“I think our biggest asset is that we sound a little bit different, but it’s also our biggest Achilles’ heel”
In the music industry, it’s a common known fact that you need to play the waiting game; to have the patience for that tour to come along, that breakthrough moment and so on. In the case of Press To MECO, it was waiting to release their second full-length album, ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’.
Initially recorded in late 2016 in Austin, Texas with renowned producer Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch, Every Time I Die, Four Year Strong), the South London trio would spend much of 2017 finding a label to release the record before deciding to self-release the record. With a November release date pencilled in, the band went through the usual pre-album release run-up traits; the music video, doing press etc. Then two weeks before its release, Marshall Records, one of several labels they had spoken to previously, contacted the band with an offer they couldn’t refuse.
“Steve [Tannett – Marshall Records director] called us up and said ‘a bunch of stuff has changed. I really think we can work well together and help the band’,” explains guitarist Luke Caley. “We met up and we were sceptical because of how things were before. The way the label was set-up back then wasn’t really aligned with what we were about and what we felt could benefit the band. We sat down and after an hour or two-hour meeting, we came away feeling it was the right thing to do. This is going to make the album bigger then if we self-released it. It’s worth pulling it and rescheduling.”
Despite being together for the best part of eight years, Press To MECO are still considered as an emerging band, touring as much as possible alongside living normal lives. Nevertheless, the prospect of working with a brand as a recognisable as Marshall meant the band’s potentially long-term future had stability.
“We needed a deal that would make the band grow, so we needed something that was going to support us,” states bassist Adam Roffey. “A lot of things we were offered before wouldn’t have worked. If we saw a future in being an active band, then we needed an offer that was viable and helped us out and Marshall has given us that.” While Caley goes on to say, “I think with Marshall, the infrastructure is there and the scope and potential is there to support us over a few albums.”
With one eye on the future, their immediate outlook is on ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’. Over the course of eight years, Caley, Roffey and drummer Lewis Williams have moulded a melting pot of sounds around three-part harmonies. On ‘Here’s To…’, the trio have honed in on their best attributes, creating a record that shines with towering choruses, fiery riffs, bold percussion and more. Overall, it is the sound of a band refusing to be pigeonholed to a specific sound or trend, even though it’s not deliberate as Luke explains.
“That’s not something we’ve intentionally done. We’ve naturally found this space that we sit in where ‘this is what we do’ and this is the music we’re passionate about. I think our biggest asset is that we sound a little bit different, but it’s also our biggest Achilles’ heel because people like to pigeonhole things, so they don’t know if they like it or not. I think sometimes we get overlooked because we’re a bit in the middle of things.”
“The new album basically feels like the most accomplished version of what we’re trying to do”
On ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’, Adam, Luke and Lewis have organically grown their sound with no agenda. While “different” ideas have been presented, by the time they go through what Luke refers to as “the Press To MECO machine”, those ideas end up being in PTM’s mould.
“The new album basically feels like the most accomplished version of what we’re trying to do,” Luke tells us. “We haven’t purposely tried to go anywhere new or to make a statement with a new sound. Where that has happened, it’s naturally come into how we’re writing. We’ve been like ‘this is cool and a bit different’ but we’ve gone with it. It’s whatever feels good.”
Although the band’s sound, according to Luke might be “a bit marmite”, it has granted them a plethora of touring opportunities in recent months. Amongst them are tours with “cult tech metal heroes” SikTh, “proggy alternative rock band” Arcane Roots and several other names in the burgeoning UK rock scene.
“I feel quite privileged we can play on so many different kinds of bills. We love seeing so many different kinds of bands. I would get tired if we were a certain genre band and we kept on playing the exact same bills all the time,” says Luke as he hints at the band’s need to keep things fresh, a trait that has affected the songs from ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ in recent months.
Although written in 2016, the factors of a delayed release and not playing a majority of the record live has meant the 11 songs that make up the album still feel new. “We still need to get together and start figuring out how to play the other half of the album,” Luke explains with Adam going on to say “when you’re not practising them and you’re not listening to them all the time, it’s still fresh. There is also the scope for how the new songs are going to work live.”
The element of expansion has always been there for PTM, even if not on purpose, yet both Luke and Adam agree that beyond ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ they will continue to evolve. “We can just keep going with it and see what comes out,” says Adam with Luke explaining that “new sounds” will be included. “I can’t imagine us doing something that is suddenly drastic, like a complete genre change, but the next album will definitely have some new sounds. Otherwise, it’s not fun for us.
We’ve got all these ideas like we’d like to do an almost poppy album, but I think when it comes to writing with something in mind, it feels a bit forced and contrived. With this band, the three of us, it is whatever we’re feeling and we go with that. By the time it’s a finished song and has gone through all the parts of the machine, it seems to sound like us anyway.”
As the Press To MECO machine expands, both in sound and status, ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ has awarded the trio with a bright future. With a new label home in Marshall Records, a sold-out London album release show and a summer of festival spots lined up, Press To MECO’s patience is paying off as they prepare to step up a gear.
‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ by Press To MECO is released on 30th March on Marshall Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)
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