With international borders closed off for much of the year, it’s been a little challenging to discover new faves from outside of Australia. But hang on, this is 2020 and the 21st century we’re living in here. We have the glorious Internet with access to Youtube and Spotify to help guide our ears to a few goldmines.
European pop punk outfit Featherweight was my latest find this year, and boy am I stoked for you to get to know them more. The band hail from Madrid, Spain and just released their new EP Never Bloom (our review here). The band are channelling new age pop punk energy as upbeat as heavyweights State Champs and The Story So Far, yet they’re also determined to push musical barriers as far as they can go.
Never Bloom also sees Featherweight teaming up with some international minds to help in delivering the overall message of the EP. Together with Trash Boat’s Tobi Duncan and Bloom’s Jono Hawkey, the band have created a tight collection of songs highlighting the importance of never giving up on hope, and ultimately blooming into the best version of ourselves.
Hey guys! So first up, who is Featherweight and how did you guys come together?
We are an alternative rock band from Madrid, Spain with influences ranging from punk to indie. The project came about two years ago as a result of a trip that Jorge (rhythmic guitar) and Miguel (vocals) made to a festival in the USA. When we returned from the trip, the need arose to form a band similar to those playing at that festival. We soon found Juan (lead guitar) and soon after in concerts of emerging bands Carlos (bass) and Adri (drums).
Who are your top 3 influences?
We love to listen and learn from any kind of music. But bands like Turnover, Boston Manor or Citizen have influenced us quite a bit on this new EP.
We don’t tend to hear of many alternative/punk bands from Spain. What’s the alternative/punk music scene like in Madrid?
Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of very good bands. There is a lot of movement in the underground scene. Perhaps the problem lies not in the lack of groups or talent, but in the difficulties that all these groups encounter in making the leap to the national or international scene. Yawners, Altair, Meeky or Biela are some bands that are making really cool things.
Your latest EP, Never Bloom shows massive promise and potential for the band. Congrats! Tell us about your motivation behind this EP?
Thank you for your kind words! Before starting to shape the songs we were very clear that we wanted to take a step further as a band and we wanted to try new things. We believe that we had the need to tell new experiences through songs, so that’s where the motivation for this new album comes from. Luckily we never settle for anything and we always try to grow as artists and people at all levels.
You guys had us in from your first single on the EP, ‘Overthrown’, which is a killer, standout pop punk track. What’s this song mean to you?
This song is very special to us, as it is the first song of our new stage. It’s probably the most similar song to our first EP, but it’s starting to make a difference. ‘Overthrown’ gives many clues about where we want to go. It reflects sadness, melancholy and loneliness from different points of view.
I’m particularly intrigued by one song on your EP – ‘Yuigon’, which happens to feature Tobi Duncan from Trash Boat! Can you give us more insight about what Tobi is saying on this short, interlude track?
The poem that Tobi recites is written personally by him. When we contacted him to make this collaboration, we told him the idea of the interlude and we all came to the conclusion that it was best to tell him the theme of the EP and that he wrote the poem. The flowers in ‘Never Bloom’ are a kind of metaphor of how people can feel throughout the different phases of our life:
“The wind carries the oceans woes,
saying ‘every flower, no matter it’s beauty, must fall’,
before all who would delay the inevitable”.
Although sometimes we all feel like flowers that will never bloom, it is important to never give up, move forward and learn from the lessons that life gives us, because at the end of the road we are all flowers that will inevitably fall. Tobi understood perfectly the message that ‘Never Bloom’ intends to convey, and he translated it into ‘Yuigon’.
You’ve also managed to team up with Jono Hawkey from Bloom too here! We love Bloom over here and what they’re doing. Tell us a little about ‘Sinking’ and what Jono brought to this song?
They are definitely an amazing band! ‘Sinking (Nothing’s Gonna Change)’ encompasses the feeling that embraces you when you feel on edge and think you can’t go on. It’s a feeling that many of us have gone through at some point in our lives and that we think many people can relate to. We send a message of hope to everyone who may feel this way, these are difficult times, support you in everything that is beneficial to you and makes you feel good as is the music in our case.
Jono is a great artist, he understood perfectly the message of the song and what we wanted to convey. We felt that to close the song his way of singing and expressing himself would help to create an epic ending and that’s how it was, we are very happy with the result and his enormous work.
Which track on Never Bloom are you most proud of and why?
Probably ‘Sinking (Nothing’s Gonna Change)’. We consider it a very complete subject in all senses. We really like the result and how we take care of the dynamics of that song. Also, at the production level, it has a lot of details and layers, which makes us very excited because all this was the work of our producer and guitarist Jorge. Making a completely DIY product makes us very proud.
COVID-19 has definitely been tough for many bands this year. How has this year’s pandemic been for Featherweight?
We haven’t stopped working at all. We have composed all the EP from our homes, spending hours and hours on video calls and spending whole nights working. It has been a shame because we have had to cancel several concerts and trips, but we have taken every moment to not stop giving the best of ourselves in such an adverse situation.
What lessons have you learnt from this year that you hope to be reminded of in later years?
We believe that this year everyone has realised how much life can change in a matter of days. It is important to live each moment to the fullest and always seek to get the best out of yourself, because when you least expect it everything can be twisted.
Thanks so much for chatting guys! Stay safe over there, and we’ll see you soon (I hope)!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightstam)
Featherweight’s EP, Never Bloom is out now. Listen here
Featherweight – Never Bloom EP tracklisting:
1. Snowy Road
5. Yuigon (featuring Tobi Duncan of Trash Boat)
6. Sinking (featuring Jono Hawkey of Bloom)