THE BLACKPOOL LADS STAKED THEIR CLAIM AS ONE OF OUR BRIGHTEST PROSPECTS ON LAST YEAR’S KERRANG! TOUR, BUT 2018 IS ALL SET TO BE EVEN BIGGER, IF THEY GET THEIR WAY. AND YOU WOULDN’T BET AGAINST THEM DOING JUST THAT…
“Pop-punk is a dead genre,” spits Boston Manor frontman Henry Cox.
“I’m bored to tears with it and I think other people will be, too, soon.the pop-punk revival that happened was 10 years ago, so I don’t know why people are still talking about it.”
If you’ve seen the Boston Manor name bandied about over the past couple of years, chances are it’s come with the ‘pop-punk’ label attached. their debut album Be Nothing might have been a slightly darker, more visceral take on the genre, but if you were going to park it anywhere, it would probably be there.
“I’m not that fussed about labels and if you do like pop-punk, I’m not saying your music taste is shit, it’s just my personal preference,” Henry concedes. “and I do think we were a pop-punk band, especially on our earlier material. We’ve branched further away from that the longer we’ve gone on, but it’s entirely subjective.”
Wherever you try to place them, however, Henry can smell change in the air. His own band is, he says, in a current state of flux and he thinks that there are other, more seismic shifts on the way.
“I think this whole thing that we call rock music is changing,” he nods. “the dying embers of what the alternative rock scene has been for the past 20 years are starting to end, and I think there’s no mould set yet for how this genre’s going to evolve. there’s a bunch of bands that are going to start setting their own precedents for this exciting new forefront of what alternative rock music – whatever that means – is going to be.and I want our band to be a part of it.”
Boston Manor’s as-yet-untitled second album, which they’re due to start recording in the States in the next couple of weeks, will be the acid test when it comes to the band’s progression. Henry is a bit cagey when it comes to pinning the sound down, though he does say that it will be “heavier”.
“I THINK ROCK MUSIC IS CHANGING” HENRY COX
“It’s definitely an evolution, which is a little nerve-wracking. It’s different, and I hope that people enjoy it, but even if they don’t I’m really proud of the songs we’ve written,” he adds.
If recent single Drowned In Gold is anything to go by, we’re in for something special.the singer describes the song as a stepping-stone between their debut and the upcoming album, and while it boasts a familiar melodic streak, it also exhibits a more sophisticated, yet visceral pulse.
Have no doubts: Boston Manor are set to make a big splash in 2018.
In 2017, your chances to see Boston Manor on home soil were limited as they toured the U.S. three times, including a summer stint on the penultimate Vans Warped Tour. In fact, Henry says he spent more time in America than he did back in the UK, but there were a couple of very important, landmark appearances on home shores that underlined just what a vital force the quintet have become.
The first was at Slam Dunk, where they turned in a series of explosive, scene-stealing shows. “they were massive audiences that responded to us and it was more than we could ever have hoped for,” grins Henry. “it was a big indicator that we must be doing something right, because people gave a shit. It was like a huge homecoming because we’d been away for so long and I had a fucking blast. We called our parents after we got offstage from the first one, just to tell them how sick it was.”
The second was as part of the Kerrang! Tour that rounded off the year.the jaunt was headlined by Aussies The Amity Affliction, but elsewhere it was a showcase of UK talent, with Casey from Wales, vukovi from Scotland and Boston Manor representing England and their hometown of Blackpool. It would be a push to say they stole Amity’s thunder every night, but if you went to any of the shows, you had to have been impressed by the sheer energy and sense of fervour that they whipped up.
“They were great shows,” Henry says. “because the UK’S such a small place, it’s a melting pot of different sounds and bands, and mixing it up seems to work really well. that’s what Kerrang! does really well, and it was great to be a part of the tour.”
Now it’s about building upon that.and Boston Manor have already come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Henry says that he’d back them as working harder than almost any other act at their level, and that he can count the amount of days he didn’t do any band-related work over the past year on the fingers of two hands. they’ve even done gigs where they’re playing for the soundman and the other acts, and he recalls one show in Wales when they ended up playing a metal all-dayer.
“We played to two guys and they literally had their backs turned to us as if to say, ‘fuck you! You’re not a metal band.’ And then our van broke down on the way home and we had to push it for half a mile through the Welsh countryside. that was a shit day,” Henry laughs.
The early stages of the road to rock stardom can be a mixture of grit and tacky glamour – much like Boston Manor’s hometown in fact.
“Blackpool’s fucking weird, man. Glitter and grit is a great way to describe it,” nods Henry.
“You can see it in the summer and think it’s a booming town, but people don’t see it now when it’s all shuttered up for miles. It’s not the most forgiving place, and it’s not the warmest – in a literal or metaphorical sense. I think it gives you a stiff upper lip kind of vibe, but it also has a long history of entertainment and weirdo culture, and we’re a product of all of that.”
So, that’s where they come from, but where are Boston Manor going?
“We spent a year doing the groundwork, so hopefully this is the year we finally plant our flag in the ground and become a permanent fixture in people’s musical tastes,” says Henry.
That, however, is probably the very least this most exciting of bands can expect…