Hailing from London, the pop punkers WSTR are fairly new to the scene, yet are already here playing 2000 Trees. What’s it like playing with other more established bands, how do they feel about the British pop-punk scene, and why are they called WSTR. These are some of the questions we had to find answers for.
Okay, first things first, talk to me about the name.
Danny: Just sums up us. Me and Sammy ended up in a barn over there last night, absolutely just done.
Sammy: Me and Alex are from Wrexham, rough as fuck.
Kieren: I’m from the slums of Dorset.
Alex: You’re so rich.
Sammy: Driving his BMW, living in the nicest countryside.
Alex: He’s like the suit and tie of the band. The Bruce Wayne of the band.
Sammy: Did that explain anything about WSTR?
Danny: It didn’t.
Kieren: Being a waster just means being a bunch of alcoholics.
Sammy: We’re just wasters, waste of space.
Alex: I don’t think anyone really approved, like my mum does now but all my decisions growing up, it was sorta like, can you focus a bit more on working and getting money? I was kinda like, I’d rather not.
What about the spelling?
Sammy: We got sued.
Alex: It had vowels, it was W-A-S-T-E-R, but there was a Canadian band with the vowels same as us and then they found out we sort of existed and then weren’t too happy.
Danny: Our single came out…
Kieren: It probably didn’t help we were put on the same iTunes as them…
Danny: They were very unactive for years, I’m not really one to like bitch, but they were unactive for a long time and as soon as we released stuff they weren’t happy so they tried to sue us.
Sammy: Organised a little cease and desist.
Kieren: But nothing was actually never signed.
Danny: We could change back.
Alex: With the new album.
How did your performance go earlier?
Alex: I enjoyed it.
Danny: Onstage for us it was good.
Sammy: It was alright. It wasn’t really our crowd, I can’t complain because we’re not really that old of a band and it was a good reaction, we had a few rows going off and a lot of people, the tent was full.
Kieren: Hopefully we won some new fans, and some new friends
Sammy: Yeah, that’s what it’s all about. We’ve been spoiled really.
Danny: We’ve just come off tour playing with NECK DEEP at two thousand capped venues, then Slam Dunk.
Sammy: Recently shows have been going very well so like if the tent doesn’t go off as much as we’d like then…
Alex: I thought we played quite well to be fair. On stage for me anyway.
How did the LIMP BIZKIT cover come about?
Sammy: Just everyone can play it, we didn’t need to practise it.
Danny: We were just messing around and all played the same note, then were like ahh that’s LIMP BIZKIT. So we all just jammed it a bit, Sammy started singing it so we were like shall we just do it for lols? And we’re still just doing it because we can’t play any new songs.
Alex: We’ve obviously only got one EP out which has only got six tracks on, and we only play five of those six tracks. We don’t play one of them so we sort of replaced that with Break Stuff.
Kieren: It’s fun to play live.
Danny: This may have been the last time we’ll play it.
Alex: You know what, I reckon we’ll be like eighty and still playing it.
Were there any significant differences between today and other shows/festivals you’ve done?
Sammy: It wasn’t as hectic, there was only a few rows going sick but it’s still amazing, we never expect it. Well, me personally, I always think there’s gonna be no one there so every time we go out it’s amazing. There was a bit of a difference to recent shows because we just came off a tour with TRASH BOAT and WEATHERSTATE which were smaller capped venues, packed out sweat boxes but for a tent that size I think we did quite well.
So you’ve just finished a tour supporting TRASH BOAT, how did that go?
Sammy: A blast, drunk every night, a party.
Alex: It was exactly what we expected from the lads in TRASH BOAT, we’re quite close with those dudes and WEATHERSTATE are really nice.
Kieren: Great guys, and great band as well.
Alex: It was just an amazing tour all together.
Danny: Lack of sleep though, I don’t think I’m properly recovered from it.
Sammy: I’m still drunk from it.
And now you’re both here this weekend! Along with NECK DEEP and CREEPER from your tour earlier this year, a proper reunion going on here.
Sammy: It’s nice to see them.
Kieren: We see them a bit.
Alex: We still hang out sometimes
Sammy: And we’ve been doing our record with Seb Barlow, so we still seem them a bit. And Sam from NECK DEEP came round with us at Slam Dunk because he was a vibe tech. And CREEPER came out to watch us at Southamptonshire. It’s been a reunion all round with BOSTON MANOR, TRASH BOAT, CREEPER and NECK DEEP obviously. It’s been good fun.
It has been said that pop-punk is a genre America has dominated, would you agree with that?
Sammy: I’d say yeah, rightly so like they started genre.
Kieren: I prefer UK bands at the moment.
Sammy: I think they’re doing it better at the moment, NECK DEEP paved the way, the UK has never really had a proper pop-punk scene before. We’ve had say BUSTED, who are pop then they had an easy-core scene, or YOU ME AT SIX but that’s more pop-rock. I think NECK DEEP were the first proper UK pop-punk band.
Alex: I think UK pop-punk has really taken off.
Sammy: I think America might always have the edge because it’s their genre. They took a spun on UK punk with bands like GREEN DAY.
When you’re on the stage, what stands out to you from the crowd?
Danny: Sometimes you literally can’t see that many people because it’s quite dark.
Sammy: I spend a lot of time communicating with the crowd so this is how I see it, you have your front row which is mainly girls with phones, then you have the few rows behind them which is guys singing the words at you and then just behind that is the pit, and behind that is just people stood watching. But it’s great, seeing the people singing and pitting.
Alex: When you see people in the pit it gives you an extra kick like, oh, they’re vibing so it gives us a bit of a boost. Slam Dunk was pretty much full front to back.
Sammy: For me it’s when kids are singing the words that I wrote, for me it never gets boring.
What have you got in store for the rest of the year?
Sammy: Album release, no date. We go to Europe again with AS IT IS.
Alex: And play Destruction Derby.
Sammy: And New Noise Festival which will be fun. A couple of pop-punk bands on that, and there’s STATE CHAMPS.
Danny: And ROAM, haven’t seen ROAM in a while, so it’ll be cool to hang out with them again.
Sammy: Saw them at Slam Dunk was the last time I think. Should be fun. Then we come home and play Busterfest, again ROAM are on that, I think? Are ROAM on that?
Danny: It’s ROAM or TRASH BOAT
Kieren: I think CREEPER are on it.
Alex: Yeah CREEPER are on it, definitely.
Sammy: And then album. Well we go home, shoot a video.
If you could play to anyone, who would it be?
Sammy: The Queen!
Alex: I reckon she’d be pissed off, start spitting on us or something.
Danny: She’d get the corgis out and start crowd surfing.
Kieren: It’d be interesting to play in front of Simon Cowell, see what he would say.
Alex: I’d love to play in front of Simon Cowell. See how he’d react.
Sammy: And Louis Walsh. Let’s just go on X Factor.
Alex: Cheryl Cole! Sharon Osbourne!
SKRWD is out now via No Sleep Records.
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