On 25.09.17, in Manchester, GA rep Sophia sat down with Zaid – lead singer of the band Beyond Recall – to talk about their music, their message, and more…
First, can you pitch Beyond Recall to people who haven’t heard of you before?
I’d say we are the love-child of All Time Low, Don Broco, and nu-metal. We come at you from all angles. They’re pop-punk tracks at their core, but then there’s rapping and screaming too.
You’ve been on tour with Young Guns recently – how’s that been?
The tour has been a dream come true. Josh (drummer) and I have been best friends since 2010, and we first hung out at a Young Guns show. So it’s come full circle. It’s been amazing – the artists that we look up to I can actually call my friends. [Young Guns] have been the nicest guys, and playing in front of their crowds every night really is an honour.
What’s your favourite gig memory?
My favourite gig memory is from when I went to see Enter Shikari in Bristol, and letlive. opened the show. It was – wow, it probably would’ve been 2011/2012 – and it felt like I was the only one in the room who knew who letlive. were. Jason Butler didn’t care whether anyone knew who they were, and he controlled the stage, he controlled the audience. He just took over the room and I just remember thinking, “this guy right here, he’s killing it”. That’s probably my best memory of being in the crowd.
What about from one of your own shows?
It’s probably from when we were in Edinburgh, on tour with our good friends in THE AFTERPARTY. We’d never been to Edinburgh before, and honestly I thought about 10 people would come to the show. But then we got this half-packed room – and sure, it was a small room – and they all went crazy. That night, I felt like we had ‘made it’. It’s still one of my top 5 shows.
Which songs do you get most pumped up to play live?
I think my favourite to play live is ‘Almost’. There’s a part that’s just so fucking catchy and new people can sing along easily. Also, I love playing ‘Tomorrow’, because I get to let everybody know how I feel about the world.
What inspired the lyrics to ‘Tomorrow’?
I had a mum come up to me at a show once, and she thanked me for giving her daughter a safe place. That same night, her daughter came up to me too. She hugged me and started crying. I was a bit taken aback for a moment, thinking “shit, what do I do?” But then I realised all I had to do was be there, be me, be in this band, perform and connect with people. That’s what ‘Tomorrow’ is about for me.
Could you tell us about your new single ‘Wonder’?
‘Wonder’ is all about trying to find a place for yourself. I was feeling unsure and outside of life, and I used that to create a character. I wrote about that person for this song. It’s also a great one, for me, because it shows the more pop-punk side of the band. It’s a fun track with a serious message.
You play a lot of shows and do talks at schools. How did that start and what do you talk about?
We started an anti-bullying campaign in March , because we knew that there was a lot going on at schools and on the internet between young people. We go into schools to talk to kids about online safety, bullying, and to give them a safe space to open up.
You speak very frankly on stage about the issue of suicide in young people – why is that a topic you speak about?
We speak about it because it’s a huge issue. It’s the number one cause of death in young people in the UK, and yet people overlook and dismiss it. People think it’s a joke, like something that’s a goth or emo ‘trend’ – but it’s not. It’s serious. Everyone ignores it until it happens to someone they know – and the response is always “I didn’t know” or “but they were always smiling”. And that’s a problem because suicide doesn’t have a face.
Before becoming aware of Girls Against, how aware were you of the sexual harassment that goes on at shows?
I knew that sexual harassment went on at shows, but I’ve never witnessed it at our shows – though it may happen. I unfortunately can’t see beyond the first three rows, so I don’t know.
But I have had a girl grab my penis once – she kept doing it throughout the show. Afterwards, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I was so annoyed and so uncomfortable.
I don’t understand why people think it’s an okay thing to do.
By the way, I am so happy that this campaign exists, and I want to thank you for doing what you do.
Do you have a message for those who have had that kind of negative experience at a show?
Speak to the appropriate people – the security at the venue. Make it public [if you feel comfortable to].
What would your message be to the perpetrators of that behaviour?
You’re idiots. That is so inappropriate and wrong. You may feel like you can get away with it, but you can’t.
Finally, what’s coming up for Beyond Recall?
With the anti-bullying campaign, we’re really excited too. When we started it 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to reach 10,000 students by 2018 – but, as it stands, we will hit that number in November. We want to get out and tour more too, because we haven’t been able to do that enough lately – doing this tour has shown us how much we’ve missed it. Mostly, we just want to make people feel better.
Interview by Sophia Simon-Bashall