FIVE MINUTES WITH THE HUMAN PROJECT
You’re playing at Badlands Festival this year – are you excited?
Of course! It’s always nice to be asked to play something new and it already looks like a really good time. Plus, it’s been a long time since we played in Lincoln and it’s a bit of a hot-bed for cool bands and good shows, so it’s going to be nice to be back.
What’s your ‘elevator pitch’ for The Human Project? How would you sum up your music in one sentence?
This is always a hard one, haha. It’s fast skate-punk. Melodic, technical but not so tech that you can’t sing along and designed to lose your shit to.
Your new album ‘Clarion Call’ comes out Friday 6th July. Which tracks are your favourite ones to play live and should we be learning the words to before Badlands Festival?
We’ve only just started playing the new songs live so we haven’t played them all yet! However, the double-header of ‘Desperate Times’ into ‘Desperate Measures’ is a cracking opener and really shakes off any cobwebs. Those and the singles ‘That One Percent’ and ‘Knocked for Six’ are the ones, and the title track has some big parts we want everyone to know. Although hopefully you’ll know all the words to all the songs by then, if you know what I mean (wink emoji).
There is a huge variety of punk rock in the UK and Badlands Festival features a mix of everything from crust and d-beat, through to skate punk and more melodic-indie driven punk. Which UK bands have caught your eye lately that are pushing the boundaries of what punk rock can be?
I think that out of everyone, Almeida always jump to mind. So much fun live, they’re masters of their craft but also the nicest people and not silly and theatrical about it. Just winners. Also, the new Eat Defeat album is storming, and everyone’s going to love it.
What will you be listening to in the van on the drive up to Lincoln?
We don’t actually listen to fast punk bands all that often in the van. Been getting some serious recent play-time from De Start, Phoebe Bridgers, Jonathan Coulton, Future of the Left, and Jamie Lenman. On the punkier side of things, always Propagandhi, always A Wilhelm Scream, lots of Frenzal Rhomb, Captain Everything. And Wesley Willis from time to time…
Lyrically, The Human Project has always been a politically conscious band. Are you still motivated to write political lyrics? Does the current political climate inspire you to take action, or does it bring on feelings of apathy?
I don’t think you can be a punk band without engaging politically on some level. While some of the lyrics are quite overtly political and the subject matter is extremely clear, some of the others on the new album are a little more personal. ‘Pride Before a Fall’ deals with macho culture, suicide, and the stigma around mental health – a matter that’s very close to all of us for different reasons. Other songs deal with relationship breakdowns.
The general feel of the album is less directly about current issues and events and more about the climate itself. We seem to have slipped into a strange parallel universe where being even a little politically left-of-centre has you immediately branded as all sorts of things from anti-Semitic, to protecting paedophiles, to a communist, etc, etc. We’ve become a country where people will protest to free a racist criminal purely out of confirmation bias, ignoring facts in face of blind emotional bullshit, but will ignore or condemn a similar protest to not bomb foreign countries illegally – based on, at best, questionable evidence. At the same time, any mildly left-wing person is derided as caring too much about ‘feelings’ or ‘identity politics’ (which is touched upon in some of the less political tracks). Bluntly, it’s the dumbest, reductionist take on nuanced politics that I’ve ever seen – and it seems that the Brexit result galvanised the absolute worst of the bunch, leading to a situation where any opposition leads to immediate ridicule by press, peers, and politicians. That’s where the album title comes from, and what the title track is about – everyone who can see the blatant rot in this country needs to unite, we need our own rallying cry. We’re not naive enough to think that our album is that cry, but I’d like to think that the tide will change if everyone unites against a common enemy; these people are not organised, these people are not ‘winning’. They know that their opponents are dangerous to them and will discredit using whatever means necessary. All we need to do is keep going, and the far-right will lose again.
You’ve recently returned from a headlining tour in Japan, what else do you have on the horizon for this year and beyond?
We did, and it was amazing. the warmth and enthusiasm of the people there was like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and we can’t wait to go back. as for the future, it’s album launch and launch gigs central, a jaunt over to the mainland for KNRD Fest right after that, and then Badlands obviously! Also a trip to Belgium in November for El Too Goes Frigo in November. There’s some vague talk of a UK/Europe tour very soon too.
Tickets for Badlands Festival are on sale now. Early-bird tickets have entirely sold-out but there are a handful of advance tickets still up for grabs. Get yours here: https://badlandsfestival.bigcartel.com
Saturday 18th June at The Jolly Brewer and The Alleykat Club, Lincoln. Featuring Crazy Arm, The Human Project, Miss Vincent, Wolfbeast Destroyer, Three Day Millionaires, Nieviem and many more still to be announced.
Join the Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1043669599115081