Greater Manchester band If I Die Tonight are on their way to crafting a sound that they believe you won’t hear anywhere else. The duo offer up an expansive rock sound that puts bass and drums at the forefront in their intoxicating brand of “raw emotional rock.”
The band is currently a DIY studio duo of Jacob Saunders and Nathaniel Jepegnanam. Jacob does most of the bass and Nat most of the drums, but the duo share instrumental, production and mixing duties. As Nat tells us: “Working this way gives us complete creative control which is something we’ve never really had in our previous musical endeavours.”
The duo met as “Church kids” in Greater Manchester and started playing music together as they formed the rhythm section of the band Dear Caroline. They sporadically wrote songs together but nothing major materialised until after the band broke up.
The duo made their mark with debut single Exodus earlier this year, which has a really mellow and engaging yet intense indie rock feel to it. On the track, Nat said: “We’d been working on Exodus for quite a while, so it really felt great to finally get it out into the world. The reception has been great too! We’ve had loads of positive feedback about it, and it’s managed to reach more people than we thought it would, which is fantastic!”
But they’ve just followed that up with second single Would?, which was released on Friday (22 July). It opens up with stabs of guitar and driving drums that drop into an engaging verse of light vocals and shimmering guitars. It intensifies in an intriguing chorus of more powerful vocals answered by lighter responses “She, what did you mean? When you said you’d always be. She, the one to rescue me. Well I guess that was make believe.”
It drops back into a verse that incorporates dreamy backing vocals and lingering guitars before feeding into another chorus. Second time around, the chorus develops into a delicious dreamy section that starts with the light vocals “I fell to my knees when I woke up in your dreams” and ends in repeats of “To see you” that bring the track to a close.
Ahead of the track’s release, Nat told us: “I really can’t wait. Would? is one of my favourite songs we’ve ever worked on so I just really can’t wait for people to hear it. It channels the same expansive feeling of Exodus but is more melancholic rather than angry.” Check out Would? in the lyric video below:
If I Die Tonight count Deftones, Nirvana and Thrice among their key musical influences and try to put something from each of those artists in everything they write. But, Nat tells us, their biggest musical influence would probably be Dave Grohl.
And on what inspires them to write music, Nat says: “I find myself influenced mostly by other music. When I listen to a band like Deftones or an artist like Kendrick Lamar, it just makes me want to create something that makes me feel the same way they do. I tend to write quite personal lyrics about my relationships with people in my life or simply about my own emotional state. Even when I write about other topics such as religion or politics (for example), they tend to come from a personal emotional place.”
The duo are always writing and recording music so expect something new from them very shortly. As Nat tells us: “We’re working on a load of new songs at the moment, I like to think that we’re getting better and better as we write more and more. The songs feel special – we absolutely love them! We’re still learning and figuring it all out but I think we’re on the way to crafting a sound that we’re not hearing anywhere else and that means a lot to us. We hope the music can speak for itself, so we’d just love to encourage as many people as possible to check out what we’re doing.
“We’re big fans of the longer form of music consumption, and our newer tracks really feel like a concise snapshot of where we are, so maybe an EP or Album is on the horizon. There are no plans for live performances currently, we’d rather wait till we have more music out and a fanbase who really wants live shows. We might play the odd show here and there but no major shows until people really want it.”