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Coming of Age: Press To MECO Forge Ahead on 'Here's To The Fatigue'

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 Written by Katy Westaway

Press to MECO are one of a number of interesting, slightly off-kilter alt-rock bands bubbling under in the UK at the moment, with their new record ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ pushing them into ambitious new territory.

Recorded in the US with influential producer Machine, the LP fuses a rush of heavy, complex guitar lines with straight up pop hooks, while the trio will celebrate its arrival with a headline date at London’s Black Heart on April 11.

Initially slated for a self-release last year, ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ emerged late last month after being picked up by Marshall Records. We caught up with guitarist and vocalist Luke Caley to discuss recording, progress and finally getting to play the songs live.

You completed ‘Here’s to the Fatigue’ over a year before it was released. Was it hard having to wait so long before everyone could listen to it?

With this band it usually takes a while to get stuff out after the recording stage, so we were quite well set up to expect a bit of a wait. It certainly took longer than we expected, but we wanted to make sure we were releasing it in the right way rather than just getting it out and having it miss out on opportunities. We had at least three times where we thought we knew how we were going to release it, then something would happen and we’d have to reset and start again.

The second time we actually had a date for it and were going to self release, but the Marshall Records opportunity came up and it was too good to pass by. Although it’s always a strange feeling and it can sometimes be frustrating, I don’t think any of us regret holding off a bit because it’s got a much bigger platform to launch from now.

You ended up getting to produce with Machine, how did that come about?

Anthony Shaw from Best Before Records put out our first album, and when we did ‘Good Intent’ with him he was always talking about his friend Machine, who is this awesome producer from the States. It’s funny because he’d always mention it casually like he’s an old mate from back in the day, but when you check out his back catalogue he’s done some of the most influential albums: Lamb of God, Clutch, Fall out Boy, and Every Time I Die. All of these bands have influenced so many people.

It was always something that we thought: “Yeah it would be cool if it happened, but I don’t see how it could.” And then when we had all of the demos together for the second album Anthony was like: “Seriously let me talk to him, we’ll work something out. If you wanna do this we’ll make it happen.”

So we explored the idea of him producing the album, and the more we listened to his stuff the more we started to feel that he could completely be the right guy for the band. We had more discussions and were very fortunate in finding some funding to go over and do it.

It was one of those things where we said: “We’ve got to go and do this, this could be amazing.” We flew him over to do pre-production, and at the end of the first day it was just like one of those magic relationships where everything felt right and we were all completely buzzing for the first day. He was the perfect fit for this band. We’re very lucky to have even been introduced to him.

What was he like to work with?

He’s like a puppy - he’s so enthusiastic. He’s got such a clear vision and he’s so skilled. Even if you’ve played a song for the 1000th time and you’re so sick and tired of it he’ll make you fall in love with that song all over again, because you look up and he’s literally jumping around the room screaming while you record.

At the start of our album you can hear someone scream, and that’s actually him after recording - just screaming at the top of his voice and jumping around the studio. We were like: “We’ve got to keep it in.” It carries the complete vibe of when we recorded it.

You went over to Texas to record, did you get to explore while you were there?

Machine’s studio is based in a place called Dripping Springs which is about 45 minutes south of Austin. It was really cool because we met some of his really good friends and they were our tour guides for the whole time we were out there.

Without them we wouldn’t have done half of the things we did; it was like our dad coming to pick us up and take us on a little outing each weekend to do something fun. It’s such a cool place, Austin is a cool city as well. Hopefully we’ll do SXSW one day. That would be awesome.

You released ‘Good Intent’ in 2015. Do you think as a band you have progressed since that release?

I feel like we have definitely progressed. We released that album a couple of years ago and we’ve not slowed down or stopped, so we’re two years more experienced and developed as people. I’d like to think that this album is a reflection of that, even though some people might hate it.

I think our understanding and the execution of what we’re doing as a band has become a bit more concise and more sure of itself, in a sense. I think we’ve become better versions of what we’re doing. Hopefully other people will agree.

Lewis [Williams, drummer/vocalist] looks after the lyrics. Did he have any specific influences for this album?

He doesn’t have a particular agenda when he’s writing. He certainly doesn’t take a political standpoint, it’s much more about human interactions and coming of age - things you go through in your life. That’s something he’s just experiencing. I love that I don’t really have an input in writing the lyrics because I can be completely objective about them and a genuine fan of what he writes.

It’s cool because you can interpret the lyrics as you will and find your own meaning in them. Whether they’re aligned with what he intended or whether it’s something completely off the wall and has found its own meaning is up to you.

You finally got to perform the new album at Banquet Records. Did it get a good reception?

Yeah, it was really cool. The official album release show is at Black Heart in Camden, which is sold out so it’s going to be really fun. But with Banquet we just wanted to do something kind of cool that is a bit of a spectacle. We wanted to do something fun, to go and play in this really prestigious shop that has a big cult following and is known around the scene.

There’s always that worry of “It’s this time on a weekday, I wonder if anyone is going to show up”, especially if everyone’s got tickets at Black Heart, but we came out and the room was full. Everyone came over and got stuff signed and had a chat. It’s one of those things where we all came away saying “I’m so glad we did that” because it was so much fun.

How did it feel having so many people wanting to listen to your music?

It’s cool, to be honest. Being in the kind of band that we are, the progression curve is so mellow and it’s such a slow burner over a long period of time. You just take stuff as it comes because it’s not overnight - you don’t wake up and suddenly have 10 million people listening to the band. It’s not often you get those “What the fuck” moments, but seeing the response we had as soon as the album dropped was cool.

So many people waited up to listen to it. That was one of those things where it was like: “Oh, people actually want to hear this.” And we had so many messages from people saying that they loved the album. The reviews have been really overwhelmingly positive, which is awesome. It reaffirms what you’re doing and makes you believe in it all over again. It fires you up to continue and keep going.

'Here's to the Fatigue' is out now.

Press To Meco Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed April 11 2018 - LONDON Black Heart

Click here to compare & buy Press To Meco Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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