Describing themselves as aggressive pop-punk, ReVerbed are a UK-based band that are here to shake things up with their razor-sharp music. Mind Equals Blown staff member Craig Roxburgh was given the chance to conduct an emailed interview with their singer and guitarist Zoë Waugh. They discussed the topic of sexism in the music industry, the history of the band and memorable moments in their career so far.
MEB: Firstly, could you please give the Mind Equals Blown readers a bit of a history about the band?
Zoë Waugh: We’ve been a band for just over five years now; myself, George (guitar and vocals) and Josh (drums and vocals) met during secondary school and college back in our hometown of Doncaster, South Yorkshire. After being in other bands previously we decided to form one together. Then during University we met Joe and he joined us on bass about 18 months ago, and we’ve been going strong together ever since.
People often don’t take bands with female singers all that seriously. Especially if the band is a pop-punk band, which is often the genre that females are expected to sing in. Do you feel that people have often underestimated you guys simply because you have Zoë?
In all honesty, we’ve never had any issues like that in all our time of being a band, which we actually thought we would. People have been very supportive and not treating us any different because we have a girl in the band, which is the way it should be. I think it has helped we’re not completely female-fronted and we don’t try to be, we have another male lead vocalist and a male backing vocalist. Plus Zoë plays guitar too, so she’s not a standalone singer which is a bit different to other female singers.
Often the music industry boxes female singers into specific categories and don’t tend to want them in “aggressive” bands. Here we have you guys who play incredibly aggressive pop-punk while featuring female vocals alongside male vocals so that is sort of against the norm. This brings me to my question of: What are your thoughts on the ever-so prevalent sexism within the music scene?
I think it’s hard for female singers to not be catagorised and likened to others in the genre, because although there are more females in bands now, it is still a rarity. Women haven’t been as prevalent in rock, pop-punk or metal music until probably the last 10 years or so with artists such as No Doubt, Paramore and Evanescence making their presence known. I think there are always going to be comparisons to these bands because they’re successful, pioneering and such big role models to aspiring female musicians. However despite having a female in the band we haven’t encountered any real sexism or comparisons that we have had to overcome or deal with. We’ve been very lucky to have people realize and understand what kind of band we are and that every member is as just as equal.
You guys have managed to secure a pretty dedicated fan-base. What were your feelings when you were nominated as the best British newcomer in the 2013 Kerrang! Awards? I personally remember seeing your name and then going out of my way to find your music which was a venture that proved to be fruitless. You were also shortlisted to play the Red Bull Stage at Download last year. What were your emotions like when this happened and what were your emotions when you weren’t picked as the final 15?
The Kerrang nomination and Red Bull Stage happened together in such quick succession, it was just such a great few months for us. Being at the stage that we were, we felt so lucky to have reached that achievement. Yeah we were obviously slightly disappointed to hear we had not made the final 15, but to have come as far as we did was rewarding enough for us.
In your track “Uncommonwealth” there is a lyric along the lines of, “We build these empires to watch them burn.” What is the meaning behind that lyric?
We wrote the song during the time of the student riots and other political issues, being students ourselves we felt quite personally attached to this topic. Coming from middle-class/working-class backgrounds we felt as if the country our parents and grandparents had built and created was going to waste and that we were slowly watching it fall apart in front of us. “Uncommonwealth” is about the mess our country and government was/is in and how we’ve always stood by it until something goes wrong and we all fall apart.
What inspires you guys lyrically?
We write about our lives, as obvious as that sounds. Whether it’s our relationships, growing up, moving away, not having money, it inspires us to write.
What influences your musical style? What bands do you guys tend to listen to and how has that influenced your music?
We all listen to different bands, we have quite a diverse and eclectic taste. Bands we all collective listen to and are influenced by are Rise Against, Taking Back Sunday, Blink-182 and Biffy Clyro. We love energetic and passionate-sounding music like this, so we hope to include that in our songs too.
What are your plans for the future? Is there a chance of a full-length in the near future?
We released our latest mini-album This Machine in November last year which you can download from the usual places, iTunes, Spotify etc. and purchase physical copies from reverbed.co.uk. We are now already working on our next release, and will be recording over the summer, and it’s set to be released at the end of the year.
What has been each of your favourite moments in your music career so far?
A tough question, however I think our mini-tour of France last summer was awesome. Organizing this ourselves wasn’t easy as none of us speak French. A lot of people doubted we could pull it off, but we did so that was a nice little fuck you to everyone. We had a great laugh both as a band and as friends, it was really enjoyable and some of our best shows to date.
Lastly, where do you hope to be in 10 years?
Obviously the big dream that most bands have, world tours and playing festivals, we cannot lie, that would be awesome. The main thing though is [we] want to still be a family and still [be] enjoying ourselves.