"I feel like I have now found my feet and learned how to stand up for myself"
Photo: Derek Bremner
It's been an incredible couple of years for Out Of Love, despite them not being able to do exactly what they wanted for half of it.
Kicking off at the start of 2020, and only getting to play their first shows in September last year, their snotty, self-deprecating and insatiable take on pop-punk has seen them become one of the UK's most wonderfully exciting new bands currently making their way through the underground. And with their recent discography compilation 'So Far, So Good', you can see how much has changed and grown over this period of time, and set them up for an exciting future.
To track how things have changed for them, we sat down with vocalist Jack Rogers and looked back over how they have got here...
Compared to where you are now, how do you feel when you reflect on how things were when the band was just an idea?
"I would never have expected it to be like what it is now. This band was always supposed to be five best friends playing in a band and getting to play shows with other friends. We didn’t have any expectations with labels or press or touring; it was just getting in those rooms and playing shows with friends put on by friends. All about having a good time and having fun. And if anybody would have told us we would be going on tour with A Wilhelm Scream or supporting bands like Superheaven, I wouldn’t have believed them. It’s all been such a massive surprise for us. The band has never had a grand goal, and because of that, it has surpassed everything we thought it would do for us."
And at that first moment, you were just trying to get some particular feelings out of your head and onto paper. But then you start to realise that people gravitate towards those songs because they feel the same way as you. How has that been to get your head around?
"During the making and release of the first EP, I was very self-conscious about it, as it’s something I had never done before. I have always been the person in the background when it came to being in a band, never at the forefront. But the whole experience of being at the front of this band, playing those shows and meeting so many people has made me feel much less of an absolute nutcase. It’s so cool to have people be able to take these songs and relate to them as black and white as it does to me, or take little bits and put it into their situations. Those are the sorts of bands I liked listening to when I was growing up. Anyone can do it, relate to it, and see where it is coming from."
You don’t want to add more layers to something you are trying to unravel…
"Exactly. I want people to see this band and think, ‘I can definitely do that myself’. I want to give them the confidence to do what they want. They can write three chords, write something down that is bothering them and play it and know that someone else in that room feels exactly the same way. And the cycle continues. The topics that we talk about don’t ever go away. They come in waves. So it’s just so helpful to know that you aren’t the only psychopath in the world, and that you can share that with people who understand as well. Everyone is going to have a take on what you’re talking about."
When you consider your discography as a whole piece of work, like you put together on ‘So Far, So Good’, how does it make you feel seeing where it ebbs and flows?
"I think it fits together as a whole piece much better than we ever anticipated. I think it would be all janky and disconnected, but I feel like there is an ongoing flow through every song. We touch on topics throughout that can relate to and feel similar to and don’t stray far from the original point of the band. It’s nice to see the journey mapped out so far, where you can see where we were at each point. You can see the progression and also see where we may go in the future."
With a song like ‘Pity’ being one of the newest of the bunch and the way it refuses to wallow in the feelings you have presented in the past, it’s a nice showing of how far you have come mentally within this process. It’s a significant jumping-off point for what the future could hold as well…
"Two years ago, I was in a much different headspace to the one I am in now, and my confidence has come to a whole new level because of this band in that time. That’s not just in the band. That’s outside of it as well. I’ve always been a shy dude and never wanted to be the centre of attention, and this band has made it much easier for me to talk to people. And a song like ‘Pity’, you can definitely see the growth from the beginning, where I was more self-deprecating and sarcastic about the state of the world and myself. I feel like I have now found my feet and learned how to stand up for myself, even though it is still difficult."
It’s important to know that you can learn and grow from the things that eat you from the inside. But also, these are things that have been the same for years for so many people and have been singing about for years as well. But there’s something different about now, where you know that you don’t have to sit in your sadness for the sake of your art…
"I always wanted to be a positive force out of the negative things that we write about. I can’t imagine being in one of those melodic hardcore bands that made their career out of singing about really personal things, and then people expect you to keep on writing and sharing in the same way. The thought of regurgitating that every night for months on end must be hard and terrible. This band is a place to talk about those things, but I always want to have some sort of positivity thrown in there as well. Even a bit of sarcasm. It should never be too of a punishing listen."
You’ve had a huge DIY approach to every other aspect of the band and the music. Be that creating music videos or the artwork and everything in-between, does that add something else special to the band that you wouldn’t get if somebody else were doing it?
"I think so. I look back, once again, to how those things looked at the start of the band and then compare it to now, where I feel like I’m able to produce a much better quality product. That’s only gotten better because of doing work for other bands and becoming more confident in doing it. It’s given me the boost I needed to feel like I can do it as a career as well, rather than just a side hustle. It feels pretty amazing to keep feeling creative and on my toes. I will only outsource to someone who I know will do a better job than me, and I love collaborating with people on cool things. So even within that, it will still always stay DIY."
And how does it feel as you consider the future and hold that up against how far you have come? What are you most excited about?
"It doesn’t feel real, really. It feels a bit like a weight has been lifted, and I can look at our schedule and feel like we can be a real band. In my head, we weren’t a real band until we were able to play shows, because that’s what the whole point of this was. And as we consider the distant future, I think that we are still going to do what we have been doing up until now. There are still no goals, so playing shows, writing songs and doing what we do best is what we will do."