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New Music: Morale

Rock has been in dire need of some new blood and thankfully there are some new bands on the horizon who are on their way to blasting our eardrums full of the heavy riffs we all love. I recently came across an up and coming band out of the UK called Morale and they are definitely worth the listen. Heavy influences of Nu Metal and Grunge are apparent in their tracks coupled with great vocals, expressive guitars, and heavy drums, they are well on their way to making a name for themselves in the industry.

I spoke to the three bandmates from Guildford about how they formed and what their music means to them.

Salute: I stumbled upon you guys on Instagram, and I have to say I was blown away by your sound! You definitely have the nostalgia of a band from the late 90’s early 2000 ’s which specific musicians have influenced each of you whether it be with writing or playing style?

Simon: This is always such a hard question to put into writing because I could go on for days.  I’d say my upbringing was heavily influenced and shaped by Dave Grohl, Billy Joe and Tom DeLonge.  In my early teens Green Day  Dookie and Silverchair Freak Show were my real introduction to playing and shortly after Blink 182 came into the picture.  Tom became my guy for years, I was obsessed with Blink and the Urethra Chronicles on VHS was all I could watch, but Dave has really stood the test of time for me, he is my idol and sets such a great example for musicians everywhere.  We were really lucky to grow up through the explosion of rock sub genres in the early 2000s, we just had so much at our doorstep, Pop Punk/Nu Metal/Post Hardcore/Screamo/Metalcore, man it was all so fresh and exciting, and this really evolved my song writing.  To name a few, Foo Fighters, Underoath, Alexisonfire and Deftones are some of my main influences.

Josh: I picked up the bass initially as a wide-eyed 14-year-old boy aspiring to be Mark Hoppus, then my taste swiftly evolved the more I learnt about punk rock music. I started to gain heavy influence from Fat Mike of NOFX because of his fast, exciting, unique playing style. As I got older, I broadened my horizons, discovering bands like Incubus, Jimmy Eat World and Rage Against the Machine. For me, these are the artists who motivated me to keep playing and ultimately to reconnect with the boys after we’d drifted apart over the years.

Toby: When I was about 12, I was given a stack of metal and rock records which opened up my ears and mind to a whole new world of music I didn’t realize I was missing in my life. These albums really shaped who I am and heavily influenced my playing. The likes of Dave Grohl (Nirvana), David Silveria (Korn) and Joey Jordison’s (Slipknot) playing were amongst the drummers that stood out for me at the time. Had a lot of fun blasting out these records during a break at school in the common room until the religious studies teacher walked in while a super explicit song by Korn was blaring out. They made an example of me by forcing me to read a short essay as to why I shouldn’t be listening to these bands in front of the whole school during assembly one morning, but that didn’t stop me.

Left: Toby Lane (Drums) Center: Simon Harvey (Vocals/Guitar) Right: Josh Manley (Bass)

Salute: You spoke to Depth Magazine about this band being therapeutic for the three of you, what do you like to listen to when you’re not playing yourselves that take you to your “Zen” place?

Simon: For pure ‘Zen’ it’s got to be mellow and atmospheric, although I find therapy and release in screaming out my favourite bangers, nothing sends me away like the liquid style of songs like ‘Sextape’ by Deftones, ‘Murder Your Memory by Title Fight and ‘Sugar for The Pill’ by Slowdive.

Josh: Music isn’t generally something that takes me to a “zen” place in the conventional sense… though I would say there’s something therapeutic about screaming along to PUP on the drive home after a stressful day at work!  It’s actually more those high-energy, emotive songs that help me find a way back to reality; listening to something loud and raw rather than quiet and contemplative acts as a kind of self-made therapy session. “Reiði” by Black Foxxes is what I’ve got playing on repeat in my car right now.

Toby: It depends on what mood I’m in and what I’m doing really. It may take a couple of different genres to get something that sits right in that situation. Through the week while I’m driving, I seem to reach for the more thrashy/death metal side of things, Revocations Teratogenesis has had a lot of spins recently. Or a chilled Sunday morning would need some low fi/ trip-hop to complement the vibe. So, whatever’s going on I get to my happy place with the help many different genres

Salute: Simon, you said that you three reconnected through music after years apart, can you tell me a bit about how you guys initially got back together? Did you see each other out one night and decide to hang out again?

Simon: We all lost sight of our roots in music as we broke into our twenties, getting consumed by jobs and different interests, we all sort of lost contact and I fell out of touch with myself big time.  I was acting, playing along to the tune of society and I’m just glad I figured it out sooner rather than later.  I reached out to Josh about starting up a band to get back to it and also help rediscover myself, little did I know he was in a similar boat.  When thinking of a drummer there was only one name on our mind, although we hadn’t really heard from him/reached out to him in almost 8 years, he was the best drummer we knew and a big part of our teenage life.  We found out he had been in a dark place for a long while, but had started to turn things around, so we saw this band as a real opportunity to start fresh and move forward.  

Salute:   Explain to me your writing process? Do you guys hole up in the studio for days like some, or do ideas come to you on the fly?

Simon: I would say for the most part ideas come on the fly, I’m always logging bits in my voice memo on my phone anywhere I am, whether it’s a melody or a phrase etc.  I find its best to start with an impulsive idea than try to sit down and force something out.  Once the juices are flowing we’ll get together and session it!!

Salute:   In a previous interview, you three spoke briefly about the meanings behind your songs and that they might not always be about the obvious. What is the meaning behind “Hold Me Down”?

Simon: Hold Me Down is a song for everyone out there who struggles with their inner demons.  Sometimes these things get buried/hidden from day to day life and it can cast a shadow over you and your true self.  This is a song about finding the strength and digging deep to face it head on and overcome it.

Salute: You have three singles out on Spotify, is there an album in the works? What can we expect from you in 2019?

Simon: We’re looking to see these tracks off with a fourth to create an EP which should come in the summer, other than that we’re just focussing on gigs and getting out and about really, it’s been a lot of fun getting back to music, and we’re just gonna enjoy everything as it comes.

We are looking forward to hearing more from these three in the near future. Click the link below to check out more tracks from Morale and to view their new video for Hold Me Down.

Listen to Morale on Spotify

View the brand new video for Morale’s single “Hold Me Down” below via YouTube

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