Righteous punk rockers from Southampton who live for the music
Living proof that simply paying homage to your heroes only gets you so far, Our Time Down Here's metamorphosis from accomplished Comeback Kid / Lifetime copyists into something much more interesting over the past four years has been a joy to watch. And now, with new EP 'Last Light' they're basically saying to the world 'HEY - we're going to be around for a very long time, so you might as well get used to it. Also, we're great'.
We're streaming a couple of tunes from 'Last Light' below, and here's a chat with singer Will Gould that explains why young men like to hang out in lay-bys at midnight, screaming until the police come.
When did OTDH start? And when did it go from something fun you did with your friends to something that monopolised your life?
"Our Time Down Here began four years ago in the heart of Southampton's DIY punk rock scene. We toured a bunch and played countless shows but things didn't become as 'serious' until July last year. We decided to save as much money as we could, put down everything, move back in with our parents and hit the road. I would say ultimately though, that while this is now all we do now and that it does completely take over everything, it still very much is something we do for fun with our friends. I think we differ from a lot of the bands we meet in that this isn't just some business for us. As cheesy as it sounds we play music together because it is our lives!"
What was your first tour like?
"Our first tour was with our best friends Take Em Out and was a DIY tour we booked ourselves. It was our first time on the road and although most of those shows were awful, it was amazing to be playing music every night with our best friends. I remember we hired two vans with six seats between both bands. There were nine people so three had to lay flat in the back of one of the vans with the gear! It was crazy. I'll never forget those dates though; also Ian from Take Em Out would join us on second guitar years later! Weird facts, ha."
Our Time Down Here - 'The Midnight Hour' by RockSoundMagazine
What’s the band’s process for writing songs?
"It seems to vary for the type of song we're writing, really, but we almost always do demos of each song before we hit the studio. When we were writing 'Last Light', Ian and I would sit in my living room while my housemates were at work and record guitar onto midi drums in garage band. In the evening we would drive out into the countryside in his little car, hang a mic over the rear view mirror and track vocals. Numerous times police and farmers interrupted us. Probably wondering why two boys in their 20s were making so much noise at midnight, sat in a Peugeot 106 parked in a lay-by. It makes life so much easier when everyone can hear each other’s ideas a bit more. But as far as the writing itself goes, we have such varied influences and just try to draw from as many as we can."
When you’re playing a show what are your criteria for calling it a good or a bad one?
"A good show for our band is when there is at least one kid that gets it, that connection really is what music is all about for me. I couldn't care less if we're playing to 2 or 200 people; if there is that connection I’m happy. Especially in a genre like hardcore punk where there really is a message, though I guess the jury is still out on whether you could still classify our band as a 'hardcore' band these days. All I know is that we retain the ethics and values of that label; I like to think there is a strong message to each one of our records too. When I was a teenager the bands that mattered most to me didn't play rammed shows to hundreds of kids, but the music hit me in a way that I couldn't explain. I guess that feeling is what we strive to achieve the most at shows we play too."
What do your parents think of OTDH? And how do you describe what you do to family members you don’t see very often?
"My parents have always been very cool with me doing this. My Dad even came to see us play a few months ago when we played his hometown in Portsmouth! My mum also bought our first album from HMV when it came out too, they're both really sweet. The rest of the guys' parents are super cool too. We're in the studio the next few weeks recording a brand new album and Ian's Mum is letting us all stay over! It's more than a bit of a squeeze but we're kind of used to that now."
What’s the worst thing about being in OTDH? And the best?
"The worst thing about being in our band is NEVER having any money, all of it goes on this. Also I don't live anywhere right now which sucks, all my stuff is in a suitcase and I end up crashing at different friends houses or at my Dads every night I’m home.
The best thing about this band is without doubt, playing music with my friends and making new ones all over the world. People have been so good to us! we get so many cool oppurtunities because of people believing in us. We’re so lucky to be doing this and we never take anything we get to do for granted."
Our Time Down Here - 'Tiny Teeth' by RockSoundMagazine