Track By Track: Day Old Hate – First Light EP

“We do this because we are a strong group of friends who love to make music, and because the feeling of people singing lyrics you wrote back at you is better than anything,” opines Oliver Swift, vocalist of Day Old Hate. On the evidence of their forthcoming sophomore EP, First Light, the amount of people singing Swift’s lyrics back at him and his bandmates is going to be on a steady increase. Born from the same musical genepool as fellow countrymen Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis and Young Guns, Day Old Hate load their songs with roaring, satisfyingly chunky rhythmn guitar, bursts of sparkling lead guitar toplines and soaring vocal refrains that feel instantly familiar, in the best way possible. Here the members take it in turns to discuss the release and give you an insight into what you can expect, track by track…

Track By Track

“First Light”T by Will:

‘First Light’ was the first track we wrote for the E.P & is the opening/title track of the record. The track captures everything we wanted to put across in the record and is the perfect way to kick it all off. Anyone who is a fan of our previous material will find a lot of familiar features of Day Old Hate that they know & (hopefully) love but it also delves into new & exciting areas for us as a band.

The track first came about when Benj & I came up with the opening riff. Once we were happy with the riff, Ed came along and completely stripped it apart. What we were left with is this epic, almost movie style intro. After that, the track sat on the shelf for a while & didn’t come to fruition until months later when we brought it to rehearsal & the rest is history.

Anyone who caught us on our tour last April should know it as we opened with it most nights and although it’s had a few minor changes but the basic foundation is the same. It’s a great track to play live, with lots of energy and an easy chorus to sing along to and it always gets the night started in the right way. Lyrically, the track is really important to us. It’s about not losing faith in difficult times and making the right decision when several options are put in front of you. This topic is something every band at our level should be able to relate to. We’ve tried to put a positive spin on this and ultimately make a feel good, motivational song about sticking to the path you’ve chosen.

“Secrets” by Benj:

‘Secrets’ kicks in straight away and was one of the songs we knew would make the EP as soon as we started playing it in rehearsals. We have played it a few times live and it always seems to go down really well as the intro always succeeds in getting people pumped up.

It was one of the very first songs that we wrote for this EP as we probably had the bare bones of it in early April 2015. We then made a few adjustments in rehearsals and I think it’s come out really well. Like most of our songs, this one must have been on my laptop for a few months as me and Ed laid it down in a couple of hours one night. The only thing that has changed from the final song is the intro as we just wanted something simple but aggressive which I think we managed to achieve. The original intro was more of a riff but it just didn’t flow with the rest of the song, that riff might even turn up in a future song, but for now it’s been put to one side.

The song has all the elements of “Day Old Hate’ and if I had to pick a song that defines our sound, I would probably pick this one. The guitar work in this song is probably my favourite to date, when I started playing in the band this was how I wanted us to sound and I’m pretty chuffed with how it’s come out. This is something we can also thank our producer, Romesh Dodangoda, for as he did an amazing job in getting the guitar tones just right in the studio.

If anyone has seen us play live over the last few months you will have probably seen how much we like playing this track. It is quite a tough one for Ollie to do live as it’s pretty full on throughout but we still really enjoy playing it and it always receives a great reaction from the crowd.

“Fifteen” by Josh:

We should start by saying ‘Fifteen’ is the track that almost didn’t make it on to the EP, but we are very glad that it made the final cut! Listeners can expect a song with no messing around – kicking straight into a verse there is no waiting around and it steadily builds throughout the track into an epic outro riff!

This song came together relatively quickly in a rehearsal during the writing process for ‘First Light’ and is definitely the most experimental track out of the five songs. The structure seems simple with there not being many sections, which lead to us deciding to play with other aspects in the writing process, such as the time signature to really develop an interesting and at times dark feeling to the song.

The Lyrics follow a similar theme to the rest of the EP; the main inspiration is basically to not give in to the pressures you may face around you, whatever forms they may come in, and making sure you do what you need to do to be happy. This is reflected in the second half of the chorus, “We’ll break these walls and prove them wrong, I’ll throw these stones and make you see what I want.”

‘Fifteen’ is fast becoming one of our favourites. We are so pleased that we tried something a little different and experimental and managed to produce a solid song. It just goes to show that you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. because you never know what you can achieve without trying. It’s also a track we really enjoy playing live due to its energetic chorus and epic ending!

“Minutes. Hours. Days.” by Ed:

Minutes/Hours/Days is about as close to ‘Pop’ as we get; catchy hooks and big riffs. We have actually performed this track once; It wasn’t meant to be in any live sets until we released the EP but we were so excited about this track that we decided to throw it in about half an hour before we went on stage. So we played it first one night and low and behold it’s an awesome live track! It was great fun to play and the perfect tempo to get the crowd (and us) jumping. The track was written in a slightly unusual way, in that I laid down a drum part for the main riff first, then guitars were written and we went from there. Lyrically it’s about making something you want yours, no matter what, even when it seems unachievable and never losing sight.

“Don’t Chase Me by Ollie:

This track is my favorite off the EP; it’s quite an emotional song and the lyrics are based on the fact that it’s important to not to get too hung up about the people that didn’t/don’t believe in you.

The song started from me, Ed and Josh sat around a keyboard and writing a song around vocal melodies and building it from there rather than starting with our usual route of guitar riffs. When we recorded the vocals with Romesh I was stuck for a decent harmony in the first line of the chorus, but after a while one just jumped out at us! I really feel it emphasizes the quality of the vocal hooks in this song. I love Wills lead in the intro; it really kicks the start of the song off well and gives it that epic feel that makes you want to nod your head.

This track hasn’t ever been played live yet but I can’t wait to be playing this one on our upcoming tour, it will be great to go from the slower and more intimate verses to the big choruses! Hopefully the crowds we play in front of will feel these transitions like we do on stage.

Day Old Hate will release First Light on February 12, 2016. Pre-orders begin January 15th.

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