10435702_945047645522939_326329420326346447_n

Pop punk is something of a marmite genre, you either love it or you hate it. Somewhere between its beginnings in the 90s with bands like Green Day, through its MTV popularisation in the 00s and bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41, to right here right now, the term pop punk has become somewhat ambiguous.  Today the genre is stagnant with sound alike bands. In the UK, breaking their way through the pop-punk crust is Bath five piece Decade.

In 2014 their debut album Good Luck saw the band begin to forge a path to the forefront of the UK scene. “If you came to watch us at Takedown two years ago before the album came out, we had two or three people watching us,” says singer Alex Sears, “maybe a bit more than that, but compared to today… Today was awesome. We had a great crowd” he smiles, having just played to a room full of people basking in his every note.  The past year’s “just been in the van really, constantly touring. Seeing what you get out of that is an amazing feeling.”

Never mind who exactly Decade have been touring with. Since the release of Good Luck, Decade have supported Lower Than Atlantis, The Used, and Alex’s personal highlight “the A Day To Remember Tour, just because of the band. They’re a band that we look up to massively, when we started our band we were purely a pop punk band and A Day To Remember was my favourite band when I was sixteen, when I started writing music for Decade. So it was an honour to support them. And the size of the venues as well, we played some nights to 3000 people, and we’re used to playing to three hundred people at the most, amazing.”

One of pop punk’s biggest flaws are the horrendous clichés that have grown around the genre, with bands’ style and lyrics being so painfully easy to guess and all too frequently on the same subject, so much so that a rather simple six rule drinking game can get you wrecked on a five track EP. Good luck playing this game with Decade. Start to finish, their album earns you a solid 10 drinks.

Maybe it’s their reluctance to be a part of the pop punk world that sets Decade apart from their peers. “It’s funny, because obviously we have a lot of pop punk influences,” Sears acknowledges, “but I think we kind of just like to refer to ourselves as a rock band, because we have such a broad spectrum of sounds. We’re not like a The Story So Far pop punk band, but we’re not like Foo Fighters either. We’re sort of somewhere inbetween.” This middle ground between pop punk and plain old rock is as obscure here as it is with any other genre; Decade’s album is full of woeful lyrics and poetic heartbreak, but the five piece still maintain that summery pop punk vibe. “I think it’s the tempo of the music. It’s all really upbeat, if you’re watching us live it’s so easy to get people to jump and have a good time. It sounds really cheery and the melodies are all quite major, there’s a lot of harmonies which make it sound quite sugary sweet. But then it kind of masks the sad lyrics, I suppose. I think it’s a nice juxtaposition.”

There is no denying Decade’s pop punk side, but Sears is adamant that you don’t have to live pop punk to be pop punk. “If you like pizza, just fucking eat it. Don’t eat pizza because you think it goes with the scene that you’re into, just eat pizza.” He laughs, “and don’t not eat pizza because you think people are gonna think you’re trying to be pop punk. Just do what you fucking want. I do understand why there are stereotypes, but I think people just need to do what they wanna do and not give a fuck. You don’t have to wear a backwards baseball cap and an XL t-skirt just to be into pop punk and hardcore. Wear fucking flip flops if you want, just do your own thing.”

In case you were wondering, Sears named his dream line up (dead or alive) as a Nirvana headline, with support from Slipknot, Weezer, Deftones, and Glassjaw. Probably not the mix you were expecting. That seems to be a reoccurring theme with Decade, full of surprises. Their latest song ‘Lurch’, which they’ve been testing live, is dramatically funkier than anything on Good Luck and difficult to pin in terms of genre. Album two has the potential to pull Decade away from the label they’ve been lumped with. “Thing is we don’t stop writing music, so we’ll get a bunch of tracks together and  we’ll be like ‘Yeah this is the second album’ and then I’ll write another song and we’re like ‘Fuck, we need to put this on’, so we need  take something out and rearrange it and stuff.” Sears’ writing for the bands increasingly anticipated follow up to Good Luck is almost done, and he’d love to see it take Decade even further, touring? “In terms of what I think would be good for us, and in terms of our second album and stuff, probably a band like Manchester Orchestra headlining. The American Scene, and us. On tour. Would be fucking amazing.”

Decade fans that are desperate for more, they’ve just announced a run of headline shows later this year, and Sears is confident “if [they] went into the studio tomorrow [they] could record something that we’d all be happy with.” Brace yourself, album two is coming.

Callum Cornwell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s