What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Liam: It’s hard to pinpoint how exactly I got into music. Initially, it was probably from my parents subjecting me to things that they liked. I have no doubts that the first song I ever heard would’ve been a Rod Stewart one, thanks to my dad. Honestly, that’s kinda cool though. I also loved Robbie Williams from a young age and still do. My first proper introduction to rock music was my friend in primary school, when we were aged about 10, giving me a burned copy of The Young And The Hopeless by Good Charlotte. If I wasn’t doing music, I have no idea what I’d be doing. I work a boring-ass day job, but music is the only part of my life, aside from relationships, that makes me feel like I’m achieving something worthwhile.
Ben: My dad has always been into punk, and I did some guitar lessons when I started secondary school. I'd probably be earning a lot more money if I wasn't so into music.
Jamie: I grew up watching my dad playing guitar in bands and remember thinking he was the biggest rockstar in the world. I always knew I wanted to be just like him and after trying out a couple of instruments, I fell in love with playing drums.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Liam: I mostly just hang out with my girlfriend and play lots of Pokemon Go. My influence is nearly always what’s currently happening in my life, so I guess the next album is going to be about hanging out with my girlfriend and playing Pokemon Go.
Jamie: I'm a huge Marvel fan, so if I'm not playing music, you can usually find me reading a comic or rewatching the entire MCU for the billionth time.
How long has your band been around?
Liam: downcast has existed since 2018, but for a long time it was pretty much just Ben and myself. We’ve had some temporary members along the way, but it’s the permanent line up that we’ve had for the past year or so, consisting of Ben, Jeff Jamie and myself that’s made it truly feel like a band not just two guys making music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Liam: I grew up in South Wales. My family and upbringing have influenced some of our songs. We call the band Bristol-based as 3/4 of us live there and always have, and I even spent some time living in Bristol myself. If I hadn’t made friends in Bristol, I wouldn’t have ever started downcast and these songs wouldn’t exist.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Liam: Honestly, we just had a bunch of sad songs and wanted the band name to be synonymous with the word ‘sad’.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Liam: Our Bristol date of the last tour we did is the most memorable for me. I blew my voice the night before and could barely sing by the end of the show, so pretty much the whole room sang ‘catharsis’ for me.
Ben: The Bristol headline show on our last tour was wild, and I loved every second of it. Also, The As December Falls show was a great birthday.
Jamie: An obvious answer, but our first ever hometown headliner was a night I don't think any of us will ever forget. We were halfway through our UK tour back in August 2021. Having just recently coming out of lockdown, we didn't know what to expect, but to get a packed out room singing our songs back at us was so humbling.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Ben: I would love to play The Underworld, The O2 and Wembley.
Jamie: Going back a few years now, I got the chance to play at The Underworld, Camden. London is a second home to me, and after seeing so many of my favourite bands grace that iconic stage, it felt like a real dream come true moment. Wembley or the O2 Arena in London would obviously be THE BUCKET LIST SHOWS.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ben: Capstan, Sum 41, Justin Bieber and Parkway Drive.
Jamie: I think a Bring Me The Horizon, Counterparts, downcast tour/show would be pretty fun!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Ben: Don't tell anyone that a three part guitar harmony is “too much”. Also, learn enough theory that you know how to put a good song together.
Liam: Don’t pay attention to jealous local bands who talk shit about you. As long as you’re not being a dickhead, it usually means you’re doing something right.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Liam: Do vocal warm ups. Every time.
Ben: Bet on Germany beating Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Liam: I would probably say ‘britannia mills’. It feels particularly personal to me because it discusses a lot of saddening topics regarding my own experiences in much more detail than other songs. Some of the lyrics were very difficult for me to put into the song, but I’m a strong believer that if you don’t feel at least a little bit uncomfortable showing people your writing, then it probably sucks.
Ben: ‘someplace safer’ because I like how the chorus drops out and comes back in. I love writing guitar, bass and drums, but I don't think those parts give you the same emotional connection as lyrics would.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Ben: ‘catharsis’ is the most requested. I love playing ‘mistakes that i have made’ and ‘someplace safer’.
Jamie: I think right now, our new single, ‘mistakes that i have made’ is my favourite to play live. It changes all the time, but I'm really enjoying the crowd reaction to a heavier song, which you wouldn't usually expect from downcast. It gives the moshers an excuse to throw some shapes too.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Ben: I write the music and send it over to Liam to add lyrics, then we send the ideas back and forth until we're ready to take it to the studio.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Ben: Cool guitar parts, ridiculous harmonies.
Liam: There’s not really a particular message that I try to convey. I write most of our songs primarily for myself. I hope, if anything, people can find positive messages in our music.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Ben: To disagree with me is to choose violence, and the band have learned to live with this.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Ben: My main goal is to blow up, then act like I don't know nobody