Newcastle Think Tank – 22/01/18
So, the first bands I’m seeing in Newcastle in 2018. I’ve waited patiently to come up here for around a month now, and the first band on the agenda? The Pop-Punks known as The Bottom Line! They’re playing one of my favourite venue’s; The Think Tank.
I haven’t been listening to these guys for very long but they have some absolutely great songs with a new record expected to drop later in 2018. After a quick recording for a Jingle, we chatted about that, the tour and the state of Pop-Punk in Britain today!
Hey everyone, could you tell me your names and what you do in the band?
Tom: “Hey I’m Tom, I play guitar.”
Max: “I’m Max, I do a little bit of singing and bass.”
Callum: “I’m Callum, I play guitar and sing.”
Matt: “I’m Matt, I play drums and eat chocolate.”
I think that has to be the calmest voices I’ve ever heard, probably because of the chocolate.
Matt: “Probably. It’s a priority.”
Max: “He’s the Bridget Jones of the band.”
Every band need a Bridget Jones though.
Matt: “We’ve got four.”
So guys, going to the origins of the band, where does the name; The Bottom Line come from?
Callum: “It’s not as a glamorous story as you’d think. We used to be in a band called Thursday’s Bad Luck, it was just me, Max and Matt. We were a terrible Punk band that played in pubs every day. We played 4-5 gigs every week and we just played terrible covers of 500 Miles by The Proclaimers, stuff like that. And then we thought, maybe we actually want to start taking this seriously if we don’t want to lose money every day so we had these shirts that said I heart TBL and we couldn’t’ get rid of them unless we changed our name to something that had TBL in it. Then the Bottom Line came in 2011. I wish there was a more exciting story about it.”
Matt: “What’s cool and has TBL as the title?”
Callum: “That’s pretty much it, maybe we should change our name every five years to something new”.
Matt: “With TBL as the initials.”
Matt: “But we have to stick with TBL because we can’t change our name again.”
And going into the present/future now, you guys have just been teasing your second record. Can you say anything about it?
Callum: “It sounds insane.”
Matt: “We’re very happy with it. We spent a very long time doing this, writing this album so…”
Callum: “We kind of wrote this album around five times. We’d write a few of these songs, tour them obscurely and then be like no it sucks, start again and then we did that about four or five times until they sounded awesome. We did it with Romesh Dodangoda over at Long Wave studios in Cardiff. One of the best producers in the UK for our scene I’d say, and it came out ten times better than we ever thought it would. “
Matt: “It was like having an extra pair of ears but some of the songs changed a fair bit .”
Callum: “I wish when we know when we were going to release it, but we haven’t even had the album back from the studio yet.”
So, it’s still quite a long way to go?
Callum: “Yes, but as soon as we get it back, it’s full steam ahead for us. We’ve got a lot of cool people working with us behind the scenes so it’ll be very exciting.”
Matt “We’re in a kind of limbo for stuff happened because we have some really exciting plans but can’t say anything about it so that’s it.”
Callum: “It also sucks because we can’t play these songs live as they’re not released yet. “
That was going to be my next question, but because it’s not been released yet, you can’t really play the new material yet.
Callum: “We’re going to play a few tonight, on this tour as a teaser.”
Matt: “I mean, we’ve been playing the same set for such a long time but it’s good to have some new ones in the mix.”
Max: “It’s nice to show the people that always come out to these shows what we’ve been doing and what they can expect but, if they boo us they boo us. We’ll scrap the album and start again for the fifth time.”
And looking to the set you’re going to play tonight; do you have any personal favourites?
Tom: “The new songs for me, we’re going to open with a new one tonight and it’s one of my favourites personally so I’m excited to give that a proper run out.“
Matt: “My least favourite is record player, I can tell you that. We’ve been playing that for about eight years. Every time it comes to practise its hell. I mean we have to play it, for some reason people enjoy it so we have to put it in our set. I mean, I’m sure it’s the same thing for Dammit with Blink. I’m sure when they come to that song they’re like oh no, not this one.”
Max: “I really like playing it at gigs, I just hate practising it.”
Callum: “Yeah, I love it on stage but when we play it at practise matt changes the beat and makes it some sort of Reggae song at the next thing, Matt is screaming like a death metal vocalist over the Reggae and it’s just a long two and a half minutes. It’s the hardest part of being in a band for sure.”
Max: “And you loved it the very first time you heard it.”
Callum: “The problem is it’s generally really funny and I don’t’ want to show them I’m laughing, inside I’m crying but no, I’m going to keep laughing if they keep doing this.”
You just got to get some sort of makeup on, some clown makeup.
And tonight, you’re in Newcastle, the very first tour date of 2018 for you.
Max: “The first headline tour in a year as well.”
That was when you released the EP. wasn’t it?
Matt: “It was. We didn’t know if we were going to do this tour. But we did that huge tour with Waterparks and our agent was like you can’t not capitalise on this and we were like let’s do this in January. We thought the album would be out by then but nope, not even close.”
Callum: “And to be fair, the way the tour’s been done with no new music is really blown us away, we’re so thankful for people coming out to see us but it’s all about this next one for us.”
And on this tour, you’ve got Lacey with you opening your shows, how’d you decide to bring them with you?
Callum: “We’ve played a few shows with them, but we’ve known them since 2012. We did a split tour with them with Patent Pending so they did four dates, but we did 2 on the side of the tour and they did the four in the middle. We were due to play a tour with them, which didn’t happen then we went over to Dublin with bowling for soup, that was the first time we played with them and then it a no brainer, they’re really good, such funny guys and they have the exact same humour as us, so it’ll be really fun on the bus.“
I’m just imagining that as a non-stop party right now.
Callum: “We’ll find out tonight. It hasn’t even started yet but also with Better Days, they’re from Newcastle so it’s like being thrown to the lions, it’ll be good. There’ll be a bit of wine. Well when we say Wine, we’ve bought some Lambrini.”
Wine? Really? You don’t strike me as wine lads.
Matt: “Actually, we got into wine when it was free on a flight to either America or China. It was quite stressed, so we decided to drink it and now we’re these wine connoisseurs, so we sniff, and we swirl the wine before we drink. There’s a nice 2016 chardonnay I think is it from costa Rica?”
I just thought of a good podcast for you guys on the spot, wines reviewed.
Callum: “Actually, me and Max have a podcast. It’s called And That’s The Bottom Line and throughout the podcast we drink a different wine each week and then we review the wine which progressively gets funnier as we go along. We just talk nonsense all the way through.”
Being part of the Pop-Punk scene in the UK, what do you make of the state of it at the moment?
Max: “It’s tough. It’s a very hard wall to break through but once you’ve broken through it, you’re concreated into it.”
Callum: “The standard’s so great for bands but because of the amount of bands breaking through that’s what makes it difficult and beautiful. We love playing but we love listening to it as well.”
Do you have any you’re listening to at the moment?
Matt: “Woes, WSTR, The Gospel Youth.”
And after the tour what’s the plan?
Callum: “It’s literally all about the album. We’re still working out a few things whilst on the tour but literally after the tour it’s the album. The next announcements you hear from us will be the album. We can’t do or say anything about it because there’s a lot of work to do but we promise we’re working one million times harder than we ever have done before”.
And is there anything you guys want to say before we wrap up?
Callum: “Just keep supporting local bands, keep going to shows, don’t leave halfway through a show and if you come to a show bring some money.”
Tom: “You want to buy a shirt, a cd because it helps go a long way. One CD sale could go so far.”
Callum: “We did a seventy-date world tour and the only way we survived was from merch sales.”
Max: “If we didn’t sell enough merch we’d have stopped wherever we were. We would’ve been stuck.”
Callum: “Merch sales go a long way. And don’t leave halfway through a show because you could discover your new favourite band if you stay. Some bands travel a long way to play and it sucks if people leave early. You’ve bought a ticket, you might as well stay the whole show.”
Max: “And that’s the bottom Line!”
You can watch the video for The Bottom Line’s track, ‘I Still Hate You’ below.
You can also follow them through their social media accounts via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Bottom Line will be performing at the upcoming Pop-Punk Pile Up festival in Selby and Download Festival at Donnington Park later this year.
Here are the dates.
Pop Punk Pile-Up! Festival – 28th April 2018 – The Venue, Selby.
Download Festival – 8th – 10th June 2018 – Donnington Park, Derby.