Simmer‘s second EP, Yellow Streak, is now available to stream or buy physically through Dog Knights Productions. We spoke to vocalist and guitarist Julius Schiazza about Simmer’s scene at home, releasing through Dog Knights, being part of a Record Day Store release and his thoughts on o play.
Your time together as a band has been fairly short. What has your journey been like so far?
We had never really been in a serious band so I just gathered up three recruitments. They had never listened to the music I listened to so I had to introduce them to bands like Title Fight, Citizen, Basement. Then I started writing some songs and we mustered up an EP in about a month. We wrote the first four songs that came to our head and recorded them, and from there we’ve been gradually finding our own niche and what we wanna do. It’s a bit of a weird one I guess but we’re getting there.
There are some good bands emerging from Cheshire and the surrounding area, like Bohica and Scouts, do you have a good community where you’re from?
It’s all kind of north-west, like Liverpool and Manchester. But [in Cheshire] we only have one venue where we play and we’ve rinsed that venue. We have about 30 people tops who will come to shows and support, but other than that the nearest place is Manchester. Since we’ve been on this tour it’s been cool to see people come out and actually like our music because nobody likes our music at home, like I said I have to introduce people to bands! Scouts are really good, we played with them in Blackpool recently and they’re so good. We actually put on our own shows at home, we just tell the promoter and ask if bands can play and they always say yeah! So you try and get as big of a band as you can but none of them really email you back.
Is it nice to be able to play down south in places like Southsea tonight?
Yeah this is our first tour and before this, the furthest we had ever been away, playing wise, was Manchester – we had never been south of where we live, it’s always north. The tour was all last minute booked, and I wasn’t skeptical, but I was a bit worried about how badly organised it was because it was so last minute, but it’s actually gone the best possible way. Nothing’s gone wrong, nothing has broken down, nothing has been stolen, people have turned up to shows, people have bought merch and our record as well – which is weird!
How did the tour come around? Was it Dog Knights and Venn Records teaming up?
No it wasn’t. I think Muskets saw we had some inclusions with Dog Knights and we were looking for a big band to support on tour and they just dropped us an email and we were like let’s just do it ourselves. It was really late notice because there was loads of delays on when the record’s gonna be out and stuff. It should be out for download in a couple of days!
Tell us about releasing through Dog Knights.
We recorded the record before we spoke to the record label. I sent it to Dog Knights, the first person I sent it to was like “yeah let’s put it out” and then you have to wait for it to actually be released through the label. But it all turned out well in the end I guess. People told us we should probably just plan on releasing the EP ourselves, you shouldn’t get high hopes for people to put it out. I was just like well what’s the label we want most who’s DIY and Dog Knights became our number one priority. I emailed them and got a reply straight away and got a bit weird! I rang everyone like “lads, Dog Knights wanna put it out!!”
Are you excited to be included on the Sensible Record Label compilation for Record Store Day, representing Dog Knights?
Yeah! Darren messaged us and he said we’re collaborating with loads of other indie labels in the country and we wanna use you guys, but do you have any other songs? We had songs but we hadn’t recorded them so we just booked in at our local studio, went in, recorded it and sent it over straight away. And they all loved it! It’s really cool and a big opportunity, I think it’s limited to like 500.
‘Pay to play’ is a hot topic at the moment at Seeing Your Scene. Have you ever experienced it?
We never will experience it, we refuse (pay to play) gigs. We get frequent messages where promoters offer us gigs and then they say “oh by the way can you promote the gig and sell tickets.” Manchester and Liverpool are quite bad for it, especially the Academies, who just want to fill up venues. They don’t care about the music, they just care about money. Sometimes we will say that we’ll try our best at selling tickets but we can’t guarantee anything. We don’t mind not being paid, we just want to play! It’s basically contradicting their job title of a promoter making us do their job, and play and then they take the money. I heard London is bad for it too. The more bands that do it, the worse it’s going to get. A lot of bands in the UK emo/grunge scene won’t do it and they know good promoters who put on good shows and don’t ask you to pay. It’s basically for rich rock kids who want to make it quick and have something to put on Instagram.