Interview with Shaun Milton from Landscapes at Hevy Festival 2015: “I’m all about the idea of quality control”

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Ahead of their Hevy Fest performance performance, Rock Sins caught up with Shaun Milton from Landscapes. With their second album due out later this year it was a good time to discuss the writing process and why Landscapes have taken their time with releasing the album.

Rock Sins: So firstly are you excited to play Hevy Fest?

Shaun: Absolutely, yeah I can’t wait. It’s been like 3 years since we played here. So yeah I’m really stoked and looking forward to being back in front of people here.

Rock Sins: You’ve already been pretty busy in 2015, is it good to get back to playing so many shows after a quieter end to last year?

Shaun: Well I guess for a lot of people it would seem like we were quiet last year, we pulled out of some festivals as well. But actually we really busy with writing our new record. We recorded it in September last year, out in California. We had a tour set up for last year in Australia which never went through because of the Visas so it was really manic even though it was all behind the scenes stuff. But yeah so far 2015 has been cool.

Rock Sins: So what is the situation with getting the album out right now?

Shaun: Well we spent like 3 months building our album cover, like we didn’t wanna do it with photo shop. So I took some time out to build all the letters so we didn’t have a standard font. We had to build this huge photo shoot set in this warehouse. We also weren’t completely happy with the end result from recording last year in California so we wanted to tweak it a little bit through our boy Neil Kennedy at the Ranch Studios down in Southampton. So big up to that guy I love him. But yeah, we tweaked the album to where we wanted it to be at the start of the year. And then the last couple of months we worked on the cover, we did a video there at the same time. So everything is pretty much finished up we’re just finalising everything and then sending it off. Hopefully it will be out by the end of the year.

Rock Sins: It’s been quite a slow and careful process with the album then?

Shaun: It has but I’m all about the idea of quality control. I like the idea of it being right. I’d rather it be right than us just knock something out and be a bit iffy with it.

Rock Sins: You’ve been playing some new songs live for a while, how has the reception to those songs been?

Shaun: We’ve heard some really good reception so far. Obviously people aren’t moving about or getting involved as much but we’ve got quite a few people coming up and telling us the like the new material.

Rock Sins: Life Gone Wrong generally got an amazing reception, did that add any pressure on the new album?

Shaun: Yeah definitely, that freaked us out. Because a lot of other bands were into that record as well. We found ourselves being a bit of a bands band rather than a fans band, if that makes sense. But yeah we were really nervous, I guess this is why it’s taken a bit longer as well. We wanted it to be right and not just something we did off the cuff. We’re just human beings at the end of the day, not superheroes. We just wanna write good music and have people vibe off of it.

Rock Sins: So Landscapes’ music is very emotional, do you write from personal experience?

Shaun: Absolutely yeah. Nothing in a song I have written has ever been about anything other than my personal experiences. I suffer from anxiety and depression which at times has brought me to my worst points and I’m lucky to still be here in some respects. Not to say I did that on my own, I had a lot of help from my friends and family. But those experiences I needed somewhere to channel them and my band was the perfect place to do so.

Rock Sins: So it’s helped you cope with these experiences?

Shaun: Yeah, I wouldn’t so I vent so much. But it’s more of a case of being able to put it down on paper and understand who I am. So yeah it has definitely helped me a lot in that respect.

Rock Sins: Does this experience carry over to your live show too?

Shaun: Yeah that’s the hardest part about playing shows. You kinda relive these moments and you can end up dragging yourself back down. But at the same time I meet tons of incredible people and people who are interested in what I’m doing do it kinda levels out and makes sense.

Rock Sins: So apart from getting the album released what have you got planned for the near future?

Shaun: I say this all the time, like we’ve got tours coming up, we’re in talks about doing tours in Australia and the States but they never fucking materialise. But yeah we’re hoping to be out in the States for spring next year, we’re in talks with our label so fingers crossed that’s gonna pull through. We’ve also been writing other material and working on a couple of covers which has been cool. And it’s nothing within this music genre, we’re really interested in experimenting and playing around a bit to see how it goes. We’re looking at some of our new material and how to approach it on an acoustic level too. Like on a chilled level to see if people can vibe the lyrical content and music in a different approach.

Rock Sins: Finally with Hevy Fest having it’s own zoo, we’re asking bands what animal they think they’d be?

Shaun: I’d say we’d be a snake. Like a big, black, fuck off snake.

Rock Sins: Well that’s everything man, cheers.

Shaun: Thank you very much.

A review of Landscapes (excellent) performance on the first day of Hevy Fest 2015 can be found right here. Their most recent album Life Gone Wrong is out now via Pure Noise Records.

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