Earlier this week we chatted to Matt from the Stoke band The Underclass.
OSM: For our readers who might not know too much about The Underclass, how long have you been performing together and when did you release your first single?
Hi, I’m Matt, a guitarist in the band, we’ve been together since December 2018 and have been performing live properly since the March of 2019. We released our first couple of tunes in May 2019 I think
OSM: Has any particular artist or genre influenced your music the most?
I think all of us boys have completely different influences that go in to most of our music which makes the songs so unique. For myself I’ve always tried to tie in artists I love listening to into the music, so for this tune I’ve been listening to a lot of Stereophonics and maybe some other guitarists that you probably wouldn’t link to tune like Johnny Marr or Slash who both completely differ. I think through our songs developing we’ve seen all of our influences coming out but we’re now honing that sound to find something that works for us and I think that shows in Hometown.
OSM: Your new single, ‘Hometown’ is out now and we absolutely love it. What was the songwriting process of the song?
Jorge came to practice one day and said he’d written part of a new track and us boys really liked it. So we sat down and all wrote our individual pieces and all helped develop the structure of the track before I made a demo to the track which has since changed drastically with the song developing every time we played it till recording.
OSM: What is the message of the song?
Hometown is a song really based on all of our roots and the importance of looking after the place you live in, no matter what others might think of it. It tells the story of going back to where you’re from, what made you, who you are and how you should never forget your roots. We like to think of it as our anthem that relates to our people.
OSM: What challenges have you faced since launching your career?
Covid has been the main challenge with us having to take 18 months out of gigging. It was a bit of a strange time because it was when we were supposed to be gigging loads and flying through the early stages of our career but we’ve been delayed unfortunately. But it finally feels like we’ve caught up now, we’ve got a few more exciting things to share this year and our first major festival lined up so life is good.
OSM: You are probably the most recognisable band from Stoke at the moment, what is the scene there like?
The Stoke scene is underrated to say the least. We’ve got some great bands on the circuit that mainly stick within Stoke but have some great tracks. We also have great venues in The Sugarmill and The Underground which are both great places for us holding a lot of memories of starting out as a band.
OSM: What are the plans for the year ahead for yourselves? Do you have any gigs scheduled?
Gigs wise we’ve got Y Not festival at the end of July (editors note: this interview was conducted prior to Y Not) which we’re buzzing with and a few other gigs that we’re excited to announce in the next few months but this year is gonna be our year for new music so people have gotta keep their eyes peeled.
OSM: If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
I think there’s maybe an emphasis on where you’re from in the music industry rather than who you are. I think it’s a reason why we’re so proud of where we’re from because we’re defiant to try and fit into the mould of a Manchester or Birmingham band despite it maybe being easier to break through in those places with the amount of venues, and bigger touring bands visiting.
OSM: If you could share the stage with another band or performer who would it be?
For me this would change weekly depending on who I’m listing to but I’m really into Stereophonics at the minute, so I’d have to say them. Either them or Tom Jones because who doesn’t love Tom
OSM: What songs are on your playlist right now, which songs are you into at the moment?
Got a list of some of the tracks myself and the boys are listening to at the minute:
Dog eat dog - The Big Moon
Tall Poppies - Yard Act
Handful of Nothing - Mind’s Eye
Cut - Working Mens Club
Nabokov - Fontaines D.C.
Big Shot - Fontaines D.C.
Mellow Moon - Alfie Templeman
Tek It - Cafuné
Low Beam - Her’s
ALYGATYR - Kasabian
Good Day - Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Cheetah Tongue - Wombats
C’est le Vie - Stereophonics
Restrospect - Vistas
Mens Needs - The Cribs
Mantra - Sam Fender
I Love You - Fontaines DC
Born Wild - Blossoms
British Bombs - Declan mckenna
Formidable Cool - Wolf Alice
Do ya feel my love - Stereophonics
Ready for something - The Amazon’s
Night crawling - Saint Raymond
Phobia - Nothing But Thieves
Satellite - Harry Styles