It’s true that myself and Mr Kleenex are cracking on a bit (him more than me) and our love for the glory days of Punk and the mad days of Metal is a testament to the greats, but now and then something fresh and new comes along that stirs up the current and reminds us that there is some amazing new talent coming up and this year is looking very exciting indeed.
I caught my first glimpse of The Dress Down Kids one morning whilst me and my 5 month old son Fletcher were watching Scuzz, which he loves because he’s a mini metal monster. So on comes this video set in a retirement home, with a nurse (wow) and some elderly people, and then the band starts and from the outset the energy is on a different level, and it got my boy’s bum wiggling. Sneaking subtly into Fall Out Boy territory but with a fresher edge to it, it’s fun and vibrant, the riffs hook you like a weekend fishing trip and then frontman Tristan treats us to a clever and well timed rap that any of the big name Hp Hop artists would be jealous off. The track is an opening to the future of rock that sees it fusing with other genres and dominating the scene with it’s energy and enthusiasm, these young guys, full of promise and talent, look set to be massive on the touring circuit this summer and beyond.
I was lucky enough to have a chat with these guys, here’s what they had to say;
Hi guys and welcome aboard The Black Flag, can you introduce the band and who does what?
Tristan – Lead Vocals
Fletch – Lead Guitar
Lee – Rhythm Guitar
Tom – Bass Guitar
Ajay – Drums
How and when did you guys get together?
The band was formed around two years ago when Fletch, Lee and AJ were gigging as an acoustic trio in and around Manchester. On one Autumn night in Manchester the three turned up to perform at an open mic event where they met Tristan who was hosting the evening.
From this point on, the four lads kept in contact and eventually met up for a drink and to chat about music and share each other’s plans for the future. They found that they all had a similar taste and ambition for one idea: The formation of a hip-hop rock fusion band.
This lead onto the group arranging a fair few jamming sessions, creating a different, yet interesting sound. However, with Tristan singing, AJ on keys, Fletch as the bassist and Lee playing guitar there was a piece of the puzzle missing!
This called for an extra member to join the band…
They went on to invite a number of people in to get behind the drum kit and see if their musical flavour matched our own, but it never seemed to fit! They felt they were at a bit of a dead end… It was only when AJ thought to let the other lads know that he could play the drums. This mixed things up a bit!
They were still missing something and couldn’t find any members who could fit the bill… Bar one guy! He was a good friend of Fletch and AJ, they had known each other from a young age, but he had only been playing bass for about six weeks when he was needed to try out with the rest of the guys!
This guy was Tom. He came to the jam, set up and just slotted himself in perfectly… This was it, The Dress Down Kids were born!
What have you been doing since you got together?
We have been striving to be the best we physically can be. Getting money together to go and do gigs all over the country to push our name as far and as wide as possible. We opened doors for ourselves and managed to get a gig exchange in Spain 2 years ago. We then, the following year, joined a charity organisation and went over to Russia to play football and a gig in front of at least 30,000 people. We helped raise a million dollars for a children’s charity over in Russia. Since then, we have recorded Tear the Roof Off, our debut single and working as hard as possible to promote it.
How would you describe your sound?
We class ourselves as a Street Rock band. We feel that the fusion of Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop should have a name, so we sat at rehearsal, thinking up names for what genre we could be and so, Street Rock was born.
Who/what influences your sound?
Our influences are all different as we all have different musical backgrounds. Ajay likes to listen to heavy metal, but can just as easily listen to a nice bit of opera! Tristan has a neo soul background mixed in with a bit of house, so likes all the intricate runs and strong beats. Fletch enjoys more commercial pop, Lee listens to Michael Buble and Tom likes indie/rock music.
This being the case, we tend to use our comparisons to tell people who our influences are. We get told that we sound like a mix between Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes.
Are you excited about bringing your sound to the public?
WE CANNOT WAIT. We want everyone in the world to hear our sound! Refreshing the world’s ears with a little bit of something new can never hurt. In an age where music is moving further away from its roots with endless production and auto tune, we want to get back to the good old ways. Using a full band has always been our intention and creating a modern sound is something we need to do!
What is the creative process like, do you write together?
Our creative process is a little strange. It used to be so rigid in the way Tristan would come in with an idea and we would go with it, but now, it seems everyone has the ability to write. We will be in rehearsal and whether it be Fletch who starts a riff, or Tristan humming a beat, or even the rest of the band playing something, if we feel it, it starts there. We all then come together and write some lyrics to top it all off and that’s how the majority of our songs are created!
Tell me about ‘Tear the Roof Off’, what’s it about?
Tear the Roof Off is literally about partying as hard as you can, having the best time possible! We wanted to make a feel good record for our first single, one that gets people moving and a party is the best way to make this happen! We are called The Dress Down Kids and we made a single that was as “dress down” as possible. A genuine party track! There may not be a subliminal message behind these lyrics, but some of our other songs are quite different, so people can expect at least a bit of seriousness from us.
Was it fun to record?
Of course, such a fun party song will always be fun to play and in the studio, it’s no different. Although if we danced around too much we had to do another take; it isn’t as easy as you think jumping around playing instruments!
Love the video, what’s the story there?
Well, we originally planned to crash a pretentious girl’s party, but we ended up changing our minds. Someone mentioned a old people’s home and we warmed to the idea of making the video based around a boring 80th birthday party being crashed and electrified by us! It was so fun because even people of the older generation were bopping along to our music. We love to see that we appeal to everybody!
When can we expect an album?
We are currently in the studio recording material for our album. The songs are there, it’s just a matter of having time to fit in studio time when we have gigs popping up left, right and centre!
Any big gigs coming up you want to share?
The main gig we have coming up is the 2nd March at The Attic in Manchester. Tickets are available through the band.
Lastly, when and where can people get ‘Tear the Roof Off’?
Tear the Roof Off is set for release this month, we like to be a little mysterious when it comes to a release date so we can surprise people with a link to download! In the meantime, catch us on YouTube where you can see the video to Tear the Roof Off. Oh and if you have satellite TV, catch us on Scuzz TV and Kerrang! too.
There you go, The Dress Down Kids, a modern band with a drive and purpose. Keep an eye out because you will definitely be seeing more of these guys in the future. Here’s where you can find out more about the band that is ready to take over the UK in 2013;