Post Rome have been steadily rocking since 2016 and had just celebrated a release party for their latest single, “Different Kids,” before being forced into hiatus by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stream: “Different Kids” – Post Rome
Just about everybody has been driven antsy by this prolonged quarantined period. So you can imagine how an up-and-coming rock group that had put out its first single of 2020 shortly before the outbreak occurred must feel. Thus is the odd predicament of Post Rome, a band consisting of lead vocalist/bass player Jasper Watson, supporting vocalist/guitarist Ben Goodfellow and drummer Jamie Martin. All three are lifelong friends and have been performing together since their days at Monkwearmouth Academy in their native Sunderland, England.
Post Rome was established in 2016 and has released a steady stream of singles ever since, including “G.O.D,” “Tides,” and “Six Feet.” The group has also performed several concerts across Northern England, the most recent of which was a March 6th show at a venue called the Independent in their hometown of Sunderland, celebrating the release of their song, “Different Kids.”
That was likely to be the last we would hear of Post Rome for the time being – but fortunately, the global shutdown has not precluded transatlantic electronic communication: The band just released their new single, “Want to Believe.” Jamie Martin has shared her impressions with Atwood Magazine of how Post Rome came to be and what it means to be an emerging band in a period as unforeseen as early 2020 has proven to be.
A CONVERSATION WITH POST ROME
Atwood Magazine: You are all lifelong friends. Over the years, what are some major events that influenced your decision to form and perform in a band together?
Jamie Martin: Ben and Jasper always had musical families. Ben’s two older brothers played guitar, while his Mam played piano and clarinet. Jasper’s dad has always been into music and has played in bands since his formative years. So Jasper has always had a piano, a bass or a drum kit to play with at home. I didn’t have a musical family at all growing up, but I knew that Ben and Jasper always played guitar and piano. We turned 10 and couldn’t really play football well together, and running up and down the street also got boring. So I told the other two that I was going to get a drum kit.
We spoke about music a lot and worshiped AC/DC, Tenacious D, Iron Maiden, etc. So it made sense to see if I could play drums. Nothing major happened– we just gradually got too obsessed with bands to not try forming one ourselves. We were playing shows at our primary school within three months.
You grew up in Sunderland, England. How did the city and its music scene help to build your love for rock? Do you have any favorite performance venues around town, and why?
Martin: Sunderland didn’t necessarily influence our love for rock, but the characters and older musicians that have lived here a lot longer than we have really helped to support us and nurture us into the right direction. We had a teacher called Mr. Wilson who prepared us for our first gig when we were 10. We fortunately had a teacher called Mr. Freeman in secondary school who let us use the music rooms whenever we wished to do so. Sometimes, we were even there until the end of the day and he let us lock up the room. Willy’s drum shop always let us go in and hassle him to tell us what new instruments he had in.
It’s people like those in Sunderland that helped us grow into music. Nowadays, it’s the bands that we play with and look up to in Sunderland that keep us on our toes. Patrick Gosling, Plastic Glass, Kicking Lilies, Picnic etc. Our favourite venue in Sunderland has to be Independent – they have a great team of people working there ensuring that the music scene is thriving as best as it can be.
What made you go with “Post Rome” as the name for your band?
Martin: I’d received a post card from a girl who was in Rome. She was in my class at college and she was cool. She sent me this post card saying all these nice things and how much she missed me. When she got back, it turns out her boyfriend at the time hadn’t gotten one. I spoke to Jasper and said that it was interesting; he just asked me how things were between me and the girl now that she had returned from Rome. He said, “So how are things-post Rome?” Those two words stuck with us, as they sounded nice. I saw that same girl in the clothing store she works in about a month ago– turns out, she’s still cool.
What was the inspiration for the song, “Different Kids?” In what ways do you hope listeners will connect with the message of this single?
Martin: Lyrically, the inspiration behind this song was to set aside any romance for just a second and write a love letter to our mates. Like, “let’s just remember to be honest with each other.” Hopefully, this message will resonate with new listeners, and the main hook will remind them how important it is to be open with friends. About anything.
The verses describe some of the memories we have and there are some references to the new digital age. “Let’s try and download all our hearts through the screens of our phones” kind of means that, even with honesty, relationships and friendships can get messed up by the online world right now. It’s a bit of a rant, it’s a bit of a recount, but it’s mainly a love letter to everyone’s close ones.
What was the single launch party at the Independent on March 6th like for you? Were you able to make any important connections at the event?
Martin: That gig was so special to us. It seemed like the perfect bookmark to separate everything we’ve done in the past and everything we’re hoping to do in future. The single went down well and our new material resonated with the crowd as well. I joked before in an interview that we’d be crying or dancing by the end of 2020– the crowd seemed to be doing both at once for us. It was a celebration, and it was magical.
No new particular connections were made, however. We saw quite a new few faces there, and hopefully we’ve shown [our label] Scruff of the Neck that we can smash Sunderland shows for them. We really appreciate everyone that came down, honestly.
Now that you’ve put out a debut single, what are your coming musical plans? Is a full album on the way? Are there any styles you’d like to experiment with in your future music?
Martin: At this moment in time, we’re focusing on resting and isolating, checking in on our friends and extended family to make sure everyone is sane during this pandemic. And to anyone reading, we hope you’re all good and keeping occupied. Our current recording plans have been postponed, however.
When this all blows over, we have a new tune that we want to share with you all– we’re going to get on that straight away. Whichever style we write in, we’ll always make sure there’s a good beat and melody for you to delve into. We’re going to get even poppier at times and even heavier at times. We’ll definitely create some house music stuff as well. We’re not experimenting– we’re just playing what we feel. No albums this year, just as many singles as we can get out so there’s a wealth of material for you all to invest in. See if you really like us or not (winky face).
Who would be your dream artists to perform alongside, and why?
Martin: That is a very hard question to answer, and I think we’d all change our answers eventually. But today we’re going to go with the Killers. That would be sharing the stage with energetic royalty
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