For some bands it can years to get recognition, for others it can happen over night. However for rising Liverpudlian newcomers Waster such recognition means they have more attention and added pressure to prove themselves. “We didn’t have something to prove at first but now I think we do.” Sammy Clifford tells us as we spoke to the vocalist along with guitarist Kieren Alder at Hevy Fest. He continues “We didn’t expect anything. Now we’re up against it. We’ve got to turn a lot of people over.”
Formed just last December, Waster are a band that instantly stood out from the flourishing UK pop punk scene. This is mainly due to the connection with current “kings” of the scene – Neck Deep. As Sammy explains the connection isn’t what the internet rumour mill states; “Yes we are friends with Neck Deep but it’s not exactly what people think it is. I’ve been watching them from the start. I’ve seen them grow. I think they’re fucking awesome. We’re friends and fans.”
It’s that aforementioned rumour mill that has plagued the band since forming. From being labelled “rich kids” to having their buddies in Neck Deep “write an albums worth of material” for them, the sudden rise of Waster has led to much speculation. However the quintet are thoroughly honest about who they are and their sound. “We don’t try and pretend to be something we’re not. I’m not going to stand here and say "we don’t sound anything like Neck Deep.” confirms Sammy.
True to their word, their debut EP, ‘Skrwd’ has its roots in the pop punk idea of “hate my town, love my friends”. Over the course of six songs, the Liverpudlian group have produced “bangers” that are infectious and have another substance that make them stand out from evergrowing crowd. “As cliché as it sounds it is straight up pop punk. Which we get a lot of shit for.” explains Sammy, “Singing about your friends, your hometown, whatever. It’s our first EP. It’s relevant to us at the time. As much as people hate, people seem to like it. It’s upbeat, catchy.” It is no doubt they have the familiar pop punk structure down to a tee and it seems to be winning over sceptical fans. Having played a handful of shows over the summer, they’ve consistently proved their worth even when they admit they shouldn’t be playing the level of shows they have been: “every show we’ve played so far is too big for us. We’re shitting ourselves every show. That show today (at Hevy Fest), we came off stage and said "we’re not ready for that kind of stage yet.”“
Nevertheless with ‘Skrwd’ receiving positive reviews and with the backing of No Sleep Records, you could say Waster should get used to playing such stages. However it’s still early days for the five-piece. "There is still a lot of work to be done. We’re just adding to our team at the moment like booking agents etc.” states Sammy before discussing potential new material: “We’ve been writing a lot. We’ve got some more studio time. I think it breaks away from the Neck Deep connection.”
However before they head back into the studio, they have their first UK headline tour where they will be joined by fellow North West pop punk upstarts Best Years. “They’re good guys. They’re friends of ours and their Northerners too.” replied Sammy when we asked about the shows with Kieren adding “It should be a lot of fun. We put on a good, fun show.”.
So with an impressive EP set to arrive imminently and their touring experience set to expand in the coming weeks, it is no doubt Waster are making a good go at proving themselves and are more than just a band with a couple of useful connections, as Clifford illustrates; “I don’t think a label would take a band just because they have friends in other bands. I don’t think it’s that easy. I think you have to have something about yourself to prove to people.”
‘Skrwd’ EP by Waster is released on September 4th on No Sleep Records.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Hevy Fest 2015 here.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)