Interview: Overpass

A few hours before their sold-out Nottingham show, Millie Hopcott had the pleasure of interviewing Overpass in The Chameleon’s tiny bar, her first interview for The Mic.

It is safe to say I was very nervous for this interview, with it being my first. However, as soon as I spoke to the band and heard their familiar Brummie accents, I was instantly calmed. Even from first impressions, I could tell that the band were a very chilled and lovely bunch, so I knew it would be an enjoyable interview. Eager to find out how the band were finding their first tour, I jumped straight in, and there was a clear consensus that they were all really enjoying it. “Lots of Maccies!” laughed Max, the frontman, “Lots of service stations too, never seen so many in my life!” Joe, the drummer, agreed, saying, “Yeah, there are a few tired faces, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.” I asked whether or not it was how they had imagined life on tour would be, and Joe immediately responded, “It’s ten times better than we thought!”

They spoke of how there had been lots of ‘mad’ crowds on their previous dates, and this wouldn't surprise anyone who follows their Instagram, who have witnessed the online presence of their ever-growing, dedicated fanbase who proudly share videos of the gigs. Although they were thoroughly enjoying the tour, I got the impression that they were equally looking forward to going home and getting some sleep for a while. Indie, the bass player, explained that they were at a sort of halfway point through their tour now and that after the Nottingham show, they had a few days of rest before they carried on with some more gigs, including Sonic Wave festival in Birmingham. They reassured me they hadn’t got bored of anything yet, so they were still very enthusiastic to carry on touring.

Still interested in their experience of touring as a younger band, I asked what the best part of the tour had been so far. For Joe, it was their gig in Leeds at Oporto. He explained how he was not prepared for the sheer amount of people who had come to watch them play. Indie agreed, and said that her favourite part of the tour is being able to hang out as a band. For Max, the cherry on top is seeing people with Overpass t-shirts on, singing along to the words. “It makes you realise it’s not just your pals!” He laughs. On the flip side, I asked them their least favourite part of touring, to gain a balanced perspective of their experience, and there was a unanimous dislike for the packing away at the end. Elliot, the lead guitarist, said that carrying loads of gear up and down stairs and to and from vans is the last thing you want to be doing when you'd rather go home and have a beer.

I’m not surprised they get exhausted after playing a very energetic live show and then having to carry all their stuff here, there and everywhere. Touring is very tiring for musicians, and travelling around the country is made increasingly tiresome when you’re hungover from the night before. However, every band member seems to respond to this challenge differently. According to the band, Elliot is always dead the morning after a gig, but Joe is always ready and raring to go. They told me funny anecdotes of Elliot “looking like a dead body” when he’s had one too many the night before. Generally, though, Indie said, the band usually put their own headphones in and keep to themselves in the tour van. “That way, you can’t annoy anyone!” chirps Joe.

"The band will have been together for two years on Boxing Day, and the distance they have come in that short time is pretty remarkable"

The band will have been together for two years on Boxing Day, and the distance they have come in that short time is pretty remarkable, especially in the world of Covid-19. Forming just two months before lockdown, Elliot and Indie explained how they had performed at lots of sit-down gigs in Birmingham, as well as some live-streamed performances. Overpass have supported many different bands over the past few years, including The Clause and The Twang, two fellow Brummie bands. However, Indie said that their support slot for The Snuts at the O2 Institute in Birmingham has been her favourite support show to play for to date, because the venue was already packed when they came on to perform and the feeling to play for so many people was amazing.

Curious to find out where the name Overpass came from, the group explained how they were all throwing random names and song lyrics into their group chat, and then Max came up with 'the overpass'. “We felt like using 'the' at the start of a band name is too overdone though, so we just wanted to go with one word, so we decided on Overpass.” After, Max joked that the reasoning behind the name should have come from spaghetti junction in Birmingham, a junction of the M6 motorway where lots of lanes of traffic intersect. “We should have said we were all walking down the highway one day, and we all came from different sides of the road, and all met in the middle!” laughed Max. It was apparent to see the clear chemistry between the group. They were all very light-hearted and cheeky individuals, so there’s no wonder they are good friends with the different bands they have played with.

"The band juggle music and touring alongside university and full-time work"

Remarkably, the band juggle music and touring alongside university and full-time work. Three of the four go to universities around the area, and all say it can get hectic trying to manage university work as well as rehearsals, recording, and touring. As a student myself, I am very impressed with their ability to do university work and tour around the country simultaneously. Elliot explained that it can get hard at times, especially when trying to do university work in the tour van. The band mentioned how a few days previous, whilst going through the Peak District, Elliot felt travel-sick from doing his uni work on the go, and had to shut the curtains. “What a time to do that!” laughed Joe, “Just as we are going through the Peak District, and we have to close the curtains!”. Again, the bond between the four shone through as they teased and mocked each other. Without a shadow of a doubt, Overpass will continue to progress onto bigger opportunities, and I hope I get to see them doing just that someday soon.

Millie Hopcott


Edited by: Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Overpass via Facebook.