2012 – present (6 years)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
With their latest album The Fear In Love, Dont Look Down have departed from the world of adolescent pop/punk, this time exploring a darker, less traveled road. “There will always be some pop-punk influences there, but this is not a pop-punk record,” mulls front man Ryan Ogren, “It’s darker, lyrically and musically, than anything we have done in the past.”
Together since high school, and still only in their early twenties, Dont Look Down have earned their stripes as relentless road-dogs, sharing stages nationwide with the likes of Yellowcard, Simple Plan, RUFIO, New Found Glory and endless others since releasing their debut full-length Start The Show in early 2002.
With their honest and evolving style (a compelling and unique blend of pop/punk energy and dark, driving rock….played with precision and intensity) and impressive appetite for touring, Dont Look Down's hard work was paying off: the band sold over 5,000 copies of their Five EP, produced by Will Salazar (Fenix TX), on their own in a matter of months, Nitro Records snapped them up in 2003 and recently matched the band up with Brian McTernan for their sophomore album. The Fear In Love is Dont Look Down's next step in their sonic evolution.
“We wanted there to be more of an emphasis on instrumentation on this record to show off our playing ability a bit more,” explains Ogren “We always want to keep challenging ourselves musically.”
Producer Brian McTernan (Thrice, Cave In, Hot Water Music) played an integral roll in Dont Look Down’s maturing sonic signature, bringing The Fear In Love a welcome sense of scale and depth-of-field without sacrificing the band’s emotive rough-edges or performance panache.
Though all four members of Dont Look Down contribute to the writing process, Ogren remains their creative leader. Music entered his life early. He grew up listening to the classic rock of Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘n Roses, before being impacted by the ‘new school’ punk of NOFX, MXPX and later the Ataris and New Found Glory.
More recently, musically ambitious influences like Thrice, Recover and Story of the Year have also influenced the songwriting which became The Fear In Love: the restless riffage and twin-guitar harmonizing of “Stages Of Dying,” juxtaposed against Ogren’s optimistic, cinematic vocal refrains; the ominous bass, interjected guitars and intricate counter-melody of opener “Right Where It Hurts;” and the shape-shifting guitar and drum assault of “Last Breath,” which sets up plaintive plateaus of hope and harmony.
Lyrically, The Fear In Love is at once a personal and universal document, relating what Dont Look Down have been through as a band to what we all experience in life and relationships: “The title, The Fear In Love refers to the fact that with anything involving love there’s always an aspect of fear,” says Ogren. “We love what we do but there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work out - just like with any relationship: you put in all you have, but in the back of your head you really don’t know what’s going to happen. You just have to hope for the best …”
Having grown up together, Dont Look Down have a best friends’ chemistry on stage which can’t be manufactured, and, though they’re as energetic a band as you’ll see, they have too much respect for their music to let adrenaline overwhelm artistry:“We try to find some sort of medium between going off on stage and playing really well, being a really tight band …we just try to go out there and play every show as if it is our last.”
A rare coming-together of youthful intensity, unique songwriting skill, fierce playing ability, and endless back-breaking roadwork: Dont Look Down have nothing to fear with The Fear In Love.
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