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Press to MECO In Q&A Corner: New Album, New Bassist, New Gear!

Press to MECO In Q&A Corner: New Album, New Bassist, New Gear!

New Year, New Album, New Bassist...Press to MECO Bossin' It! 

Press to MECO have been firm favourites of the team at Dawsons ever since we saw them supporting technical metal noise merchants SikTh way back in 2017. Their unique blend of pop hooks, technical guitar riffing and juxtaposition of heavy headbanging moments with sing-along sections saw them stand out from many other bands on the modern rock scene.

The boys have been busy during lockdown working on their follow up to 2018's 'Here's to the Fatigue' so we sat down to talk about the new album, a new bassist and of course, new gear!

Matt (Dawsons): Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time out to chat with us today, how are we all keeping?

Press to MECO: Our pleasure! We’re all good!

Matt: Lockdown has been a weird time for everyone, how have you been keeping busy and staying motivated?

PTM: There’s always been stuff to get on with to do with the album, before recording it was a good time to just finesse the songs. After recording there was a good bit of mixing to focus on and getting all the other assets in order. We’ve been fairly lucky to have something productive to work towards for the most part.

Matt: Tell us about the process of recording the latest album, what were the barriers you faced and how did you overcome them?

PTM: The week we were meant to fly to Texas to record with Machine was the same week America closed its borders. Luckily in between lockdowns, we managed to fly Machine here and we set up a makeshift studio in a friend's converted hunting tower in the Cotswolds. We beg, borrowed and stole the gear we needed and somehow made it work!

Matt: What can fans expect from the new album sonically? How does it differ from 'Here's to the Fatigue'?

PTM: Everyone who’s heard the record so far has commented on dynamic diversity. This new record is still undeniably PTM, but we’ve ventured out sonically far more than we ever have before. The heavy bits are heavier, and the softer bits are more beautiful, but for each song, we’ve really tried to cultivate its own vibe.

Matt: Luke, the last time we spoke you were using the tried and tested combo of a Gibson through a Marshall stack, did your setup change at all for the recording of this album? I noticed in the video for 'Another Day' you're playing a Tele' now?

PTM: Haha yes!!! I’ve been a life-long SG lover, but it was time for a change. I’ve always loved Telecasters and played them for years too. In my opinion, they’re one of the few guitars that has a truly unique & recognisable tone. I was just finding a lot of the riffs I was writing for this new record sounding way better on the Tele' platform. I think the clarity and brightness of the Tele really does a great job at articulating a lot of the parts I write. My SG felt like more of a wall, the Tele is more of a punch…a wall that punches…I dunno… it’s nice having a guitar that wants to stay in tune too haha.

Matt: How have you expanded or evolved the guitar sound since the last album? Have you added any new effects to your pedalboard? Any new techniques to your repertoire?

Press to Meco band group shot

PTM: On this new record I have FINALLY managed to master one of the hardest techniques on guitar. So many guitarists go their whole lives without knowing this technique even exists…the art of NOT playing guitar, haha. I think Smouldering Sticks is the best example of this on the new record. I started writing that song on the bass and pretty much had the whole structure down. I went to write the guitar for it and just realised it didn’t need anything other than the space it already had. I’m really happy with how that song came out in regards to the dynamics of it. When the guitars finally do come in it I think it feels even bigger for holding out.

I’ve always loved Telecasters and played them for years too. In my opinion, they’re one of the few guitars that has a truly unique & recognisable tone.

Matt: You manage to play very technical riffs but make them sound melodic and still catchy, what influences went into the cultivation of your guitar sound? What inspires you to keep writing?

PTM: Thank you!!! Ermm, I feel I’ve always been someone who’s never really aspired to sound like anyone in particular and have always been passionate about finding my own sonic identity. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of when people comment saying PTM sound kinda unique. I would say however there are two clear influences for me growing up, guitar-wise at least, and they are Dan Weller from SikTh & Ian D’sa from Billy Talent. I think my guitar playing makes me sound like a much less talented love child of the two haha. Inspiration to keep writing is that I have to, or we’ll be dropped from our label.

Press to Meco band group shot

Matt: Jake, you joined the band just before the latest record, can you tell us how joining PTM came about? What were you doing before you became a full-time member of the band?

PTM: We've been good friends for about six years since my other band ACODA were put on a tour with them and we hit it off instantly. Like in Step Brothers, we DID just become best friends. I’ve played in a number of other bands and sessioned for a fair few artists on drums, bass or guitar. The most recent spent drumming for good chum and Grammy-nominated mix engineer Dan Lancaster.

Matt: I've heard that you're also a rather good guitar player, is bass something you've picked up along the way? Did you start on guitar then make the switch over to four strings?

PTM: You heard correct! Guitar is indeed my first instrument and coming from a family of musicians I've been playing it basically my whole life. Drums were my next instrument and when you combine drums and guitar you get bass! It’s essentially just rhythm but with notes.

Matt: At times the musical instrument market feels incredibly limited for left-handed players, have you faced many difficulties finding an instrument that fits as a lefty? Have you ever had to get creative to get around the lack of lefty guitars and basses?

PTM: Thankfully I've never really found any problems! I kind of dealt with having less choice on a consumer level when I was quite young and I fully understand manufacturers reasons for not making it an option for most instruments, so there’s no beef here. I did learn how to play upside down on a right-handed guitar/bass very early on though. My relatively empty seven-year-old brain just kind of figured it out so now I can pretty much play anything upside down or vice versa. This has proven to be very helpful in certain scenarios.

Matt: Lewis, what's changed for you since recording the last album? Have you made any additions to your kit or have things stayed mostly the same?

PTM: Honestly no! If anything, I cut back a bit and took my double pedal away, to force me to be more creative with certain sections! I’ve always tried to add more drums and stuff but every time I do, I feel like I’ve compromised on how comfortable I am behind the kit. I’m kind of short and can’t reach very far so there’s only space for a certain number of drums! I’m also singing most of the time, so again, ergonomics are my main priority really. I’d LOVE to have more to mess about with though!

Matt: How have you stayed motivated to play during lockdown? Did you brush up on any new techniques or playing styles? Were you able to practice on an acoustic kit regularly or did you have to use an electronic kit?

PTM: Luckily, I’ve got my own little shoebox garage that I can use an acoustic kit in, so I’m super grateful for that. The main thing keeping me motivated to practice was the recording of the new album. In the writing process, I’m always way more focused on the vocals and the songs overall, rather than writing my drum parts in such specific detail. I know once we get in the studio, there’s a hundred ideas and suggestions floating about and everything is going to change anyway.

Press to Meco band group shot

So really, I just like to practice being able to flow out whatever ideas pop into my head or get thrown at me while we’re jamming or recording. The ability for the body to just be able to play whatever the mind comes up with on the fly is something I value a lot.

Matt: Absolutely love the intense, gritty vocal sound in the bridge of 'Another Day', did you consciously go into the recording of 'Transmute' looking to add to your vocal range or is that something that came about naturally?

PTM: In the songwriting process, I was just much more aware of wanting to double down on certain emotions. We’ve had heavy sections before, but we’d normally try and juxtapose those with clean harmonies or a sweeter vocal line over the top. This time we made a conscious decision to commit to each section and let it be what it wants to be.

Press to MECO 'Transmute', Pre-Order Now! 

Fuelled by an uncertain future and conflicting feelings towards the connectivity and intensity of the modern world, Press to MECO’s eagerly awaited new album 'Transmute' follows up from 2018’s critically acclaimed 'Here’s to the Fatigue'.

Produced by Machine (Clutch, Lamb of God, King Crimson) in a 16th-century tower in the UK, ‘Transmute’ feels more defined, where the heavy moments are brutal, the quiet aspects are beautiful, and the cinematic flourishes make the whole thing feel epic.

Pre-order it here -

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