With one month to go until Howlfest in Bristol it is time to get to know some of the awesome acts the all day festival has to offer. This time it is the turn of London based rockers Press to MECO. With an acoustic tour already under their belts this year and a wealth of dates to keep them occupied this Summer, it would seem Press to Meco mean business! I caught up with Lewis to talk about Howlfest, supporting grass roots events and the challenges they face being part of the band . . .
How has the acoustic tour been?
It’s been really cool, it’s nice to do something different. The stripped back and intimate vibe allows for a really nice connection with the fans, It’s helped remind us how passionate people are for what we’re doing, which is easy to loose sight of sometimes.
What has the response been like for your new acoustic ep?
It’s gone down well, I think people have enjoyed hearing the reworked versions as they’re pretty far removed from the original. There are certain people who just want new material from us but they can wait! Hah! It’s been nice to have people who might not be into our usual stuff discover the acoustic EP and then begin to enjoy the other albums which they wouldn’t have necessarily given the time to, if they hadn’t had that gateway to ease them in.
You have Howlfest coming up in April. Why do you think it is important these independent events happen?
These types of events are just so good for cultivation of the scene. It helps people realise the amount of talent that resides at the lower levels of the industry and keeps people in touch with bands who might be doing really good things but might not be getting played on the radio 1 rock show (yet). Your new favourite band might be on the bill of one of these events.
What can the Howlfest crowd expect from your set?
Obviously we’re big into harmonies and riffs. We’ve also put together a set were really enjoying playing which includes some songs we haven’t played for a while
When you first started out, what factors would you say contributed to your success?
I think for us we just gigged and gigged and then we toured and toured. Our type of band was never one that would be thrust into the lime light super fast, so we had to slowly build up our fanbase grass roots style. We practiced a lot too, we never had the best recordings early on so we had to prove ourselves when playing live so people didn’t just write us off.
You’ve been going for several years now. What advice would you give to young bands who are trying to break through?
I think you’ve really got to hone your craft in those early days, you don’t want the reputation of “they’re good on record but terrible live” as this doesn’t help when trying to be being taken seriously. Try find a good manager who’s in it for the right reasons. But most importantly just try and write the best songs you can. Also have fun and all that jazz…
What has been the most challenging thing you have had to overcome whilst in the band?
I’m not sure we’ve had anything particularly traumatic happen throughout our career but there are always little hardships or turns of events that pop up throughout everyday band life. I think as you get older and more experienced you get better at dealing with those things or finding a workaround, rather than wallowing or burying your head in the sand… which we all know is very tempting sometimes.
You have a busy Summer ahead. Apart from performing, what else do you enjoy about being on the road?
It’s cool seeing different places, although by now we’ve seen most of England, it’s still fun when you get the opportunity to do some touristy stuff. I also like that you get a good bit of down time to catch up on reading or films you’ve been meaning to watch.
Who are you mostly likely to leave behind? Who is most likely to get you in to trouble?
I’m sure we’ve gone to drive off multiple times and not realised Adam isn’t in the van. We’d never get into any serious trouble as we’re all beautiful angels!
And lastly . . . what are your top 5 festival essentials?
-Phone charger block
-Carmex – You never know when you might get a bit chapped
-Granola bars for when you wake up hungry and so you don’t lose your hard earned muscle gains!
-EARPLUGS – for sleeping and for protection