Neck Deep’s Ben Barlow explains Serpents song

Ben Barlow

In Neck Deep’s latest Best of Pop Punk playlist for Spotify, lead singer Ben Barlow explains the background behind their song Serpents.

The epic song was originally part the 2015 Life’s Not Out To Get You album  and has recently been released as a EP that includes Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus remixing both Serpents and Can’t Kick up the Roots along with their originals.

In a recent interview Ben talked about the inspirations he had for the single and said: ‘Serpents is a little bit different and definitely a darker vibe I guess you could say.

‘Originally the bones of the song were given to us by Tom Denney (former A Day To Remember guitarist) – he had this idea just kind of sitting round that he hadn’t used and gave it to us.

‘We had to play around with the structure a little bit, I remember the structure being kind of difficult at first but yeah we kind of decided straight away that should try and make it full of imagery and all that sort of stuff.’

It is no coincidence that Tom Denney was involved with the album as A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon produced and helped wrote the songs as well as producer Andrew Wade.

The welsh pop punk star continued to talk about how the lyrics came about and what inspired the band and said: ‘Lyrically I guess it was inspired by a video game, me and Fil (Thorpe-Evans, bass player) played a game called PT Demo which was a demo for the new Silent Hill game.

Silent Hill P.T. Demo inspired Neck Deep for Serpents

‘We just heard it was super scary so we decided to put our nappies on and give it a go.

‘The whole game is about this women and she’s obviously dead and you have to find who’s killed her and what happened to her and all that sort of stuff and there is a load of creepy imagery in there.

‘The first lyric of the song or at least the first verse ‘A dark face in a corridor
Deceptively beautiful, She’s watching you’ was really inspired by the video game and it kind of just rolled on from there.

‘I took some of my own personal experiences and yeah tried to write a song that sounded like it should be set in a haunted house.’

The lads started their European Tour in Paris two nights ago with Southampton band Creeper and fellow pop punk band WSTR.

WSTR (photo take from their official Facebook page)

All three bands will tour around the UK from April 16 where they will be heading to Southampton’s Guildhall.

A further three dates in Newcastle, Leeds and WSTR’s home city Liverpool will then take place.

Ben mentioned these bands and one more when he was asked if there is any new music that he’s been jamming too, he said: ‘So new music I would definitely recommend would be Creeper, WSTR and another band I have been listening to a lot lately is a band called Let it Happen – they’re from the states.

‘If were to recommend any three bands it would be those guys, that’s all the new music I’ve been listening to.

‘Other than I listen to the same music I been listening to in the past 10 years – not much has changed there.

That music being fellow pop punk band  Blink 182 and the Neck Deep front man continued to talk about how they influenced them – he said: ‘We were massively inspired by Blink 182, I think if anything they’re probably at least mine, probably Fil’s and maybe Sam’s (Bowden, guitarist) too.

‘Probably our biggest influences just generally musically, you know they’re the band that really did define music for me.

‘When I was a kid listening to Blink (182) and I don’t know it just seemed like they didn’t really care about being immature but at the same side still a little bit of a serious side to them to an 8 year old me that kind of just appealed to me.

‘Music to that kind of era generally like Sum 41, Good Charlotte and Green Day, they were some bands that I really enjoyed growing up.

‘My brother was a huge skate punk, when I was a kid I just remember him walking around with green hair just skating all the time constantly listening to his favourite band Bad Religion but he was the one that showed me (Green Day’s) Dookie for the first time and I remember that vividly.

‘I think I was just brought up well and I just spent my days sat in front of the TV and just flicking through the music files and just trying to find new music I can jam out to.’

You can watch Neck Deep’s acoustic cover of Fall Out Boy’s Grand Theft Autumn taken from a fan’s point of view below.


EP Review: Grader – Wholly

Grader (photo taken from their official Facebook page)

Having gained some publicity and a new wave of fans following their tour with Creeper, Grader are a band on the lips of many rock fans. Writes Darren Hardie.

Formed in 2008, Wholly is the first Grader release in three years following the 2013 release of Underheaven and we see that the band have grown in terms of song writing ability. Grader have embraced the hardcore community all the while creating music made to evolve and expand their beloved genre and this continues on Wholly as it further explains that Grader are not your ordinary hardcore band and this is largely down to the enigmatic vocals of front-man Liam Mason.

Sounding more like Tom Waits than Henry Rollins, Mason creates an entire new sound due to his incredibly believable and emotional wails and this is evident right away on opening track Feel This Low. The song opens with a slow but powerful build led by Liam’s vocals and then kicks into a more hardcore based sound you would expect from their previous work. It is the next track, Love in Pounds and Ounces, however, where we see Grader enter more unknown territory and try to evolve their hardcore sound. Opening with a pop punk-like guitar line, this is the sound of evolution and if Grader keep writing songs like this a bright future lies ahead.

Album artwork for Wholly

Despite this, the highlight of the album lies in the following track titled No Secrets. Launching straight out of the speakers, No Secrets’ expertly written melodic chorus will be stuck in your head for hours after listening and having you coming back for more, only to realise it gets better and better every time you listen. This song best describes what it is that Grader are trying to create and is convincingly the highlight of the EP, we just have to hope that Grader don’t remain a secret for much longer.

Album closer, Wilt, sees the rhythm section of the band take over and provide more than brilliant support to Mason’s majestic voice and also brings an appearance from Creeper’s Will Gould who brings his haunting style to Grader’s short but immensely emotional ride and proves to be an excellent closing track for this brilliantly crafted piece of art.

8/10 – A brilliantly crafted album with an incredibly talented vocalist, although you still get the feeling there is more to come.

Album Highlight – No Secrets

You can listen to Grader’s Wholly here however the EP is not officially released until 2nd August.

Deaf Havana sign new deal announce new album

Deaf Havana, photo taken from official Facebook page.

Alternative rock band Deaf Havana has signed a deal with SO Records and will be recording a new album in the summer.

The lads from Kings Lynn are currently making waves in the music industry and from a previous encounter with the band I had while they was doing  a DJ set at one of Southampton’s District nights, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of lads.

The album will be produced by Adam Noble through the epic record label that brings you Dinosaur Pile-Up,  Fenech-Soler, Demob Happy and Broken Hand.

You listen to Deaf Havana’s latest single Cassiopeia below.

It’s been over two years since the band released Old Souls and lead singer James Veck-Gilodi are set for another massive year ahead.

The band are set to play Leicester’s Hand Made Festival in April before playing at Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger in May.

They then will go international as Deaf Havana has recently been announced at Switzerland’s Greenfield Festival over June.

This is really exciting times for Deaf Havana fans I am sure you will hear lots more news about the new help through their Twitter page!


Knuckle Puck kicks off European tour in style

Main image
Spotlight on Knuckle Puck and Boston Manor and Seaway also kicked ass

It was like pop punk heaven last night at Southampton Joiners as Knuckle Puck began their European tour alongside Boston Manor and Seaway.

You could tell that the night was eagerly anticipated by fans as there were queues outside the sold  out venue for quite a long  way round.

As they began letting fans in, the bands started to sell their new merchandise so their loyal fans could represent them throughout the night.

First up were Blackpool band Boston Manor and honestly I couldn’t think of a better band to open up the show.

Lead singer Henry Cox put 110% into every single song and totally killed it as did the rest of the band throughout their 40 minute set.

The lads played songs from their Driftwood EP including the epic Peach State and of course the single Driftwood that sent fans to small but intimate mosh pit and even saw a few crowd surfing.

As the set continued, you could tell that Boston Manor made a lot of new fans as well who were there for the main act Knuckle Puck.

And it’s no wonder because the amount of energy these lads gave would certainly not look out of place at a major festival this year.

Boston Manor also played Gone from their latest EP Saudade and earlier today the lads released a new music video of the single which you can watch at the bottom.

Me with bass player Dan and lead singer Henry Cox

After Boston Manor’s set it almost felt like the end of the night however there was still two more epic bands left to go.

During the break, everyone grabbed a beer and I even managed to get a photo taken with Henry and bass player Dan and they were so down to earth as they had time for every single fans in the packed building.

Next up were Canadian band Seaway who once again showed what pop punk was all about and really enjoyed the show.

As this was the first time I saw these guys live, I didn’t know what quite to expect however the sound of vocalist Patrick Carleton really over powered me and I had to join in with the mosh pits once again.

I managed to get right to the front as the band was playing songs from their latest album Colour Blind.

The crowd surfing continued like it did throughout the evening as the epic lights beamed on the lads and you could just tell they were having the times of their lives.

I managed to speak to one fan during the gig who was from London and told me that she was their to see Seaway and that she will be going to as many six of their gigs from the tour, which just shows the dedications and desire these bands have got behind them.


All the bands were meant to go on tour together as each of them all had a very similar vibe to them and that was to just entertain the fuck out of the 200 odd people singing their hearts out to the songs.

The main act of the evening was edging closer however to be honest all three of the bands quite equally deserved a spot as the main act and I’m sure all of them will be headlining tours for a very long time.

That’s the thing about The Joiners, the venue manages to capture the very best performances out of bands and it is no wonder why the likes of Green Day and Oasis once played at the venue.

American band Knuckle Puck then entered the stage and suddenly you could just hear a roar from the majority of the music lovers across the whole of the building.

The lads played a number of songs from their new album Copacetic including the hit song Distain which you guessed it created even more mayhem on the small dance area however it was certainly a sign of an epic gig.

Their single No Good from the The Weight That You Buried EP  totally rocked the place and even myself managed to some how crowd surf in true professional style.

Kuckle Puck
Lead singer Joe Taylor from Knuckle Puck talking to fans between songs

The whole night was absolutely epic and was certainly a night to remember and that was incredibly their first night of the tour.

As the night began to close Knuckle Puck refreshingly asked fans what they wanted the encore to be and without a shadow of a doubt, the majority of their loyal fans shouted out Evergreen which of course is from their latest Copacetic.

It was a great song to end the night on and once again it was the first time I watched these guys live and I’ll certainly see them again if they return locally.

All three of the awesome bands will play at Bristol’s Exchange tonight as they travel to Cardiff, London, Amsterdamn, Berlin among many other cities throughout the tour in April.

Boston Manor’s new music video Gone via Pure Noise Records was released just a day after the gig – you can hear it below.

Secondborn release epic cover and talk about new album

Secondborn (photo taken from their official Facebook page)

Post-hardcore band Secondborn have released a cover of 80’s classic  Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money  and it’s pretty sick!

The lads from LA put an epic electronic twist to the cover which provides a refreshing pop-punk sound from the up and coming band.

You can listen to this awesome cover below.

Vocalist Daniel Pinner’s vocals really makes the single work and explained that the band has played the song on recent live sets – he said: ‘About a year ago we starting playing the song in our Live Sets.

‘We wanted something fun and nostalgic and wanted to put our own twist on it.

‘We decided to record our pop-punk version of the track when we started working on our new Album.

‘We wanted to get something new out to the fans while we are writing and recording our new material.

‘We had so much fun covering this song and putting our own twist on it.

‘We actually filmed a really fun video to go with it that will be out In the beginning of April on our YouTube  Channel. ‘

Secondborn were originally formed in  2013 by Daniel and guitarist Tim Benson, the duo focused strictly on song writing and fused music elements from rock, punk & post-hardcore bands as well as sounds of late 80’s dance pop.

Guitarist Patrick Trumps, bassist Alex Daigle, guitarist Stefan Hawkins and drummer Lee Gauthreaux were then recruited into the group in which the band started recording the finished songs for the first EP, A Call to Arms in 2014.

In 2015, they released another EP in quick succession as Symbols was then released to their loyal fans.

The lads are set for a busy year once again and not only will they be releasing a new music video for the cover, Secondborn are also set to release another new exciting single late April/early May.

There is no actual tour plans as of yet however they hoping to play as many shows as possible to support the release of the new album – Daniel continued and said: ‘We are currently writing and recording our first full length album that we are hoping to have out to you guys this summer.

Take Me Home Tonight is the first song from the record and we are so glad people are really digging our version of the song. ‘

As an up and coming band, Secondborn are really going places and this year they have a chance to be a part of the annual Vans Warped Tour.

Fans will have a chance to send them to the main stage and Daniel explained it’s the band’s dream to do so – he continued: ‘Getting to play at one of the Warped Tour Spots would be so massive for us in so many ways.

‘Playing something like Warped Tour would really help us get our name out there, for us its such and iconic music tour.

‘We all grew up with Warped Tour and some of our favourite bands started out on that state.

‘For a lot of us playing the main stage at Warped Tour is a bucket list item.  Needless to say as an artist and a fan it would be a dream come true.’

You can do you bit for this awesome and down to earth band by clicking here and listen to one of their tracks to earn them ‘points’ towards the goal.


Finally it is clear that the band has such a loyal fan base and this is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Secondborn – Daniel finished by adding a message to all those fans that have supported the band and said: ‘Secondborn’s fans mean the world to us.

‘We love hearing from them on our social media.  We personally run all of our social media accounts because it means so much to us to stay in contact with our fans.

‘You guys are the reason we do what we do.  You inspire us on a daily basis and we just want to make music that will inspire you.

‘We recently started using Facebook Live and that has been a fun way to communicate with our fans.

‘Between our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts we would really like to connect with as many fans as we can.

‘You guys have all been amazing and we hope you love what we have coming out next!’

Make sure you follow Secondborn on Twitter and  Facebook to find out the latest tour and album news.




BAH RAM YOU to release new sounding EP

Bah Ram You
BAH RAM YOU (photo taken from their official Facebook page)

Ska Punk Alternative band BAH RAM YOU are set to release a new sounding EP Don’t Kid Yourself, Kid in June.

And it’s not only the sound that will be different, the line up in general has a few new members to what you may be familiar with.

The band started out as a 3 piece pop punk band led by lead singer and guitarist Sam Kikes in in 2011.

The Los Angeles based 3 piece then parted ways in 2013 and Sam immediately reformed the band as a 5 piece ska punk band.

BAH RAM YOU recently released a new song from their upcoming EP titled New Sound and you can listen to that below.

Commenting on the new song, Sam revealed that it was is an introduction to the new sound as well as a message to a former band member.

He continued to talk about the new EP and said: ‘This is by far the most fun and exciting piece of work that BAH RAM YOU has put forth.

‘When I think of Ska Punk, I think of the carefree summers of my childhood.

‘Now every time I listen to this EP, I want jump into a mosh pit with my friends and start skanking in circles.

‘I hope it will conjure similar feelings for you!’

Sam also revealed that the band will be will be following up with a show and small American West Coast tour this summer and a new music video is in the works.

Fearless Vampire Killers set for European tour

Fearless Vampire Killers
Fearless Vampire Killers (photo from their official Facebook page)

Fearless Vampire Killers (FVK) are set to go on an exciting European tour in May as they travel to five countries over 8 awesome dates.

The lads from Suffolk recently announced the tour and will begin it at Paris’ Backstage venue on 3rd May.

They will then travel to Germany for two dates at Cologne’s MTC and then Hamburg’s Rock Cafe on the 4th and 5th May.

A further fives dates in Denmark, Poland, Holland and Germany will see FVK complete their first headline tour of mainland Europe.

FVK Tour
List of tour dates

There will also be special guests on the tour which is titled ‘Bruises Tour’ on the account of their mini album Bruises being released October last year.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Laurence Beveridge and the rest of the band have also been announced for Scuzz’ free festival UK Throwdown Alternative Escape at Brighton’s Volks.

FVK will be playing on Friday 20th May – just eight days after they finish their tour in Amsterdam.

Area 11, Heck, Counting Days, Zoax, Bad Sign, Press To Meco, Boy Jumps Ship and Tessaract are among the acts playing over the two day free event.

Check out FVK’s new music video of Regret below.



Thad set to release a new EP this year

Thad (photo from his official Twitter account

Singer-songwriter Thad has revealed he is currently working on a new EP that will be released later this year.

The Canadian solo artist however will give fans a sneak preview next month as he is set to release a new single on his birthday, 15th April.

He has revealed that the new single will give fans an idea of what his new music is going to sound like.

Thad recently released a mash up acoustic cover  of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together which you can watch below.

The Toronto based singer performs the song perfectly and both of the original songs work so well together.

Talking about the new EP  Thad, who is currently not gigging at the moment, commented and said: ‘I’m writing material that will be recorded and released in the fall/winter, a 5-6 song EP.

‘I’m taking my time with it, because I want it to be perfect.’

Talking about his record label Zedd Records and his fans, the artist continued and said: ‘My career is going fairly well. I love that with my label I have complete control over my music, when I release it, what I have to say… It’s always been important to me to be authentic.

‘I’ve got a great relationship with my fans – I really hope they know that whenever they buy my music, it means a lot to me and I do notice.

‘Every single song they buy is supporting my career, and it means so much that they’re even taking the time out of their day to listen, let alone spending a dollar on each song – It blows my mind!’

You can buy Thad’s latest album Nostalgia here.


Tom Bertram set to play homecoming gig

Tom Bertram
Tom Bertram (photo from his official Facebook page)

Singer-songwriter Tom Bertram will return to his home city Portsmouth in May.

The unsigned acoustic singer is set to play two gigs in Hampshire over the next few months.

Having started his career in 2009, the 24 year old pop-folk singer released his first album Wasting Time just a year later that made over 1,500 sales.

Now the Bertram has fans all around the world, in particular Los Angeles where he is due to play some gigs very soon there.

Listen to Anything For You from his 2015 Dig to Locate album below.

The calming voice of Bertram really shines through all of his songs and the album was produced by Tim Bradshaw and singer-songwriter sensation John Mayer.

It’s very rare to see such a talent to be unsigned however the artist thrives on giving away music for free and has performed online concerts for fans.

Bertram will be Chiddingford’s The Mulberry Inn on 14th April before performing at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms with special guests on Saturday 7th May.


In this Chest working on new EP


In this Chest
In This Chest (Photo from their official Facebook page)

Austrian band In This Chest are currently working on a new EP which is set to be released later this year.

The metal band thrive on a simple message ‘Together We Are Strong’ meaning they like to connect with their friends and fans as much as possibly.

This is something rare you find in a band and base player Gilbert Okorn explains what’s it like to be in the band.

‘Being in a band is something very special.

‘On one hand if you want to do it professionally at some point, you need to view it as your profession from the start, on the other hand never forget you have to be able to have fun!

‘It is hard work but also incredibly rewarding! Nowadays being in a band playing music is only a part of your daily band life. Internet work, networking, song writing, publicity and image are all things you need to consider and work on.’

In This Chest present modern and innovative metal with a mix of musical prowess as well as strong, pop-driven choruses – Check out their 2015 hit Together We Are Strong below that will feature in their new EP.


For Okorn music is certainly something is his blood as radio station called Radio Agora 105.5 and host a rock/metal show called For Those About To Rock.

He has interviewed many of bands such as August Burns Red, Palisades and more recently Japanese band Crossfaith, Okorn continued and said.

‘Crossfaith are very nice guys, after the interview they invited us to party with them in the bus after the show and got a chance to talk to them outside of the interview.’

In This Chest’s drummer Aaron Olsacher with Crossfaith’s Tamano Terufumi Koie Kenta (right)

You can check the lads live over May as they play in their home country at Villach’s Chopin on 6th May followed by Klagenfort’s Mozarthof two weeks later.

In This Chest have been announced at a couple of festivals too as they will be performing at Kolbnitz’s Heavy Mölltol in July before playing at Villach’s Straight Ahead Festival.