Interview: Guardians

Having recently streamed their forthcoming EP exclusively on Already Heard, we thought it’d be a good time to catch up with emerging Merseyside rockers Guardians. Since forming in 2006, Guardians have been honing their sound by playing throughout the local area including motorcycle clubs and have shared the stage alongside the likes of The Blackout, The Automatic, Twenty Twenty and as we find out, nearly Status Quo.

Their forthcoming self-titled EP takes then anthemic rock of Foo Fighters and 30 Seconds To Mars and combines it with catchy choruses from the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Lostprophets. Without its a winning formula that is bound to see Guardians’ reputation rise in the coming months.

Already Heard caught up with bassist Sean McMinn-Davies to find out more about their background, the new EP, the local Merseyside music scene and much more.

Already Heard: Can you tell us a bit about the bands history. I understand you formed in 2006 and met at school right?
Sean McMinn-Davies: That’s right yeah, we formed in the summer of ‘06. We all knew each other and were good friends before the band started. Some of us had also been in bands with each other before, so we all knew what each of us were like as musicians.

AH: You also played biker clubs when you were 14. Any memories from that time?
Sean: Lots of memories. We would walk into venues with all of our gear and people would just stop their conversation and look at us, so we made sure that when we started playing, everything had to be spot on. We weren’t old enough to stand near the bar, but they let us entertain a room of bikers. Then after we’d finished playing, we’d get asked back so we must’ve done our job.

AH: Your sound has been described as “high voltage rock with edgy melodic blasts.” How would you sum up Guardians’ sound as?
SeanThere are riffs, hooks, melody, dynamics and plenty of substance in the “Guardians sound.” There are elements of the bands we like and because we all have such varying musical taste, this is what gives our songs the “Guardians sound." 

AH: How has the bands sound changed over the years?
SeanIt went through all sorts of changes when we were much younger, but there has never been a concious decision to move away from a certain style. We have a sound now that we feel is the sound of ‘Guardians’ but we will always mix things up a little, otherwise that sound will become stale.

AH: You’ve also been compared to Lostprophets, 30 Seconds To Mars, Jimmy Eat World and Foo Fighters. What are your thoughts on these comparisons?
SeanTo be compared with bands like these is great, they are top class songwriters. We always seem to get a varying list of comparisons which we see as a good thing, it shows that there is a certain kick to our music which people struggle to put their finger on.

AH: Do you consider them as influences?
SeanCertainly some of them! Despite all having varying musical tastes, bands like Lostprophets and Foo Fighters have always been bands which we all agree on.

AH: Are there any other bands that have influenced your current sound?
SeanThe music we listen to changes so much that its difficult to pin-point particular artists, but of course influences like Foo Fighters are bands which we all enjoy listening to and that type of rock sound comes out a bit in our music.

AH: Early next year you’re releasing your self titled EP and we’re currently streaming the whole thing here on Already Heard. For new listeners, how should they approach the EP?
SeanThis EP has some tracks that were on an earlier release called ‘Follow Your Heart’ but they’ve been remixed and remastered with the new sound so there’s quite a lot of new little bits here and there. It’s been put together so it flows as one from start to finish so best bet is to turn it up and sit back!

AH: Lyrically what is the EP about and what is it influenced by?
SeanThe majority of themes on the new release revolve around aspects of taking things for granted and not realising how quickly they can slip from beneath you. They cover a lot of personal issues I’ve been through recently that I feel people can relate with in some way including loss, working out what’s right and wrong, and inner ‘demons’. If I had to pin point a collective message though it would be that even when you’re at your lowest, you’ll get through and things work out! The only song that doesn’t follow those themes is ‘New World Order’.

AH: For new listeners, which track on the EP best represents Guardians and why?
SeanI can never decide. We’re at a point where the sound could go anywhere and the songs that are on the EP we feel are a strong mix of what we do best! 

AH: You’ve also filmed a video for a song called ‘New World Order.’ What is the song about and what is the video about?
SeanLyrically it’s a political song, but from a reflective point of view, ‘What are we really fighting for?’. I guess the message I wanted to send through it was to try and encourage people to be more aware as to what’s really happening in the world.

AH: How was the experience of making the video and how did it come together?
SeanMaking the video was great. We did the performance shots one day and spent another day travelling around the Wirral filming the story/message we were trying to get across. A friend of ours called Andrew Fisher shot the video for us. We have done a few videos with him and highly recommend him to anyone. Visit power2thepixel.com to see more of his work.

AH: In recent years you’ve played alongside Status Quo, The Blackout and headlined Liverpool’s HUB Festival. You’ve also had national exposure through various magazines and radio stations. How have these effected and influenced the bands growth?
SeanPlaying alongside such accomplished artists is always exciting as it is something that doesn’t happen everyday. To play shows like these at such a young age gives us these experiences really early in our career which we are so thankful for and they give you the moments when you feel it all comes together. 

There are also times where you have a huge gig confirmed and it still doesn’t work out. For example the Status Quo gig was going perfectly until soundcheck arrived and the organisers told us the stage had flooded and we weren’t insured to play. It was hugely disappointing but at the end of the day, it is an experience which thickens your skin.

AH: The Merseyside area has a long history of producing quality bands. What is the current state of the Merseyside music scene?
SeanThere are certainly some bands in Liverpool with a buzz around them at the moment, Man Get Out and The Mono LPs for example. It just seems that people have gone off the idea of coming out to watch local bands which is really sad. The closing down of some big Liverpool venues in recent times shows this and it is a huge shame because there are tons of great bands playing in Liverpool right now.

AH: Are there any local bands we should be on the look out for
SeanGood friends of ours Dead Dukes are about to release some material and we seriously recommend you keep an eye out for them. The Blackhand are another band worth giving a Youtube search!

AH: With the EP coming out in January, what else can we expect from Guardians in 2013?
SeanThere is plenty of new material in the works which I am sure will get some sort of a release later on in 2013. Other than that, lots of live shows and hopefully get some festivals in the summer too.

AH: Any final words to close the interview?
SeanJust a big thanks to you all for taking the time to look into us and keep listening and spreading the word!

‘Guardians’ EP by Guardians is released on 7th January 2013.

Guardians links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Sean Reid (@seanreid86)

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