As Sirens Fall have had an incredible year, and it has brought them confidence and clarity in all parts of their lives. Here, vocalist Mikey Lord takes us through it all…
As Sirens Fall recently released their debut EP, the brilliant ‘coming of (r)age’.
A dramatic, decadent and deathly brilliant collection of emo-amped rock and roll tracks, it shows off the band in the brightest and boldest light. Being their true selves and owning every aspect of that, both the good and the bad, it is the first step in an exciting new chapter for the band that looks set to take them to extraordinary places in the coming months and years.
To dissect what effect it has had on them to write and perform in such a way, we sat down with vocalist Mikey Lord…
How does it feel to be in this place with the band?
“It’s fucking nuts, to be honest. It has been a bonkers year, to say the least. We’ve been doing this for six or seven years in total, and over the last 12 months, things have clicked in a certain way. The way we do things has clicked in a certain way as well. And the reaction to it has also shown that it is definitely working. In the best way, it has almost been too busy to sit down and take stock of it. It just all feels really good, and confident is definitely the word to describe it all. Everything feels so solid.”
Is there a point you can look to where you felt like things were changing?
“In terms of the general approach to things, and to people we have spoken to, the pandemic really was a turning point. Those two years allowed people to do things they had really been putting off. It was the first time that many people had the chance to be really introspective and look in the mirror. I know a lot of people who went to therapy for the first time and would probably have never done it otherwise. On an artistic and creative level, it’s why there is such a boom in the UK scene at the moment, with everybody being a bit more loud, colourful and ridiculous. There’s a switch somewhere between 2020 and 2021 where people just started to think, ‘Fuck it, ‘I’m going to do whatever I want to do’.
“That’s what happened for us. The first single we put out for this project, ‘Dynamite’, which we put out last year, was written with a, ‘Fuck it’ approach. There are so many ridiculous elements to it on a production and performance level, and that’s the thing we have always loved to do. In the past, we have tried to be more considerate and realistically balance it all. We threw that to the wind, though, when it sunk in that we were still doing this. So many of our friends had stopped or moved away from writing. So whilst we are here, let’s have fun. Not that we weren’t having fun before, but it was in a much more carefree sense. It felt good.
“But asking ourselves brutally who we want to be and what we want to do is what we need to do. And the answer to those questions is this EP.”
When you’ve uncovered that part of yourself that has been lying dormant for so long, you start to consider just how much of that you want to put into the wider world. But when you feel it so strongly, the ‘Fuck It’ sensibility plays a part in you wanting to test just as far as you can push rather than being worried about it…
“It’s frightening on a level but much more fulfilling. ‘heaven (spat us back out)’ used to be called ‘the things therapy taught me’, which is an interesting jump. But thinking, ‘Hang on, I’m being a little bit open here’ is the last thing I think about when making a track. To put it in a casual way, a lot of the stuff that we write is about how deranged I am. I think there is value in being utterly and completely open and honest when you are writing music from that point of view. There’s talking about mental health in one way, but you can’t empathise with a statistic. It’s so good how common anxiety, trauma, depression, and everything that kids have to deal with, and spreading and normalising that is great. But what really needs to be done is understanding, empathy and conversations because that is how you change culture. The pursuit of empathy will always outweigh the fear of oversharing.”
Empathy is a core part of the human condition, but when we have been forced to do so many things that make the walls go up, it is hard sometimes to remember that. This is why it’s so important to express it in art, because art gets through those walls…
“It’s odd because as that normalisation has taken place, there has also been a steady increase in isolation. That seems contradictory, but it is definitely true. On the other side, there is presenting in a certain way of how somebody is doing, which can come across in songwriting as well. Getting to the last chorus and going up a key and everything feeling okay, you can smell the bullshit on that. Everybody can. The truth is that we write a lot of sad songs that are definitely sad despite them being so high energy. The temptation is to try and break that up with something a bit brighter, but we like to think it is done sincerely rather than trying to force it. Because people can smell it when it is fake from a mile away.”
And sincerity is key to creating relationships and trust with the people listening to you. It lets them know that their feelings are valid and that you’re not playing dress up to appease someone or something…
“It’s so important. From the point of view of an artist, if someone is putting something out and it isn’t sincere, I don’t know how they would cope with any longevity. It would just feel like being forced to eat something that you don’t particularly like on tour every single night forever. It’s not very kind to yourself, so why would you do it?”
Within all of this and within all of the lessons that creating in this way has taught you, how has it affected your life outside of the band? How has your day-to-day approach to things been affected?
“It’s definitely introduced a slightly relaxed confidence into things. I am a completely different person now to who I was before the pandemic. The pandemic has a lot to do with that because of the way we approach this project. And the way we approach this project has a lot to do with how I feel now. On a purely creative level, it is a lot more laid back and carefree, and that’s the way that things have gone for me. At the start of the pandemic, I had a diagnosis confirming I had ADHD, and my response to that was to have hyper control over my life. That abandonment within the band has bled out into everything I do now. I have my whole life inside of a bullet journal now, and that is all I need. I can pick it up and put it down whenever I need it. Things are a lot more relaxed now, and I can do all of these things with much less anxiety than before.”
Being able to bring everything together feels like a huge step in just being able to exist…
“Trust yourself no matter what may be coming around the corner, and know you can handle that. Getting into a mindset where that is possible, which has been fucking hard, had been so important. I’m very grateful to have had the band there to pile everything into whilst I reached that place. Everything could go to shit tomorrow, but I can handle it.”
How does it feel now that you are looking to the future? This EP is under your belt, and the possibilities are absolutely endless. What excites you about that?
“It’s exciting in a new and different way to how it has been before. We’re already writing for the next thing, and I am more excited about that than anything else we have previously done. It’s a reassuring thing to keep on feeling that excitement. This is still on an upward trajectory currently. That attitude of knowing that we are able to handle the good and bad makes everything feel that much more straight away. We are able to enjoy it and focus on amping up the ridiculous and fun parts of this. That’s what is the most important part of all of this, and the rest will fall into place around it. If we do what we love, then what happens will happen.”