"I hope our songs help fans through their darkest days" In Conversation with Reigning Days
After a two year wait between the release of their self-titled EP and now their full-length debut record Eclipse, Reigning Days are back and looking to get back into the swing of things. The Music Fix were privileged to sit down with lead singer and guitarist Dan Steer for a chat and discuss what's been happening in the last two years since we last spoke at Download 2016.
How are things in the Reigning Days camp these days having just released the album last week?
Yeah all good, happy to be finally talking about the record.
I'm always interested to know if artists read their own press, do you read reviews about the band?
It's nice to finally get it out, its been getting quite a positive response. The danger of waiting to release it so long after we recorded it is that musical tastes move on, but jobs a good one, it's all positive so far. I don't really read the reviews, it's only when the team direct me to a specific review do I really take note. I don't think it's overly healthy to read reviews on what people are saying because there are so many factors. You don't know what context they are writing from, what they are trying to get out of it. I think the most honest reviews are from people who have been critical of our music before and have then come to me personally through email or DMs and said that they were wrong. You can't always rely on your mum or your gran to be supportive, you do need to look at the bigger picture!
How has 2018 been so far for you personally and as a band?
Reigning Days have had ups and down, personally I've had my ups and downs, but, you know, I feel as sorted as I've ever been. I think that has been reflective in our live performances. Recently, we've been doing some in-store live performances, people have commented that it's the best we've ever sounded. I have found that really weird because we have been using minimal gear but being in such a small environment definitely focuses the mind and gets us as a band into the groove.
I first interviewed you at Download 2016, nearly two years ago. How has the band evolved since then?
Yeah, since that time back in the Summer of 2016 its been a massive learning curve. I've especially learnt that to sustain a career especially in the music industry, you have to know your limits. People want to have a good time at your shows, and with you also, but you have to have your boundaries on what is healthy. Lot's of people plan to watch a show or go to a festival and have that time off as a 'write off' and escape from their lives but if you are there to do a job, you have to be on top of your game. So, yeah, I've learnt a lot.
In terms of not being stressed out about things, you can't be lying awake all night thinking about things that you can't affect in the moment.
Let's talk about the new album, Eclipse. How was the recording process?
It was a mixed bag really. We signed to Marshall Records and we had an album ready to go but we had a load of new tunes. It's why there are 14 tracks on the album rather than the normal 10 that other artists do. Marshall then said let's go to Abbey Road studio which was a dream for me, we added new tracks and few bells and whistles to existing tracks, remixed it all as well. It took a longer time than planned but we got there in the end. I'm just glad it's out in the world now. It should have been out last year but circumstances mean that the time wasn't right.
We were in danger of listening to our own record and thinking "Wow, these songs were written three years ago!". When we got the test pressing of the vinyl and had a listen though, I thought to myself that I have something in my hands that I'm really proud of.
What are the plans for the record in terms of touring? Any UK plans?
We have a few festival dates firmed up and going out on the road with a few bigger bands supporting them. I'll probably get shot if I reveal any names though. You have to be careful because until you're on that stage or on the poster you never know the gig is really happening (laughs)! It's one of the things I've learnt, never take it as gospel!
If you could tour with any band, past or present, who would they be?
Good question, one of my influences, would be Biffy Clyro. I'd love to tour with Aerosmith as well, that would be incredible, that was one of the first big shows I saw as a kid. if I'm honest though, I'd be up for touring with anyone, sometimes the best gigs are the ones that have a varied line up of genres.
I always remember when I saw Aerosmith at Hyde Park in 2009/2010 there was a band there called The Answer and I loved them from the moment I saw them so they would be good too.
As a power trio do you ever feel that's restrictive not having other instruments to bounce off or work with, or does it make you more creative?
A bit of both I think. There's nothing to hide behind, me as the singer and as the guitarist, if I suddenly stop playing the guitar you are going to notice it. So you have to be creative in how you craft a song in a three-piece but also there is nothing better than when all three of you are locked into a groove and there is a vibe there. We certainly don't use backing tracks, so when we go off on tangents and you have a psychic link almost between you all, there's nothing like it in the world.
What do you hope Reigning Days fans take away from the record?
It's an eclectic mix of a record, it's not just balls-out rock, there are some songs on the record that I wrote when I was in a dark period of my life and if some of those songs can help other people in what they are going through, then all the better.
Reigning Days' new album 'Eclipse' is out now and can be purchased/streamed wherever music can be consumed. To keep up to date with the band follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook.