UK trio UNDER has just released their new album, ‘Stop Being Naïve’, a rousing encounter already luring strong praise the way of the Stockport outfit. Elliot Leaver got down to business with the band to explore it and their striking new record. With thanks to him, the guys of Under, and our friend Tom Brumpton, The RingMaster Review now has the pleasure to host what Elliot found out…
For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.
Matt Franklin – Bass and Vocals: We are Under, a truly unlikeable band from Stockport, Greater Manchester. Me on bass, Andy on drums and Mayo on guitar – we all do vocals.
Describe your sound in as few words as possible.
MF: “Uneasy listening”. Heavy, uncomfortable musical sarcasm.
Who are your three biggest influences as a band?
MF: Weed, booze and any music we hate.
What’s the meaning behind your band name?
MF: Under as in “going under”/having a really bad time on drugs.
How did you approach your new album ‘Stop Being Naïve’ in terms of writing and recording?
Did you try anything differently this time around than with previous efforts?
MF: The difference this time was freeing our guitarist Mayo from the producer’s chair. This made the experience more enjoyable for him and that aided our creativity significantly.
What was it like to work with your new producer then?
MF: What was it like to work with Rian Gamble? Amazing! The guy is truly a visionary with his approach. He’s also very organised and laid back which made the experience lots of fun for us. We’re incredibly happy with the work he has done for us.
Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?
MF: For me personally its either “Big Joke” or “P Irving”.
Explain the meaning behind the album title.
MF: It comes from a Stravinsky quote. When audiences reacted badly to his “Rites of Spring” he said they were simply too naïve to understand his work. We thought this was fucking hilarious and stole it. He’s dead now, what’s he going to do?
Describe the concept of the video for the song “TRAITOR’S GATE”.
MF: We wanted to create something that was dark and claustrophobic with a vaguely violent air to it. We made it ourselves in about 3 weeks to meet a deadline after a proper studio let us down last minute – we’re fairly happy with it.
Does it tie in with the themes around the song?
MF: The theme of the song isn’t very specific, it’s just a generally angry lyric about cutting off somebody that has seriously let you down. I think the mood of the music and the footage work well together though.
Was it fun to shoot or did it prove to be quite a challenge?
MF: Some challenges were presented as we have never made a video ourselves before but we actually had a lot of fun making it, despite how it looks!
Do you have any dates lined up at present?
MF: At the time of writing this we are about to play with Atlanta legends WHORES for the second time and we’re very excited for that. We also have Gizzardfest coming up where we play alongside some of our favourite UK heavy bands. We’re also playing the second APF Records Showcase in Manchester in the new year which is destined to be fantastic. Plenty of other shows around the UK dotted around too.
What are your favourite songs to perform live?
MF: It depends entirely on the night. Crowd reaction goes a long way towards my enjoyment of playing a track live and that differs show to show. We have a track off our last album called “Slump” which is always a bit of a goosebumps moment for me.
What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?
MF: It would be hard to choose a best show, we’ve been very lucky to play with lots of great bands to some great crowds. Our tour with Kurokuma was loads of fun though. As for the worst we had this one cursed night… It was a local show with an excellent line-up but if you can name it, it went wrong that night: snapped bass strings, broken bass amp, clueless sound guy, no crowd…
If you could open for anyone, who would it be?
MF: A hologram of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins playing ABBA’s greatest hits backwards.
You recently signed to APF RECORDS, that’s pretty cool!
MF: You haven’t seen our contract… They don’t call Fieldy “Satan” for nothing
Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?
MF: We once performed as a Macc Lads tribute band. It was an in joke that went waaaaaaay too far. In fact, that was probably our best gig!
What’s the plan for the rest of 2018?
MF: Ruin everyone’s year with this album and continue writing our next one.
Any closing comments?
MF: Thanks very much for having us, watch this space for more uneasy listening.
Questions from Elliot Leaver
The RingMaster Review 03/11/2018