With a sound so dynamic, fresh and intricate as this, it's not surprise Press To Meco have found acclaim and praise from all sides of the spectrum that is the international alternative scene. Just before their headline show at Cheltenham's The Frog And Fiddle we sat down with Lewis Williams (Drums, Vocals) and Luke Caley (Guitar, Vocals) to discuss the importance of touring smaller towns, their latest track 'Easy Life', channeling resentment and frustration, their upcoming material, Marshall Records and most crucially of all, socks.
So you guys are about half way through your headline tour right now, how's it been so far?
Lewis: It's been very good, we haven't done a headline tour for about two years now because we had to cancel our one at the end of last year for the Shinedown one we got offered. When you haven't done your own thing for quite a while you kind of start second guessing if you actually have any fans out there. It's been quite good reaffirmation.
Luke: Yeah, especially as we wanted to do a bunch of B-towns on this run because you so often go to all the main cities and such, it's nice to actually come to the people that are outside of those towns and can't always necessarily travel in to bigger cities. But after not doing your own tour for ages you wonder if anyone cares. Like, if we go and play a show in Huddersfield for example you do wonder if anyone is actually show up. So it's been really humbling this whole tour, it's been great to reconnect with our fanbase and all the shows have been generally great.
So visiting these smaller towns has been fully intentional?
Luke: Yeah that's right. We'll have more new music soon and then we'll do an A-town run, like Leeds, Manchester and all of that stuff next year. It's just been nice to hit all of those smaller places that you can't always do, and especially if we get to support a bigger band the chances are that they'll be doing all of the main cities as well. I think it's really important to keep feeding those areas where you do have bands in the middle of nowhere.
So you released your latest single 'Easy Life' approximately a month ago, what's the reception been like?
Lewis: Yeah, it's been really good. Again, we haven't released anything in quite a while so it's been really great to have something out again and have something new to add into the set. We've been playing a few old ones on this run and a few we've never actually never played so it's been refreshing for us to have those dotted in there and just mixing it up.
Luke: Some nights there's been a clear demographic of what album people are here for. The aim for us with this set is just to make a set that is really fun to play but most importantly one that if you're a fan of our band hopefully we'll give you a good chunk of what you're there for, no matter if it's the first album, the second album or maybe even if it's the EP we released four or so years ago. It's just been so fun playing some of these songs that we haven't played in a long time and really fun playing some songs we've never played.
In regards to the track itself and it's video, there's a much darker tone and vibe present. What was the inspiration and reason behind that?
Lewis: It was the first thing we had written after our last album and again, being a band you're always self-doubting and everything. We were in quite a quiet period and it just came out moody and a bit self reflective on if we still wanted to chase this dream. Ironically enough it was that song that was actually reaffirming. We had a load of fun writing it and we honesty think it's the best we've ever done and we love it. That was kind of the inception of it.
So with that in consideration, is Easy Life an indication of things to come?
Luke: I would say so yeah. A lot of the stuff we've been busy writing is, well, if you've been in a band for a while you can't help but become jaded by your surroundings, the industry, and everything that being in a band at this level encompasses. It feels like maybe for one of the first times, or maybe more significantly than ever the stuff we're writing is becoming a good outlet for those feelings, the angst and the other circumstantial feelings. We just naturally gravitated towards a little bit more of a darker edge and it's not so much in a heavy way. Although saying that there is some stuff we're writing that is definitely sonically heavy. It's just more emotionally charged than we've ever been and I think our version of that is just coming out a bit more darker and moodier. We've always dressed our songs up so melodically happy. Though a lot of stuff has been complexing, or quite angular or dissonant, we've always had kind of nursery rhyme vocals. They're still completely there but they just feel a bit more pissed off.
So going back a few years, you became one of the first bands to be signed to Marshall Records. What was it like being signed to such an illustrious label?
Luke: It's interesting. When we signed to Marshall the label was so in it's infancy, it didn't feel like this huge legacy brand that we were being signed into. Actually, when they first approached us in early 2017 we stepped away from the offer that they give us just because the way they initially set the label up wasn't really going to work with where we were as a band. We just needed a label come and just push this material that we've written. I think about 10 months later they went away to take the label apart, started from the ground up again before reproaching us with a very appealing deal that we couldn't turn down. It's just interesting because they've obviously got such a prestigious name but you're stepping into something that's still just figuring itself out and as the couple of years have gone by they've really developed and got all the assets of the label together. It's a proper unit now.
Lewis: It's still an independent label anyway, but just with the Marshall brand and backing behind it. It's not as corporate as you initially expect or anything. we can literally ring up any member of our team and hash things out directly
Luke: Like telling them we need to change a master at 24 hours before it's going to radio or something like that. And us a band, we really need that level of connection.
Lewis: We're quite personally meticulous about what we put out and the way we do it. There are times when bigger labels can overstep their involvement in someone's artistic process. So having a label where we can be quite clear and strong-headed about what we want to do is great for us.
Even with the label being more independent and intimate than expected, would you say the Marshall branding improves your reach as band?
Luke: 100%. That was a big appeal for us in the first place, other than the fact that in the way of facilities and what they had in place, they where in a position where they could enable us to do what we wanted to do with our album. You really can't take the name Marshall for granted. An allure of the label was the fact that they were going to have some ins that even some slightly bigger labels wouldn’t have just because of who they are. That's actually come true a few times already for us, there's some stuff lined up that's possible just because we're part of Marshall. It was kind of like the cherry on top of the deal that we wanted to go for anyway. Whilst everything is going on and quite normal in the way of an independent label you do have this kind of secret behemoth behind the scenes.
So obviously 2019 is coming to a close, can you disclose any of the things set to come next year?
Lewis: There will 100% be some new music one day. We're literally writing the third album at the moment. Once it's all done we just need to booking in studio time and getting it out there.
Okay, so last question, if you could have form of merch what would it be?
Lewis: Socks. Ours are always wet. Actually, those Mithril socks, the ones where you can just walk around in broken glass and not get cut. We're just a bunch of monkeys and we want to ditch the confines of our shoes. We're all Lord Of The Rings fans so some Mithril socks would be great.
Press To Meco's latest release Here's To The Fatigue is out now via Marshall Records