At the moment, realistically, it does just feel like an escape from the reality of ‘real-life’.”

Entertaining and unsettling at the same time – that’s how the debut record of welsh foursome GALLOPS has been described on here earlier this year. Gladly, the aftermath of this accessable mindfuck hasn’t been underestimated either, which is why we at NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION still sit in awe of their freshly sounding math rock. Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore stressed the need for mood, vibe and entertainment in an otherwise slightly autistic genre, in which bands tend to celebrate their own musicianship and nothing besides. That GALLOPS‘ also like to kidnapp the listener and make their songs work as an screen on which our minds are able to project the kind of very personal movies, can be felt all through the record. Among other things, that is what we wanted to know more about, which is why we asked “Wrexham’s answer to BATTLES some of our keen questions. Read what guitarist and keys-worker Mark Huckridge had to say, right here:


Your debut is out there for a while now, are you happy with the reactions so far?
MH: Yes, we are really happy with the reaction we have received. We have had a lot of good feedback and we feel like we have achieved what we set out to do.


How does it feel to get on tour now with the new songs – more of a challenge or more of a release?
MH: We’ve been playing a number of these tracks live for a while now. I’d say it’s more of a challenge now because people who own the record know exactly how the songs ‘should’ sound. So there is a basis for comparison between our record and our live show now. Before we released the album we could get away with making mistakes, which we do make! On the flip-side of that though, now the fans know the tracks and we get much better reactions than we did previously. So it’s all good!


Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore animated some critics to call you Wrexham’s answer to BATTLES – do you understand that, or does it bother you to be compared to such a big name? Could you name some of your major influences?
MH: Does it bother us? Yes and No. Being compared to a band such as this is flattering to us as we think they are a great band. It just gets a little annoying everyone comparing something to something else all the time. Guess it’s inevitable though. They’re definitely not one of our biggest influences. There are too many influences to mention here as we are all into different things. Not all of our influences are musical either.

Take us back to your early days: While you were forming Gallops, can you remember when you came to the point that you, playing together, might make up a good band? And has there always been the idea of forming a – sorry for the tag here – math rock-band?
MH: We formed in a pretty non-traditional way I guess. We started as a two-piece bedroom laptop project which developed into a band. We didn’t really have any idea what we were trying to achieve. We still don’t. We just mess-around with stuff until something good happens. There was never a ‘mission objective’.


GALLOPS: “We will just enjoy the ride until it ends though”



Since your music is quite challenging in terms of musical ability – when did you start playing instruments? Must have taken quite a long time to become as confident as you are now, I guess.
MH: All of us have been playing instruments since an early age so we are all pretty confident with our abilities. In all honesty though, our music is really not that difficult to play. It’s all smoke and mirrors.


Your record not only sounds highly professional you also somehow managed to create both, moments of cheerful of heaviness and, simultaneously, a dense atmosphere, that might as well work out as a filmscore for some post-apocalyptic movie. Have you been focussing on creating an overall idea of atmosphere?
MH: Yes, definitely. Soundtrack music is a big part of our sound I think. Whether it be TV, Film, even video games. Anything post-apocalyptic really interests me, personally. We tend to like the darker sides of things in general.


You once said, that some of your songs contain fragments from up to three basic song ideas – that you kind of cut and paste your own music. Isn’t that a slightly wasteful approach; I could imagine there’s gotta be a fair amount of song-sketches first, before you really could get an whole album together?
MH: That’s probably a fair point. Although, this method works best for us. It creates really interesting results, I think. We rarely write music together as a group and certainly never in a traditional way. We’ve got tons and tons of unfinished ideas that will inevitably make their way into tracks in the future.


Let’s spend some time on your provenance: I imagine Wrexham, where you guys come from, not to be a particularly glamourous environment to grow up in? Where do you see the chances and hindrances for a young band from such a small town?
Wrexham isn’t glamourous at all! But I kind of like that about it. I don’t feel entirely comfortable in more bohemian environments. It’s a very working-class town and we carry that mentality everywhere we go I think. For better or worse. It can be more difficult to get noticed as band being from a small town though, you’re right. We were just lucky to get BBC Radio onboard with us so early on.


Were you forced to maintain or even conquer free spaces in your youth, meaning basic things like rehearsal rooms?
No, not at all. Wrexham isn’t too bad, facilities wise.


Now, that you’re on the road, do you enjoy this time as for what it is: a nice exception from daily routine, or could you imagine being a full-time musician? Do you even believe in the possibilities of being a professional musician, considering the difficult financing-situation nowadays?
At the moment, realistically, it does just feel like an escape from the reality of ‘real-life’. We’d all love to be full-time musicians. It is getting more and more difficult to achieve this though in todays climate. The market is totally saturated. There are probably thousands of bands that sound like us, so it’s hard to break-through. We will just enjoy the ride until it ends though. That’s what life is all about.


Last but not least: please tell us what comes to your mind when you think about hope and passion.
They’re just words. Get out there and make things happen.