By: Vanessa Polojac
Take a trip back in time to the world of overly tight skinny jeans, fringe hairstyles and teenage angst with Boston Manor.
Influenced by pop-punk and emo and hailing from Blackpool, England, the band is currently in the midst of touring their debut album Be Nothing.
Despite only forming in 2013, Boston Manor has managed to release three EPs, a debut album and catch the attention of Pure Noise Records while cultivating a large following online.
Band members Henry Cox (vocals), Dan Cunniff (bass), Mike Cunniff (guitars), Jordan Pugh (drums) and Ash Wilson (guitars) all bounded through their love for bands from the late 90s and early 2000s.
“I have always sung and I used to do theatre when I was a little kid… I have sung for as long as I can remember [but] I was only in one band really before this,” explained Cox.
“I have been playing guitar since I was 12… I grew up learning Green Day songs and Blink-182 songs,” said Wilson.
The band was formed as a fun project for the members to write songs and track the response they got online. Since their debut EP Here/Now, Boston Manor has vocal and instrumental progression in their first full-length album.
“I think with the first EP it was very much one person’s idea or two people’s idea of how they wanted the band to sound and when more of us got involved with the writing processes the sound shifted entirely and kind of pushed and pulled it other ways. In three years your music taste changes so much,” explained Wilson.
“The album is three years of growing as musicians and three years of hard work. We spent months writing the album and I am very proud of it,” said Cox.
Be Nothing was released in late September and consists of 10 songs. The visual component is a crucial element to the boys of Boston Manor and features artwork by Mir Land from Austin, Texas.
The ambiguous front cover of a boy falling or diving into the sky is open to interpretation just like the songs featured in the album.
Be Nothing opens with “Burn You Up”. The most fast paced song on the record, it introduces the band’s pop-punk influences and their own unique style.
The lyrical themes of abandonment and guilt are the main topics throughout the album.
“The album is not autobiographic but most of it is my own experiences and most of the songs are about other people… You have to write about stuff you feel strongly about otherwise it’s not genuine and in my opinion it’s redundant. I want other people to connect to the songs on their own level,” said Cox.
The American punk rock record label Pure Noise Records to which State Champs, The Story So Far and Knocked Loose are all signed onto caught onto the rising success of Boston Manor in September of 2015.
“We wrote the Saudade EP in Christmas of 2014 and we finished it in March or April. We wanted to push this EP out to record labels and to see who was interested in putting it out for us,” explained Wilson.
“We got approached by a few labels and [got] a couple of offers here and there. Pure Noise came along and we chatted with them on Skype and we left thinking we need to sign with this label.”
“They’re really genuine music lovers and they really get us. They give us creative control and they are supportive. They are honestly the best label for us,” added Cox.
The band wrapped up their North American tour on Nov. 6 at their packed show at Club Absinthe. Boston Manor has been touring for a majority of 2016 and tour life can take a toll on a band mentally and physically.
“I have anxiety issues with losing my voice and it’s taken a year of touring to come to terms with it and kind of get over it… I just get really paranoid about it. It’s been a personal victory to overcome that,” said Cox.
“When you’re away you miss things at home whether it’s like loved ones or relatives or even like cats and things,” added Wilson.
Despite the success of Be Nothing Boston Manor is not stopping anytime soon. They still have a European tour for the end of 2016 with plans of coming back to Canada in the spring.