Boston Manor

Exclusive Interview: Ash Wilson of Boston Manor Talks Slam Dunk Festival, America and New Music

Since they burst on to the scene in 2013, Blackpool quintet Boston Manor have been making waves both within in the UK but also further afield thanks to their slick musicianship and willingness to experiment with their sound release after release. At Slam Dunk South 2019, we sat down with guitarist Ash Wilson to talk about their American adventures, Slam Dunk experience and the follow up to their 2018 album Welcome To The Neighbourhood.

Hi Ash, how was Leeds for you yesterday?

It was wet and it got progressively worst.

We’re hoping today it’s only showers!

Honestly, I’m kind of hoping it’s miserable only because I’m very, very, very tired and I just want to go to bed.

So you want us all to suffer?

Everyone should suffer so I can go to sleep.

We’ll edit that out so nobody else knows you’re trying to sabotage their days.

I don’t predict the weather, I can’t make the rain come down.

But you’ve got shelter here and the best of both worlds.

Yeah, I could have a nice little nap here, I can sleep anywhere. I could literally sleep on a hard floor in the rain or in a nice comfy bed. It’s just as easy for me.

That’s perfect for you with the amount of touring you’re doing

We’re very, very busy boys

That leads me on perfectly; you’ve been in America a lot recently, how has it been for you when you’ve been out there?

Honestly, we get such a nice, warm welcome when we’re there we never thought as a band from tiny Blackpool in the North of England anyone would ever care about us all the way six thousand miles in the other direction. We have a lot of friends over there now and a lot of bands we’re friends with too and people seem to like what we’re doing and it’s kind of exciting for us you know? We’ve been doing a few festivals recently playing like to people who like Disturbed and Papa Roach and stuff and we feel like may that wasn’t our thing and we didn’t fit in there. All these dudes with massive beards and stuff would come over to us after the set like ‘you guys were sick’ so we’re pumped. It’s going pretty well!

You’re heading back out there to play with A Day To Remember, how are you feeling about heading back to play such massive shows?

I’ve very much looking forward to it. We almost thought it was pointless coming back home as we’re literally flying out in probably ten days now. I can’t wait. I grew up listening to that band. I was in a metalcore band before I was in Boston Manor and we definitely played some of the covers of I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of. I think we did Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End as well, they’re a really, really good band and I look up to them because they’ve like stuck it out and they’ve been a band for years now and they’re still killing it. That’s all we want as a band; longevity. A lot of bands do this quick to rise thing but it’s always quick to fall as well, we’ve just love playing music so much we just hope we never have to stop.

We have to talk about your set today which was absolutely mad, how was it for you to play to such a good crowd?

I had a sick time. I genuinely had such a good time. Basically, we tried to get as many crowd surfers throughout the set as we could and we didn’t know at the time but security keep a clicker that counts how many people do it. I think at the end of our set 210 people come over the barrier, we’re pretty chuffed with that. I love playing shows, we wouldn’t be doing so many if we didn’t. We’re all massive fans of playing shows and giving everything we’ve got!

Would you say today was better than yesterday or yesterday better than today?

Honestly, the South brought it this time. Normally the North wins but the South was pretty good. Yesterday, so we clashed with Busted both days but I feel like less people wanted to see them and more people wanted to see us today as I saw a lot of kids who were like ‘We wanted to come and see you guys but Busted were playing’ and if I was them I would do the same. I was a bit of a childhood fan, I like the band a lot!

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You released your latest album Welcome To The Neighbourhood last year, how has the response been for you?

I think it’s been really well received. It’s a bit of a sonic shift as far as sound goes from our previous record and we didn’t know how people would react but a lot of people seem to enjoy it. We’ve found the more and more shows we play the more people are catching on and are like as well we don’t class ourselves as a pop-punk band per se even though we’re in that pop-punk scene. People see our name on all these tour bills on stuff and think we’re that band and when they see us they realise we’re actually a lot heavier and it’s a nice surprise for them, I don’t know I think it’s just nice seeing a lot of surprised faces when we’re onstage as we’re this band they didn’t think we were. We’re turning a lot of fans, I think, I hope.

Have you thought about work for the follow-up album?

We’re writing whenever we can, we don’t really have time to plan to write a record as we’re on the road so much we’re just kind of ‘oh you have a spare hour? Try and write a record!’. Try and do something!

What kind of sound are you leaning towards on this release?

I personally would like to go in a heavy direction. I know that the rest of the guys, we’re all kind of feeling the same as we’re into the heavy bands but I like to vibe more off heavier music and dark stuff. I’m trying to keep everything nice and dark but you never know, it’s nice to have variety in there so when the record comes out some of it is light and some of it is dark you know it’s a win-win.

Can UK and European fans expect to see you back over here for shows any time soon?

We’re going to be back here very soon. Weirdly after the last show of the A Day To Remember tour we’re flying to Madrid to do Download Madrid and we’re playing on the same day that we land, it’s going to be awful but amazing at the same time. We haven’t been to Madrid before so it’s going to be awesome. We’re doing a bunch of Euro festivals over the Summer, we’re also doing Reading and Leeds Festival as well. But then after that, we can’t say too much about what the next plans are but we are planning to hit the UK pretty hard.

So the UK definitely hasn’t been forgotten?

Noooo, we’re trying to like. It’s harder in the UK because we feel you can only play so many shows a year because it’s so small whilst in the States, you can hit it a few times and play like a lot of different places you don’t normally go to.

As we’re at Slam Dunk what’s your ultimate festival anthem?

I don’t know, I might go the other way and say something like Closer by Nine Inch Nails or Head Like A Hole. Nine Inch Nails are one of my favourite bands so I could probably say something by them for sure.

We’ve already touched upon this, but is there anything else lined up for the rest of the year?

I think we’ve covered it all but I’m just saying keep your eyes peeled. We’ve got a few things in the works that I feel like are going to come to fruition very quickly almost instantly after this interview is out so you never know just keep your ears to the ground.

Boston Manor’s tour with A Day To Remember and Knocked Loose kicks off on June 5th in Columbus, Ohio before heading across America throughout June. The quintet will be back on UK soil for Y Not Festival in July and Reading and Leeds in August. Keep up to date with Boston Manor on Facebook, Instagram, Official Website and Twitter.

You can read our review of Slam Dunk South 2019 here.

Will you be checking out Boston Manor? Tweet us @CelebMix and let us know!


Written by Nicola Craig

Lover of all things pop, a boyband or two, and discovering new artists to get hooked on. You'll usually find me at a gig, truly living my best life without a care in the world.