Since their inception as a four-piece in 2017, indie-punk rock outfit GETRZ have quickly made a name for themselves in their home town, Swindon, and have gone on to play venues in Bristol, London and major festivals including Isle of Wright and Truck.
Despite being a young and unsigned band, GETRZ say they have matured quickly which, alongside their close friendship, has attributed to growing offers to play gigs. Declan Casey, singer and guitarist, says: “We weren’t taking it seriously at first – it was just something to do. When we started realising that we could actually make something of it, we started putting the effort in and have gone from there to where we are today. Nothing’s just going to drop in your lap – it makes you work harder. We see it as a challenge more than anything.”
Toby Pollitt, bassist, adds: “If you want it, you’ve got to put the work in – I don’t want to be stuck in a 9 to 5! But I feel like a lot of bands take their roles too seriously – at the end of the day we’re just four mates.”
GETRZ are a strange ensemble. I’ve seen them on stage and, yes, they are riotous with energy – which they maintain is what attracts their audience – but whilst sat down over some soft drinks and cigarettes they’re incredibly placid much to my surprise. “The mad thing is we’re all quite calm people, but we’re just catalysts for each other,” says Toby. “Like, as soon as I’m with these geezers on a night out I go from this quiet guy to nutty. Otherwise, I’ll happily sit at home with a cup of tea and watch shite.”
Declan adds: “It comes with the music – the more we’ve developed, the heavier our sound has got and that affects how we are on the stage. It’s just pure energy. You play heavy shit, you play loud shit, you play aggressive shit and our performance comes with it.”
Whilst some bands function better with allocated roles, GETRZ are a band of instrumental versatility and frequently swap instruments throughout their sets. According to the band this is all part of conveying a big part of what GETRZ are all about. “A lot of bands will just have the frontman write everything,” says Declan, “and then just layer everything else on top but we’re not about that.”
Dan Geary, drummer, adds, “We try not to leave a spotlight on anyone – we try to make sure that everyone’s got their part and you’re here to watch the whole band. We like that we don’t have a frontman, we have a frontline.”
To date the band says they have now played more than 200 gigs and today, 23 August, GETRZ have released their latest EP ‘Think of the Future’ following the release of their single She Heard I’m a Dreamer. Speaking of the latest track Declan says: “It’s about struggling to achieve your dreams in modern society. Music can be such a safe space, and high-quality outlet for people – almost like an escape. We’re big supporters of the youth culture, and I think it’s quite difficult for a lot of young people to get their voices out there.”
Toby adds: “In the past five or six years the whole world of politics has got youth involved. The classic example is looking at Brexit – the amount of youth voters was nothing compared to the older generation, who probably now regret the decision on Brexit whether they’re for or against because people felt uninformed. You need to inform the youth, and I’m not saying that’s what we do with our music, but we want to get the young people involved.”
The band stress they are grateful for the support they’ve received from their home town, – particularly from their peers – but for the time being they’re setting their sights further afield. Dan says: “We’ve had a great response from Swindon, and it’s great to see that people are just as invested in it as we are. It just makes sense to support the local music scene! It’s growing a lot and I’m really happy to see that.
“We’re trying to stay away from Swindon a little bit – we’re trying to space it out so we can go around some other places and get some new followers.”
In September the band are preparing to take their new EP out on tour with music promoter This Feeling, taking this as an opportunity – after they deleted their first self-titled EP – to firmly align their music and live performances with their own ethos and work ethic. Dan says: “Everyone we’ve worked with tends to share the same mentality. We want to create a space where people can come to a gig, have fun, enjoy some music and have a good night where you don’t have to worry about people judging you. We don’t care what people wear or things like that, just as long as you’re having fun that’s what matters.”
Declan adds: “We use our music as a ‘fuck you’ to people that are telling us what we should be doing. Just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for us. The fact that we’re working without an agent, or manager is proof that other people can do that.”
Quick fire questions
In a dream world who would you want to play with?
Josh: Foo Fighters, The Blinders, Liam Gallagher
Toby: IDLES, Murder Capital
Dan: Biffy Clyro, Oasis (back in the day), Led Zepplin, Nirvana
Dec: The Amazons, Arctic Monkeys and I’d like to play Glastonbury before Queen’s of the Stone Age go on
Dream venue to perform in?
Toby: Thekla would be cool
Dec: Brixton Academy – that’s the venue bands play when they’ve made it big. To be fair, if we could pack out the Oasis in Swindon that would be cool. But also Melkweg in Amsterdam.
Dan: Alexandra Palace – the room is massive, the sound is huge and it’s a very prestigious venue. It’s like the last thing before a stadium gig.
Country you’d love to tour in?
Dec: America, or Japan
What do you do in your free time?
Dan/Toby: Pokémon Go
Dec: If I have any free time I’ll spend it playing guitar and writing music, or seeing my Mrs
Any final comments?
ALL: Think of the future!