Spotlight: the Living Daylights


“I think too many bands nowadays try to be original and not be cliché” | Photo: The Living Daylights

The Living Daylights are perhaps the most successful act to come of Lincoln in recent years. Since signing to German label Fond Of Life Records, the boys have embarked on multiple Europeans tours and, perhaps most impressive of all, headlined a stage at Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK.

Although comparisons have been drawn to bands such as Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music, the band has found their own sound in their debut album Ways To Escape, which received a worldwide release.

The album is a breath of fresh air, and with soaring punk rock anthems it reintroduces a British twist to a genre that has been dominated by American artists. As a result it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best punk has to offer.

“I think too many bands nowadays try to be original and not be cliché,” says guitarist Matt, “but I think that is such a cliché thing to do, we just play whatever feels good to us.”

Playing what feels good to them has worked in their favour. After recording a five-track EP in January 2008, the band cut out the middleman and sent the resulting CD straight to Fond Of Life Records. It caught the label’s attention, and since then the band haven’t looked back.

“We began talking and they said they liked it and wanted to work with us,” says Matt, “we recorded our album in August 2008 and Fond Of Life Released it in October 2008. Since then we’ve been touring constantly to promote it.”

Life as a signed act has resulted in them seeing the world. “It’s bizarre to see yourself as a cardboard cut-out in record shops in Tokyo! Signed, to me and a lot of other people, is having money, a bit of popularity, and having people work for you but we don’t have any of that”.

But is Matt’s view on the Living Daylights’s current situation represent the truth? Some would argue that the band is in fantastic situation, for which some would give a limb for. Far from being too critical, Matt’s judgement is a realistic view on their current situation: “We put a lot of money into the band to keep it afloat and sometimes things can be hard for us, as we don’t really hold down jobs because of the constant touring.”

Despite an outlook that could be considered doom and gloom, Matt sees the bright side of being so involved in the punk scene: “It’s like one big family, a lot of labels, agents, and bands help each other out and we’ve become a part of that, which is incredible.”

Granted, the Living Daylights don’t have the financial support that numerous signed acts do, but no popularity? Their recent headlining slot on the Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals quashes this: “playing Leeds and Reading was definitely the best two shows we’ve ever played,” says Matt, “It was so incredible to see so many people coming out to support us.”

A festival appearance can be a double-edged sword for bands. Some go on to work up the stage ladder, eventually earning a main stage slot, and others fade in obscurity. With some hard work and a dash of luck the Living Daylights will hopefully be the former.

“The outcome of it has been great. Our inbox is overflowing with kind words from people, we’ve had lots of interest from agents and labels, not to mention hundreds of new fans that’ll hopefully tell their friends about us”.

This won’t be the last we hear of the Living Daylights, as Lincoln’s very own punk rock outfit are working on their sophomore album, due out in May 2010.

One Response to Spotlight: the Living Daylights

  1. Jean Dench says:

    I can vouch for all that Matt says. Watching at close quarters here at my rehearsal rooms, I have seen their struggles to hold down jobs between tours, fund their tours/rehearsal facilities/equipment and their transport.

    They have great personalities and are such a bunch of friendly guys – they have shared new songs with me and I have witnessed their excitement about the good stuff and their disappointments.

    I have supported them at many a gig and love the audience response they inevitably inspire. I took time out to see them live at Leeds and it was well worth the expense and the journey. Well done guys – may your success continue.