Welsh rockers Neck Deep just hit the world with an exhilarating third studio album, asThe Peace and the Panic packs the quintet’s usual barrage of spiky hooks with a sharper viewpoint of the world around them.
“We’ve matured a bit now and want to talk about some real issues,” says vocalist Ben Barlow.
On the new LP, Neck Deep gives the teenaged side of its fanbase songs to grow with; “Happy Judgement Day” covers socio-political breakdown and sentimental singalong “19 Seventy Sumthin’” was written by Barlow about his parents after his father died while he was away on tour.
“I feel like it’s important, rather than singing about breaking up with your teenage heartthrob,” he says on this week’s #AlternativeFacts podcast. “If we can engage our fans with politics, get them thinking a little bit, that’s doing something good.”
On the political end, The Peace and the Panic deals with the highs and the lows of recent months, through the eyes of the Wrexham natives. “Brexit was kind of like our Trump-gate,” he says. “When that went down, that was a similar feeling of anguish, a similar divide… One half of the country thinking one way, and another thinking the other.”
But then there’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. “He’s like our Bernie!” Barlow says, following his surprising success against conservative Prime minister Theresa May in the UK’s recent general election. “To be honest, Bernie [Sanders] could have done really, really well. I would’ve loved to have seen someone like Bernie in power.”
And there’s plenty more. Listen to the podcast above to hear all five members of Neck Deep — Barlow, guitarists Sam Bowden and Matt West, bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans and drummer Dani Washington — tell tales from Warped Tour 2017, discuss their favorite conspiracy theories, and discuss how they’ve managed to stay on good terms with their significant others as Neck Deep took off.
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