Wednesday 19 September 2012

The Dead Formats // Interview & Debut Album Release

With a punk attitude and a desire to tear down musical boundaries, Essex sextet The Dead Formats are taking the UK by storm, both musically and socially. 
Their debut album "At Sixes And Sevens" was released this week so Est.1987 caught up with the band to chat individuality, musical style and Britishness. 

You’re a band that’s proud to be British and celebrates Britishness. With the Jubilee and the Olympics, Britishness has been the focus of this year; do you feel it’s the perfect time for you guys to have the album out?
We are proud of certain aspects of British Culture, without British music we would not have so many incredible influences to draw from. I wouldn't say this makes us overly patriotic by any means. We embrace many different cultures drawing from Jamaican Roots Reggae and Dub, some U.S Punk Rock as well as U.K's 77. The Olympics was a great celebration of athletes that have worked extremely hard, as is the Paralympics. We didn't write the album to be released to coincide with any of this, it didn't feature in the writing of the record at all.

Your self-titled 2009 mini album received much critical acclaim. Do you feel under any pressure with “At Sixes and Sevens” to live up to that hype?
We didn't really feel any pressure, we've always been pretty laid back, maybe too laid back at times, so when we came to writing the record we saw it as a challenge to better ourselves as song writers. We didn't sit at home worrying what people would think, if you do that you won't make an honest record.

Musically you look back to past punk bands, Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks etc but are careful not to repeat what they’ve already done and always looking to push boundaries; how would you sum up how that comes across on the album?
We've always said we wear our influences on our sleeves, but we quickly realised that if you try and recreate the sounds of those original records you will only ever be that band that sounds like so and so etc. We wanted to create our own sound that wasn't a million miles off but was still distinctly us. I’m not sure if we have pushed any boundaries but you could never say that all our songs sound the same.

You guys are from Essex; how have the sights and sounds of growing up and living there affected your musical style and taste? Has that filtered into the album at all?
I guess it has, but subconsciously more than anything. It's not the easiest place to grow up if you are not into the 'norm' but then I’m sure many places all over the UK could claim that. I'd say it was more the personal experiences and feelings about life in general that has filtered into the album. I think these feelings and emotions would have been there, regardless of where we live

You said of the album that, “We didn’t want to write a record based around the state of the country. But at the same time it becomes hard to ignore when it’s having such a marked effect on us and everyone else”. Do you feel by writing in this way of social realism that it has more resonance with people and they can relate to it?
Possibly; I don't think I know a single person that doesn't have to worry about their future. I’ve seen good people go down the wrong path because they can't make ends meet. People are getting made redundant, families are struggling, and work is harder to come by than ever. Again this is relevant all over the country so I think it's these things that people can relate to. We are in no way a political band; we say what we see and what we come into contact with, nothing more.

You’ve got a new video “Freaks” coming out; what can we expect from the video and was it fun shooting it?
It was probably the most fun we've ever had! Expect some laughs that’s for sure. We wanted the video to have a positive vibe, to reflect that even if you feel like you’re an outsider it's no bad thing. Individuality is key and we should celebrate these differences because that’s what makes life so interesting. I hope that comes across in the video but just to cheapen things there is a nod to everyone's favourite sitcom in there, I’m sure you will spot it.

You’re playing a special album launch show on 23rd September in London; are there any plans to do a full UK tour anytime soon?
Yes definitely, we are all hyped for the album launch; it's a chance to play the whole record to the people that have stuck with us from day one. We should be out on the road before the end of the year, ruining a venue near you soon!

"At Sixes And Sevens" the debut album is out now.
The Dead Formats play a speical album launch show at The Barfly, London-