We recently caught up with Left In The Wake for a chat – find out what happened below!
Could you introduce yourself, tell me a bit about the band and how it formed?
So, Left in the Wake (LITW) started in 2011 after our drummer (Hans) decided to put a band together, the original line up also included a keyboard player and a different guitarist. I was at the time looking for bands to play guitar or bass in and tried a few bands out but they weren’t really my thing. I then saw an advert looking for a vocalist for melodic metalcore type set up so I went for it and here we are 3 years later without a keyboard player and a completely different sound to how we started. The influences at the time were more metal I guess and you can certainly hear that in the first EPs (our self titled EP and Blind To The Tragedy) but these days, we just play what we want and try not to be bogged down by genres.
Where did the band’s name come from?
The name just came about after lots of ideas that sounded ok but nothing really stuck, we eventually went with Left In The Wake because it suited our style and our sound at the time, but I feel over the years the name kinda represents more these days, especially because of the way we feel as an ambitious band with not too many opportunities in this country/economic climate…Left In The Wake sounds apt.
You recently released your album The Banner We Follow – could you tell us about the writing and recording process for it?
We decided to take our time writing the album and didn’t book studio time until we were happy with everything, we already knew which of the songs from the last EP that we liked and how we wanted to use our existing sound and write a new album with that in mind. But honestly, we just wrote whatever we wanted and tried not to worry about what the genre/sound would be described as. We eventually got back into the studio over December and got all the instruments recorded fairly quickly and we already knew the owner of the studio Alex Cappa (Metal Factory Studios) from the previous EP so it was a fairly familiar feeling for us to be there again.
If you could go back and change anything, would you?
About the album yeah. There’s always things that are out of your control when you’re in a band, some things you can point out to people and they’ll say “nahh it sounds fine” but to you personally, you can hear how it should be in your head and it’s difficult to convince 4 bands members and a producer to change it. Sometimes with music you just have to accept imperfections be what defines you as a band as well as its trademark sound. So personally yeah I would go back and tweak some things but it’s out of my hands and I’m really happy with how it came out.
I’ll also add that we didn’t want to over produce the album, no silly effects on the breaks or singing parts, we like the idea that everything on the album can be done live without a sound guy controlling it all or using backing tracks.
Do you have any interesting stories from the studio?
From the studio no, the studio environment for most bands I think is the most subdued you’ll see a band. I gave up drinking and smoking for 7 days so I wasn’t exactly the life of the party either. There was one that happened during the recording – I stopped Smoking as I said and during my vocal schedule we had to play a gig as well, so 4 days of vocals, a gig then the next day back in the studio for 3 more days of vocals.
My friend bought me a bag of something that his Mum had cultivated shall we say. I said that until I was finished, there would be no smoking. He asked if he could roll one from the stuff he gave me, I said go ahead, he did, then he gave me the bag back. We sat outside the venue, everyone smoking but me and just as we were walking back in, I was stopped by the Secret Police. After some back and forth they took the bag from me and took down my details, but luckily being English in Spain is a lot of paperwork if they want to arrest you so they didn’t follow up, but it just felt like an ironic moment for me – trying to do the right thing, no smokes no booze, and I get caught with a bag of W outside a bar…
What has been your best experience in the business?
I guess it would be the Summer tour we did last year. We went with a band called Memories, also from Madrid who we kinda knew but not that well. We did 9 days in a row across the north of Spain and had some crazy adventures. I think everyone on the tour had the worst and best time of our musical careers and it really pulled the bands closer together, but for me personally it was going to Resurrection Fest (Spanish festival they hold in the north of Spain) a week after finishing the summer tour and seeing loads of people with walking around with our shirts on. We didn’t play the festival but to see so many people representing us at the nation’s biggest metal festival for me was something special.
And finally my last question – if Left In The Wake could put their name to a product, what would you choose and why?
Probably Wake boards, and they could be called Left In The Wake’s Boards or just really strong drugs and alcohol and the brand would be called Left In The Rehab. Or maybe toothpaste…”Left In The Wake Toothpaste. There’s no big reason really, I was just trying to think of terrible things for a metal band to endorse. I personally wouldn’t buy any of them though!