ASYLUMS

Es­sex rock’n’rollers tak­ing on is­sues and keep­ing it DIY…

Kerrang! (UK) - - Shots! - ASYLUMS’ AL­BUM ALIEN HU­MAN EMO­TIONS IS OUT ON JULY 6 VIA COOL THING. THEY PLAY 2000TREES IN JULY – SEE GIG GUIDE

W hile many bands start out from a place of youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance, for Luke Branch, front­man of Southend’s Asylums, the ori­gins of his band lie in dis­trac­tion from real-life frus­tra­tions.

“It had been a dif­fi­cult time,” Luke says of Asylums’ early days. “I’d tried to buy a house and failed. To cope, I’d sit with my stuff boxedup around me and write songs. Then I went to visit my grandad – he was a crazy old git and up for tak­ing risks. Out of nowhere, he gave me a grand and said, ‘Keep do­ing what you’re do­ing.’ I put the money into a new band and asked my friends if they wanted to join me.”

From there, Luke and his band­mates formed a la­bel, Cool Thing Records, through which they re­leased de­but LP Killer Brain Waves in 2016. But, as Luke ex­plains, that’s just one as­pect of Asylums’ DIY vi­sion.

“We love vinyl, so we’ve had fun with Cool Thing,” Luke says. “We don’t want an in­dus­try ma­chine be­hind us – we want an arts project feel. Our tour driver is a co­me­dian, and when he’s not do­ing gigs, he’s driv­ing us around the coun­try. That sums up our ap­proach.”

It’s an at­ti­tude that feeds into the so­ciallyaware vibe of Asylums’ sec­ond full-length, Alien Hu­man Emo­tions.

“This al­bum talks about so­cial is­sues,” Luke out­lines. “The song Home­owner’s Guilt is about how it’s so fuck­ing dif­fi­cult to find a place to live now. But the main theme across the record is that of de­tach­ment. I’ve felt alien­ated by ev­ery­thing I’ve seen po­lit­i­cally and the ef­fect that’s had on our home­town. The al­bum art is a cou­ple looking at a paint­ing of Earth – that’s where we’re com­ing from; we’re try­ing to make sense of it all through mu­sic.”

How­ever, de­spite the ques­tions Luke is ask­ing about so­ci­ety, he’s keen for Alien Hu­man Emo­tions to leave lis­ten­ers with a sense of hope. Love and un­der­stand­ing, he says, con­quer all.

“We want our mu­sic to bring peo­ple to­gether,” he says. “If you’re feeling trapped, alone or dis­en­fran­chised, then welcome to the club! It might not feel like it now, but ev­ery­thing will be okay in the end.”

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