The All Time Low Australian tour has been confirmed and along for the ride are Neck Deep and The Maine. Neck Deep are a Welsh pop punk band who formed in 2012 who have released a number of EP’s before the release of Wishful Thinking in 2014 and Life’s Not Out To Get You in 2015. Hi Fi Way:The Pop Chronicles had the opportunity to talk lead vocalist Ben Barlow on the day the Australian tour was announced.

The tour announcement has just been made and there has been quite a reaction. Have you heard much on your social media channels?
I heard it was kicking off, I hope people are excited. It does seem like there is quite a buzz around it. I’m stoked! I’m glad people are looking forward to it and we know All Time Low really well having toured with the a couple of times now. I think we have toured with them on three continents now or what will be three continents.

This time it will be with The Maine also, I’m a big fan of that band. It should be a good one, it is a very strong package. All Time Low never disappoint live and they are fun people to tour with. That is essential for us, it is almost the big part of a tour for a band you are touring with and touring with good people is always a positive for us. We’re very excited about that. Australia is a beautiful country, the weather is beautiful, the people are awesome and we have made a lot of friends during our times when we have stayed in Australia.

Some of our closest, closest friends are in Australia and we are looking forward to more of that. Australian people remind me of British people if we weren’t totally fucking miserable. If the Brits had an air of happiness or a shred of happiness inside of them, that for me coming to Australia for two weeks and seeing people who understand us, our sense of humour and culture to a certain extent confirms that we are in paradise.

Do enjoy when you get the opportunity to step things up and play bigger venues to bigger crowds?
That’s the thing, Australia is one of our strongest destinations to tour and one of our favourites and generally most successful. The way that you progress is playing to more people and exposing new fans to our music. Maybe people have heard of us before but have never checked us out. Sometimes all it takes is to be plonked in front of people for them to go ‘actually, fuck, I don’t know why I didn’t check this band out earlier’. Hopefully we gain some more fans from it and hopefully bring some of our existing fans out. We still like playing small venues and being up close and personal. The vibe of each type of show is completely different.

With arena shows, on big stages playing to big crowds it is more focused on the performance spectacle. It’s like let’s play really tight, impress you and give them a good show. When it comes to a no barrier show in a club show the atmosphere allows you to connect with the crowd on a much more human level. I think you feel it a lot more and sometimes you just can’t beat that energy. Also, you can’t beat having people singing the words back to you. We did a support tour with Pierce The Veil in the States and on that tour we were booking our own headline tour in smaller venues because we wanted to get back to our roots and have some fun with it. If we can have a nice balance of the two then that would be perfect for us.

Does that mean you’re able to have a bigger production on this tour?
Ohhh, hopefully! We tend to when and where we can we tend to up the production a little bit. Obviously being a support band we are sort of limited with what we can do but for the most part I’m hoping we can do something cool. I think lighting and things like that can be overlooked sometimes but definitely adds to the experience plus we like having fun with that shit.

Just coming up with ideas creatively and what would look cool and how we can tie this in to a record is always fun. Maybe! We haven’t thought so far ahead as to production just yet but when we do I’m sure it will be a little better than you would get with our smaller shows.

Touring with all these big names do you get any ideas for your own show or learn some valuable lessons?
Um, holy shit! We’re not crazy fuckheads anyway, we don’t drink much particularly when the time isn’t right. I think we’re pretty good in that respect. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to stay fucking grounded and not be an egotistical dickhead. We are very, very, very lucky to be in the position that we are in. Be real and stay true to yourself and being in a band has taught me a lot about myself. Being in a band confirmed that for me, don’t change, keep your head up and stay true to yourself.

Do you think these days a lot of bands try to hard to be successful and fall in love with the idea of being famous?
I think so, I never dreamed of rock start lifestyle. I think when it starts affecting you as a person and how you treat other people then that is a problem. Some bands try to hard to convey that sort of image of themselves that they are something bigger or more important but at the end of the day we’re all fucking people!

Are there any plans for a new album at some stage this year?
Yeah man! The wheels are fully in motion and deep in to the process now. The album has really come together and we are planning to start recording in about three weeks time. It is coming up quick. I can’t really say too much about it at this point except to say the songs are coming together so it’s just a matter of getting in to the studio and getting it done.

Can you give something away at least to excite your fans?
You can expect one hundred percent that this will be a Neck Deep record through and through. Expect us to play around with this one a little bit, try something new without reinventing the wheel. We just want to progress as musicians and people and we will always want to try something a little different but the core of the band will still be there but it won’t be too crazily different.

Neck Deep are touring Australia with All Time Low and The Maine this May on the following dates:

AUCKLAND
Wednesday 10th May – Powerstation (Licensed All Ages)

BRISBANE
Friday 12th May – Riverstage (Licensed All Ages)

SYDNEY
Saturday 13th May – Hordern Pavilion (Licensed All Ages)

MELBOURNE
Sunday 14th May – Festival Hall (Licensed All Ages)

ADELAIDE
Tuesday 16th May – Thebarton Theatre (Licensed All Ages)

FREMANTLE
Thursday 18th May – Metropolis (18+)

FREMANTLE
Friday 19th May – Metropolis (Under 18)

Tickets available here

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