INTERVIEW: 7 Day Weekend (19/2/14)

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At the beginning of February, Alternative band 7 Day Weekend announced that they would be calling it a day, with their headline set on day two of the Warrington Music Festival in July to be their last show in the town. Made up of brothers Tom & Dan, Calan, Clayton & John, they were one of the standout bands to come through ‘Plugged’ events and to go on to tour across the UK. We caught up with Calan (Vocals) and Clayton (Guitar), for their thoughts on their time with the band.

[WAM]: First of all, it is sad to hear you have decided to call it a day as 7 Day Weekend, how did you come to the decision to do so and why did you decide to call it a day?
Calan: A few things really, most of all would be the fact that we were all dotted around the country so it was hard to get together and keep a steady flow going.

Clayton: It is a decision that benefited some of the members. I say some because there are some members who wish to pursue this career further, and others like myself who plan on pursuing other areas.
It has been coming, we have struggled both time wise and financially to make anything happen in the past year. There has been no real organisation between the members and no direction. Lack of management has played a massive role in our split.

[WAM]: The band managed to sustain a large buzz in the town for a long while after, releasing your debut self titled EP, then having the opportunity to complete two nationwide tours, did you find being in a band was what you expected it to be like? Was there anything you came across you didn’t anticipate?
Clayton: In all honesty, I never expected anybody to know the lyrics to our music, and be singing along at any of our shows. That is the single most rewarding thing I have ever seen. We made music that people enjoyed, and not just that, they came out of their way to see us. We had a decent vibe in our home town, but in my opinion, not enough support goes into up and coming artists and bands. You need friends and family to get you started, but after that you need to tap into the public and get a strong fan base. That never really happened for us, maybe we did it wrong, but I just think that more people need to support new music because at the end of the day, that’s the future.

Calan: I didn’t expect to have half as much fun as I did to be honest, it was brilliant. Always heard bands on about how good touring is, didn’t really see the fun in roughing it in cars and dingy hotels but it was one of the best experiences of my life.

[WAM]: One of the bands highlights would have been to suppot Feeder at the Parr Hall,
what are your lasting memories of that time?
Calan: Being absolutely terrified. It was one of my best memories of this band but it was a daunting one too. I just remember walking out in pitch black and then when our song kicked in the lights lit up the crowd. It was mental.

Clayton: I don’t really get nervous but that was one gig where I was pretty damn nervous! Although it was great to play to that many people, in all honesty, it kind of wasn’t our ‘type’ of crowd, some people seemed to enjoy it but
the majority didn’t seem to have the energy for us that they did for Feeder, but that’s alright because we were grateful to even get that opportunity!

[WAM]: Was there any other personal highlights/ achievements you’re most proud of?
Clayton: Apart from playing with Feeder, releasing our EP’s were massive achievements for us, and then getting them on iTunes. That was pretty amazing. 

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The single Endless Doses was the first from the 2nd EP ‘The Day We Lived and Died’ which was rerecorded for the EP.

Calan: I am probably most proud of our last EP, we put a lot of thought into the writing process and I’m really happy with how it sounds.

[WAM]: Is there anything you would have done differently, either personally or as a band?
Calan: Probably making better use of social media, that’s what I’d do if we had another go of it! It’s obviously the main hub for bands now, the internet, so if we’d have pushed it more online, who knows what could’ve happened!

Clayton: I don’t regret anything we did, but I think we should have definitely released an official music video for a track from our EP The Day We Lived and Died (TDWLAD), and we should have had a manager or management throughout our career.

[WAM]: You have recently released a new music video for the track ‘Endless Doses’, from your last EP, what was the track you were most proud of?
Clayton: Personally, the track I am most proud of is ‘Circumstances’. There is so much variation within the song with the guest vocals and hard guitars!

Calan: ‘One Of Those Nights’ is the catchiest tune we’ve ever wrote but ‘Only The Strong’ will always be the one that means the most to me. I don’t really like talking about the meaning behind the song but yeah I’ll definitely miss that one.

[WAM] The music on the last EP showed a much more maturing sound and feeling to the debut EP. How did the way the band develop change how the songs were written 2nd time round?
Calan: I think we just knew what we wanted the 2nd record to sound like. With the self-titled one being our first, we literally just crammed together ideas and came out with 5 completely different songs, but with TDWLAD we knew exactly what we wanted the record to sound like and what direction we wanted it to go.

Clayton: Well, I guess the simplest answer would be just because of the maturity of the band, we all grew up, we listened to more music, got better at our instruments and became more creative. If we were to carry on, I guarantee we would have kept getting better and progressing!

[WAM] Bands come out of Warrington since 7 Day Weekend began referencing the band as an inspiration, what advice would you give to these upcoming bands?
Clayton:That is a massive thing for me to hear! The main things I’d say to them is stick through the hard times because good times will always follow. It’s gonna be tough but if you keep at it then the rewards can be great. Stay organised and dedicated, if you think someone isn’t pulling their weight, then tell them before it’s too late. You’ll always make mistakes, but just learn from them and grow. Get management and search for help because being in a band isn’t
easy, never mind managing it as well!

Calan: I’d say try and build as much of a fanbase as possible, but as soon as you can, go on tour. There’s no guarantees in being in a band, so whilst you still have the ability to do so, get out on the road and have a proper laugh with your mates.

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[WAM] What was your favourite show to play?
Calan: You’ll think I’m mad for not saying Feeder, but after our first UK tour, we did a homecoming gig in Warrington and it was just incredible, all our friends and family came and some fans from far away came too, it was just a really special night and I’ll always remember it.

Clayton: Personally, my favourite show was when we played at Manchester Academy for the first time supporting ‘That Sunday Feeling’. It was the gig where we got all our friends, family to come, and we packed the place out! It was such a great atmosphere! I’d prefer to pack out a 200 capacity room than play to 200 people in a 1000 capacity venue!

[WAM]: Finally, what are your future plans, do any of the members of band intend to pursue a interests in music?
Calan: Yeah definitely. Obviously we all wanted to be in 7DW and to go all the way with it, but I don’t think just because it’s over we should forget about being in a band. Me, Tom and Dan are in preparation to start something new, there’s not much more to say at the minute but you’ll definitely see us three again!

Clayton: My future plans are to continue my keen interest in sport and training. I am currently undergoing my studies to become a Personal Trainer and that’s what I’d like to go into. I may also look to join a National League basketball team. Sport has always been a massive part of my life.

www.facebook.com/7DayWeekendUK

Both 7 Day Weekend EP’s are  available download for a ‘name your price’ here. (external link to Bands Bandcamp page)

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