Interview with Down Not Out
Ernest catches up with the band
In terms of music and the independent scene, Down Not Out are a sparkling brand-new band. Their brand of Pop-Punk is very well written and infectious. We were lucky enough to catch them live in their hometown of Cheltenham and fired a few questions their way.
You formed in 2019 and are essentially a new band. How did you guys all get together and were you in previous bands?
“We were jamming cover songs together a little bit a few months before we decided to form this band. Char and Jo had known each other for a few years and had been in a band together in sixth form, and Ryan came in to play drums for the cover band that Char was forming. He had been playing solo and in a few various projects beforehand that hadn't worked out.”
“We clicked really well during those jams sessions and we started showing each other some of our own original works. One day we had a jam session where we started writing a song and that's when we decided we were going to form the band properly.”
Your sound is great as is your playing and vocals but why choose the huge pond that is pop-punk? What is so special about that genre?
“We are all massive fans of many of the bands that came to prominence in the pop-punk genre. While we, of course, have influences and favourite bands from other genres, pop-punk is where we feel the most comfortable, especially as it is such a large pool, which we feel gives us some freedom to explore some different approaches whilst grounding us in a sound we can all agree on.”
What do you think you will have to do to allow yourselves to stand out?
“We've been working on and trying out lots of things in order to do this. We feel that we already have an aspect in that we have two female guitarists which isn't something you see very often. As well as this, we try our best to come up with fun and interesting ways to interact with our fans and supporters on social media, such as giveaways and competitions, as well as some other things we have in mind for the future.”
Your ep ‘Worse For Wear’ has done well. What are you looking to do next?
“Our next main goal is beginning to widen our gigging pool and getting out to some places we haven't had the pleasure to play yet. We also have a lot of songs on deck and we hope to get a couple out in one way or another in the near future while we start thinking about putting together an album.”
What’s Cheltenham and the surrounding area like for independent music?
“Cheltenham has a pretty vibrant music scene for the size of the town, with a few very popular music venues in town as well as lots of open mic nights and the like, so there's lots of opportunities for people to put themselves out there.”
“We’ve been lucky to play a bit in the surrounding areas such as Gloucester, Bristol and Worcester at some very cool venues. Paradiddles in Worcester is an awesome spot, as well as The Black Cat basement at The Dick Whittington in Gloucester who have recently relaunched and we were incredibly happy to play The Fleece in Bristol. Venues like this who give independent music a platform to thrive are so important to musicians and the local music scenes.”
Are you looking to play further afield and what plans have you got in place for next year regarding gigs and festivals?
“We absolutely have plans for playing further afield. We've been reaching out to venues around the country about the possibility of playing and we've put in a few festival applications so there are some things in the works.”
What difficulties do you think new independent bands face?
“It can be difficult at first to get onto a show when no one knows who you are yet. A lot of promoters already have an idea of a lot of the local bands and they tend to reach out to them first as they know what to expect, so sometimes you have to work a little harder to get those gigs.”
What do you feel the industry could do better to support independent music?
“Just giving people the chance to play is a huge deal. Reaching out to different bands rather than booking the same bands all the time is a great way to support emerging artists on the scene as well.”
Do you guys all work apart from doing the band and what do you like to do when you have some downtime?
“Ryan works full time as a paralegal, while everyone else is in university, doing music at various levels (Jo is doing a Master's while Char has recently started her Undergrad). We all love playing some video games in our downtime, with some overlapping tastes but a fair bit of difference too. Ryan and Char like to play online for example, while Jo prefers a single-player story mode.”
The number of fans you have is growing. Is there any message you would like to share with them?
“We try to say it often, but we really can't thank people enough for any and all support they offer us. We do this for the love of it and we put in a lot of time and effort so for people to react positively to our humble little band is so motivating for us.”
What do you see as the future for Down Not Out?
“We hope to build upon what we've achieved in our first year and take the band onwards and upwards. We'd love to get to a point where the band can be a career for us. We're excited about our future and can't wait to share it with our fans, friends and family.”
Any final words?
“Thank you once again to everyone who has sent kind words and support our way. Please keep streaming ‘Worse For Wear’ on Spotify, add us to your playlists, recommend us to your friends, and follow us on Spotify and social media! All of these small acts are so impactful for us!”