Alt-rockers THE SURVIVAL CODE have their sophomore album "Hopelessness Of People" expect this late summer, but have already released a new single titled "Along the Way", with more coming! The duo act that is Gary and Tom, go into talks about this single, it's album release, and themselves just wanting to get word out about who THE SURVIVAL CODE is as an act.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Gary: It’s probably best to start in the present, we have been evolving over the years both in style and membership and it has never felt better, like we have finally found our formula having been so close for so long. On our newest release we decided to cut the numbers and go to a duo as it seemed to suit more with our direction and helped us make more progress. I moved to London as a drummer in 2010 to put this band together, getting from behind the kit to assume a role as a front man/guitarist/songwriter and made an EP playing all parts to market the project 2010.
Thankfully I managed to get a band together for the release and since then we have ebbed and flowed into 4 and 3 piece line ups but we were constantly training and retraining new and newer members. We have been lucky to have gained a large following when we initially launched having clicked in with some local and upcoming bands at the time but most of them aren’t around anymore, we’ve outlasted almost every great band we’ve played with apart from those that actually made it - which is so few and far between, they are now on the beginning rungs if they have.
Tom joined in 2011 and we have been playing solidly ever since, we have been the consistent aspect to the band over all this time. The band is more about live show than ever, in Ireland I’ve been playing with another drummer too as we wanted to make sure as many ears as possible could hear our newest album. He’s doing really well and helped as Tom is a teacher and has been the only caveat of the last few years in terms of availability.
2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?
Gary: Songs are a way I come to terms with what’s around me and life in general. Everything is better and somewhat easier with a guitar and a piece of paper, even the toughest of times, it can help make sense of the seemingly unexplainable. As a result it’s something that’s vocational in my life, so it’s my "Survival Code" , and this band is trying to share our honest, straight up rock with as many ears as we can find. It made sense when we chatted about it at the beginning, we all liked it at the time anyway. :)
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Tom: London, we’ve been in London since our inception, being London it’s big and filled with pockets. In many ways that has been one of the things holding us back our the years. We aren’t the best connected lads in terms of "scene" and we’re quite a bit older than the average band we’re playing with - increasingly so. In part to do with Gary was talking about with the amount of great bands that run out of money, but it’s life matters too, kids and families, being in the position to keep going has been great for us and our evolution to help get us to this point and the fact we haven’t been reliant on a label for decisions has been vital. Aside from our knowledge of the scene generally, London like everywhere is evidently feeling the impact of the amount of venue closures over the last 10 years making it harder and harder for bands, specifically rock bands to get the chance to play live and get going.
4. How would you describe your style?
Gary: All the rock, energy, and technicality of alt rock/metal with the melody and delivery of pop/rock. Strong songs, powerful choruses, honest messages and an unquenchable thirst for performance and improvement.
5. You recently released the video for your new single "Along the Way"— where did you find the inspiration for the fun track?
Tom: Haha we’re so glad you phrased your question the way you did. The song has a great steady feel, thick chords, upbeat choruses and a driving feel throughout. This is actually another one of the styles we’ve always liked in our band. We’re filled with contrast, our new album is called "Hopelessness of People", for example, and all our artwork is bright and hopeful. Many of our most upbeat songs have slightly darker meanings and vice versa.
6. What would you say the track means to you?
Gary: Tom has hit the nail on the head. "Along the Way", is actually about life’s journey and the inevitability of losing everything but hopefully the journey was worth it. It’s also about the music industry and how it can leave you lifeless, but coming back for more for it’s one of the greatest things you can do if you can make it work for yourself.
7. What was it like shooting the video? Do you have an idea as to what the next single and or video will be for the follow-up track?
Gary: It was a lot of fun making the video. We decided to make and edit the videos for this release too to offer a more "whole" view of us and what we intended. We’ve been so lucky to work with a number of very talented directors over the years but having control of the finished product is something I’ve really enjoyed learning about as it’s been me directing the last two and the coming one. It was a lot of fun shooting 'Crawl" specifically as it was a carpool Karaoke theme and we had only met one of the people in it that day as they responded to our ad. We also managed to get our producer "Matt Hyde" in too, it was such a nice day for it too weather wise, which is never guaranteed in London.
Yeah the new video for "CRAWL" is a performance/lyric video, we decided to go for a more direct approach for this track as it’s a little rockier, certainly than what we’ve released so far off the album. We use colours and light to effect is the only other bit we can give away, we can’t wait for it to be out.
8. How would you say that this new sophomore album "Hopelessness Of People", compares and differs to your debut album?
Tom: There are far less frills, it’s far more to the point. "MMXV" was a work of art for us, we spent so long on the recording process and it was perfect for the time and the plan at that stage. The truth is though that with line-up changes and ambitious outlooks, it never quite worked as well live as this album does. These songs feel like the songs from the album where the songs we used play of "MMXV" felt like a different version at times. The songs are catchier and stronger structurally. We are still to find an album that sounds better on iTunes too, we love the production and how it stands up to many of our heroes such as The Foos, Alkaline Trio and almost all rock and metal legends who have such tight production
9. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
Gary: We have the album out in August after "CRAWL" and then there’s another video for another single in Sept and we’ll see what’s best to do from there. We may release some more in Uk and or Ireland depending, it’s all about having plans and being versatile so you can move with the blows. After this release in general there is an EP, I have about 5 songs I am working on atm and Tom and I have jammed them a few times and they feel epic so we are very pleased where we’re going, we just need to build our team around us with those who have been there and done it.
10. Would you like to say anything else before wrapping this up!
Tom: If you see us playing in a town near you and you love gigs, a hard and honest working band who want to do whatever it takes to deliver their songs with integrity and passion you need to get to one of our shows. We promise you will not be disappointed!