Photo: Sarah Koury
Since releasing their debut full length Be Nothing in 2016, Boston Manor have been on a trail blaze of success that has culminated in opening the main stage at Download 2018. Shortly after opening the festival we got to sit down with Ash and Jordan to discuss the pre-show jitters, their upcoming album, the UK pop punk scene and getting speared into the mud at a Skrillex show.
Hi guys, what was it like opening the main stage at Download?
Ash: It was terrifying mate, fucking terrifying. We always go to these kind of festivals and we see the main stage acts and we're always like 'holy shit, imagine playing up there one day.'
Jordan: We were playing on such a big stage, it was such a big step up.
Ash: It was just so daunting.
Jordan: We've never done anything like this before, we've never played on stage that big, we're just not used to it.
Ash: But it was a nice difference, you get to see and get to feel the way all your favorite artists used to or still feel whilst they're playing on those types of stages. It's our first time at Download, none of us have been here before, I went to Sonisphere but that was it.
But did you enjoy it?
Jordan: Yeah, I loved it man, I was very nervous at the start and I drank too many energy drinks and too much coffee this morning so I was a bit jittery. But as soon as I got on there and started relaxing I just got into it.
Ash: I think every artist has their own batch of nerves before they go on any stage but they subside and even today I was nervous for a little bit and then half a hour before we were playing I was just ready to go, I was just excited.
Jordan: It was more excitement than fear after a while.
Ash: Yeah it just turned into excitement, you're just more excited to get on stage and play essentially.
So whilst we're on the subject of festivals you guys recently played a few of the Impericon Festivals over in mainland Europe. What was it like playing with a much more heavier lineup?
Jordan: It was quite different, you're playing to a crowd who is mainly fans of heavy music who are there for heavier bands like...who else was playing on that stage again?
Ash: Knocked Loose and that lot.
Jordan: Yeah, to play to load of people who are there for that kind of music was quite scary because you don't know what the reaction is going to be like. When you play a headline show you know people are there for you. But stuff like that, when it's a completely different fan base, you don't know what to expect.
Ash: You don't think anyone is going to turn up because we're obviously not the genre and style they were expecting and they have no idea who we are.
Jordan: The shows weren't as what we're usually used to but it was still good seeing everyone bopping, they weren't going crazy but they were still getting into it and it was nice to see that they accepted us in that kind of realm.
Ash: But they were sick, fucking loads of people turned up.
You used to be, and still are massive players in the UK pop punk scene. Whats your opinions on the current scene?
Ash: It's cool man, that's how we got our band started, we screw up in the UK pop punk scene and it helps out a lot, But with this new stuff, we're not planning on leaving it completely but the style is completely different and I wouldn't call it pop punk.
Jordan: We're not pop punk, especially with this new album drops, it's more rock, straight up rock, English anthemic rock.
Ash: But it's a great scene to build your band on especially if you're up and coming. We still want to keep one foot in the pop punk world whilst starting to move into other areas.
Your new album, Welcome To The Neighborhood drops in September. What was the recording process like?
Jordan: Oh it was great, just great! We recorded with Mike Sapone, who also works with bands like Taking Back Sunday and he's a really sound guy who bought out the best of us, making the songs perfect.
Ash: It was just a fun process, the engineer used to bring us all slippers and take us out to Cheesecake Factory and take us to the cinema. When recording our first album, we were in The Ranch in Southampton which was a little shared room. It was freezing and the general living conditions were really bad. It was fun, but we had to rush the album, it only took us less than two weeks to record it.
Jordan: Yeah at The Ranch we only had less than 2 weeks to do it all, we had to nail it every time. This time we had a month so we were more relaxed and were able to take our time to get things right. It wasn't just the next thing after next thing after next thing.
Ash: It was just a lot of fun. All of us dread going into the studio because it's always a stressful thing but we honestly fucking enjoyed it and after we did it we all just said 'I honestly can't wait to start the process again' to to start the next album. We're planning on working with Mike and our engineer hopefully forever. We felt like we could stick with these guys for a long time.
Speaking of your first album, Be Nothing is almost two years old now. Looking back, how do you feel about it's release?
Jordan: In my personal opinion, it think it was a solid debut and at the time it was the best thing we could have done and we the reaction we got made us confident that we were did actually bring our A game for our first release. It's brought us to places we never thought we would go, we've been to America five times now, we played Warped Tour just through that one album.
Ash: Bought us here as well - main stage Download. We haven't released any new stuff yet so that's been all through that.
Jordan: It's bought us a lot of places so we're completely happy that it was such a good thing for us to start off with. The reaction we got was mind blowing.
Ash: It's definitely not our vibe anymore but it worked for the time. Going back to the pop punk thing, we started of pop punk and we now want to slowly transition our self to a new genre and sound whilst developing it. But it worked for the time being.
Sounds great. So last question, whats the most oddest or memorable thing you've seen at a festival?
Ash: Ohhh, Warped Tour was like two months of festivals every day...
Jordan: Actually, we went to Leeds Festival as well, just a couple of us going three years in a row starting back around 2010...
Ash: Is this about the whole mud thing?
Jordan: We went to watch Skillrex and it was inside the tent and a little pit opened up. We were just jumping about and whatever and for some reason I just looked to my left and some guy was charging at me, like proper spear charging me. He literally just speared me, by the way it was raining and muddy everywhere, and he just slipped 10 feet in the mud with me in tow. I got up and half my body was covered in mud and I had no idea what to do...
Please say it was at least the last day.
Jordan: Oh no, it was the Saturday. I had to go back to my tent, strip down to my boxers, go over the little taps and put each of my body parts underneath the taps just trying to wash it off because I was just caked in mud. If that guy's out there and you're listening to this, you're a fucking dickhead mate.
For your sake I hope he is. Cheers guys!
Boston Manor release Welcome To The Neighborhood on September 7th via Pure Noise Records. In support of the album the group will be heading on a full UK headline tour featuring Microwave, Drug Church and Wallflower. Check out the dates below.