UK pop punk is on fire right now, and leading the way is UNFD‘s latest pop punk imports from Scotland, Woes. The guys have just released their debut album Awful Truth (our review here) and I had the chance to catch up with frontman DJ to give us the lowdown on one of the best pop punk songs I’ve heard this year, plus the sacrifices they had to make to make this album a reality amidst playing some massive shows in the last year.
Tell us the meaning behind Awful Truth.
It comes about from our last year as a band. We played some massive shows and festivals (Download Festival UK), and on the one hand we’re living the dream. On the other you’re broke, miles away from home, you’re sacrificing your work, career, family life to make music. Awful Truth is about all the sacrifices we had to make to live our dreams.
Your single ‘Money Shoe’ has gotta be one of my fave songs of 2019! It kinda blurs the line between a range of genres – pop punk, RnB and pop. What were you guys inspired by during the creation of that song?
‘Money Shoe’ is an interesting one. When we sat down to write ‘Money Shoe’, we had just come off the European festival circuit in 2018 and we had a couple of songs already for the album, ‘Suburbs’, ‘Fake Friends’, and ‘Awful Truth’, so we kinda knew what direction we wanted the album to go in. What we wanted to do was basically create a song that had everything we want to do on this album into one, and set a benchmark for ourselves to live up to. We set a really high bar for ourselves on this album, and on this song in particular. ‘Money Shoe’ is my favourite song of any musical project that I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Well it’s definitely paid off! Name one song off Awful Truth that you’re keen to see fans get into?
‘Mess’ is the saddest song on the album and this song is the one that probably sounds more like traditional pop punk. It’s got a big chorus, it’s well written and executed, and just makes you feel dead sad. It’s the song that pop punk fans will want to hear.
You just finished a tour with punk rock legends Millencolin, and released a short documentary of your time on that tour.. Did you guys as a band learn any valuable lessons from those guys?
One of the things that we picked up from Millencolin was that they’re a classic punk rock band still filling huge arenas and seeing people all the way back enjoying the show. Being in a rock band, making the transition from playing bars and clubs to bigger arenas, and still making that connection with the audience that translates out into the whole arena.
The other thing that we observed from Millencolin was seeing them onstage and backstage and they’re still best mates, just having fun. When you’re a young band, you’ve got all these opportunities and it’s really easy to get caught up amongst the music industry. You pick these people to be in a band because you like them, you like jamming with them, and at the end of the day that is what should matter the most.
For your Australian fans that are keen as fuck to see you guys play live, how would you describe to them what a typical Woes gig is like?
If we’re in Australia we’re probably way too warm, it’s very sweaty, there’s a lot of energy when we play, we like to dance badly, we tell stupid jokes in between songs, and we always have a good time.
Well, fingers crossed you make it our way soon, in the near future?
Yes! It almost happened last year, we almost did Unify, but we were way too swamped finishing up the album. But hopefully, next January, we can make it work.
Well we can only hope that we’ll see you guys sometime next year! Thanks so much for the chat DJ!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightsTAM)
Awful Truth is out now, through UNFD. Grab a copy here!
Woes – Awful Truth tracklisting
2. Fake Friends
4. Money Shoe
5. Awful Truth
9. Gone Forever