Interview with Constructor


South Wales Hardcore/punk band Constructor are one of our favourite bands right now, their latest EP, MMXIII, is a great piece of melodic aggression and the band are famed for their intense live shows.

We caught up with Constructor, who are Ben Jones – Vocals, Andrew Slattery – Guitars/vocals, Simon Hughes – Guitar, James Reed – Bass and Nick Williams on Drums.

Who are you and what do you do?  Ben – ‘my name is Ben I am the vocalist of Constructor’

Simon – ‘Simon I play guitar’

James – ‘James – bassist/vocalist/large forehead’

Where did the bands name come from?  Ben – ‘The bands name was thought up by our guitarist Andrew; we wanted something short and positive. to me the name symbolizes what we are trying to achieve. We are trying to build something that we all share a passion for’

James – ‘We wanted a name that didn’t bring to mind any certain genre, so we scrapped ‘she lives in winter’ and went with constructor’

How did you get started?  After past projects ended, Andrew and James started working on ideas at the end of 2011. I was asked if I wanted to be a part of it, and instantly loved what they were doing. After a lengthy search we found Nick who was the ideal drummer for us, his introduction to the band altered the sound more to what we are today. Imedeatley we spent time writing and recording our first EP Secrets and then gained Simon at the end of 2012 to complete the line up.

What have you got going on at the moment?  We have just Released our new EP MMXIII (or 2013 if you’re not a Roman) and a music video for the single ‘Wretch’ and playing a number of shows to promote that

Favourite music and why?  Ben – ‘Personally I enjoy anything fast and heavy, generally hardcore. But any band that puts their all into what they do has my attention’

Simon – ‘Big fan of post-rock/drone music, it provides a level of escapism which is incomparable to other genres for me’

Favourite book and why?  Ben – ‘More of a comic reader, but if we are talking Novels ‘do androids dream of electric sheep?’ has to be one of the top 3 because BLADE RUNNER, need I say more?’

Simon – ‘I haven’t finished it yet but I am currently reading 1984 by George Orwell, I’m massively late to the reading party but this is blowing my mind!’

Favourite film and why?  Ben – ‘Tough one, cant pick one, but of last year Cabin In The Woods was definitely a stand out film, as a horror and comedy fan it was just ridiculous enough to work, Joss Whedon knows his shit. ‘

Simon – ‘Favourite film would by Wes Anderson’s ‘The Royal Tennenbaums’. I find each of the characters painfully alone despite being surrounded constantly by the people who love them the most.’

Best experience in the business?  James – ‘The term business bothers me, if music is business the being in a band is a job and we all hate our jobs, music is art and art is passion and therefore should never be compared to a job.

Ben – ‘We haven’t been around very long, but when we turn heads and seeing people genuinely enjoying what we have worked hard on writing. Every show is a great experience’

Why should Soundscape readers care?  Because we feel we have something people will enjoy and we want to get it out to as many people as possible. to share something we feel passionate about with people who can relate to it

Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?  Ben – ‘Our bassists middle name is Danger! I shit you not, we have the legal documents to prove it!’

Simon – ‘As well as being second guitars in Constructor I am also a self employed Photographer/Videographer, I recently shot our début video ‘Wretch”

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  We haven’t toured with this band yet, but visiting cities with some of my best friends is great, the downside being the long drives, lack of showers and sleeping in a moving vehicle that’s never fun. but its all part of the game

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  Ben – ‘Probably standing on the mic lead pulling it out of the mic just as my vocals came in, that was an awkward moment haha’

Simon – ‘Steamy knicks, although not me personally’

James – ‘Most embarrassing thing was recording a song in the wrong tuning because I was too lazy sit sit up and look at the tuner!’

What’s your writing and recording process like?  Ben – ‘Usually someone will bring an idea to the table, as we live in different areas with 2 of us in Cardiff and the other 3 down Swansea/Llanelli. we demo a lot of our ideas in the house and the get sent back and fore between the band until we have something we can work with, then we take it to that practice room where tracks tend to change into something more fleshed out and organic. we’ve always fully written and demoed our tracks before entering the studio so everything is perfected before its recorded’

James – ‘One of us will come up with a basic structure of a song then we all rip it apart and add our bits, making the original writer feel worthless’

What inspires you?  Ben – ‘I get inspiration from a lot of things, from day to day alive. religion or belief (or the lack of) plays a great part at least lyrically in the band from past experiences and its something I have always battled with when I was growing up, coming from a family that was quite religious and through school it was forced on me. I always favoured science over it though don’t get me wrong As a book its a great read, but I wish people didn’t try to apply it to everything they do. if you look back it hasn’t done humanity much good, it should be treated like a book not a weapon. You don’t see harry potter books being used as a reason to go to war. slight tangent there, but yes my personal belief and past experiences are a large part of my inspiration’

Best thing about coming from Wales?  Ben – ‘Right now the music scene is quite great, and there seems to be a great sense of community when it comes to music’

James – ‘Seeing welsh people on Jeremy Kyle, it always fills my heart with pride!’

Who are your role models or idols?  Ben – ‘As a vocalist my role model is probably Keith Buckley, and the whole of Every Time I Die. they have been at it for a long time now and the passion is still as strong as ever, they have always been a step ahead of the scene and I admire them for that’

Simon – ‘From a musical perspective my idol would be Elliott Smith, his music marked a turning point in my life. Interesting fact, I also share the same birthday as him.’

Hardest thing about the current business?  The recession hasn’t done the music scene any good and has affected it drastically, a lot of great even legendary venues have been shut down including of course Barfly and TJ’s, and its happening everywhere, cities are loosing the smaller venues and some of the premium venues due to lack of funds, promoters can’t afford to put on shows as often and its a knock-on effect. There’s just less shows everywhere now so bands find it harder to play enough shows to operate financially. But its something we all have to get over and deal with what we’ve got.

What are your future plans?  We are promoting the new release as much as possible, through touring. and maybe get on some festivals this summer! And as far as writing we are planning a full length album of all new material that we are currently working on.

Favourite Batman actor?  Simon – ‘Bale, who else, seriously?’

Ben – ‘Has to be Bale! Although his Bruce Wayne reminds me a lot of Patrick Bateman! and I am totally okay with that!’

James – ‘ Jim Carey was awesome but the best batman actor ever is John Lewis, he played the third henchman on the left of bane in the final fight scene of rise of the dark knight, he should of win an Oscar and I will not rest until he receives the respect he deserves!’

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