Rising from the ranks of the Hull music scene is Unwired Society – a punk band very much still in its embryonic stage. Dom sat down with Dylan Burton (guitar, vocals) and Lydia Sioux (bass, backing vocals) to discuss the Hull music scene, the band’s message, and what success means to them.
“I find the Hull music scene to be very united,” says Dylan. But he admits that even Hull is not without its faults when it comes under scrutiny.
“There was kind of a phase in maybe 2016 where everyone was kind of backstabbing each other/ bad-mouthing each other,” he admits. “But I’ve found in recent years, the scene has become so much more united. There’s always gonna be issues in the hull music scene, especially when there’s harassment and that kind of stuff.”
When asked to give us a bit more insight into the name, Dylan reveals that Unwired Society subverts societal expectations. To be ‘unwired’ is to be unhooked from the monotony and blended identity of life in the 21st century. For the duo, Unwired Society is a vessel for self-discovery and love – a bridge back to ourselves.
“Unwired society is kind of where we are our own people and forge our own path. That’s what I want people to take away from us – the fact that they can be whoever the hell they want.”
“When I’m on stage I proper throw myself out there and some people are like ‘that guy is crazy. I like that. Maybe I should be a bit more myself too.’”
Lyrically, the band express they channel their honesty and emotion into their writing.
“I use it sometimes to get my anger out,” says Lydia. “[Our music] should inspire [people] to be more themselves.”
This honesty, Dylan fears, is growing scarcer in mainstream music. He expresses his belief that music that is moderated for the charts dilutes their message so it appeals to the masses. The result?
“Sometimes you feel you can’t connect to it as much as you can our band’s music,” he claims.
He briefly details the inspiration behind the band’s music, explaining that the track ‘Wall of Noise’ came out of the anguish of the 2019 elections.
“Our second single ‘Blackout’ came out after what was going on with the Black Lives Matter stuff in America last year. ‘Lost Unity,’ this new one that’s coming out, that was just about an overall state of the world.”
Concerning the future of the band, Dylan expresses their dream of performing across the country.
“We’re only just starting to go out of Hull now, so the next step is to get an actual tour sorted and keep pushing our music out there. I’ve played a lot of Hull shows over the years and as much as I love playing here it can get a bit stale. So, it’s just about trying to push ourselves to play more out of Hull shows.”
Lydia also adds that she hopes the band will lead to financial security and fame. But success to Lydia isn’t all to do with status.
“For me anyway, it’s to do with confidence and confidence on stage,” she says. “I feel like I’m getting somewhere whereas before I wasn’t – I’d kind of stand still. So, for me, it’s to be a bit more like Dylan, and let my on-stage persona really shine.”
Citing some of their influences, the band mentions various rock legends including The Clash, Buzzcocks, Green Day, and System of a Down.
On the transition to being partners, and being in a band, Dylan says: “It’s smooth, it’s really relaxed. I know some bands can kind of have difficulties, but there’s a band I know called Snakerattlers; they’re cool people and they work together just fine. Often people say you shouldn’t be in a band with your girlfriend, but I disagree with that. If you’ve got the right connection, it doesn’t really matter.”
As a band from Hull themselves, Unwired Society has some great advice for other young local musicians who are struggling to establish themselves in the music scene.
“Get down to as many gigs as you can, even if you don’t necessarily like the band, just get down to it and meet them. Especially The Polar Bear nights on Tuesday” encourages Dylan.
He adds that “there are great youth organisations that can help – especially the warren youth project.”
“If you’re young get involved with The Warren and Freedom of the Creative Arts. If you’re older and not really interested in that, just get yourself to other gigs, as many gigs as you can, and just meet people. Then you find support bands to play with.”
Lydia chips in by reinstating the value of networking – describing it as ‘vital’ for anyone looking to enter the music scene.
“If you’re looking to join a band, just be confident and believe in yourself and believe in your playing,” she says. “Obviously it took me a while to do that, but I think I’m finally here.”
“One thing that helps me as well is going to a music college,” she adds, suggesting the benefits of taking a theoretical approach to developing her sound. “With music, as I’m kind of getting into it, it’s like looking at a blank book, once you start reading it and looking at the finer, smaller details, you can make something out of nothing.
Even though Dylan admits to being influenced by Green Day’s frontman in both on-stage persona and sound, he stresses the importance of finding your voice and identity as a musician.
“Stick with your own style, don’t push yourself to be someone else. For a long time, I was a bit too much like Billie Joe in terms of my stage presence,” he confesses. “Nowadays, I still do get compared to it but it’s a natural thing. With similar bands, there is similar energy and I often get compared to looking a bit like him.”
Ultimately, Dylan’s advice is this: “Take your influences, have all the influences you want but put your own spin on everything.”
Interview: Dom Smith / Words: Jay Mitra