- Megan Walder
In Conversation with... The Post Romantics
Hot off the release of their debut EP eden, rising emo-pop stars The Post Romantics, consisting of brothers Connor, Cam & Liam and their childhood best friend Sam have shown once again why they deserve their place on your favourite alternative playlist. Blurring the lines of genre to produce what the band call an 'emo R&B' sound, they have gained a fan base that only seems to be increasing with time, something that is evident at the boys energetic live shows. We sat down with lead singer Connor to have a chat about all things eden and what the boys have been getting up to during the past year.
Hi Connor, nice to see you again, what have we been up to this week?
It might have been last week, but I went to see Kid Brunswick’s (@kidbrunswick) album launch at Notting Hill Arts Club which was pretty nice. This shouldn't be a difficult question... I had my vaccine so that wiped me out for like two days and honestly, just been spending far too much money. I've just moved into a new gaff so I'm kind of getting it all set up, I've been buying random bits, like I bought some photo frames for the wall.
So obviously, Eden has just been released. What has been the reception to it so far?
Yes, it's been nice, man. It is nice to see all the people that sort of got into us a couple of years back messaging us and just letting us know that they really like the EP and the new direction that we're pushing things in a little bit, it's nice that they're still on board. You know, obviously, this year has been a weird one and we haven't released any music for like the past 12 months, so to come back and get back in touch with everyone with a longer project, it's a little bit weird but it's dead nice that everyone has been really lovely about it.
Yeah. Do you feel like this debut EP has been a long time coming? Do you feel like your sound has massively changed since your first single Call It Off?
Yeah, massively, massively. Call It Off, we don't even play it anymore so, that kind of says it all. Don’t get me wrong, it's still a fucking bop… there's no denying that, but yeah, sonically we found a way to combine all of our influences into something that's a little bit more unique and doesn't really fit a single genre. Whereas Call It Off definitely did. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all, our sound has just changed massively because we figured out how to tap into all our influences rather than just sticking to one way.
"We found a way to combine all of our influences into something that's a little bit more unique and doesn't really fit a single genre." - Connor Cockbain
I guess the use of samplings come in handy with that. You're featuring a lot more sampling on this EP aren't you?
Yeah, definitely and I think that, that comes from those influences. We always listened to hip-hop and R&B, but as a band that played guitars and instruments and dressed like lil emos, we didn't include those things in the same sort of way. The more we tested ourselves and pushed ourselves, it was like, okay, let's make music that we want to listen to. We had to learn how to do all of those things like, figuring out how to sample and how to do things in the same way that hip-hop artists do, using 808s instead of traditional bass lines. We basically wrote all of the songs that way, we built up the tracks from samples and then added in guitars, and all the drums over the top of it, that was how we kind of blended things in. But yeah, this whole EP was basically us making beats and writing over them which has definitely become a more important part of our sound now. There was only one song that was written on guitar for the whole EP.
Which one was that?
Useless, which again, was a really weird one because I wrote that song like three times, there's like three different versions, and all of them are completely different, but that was the only one that I started on guitar. I remember when I wrote it, I just came up with that lyric, "I'm so used to being used but I've never felt so useless" and then I came up with a baseline to go under it. Cam and Liam were just stood in the kitchen whilst I was playing it on guitar, figuring out where to go, so that's the only time we started something on guitar.
Is Useless the one that you find most personal to perform? Because it's quite a vulnerable song from the EP.
Yeah, definitely. I mean, it is my favourite song on the EP but for precisely that reason. It means a lot, the whole EP was a cathartic process with us just trying to figure out a bunch of stuff for ourselves. That one particularly was allowing ourselves to be a little bit more vulnerable than we have been in the past.
Does that mirror the year of silence from the band? Did it impact your output in terms of vulnerability?
Yeah, it had a huge impact. Last year, obviously, was really hard for everyone but I personally found myself in a very bad place. The EP was me and the lads trying to snap out of that and express all of those feelings, so that we could look at where we want to be.
That was where the whole Eden idea came from. It was this imaginative, hypothetical paradise that we were trying to attain. We had to break down all of the things that were getting in the way of us finding that happiness and that was what the whole process was. It was being in a really shitty place and having to talk about that so that we could get over and honestly it helped massively. I feel a lot better about all of those things now because I had that cathartic experience. I got to externalise those internal thoughts. Perks of being a songwriter.
Has it been a 360, going from writing the songs in such a difficult place to performing them in such a positive mindset?
You know what, we've only done one show with the EP so far and that was just at the turning point of lockdown lifting, so it was still seated. It felt a little bit detached but it did definitely feel positive and it feels positive being able to speak about it in this way now. They are all really sad songs but there's a positive message there. It's about talking about these things and getting over it and getting to where you want to be. I think once we are fully able to stand in front of a crowd that's two inches away and share that feeling together, I think that'll be the moment that I absolutely love or it'll make me really upset. We shall see which one it is. We used to have a song called Bittersweet, I remember playing that in London at one gig and that was such an emotional song, it was an overwhelming moment. There's something very different about playing music to people, in front of people than sitting at home and writing about it in your bedroom.
"It's about talking about these things and getting over it and getting to where you want to be." - Connor Cockbain
I can imagine it's a challenge, because it's not just musicians that are struggling getting on that stage, but fans going to a gig have also suffered.
Yeah, that Kid Brunswick show last week felt weird. We were allowed to do all of those things again and loads of people that I've spoken to about it all have that anxious feeling about getting back to normal, and whether we're in a position to do so. It's going to be a learning curve for all of us getting back into it.
I guess as normality returns so do new opportunities and new experiences. You're continuing your pursuit of music and branching out to a different sound, but as you do that do you feel that your label, DEADBOY$CLUB, will grow alongside the band?
Yeah. We made DEADBOY$CLUB so that we could help out people in scene around us. Those who are just starting out, that don't have access to information we do now. Obviously, we've been around for a while, we've made mistakes and learned a lot about the industry of music at the same time. DEADBOY$CLUB is always something we're going to do, and we definitely want to branch out. The band's always been our main focus, but there's times that we can offer people a helping hand. So, we're going to continue pushing forward with that. If we can help someone get two steps closer to their dream, then we'd be very happy.
At the moment we're seeing a lot of people follow suit with that idea of taking their expertise and lifting other people up, like Creative Street Studios (@thecreativestreetstudio), which you obviously used recently.
Marieke (@mariekemacklon) is amazing. As soon as we saw that she was opening that studio and she was building a space for creatives to be creative, of course we wanted to be involved in that. But yeah, she was a gem. The studio is amazing. We had an absolute ball, she was so accommodating and we shot the whole LEFT4DEAD! video there in a day.
Yes, Shan (@shandanun) did an unreal job with the photos.
Yeah, she filmed most of it. I directed it all and Shan shot it. Dream team. We had Ruby Long (@rubyalicialong) there to help set up and sort out the lights. Sam, our drummer, edited the whole thing. It was a big 'ol team effort. It was nice, we've never actually shot a proper music video before.
I can imagine that was unreal. Not only is it your debut EP, but it's your debut, as you call it "proper", music video and everyone was involved!
We've always been a 'do it yourself' sort of band with everything that we have done up until this point. We've been in studios and recorded with people, which has been amazing, but this EP, we wrote everything, recorded everything, mixed everything, mastered everything, all ourselves. Obviously, it was the height of lockdown so we didn't really have much choice, but I felt like getting to shoot that video and having people around us, all working towards our vision. Yeah, that was a really nice moment of just being in the same room as creative people.
A family affair.
It feels wrong to say three brothers and Sam, you're four aren't you.
Yeah, he is the adopted brother. He literally lives at our house. He spent the entirety of lockdown at ours. I mean, me and Sam have known each other since year eight. We started playing in our first band and I've never had another drummer. He basically is the adopted fourth brother.
Am I right in thinking that you've introduced more of Cam and Liam's vocals recently?
Yeah, actually. I'm not sure if they sang on this EP, but they sing live. The beauty of us being brothers is that harmonies are dead easy because we all sound the same. Cam and Liam sound literally identical, it's scary… But yeah, in the live set we've introduced more of them singing, like they've always been able to sing but the new sound lends itself for different voices. Even recording wise, we have some songs in the bank that we haven't released yet where they heavily feature. I do like being the centre of attention, but they're both very talented, so sometimes it's nice to step out of the spotlight for a minute.
Pass the baton?
Yeah sort of, maybe more lend the baton…
Last question, super, super, boring question. If you weren't a musician, what else would you be doing?
Oh, God. I always wanted to be a vet, but I did get kicked out of college so that's when I kind of came to terms with the fact that that was never going to happen, but honestly, I think I'd probably have gone through life going job to job. I'd have wanted to be a vet for a bit and then a hairdresser, maybe teaching for a bit. If I wasn't so enamoured by music, then there's nothing else that that I'm that passionate about, so I'd have probably just not been that arsed.
You can stream The Post Romantics new EP eden here on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube & all other streaming sites and check out their music video for LEFT4DEAD! below.
Connect with The Post Romantics