Watchtower

Guitar music has supposedly lay dormant for years now, though, it cant be ignored that many artists are hanging up their strats and steering course for a more synth led, new-wave directions. Now, 2014 marks an uprising full of fresh, bare boned guitar bands, this only implemented by Liverpool four-piece, Watchtower. Their new single 'Under Your Thumb' emanates lucidity and visceral simplicity with brow raising defiance and charisma.

Giving us hope for the publics perception of rocknroll, Watchtower glaze over the slurred criteria Alex Turner cemented during his valiant BRIT speech. Forcing the belief that unintentional re-branding of rocknroll from the likes of LSA and Circa Waves, will invoke a casting off of our outdated methods of classifying rock music and accept it for all its prosaic riffs, occasional moments of genius and everything in between.

Watchtower aid the flag planting of no-nonsense rock and roll with 'Under The Thumb'; full of nonchalant gravitas, lead singer Jack McAllistars vocals slink round each annunciated syllable baiting explanation to why this referenced vixen would think he is as under the thumb as he suggests. This is exactly where Watchtower prosper, throughout their honesty. There is no need to cower behind the accepted trend or a hazy shroud of excessive reverb and effects. Bold and clear, packing fleshed out guitar tones and a theatrical bounce comparable to The Cure, 'Under the Thumb' is on a constant simmer with no need for a coolant, although regrettably never reaching a climactic eruption.


Describing themselves as Psychedelic Rock breeds a sure concern, I feel in order to rise above the fog I hope to see Watchtower hone in on what they have set in motion on this track, infectious melodies and 60's entwined guitar riffs. The current landscape is rife with Psych-Shoegaze bands lacking in unfeigned melody and attitude and Id hate to see another quartet with obvious spark be cast into the murky boneyard of tremolo and tie-dye.
Watchtower and all aspiring rocknrollers, my advice is as follows: keep your heads low, your teeth clenched and your guitars whirring - the revolution is coming, all you need to do now is plug in and ride the wave. The Music Manual managed to get an interview with the lads to find out more from behind the scenes.

How did the watchtower journey begin ?

It began with our lead singer and ex bass player trying to get a couple of lads together to start something, our ex bass player knew a drummer and our lead singer knew a guitarist from his last band. Once the four of us got into a rehearsal space which only planned out to be a jam, it turned into playing led zeppelin for two hours and then all agreeing to form a band.
Do any of you do anything else outside of Watchtower?
We all live a working class lifestyle outside the band. Three of us work and one is still in college. I think we feel this band is a treatment after a long day of work, just being able to come into a room and play music without a boss screaming at you and forgetting about the stresses of the outside world for a couple of hours.
Has anything surprised you now that you’re working together in this way?
Well after a lot of line-up changes we haven’t had the opportunity to work in a certain way and were ready to give up as a band. But once our current bass player joined the band, we felt like we weren’t quite ready to break up and the passion of wanting to play music flooded back into the band.

What are your favourite tracks to play at the moment?
I think we enjoy playing ‘I Can’t Seem to Shake You Off’ at the moment because after playing that song for a number of years we have added more sections into the song making it new to our ears and fun to play. I also think we love playing ‘Who Am I?’ which is a new song our bass player wrote because for any band that has a new song it’s so exciting showing your audience it and seeing their reaction.  

How has the response been for your latest single ‘Under Your Thumb’ ?
I’m very surprised because we just released this song to make everyone aware that we are still a band and do still exist, but our management have really helped push this song and got us airplay in America and local stations around the country not to mention great feedback from fans about its lyrical content and musicality.
Do you think your influences such as tame impala and queens of the stone age find themselves somewhere inside your tracks?
I very much believe so, we have loved these bands for years and it would be impossible for them not to be found in our music. I don’t like to think we rip off music, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say we take a chorus idea from an early queens track and changed it around to make it my own, it’s what every musician does, it just some artist’s work appears more obvious to the ear who and where it’s been taken from.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment myself and our bass player are beginning to write more music for the band which I think is rather exciting because I’ve never wrote with Sam before and I would like to see how this develops our song writing and music as a band. We are also working towards an LP in the summer which will hopefully give us more recognition.

Are festivals something you’d be interested in?
Any venue in the entire world is something I’d be interested in. I think playing some major festivals would be a real step up. I think our goal in the next year would be to play BBC introducing at Reading and Leeds festival or even get a slot at Glastonbury, but everyone is going for them ones so who knows.
What are your opinions on the current chart situation?
Honestly? I’m appalled at it. Real musicians are a rare species nowadays in the charts. I think it’s a shame that the only way a tune can get to number one is if the artist is willing to get her kit off in the video. Its more about image and less about music these days and that’s the industries fault. They have left real musicians standing in a pub with their instruments, performing in front of five people and singing out there heart and soul, while artists like ‘Miley Cyrus’ wave there ass on the screen and get massive success. I was at a family party a couple of years ago and saw Rhianna come on the TV, I can’t remember which song it was but there was two little girls stood in front of the screen copying her slutty dance moves and from then on I’ve just been appalled at what chart music is doing to our society and how its leaving amazing musicians pulling money out their own pockets to play established local venues in front of a couple of ignorant people.
What are we going to be hearing from you this year?
We hope to write more music and record more music so that our loyal fans can have new songs to sing in their showers. Overall though I hope that more people become aware of who we are and support the cause of us putting repetitive music that gets boring after four weeks to sleep and bring back real music and open people’s eyes to what they’ve been missing and what has been stood in their pubs every Friday night with there guitar.


Words from Will Butler

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