Interview: WSTR [Slam Dunk Festival]

By Tamsyn Wilce

Having only played their first live show a year ago, things have gone lightening quick for WSTR. We sat down with Sammy and Danny from the band at Slam Dunk Festival to discuss their debut album and how they feel being a part of the UK pop-punk scene.

You played on the Impericon stage earlier today, how did it all go?

Sammy: Yeah it was amazing.

Danny: So sick. The crowd were insane it was awesome.

What does Slam Dunk mean to you as a band?

S: It’s surreal being on the other side. We’ve been coming for years now and it’s grown so much, it’s weird even seeing it this big, but playing it when it’s this big is even weirder. It’s amazing.

You’ve been teasing fans with the news of your debut album, so what can you tell us about it?

S: Absolutely nothing. We got in loads of trouble for teasing it, because we don’t even have any information about it, genuinely don’t. What we can say is, we’ve done our part and it’s finished, we’ve recorded it.

How does it develop from the EP?

S: It’s longer.

More songs! That’s always good

D: It’s definitely a step up.

S: It’s a big step up.

Do you think there will be any surprises?

S: Yeah maybe!

D: I think so.

The UK pop-punk scene is thriving right now and you guys are doing pretty damn well for yourselves. How do you feel being a part of the scene? It’s had its criticisms, but then it also seems like a close-knit family as well.

S: Yeah it is for sure. We’ve been really lucky to get good shows from the start, we were on Pinky Swear Fest and everyone was really nice to us. We met Boston Manor, ROAM, Trash Boat and they welcomed us straight away.

D: Everyone was just so cool.

S: There was no like, “who are these guys,” do you know what I mean? When in previous scenes it’s been a bit like, you don’t talk to people and you have to stay back from those who are a bit more arrogant, and there was more rivalry. We got the odd band that don’t seem to like us, but none we’re bothered about.

D: We don’t have a problem with anyone to be fair, we just get on with it.

Some say the scene is a little oversaturated, because pop-punk has become such a successful genre, is that something you agree with?

S: No, I don’t think there’s actually that many UK bands doing it. There’s everyone playing here and a few more, but not many really doing it to a ‘Slam Dunk’ level. I don’t think it’s oversaturated, I think there’s room.

Supporting new and smaller bands has never been more important, so what advice would you give to the music fans for them to really help you (and the other bands in the scene) out?

S: Just come to shows.

D: Come to shows, learn the words, buy the merch.

S: Mainly just come to shows, support the scene. If there’s a local band in your area, go and check them out, it’s probably not going to be much money and you’ll probably have a good night.

D: The more people that support, the more likely the band will get better shows.

S: Give the bands a chance because there’s loads out there.

It feels like some people have fallen out of love with the live music scene a bit recently.

S: For sure, it happened in Liverpool. It’s picked up recently, there’s a few up and coming bands there.

Anyone you’d recommend?

S: Yeah 100% – From Inside, our merch guy plays guitar for them and they’ve just released a single called ‘Find My Way’ and they seem to be doing really well, it got loads of shares online. I’m not sure what you’d call it, it’s not metal.

D: They’re a bit heavier than us.

S: It’s not pop-punk, it’s pretty different.

D: It’s cool though, definitely go and check it out.

S: Our friends in Loathe as well.

D: They’re sick!

S: They’re amazing, definitely going places.

Cool, we’ll check them out! Finally then, what else can we expect from you this year?

S: An album. There’s more festivals, we’ve got 2000Trees and Butserfest.

D: Destruction Derby as well.

S: Yeah! We’re going back to Europe to play a couple, New Noise and Destruction Derby.

Nice busy summer then! And the album at the end of the year?

D: I’d say just after summer. It’s not set in stone, we haven’t actually got a release date, but around that time.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]