TAX THE HEAT // Political Without Policies

Though they’ve been described as a hot “new” rock band, Tax The Heat have been on the block a while now and are about to drop their second album, Change Your Position.

It’s a pretty apt title according to vocalist Alex Veale. “Even though we have been around for a few years we do still feel like a new band,” he says, “We’ve still got a lot to prove and we feel like we’re just getting started. “I feel like with the second album we’ve hit a bit of a stride and found out more about ourselves in many ways.”

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Indeed, the title for their second instalment reflects both the music and the men. The British rockers have discovered new things about themselves and implemented them into something innovative and exciting. Compared to 2016’s Fed To The Lions, the music has evolved, there are new elements in production and presentation, and, considering the heavy themes bracing the album, it’s safe to say Tax The Heat have changed their position about the world around them.

In several interviews Tax The Heat have said they aren’t a political band and yet, they’ve done what so many others like them in recent years have done and utilised the platform of privilege they have, taken to the soap box to have their say. Veale maintains however, their music isn’t intended to be politically charged. “The bottom line is, we don’t want to alienate people from this band—this is a band for everybody.”

“Rock music should be for everybody. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are but there’s a lot of frustration in this album and a lot of it came from seeing social division and this whole blame culture in the media. We’re not a political band but we do feel strongly–if you’re using some of your political beliefs to hurt or alienate people that’s where you need to reassess and change.”

People talk about the album as a piece of art kind of not being so relevant any more, but me, I still love albums. I’m not a playlist person. I love listening to albums.
[ Alex Veale ]

Though the issues of the world we live in now are physically and mentally exhausting, it is still possible to speak up without being accused of political evangelism. Tax The Heat are a band who understand the value of trying to make a change through sound. “It’s been really great hearing how people have interpreted the music and certain songs and completely got certain things I was writing about,” Veale says, “But it’s also great people have made their own comparisons to what’s going on where they live.

“Speaking completely selfishly about it, yes, it’s exhausting and frustrating and for me, getting that stuff out, it’s therapeutic. You get to put it behind something quite weighty in sound, it feels good. It’s cleansing some of those thoughts and it just so happened we’re lucky enough to put it down in a studio and other people get to hear it and if they draw comparisons to the way they’re feeling then that’s brilliant.”

Though passionately discussing change and what Tax The Heat are bringing to the table by weighing in with their stance on the global social economy, all the while their music is incredibly tight and doesn’t adhere to any one genre. It’s like Change Your Position is a unique entity, its sound meant to be lived like a life. “When we first started we had a very firm idea of what we wanted to do and it was influenced from a lot of the older music we liked and trying to do something in that realm,” Veale explains. “It was quite apparent that we loved so many genres of music and so many artists, we knocked down that wall. When it came to writing the second album, anything goes. Just write, get it out, see what happens. That was quite liberating.

“I always loved albums that aren’t just one thing, they’re not the same throughout. They have light and dark shades, they have dynamic variation–to me that’s what a great album should be, especially in a time where people have got the attention span of a gnat.

“People talk about the album as a piece of art kind of not being so relevant any more, but me, I still love albums. I’m not a playlist person. I love listening to albums. On one level, that was a conscious thing, to make an interesting album, but on another, just let it happen, see what happens.

Tax The Heat’s new album Change Your Position is out now through Nuclear Blast.


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