10 Questions With Neck Deep’s Ben Barlow

It’s been days since Neck Deep last graced our nation with everything that isn’t graceful to begin with – loud guitars, punk tunes, lots of moshing and crowdsurfing. And this is how every great punk rock gig should be.

Consisting of members Ben Barlow (lead singer), Sam Bowden (guitar), Fil Thorpe Evans (bass), Dani Washington (drums) and Matt West (guitar), the 5-piece Welsh rock band kickstarted the new year with a bang – touring through Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore in January alone! We here at DANamic.ORG are still reminiscing the good memories created at *SCAPE The Ground Theatre on Jan 27.

In case you haven’t got enough of Neck Deep as well, check out our interview with frontman Ben Barlow, where we discuss the band’s latest album, newly improved music videos, and being a pop punk band that “doesn’t stand out” (although they really do in our hearts).

1. We’re so excited to have you guys here perform here for the first time! What is your impression of Singapore so far?

We’ve only ever stopped over on a connecting flight but the airport was SICK. Flying in and seeing all the ships in the bay and the city skyline was a beautiful sight. I can’t wait to get down on the ground and see what it has to offer. I’ve heard lots of good things!

2. Did you guys ever expect your musical reach to come this far?

NO WAY. I wanted to write a few songs and play a local show or two, now here we are.

3. Are there any other countries the band has not played in, but would love to?

We’re ticking quite a few off with this current tour, I’ve wanted to come to Southeast Asia for a long time. I’d love to go to Spain and play shows, maybe South America too. Brazil would be rad!

4. With the release of latest album, “Life’s Not Out to Get You”, how is this different from previous album “Wishful Thinking”?

It’s just an overall more polished, more thought-out and just generally better album on all fronts. We went to outside producers and recorded everything in a different studio than what we’re used to, so the results were a lot different.

5. What is each member’s most personal songs in the album?

I write all the lyrics so it’s hard to say. I can’t speak for everyone else but I’d say “Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors”, “Gold Steps”, “Can’t Kick Up The Roots” and “Lime St.”.

6. There are also new music videos recently released! How are the newer videos an improvement compared to your older music videos?

Well a lot of our old music videos were very bad. We either filmed them ourselves or worked with people that just straight up didn’t give a shit. This time round, we’ve been working with people who are good at what they do, like the band, and want to make a great looking video. “Gold Steps” has to be my favourite video we ever did; that came out great. We’ve just been stepping it up in every area of our band and that includes music videos.

7. In a previous interview, you guys gave shared that Neck Deep has “nothing new to offer, just playing pop punk”. Is there a reason why you guys are not trying to stand out?

It’s hard to say. Perspectives change a lot. We’re saying that now but who knows, we might do something different in the future. We don’t want to completely corner and label ourselves. But right now we’re happy with where we’re at. We say that now because we don’t want to complicate things or come across as pretentious assholes who’re trying to be something we’re not. We’re a pop punk band and we know it. The more transparent you are with your intentions the easier it is for people connect with you.

8. If none of you are doing music as a living, what would you be doing/working on instead?

I’d probably be writing music in some capacity, I think we all would. But I’d be pursuing a normal life, doing what everyone else is doing, just on the pursuit of happiness, or maybe involved in the tattoo industry, or using my words for TV and film. Fil would be doing art, West maybe something with video games or toys, Dani probably clothes, Sam would be writing music still or doing something hands on, repairing and restoring guitars maybe.

9. Do you prefer to create new album material or tour?

Personally I prefer to write new music, I love touring but the most exciting and challenging part of being in a band is creating music for sure. It’s the epitome of progression and creation, and that’s what we all strive for.

10. If you had to advise a new band trying to make it in the pop punk scene, what advice would you offer?

Just have fun, don’t try and be something you’re not, don’t aim to make it big, just focus on writing good songs and not the other bullshit people think is important. The more genuine you are the better. Do it for the right reasons and stay true to yourselves.

Find Neck Deep online: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Header Image taken from Neck Deep’s Facebook Page

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