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Oli Sykes: I’ve Learned The Hard Way, But At Least I’ve Learned

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 11 December 2013 at 14.36

Bring Me The Horizon’s frontman talks about a renewed love for music, touring and the band’s best year yet.

What was it like being on the inside of the biggest stories of 2013? In the latest issue we are taking an exclusive and uncensored look behind the scenes as some of the most recognisable faces in rock bare their souls for all to see. Get a taste of the extensive feature below and head to this link to get the full story in Rock Sound Issue 182.


Has your attitude towards touring changed?
"Yes, definitely. With touring in general, I’ve rediscovered what’s important, why it’s worth doing. I lost sight of that at one point in my life, music wasn’t the first thing, the shows weren’t the most important thing to me. This time I realised that’s what it’s all about, it’s all about the shows. It’s a disappointment when we have a day off, and that’s how it should be. It’s too easy to get your head into other places, but this time it felt like I’d gone back to when I started doing it, how it used to feel."

You put in a lot of work on your voice this time around – how liberating was it for you to be able to showcase that?
"Going out there and singing these songs, hearing people screaming them back, it’s the best kind of therapy you could have. Our fans have always been - I hate to use that word, ‘fans’, like, kids who listen to our music – have always been passionate about our band, but this time it felt totally different, like people connected with what I was saying. I’ve had people saying ‘you’ve helped me through bad times’, but I don’t think they realise how much it means to me, that so many people actually get what I’m talking about. It makes me feel like less of a maniac! Obviously what they’re relating to is probably completely different to what I went through, and vice versa, but if they can take what I’m saying and apply it to their lives, it makes me feel better about the situations I’m going through. It’s too good to be true, almost."

How did bringing Jordan (Fish, programming/keys) on board change things for you?
"He helped me a lot personally, and with my singing especially. He came in and allowed us to do all the stuff we’ve always wanted to do with our band, gave us that capability. I didn’t know how to sing a note before he came along, he’s a bit of a wizard in that department, so he really helped me learn how to sing. Him helping and pushing me along was a big influence. He’s a huge part of what the band is now."

Have there been any particular moments that stand out for you this year?
"Playing the Main Stage at Reading was amazing. I was thinking back to five years back, when we’d played the same stage at Reading, and it had been a disaster. We got a torrent of abuse and shit thrown at us for forty minutes, and for the reaction to change so completely in five just don’t often see that with bands, you know? It’s a complete turnaround, so that definitely struck me. It so bizarre how far we’ve come."

Is there anything about this year that you would have changed?
"It’s hard to say, because I’m so happy with where I am right now. There have been some ups and downs, but I don’t think things could have worked out any better, really."

Have you picked up any tricks for staying sane on the road recently?
"I’ve put myself back into my work, getting heavily involved with my clothing line and some other side projects. We’re actually going out and exploring all these amazing places on tour, because as mad as it sounds, that isn’t something we used to do. We used to keep ourselves to ourselves, stay in the dressing room and stay on the internet. Now, things are very different, and it makes touring 100% better. It’s all connected...if you go too hard and drink too much, the next day you’re hungover and you don’t want to do anything. That time off helped us all reset, helped us appreciate what we have."

With the record being such a personal and honest document, are there any particular lyrics or meanings from that record that, since release, have become even more resonant or meaningful for you?
"The lyrics to ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ have. I can’t remember how or when I wrote them, but it makes so much sense to me now. The last bit where I’m like ‘I’m scared to get close and I hate to be alone’ perfectly sums up where I was before this record – every lyric in that song is a contradiction of itself, which I didn’t realise at the time. It’s poetic in that sense. It’s weird, because it feels like someone else wrote it."

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