Returning to Download to continue their pop-punk adventure, Roam are gearing up to enter their third chapter – new album ‘Smile Wide’, due 6th September via Hopeless Records. Singer Alex Costello chats about life, what’s ahead, and most importantly, their new friendship with Nickelback…
Hi Alex! Are you excited to be back at Download?
Very excited to be back though because we were pretty much just starting out at Download when we played last time. We were playing the little tent, and now it’s been three or fours years since then, and we’re coming back to a bigger tent, so it’s quite exciting to see it, and also it’s such a sick festival. To play Download is a big one – everyone knows about this festival.
So, the new album – how are things there?
Yeah, I don’t know where to start really. We started writing back in November 2018, and we started writing for three or four months before we went into the studio. We went in with a guy called Machine who did Lamb of God’s first stuff, and it was interesting. I feel that when there’s something interesting about it, it’s going to turn out well, it’s going to be quite unique. So, we went in the studio with him doing that in Texas, and it was the best experience of recording I’ve ever done in my life, and it’s all done now and ready to start releasing some stuff over the summer.
How was the growth from your debut ‘Backbone’ to this moment?
It’s not always straight up. You feel like there’s a lot of times where, you’re emotionally up and down, up and down, all the time, but there are times when you see your growth as a band, and you’re like ‘sick!’ You don’t really expect it, but, you’re kind of taken away by it.
What’ve been some notable moments for you?
There are notable moments in the absolutely amazing things that happen, and there are notable moments in the terrible. Both do inspire; the bad moments inspired our latest album that was out, with all the emotions of that and stuff, us getting robbed and all that. Then you’ve just got the sick things that you realise, that this is actually sick what I’m able to do given the opportunity, and actually, be blessed with doing something so cool. One of the coolest things was playing Las Vegas, next to a swimming pool while the crowd was in the pool and we were on stage – that was probably the coolest thing on Warped Tour 2016.
Those moments must give you clarity, but also take their toll?
Yeah. We’ve never been robbed before, so we never knew what it felt like, but it felt like… you’ve been robbed! We’d never felt that before so it was that intrusion. Someone’s intruded on your personal space and taken stuff, but positive stuff had to come from it.
Does some of that ‘bigger picture stuff’ feed into the new album?
I wouldn’t say as much. It’s changed since then, what we’ve started writing about. We wanted to create this album, starting with a theme and then writing about the theme and different areas to then make a collective album that made sense.
So, yeah, we started with a theme. We were able to write so much more and faster when we had this overall theme planned instead of just going ‘oh I’m gonna write a song about clouds today’, and just random stuff. You know where you’re aiming for, so it had momentum.
That must feel good, especially as you’ve grown as a band and found this new way to deal with things and open creativity?
Basically, all of you share this one emotion that is ‘The Band’. You’re an entity. I feel like we’re as close as we can be, you hit that point where you’re ‘close’.
And, now you’re also best pals with Nickleback apparently after tweeting and sharing the new album with them?
Yeah, we tweeted them asking if they wanted to listen and they were like – ‘yeah, we do. So we sent it to them and they messaged us saying one of their favourite songs, and we were like ‘okay, this is sick’. Then they tweeted us yesterday like in-depth just being supportive and it’s cool because they’re a band that you grow up with, grow up seeing in arenas and stuff and they’ve listened to your album, which is nuts to think about.
Taken from the August issue of Upset, out now.