Punk rock quartet Screech Bats are set to self-release their sophomore EP Wish You Were Her on 30th March 2018. As the follow-up to 2016’s self-titled extended play, vocalist Esme Baker explains its inspiration:
It’s about women who have, for entirely different reasons, had a profound impact on my life, but are no longer in it. Including a feminine face in the artwork to mirror the title but somehow censor the eyes, gives the character anonymity, making whoever we are talking about a total enigma.
Reminiscent of the artwork of their debut, but more refined, it serves to highlight the maturity that the quartet’s music has found in the past 2 years. Recording with James Routh of Sonic Boom Six, often until the early hours in a Blackpool rehearsal room, the band opted to strip back to a rawer form of their sound. The result is a heart-on-sleeve alternative rock with punk rock roots, topped off with distinctly British vocals à la Lower Than Atlantis; the influence of the likes of Against Me! and Jimmy Eat World is clear. Following the recent release of their lead single “Get Better” (see it below), the band are here to tell us more about the creation of the video…
So first of all, why did you pick “Get Better” as your first video single from your forthcoming EP?
We picked this track because we felt that it was the ‘stand out’ track on the EP. It’s different to all the others, not just because it’s in a different time signature but it puts the band across in a completely different light. We debated it for ages. It’s probably one of the most serious songs we’ve ever written and even though it’s about Esme’s own personal experience dealing with mental health issues, the subject and song is meaningful to all of us. We wanted to show everyone that we are a hard working, genuine band, and we don’t just write songs about the existence of aliens and losing your virginity in the park. It’s a bit of a Blink 182 scenario, with old songs about boobs and butts and all things awkward, then they hit the world with “Adam’s Song”.
So can you tell us what the video is about and how did you come up with the look and concept?
All we said to Tom (director) was that we wanted a performance video – a true representation of ourselves of us playing our instruments completely in the zone. So the concept was really simple. Tom was the brains behind it all, he just had this vision of how it should be. Lexi and Kit had worked with Tom before on a Hearts Under Fire video and so we had complete faith in him and let him do his thing. He’s captured us in such a mesmerising way, we couldn’t be happier with the result.
Where did you shoot it?
We filmed at Uniq Studios in East London. It was a great location, with an easy load in and out, our own private dressing room/chill out room and a large communal kitchen area. We highly recommend it!
Who was the team involved?
Can you tell us about anything interesting or unusual that happened behind the scenes?
So we started early, Lexi was up first filming drums. It was loud obviously, with not only drums but play back of the track through the PA.. Somehow Esme and Rio managed to fall asleep during this racket.
We had a minor panic in the afternoon when we realised the lights were smoking. We had to let them cool and take the gels off which was annoying.
We ordered about seven or eight vegan pizzas, plus loads of sides and demolished the lot. We actually had to hide a pizza from ourselves after realising Tom and Esme hadn’t eaten any…
And finally, what are your thoughts on the final outcome?
We are absolutely over the moon with the outcome. To anyone looking to film or photograph anything, we highly, highly, highly recommend working with Tom. He is so fun to work with, very professional and he has such a clear vision, that you feel 100% safe to follow his direction. Huge shout out to our team on the day, especially Max for filming such beautiful shots.
Wish You Were Her is out on March 30th. Pre-orders available now.
Currently announced live dates:
- 27th March – Sticky Mikes, Brighton
- 30th March – The Bell, Bath
- 1st April – Lady Luck, Canterbury
- 3rd April – The Moon, Bishops Stortford
- 4th April – The Monarch (EP release show), London
- 5th April – Boileroom, Guildford
- 2nd June – Camden Rocks Festival , Dublin Castle
Header image by Tom Le Bon