London street punk band Booze & Glory have come a long way since their inception eight years ago. What started as a group of friends having fun and making music together has evolved into something more over the years. Although the band is obviously still doing both of those things, the changing times and political climate of the world have given the band more to fight for than ever, and their dynamic new album, Chapter IV is the perfect soundtrack to just that.
Since Chapter IV's release in March, Booze & Glory have been busier than ever. Having just returned a month-long U.S. tour, the band is already gearing up for an extremely busy summer and fall back home.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
The Prelude Press: You guys kicked off 2017 with the release of your new album, Chapter IV in March. Looking back on it, what on the album are you most proud of?
Mark: We’re actually really proud of the album as a whole. This time around we spent much more time on the writing, production and running order. We feel it’s a progression for us whilst still retaining the core Booze & Glory sound.
It being your fourth album, did you have any major goal in mind when working on Chapter IV?
We wanted to come out with the best album we possibly could and we hope we’ve done that. We have expanded the Booze & Glory sound by adding some instrumentation we haven’t used before. On this album we have piano, mandolin, banjo and even a strings section!
Were there any subjects or themes you wanted to touch on with this release? Any important stories you wanted to tell?
We’ve always felt that our music should have sincerity, so we write from our own life experiences. Over the last few years, lots of things have changed in our lives and that is reflected in the lyrical content of the album.
The song ‘Life’s A Gamble’… it was written about several friends of mine who had had cancer diagnoses over the last few years. Whilst recording the vocals for that song, I had my own diagnosis which made it even more poignant. Everything is fine now, but it was pretty scary.
How do you feel you have grown or evolved from the start of Booze & Glory, nearly a decade ago?
When we started, it was a bunch of friends having fun and making some music together. It quickly picked up from that, and became something more serious. Since then, we have grown as writers, musicians and in our personal lives. There have been a couple of line-up changes since we started, which obviously changes the sound, but the root is still the same.
It’s interesting how punk music evolves over the years, because it seems that no matter what is going on there is always a purpose to it, or something to fight for. Being a band of this caliber, what have been some of the big changes you have seen over the years? How have they affected you as a group?
There’s now more to fight for than ever. The scene that we’re a part of has always had a loud voice in fighting for social justice. This is now more important than ever. In our hometown of London, lots of the venues we had previously played at have been pushed out by corporate greed and the availability of venues for young bands to play at is severely limited.
The places we used to go to see some of the most exciting new bands now no longer exist.
With Chapter IV out now, you’ve been on the road and were state-side in May. What were some of the best moments of these shows?
We actually just got back and we had a blast! There were some particular highlights, although the whole experience was amazing.
What can fans expect from upcoming live performances?
Our live shows are always a pretty energetic experience. One of the best things about doing what we do is meeting the people who like our music, and having that face-to-face interaction, that nothing can compare to. Expect to hear all of the usual favourites along with new tracks from Chapter IV.
Do you have any other big plans for 2017?
Now we’re back in Europe, we have a string of June U.K. dates, followed by festival dates over the summer, including HellFest and Rebellion, then in September we’re back to the U.S. for an east coast tour. After that, Japan.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
See you on the road!