Neck Deep has somewhat recently grown to be a more common name throughout the internet. However, this Welsh pop punk band actually formed in 2012. The band's vocalist, Ben Barlow started the band with the band's now former lead guitarist, Lloyd Roberts. The two of them released a song called "What Did You Expect" under the name Neck Deep, which drew them attention.
That actually lead to them finding the rest of the band. They found Matt West, who's their guitarist, Dani Washington for the drummer, and Fil Thorpe-Evans on bass. It wasn't long until they began working on music together, as they actually released their first full band EP that same year.
That EP was called Rain in July, and was released on September 18, 2012 through a US label, We Are Triumphant. They described the seven track EP as "six songs about girls and one about posers" by Rock Sound magazine and given the titles, I think its in that order. I personally haven't heard the EP yet, but with titles like "Over and Over", "A Part Of Me" and "I Couldn't Wait To Leave Six Months" ago all scream angsty relationship problems. Then there's the last track "All Hype, No Heart." That's definitely about a poser.
The EP was available for streaming through AbsolutePunk on the 17th of September 2012, and then released the next day through We Are Triumphant. It was later remixed and remastered and re-released as a compilation through Hopeless Records. The compilation was Rain In July/ A History Of Bad Decisions and didn't come out until June 17, 2014.
We're going to get to that, but for now we're getting ahead of ourselves. Not too far ahead, but there's still more ground to cover. Like all of 2013 to do.
2013 was a big year for them, as they got to go on a UK tour supporting Hackvist, and they released A History Of Bad Decisions on their own with a very interesting pretense. They released it as a "pay what you want" sort of download, so there was no set price. The EP was just three songs, and they released it as a way to capitalize on their new found fame.
Around this time, they also went on a vacation with their tour manager in Florida, and played a couple completely sold out and packed shows while they were there.
They filmed some videos at those shows and posted them online, which ended up being seen by Hopeless Records. At this point, people had already taken notice to them, and were clearly loving them. Hopeless clearly liked what they saw, and worked up a contract. Neck Deep was officially signed to Hopeless Records in August of that year, and had one of their biggest dreams come true.
Up until this point, Ben Barlow had said that the band was a fun part time thing, and the band did have alternative jobs prior to that. As most growing bands do, for obvious reasons. Upon signing to Hopeless Records, they said, "Fuck it, let's do this properly" and released their first full length album through Hopeless Records, Wishful Thinking.
The album was released on January 14, 2014 and it did fairly well. It hit number two on the UK Record Store Chart, and Rock & Metal Chart, three on the US Billboard Heatseakers, Six on the UK independent Album Charts, fourteen on the UK Independent Album Chart, thirty-five on the US Billboard Independent Charts, and finally 108 in the UK albums chart. So over all, it did fairly well.
They announced the album on October 30, 2013, just after releasing the album's first single, "Crushing Grief (No Remedy.)" To support the new release and all the great things going on in their lives right then, they set out on tour with The Wonder Years. They went all over the UK, and then to Australia.
Then in December, they released the second single, "Growing Pains." It was soon followed by the album's release in January, and a headlining tour in the UK.
It was right around then that they all quit their jobs, and Ben dropped out of college. This is also where things really began to pick up for them. Through out 2014, they toured around the UK with We Are The In Crowd, did a headlining tour in the US with Knuckle Puck and Light Years, and got put on the 2014 Vans Warped tour.
Just before Warped tour started is when Hopeless released their two EPs as one. Rain In July/ A History Of Bad Decisions came out on June 17. And now we can keep talking about other things, since that was already mentioned.
After the release of the album, they actually won a Kerrang! Award for the Best British New Comer, and beat out bands like Blitz Kids, Bury Tomorrow, and more. They went on to do headlining tours in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. That tour kicked off in January 2015, and carried into February.
Then, in April of 2015, they announced a new album in a very subtle way. All they said was "Can't Kick Up The Roots. 12.05.15." Now to my American eyes, that looks like they're announcing an album that won't be out til the end of the year, but that was not the case at all.
"Can't Kick Up The Roots" was the lead single off of their brand new album, Life's Not Out To Get You, and it came out on May 10 through BBC Radio 1. Fans loved it, and with the new found information about a new album, pre-orders were pouring in. They also announced that they would be playing the 2015 Vans Warped tour with bands like Knuckle Puck, Pierce The Veil, Black Veil Brides, As It Is, Pvris and many more.
Life's Not Out To Get You finally came out on August 14, 2015, and it did extremely well. It hit number one on the US Billboard Vinyl, Taste Makers, and Independent charts, as well as the UK Independent charts. It was also produced by A Day To Remember's Jeremy McKinnon, who also offered vocals on one of the tracks.
Surely they could not have been more thrilled, because everything was going fantastic, fans were loving the new album, and critics were comparing them to the likes of New Found Glory, and Sum 41. They were the "Pop punk you just don't hear any more", it was even put on Alternative Press' "10 Essential Records of 2015', and came in at number 3 on Rock Sounds Top Releases of 2015. It was even nominated for APMA and Kerrang! Awards! Things were going fantastic for Neck Deep, and then of course life decides to throw in a curve ball.
Just after the album's release accusations of sexual misconduct came up against the band's guitarist, Lloyd Roberts. Someone was claiming he was sending inappropriate pictures to an underage girl. The band quickly responded to this and said that they were aware of the situation, and requested a moment to get to the bottom of this.
The very next day, Lloyd stepped down from the band because he didn't want to hurt the band's reputation. In October, he released a statement stating that he had been cleared by police from the online allegation charges, because they found no case. He also hinted that he was not planning on rejoining the band, and then in December Sam Bowden officially took his place. This lead them to setting out on a co-headling world tour with State Champs that took them all over North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. TO join them on this were several bands, that included Creeper, Light Years, WSTR, Knuckle Puck and Like Pacific.
Which brings us to today! Neck Deep is currently relaxing, hopefully at home but in September they will be playing the High Elevation Rock Festival, Riot Fest and Texas Munity. For more information, please visit the respective festivals website. And be sure to stay up to day with Neck Deep by following them on all of their social media and checking out their official website.
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