Press to MECO talk ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’: “We’re excited for people to hear it.”

Press to MECO talk ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’: “We’re excited for people to hear it.”

By Mark Johnson

Mar 29, 2018 16:57

Back in 2016, in the cozy, quaint press office of Fort Fest, Press to MECO spoke to us jubilantly about their impending trip to the US to record their second full-length record. Having completed the album by the end of 2016, it’s been an agonising wait for the band to release it to the world, but finally the time has come.

Happily, Press to MECO’s second album ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’, is well worth the wait. It’s a bigger, louder, more refined and mature effort, and with such superb quality on show, it’s understandable that the band wanted to wait for the optimal time to release their best work to date. Having spent the majority of 2017 looking for the right label to partner with, the trio had decided to release the record independently back in November, but with a renewed offer from Marshall Records coming in at the last minute, a partnership was finally agreed and the future of the band secured. “We’re all just excited to get it out. We recorded it at the end of 2016 so we’re excited for people to hear it,” drummer Lewis Williams chimes in.

With the backing of Marshall Records, Press to MECO can now move ahead with velocity and ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ is the perfect springboard. The record builds on the genre-bending sound the band crafted on debut ‘Good Intent’, continuing to build catchy riffs, huge choruses and clever timings around their unique three-part vocal harmonies, while managing to cover an even broader base of influences. While the current music scene provided some inspiration for the record’s sound, its influence has been more psychological than musical.

“Blink 182 released their new album at the time we were writing. They released a cool album that showed they’ve still got new ideas, which is a good reminder to yourself that in your mid-twenties you’re far from burnt out. It’s quite good if you start to doubt yourself to think ‘if Blink 182 can still churn out songs, we can get 10 or 12 songs written’. The bands we listen to don’t always show in what we write, so I think the influence is more that the enjoyment of their music makes us want to write, rather than what to write.”

Amongst the bands the trio enjoy, there’s a common denominator. Bassist Adam Roffey names a few in Lamb of God, The Bronx and Every Time I Die, who have all had albums recorded by legendary producer Machine. When the chance arose to work with him, it was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed. “We were introduced to [Machine] through our old label manager and he invited us over because he wanted to do it and we wanted to do it with him,” recalls guitarist Luke Caley. “We were lucky to be able to do it because of how renowned he is for what he does.”

Working with Machine meant heading over to his custom-built studio, The Machine Shop, in Austin, Texas. The remote, unfamiliar surrounding forced the band to work in a different way, which has paid dividends. “We let him in a bit more as a producer, more than we’ve done in the past. We took his comments on board. In terms of recording techniques as well, we did differently by playing a lot more of it live. In terms of the writing, we’ve all grown since the last one, so we’re all more open to trying out different stuff and we had the facility to do that in a good studio. We tried lots of good things.”

With a partnership now formed between the band and Machine, don’t be surprised to see them heading back to the States for future records. “We’d love to [go back]. We work so well together and it’s nice to get away and be in the middle of nowhere, where there are actual vultures threatening to pick off your bones.” It’s certainly a different environment to the band’s London base, as Lewis jokes: “The vultures are a lot more figurative back home. Particularly in this industry.”

Though said in jest, this sentiment about the industry is at the heart of the new record’s title, ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’: “Included in that is the feeling of being jaded by the industry and being in a band, and life itself. But also growing up and becoming ever more disillusioned with your life and how it’s turning out to be and the ways you deal with that. That’s what the album talks about a lot.”

Not only does the new record talk about these topics, it wears them on its album sleeve. The eye-catching artwork was created by Max Malone, who initially approached the band with some ideas, based around his unique collage-centred art style. “We looked at it and thought yeah that’s cool but it’s definitely not right. I did a little bit of further digging and found a piece on his website that gave me an idea. He’s a proper artist – he’s not someone who just kind of draws and makes pretty things. He looks into the context of things and he wanted to work within the themes of the album and the lyrical content, and actually get a piece that reflected lots of stuff on the album. I think he did a really good job of that.”

Though ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ reflects the band’s feelings of being jaded with the world around them, their outward personas often tell a different story. Those who have attended Press to MECO shows, or been to festivals with the band on the bill, will no doubt have seen the trio wandering around in the crowd, checking out support bands, enjoying the community and participating in the scene around them. Where most bands detach themselves by only appearing when they perform, or only interacting with the fans that pay for VIP tour packages, Press to MECO prefer to a more interactive approach. If not for themselves as music performers, then simply as music fans.

“It’s a question of whether or not you want to enjoy yourself while you’re doing this. If you’re playing a festival you’ve got a free ticket to that festival, so you might as well make the most of it. There are a lot of jaded people that say ‘oh I don’t even listen to music anymore’ but I think that’s a boring approach. The industry can change you but you’ve got to try and keep your spark for music alive and you’re only going to do that if you’re enjoying the bands around you.”

With ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ finally getting its long awaited release, the British alternative scene will certainly be getting a new spark in 2018 and with plans to tour soon after, we’re hoping this will be year that Press to MECO blow up. On the strength of this new record, it would be no less than they deserve.

‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ is out March 30 through Marshall Records.