Woes & The Future of Scottish Pop Punk

By Gregor Farquharson (@grgratlntc)

The uprising has begun. Gathering UK wide attention and supporting the biggest band in the scene, Woes are the front men for this new breed of Scottish pop-punk.

Before their massive opening spot on Neck Deep’s Peace and the Panic tour, I was sitting in a tour van, drinking cheap vodka with two of the members of Edinburgh band Woes. I sat down with the guys and we had a chat about all things pop-punk and where they fall into the grand scale of things.

The guys have achieved so much in the past year and have almost created a scene within the country. Their self titled EP has done wonders, and with latest single Losing Time circulating around fans of the genre, they are only set to rise.

With the new EP set to be released very soon (the band assure me) they are undoubtedly looking to progress further. Singer DJ speaks very openly about this, with an almost go big or go home attitude towards it.

“We can’t stay the same, we have to move forward. If we aren’t moving forward there is no point.  To pretend that anything other than a move up the ladder would be considered anything other than a disappointment, well that’s just a lie”

It’s no lie that the pop-punk scene in Scotland is rubbish. Yet, there are always packed out crowds of thousands of fans at gigs. What is the reason for this? Sean (bass, vocals) speaks on this, saying there is a lack of bands in the country, which leads onto a lack of competition. The lack of pop-punk bands in Scotland is shocking. Many fans wouldn’t even be able to name one band from the country, and this is a huge problem. The genre itself is something huge in Scotland, and a favourite of many fans of the alt-scene (myself included).

“Competition is never a bad thing, it means bands are always trying to be the best in the local scene, something I feel Scotland lacks”

But the future of our scene looks hopeful, especially with Woes leading the way. They talk about the future very positively, and see a bright future ahead. They hope for more bands, and more fans to jump on the bandwagon, and say all that is needed is a number one album from heavyweights Neck Deep to set the UK scene alight. With the band being the opener for the biggest band in the UK scene, it looks hopeful for Scotland as well and the atmosphere during the bands immense set in the O2 Academy was just proof.

The scene in general is at an ultimate high. Bands are playing the biggest shows they ever have. Lots of small bands are gaining fans all over the world and listens for the genre are through the roof. We are in what DJ described to us as a “resurgence” moment for the genre.

“We had the resurgence in 2006 with the likes of Four Year Strong and that’s when we picked up again. There was a small break but now we are at a good point. Bands like The Story So Far and Real Friends lead the way, even Neck Deep have played a huge role in re-popularising the genre”

When asked about how it was getting noticed, both members again had slightly differing opinions. The band have worked heavily with producer Seb Barlow (Neck Deep, Roam) and recorded their first EP with him. With him being the brother of the biggest name in UK Pop Punk, Ben Barlow (Neck Deep) it’s obviously been a huge helping for the band, as DJ explained.

“I feel if it wasn’t for us going down to England and working with Seb and getting his support and support from the Neck Deep guys, we wouldn’t be on this tour and wouldn’t be doing this well”

And with the band being from Scotland, we have already covered how rubbish the scene is up here. But can you really blame not being noticed on your location? Sean thinks not.

“We as a band have worked really fucking hard to be where we are. The time and effort we put in is unreal, and yeah we have received help and given unreal opportunities. But would we have gotten these by not working hard? Absolutely not, I believe that”

With the band on the Neck Deep tour and an EP round the corner they, truly doing great things for our amazing scene. They can capture a crowd and their unique live show is enough to grab the attention of any pop-punk fan. I mean, who doesn’t love a cover of All Star at a gig? Be sure to jump on the Woes band wagon early, you will 100% regret not in the future.