James caught up with Matt West from Neck Deep
before their recent show in Birmingham with We
Are The In Crowd, here’s what he had to
those who are new to Neck Deep can you tell us
how you came together as a band and came up with
the name Neck Deep?
Matt: We used to be in other bands and we had
come back from a tour that was pretty crap,
an were unsure of what to do now, so Ben who
is the brother of a guy we record with (and
now the lead singer of Neck Deep), asked Lloyd
the other guitarist if with wanted to record
some pop punk stuff, so we said yeah and did
a song and that’s how it started. It was
never meant to be more than a bunch of us sat
in a mate’s room, then we put the song
on the internet and its grown grossly out of
proportion from there, so we all jacked our
jobs in. And the name came from a Crucial Dudes
song called Boomroasted, Ben thought it sounded
cool so we used it.
in 2013 you signed to Hopeless Records how did
this come about? And how have you found being
on such a solid record label with such a great
roster of bands?
Matt: Well we booked some cheap holiday on
a last minute deal, Lloyd rang us up one morning
whilst he was skiving in a stock room and was
like “I’ve found flights and a hotel
to Florida for £250 for a week, do you
want to do it?” and we were like YES!
So we thought whilst all 5 of us where going
we may as well try and put on some shows whilst
where out there, so we booked 2 shows with 2
days’ notice and they were packed. From
that, we got allot of attention and they noticed
us and signed us up, and it’s been great,
we couldn’t ask for a better label. We’re
the first British band to be fully signed to
the label too, which is pretty weird.
released your debut album ‘Wishful Thinking’
back in January, how has the album gone down with
your fans and the press so far?
Matt: Really really well, even if people turned
round and where like, its crap, I’d still
like it. But everyone has turned round and said
they’re really enjoying it, which is nice
to see our hard work paying off. I do love the
album, but if everyone universally said what’s
this rubbish then maybe not. *Laughs
did you find the whole writing and recording process
for ‘Wishful Thinking’?
Matt: We have a set writing process, with Lloyd
writing all the guitar parts, then Ben putting
down the vocals, then we’ll put a very
basic drum track down and then Danni will come
in and we’ll re-record the drums with
Danni’s input. It’s just the way
we’ve always worked, I’m yet to
put anything musically to the for front, but
it’s probably for the best as we’d
probably end up sounding like Metallica if I
had my input, *laughs its worked well so far,
and we’ve got as far as we have by doing
this, so if it aint broke don’t fix it.
does this mean you’re not into the music
Matt: No, I love it, it’s the stuff we
all grew up on like Greenday and Blink 182 and
all that, but we all listen to lots of different
things, like Danny for example*who is currently
sat across the room eating Cornflakes from the
box, he’s into allot Metal.
does this mean you’re going downstairs for
the Trvium and Killswitch Engage show tonight?
Matt: Oh we all are, we love Killswitch, definitely!
themes and stories do you cover within the tracks
and which is your favourite track of ‘Wishful
Matt: Ooh, well the old stuff was like girls
and how they’re rubbish and how they split
up with you and things like that, but the new
stuff we’ve tried to cover allot more
lyrically than the normal tropes of the genre.
I think Ben pulled it off perfectly, but then
again I am probably the wrong person to ask
about this as I don’t really know Bens
workings *laughs. My favourite track changes
though, as I’ll keep listening to the
album and it’ll change, cuz I’ll
be like, I love that part, but I think at the
moment its Damsel In Distress as I love playing
spent the majority of January touring solidly
across the UK on your headline tour, how was this?
Matt: We didn’t expect it, but over the
tour we sold out every venue but one which was
so unexpected. One of the highlights for me
was playing out local venue (Central Station,
Wrexham), because when we’ve played there
before in other bands we’ve had like 15
people show up, but 405 people showed up on
the day and I’ve never seen it as busy.
But every show was great, so many people every
night, it was a bit bewildering.
are now back on tour across the UK supporting
We Are The In Crowd, how did this come about and
how have you found the tour so far?
Matt: Fil was talking to Tay at Warped UK,
weren’t you Fil,
Fil: Yeah *laughs, Fil is across the room putting
on his jacket, to go out and get some food.
Matt: Yeah, he was like yeah we’d love
to tour with you guys
Fil: That was before it was happening and confirmed,
and she was like “are you doing it?”
and we were like yeah
Matt: Now were on it, so that’s how
it came about, we met her, pestered her to be
on it and that was that.
FIl: It was weird, because she was like “we
really want you to be on it, have you confirmed
it yet” and we were like yeah, we said
yeah ages ago and were waiting to hear back
if it’s happening.
Matt: Then it materialised it and here we are.
you found the shows?
Matt: It’s cool, its different from the
crowd we normally play too, but it’s great,
say if 5 people coming away from the show check
us out then that’s awesome, it’s
been fun playing bigger rooms than were used
to. It’s also allot stricter with load
ins and outs but its fun.
the end of February you are heading out to America
for a lengthy tour, how much are you looking forward
to this? How different is it playing in the states
than in the UK?
Matt: Well we’ve only really played 2
shows there, so it’s hard to say. But
we have the fun of being from Britain so we
have people coming up and seeing us just because
of where we’re from. It was good last
time we went, and some shows have sold out,
in advance. Like Chicago, that sold out and
got upgraded then it sold out again, so that’s
weird as we didn’t realise we had a fan
base in Chicago. It’s going to be ace,
and we get to eat Taco Bell every day, and the
good Taco Bell not the shit that’s over
that the one in Manchester?
Matt: Yeah it’s shocking, don’t
put yourself through it. When we came back from
the states I thought I’d try it out, and
I nearly ended up crying it was that bad. I
mean if you’ve not had the proper one,
then it might be good, but once you’ve
had the prime Taco Bell to the thing they have
in Manchester, then it’s awful. I wanted
to run a spear campaign to make them get the
good stuff like they have in the states.
you formed as a band you have had a massive journey
in such a short time but what would you say your
main highlight has been so far?
Matt: It’s difficult to say, the acoustic
show in Banquet was cool. As when we started
a year ago we went in to buy some records and
they were like “You should come play in
store” and we were worried that no-one
would turn up, then a year later we were back
to do it and it was packed. But my personal
highlight was America, being far away from home
for the first time and seeing people that far
away know the words to your songs is awesome,
I’d also say Australia too for the same
reasons, but wow factor wise was Florida, as
we’ve played 20 minutes down the road
from home before and no-ones gave a shit, and
then to be that far away its just mind blowing.
it different attitude out there, for smaller groups?
Matt: I think it is, because the music scene
is more unified over there than over here, say
if someone came to our show over here, most
probably wouldn’t go to a hard-core show.
But in America, we played a show with Vices
a down tempo hard-core band from New York, and
people where bothered by the change in music
and moshed along to them just as they had done
to us. The attitude to listening to music over
there seems broader than over here, as it tends
to be people just listen to one genre.
Dani: Isn’t it Vice? Vices was Australia.
Matt: Oh same thing *laughs
Where do you hope to see Neck Deep in a year’s
Matt: Still touring and travelling, hopefully
go to Japan at some point as it’s a personal
life goal. But If I can go there for free with
the band that’d be cool, I just love that
I’m 22 years of age and this is my job,
you got anything in the works for after America?
Matt: Maybe, we can’t really say at the
last random question that we ask every band, if
you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe
which one would you be and why?
Matt: Zebra, every time! In fact is used to
be my favourite animal when I was little, I
used to have zebra teddies and everything. So
I’d pick them because there ace! I mean,
Giraffes have a hassle having that long neck,
I mean if they’re stud up and a gust of
wind comes along a boosh, they’re knocked
over. They do look good fighting, but if they
time it wrong then there head could fly off!
But I’d definitely go for zebra, 100%
of the time, zebras are the way forward, everyone
should be a zebra! Have you seen those zebra
donkey hybrids? The zonkeys, they’re little
zebras, they should make a Shetland zebra that
you could have in your garden, that’d
for your time is there a message for your fans
Cheers for all your support, and thanks for
listening and enjoying the album weather you’ve
bought it or illegally downloaded it, thanks!
Interview by James Daly