Portsmouth’s most exciting, forward-thinking band Web return with their long-awaited, new single ‘Why Why Why Why Why‘ this Friday!
In the run up to the release of ‘Why Why Why Why Why’, I caught up with Lucas and Kristian from the band to discuss the track, the video, the future and to discover more about the weird and wonderful world of Web.
Me: For anyone who’s not heard your new single ‘Why Why Why Why Why’, how would you describe it?
Lucas: Pretty mental!
When we were recording it we were just laughing. It was one of the first we wrote together for this project but with a different drummer. We thought it had kind of a jaunty, walking in the park vibe going on and then it just gets a bit crazy! It returns to that same motif but the key is changed, it’s all freaky, there’s more going on.
So we thought it was a bad trip kind of thing, you go through it, then you come out and nothing is the same as it was before.
Me: I always thought the opening lyric “we don’t see eye to eye, but we’re looking in the same direction” was clever/brilliant. Where do you get your inspiration for lyrics?
Lucas: I was at a party at uni and I’ve got a friend from Switzerland. I was chatting to him about his friend, sister or someone and he said “oh, we don’t see eye to eye, but we’re looking in the same direction”. I thought that was funny because it didn’t exist as a phrase but it sounded like an idiom that’s actually real.
Me: That’s the thing with things that get lost in translation.
Lucas: Yeah, I thought that was funny and then in the build up to recording it I thought, “yeah, maybe it does need something else to push it” and I was like “ear to ear”, you don’t hear ear to ear, you don’t smell nose to nose… How far can you push it? So I just pushed it. We were all just laughing after it happened.
Me: Where did you come up for the idea for the video?
Lucas: My initial concept came from when I saw the film ‘A Field in England’, a black and white film that’s set in the Civil War. It’s about these guys that get lost from the battle, they get kidnapped, forced to eat magic mushrooms and then have to dig for gold for this crazy guy. It’s very arty.
I thought the set was really cool. There wasn’t really a set, it was just in a field in the countryside and the only thing that’s indicating the period it was set is the costumes. Those fields have been the same forever, same as the forests and stuff. So I thought let’s do that.
Our friends in White Moth were keen, they loved the idea and they’re trying to start their own production company. They ran with it and they made it look incredible to be honest!
It was hard work filming for a whole week in The New Forest.
Kristian: It was quite a miserable affair ‘cause they all had very inappropriate shoes. I wore my boots, very happy the whole time, but everyone else got soggy, wet, cold feet.
Lucas: The costume designer had us wearing these slip on, leather shoes with a little heel and we were walking in marshes. Wet feet and puddles and stuff. It was December 2020 so yeah, it was super cold.
Me: After your Icebreaker Festival performance, you mentioned word of a potential album?
Lucas: It’s the dream. Originally we had a real concept for an EP. When the lockdown first happened we thought maybe gigs would never happen again. So we wanted to create something that would be really good and high quality that had an overall journey to it and made sense as one piece. We did make a dent in that, but we lost momentum with it because of the budget.
Me: And you’ve got much newer stuff now as well?
Lucas: Yeah, lots of new songs and a whole new way of playing the old songs. We’ve got a couple of singles lined up, well, we’ve got one after this one. Then we’re thinking of releasing some kind of compilation, a collection of the story so far, the year one stuff I suppose. We’re excited to put these out because we are proud of them and they mark a period in time. We wouldn’t want them to be shelved entirely.
Me: HMS Web, tell me more? Is this an ongoing theme or just for the Spotify bio?
Lucas: It’s just a funny way of presenting ourselves. Something that isn’t the “Three guys changing the shape of rock music forever/These guys are changing the game” there’s a lot of that. If I’m sitting there writing, I want to be laughing. It also ties in thematically I guess, we’ve got two songs about sinking ships!
Me: Yeah, I wasn’t sure if one of the other tracks you do live was tied in with that…
Lucas: Yeah, it’s pretty much the whole space station song, it’s very linked to that. We’ve got press photos of us in space suits. So that’s all tied in, trying to sort of build the world of Web I guess and make it a bit more like a movie, make it a bit more modern.
The whole band thing has been very… boring for ages. There’s no drama to it, no theatre to it. Even games have changed, they have seasons, stuff happens and things move on. That’s what I want to do with the “art direction” for this is have it move forward and feel like you’re going somewhere, it’s exciting to create that kind of world. I’d love to like bring other bands in and have like a Marvel thing going on. That would be really cool.
Me: Saying about new bands and stuff, if you could tour the country with two other Portsmouth bands, who would they be?
ACCOST would’ve been good. Were they ever a band though? Sienas would be good, they’re pretty sound guys.
I think Jim (Pedlow, Spin War bassist) would probably cry if we didn’t say Spin War, but then cowboyy would also be good… To be fair, if we take cowboyy and Spin War, there’s Rhys (drummer) in both so… We’d have one less person to stay with. But then they’re both five pieces, like ten people…
I’m thinking very practically about this. But those three if we can have three?
Me: Yeah, I guess some gigs do have three supports…
Lucas: People will get tired by the time we have to play though!
I’d rather have Sienas because they’re a bit different, you don’t want people too similar…
With Hallan there’d probably be a bit too much competitiveness. Who would support, who would open?
Me: You could swap one night on, one night off?
Lucas: Double headliners are common. I think Hallan don’t need us to take them on tour, they can book their own bloody tour…
Me: They should take you on tour instead?!
Lucas: We’d love to go on tour with them! But I think if we were curating it, we have a responsibility to bring people up.
Me: Speaking of gigs, for anyone who wasn’t there, how was the sold-out headline gig?
Lucas: Yeah, it was very good!
Lucas: neu waves
Kristian: Oh yeah, the one where the light got punched out and the geez fell into the Korg, that one?
Kristian: That was fun.
Lucas: It was good to have a local crowd go mental for it. We’ve only recently had people react/crowd reactions. That comes with playing later, when you start off you have to pay your dues and open for a long time, everyone there has just arrived and isn’t really up for it. But when you climb that ladder and play a bit later, people have had a few more drinks.
It was good because we hadn’t really had that in Portsmouth where people properly got into it. Even though there was some… Bad behaviour with people pushing people onto our synthesisers and stuff.
neu waves is always good. It’s good to have something like that in Portsmouth because it hasn’t had that really for a while in the way that Southampton has with Honeymooner etc bringing people in. We don’t really have that in Portsmouth… Although Calamity Cratediggers have been around for years though obviously.
Me: Strangest gig story?
Kristian: I’m trying really hard to think of something very strange…
Lucas: Yeah, I’m trying to cast my mind back. There’s been like alcohol… incidents?
We played with The Rills back when they were a regular local band, to London or wherever they’re from, up north aren’t they? We played with them before they exploded and they had loads of free beers, so we were just pounding them. I got particularly drunk, I was throwing up in the car, like “stop the car!”.
Kristian: When was the gig where you threw up out the window and it came back on my face?
Lucas: That’s the same one…
Kristian: I had my window open on the motorway he chucks out the window and it went back. But it was funny, I was laughing. Quite gross.
Me: Do you have anything else to add?
Kristian: Well, do you know that the single has got a b-side?
Me: Is it familiar, as in a track you’ve been playing live?
Lucas: Yeah, we haven’t played it much recently… But, it’s sort of a surprise and we think that people will hopefully be happy to be finally able to listen to it.
Me: I’m trying to work out which one it is now?
Lucas: You’ll have to wait and see…
Me: I was going to mention the artwork alongside the gig announcements actually… Is that an ongoing thing as well?
Lucas: It sort of ties into the video, the idea was to play the long game. It’s exhausting having to maintain that Instagram band voice everyone seems to do. Post pictures of yourselves posing and not looking at the camera and all, not smiling. It’s not how we wanted to do it. The bands we like aren’t posting themselves begging people to do things. So we just thought it was a cool way to do something different on Instagram.
It looks cool, we’re pretty stoked with it. The images are going to change and morph as we get closer to the release date. It’s like the world building thing, creating a sense that it’s going somewhere and that’s sort of aesthetically pleasing to look at. Something different. I’m quite excited about the whole Instagram build up, sort of doing Dracula-style clues, artefacts kind of.
Me: Where do you get your inspiration for your paintings?
Kristian: It depends what I’m painting. The single one was briefed to be, obviously like the images we used for Instagram and for the video. As in, the period style. These ones, the old ones (Intimidation & Shame Part 1/2 paintings), I just wanted to paint intimidation and shame, so I just did that in a room. It mostly involved figure painting and abstract figure and portrait. I prefer not to have a plan. It’s abstract expressionism, I guess, but from within rather than outside.
Lucas: We all like to contribute to the art-y side of things as well. Ben does Photoshop skills on some of the paintings you’ll see over the next few days, I come up with all the art direction and Kristian paints all the single covers… It’s at the forefront of our minds.
Kristian: We’re like a dev team.
Lucas: We just happen to have three visually creative members as well. So it works out.
Lucas: As for the future… We’re trying to organise a tour for July so, we’re in discussion now, booking it ourselves so… Buy tickets! We’re talking to some people that we’re going to do it with and we’re pretty excited for it ‘cause, they’re really good as well. And good friends, so it should be a nice little run of shows.
A lot of my on-stage persona is a result of my background in theatre. I’m actually performing in a play at the end of the month at the Square Tower in Portsmouth. It’s called The Lion in Winter, it’s about a young Richard the Lionheart and his brothers. Heavy Game of Thrones vibes.
Next gig, April 16th, Interstellar Food Drive, for a good cause! We played it in our old band and with Drug Store Romeos years and years ago which was good, so yeah, it’s good to be back.
I’d like to thank Web very much for their time! ‘Why Why Why Why Why’ is out now and you can watch the video below.