Introducing: War Stripes
The Flipside: Introduce us to the band
Aaron: So it’s me, Aaron on guitar and vocals. Craig’s our bassist and we have Billy on drums.
Billy: Yeah, I’m the baby of the group who hits things
The Flipside: When was the band formed and how did it come to be?
Billy: January 2018? Completely different line up to now, Aaron is the only remaining founding member.
Aaron: Yeah, so myself and two other guys (who have since left the band) started back in 2018 based off a bunch of demos that I wrote. The band snowballed and really took on a sound of its own. Since we’ve had newer members Billy and Craig join, they’re able to add their own styles into the mix and the band just continues to evolve.
The Flipside: How would you describe your music for someone that has never listened before?
Aaron: Sexy nuggets of sound sent from the heavens.
I always use the term ‘Alt-rock’ when describing our sound. We’ve definitely got sprinklings of punk rock, metal and emo thrown in for good measure.
Billy: Catchy, punchy with the occasional breakdown that’ll melt your face.
The Flipside: Which artists influence you the most?
Craig: Biffy [Clyro] have quite powerful baselines that work well in a 3 piece, similar to the way Green Day do it, plus I like the way we use heavier breakdowns.
Aaron: Agreed. I look towards heavier 3 pieces like Arcane Roots and Nirvana too.
Billy: For me, in terms of bands I’d say Linkin Park and Sound Garden have been my biggest influences but for drumming it has to be [John] Bonham, the man changed rock drumming for generations. He is the king!
The Flipside: Tell us about your first releases, how were they received and what was the writing process?
Aaron: We were still finding our feet as a band during the release of "Ain’t Your Boy" and "One For Sorrow". I’m still really proud of those two songs but the band has really developed since then. The writing and recording process was pretty inconsistent. We spent time in different recording studios piecing it all together which isn’t the best but at the same time it was a massive learning curve.
Billy: My first release was "Glad Rags". Aaron is the mastermind behind the songs, he’ll write a riff and lyrics and programme a rough drum track and send it over. We will then make each part our own and voila! We have a song!!
The Flipside: Your newest single, "Glad Rags" was released this year. How has it been received so far?
Billy: Pretty damn good, so far has served its purpose as a pick me up during this weird time.
Aaron: Yeah, it is a strange time and we haven’t been able to get out there and promote it in the same way, but people who follow us love it and we’ve had some great feedback about the new ‘punkier’ direction of the band.
The Flipside: Have you found your musical style and writing process has changed since you first started?
Aaron: Massively. I’ve learnt so much more in the last two years about songwriting and figuring out what works and what doesn’t and our sound has improved greatly because of it. Our current line up is sounding so tight and focused too.
Craig: I think we’re making stuff powerful and giving it a lot of punch!
Billy: Definitely, everything just feels easier and more fun! I Really enjoy the whole process.
The Flipside: What does the future hold for the band?
Craig: Loads of gigs, a new EP.
Billy: Once gigging starts again for me I would love to tour, the UK and Europe that is the dream.
Get our EP out there for everyone and just keep on writing and working.
Aaron: Exactly that. Basically to come out of the pandemic with tons of more music recorded and a tight AF live set.
The Flipside: What’s your favourite gig memory?
Billy: For me I love them all, playing to anyone and having a vibe for me wins every time.
So In that respect Night and Day Café in Manchester for me as it was my first gig and it was so much fun!
Aaron: For me it was unreal to think about when we supported one of my favourite bands - Brigade. Having them watch our set and give us feedback in the dressing room was a dream! Also, they’re lovely blokes.
Glad Rags - War Stripes
The Flipside: Where is your favourite venue to play?
Aaron: I love playing Night and Day Cafe in Manchester. It’s always a good sound and atmosphere. They're great for helping up and coming bands to shine.
Billy: So far it has to be Retro, Manchester for me. Just has a good sound and is pretty tight but so feels more intimate.
The Flipside: What’s been your nicest experience with a fan?
Billy: What fans?!
Aaron: Haha. I’m just always blown away when I can see people rocking away at a show. I try and give those people little mentions on stage and make the effort to thank them afterwards.
The Flipside: What’s been your weirdest experience with a fan?
Aaron: We’ve had girls try and follow us backstage for some “fun”. Interesting offer! Although I’m still holding out for a bra to be thrown on stage.
Billy: Refer to the above question
The Flipside: Assuming that live shows will be able to resume next year, which festivals/venues are you planning to go to and play?
Craig: Warrington Music Festival
Billy: We are headlining Manchester Academy 3 at some point.
Was ready to go before the lockdown so that for me is the next big one.
The Flipside: Give us five (or more) artists that you think we and our readers should be checking out.
Craig: Above our Instinct, Divenire.
Aaron: Gamblers, Glass Panda.
Billy: Led by Lanterns, Northlane, Reuben (classic) and of course your boys at War Stripes.