Interview // WSTR
Ahead of the release of their new album Identity Crisis this Friday, WSTR reflect on their journey as a band in our latest Q&A.
With their new album Identity Crisis being just around the corner, we hit Sammy with some questions about conformity and identity in the digital age, and their progression as a band.
What are the main themes/feelings captured on Identity Crisis?
We feel like there’s a late 80’s early 90’s theme through out most of the record. I don’t know how that comes off but that’s what I heard when writing it. I watched a lot of cheesy 80’s movies and listened to a lot of different genres at the time from ‘lil uzi vert’ to ‘oasis’, that’s kind of where the album name came from too.
Why do you think conformity and identity issues are so important nowadays? What’s the best way to deal with identity crisis?
I don’t know the answer in terms of dealing with it right away. I think it might be too far gone for this generation but I’ve noticed since the social media era has hit that the amount of people who feel depression and anxiety have gone up a considerably large amount. Now I don’t know if that’s because people can see more of what goes on in the world now or the overly high expectations with Instagram etc. I guess for now I’d have to say ‘with the filters applied the anxiety dies’.
In what way do you think you’ve evolved since you started the band, and what was the biggest challenge when working on the new record?
We’ve become a lot more confident and fearless in trying new things. Our last two records now feel very niche and limited even though we love them both dearly. With the old records we’d always try things laugh it off and have the mentality as if to say ‘imagine if we left that in’ with this record we left all of those parts in and in my opinion they make each track. It was obviously a challenge as every record is. You always feel a sense of this is make or break and when you write and record it you hear it so much that you completely lose perspective and think ‘I don’t know if this is good anymore’, but we also feel like it was a totally natural progression and was pretty comfortable.
What’s your favourite lyric on the album?
“With the filters applied the anxiety dies, for the thousands with quick fix wool over their eyes”.
What would you do if it wasn’t for music? What was your dream job when you were a kid?
When I was a kid I guess my ambition was pretty basic. I wanted to be a football player. I also had a marine biologist phase but I wanted to write music from a pretty young age. Maybe like a ghost writer or something. My new thing is musicals. I really want to write a musical.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you as a band?
Our whole experience has been crazy. I guess the first and overall most crazy was self releasing our first single with no expectations at all and two days later getting a tweet off a friend saying ‘get off the radio’ we tuned in to BBC Radio 1 and they were playing it. Then we got signed and life kind of changed. On the whole I guess this whole thing is pretty damn weird. In a good way though. Our guitarist eating cat food and enjoying it was another one.
Do you have any role models in music?
Yes I have a few: Marylin Manson, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Brendon Urie, Frank Sinatra, Gerard Way, Lil Uzi Vert. I’m sure there are others.
Pick one song (not yours) that could be the perfect soundtrack to your life right now.
‘A little piece of heaven’ by Avenged Sevenfold. The song I’m listening to atm though a lot is ‘You’re welcome’ sang by The Rock in Moana.
Name one thing you’re scared of.
My manager. Joke. I have a very typical fear of spiders. My gf always pretends her hands are a spider when I’m asleep and I fully freak out, it’s really mean.
What’s your spirit animal?
The honey badger.
What music means to you?
Music is my calling so I guess it means almost everything to me. I have a certain frequency that really gets me as I’m sure most do. As a kid I used to get goosebumps off certain sounds when I used to have bath time where the radio was. I didn’t have a particular taste then it was just whatever I liked. I found myself from a very young age getting high off certain melodies and I would never ever sing along to the track as it was sang. I’d always harmonise it without even realising. When I got older I realised it wasn’t just about the melodies and certain words, delivery and lyrics were just as important. I like a concept and a message if it’s in good taste but I also love lyrics because they can mean any different thing to any different person. I never really enjoy talking about the meaning behind my own songs because I want it to mean whatever the listener wants it to mean. Every song is about you. But yeah music means a lot to me. It changes moods and I’m sure it’s changed lives more often that we might think.