We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with RXPTRS frontman Simon Roach ahead of the release of the bands debut album. (You can check out our review of the album here) Check out as we talk about said album, the bands future plans and the state of the industry!
How did the name come about?
It’s actually a ridiculous thing. We got together and writing really quickly and we wanted to play live as soon as. It then caught us by surprise as before we came up with the name we got offered a tour from our friends. So we were like ‘yeah lets do it!… shit, we need to come up with a name really quickly. We wrote out pages and pages of names and we were trying to be clever about it, using philosophies and quotes from films. Everything sounded very genre-specific.
We just got really fed up and I was eventually just like ‘we really like dinosaurs. Lets do Raptors!’
Do you think the different spelling of it helps?
That was the intention, spelling it so it doesn’t get lost in the realms. It’s almost a sad thing to think about before we were even a band, but we were on about catching the eye. And it’s always a talking point! It either really pisses people off or they really like it.
The intention is to become so big that that becomes the normal way to spell Raptors! I don’t know what the Oxford dictionary will have to say about it, though!
How would you describe your genre?
We’re quite happy not really sitting in any one genre. I know it can be counterproductive and I’m sure the label aren’t as happy about it as people like categories, but to us you’ve just gotta listen to it and make up your own mind. If you like the alternative and metallic and hard rock elements of things then people are going to like parts of it. But from song to song it’s completely different. We try to approach every song with no boundaries and whatever sound is influencing us at the time may influence it more.
Our theory of songwriting is that it has to be however we’re feeling at the time and it’s gotta be as genuine as possible. Because we’re into all kinds of music we could end up putting in some smooth jazz or some sort of element of it. There are no rules and I don’t feel like there should be rules in music so we just kinda pave it our own way.
What was it like recording the album?
It was a hell of a process. We were thinking about an album while we were touring in 2019. We started writing stuff then but then the world shit the bed. Everything came to a standstill. Luckily the majority of the band live together here so we were able to carry on writing. In a weird way, as far as pandemics go, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
We took the 15 or 16 songs to the rehearsal studio, playing them live and seeing how they sounded. We managed to record half the album in between the two lockdowns and then managed to record the second half after. It all timed out perfectly really, we made it work.
Is there a theme or story behind the album?
There’s a loose theme. Basically the term ‘living without deaths permission’ is something I coined. I got told I should be dead, I nearly got decapitated in a car accident a couple of years back. Since that accident my eyes have been opened to a different way of living. It was nearly taken away in such a short moment of madness. Since then I’ve always felt so lucky to be alive that I kind of have a certain view of life. So, each song is kind of a different perspective on how I tend to go about life. Whether it’s a matter of politics or religion or just day to day life, it’s my outlook on it.
Have you got any advice on how to get out there for a new band starting up?
Don’t hold back. Really letting your colours show is the way forward. There’s no trick to it or to social media any more, it’s a minefield of a place to be. But just be yourself, show yourself for who you are, be around constantly. As far as social media goes you’ve got to be turning up.
I would say have a purpose with it as well. Being active and doing things even if it’s showing that you’re rehearsing or writing, letting people in on that goes a long way. Posting for the sake of posting if there isn’t anything behind it, people kind of see through it all now. If you’re just posting old photos it doesn’t really work any more.
Being there is a good aspect to have in band life in general. People think there’s a trick of the trade or tricks around it when half the battle is just being in places, being present. Going to other peoples shows if you’re in a local band. Supporting one another is how you get yourselves around. Going to places where people are.
The underground scene with the NWOCR lot has helped out the scene a lot!
It’s such a good place to be. There is this community vibe to it and there’s no falsities to it. It’s just about being there and being a straight up person. People see bullshit a mile away. Obviously there are people who are presented above others, know labels and jump ahead a bit. But there’s so much more that you can get by having a genuine connection with people at a human level. That goes a lot further.
What would you say the current climate of music is like?
I think it’s a great place. I think the UK and the world over seems to be in a good place with the alt scene. People are very very open to a lot more of the alt side of things. Whether it’s because they’re on social media and being let in or people’s minds are being opened a little bit more. Whether you love them or hate them, there’s people like Bring Me The Horizon that are in the charts and at these pop awards and doing collabs with pop acts. You have to appreciate the goodness that that does for shining a light on the underground scene. I see a lot more people turning towards rock shows and festivals.
Check out the full interview from the video above. If you are interested in checking out any more of our interviews, check out our YouTube channel here.