Microwave: “This whole experience has been so much fun”

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Microwave: “This whole experience has been so much fun”

By Will Whitby

Apr 12, 2017 10:31

It’s all smiles at the merch table as Microwave speak to the fans outside Manchester’s Academy 3 as the Atlanta rockers played their debut UK show. The positive energy hasn’t left the band as they dish out more thanks to appreciative fans. Before the show, Punktastic caught up with their optimistic and enthusiastic bassist, Tyler Hill, to discuss exploring Europe as a band for the first time, going through the kitchen for name ideas and “shooting the shit with Soupy.”

“This whole experience has been so much fun,” Hill smiles backstage. It’s the first time Microwave have toured this side of the Atlantic as they have been opening for pop-punkers Real Friends across the continent for the past few weeks and now embark across the UK.

“We’re still getting used to driving on the other side of the road. It still makes my brain flip backwards and makes us think we’re gonna smash into a head-on collision every other minute,” the bassist divulges into what confuses him about life outside the US.

After touring mainly DIY during the release of their debut album, ‘Stovall’, the band grew onto larger tours with the Wonder Years and Have Mercy. However, as a band, Europe is an entirely different experience. “The second night in Belgium we learnt that everything in the area closed at 6 pm. After the show we’re driving around looking for food for two hours and the only we could find was this vending machine on this side street that sold full loaves of bread.”

It’s been just over six months since their celebrated sophomore album ‘Much Love’ was released on Side One Dummy Records, the band’s first release on a record label. Widely celebrated in the US and UK for its variation in sound, with tracks spread from screamo to indie rock but with a twang of honesty in lyrics that kept emo and pop punk fans listening. “The reaction has been super nice” Hill smiled ear to ear.

The band’s first album ‘Stovall’ was released entirely DIY, but when LA-based Side One Dummy records approached them the process just came naturally according to Hill. “Side One Dummy has done an awesome job of putting it all out. We met their PR and Marketing team just after we put out ‘Stovall’ and we were just shooting the shit with them at first. There were no talks of label signing for months on end.

“We considered putting it out independently again because ‘Stovall’ went quite well. But after talking to people in the industry we thought that we should at least give the label a chance.”

Each member of Microwave had been in bands prior to their creation in 2012. And it was this mixing pot of experiences that gives the album its charm. From grungey opener ‘Roaches’, slightly poppier number ‘Lighterless’, influences of LoFi on the closer ‘Wrong’, uptempo addictive choruses from ‘Drown’ and a big dollop of emo with powerhouse first single ‘Vomit’, it is all testament to the ability and experience within the band to pull off such a varied amount of genres.

“We all had very different influences and the bands all sounded very different” Hill revealed. Drummer Tito Pittard was in emo band Have You Seen My Ghost?, Hill was part of indie-punkers We’re Only Fiction, guitarist Wesley Swanson was in hardcore band Darksided and Nathan was a vocalist in a pop punk band.

“I feel it gives our sound a more unique and varied aspect,” Hill adds who confirmed they were in the early stages of writing a follow-up.

Discussing the process of Nathan forming the skeletons of their songs and then the band fleshing them out, Hill says that touring made the process that bit harder. “When we writing ‘Much Love’ we were in between two big tours with The Wonder Years and Have Mercy. We didn’t get everything we wanted to do done before the tour so we had to tour for four months and then come back later after the tours to add little things and change ideas.”

However touring was very beneficial for the band as it developed their reputation running up to the release of ‘Much Love.’  “We found playing the big rooms with the big bands so beneficial for us. When we were touring DIY we could go on a two-week tour and play to collectively about 300 people. On that Wonder Years tour, we were playing to rooms five times that. It was just crazy,” he recounts.

“There was a day off on The Wonder Years tour and we were all at an Air BnB in nowhere Mississippi. Me and Soupy were shooting the shit on the porch and I was in awe just taking in all his knowledge.”

Reaching the end of PT’s time, Hill joked about what other household appliance they could have called themselves after getting contacted by a band called “Microwaves.”

“It worked out fine but we did go through more ideas. Toaster, blender, potato peeler etc” he joked before adding “Blender sounds the heaviest,” as PT suggested that Potato Peeler sounded like a ska band.

You can catch Microwave on the road with Real Friends at the dates below.

13 BRISTOL Thekla
14 NORWICH Epic Studios
15 SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
16 LONDON Electric Ballroom