Safeguard: UK Pop Punk Extravaganza
With the arrival of Safeguard from the UK, pop punk is very much alive and well, jammed packed with passion and conviction. I’m A Stranger To Myself is the name of Safeguard’s latest EP. a short yet very sweet collection of songs now available worldwide via Wilhelm Records. Highwire Daze Online recently chatted with Safeguard’s front man Declan Gough to find out about this amazing band on the rise, their songs featured within I’m A Stranger To Myself, the dynamic live shows, what they would play as at a Royal Command Performance for the Queen, and a whole lot more! Read on,,,
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Safeguard, and how long the band has been together.
Hi, I’m Declan, and I sing in Safeguard. We’ve been a band for about a year and half!
Where is the band based out of and what is the music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We’re from York, in the north of England. The music scene around here, sadly to say, is a little bit lacking. Of course, there’s some decent bands and a few cool venues, but there isn’t really a big demand or scene, especially for pop punk. I would definitely recommend Lyon Estates though, some really great guys and their latest EP ‘Fir Tree’ is awesome.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the EP title I’m A Stranger To Myself?
The title is basically just a summary of the EP, as it deals with topics like depression, anxiety and social awkwardness and the main theme that runs through it is just that you’re not alone if you feel that way, and that it’s okay not to be okay.
What is the inspiration behind the lyrics to each song on I’m A Stranger To Myself…
Harbour – Some of us in the band and some close friends and family suffer with depression, so a lot of the lyrics in Harbour touches on that subject. I don’t know if it was a conscious decision to write about that, it just kinda happened and ended up coming out as one of our favourite songs we’ve ever done.
November – ‘November’ is based off house parties I used to go to when I was in my teens. I was never really that popular at school, so when I went I would often be surrounded by people I didn’t really know or liked, and sometimes would feel like I’d rather be anywhere else. But of course along the way, you would see a few different girls there and I’m sure everyone’s been in a situation where you see someone for the first time and you can’t keep your eyes off of them. I suppose it’s kind of a love song but with a little bit more sad realism to it, being to afraid to go up and talk to them for fear of being rejected.
No Man’s Land – The lyrics to that song are basically a continued version of ‘November’, set a little while after. It’s about being home alone, sat on the sofa, and thinking on things you should have said and done, dwelling on the past instead of looking to the future.
How close is Safeguard to recording a full length?
A full length is very much in the plans, it’s hard to say how far away we are for getting anything out though. We are currently writing, but it could be a little bit early days right now, but definitely keep your eyes peeled!
What could one expect from a live Safeguard show?
Lots and lots of energy. We put our all into every show, and if the audience is lively and giving us energy, we give it them back. You can also sometimes expect plenty of crowdsurfers, especially whenever we play a hometown show!
If Safeguard could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
For me: for the past, it would be 1999 era Blink. For nowadays, a dream would be someone like Neck Deep – it’s ridiculous how much they’ve grown over the last few years, to play in front of the crowds they do would just be so unreal.
The Queen of England invites Safeguard to play one song at a Royal Command Performance. What song would you play for the Queen and her guests and why?
Maybe ‘Better Off’ – an acoustic track and fan favourite from our debut EP. It’s a slower sadder song, and I reckon Liz would like it *laughs*.
What’s up next for Safeguard in the New Year?
We’re planning a couple of tours, playing a couple festivals. Not sure if there’ll be new music yet but who knows?
Any final words of wisdom?
Pretty much just if you’ve ever taken an interest in us, thank you so much, it really does mean an awful lot. If you haven’t already, we would love it if you went and picked up our new EP ‘I’m a Stranger to Myself’!
Declan Gough – Vocals
Martyn Marsh – Guitar
Denholm Horn – Guitar
Zak Lonsdale – Bass
Connor Dale – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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