-Interview- Unwired Society (2/19/21)

Unwired Society talks about their Punk sound, dealing with COVID and much more.


From: United Kingdom
Sounds like: Punk

Questions answered by: Dylan (D), Lydia (L), and Max (M).

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Unwired Society" and is there any meaning behind it?

D: I got into music properly when I was 12, I found that I had Green Day songs on my phone and became obsessed, immediately I wanted to start playing Guitar and my dad showed me a few chords but from there I learnt myself. Green Day introduced to all the other punk bands such as Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Buzzcocks etc. My first guitar was a Fender Bullet Stratocaster Squier. I started Unwired Society in 2018, there was an old line up from 2014-2017 but after that version broke up I restarted, when Max and Lydia joined that made it official for me that we are an actual band. The band name came from an old bassist I had after I was talking about what I wanted the meaning behind it to be which was to be basically that we are our own individuals and don’t conform to any society standards and just do our own thing. The best way I look at it is that the Wired Society is where everyone fits in with one another and all look the same and then Unwired is the opposite. Sound wise I started off with a tiny Marshall amp which then upgraded to a Fender Champion 100 then I moved to VOX AC30. Last year I bought a Marshall JCM2000 Head and decided to combine that together with the VOX and I use guitars such as Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Les Paul/Les Paul Junior and I’ll be starting to use my Squier again. I have another band that I’m with Lydia which started out as just her solo project but then developed into kinda a duo. It was a really fun process seeing her songs develop from the first demos and getting to play drums which I don’t do often and getting to add some cool guitar riffs.

L: I got into music by first picking up a ukulele and starting small and learning that, then I thought I should pick up a bass because bass is my favourite instrument! I met Dylan and he gave me the courage to try, he introduced me to a music college and I started a music course (on my second year now) and I started picking it up really quickly, just at that point I started learning and becoming decent- I wanted to make my own little band but it didn’t go anywhere (Violet Descendents) but should soon enough hopefully! I then joined Unwired Society.. My sound has developed from I guess 'bubble-gum alternative electronic' to more rock/alternative and heavier.. I quite like to combine the two though.

M: I’ve been a musician for years. In and out of various projects, notably my consistent solo act ‘Alfonso Conspiracy’. I’d known about Unwired Society through friends and fellow musicians around Hull and when given the opportunity to be the drummer it was a no brainier. I’ve grown up loving the punk sound, being born into a family that loved The Offspring, and Sum 41 etc. When American Idiot came out it really cemented my love for it. Now years on, I incorporate not only my love for all those bands, and newer pop punk bands such as The Story so Far and Knuckle Puck, but the heavier hardcore sound from the mid 2000s with bands like Parkway Drive and Lamb of God. I’ve really brought the fast hard hitting and complex drumming to the already super punk sound, and it spawned what we are today.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

D: That’s a tough one to put into words, I’d say I want people to take a few things away from the music. I want them to feel like we’re directly speaking to them in some way and to feel encouraged, inspired, less alone. Whatever topic we write about I want it to resonate with people in a way that they will remember it even when they aren’t listening to the music. With songs like Wall of Noise I really wanted to vent my frustration with the current state of the UK and I want people who maybe don’t think about politics that much to maybe rethink because in my opinion you can’t just ignore it due to the fact that these things affect us in the long run.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

I would describe us as pre Dookie Green Day/Rancid with a 70’s UK Punk feel.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

D: Green Day, LIFE and Serial Chiller. Touring with Green Day would be a dream come true and Serial Chiller are a band I’m friends with and super cool dudes. I know the dudes in LIFE too and they’re also really cool.

L: Siouxsie, LIFE and Aerial Salad.

M: There are so many...I’d love to tour with friends like Smiling Assassin, Nour and Bloodsport. But to tour with a band like Neck Deep or Good Charlotte would be amazing.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

D: First Lockdown we were getting demos done with Max programming drums as he doesn’t have a kit at home and then we started rehearsing when restrictions had eased down and once the second lockdown hit we took a break but during this third lockdown it’s much like the first where we are getting so much done and writing a lot of new songs. With regards to releases we still have plans for music videos and are finding ways to make it work. I would hope that we’d be able to gig once our planned EP drops but for our next few singles we’re more than happy to release them during lockdown and potentially do some livestreams alongside them so we can at least play to people even if they aren’t there in person.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Punk?

D: Mainstream wise it’s not as huge as it used to be but that happens with any genre of music, it has its highs and lows. Pop Punk has obviously had a bit of a resurgence at the moment but when it comes to the unsigned/independent scene punk is so good at the moment. There’s all kinds of different punk bands from the hardcore to post punk. I try to consume as much from all angles or punk and it seems like there’s so many fantastic bands that deserve more attention. There are bad sides to it such as the genre elitists but that’s pretty much the case with all styles in rock and alternative.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in the UK?

D: It’s fantastic for the most part, it feels really united and full of cool people and it can really feel like one big family, especially the scene we have in our hometown. I personally haven’t had any bad experiences in the scene but I am aware that there are some people that ruin the fun and like to stir drama.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

D: It certainly could be improved, streaming services like Spotify are great and still have potential but it can be very unfair with how it works royalties wise and I feel like if they worked out a more fair system, then the platform could reach its full potential. Bandcamp for example is a great platform that is fair with its artists, having a specific day of Friday where bands get 100% of their royalties.

9. What’s next for Unwired Society?

D: We have two more stand-alone singles to release this year, all keeping in the political themes lyrically and then the plan is to release an EP which is more about myself lyrically. We have material written for beyond the EP too. We are going to be doing some livestreams too to make up for the fact that we can’t gig currently. We have a gig booked for August which will hopefully happen.

10. Any shoutouts?

Shoutouts to Unit 45 Recordings and bands such as: Aerial Salad, LIFE, Serial Chiller, Alice’s Ants, Smiling Assassin, Faux Pas, Low Hummer, Bloodhound, Slackrr, Stay Out, Burning Flag, Whipper Snapper, Swan Prince, No Matter, Filthy Filthy, Brosnan, Low Hummer, King Orange, 6:17, Dividium, Fly the Train, The Matchbox, Modern Mood Swings, The Menstural Cramps and The Avenues.