In the music world, a lot of genres go through cycles and revivals. In recent years we’ve seen pop punk and emo come to the forefront of the alternative music scene, and now it seems shoegaze has made its returned. However Cheshire up-and-comers Simmer feel there is no revival and it’s the quality of music improving, something that they unintentionally back up with their new EP. ‘Yellow Streak’ is 4 songs of subtle shoegaze mixed with a wave of distored guitars and a hint of emotional hardcore.
Tracks like ‘Douse’ and ‘Head Trip’ are reflective with a urgent punk undertone which clashes nicely with hazy, atmospheric guitars. It can’t go without saying fans of Title Fight, Nothing and Basement will find plenty to like about Simmer, and with the backing of Brighton-based label Dog Knights Productions, they are band to watch in the coming months hence why we’ve selected them to be part of our “Recommends” series.
As ‘Yellow Streak’ is set to be released next week, we spoke to vocalist and guitarist Julius Schiazza to discuss Simmer’s history, being part of Dog Knights Productions, the shoegaze “revival”, future plans and more.
AH: The band only formed last February. How did the four of you come together?
Julius: We’ve known each other for a long time now, and we’ve been in bands together in the past – but nothing serious. I’d not long got home after being at University in London, so we decided to get together again and start playing. Although, this time things started to click a little more – so we decided to actually make a record for the first time.
AH: From listening to ‘Yellow Steak’ constantly, your sound comes off as more than your standard shoegaze/emo. There’s a punk edge to it. How would you sum up the bands sound for new listeners?
Julius: We try not to coin ourselves with genres, or delve into labelling our sound specifically. But if I’d summarise our sound, I’d go with something like: rhythmic punk with shades of Shoegaze.
AH: I understand you share an equal interest in bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Fugazi. Do you consider them influences?
Julius: For me personally, they are massive influences. Those two bands sound tracked the majority of my teenage years and their influences will most likely surface within our music somewhere along the line.
AH: Your new EP is your first with Dog Knights Productions. Over the last couple of years the label has worked with some of the most promising bands in the UK (Nai Harvest, Headroom, playlounge.) Was this a key factor in wanting to work with Darren (Harvey)?
Julius: In all honesty, we’re just massively overwhelmed to be working with Darren. We’ve been massive followers of his label for a good few years now. They were the first and last label we messaged when we had finished recording the record. Then, for him to take a chance on us (considering how small a band we are) is surreal in some ways. We were preparing to self-fund/release the record – so for him to be behind us is an exciting prospect to say the least.
AH: How does this EP follow on from last year’s ‘Your Tonal Mess’ in style and sound?
Julius: I think ‘Your Tonal Mess’ was a solid starter record from four people unsure of the sound we wanted to create. We all have different outside influences and I think that’s really noticeable listening back to that record. There isn’t much consistency. Yet, with this record, we had a strong idea of the sound we wanted to pursue. We sat down and actually talked about how we wanted to go about things. That being said, I still think we’re yet to find our own niche. I think we have a lot more to offer musically within future releases.
AH: You have already previewed the EP by posting 2 songs online. How has the feedback been to those songs? Have you noticed a growing interest in the band?
Julius: It’s been absolutely incredible. People are actually pre-ordering our record. Prior to this band, none of us had even released a record. So for people to actually buy this record without hearing all the songs are crazy! The feedback for the songs already streaming has been insanely positive, too!
AH: There seems to be somewhat of a shoegaze “revival” at the moment. Why do you think that is? Is it a case of the genre going though a popular cycle or people just being nostalgic?
Julius: I’m really not sure. I’ve always been into this sort of music – ever since I began playing guitar. So I guess it’s normal to me. This sort of music never actually disappeared, I reckon the standard of the bands involved in the scene has somewhat improved – causing it become increasingly popular, which is only a good thing.
AH: You’re playing a handful of UK dates around the EP release. Can we expect further dates to be announced at some point?
Julius: Yeah we’re currently finalising a UK tour with a band called Muskets, which will follow on instantly from the release date on the 19th March. We’ve never been on tour as a band so we’re all a bit anxious and excited. It will inevitably prove out to be a valuable experience.
AH: One show you are scheduled to play is the Manchester Punk Festival in April. Why should festival-goers check out Simmer and who are you looking forward to seeing?
Julius: The line-up for that festival is already incredible. We’re supporting our friends in Boston Manor with Hindsights and Creeper in a separate venue to the rest. We’re not too dissimilar from those bands so hopefully it blends into a successful night for all of us.
AH: Besides the EP release and handful of shows, what else can we expect from Simmer in 2015?
Julius: We’ve actually already recorded another song, which will be involved in an exclusive release through all the cool indie labels in the country. We’re also booking another tour with our friends in Scouts for mid-May. Then after all that, we’ve been working on our debut full release, which should most-likely be ready for summer time.
‘Yellow Streak’ EP by Simmer is released on 30th March on Dog Knights Productions.
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Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)