Originally formed in 2005 by the Hobbs brothers, Mark and Jason initially started writing music with guitarist Chris Golden and drummer Josh Norton-Cox. After a hiatus, this quintessential quartet rekindle their creative prowess, revisiting their back catalogue of material, only this time with Josh stepping in as their producer. A little later, guitarist and vocalist Gemma Patten joined, along with their new drummer Ryan Wighton, and vocalist Tom Crossman on synth duties, and by the beginning of the lockdown in 2020, the band reformed.
Surviving December takes the listener back to a simpler time in music, reflecting as far back as the brothers basement days in 2005, when and the origins of their sound sported a wide range of Pop-Punk-Rock soundscapes.
Located in Torbay, Devon here in the UK, the band are still waiting the opportunity to spread their wings to the masses, and due to the current pandemic plans to tour have been curtailed somewhat. Having said that, now restrictions have been lifted slightly, Surviving December and are looking forward to their first headline gig on the 17th of October, at The Green Door Store in Brighton, and when they do, it will be with a line-up consisting of-
Mark Hobbs – vocals and guitar, Jason Hobbs – bass, Chris Golden – guitar, Gemma Patten – vocals and guitar, Ryan Wighton – drums, Tom Crossman – vocals and synth.
Jason, first stepped into music a little later in 1998. First starting on guitar, he later picked up the bass for the band, and cuts his teeth on artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Blink-182 and New Found Glory.
Chris, started learning guitar in 2000 at secondary school influenced by Angels & Airwaves and A Day To Remember.
Gemma, first hit the mic at a very young age and has been singing most of her life. In 2006, Gemma was taught guitar by Jason and leans on artists such as Hayley Williams of Paramore, Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf along with George Michael and Little Mix to create her style.
Ryan, first started pounding the skins aged 17 inspired by drummers such as the late, great Neal Peart of Rush, Tre Cool of Green Day and Brandon Saller of Atreyu.
After a lifetime of vocal training Tom earned a place at the Bristol based Aria Academy. By 2021 he turned his hand to the synth mentored by the sound of Red, Alexisonfire, Emarosa, Starset and Breaking Benjamin
As a band Blink-182, The Ataris, New Found Glory, Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac drives their sound.
“A shared passion to create something that people can relate to and love in years to come. When we create our music, we write it in a way so that it tells a story. We care about the lyrical content of each individual track and make sure that each track tie together. We just love making music.”
I followed this up by asking what the meaning was behind the band name, they replied;
“Funny story – In 2005 when the band began, one of the members suggested using a month in our name, as it was the In Thing at the time. We then went on to a band generator online and on the third page it said Surviving December. And there it was – Surviving December was born.”
With that said, I asked them about their song writing process, and how they would overcome any creative blocks, they explained;
“Everyone has their fair share of input in the creative process. We find that the lyrics seem to come at the later stage of writing, the music tells us what the lyrics should be. As for any creative blocks, honestly, we don’t have them! We are not afraid or too proud to say it, but we have yet to struggle. We seem to bounce off of each other.”
“We act more confident on stage, that’s for sure. We are ourselves but more outgoing. The banter is great and we all get on so well. The fact that we get to create something that we are very proud of is just incredible.”
Finally, I asked them what they have learnt about themselves as a band on their journey so far in the industry, and if there was anything they wished they had known before starting a career in music, they told me;
“We recorded the whole album remotely from each other in our homes, which was a massive learning curve! Our producer, Josh, gave us a lot of advice because it was all new to us! He taught us about the construction needed for recording, the equipment required and the fact that you need to record doubles of some of the stems. However, having to do this it has made us a stronger band. If we can record music away from each other and people are loving our sound, imagine what we are going to be able to create when we get in the studio together. We have learnt to not to give up. If we had kept at it when we were younger, who knows where we may be now. One of our tracks Set It Off is written all about when the band started, playing gigs and writing tracks. It makes us very nostalgic.”
Track one and the lead single Falling Apart, reflects on the world we live in today and speaks encouraging people to look in the mirror and realize you can walk away from the crowd. Originally just a single, the band were so delighted enough with the sound and production quality, that the decision was made to continue and produce a full album called The Narrative.
Due to the pandemic, and a multitude of obstacles placed in their way, the band took this as a challenge, and recorded their individual parts at home throughout various locations across the country, and through the age of technology simply sent the final drafts to their producer to complete the final mix.
Out now on Regent Street Records and produced by Josh Norton-Cox, the whole album takes us on a journey, following a character through a stage in their life. If your musical tastes lean on a more Pop-Punk edge with late 70’s early 80’s guitar work, then this is the album for you.
In all, this album ticks all the right boxes in originality, and when finally showcased Live, will keep the air permanently punched from the footlights.
Star Rating – 10/10
If ever there were four tracks to tempt the listener into buying this album, they would be- “Falling Apart”, “Stay”, “Connected” and “Set It Off”.
“Thank you for reading all about us and checking out our single featured above. The full debut album is available now on all major music platforms or via any of the links listed below, and is something we are super proud of, we hope you like it too.”
So why not clear a space in your collection and give Surviving December a try for 2021.
© Stargazer Music Magazine 2020
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