Hailing from Manchester, Proletariat comprised of James Cummins, original guitarist Connor Dolan, and new members Evan Armstrong on bass and Rob Burton on drums, are back after a two year hiatus.
Beginning back in 2016, the outfit grew from strength to strength thanks to an arsenal of irresistible releases and an undeniably impressive run of consistent sold-out shows; quickly cementing themselves as a firm favourite amongst the city’s new music scene.
Suddenly catching everyone by surprise, Proletariat called an ‘end’ to their time together following the release of well-received single ‘Derogatory’ and a sold-out show at Manchester’s Night & Day Café in December 2018.
Their comeback single ‘Go Ahead’ was released on December 18th 2020 , and headline shows already secretly scheduled for 2021.
Please give our readers a little into of you who are / Sum up your band for me in a few words.
Proletariat are a four-piece outfit from Manchester who don’t believe in boundaries. Coming together through a shared love of the liberation music brings, we pride ourselves on creating high-octane, energetic tunes that bring you along for the ride.
You have been away for 2 years..what have you been up to??
A few months after our last show at Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe, I set off travelling throughout South America. I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to visit so many different countries in a completely different part of the world - including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and also Cuba - and to experience all the amazing gifts that each culture offered. I think it really helped me realign myself as a person, and made me realise my goals and what I wanted to achieve, which is why you find Proletariat born again today. Overall I think it’s been the most beneficial journey I’ve taken to date, and I’d absolutely relish the chance to go and play live on the continent one day - the people’s love for music is truly admirable.
It's a very brave move to re-assemble the band in Covid times – what did change your mind?
I think although the past year has been a strange time for everyone, including ourselves, it also felt like the perfect time to announce our return to the world. Everyone’s foaming at the mouths for live music to return once again, and we wanted people to know that we’d be there to entertain and share those good times with them when that day does arrive. Although we announced our comeback in December, we’d actually been working hard behind the scenes for the seven months prior, growing stronger and gaining a better understanding of the band we wanted to be - and I can’t wait to show people what we’re made of once again.
Proleariat is a new outfit now – tell me a bit about the new additions to the band?
So Proletariat is still a four-piece outfit, but it now consists of myself, Connor Dolan (who was an original member), and two new additions - Evan Armstrong on bass, and Rob Burton on drums. I think for the direction we wanted to go in and the music we wanted to create, a new outfit was essential, and the lads have been a breath of fresh air - for the first time ever I feel we all truly read from the same page; we all share the same aspirations, and we know what we need to do to achieve them. I couldn’t be happier with where we are as a team right now.
Your comeback single was released 18th of Dec - What's it about? What was the process for writing and producing it?
A lot of the time I tend to sway towards writing songs that are directly related to myself, and that are shaped by my own personal experiences. But ‘Go Ahead’ isn’t necessarily about a specific physical event or person so to speak, instead it focuses on an attitude and a mindset. ‘Go Ahead’ is all about encapsulating and celebrating the idea of self-believe. In it, we wanted to highlight that it’s okay to have confidence in yourself - after all, self-confidence is a huge factor in moving forwards towards bigger things. Often self-belief is mistaken for arrogance, which is a dangerous thing - we want people to feel empowered by the track, and to know it’s okay to feel proud and good about yourself and what you’re doing. At the end of the day, as one of the lyrics states, you’ve got to be who you want to be.
Do you have any hobbies that you turn to to rejuvenate your creativity?
A lot of the time, as i’m sure most musicians do, I just want to get lost in music. I have albums on pretty much all the time. I’m always interested to hear what other people out there are creating, and what I can learn from them and how it can shape what we write. Other than that, I like to read - there’s something about reading that isn’t matched by anything else; a book has the ability to draw you in and take you to another world, it lets you escape your own mind for a little while, which is something I think we all look for - whether that’s through words, sound, or something else entirely.
I read that you are on a mission to release a single each month till May. That's is very ambitious...what's the idea behind that? Why is May the cut off time?
The task of releasing six singles in six months definitely seems ambitious on paper, but with the amount of new music we’ve been creating it’s certainly doable - and the quality is just increasing in each song too. The idea behind releasing so many songs is to simply make up for lost time. People went two years without hearing anything from us, so we want to show them we’re back and stronger than ever - I can confidently say the single that will be released next is the best song we’ve written in our four years of existence… it’s going to blow people’s socks off.
In terms of May being the cut-off time, there’s certainly a reason for that, but I can’t say why at this moment in time. We’re currently sitting on some really cool plans, but they could obviously change given the situation we’re facing with COVID, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Whatever happens, you can rest assured we’ll be constantly thinking of creative ways to offer our audience something to enjoy.
Fav or most inspirational place and why?
I’d have to go with Rio De Janeiro, it’s a city like no other. From the moment I landed I was hooked on the vibrancy that ran throughout it, there’s just an unfathomable amount of life and energy that can be found wherever you turn. From the music that fuels it, to the food, drink and landscape, it’s a place that captured my heart.
What's your ideal press headline in 12 months from now? In which publication?
At this rate my ideal headline would be “gigs to resume at full capacity following the containment of COVID”! We all want to be back in venues as soon as we can, and I really hope that day comes into sight sooner rather than later. We really can’t wait to perform in front of people again, there’s no feeling like that moment of celebration you get to share together.
If we were looking at say 12 months after everything’s back to ‘normal’, and gigs and festivals are happening again, I’d say my ideal headline would be “Proletariat sign to major label, debut album coming soon”. Writing and releasing an album is something we’re definitely working towards, and I think when the opportunity does arise, we’ll have a seriously strong debut to share with the world.
What's on your playlist right now? Any band recommendations from your side??
I’m really enjoying a new band coming out of Wigan at the moment called the Facades, they bring a much-needed break-of-pace into my listening routine, their tunes are calm and uplifting, whilst still being full of melody and style.
The new Shame album is certainly worth a mention, it’s an incredibly strong sequel to a solid debut. I’m also listening to Viagra Boys, Baby Strange, Michael Kiwanuka, Fontaines D.C and Declan McKenna, to name a few.
Check out the video for latest single 'Go Ahead' here:
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