A Conversation with ROAM

Following a fantastic 2014 which was rounded off by being named in the Top 5 Best British Newcomers in Rock Sound’s Readers’ Poll, British pop-punk upstarts ROAM signed to the mighty Hopeless Records (All Time Low, Enter Shikari, Neck Deep). Their first EP for the record, entitled “Viewpoint” has been a smash hit with fans, thrusting the young band to the very top of the UK pop-punk scene. We caught up with drummer Charlie Pearson before the band took the stage at 2000trees last weekend…

TCOV – Hey Charlie, how’s it going?

CP – Summer’s been good, Download festival was our first festival and it was sick, so much fun and it’s massive, it was crazy to get a good reaction there so we were happy with that. That was the start of our most recent tour, after Download we had to leave on the Saturday afternoon and go to Europe with All Time Low, and that was crazy, some of the best shows we’ve ever played, so much fun.

Sure, what can you guys learn from being around a band like that?

They’ve been around for ages, since we were like… well I remember watching them on Scuzz and Kerrang! when I first started playing drums you know? Their stage shows are amazing, the way they talk to crowds is amazing, the way they play, they’re so tight, they’ve got everything down to a tee. There’s a reason they’ve been going as long as they have.

Cool! So recently you finished recording the full length, is that right?

We did that’s right, it’s all good, all finished now. We had to redo a couple of the vocal tracks because our singer (Alex Costello) was ill when we last had studio time booked in so it’s taken a little longer to record than first planned but hopefully it’ll be out at the beginning of next year. I don’t know any more than that… we haven’t even heard it back properly yet!

So can we expect more of what we’ve already heard from ROAM?

I’d say we’ve developed a little after touring with such great bands over the last year or two, we’ve learnt a lot. I wouldn’t say it’s different, it’s still ROAM but little little changes, couple of softer songs and a couple of heavier ones in there.

Quite a lot was made when you signed to Hopeless Records earlier this year, just the second UK band to do so… how big a decision was that for you guys?

Well to be a band that’d only been together for just over a year when we first spoke to them, we were all so excited to do it that at first it was like “just sign it sign it!” because any band wants to be signed. But then we got management behind us, we looked at the contract a bit and took some time going over it and making sure it was the right one for us. And it was, they’ve looked after us really well, we’re really happy, the first year on Hopeless has been great, really good fun.

Brilliant, and how was it to be the second British band to join that roster?

Great yeah, Trash Boat were soon after us in third… It’s great you know, we toured with Neck Deep when they’d just signed to them I think, last January time and we’re looking forward to getting over to America a bit more and touring with some of their American bands. The All Time Low shows were a start, they’re from Hopeless as well, and they were saying “ah we’re Hopeless family now” and you want to get that with as many bands as possible and start making friends and touring around.

So as a band that haven’t been around that long I’m guessing you’ve never been to Trees before? What’ve you heard about this festival?

We haven’t no mate, but it looks lovely. I personally didn’t know a lot about it, the other boys knew more than me but I’m just taking it all in right now. We got a little lost on the way here, we came across this little village a couple of miles outside and all the houses were immaculate, and we thought “we’re probably not going to find the festival around here…” but then you turn the corner and all of a sudden there you go, you can hear the music and stuff and it’s really nice here. I like being in the countryside, and a festival bang in the middle is always good. We’ll be camping tonight too, I’m not sure where because we were told we can camp in band camping, or down where the action is so I guess we’ll camp down here and have a good night then leave tomorrow because we’ve got a show at NASS Fest. We’re not camping there though because we’ve got to leave in the evening.

Couple of nice days then! So what do you prefer personally, festival touring season or a run of shows with the same bands?

Well we’ve only done a few festivals, we did Slam Dunk, Jera on Air which is in Holland, I think 2000trees is only our 4th or 5th. But we haven’t really had the chance to camp the weekends, we’ve normally just played them as one off shows so I haven’t felt like we’ve experienced a true festival yet. We’ve never turned up on the Friday, watched bands for a whole day, played the Saturday… you know, the proper thing. But I guess when the weather’s nice, festivals are perfect. Everyone likes a festival, I used to go to Reading & Leeds growing up, Download, Isle of Wight, Bestival… the lot.

So will we catch you lot in the Silent Disco later then?!

Oh sick, a silent disco?

*At this point guitarist Sam Veness wanders past*

Sam the man will be well up for a silent disco won’t you Sam?

SV – Aww yeah!

So Trees have a big reputation for supporting new and underground bands, what advice would you give to bands wanting to break through from a band that’ve burst into the scene really quickly?

Play as many shows as you can. Even if you’re not making money, we were losing money for ages but it didn’t matter, just keep playing as many shows as you can, up and down the country, go as far away from home as you can and as close to home as you can and play as many shows as possible. Then one day you’ll meet the right people, do it old school way! Just play a mental amount of shows to get noticed, I mean this year we’ve played so many and I love it, I’ve never regretted any of it. Even if the shows have rubbish turn outs it’s still so much fun, and when it is a bad turn out you just use it as a live band practice!

Thanks to Charlie for being a dude, and to ROAM for smashing their set. Go catch them on tour with State Champs and Knuckle Puck this September! Tickets are here.

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Photo credit to the wonderful Corrine Cumming of Captured By Corinne – check out her work and give her a like!


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