Exclusive Q and A: Departures Talk Time, Age, and T-Swift

posted in: Exclusive InterviewsRock

A recipe for Departures: take equal parts ’90s emo and melodic hardcore, swirl, and let age for several years. Then sip lightly; you might burn your tongue. Brooding guitars, ragged vocals, and pounding drums jostle for space within the UK band’s darkly emotive songs of loss, aging, and mistakes. Last month, the band signed with the fast-growing No Sleep Records and their debut full-length Teenage Haze is out today. We caught up with guitarist Daniel Nash to chat about growing up in a band, touring in continental Europe, and their eclectic listening tastes.

OS: What’s the meaning behind the title Teenage Haze?  Does the album art have anything to do with the title as well?

Teenage Haze is a phrase taken from the song “The Home Stretch.” The song is about going back to your home town and experiencing that weird nostalgia, rose-tinted (or not) memories of growing up. There’s a lot of it in the album so we thought it fit pretty well.

OS: The passage of time seems pretty prominent in the lyrics on Teenage Haze.  How does the band relate to that theme, and why is it important to you?

D: Well we’re all in our mid-late twenties now, we’ve been doing this for so long and the longer you do it without getting too much back from it, it can get a little frustrating. We’ve all been playing in bands for as long as we can remember, sometimes moderately successful, sometimes not so much. When writing the album there really was a feeling of “make or break,” it was a struggle at times. Not that we think we’re going to be rock stars “ we’d just like to be able to take our music to lots of new places, and play to people who feel as passionately about it as we do. I think we’ve all started to hit that age where you really start to think about “growing up” and it’s pretty apparent on the record. Not that we’re not happy with it; it’s turned out better than anything we’ve ever done before and considering we basically wrote it in a month, while working full time jobs, university, etcetera, we’re really proud of how it’s turned out.

OS: Is there an overarching concept or idea that you guys are getting across with this release?

D: Like all of our stuff, we just write about how we feel and hopefully people can find something to love in it.

OS: You guys have played with a range of acts from some really heavy groups (like at Ghostfest) to more melodic, less heavy bands.  Do you feel equally comfortable in both situations, or is there one where you enjoy playing more than the other?

D: I think we can fit in pretty well regardless, up until now we’ve mostly toured with heavier bands than us, but then we did the B&C/PBTT tour on which we were probably the heaviest band. I don’t think anyone that likes heavy music is ashamed of admitting they like more melodic stuff anymore, we feel comfortable regardless.

OS: Your Twitter jokingly (maybe or maybe not!) revealed that you guys had listened to Taylor Swift’s Red.  Are there any other records outside of your genre that you’ve been digging recently?

D: Ha, yeah we are into a bit of Taylor Swift, James is borderline obsessed. But yeah, we more or less exclusively listen to records outside of the genre. I don’t think there’s a single member of the band that can be bothered listening to heavy music when they’re at home or travelling or whatever (well maybe Ally…). But to answer the question, when we’re on tour we’ll listen to a whole bunch of different stuff like Foals, M83, The Story So Far, Ellie Goulding, Into It. Over It. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t spend most of the time just listening to a lot of chart music, we love a good pop song.

OS: In addition to touring within the UK, you’ve done touring elsewhere in Europe.  Do you see any big differences between the punk/hardcore scenes in the UK versus continental Europe?

D: I’m sure any band you ask would give this exact same answer, but the way the promoters treat bands is way different, you get taken care of. Not to say UK promoters don’t treat you well (obviously there are exceptions everywhere), but it’s a really different experience over there. Kids will also come out to a show purely because a band from another country is playing, which doesn’t really happen in the UK. We once played a show in a tiny town in the mountains somewhere in the middle of Germany, expecting there to be no one there and we ended up playing to more people than we did at some UK shows this year.

OS: Do you have US tour plans coming up in the future?

D: We never really thought we would, and there aren’t currently any plans, but now that we’re on No Sleep I suppose it’s possible! We don’t really know how the record will go down when it’s out but if it does as well as we hope we will definitely try and get over there next year.

Pick up Teenage Haze now!

More like this: