUSKENS DIFFERENT?
“Despite pop punk being quite a rigid genre, we do try to experiment with pushing the boundaries when writing music, whether that’s pushing them a lot or a little. I would say we are probably a lot darker than a lot of other local pop punk bands, I guess we just gravitate towards that style more naturally. We also try to think of trying new things when it comes to our stage set up and presence too, but I won’t give any of that away!”
YOU’VE ALL PREVIOUSLY KNOWN EACH OTHER / BEEN IN BANDS WITHIN THE BRISTOL AREA. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A STRONG LOCAL SCENE, AND WHAT’S THE BRISTOL SCENE LIKE?
“We wouldn’t be a local band if it wasn’t for the local scene, its how we all met, formed friendships and decided to start a band together. We would all regularly watch and support each other in each friend’s various bands until we got to know each other and started our own band. We are seeing new faces coming down to the local shows and to our shows all the time and definitely refreshing to see it grow and remain vibrant and diverse.”
LYRICALLY YOU SEEM TO BE A BAND THAT WEARS THE HEART ON THE SLEEVE. WHAT INSPIRED THE HONESTY BEHIND YOUR LATEST RELEASE, ‘NO EASY WAY TO SAY THIS’?
“We’ve all struggled with various emotions and had issues with those emotions, as many others almost certainly have too. A lack of confidence, a fear of confrontation, being constantly judged and having to confront all these issues can lead to various forms of either mild or severe depression. The title track is a representation of a realisation that when it comes to being true to yourself and being honest with others, there’s no easy way to say what you want to say, but overcoming that discomfort shows confidence.”
“There’s no easy way to say what you want, but overcoming that discomfort shows confidence…”
THE UK UNDERGROUND SEEMS TO BE THRIVING, ESPECIALLY FOR DIY TOURING. DO YOU THINK THAT AT THIS MOMENT IN THE TIME THE INDUSTRY IS IN A POSITION WHERE IT’S BETTER FOR BANDS TO BE INDEPENDENT?
“I think you can do a lot if you apply yourself. We’ve accomplished a lot through hard work, it’s also way more fun and rewarding. We recorded ‘No Easy Way To Say This’ ourselves. Our video for ‘Paperweight’ with our friend Ben Curd ‘Out of The Can Productions’, CD’s and clothing were designed with our friend Bert Cowles ‘Pushing Daisies’ & ‘Thomas Francis Apparel’ and we all pull together to book shows. With that being said we obviously welcome any help from PR Campaigns, Artists Management and Labels. We’re at a position now where we are looking into these things as we feel now is the right time to ask for help to reach that next level.”
FINALLY, THREE EPs DOWN, A HELL OF A LOT OF TOURING (AND MORE TO GO), WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR TUSKENS?
“We’re currently working on a new music video that we wrote and filmed ourselves, which features a bunch of UK bands. We hope to have it released by August 1st. Off the back of our weekender we have booked another one with ‘Coast to Coast’ at the end of July which we can’t wait to get out on! Then its lots of song writing and recording for our next release.”
OK, OK WE HAVE ONE LAST QUESTION…IF ALIENS WERE TO LAND ON THIS PLANET AND ASK WHAT A ‘TUSKENS’ WAS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IT WAS?
“Warm apple pie….”
No Easy Way To Say This is out now. You can catch the band at this year’s Deadbolt Festival in Manchester