By now you know the Up Late sound and its collision of heavy and electronic in tracks like “Friends”, “u left me on read”, and the newest – “Fuck You”. But do you know which band inspired its creator Max Pasalic? Having forged ahead on a path that veers away from the garagey, melodic hardcore vibes of Easy Life where he began, there’s one key band that planted a seed for him from his teenage years. We’ll allow Max to explain.
I’ll struggle articulating my thoughts eloquently in this article, so to summarise what you are about to read, Bring Me The Horizon are the best band on the planet and if you don’t agree you are objectively fucking wrong. There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret was (and perhaps still is) the greatest synthesis of modern metal, post rock, and electronic music.
The echoes of this record are still felt in modern metal and rock (and even pop music) today. Listen to any metal-leaning Spotify playlist from the early 2010’s onwards and you’ll hear vocal chops, choral chants, and 808 drops.
Bring Me The Horizon completely reinvigorated a tired, boring, and unoriginal genre. This album sparked my undying interest in experimentation and genre-clashing curiosity.
A heartfelt, hyper-emotional record, it tugged on my melodramatic heartstrings at 13 when I first illegally downloaded the leak on a Blogspot on my high school computer. I had been a Bring Me The Horizon fan for at least a full year by this stage, already knowing every word to Suicide Season – emphatically practicing my screams in my room.
I had jet black skinny jeans and a jet black swept fringe. I cared for nothing besides Suicide Season, Stand Up and Scream, and A Shipwreck in The Sand. To be a true ‘emo’, ’hardcore’, or ‘metal’ fan you needed to listen to real heavy music. Real emotional music. You couldn’t experiment with other genres. You couldn’t listen to Skrillex, you couldn’t listen to Kanye and you sure as shit couldn’t listen to Justin Bieber.
That was until the world heard that first choir vocal on “Crucify Me”. That was until the world heard that soaring orchestral arrangement and those atmospheric soundscapes mixed with down-tuned guitars and pounding drums.
I was too young to fully understand what the lyrical themes meant. Ideas of self-hatred, love, breakups, death, suicide, and addiction all wrapped up into this emo opera. This album defined me sonically – it was the sound and the feeling and the mood and how that absolute sonic-grandeur created such a dense and overwhelming sense of atmosphere. The feverish screams of Oli’s voice were the catalyst for me – he was my biggest ‘vocal’ inspiration. There was something about how unkempt – and atonal his voice was. The fact he couldn’t sing (at that time) was even more enlightening; it gave me (and I’d assume a lot of others) hope that regardless of your melodic singing ability, you could still front and ‘sing’ for a band. Every lyric he screamed felt cathartic, as is he needed to get those words out.
Although difficult to choose but one song as a standout – it’s most likely “It Never Ends”. This track in particular felt like it resonates with me just as much as it did at 13 as it does now. Those lyrics “every second, every minute, every hour, every day, it never ends…” have always stuck with me – that feeling of a constant dull anxiety that’s plagued me since I was a kid. Although deathly clichéd, there is a sense of freedom when I’m on stage singing; I never feel anxious on stage, I’m just lost in this flow-state. That’s when I feel most free. I’d like to think Oli probably felt that too when he sung this song.
Although a lot of my songs might not sound like them, their ability to say ‘fuck it’ and do whatever the want, mix whatever genres they want, work with whoever they way – that’s what’s influenced me. If we fast forward to their newest records, Amo, Survival Horror, That’s the Spirit etc, there’s this sense of childish curiosity that still permeates through all their music. They’re not old and bitter and making tired, unoriginal rehashes of their earlier records – they’re still pushing boundaries, they don’t care that they’ve got a pop song and a breakdown on the same record.
They break rules, they make music for themselves regardless of how anyone else feels. That’s how I’m approaching music now, I’m over making music in a box, making music with rules, I just make whatever I want, and Bring Me The Horizon inspired me to do that.
And speaking of which, check out “Fuck You” with Hearteyes now, and pre-order the Up Late debut EP STARS here: https://unfd.lnk.to/PresaveSTARS