Croydon and Crawley three-piece, Press to MECO recently announced their new album, Transmute. Due for release on June 11th, the trio have so much to be proud of. So far, we’ve heard the brilliant singles Another Day and Smouldering sticks. The road to this album hasn’t been the smoothest, but Press to MECO have pulled it off perfectly. From recording in a castle, to dropping frogs and teasing fans, the excitement for this third album is huge.
We sat down with Luke, Lewis, and Jake to have some fun and find out more about what went into creating an album mid pandemic.
What was it like going from thinking Another day would be the end, to creating an album?
Lewis: We wrote Another Day within this whole album session; all the songs basically were from that time where me and Luke had thrown our hands up a little bit at the industry and just kind of being in a band in general. So, this whole writing session was just purely for us. It was like let’s just go and write something and remember why we do this to begin with. Also, just to remind ourselves that were not bad at doing this. Just because the band isn’t doing as well as maybe we want it to be, it doesn’t mean were necessarily bad. It was kind of like in a way it was cathartic and a bit of a relief and we had no pressure, we had no expectations. We were doing this for ourselves and just making art for arts sake. It was the most fun we’ve had writing an album really.
What went into recording an album during a pandemic?
Luke: So that was the craziest thing about the record. We were at a point where we were ready to call it a day. Through that we found the most freeing and liberating writing experience. Then Jake jumped on board and it really gave us a new lease of life.
We were feeling very excited about having him in the band. We’ve been a huge fan of him as a musician and as a friend for a long time. It was super cool to have him step in; we were all ready to go. We were literally gonna fly out to the states and do the record in Machine’s barn, called the Machine shop. Then the pandemic hit, and we thought “Ah fuck I dunno what we’re gonna do now”.
Lewis and I had actually been the previous year to go and write in our manager friends’ modern home, castle tower. We were very lucky to have access to this space, he was a big fan of the band and he kind of just said “Look if you guys need somewhere to get away, use this place”. It’s his getaway house in the Cotswolds.
As it became more and more of a logistical nightmare, and more and more restrictions were put in place. We were writing and one of us flippantly said at this rate, the cost of renting a studio and getting Machine over, we may as well go and do it in this castle tower. As soon as it was said, we paused, and it was like well why don’t we do this? Forgetting all of the million reasons why you shouldn’t make your own studio and go and try do it in a castle. At this point we were like what have we got to lose. We knew Machine as a producer is such a cowboy. Out of anyone on the planet he’s the guy to come over with some janky old mics and figure out a DIY way of doing this and it not sounding compromised. It was very much a passing comment and then realising actually this may be the best way of doing this record. Amazingly we came out the other side with something better than we could’ve hoped for.
You recently featured on the Sappnin’ podcast and chatted about practical jokes, what’s the best one you’ve played/been played on you?
Luke: Jake dropped a frog once.
Jake: I did drop a frog. It was completely by accident, my own fault for holding him too high up on a number of plates that I was balancing him on. I wouldn’t say that was a practical joke, that was more kind of…
Luke: A natural disaster!
Jake: I still feel bad! I wish you wouldn’t bring it up.
Luke: So basically, there was this frog that got in the castle, Jake tried to help it. The frog didn’t want the help and it jumped off the plate. It plagues Jake’s conscious daily. The frog was fine!
Jake: That was just a traumatic experience, less of a prank. There was plenty of pranks. Just us being in a bubble for over a month with nothing to do other than think of music.
Lewis: The prank is on our girlfriends and us choosing to be musicians who make no money.
We’ve finally got some hope for live shows, if you were to put on and play a day festival, who would be on the line up?
Luke: ACDC headliner.
Jake: Us not even on it.
Luke: Us not playing so we can just enjoy it. Who would be a good support for ACDC, who’s big enough? Maybe like Ghost or someone like that?
Luke: Yes! Supported by Manchester Orchestra?
Jake: Gojira, Manchester Orchestra, ACDC, Everything Everything.
Luke: and Boney M.
Jake: That’s pretty good actually. Lewis what would your choices be?
Lewis: I’ve only really got one to throw in the ring. The little known, Croydon outfit, Kunt and the gang.
Jake: That would get everyone going.
Luke: There is the exclusive special guest Chloe Tucker appearance slot, you’re allowed to add a band to that slot as well.
Oh, that’s a lot of pressure. I’m racking my brain for the 2000 Trees regulars because I just miss them… I think Creeper.
Jake: Good shout!
Luke: They can open the stage!
When we can properly have tours again, are you more excited to play bigger venues or loads of smaller shows?
Luke: I think we’re just excited to play at this point to be honest. I think that’s universally the feeling across a lot of bands. We’re excited to play with this band, the three of us just have so much fun being in a room together. That’s still a bit of a novelty at the moment, we’ve hardly had time to hang out. Compared to had there have been no Covid we would’ve been sick of each other by now! It’s still exciting for us to be playing in a room, so the thought of that. Playing a show in front of some people, big shows are still nice though.
As regulars at 2000 Trees, what are you most excited for 2021?
Luke: We have a bias toward trees, we think it’s one of the best festivals on the planet! I think we’ve said this before about trees but it’s one of those places that feels like a hometown show every time. It’s kind of like whatever niche part of the rock spectrum we sit on, there seems to me the most concentrated amount of people that like what we do at trees. We’re honoured to keep getting invited back and we’re gonna keep saying yes, every time we’re invited back. It’s as good as when we put on a London show. We’re super honoured and humbled to headline the Neu stage this year. For us that’s something we’ll remember for a long time, to us it’s such a significant staple in this band’s history being asked to headline that stage at a festival we love so much.
Jake: The pizza place!
Luke: The churro place!
Jake: The first time I actually ever went to trees was teching for these guys. It was 2016 when you played the axiom. I couldn’t get over how much of a good time that festival was.
Luke: I think Jake saw the fact there was a Rueben dedicated campsite and just was like I’m never gonna leave.
Jake: Pretty much, I know Rueben are a pretty big deal there but I’m the biggest Rueben fan, no one else is.
You’ve been pretty creative with all the teasers on Instagram, how did you come up with that approach?
Luke: We’re just winging it!! We’re just throwing some ideas up the walls and seeing what sticks. It’s quite fun. With the code thing, we just wanted to be a bit cryptic. You could call us button pushers. We definitely thrive off fanning the flames with stuff like that. It was just fun to be a bit creative with stuff other than just the music and the approach with the campaign. We’re literally just having fun with it.
Jake: Our discord, we started just as we started recording the album. We couldn’t believe how much traction it picked up so quickly and it remains that way. They absolutely lapped it up. They were smashing it and really going for it. Some of them even got the right answers by going down completely different avenues to what we had thought out. They came up with cooler things!
Are there any other teasers you can give us in the build-up to the release?
Luke: There will be an album!
What themes/stories can we expect with the Transmute?
Lewis: Lots of self-loathing, no… not lots, a healthy amount of self-loathing. The main running theme is change and change in ourselves. Just kind of the idea we’re all getting on a bit now and what should we do?
Luke: No really Chloe, what should we do?!
Lewis: I’m asking a question!!
Luke: We need help!
On your acoustic album in 2019, you covered strangers, is there a song you’d love to cover now and put your own spin on?
Luke: We’ve actually been talking a bit about this.
That cover is honestly one of my favourites.
Luke: Oh amazing, thank you! We just did that because Sigrid was big at the time and we thought she was sick. That acoustic EP was just a bit of fun for us. We’ve always had a really positive response to our acoustic sets, and we had done that one at trees the year before. It got such an overwhelming reaction as we were doing it. It was kind of like, well why don’t we record this side of the band. The vocal lends themselves well to that set. I’m not sure, what would you like to hear us cover? We could go so many different ways.
It’s really hard… one of my other fave covers is Sea Girls cover of Miley Cyrus’ Nothing Breaks Like A Heart…
Jake: Funny you should mention that I was thinking Prisoner by Miley Cyrus, I absolutely love that. Just half time that chorus, change the chords a little bit. It’d be very nice.
Luke: Get Miley Cyrus to sing it! It’s hard, because when you’re thinking over covers, you’re at a balance of brain vs your head. My brain says do a Machine Gun Kelly song or a BTS song, or Yungblud. You’re gonna get people who will check it out, but there might be a niche song you really want to cover…I’m sure we’ll do another cover soon.
Have you discovered any new bands/artists you’ve fallen in love with recently?
Lewis: For me Phoebe Bridgers. She’s blown up massively and I’ve given her the time now and she’s amazing. I’ve rediscovered my love for Billie Eilish from the documentary. I’m not sure who else, I’ve been revisiting a lot of old stuff.
Luke: Yeah, I’ve been the same actually.
Jake: For me, recently it’s been going back and listening to the first Gorillaz album again because it was the 20th anniversary recently. That was absolutely insane. It’s crazy how that album could come out today and it would still be forward thinking. That album could come out today and it would still be forward thinking and that’s highly impressive!
Luke: I was spinning the loathe album. I was kind of late to the party on that record, but I was spinning that a couple months ago and really enjoying that. I’ve just kind of been listening to what I liked anyway. I loved the Hayley Williams EP’s she put out. That was probably the first new music in a while I’ve had on repeat all the time.
If you could describe PTM in 2021 in 5 words, what would they be?
Luke: Sad, Lonely, Jaded, Young, Men.
Lewis: Is young men one word?
Luke: Young men is two words
Jake: Do you wanna do a more positive one now Luke?
Luke: Nope. I mean do you disagree.
Jake: Not at all! But I’d say that’s only one side of the story… Big, Humongous, giant, stinking, riffs. You could substitute riffs for hooks as well.
Luke: Arguably, angrier, than we’ve been before…That’s six.
Jake: Still, can’t, count, properly, mate.
Luke: I still had to count that to get the joke.
Lewis: We are great role models for any up-and-coming bands, just do the opposite of everything we do.
Anything else you wanna add?
Luke: If anyone wants to check out the record and give it a listen. Please listen to it.
Transmute is out on June 11th and will be available on an exclusive coloured LP via Banquet Records. You can pre-order the album here.
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