In this exclusive interview with IMMERSE, we delve into the band's journey and unique sound that bridges melodic elements with heavy riffs. From their origins as a pop-punk cover band to their current post-hardcore prowess, IMMERSE's evolution is a testament to their dedication to authentic expression.
As they anticipate their eagerly awaited new release, the band is ready to inject their electrifying energy into live performances and aspires to grace the stages of renowned festivals. IMMERSE's message of positivity and following one's heart resonates deeply, as they aim to leave a lasting imprint on the music scene with their music.
Can you tell us about the origins of IMMERSE? How did the band come together, and what was the inspiration behind its formation?
We just wanted to take the time to thank you again for the emergency merch hook-up earlier this year. You really saved us on that one! Me and Archie had been in bands together previously - mainly pop punk vibe doing a lot of covers. We met Josh through the local scene and he was our first-choice drummer when we decided to form this new band. We’ve been through a few bassists but really happy to have Dev join us earlier this year. We all bring out the best in one another so excited for the future of the band.
What was the defining moment when you knew that IMMERSE was more than just a group of musicians and that you had something special as a band?
I think it was when we released Glass House. The response was insane and we felt like we had created a song that would live forever. The song brings back unforgettable memories of our European tour. Hearing people sing the words in places like Germany and Switzerland was a real eye-opener into how far we could take our music.
Bristol has a diverse music scene. How has your hometown influenced your sound and the overall direction of the band?
Bristol has shown us that there are no boundaries within music. People are encouraged to create raw pieces of art and that’s exactly what we are out to do. The rock/metal scene feels pretty small now in Bristol but there are a few bands still going strong. No one else is really doing our style which has pushed us onto a variety of shows. We can’t wait for Bristol's new rock festival ‘Misery Loves Company’ in September.
Congratulations on the last 3 singles you guys have released, tracks are sounding massive! We’re excited to hear ‘All I Know Is You’. Could you give us a glimpse into the creative process behind your latest work? What themes and emotions were you looking to explore in your latest offering?
Thank you so much! ‘All I Know Is You’ takes a darker turn away from the other three new singles. This song is a sensitive one that is dedicated to Archie’s sister who suffers from long-term illness. Expression of pain and helplessness is at the forefront of the track.
In terms of the music, I loved creating the repeated lead guitar riff and synths in this track. I wanted to create a moody foundation for Archie to unleash his emotional vocals on. I think ‘All I Know Is You’ is going to be a new favourite for a lot of fans who prefer our darker/more exposed songs.
Post-hardcore is a genre that allows for a lot of experimentation and blending of styles. How has IMMERSE developed its unique sound over time, and what elements do you believe set you apart from other bands in the genre?
I feel like we have a unique way of blending melodies with the heavy elements. Our riffs aren’t the standard metalcore chug style - we really take the time to come up with something that’s going to get the crowd moving and stick in their minds. Every release is a stepping stone for us;
Our first album ‘Suffer’ is a mix of different influences and was a time when we were still getting to grips with songwriting. There are a few hits and misses on there but we love it either way as it was a necessary step for us to find our path. ‘The Weight That Holds Me Here’ was a more polished album with consistent themes. The album took us to another level and captured some of our favourite moments since starting this band. Songs like ’23/19’ & ‘Vile’ are still our favourites to play live.
As a quartet, how do you navigate the dynamics within the band when it comes to songwriting and making creative decisions? Is there a collaborative approach, or does each member have specific roles in the process?
I have always led the songwriting/production within the band. I’ll usually get a general layout of the song sorted - with the main riff and chorus in a good place before sending it over to Archie to start playing around with melodies. Once we’re both in a good place with the song, we’ll share it with Josh and Dev to get their opinions and let them work on their own parts. For me, jamming a new song together in a room for the first time is one of the best feelings of being in a band. We instantly know if it’s going to be one for our live set!
We all have our own roles to keep the band operating day to day but it’s a collective decision with which shows we want to play and where we want to take IMMERSE.
‘’The Weight That Holds Me Here” holds a special place in your listeners' hearts – I’m personally also a huge fan of the album. Do you guys feel any pressure from fans and the industry while working on new material or do you guys go the route that feels best for yourselves?
Thank you so much - we’re so proud of that album. It’s full of darker themes and was released during the heart of lockdown. Something we’ll never forget.
We will always go down the route that feels best for us as a band. There will always be pressures within the scene but we pride ourselves on doing our own thing. We don’t want to ‘sell out’ by trying to grab people's attention by doing things that just aren’t in our nature as people. Keeping our music and online perception authentic is so important to us.
I write the music I feel inspired to create and I won’t change that for anything.
How will your new release compare to the aforementioned album?
We’re stepping it up on this release. It has a lot of pop elements but don’t be fooled. You’ll find some heavy surprises along the way and we’ve had a blast writing another album exactly the way we wanted. The new songs are modern sounding whilst sticking to our roots. I’ve been incorporating a lot more synth lines and enjoyed playing around with different song structures on this new material. This is the best music we’ve ever written.
You guys are known for captivating live performances. With new music to showcase, what can fans expect from your upcoming shows or tours?
Plenty of energy! We’re buzzing to play these new tracks live. We wanted to make sure the new music could go straight into our live set and integrate with our older material. Our shows at the back end of the year are going to be our first time playing this fresh batch of songs.
For aspiring musicians looking to form a band that is reading this interview, what advice would you give them based on your journey and experiences?
Just have fun with it. Write the music you want to make and remember why you’re doing it in the first place - because you love it! It’s easy to get lost in trying to be someone you’re not and constantly compare yourself to other artists on social media. Use your music as an outlet of expression and to help get things off your chest in a healthy way.
Is there a specific message or feeling you hope your listeners take away from your new music?
The theme of our new music is all about energy and following your heart. We want you to come away from our songs with positivity that can help you in your own lives.
Lastly, what are your hopes and goals for the coming year? Any exciting projects or collaborations in the pipeline that you can tease?
We want the chance to show what we’re capable of at the big festivals. It’s always been our dream to be regularly playing Download / Reading & Leeds / 2000 Trees / Slam Dunk. Our sound is the perfect fit to get people moving in the sun!
In terms of collaborations, you could be hearing something very soon….