Brighton’s All Better blend a brutal focus on great songwriting and the energetic abandon of the best punk of the 90s and 00s. An effortless live show – as vital and joyful as the songs are powerful and heartfelt – has cemented a loyal fan base committed to throwing themselves around down the front of every show.
They’re an integral part of the scene in more ways than one. You’ve probably seen singer-bassist Nick Burdett up a ladder creating one of his surreal, expansive artworks on the side of a pub, guitarist Chris Childs running one of his Sugar Free Records shows and drummer Sam Perkins in his role as Venue Manager of the Hope & Ruin.
The band have a big year coming up, their biggest yet in fact. An album recorded in lockdown, tours and more of their much loved videos that view like feature films, are all on the horizon for All Better fans.
Pre-covid you guys were pretty relentless tourers – you’ve toured Europe twice – and a lot of the punk bands you guys reference are too. Have you inherited that from them, or do you just feel All Better is best served live?
Chris: To us it’s just part of being a band. Maybe that’s influenced by the bands we loved as teenagers who would do things like Warped Tour, but we also just love touring. We get to meet so many different people and experience all these different places doing something we love. Why wouldn’t you want to tour? TOUR FOREVER!
Nick: Yeah it’s like if you came up with a sport and no one played it…it would be a pretty shit sport! When we record music it’s immortalised in that moment but then when you play those songs live they continue to grow up!
What’s the focus when you’re writing an All Better song? Is it about making a banger people can jump around and relate to, or is the process more unconscious?
Nick: It’s never a conscious effort to make a banger, they just seem to fall out. It’s like I go fishing, I feel something on the end of the line and reel it in. I tend to have new songs swirling around in my head, if it’s catchy and annoying it gets thrown back but if it’s catchy and I like it it goes in the cold box and I take it home. After a few days on ice if it still seems fresh I’ll make a demo and serve it to the other two and see what dishes they want to add to our succulent musical meal.
What would you like to see change about the music industry?
Sam: There are a lot of things that need to change. There are still problems with gender-biased lineups, minorities being under-represented in pretty much every way and unfortunately it’s an industry heavily influenced by capitalism. I think it needs to be more of a celebration of artistry and creativity and less engineered around a system based on profit margins. Also more late night Greggs.
Nick: If songs could kill Jeff Bezos that would be a good start.
Are there any unexpected influences on your songwriting and playing that fans might not necessarily hear or expect?
Nick: Pretty much everything we listen to goes into the songs, you can’t help being influenced by the music around you, whether it’s a conscious effort or not. I think between the three of us we’ve got some unexpected flavours hitting our taste buds. I like things like Fifth Harmony, Ugly Duckling and the Starlight Express soundtrack whereas Chris loves Tyler The Creator, Glassjaw and the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack. I think Sam’s been to see Radiohead, Ariana Grande and John Mayer a few times… It all plays into how you write and perform as a band.
Is there any exciting AB news on the horizon that you guys can hint at?
Chris: We could hint but we might as well just tell you. We’ve recorded our debut album, it’s coming out next year and we’re releasing it through Sugar Free Records! We’re pretty excited about it. We recorded it at The Ranch in Southampton with Daly George who produced our EPs and it fucking slaps. We’ve got a load of tours lined up around the release and we’ve got some pretty tasty music videos in the bag to go with the singles.
Can you each give me one new band you’re listening to right now and one big time old favourite.
Nick: I’ve been listening to the new Brutaligators album loads and I don’t think I’ve ever stopped listening to Every Time I Die.
Chris: I saw Delta Sleep at Bad Pond festival in the summer and their new album absolutely slaps. Envy on the Coast are one of my all time faves – their first album in particular, shouty and sad emo bangers.
Sam: I caught Yakul live recently, they’re all so good at their instruments.The drummer’s doing things with one hand that I can barely do with two and in the other something I couldn’t do even if I had five. I am also still holding out for a Reuben reunion.
What would the All Better manifesto be?
You’ll have to speak up, I’m wearing a towel.