After spending the last few months dropping a string of blistering alt-rock anthems, which have received praise from the likes of Planet Rock DJ Wyatt Wendel, Hertfordshire-based outfit The Late Aprils are back at it once again as they unveil their newest effort Clouds.
Channelling the same energetic pace as Lower Than Atlantis and Boston Manor, Clouds showcases the group at their fiery best. Filled with vibrant pace, euphoric textures, and killer hooks throughout, these guys are firmly on their way to becoming the next hot ticket on the UK’s alt-rock scene.
So with the new single available now, we sat them down to find out more about their latest cut and what has inspired them most over the years.
Hi guys, how are you today?
Awesome. Thanks for asking.
For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?
It’s soaring, anthemic, riff-tastic rock, if we say so ourselves. We try to combine big singalong choruses with punchy hooks, so you’ll be stuck with our songs long after you leave a performance. Each of us draws on a whole smorgasbord of musical influences – from the Sex Pistols to Lin Manuel Miranda – but we’d probably agree that modern British rock bands like Royal Blood, Lower Than Atlantis and Boston Manor have helped shape our sound.
Do you remember what the first song was that made you want to start a career in music?
Tough question. I think a real turning point in the noughties was the release of ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ by the Arctic Monkeys. To fans like us, it seemed like they made it overnight just by releasing a great music video online. Without any big-money backing, the song went straight to Number One. That was pretty incredible and was obviously a massive inspiration. Of course the landscape of streaming and social media has changed a lot now, and it’s nowhere near as simple for independent acts to get noticed.
You have just released your new single ‘Clouds’. Can you tell us how that track came about? Is there a story behind it?
Like a lot of our music, the writing process for Clouds started with a simple but catchy riff (first played to the others from a grainy phone recording), which became the main anchor for the song. We thought the combination of the opening bassline with the reverberating swell of the guitar had an ethereal sound to it, so landed on the name Clouds before we’d even talked about the words. Mike then used the title as a broad theme to help conjure up his deep and powerful lyrics – which we all loved when he first performed them for us.
The song became about letting go of someone or something that’s holding you back or having a negative impact on your life, and the massive feeling of relief you get when it stops dragging you down. It’s about knowing your demons can’t touch you anymore and the sky is the limit. For this reason, we think the song is a fitting anthem for the lifting of lockdown restrictions. So many people have felt trapped, both mentally and physically, that we hope this song’s message will resonate.
And was there a particular style you were looking for when you wrote it?
Beyond our idea for the big, swelling introduction, which we nailed quite early on, getting the song to a place we wanted for the release didn’t happen quickly. While we always enjoyed playing Clouds in live sessions, the first mix of the track we listened to sounded way too clean and classic for us. We ended up going back to the drawing board once or twice, landing on something much darker and up-to-date, closer to our core sound. With a slightly dirtier guitar riff over the first verse, building up to a soaring last chorus and a massive vocal on the outro, it gives the song a quality of moving from somewhere dark and insular to somewhere uninhibited and full of energy. This musical transition fitted with what the song is about, escaping from some kind of dark place towards a confident, personal freedom.
And how would you say it differs from your previous material?
Clouds is probably the single with the broadest appeal to audiences outside of the hard rock scene. We’d like to think fans whose tastes lie anywhere in between Tom Grennan and Bring Me The Horizon are going to love it. There are hard-hitting rock breakdowns, for sure, but there’s also a really mellow bridge with a gospel-like quality, not to mention huge vocals from Mike that any music fan will be able to appreciate. Not that we want its appeal to end there. Ramp up the tempo of the song and you have the makings of a mind-blowing drum ‘n’ bass track. Pendulum, we’ll wait for your call.
Can we expect a new EP, or even an album from you in the near future?
Yes you can. We hope to finish an album by the end of this year, with a release date in early 2022. For the summer at least, we’re a bit too excited about playing gigs again to make recording a priority, but the material is there ready to be tracked.
The coronavirus outbreak has obviously affected everyone’s plans, but what have you got in store for the rest of the year?
It’s looking busy! The day after our new single Clouds comes out on June 11th, we’ve got our first proper comeback gig at the Amersham Arms. We’re headlining a full day mini-festival for indie bands, which we’re really excited about. That one is sold out, but there are still a few tickets left for our next big performance at the O2 Academy Islington on July 9th. Not only is that going to be a very cool experience to play, but fingers-crossed it’ll be the first event without social distancing, so we look forward to seeing a crowd at its sweaty best. We’ve then got a pretty busy schedule in August, including one or two festivals that we can’t announce yet, before we’ll get down to working on our album release later in the year.
And finally, where do you see yourselves in five years time?
Another tough question. Literally anywhere between where we are now and world domination would be just fine.
‘Clouds’ is available to stream everywhere now. Check it out below.