I had the pleasure of being able to talk to Mark, the drummer for UK’s own punk-rock upstarts, Couch. This is a band that know exactly where they’re going and their hard work is paying off. I think these guys are the best punk group to come out of the UK since Lower Than Atlantis. Their new album Johnny West is Missing is about to be distributed throughout Japan and have a spring tour lined up so get involved while they’re still hot. Below are links to their Facebook and sound cloud accounts.

Me: How did you guys come together?

Mark: We formed in February 2012. We had all been in previous local bands, and were already friends, and hung out a lot, so when our old bands ended, we all decided to jam together, and write some songs! Because we had been in bands with each other before, it kinda clicked really quickly, and we ended up writing our first album within the a couple of months of being a band! It all moved really fast, and we were getting tons of gig offers and recording our debut album, in next to no time, which was super fun! I think we had only been a band for 2 weeks when we had our first show! We only play 3 or 4 songs, because we had only practiced twice as a full band, but we went down pretty well! We only played the show because another band dropped out on the day of the gig, so we had like, no time to prepare! it was pretty good fun though and it encouraged us to get started recording our demo!

Me: Where does the name Couch come from?

Mark: It’s actually named after one of our songs! We didn’t have a band name, and one of our songs was called Couch, and I think Andy (Our Guitarist/Singer) suggested naming the band Couch after the song! No one else had any names in mind, so we went with it, and it stuck with us. We were originally going to be called No Problemo. But that name kinda blows, so we didn’t go with it!

Me: You mentioned before the interview that you are at a university. Which University and what are you studying?

Mark: I sure am! I am at Bucks New Uni, studying Music management and studio production. It’s really interesting and helpful, but it means that I’m 3 hours away from the band most of the time! It’s okay though, I still come back some weekends to play shows and stuff, so it works out.

Me: Hows the program at Bucks New Uni? Are you studying drums there as well of just music production? How much of the knowledge you’ve gained from Buck New Uni have you been able to apply to Couch?

Mark: It’s really good! I’m only doing music production, and learning about the industry. Haven’t had a chance to play any drums yet which sucks! What I’ve learnt so far from uni has helped us understand what to do with licensing our music to Hitting Bottom Records for our Japanese Release of the album! Before Uni I didn’t really know much about how record labels work and such, so it’s been really helpful with that. I believe the album will be out in early December in Japan through Hitting Bottom Records! To have our music out through a record label in Japan is nuts! When we found out that they wanted to release the album we were all super stoked! It’s probably the coolest thing ever to happen to the band, and we are really excited to see what happens when it is released!

Me: What message are you trying to convey with your music?

Mark: I suppose there isn’t a definite message, other than to have a good time! We are all pretty laid back guys, and I like to think that comes across in our songs. We just want to hang out with our friends and make music, and hope everyone likes it as much as we do!

Me: What is the state of pop-punk in the UK?

Mark: It’s pretty decent actually! From our own experience I can say that there are loads of really awesome people out there who are doing great things for the scene. Our local scene in Norwich has some really cool hard working bands, and, last summer we actually put of an all day music festival, and managed to raise £500 for charity. A lot of the bands in the scene turned up with all their friends, and we had a big old party! Seeing everyone in the scene come together like that was beyond awesome, and I know of similar things happening all over the UK, which is really exciting!

Me: I understand that your guitarist is currently training for the army. Does that mean his days numbered in Couch?

Mark: Not at all, we Love Andy too much to let him go! He has to go away quite a lot for training, and we miss him when he is gone, but by the looks of things, he is here to stay.

Me: Any tours on the way? 

Mark: Yep! We are actually working with a friend who books shows to help us get a UK tour sorted for easter 2014. Pretty exciting stuff. We booked our own mini tour earlier this year, and we had the best time ever, so doing it again, for longer is something that we’re all really pumped for!

Me: How can the angry youth of America get involved with your band?

Mark: Anyway they like! We have our new album out now, which is available online for download and on CD, so if anyone checks it out and likes it, spread the word! We can normally sort out some free stuff for people who really dig the band, so if they get in touch and we’ll try sort something! We’re also working on getting our album available in America with some independent distributors, so if anyone could help with that, we would love you forever and ever! But I think if you listen to our music and enjoy it, that’s all we can ask!

Luke Helker


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