Dan Allen, frontman of Norwich’s premier folk/alt-rockers, discusses Alamort, mental health and creativity.
Interview by Sarah Williams.
If you’ve not heard Ducking Punches‘ new album Alamort yet, you’re missing out. It’s eleven songs that are reliably epic, anthemic and instantly appealing. It’s drawn comparisons with Frank Turner, Apologies, I Have None and more traditional folk/rock influences, but I believe that Ducking Punches have carved out a genuinely unique sound that only they could possibly achieve.
Ducking Punches started as Dan Allen’s solo project, after his old band parted ways. Nowadays they’re a powerful five-piece on their fourth studio album. Dan still plays solo shows under the same name and many of the lyrical themes rely on his open-hearted personal experiences, but the full-band performance is utterly magical. Hearing the group grow and flourish over the years has been impressive, never moreso than on Alamort.
We caught a few minutes to ask Dan some quite serious questions about the challenges presented by the new record, how he’s developed as a song writer and how his creativity helps to manage his anxiety.
You’ve recently released Alamort, your fourth studio album. Tell us a bit more about the meaning of the title, and how you got to that feeling!
It’s an old archaic word translating to being ‘half dead from exhaustion’. It kind of summed up a difficult year for all of us and we wanted to embrace the fact that we’d crawled over the line, still intact.
A lot of Alamort sound like your emotions are pouring out through your guitar and some of the songs are a lot more hardcore than your earlier output. How cathartic did you find the writing/recording process to be?
It’s the most cathartic and honest album to date, I feel like that was necessary. We are always trying to evolve our sound on every record and these are the kind of songs I’ve wanted to write since I started Ducking Punches.
Was the writing and recording process any different for you on this record to what you’ve experienced in the past?
A little, in the fact there is zero acoustic guitar on the new record. I really enjoyed writing with an electric guitar again and being able to explore that sonically. As a band it was a pretty collaborative effort too, which makes for a more exciting album in my opinion.
What was most challenging about creating the album?
The subject matter was pretty challenging, however the rest of it all came together so easily. It was a joy to work on. Continue reading “Ducking Punches: Half Dead From Exhaustion But Stronger Than Ever [Interview]”