Interview: WSTR


WSTR release their debut album 'Identity Crisis' via Hopeless Records today, they talked to us about understanding themselves a bit more when it came to the recording process of this album. 

You recently made your Download Festival debut - how was it? Did it differ from expectations?

Download was a special one for me personally as it was the first festival I ever went to when I was sixteen. I got my ticket as a present from my mum after finishing my GCSE’s. It was a great show and the festival on the whole was just a great vibe. We loved it.

Onto your newest album; how has your recording process changed since your debut album? 

We used the same producer as all our previous releases ‘Seb Barlow’. We’re good friends so not too much changed as it’s always pretty relaxed. The things that did change were the structuring and the song writing. We concentrated a lot more on making a good song rather than just throw as much layers as we could in there. We stripped it back a whole lot and everything is much less edited and feels a lot more real.

Any behind-the-scenes stories of the recording process?

We actually had abit of a mad one as we were doing it in between tours. The maddest thing that happened is something we haven’t talked about much and it’s abit of a sad one. Our guitarist ‘Swifty’ wasn’t too well towards the end of recording and he decided to part ways with us. Sad for everybody but hopefully for the best.

What's the underlying message you want to send with this album?

This album is almost a bite back album as we feel like we always get written off in a way and tested so the main theme is us proving that we can be different and stand out. It’s not a concept album at all and it still has the snotty Wstr vibe going on.

Where did you draw lyrical inspiration from? What's your favourite lyric from the new album and why?

I draw lyrical inspiration from literally everywhere. Could be from a film I’m watching or just a conversation with a friend. I’m a big fan of sayings especially dry brutish phrases and I use them quite a lot.

My fave lyric aim is from ‘Crisis’ it says ‘with the filters applied the anxiety dies for the thousands with quick fix wool over their eyes’ I like the way it flows and I’ve never touched on society or social media or anything like that before so I was pretty stoked.

Going to the title, have you ever felt like you were going through an identity crisis?

Yes. Most definitely. When we first started writing demos they were all so different from each other we were quite scared that it was going to be an absolute shit show. Luckily it all gelled together in the end.

If you had the chance to have an alternate identity, what identity would you choose?

I’d be Catherine Zeta Jones in ‘Chicago’ before she got locked up.

Drawing inspiration from your 'Bad To The Bone' video, have you had any weird experiences on set of a music video or whilst touring?

The whole bad to the bone vid was strange. It was shot in a kalaidascope house and everything was all upside down and mental. It was great. We once set fireworks off in Lidl car park whilst being pushed round in a shopping trolley with flares going off tied to the back of them whilst we were dressed as old men. That was pretty fun.

You've previously mentioned that you were never going to do an acoustic track, yet 'See You In Hell' is acoustic, so how did that come about? What made you change your mind?

We just started writing it and though Yanno what why not! We’ve tested ourselves in quite a lot of ways on this record and thrown ourselves out of our comfort zone so it’s just another part of doing that. It’s not too soppy though. 

What are you most looking forward to with your upcoming US tour?

Just getting out there really. Never been to the states as a band before and we’ve been asked too a bunch so we think we’re ready. Looking forward to spending time with friends ND & Stand Atlantic too. Oh and listening to those trophy eyes tunes every night can’t be a bad thing either.

Feature by Athena Kam