LIFE’s Mez Sanders-Green talks about success and the meaning behind ‘North East Coastal Town’

By August 19, 2022 Band, Spotlight

LIFE frontman, Mez Sanders-Green opens up about the challenges of creating the band’s new album, ‘North East Coastal Town’, and talks honestly about what life is really like for the band, with thousands of streams and loads of BBC Radio 6 Music plays.

Happiness:

It’s an accolade getting this album out,” says Mez, the driving force behind East Yorkshire’s LIFE, who have their album, ‘North East Coastal Town’ out now. “The industry is so hard at the moment – there’s not enough money for artists, or creatives – there are no labels, so getting this out, is what we should be really proud of. We have a sense of euphoria right now. I don’t quantify success with money. It’s about happiness.

Success:

Mez talks about LIFE’s overall success, and the realities behind it, saying that while it has been wonderful for the band, racking up thousands of streams, and US tour dates, it takes so much work that people don’t see to build the reputation that LIFE now has: “The music industry hasn’t been kind to bands like us – we’re not the most fashionable, we’re not London-based, and we’re not the youngest anymore.”

Mez continues on to say that with labels now signing artists through TikTok, real musical creativity is suffering. The frontman offers some key tips for new, and emerging artists: “You have to believe in yourself. It can be done,” he adds when reflecting on the importance of putting out a product that every member of the band can be proud of: “It’s important to have self-control, and discipline over your career. Have a sense of pride, and just go for it.

Sanders-Green continues to talk about how important it has been for him to learn and grow as an artist, through his many years in bands – from drinking and excess in his 20s with former project, The Neat to being with LIFE now, Mez really does have a plan: “I set goals constantly, and I am working to a timeline. I plot dates, and that’s how you move on, and jump ladders, if you’ve got no money.”

Wellbeing:

Before LIFE’s previous record, ‘A Picture of Good Health’ came out, Mez will tell you he wasn’t in a good place, and continuing on with that theme of personal growth in this interview, he reflects positively on where he is now, as a person, and as an artist: “You have got to have a healthy balance. I struggled quite a lot with trust and a relationship, but finding my partner, and bringing my son up as a single parent taught me a lot. I try and take myself away from the band sometimes. Though, I will never let it go.”

The LIFERS:

Mez’s dedication extends to the band’s fans, the LIFERS, who support the band unwaveringly, travelling to various venues across the UK and Europe to support: “Without people who have truly believed in us, we wouldn’t be here. They buy our tickets, and merch. The fans mean everything. This is a classic band-to-fan relationship. We get from the music, just as much as they do. We are together in this.”

The new album:

On the new record, the band has really tried to challenge perceptions of what they are about, and have succeeded in moving away from the overused “post-punk” tag: “Tracks like ‘Duck Egg Blue’, and ‘Friends Without Names’ are classic examples of what we wanted to achieve with this album.

“We didn’t really want to fit the mould of being genre-specific like the last two albums. They could all be filed in the post-punk, with our peers including IDLES and Fontaines DC. We really wanted to show what we were about, that we are musicians in our own right, and don’t have to be pigeonholed. ‘Duck Egg Blue’ is a great example of that: what you are hearing there, is a realist love song.”

There’s another notably raw and emotive track at the end of the record, called ‘All You Are’, and that is the band’s love letter to the people of Hull: “We really wanted to end on a universal statement saying: ‘all you are is everything’, yet is still feels intimate. It’s our love letter to the community, and the people that we are close with. We always planned to end on that song. It’s us being as true, and authentic as we could be.”

The future:

Mez still feels like his story with the band is unfinished, despite feeling overwhelmingly proud and positive about this new album, there is still a long road ahead of LIFE: “It’s not concluded. I am proud of everything I have done, but it doesn’t feel like it has ended yet. When I believe in something, I have to see it through. I know when something’s ended, and I will keep it going until its natural conclusion.”

For more detail on the record, and its inspirations, listen to the audio below:

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