“It’s really weird because we kind of took so long to announce it and get it out and get it ready and now it seems like it’s mental and it’s all happened too quickly, even though it’s taken over two years for them to release it” laughed Jacob Field, vocalist for Britain’s The One Hundred, perhaps one of the most innovative and fresh bands to emerge on the music scene in the last decade. “It’s a bit ironic but we can’t wait man, it’s gonna be sick. We just wanna unleash it and get it out there so people can really understand what The One Hundred is all about.”
Understanding the band is not easy. They are a four piece band from Guilford that simply refuse to be labeled into one particular genre.
Since their debut E.P ‘Subculture’ introduced them to the world in 2014, The One Hundred have continued to evolve at an alarming rate for a band so young and are now at the point where worldwide domination is at their fingertips with debut album ‘Chaos + Bliss’ due out on June 2 through Spinefarm/ Caroline Australia Records.
“It’s kind of like everything The One Hundred are,” Field enthused of the album. “The E.P that we released a couple of years ago was more like a studio project but this is more what the band is all about. It’s diverse; it’s eclectic and has everything from pop sections to rap sections to heavy sections. It just summarizes the band and represents us how we want it to.”
The band has released two singles from the album, ‘Dark Matters’ and ‘Monster’ with Field admitting that even over two songs it is still difficult to gauge a feel for the sound on the album.
“Yes and no,” he answered when asked if those songs are indicative of the sound on the rest of ‘Chaos + Bliss’. “With ‘Dark Matters’ it was kind of like… the reason we chose that track first is it’s probably the most similar to the E.P – similar to ‘Unleashed’ and ‘Downfall’ but ‘Monster’ doesn’t sound like anything on the E.P or ‘Dark Matters’ so I think it’s a song that’s quite ambient in sections and it’s got a lot of rap in it but it’s not a definitive sound for the whole album or represents the true sound of us. It’s a great track and we’re pleased with it but it’s not the one track… we’re not a drum and bass band. There’s certain tracks on there that are nu – metal and there’s certain tracks that are just R & B and hip hop. It represents us in a way but I wouldn’t take them two tracks and think the whole album is gonna sound like that because it’s not. In a positive way but (laughs). I’m making it sound like I hate those tracks (laughs).”
Even the title of the album is a reflection on the band and their music, with Field saying it represents not only their music but also themselves.
“I think it was more down to the fact there’s elements of chaos and bliss in our music,” he pondered. “We represent the hardcore side of things and the hip hop side of things and I think it shows our diversity in the music scene and what we’re trying to create and what we’re trying to achieve. If you looked at it a bit metaphorically and a bit deeper it represents the people. There’s elements of happy and sad and it’s like a yin and yang thing where it’s opposite. We are opposite with music and as people and you can love and hate or whatever and the title of the album is symbolic of what our music sounds like.”
Mixing elements of hardcore, dance, trance, R & B, rap and hip hop, on paper The One Hundred are a band that simply shouldn’t work. The mashing of genres is eclectic to say the least and sounds too diverse to be compatible, with even Field admitting it is a virtual amalgamation of music that shouldn’t be appealing.
“No it shouldn’t work, should it?” he laughed. “We kind of ask ourselves that question every day when people ask us ‘what do you sound like?’ and we say ‘don’t ask us, we don’t know’ (laughs). But no, it shouldn’t work but I think the reason it does is we have that kind of raw energy. We’re kind of like a pop band in that we write pop songs and just cross over with them. We’re like a commercial rock band if you want to strip it down to basic. A lot of people think there’s that stigma and say ‘you’re commercial?’ (laughs) but I wanna be that gateway band for people who have never heard these styles of music before and they’re hopefully gonna get into it when they come and see us so that’s why we have these elements of rock and trance so any section of that song can appeal to someone so we’re trying to achieve that with the album. There are a lot of parts that are pop based and some that are hardcore based so there is a part of every song for every genre or group or whatever.”
Even thinking about blending some of these styles has probably never been contemplated before, but according to Field coming up with what was to become The One Hundred sound was simpler that you would think.
“When we started the band we said that we wanted to do something different and we didn’t wanna just write and play by the numbers,” he recounted. “We didn’t wanna play by the numbers music, like play guitars and lay beats down and then scream over it. That’s been done before and the bands that do it well sound good and the ones that don’t kind of taint the scene so we thought right, steer clear of that. I’ve always been into hip hop and R & B – I grew up in a house listening to a lot of funk songs but didn’t have the urge to do that sort of music – so I think a lot of the R & B and hip hop has come from me. Then we started to move to half hip hop, half rock and we kind of naturally said if we wanna be a band and we wanna do it properly and incorporate that sound then we’re gonna have to have a live guitar and live drums so we ended up taking the main element of nu – metal and mixing it with this glossed over dance and R & B style. Imagine Chris Brown wrote a song with Slipknot and that’s probably the closest thing you’ll get to us because of the dynamics between the two parties. It’s weird – it shouldn’t work – and I don’t know how it does really. I still question it every day (laughs).”
The fact that Field mentions Slipknot is quite apt, because music has never seen a revolution of the magnitude presented by The One Hundred since Slipknot’s debut album. It is a sound which is likely to shake the very foundations of what is accepted and what isn’t within the musical landscape and has the potential to turn everything you knew about music on its head.
“Slipknot are a huge influence on us,” Field admitted. “You wanna make your music different, you wanna make it with slight changes. We’re not saying we’re gonna force it on people or we’re gonna pave the way for other bands. A lot of people have an opinion on us and if you like us cool and if you don’t we don’t care – we’re still gonna do it – and we’ll make sure you like us by the second album. We’re happy to be different; we don’t see that as a negative thing. We want people to listen to us and go ‘fuck, they’re alright’ then in another listens time go ‘fuck yeah, I like this, it’s sick’. That’s what we wanna get over.”
With such an abstract view on music and such an experimental and untried sound, Field admits that when they first came on the scene the band themselves were unsure how they would be received but knew that they were going to give it everything they could in an effort to convert the doubters.
“It was basically let’s go out and blow every fucker away!” he laughed. “We got so much positive reaction from a lot of people and we were super appreciative of it but I think that was because when we started we had the attitude of we don’t care if you don’t like it. We weren’t being arrogant, it’s more if you like it then we’re glad and we know you’re gonna be a fan for a long time and if you don’t like it then we will make you like it (laughs). There’s so many times that people have come to see us and said ‘we’ve listened to the tracks but we’re not sure yet’ and then they see us live and say ‘I get it now, it makes sense’. We take so much pride in our live performance because we want to sound exactly like the record so I think our live show has definitely helped with that. It was definitely a conscious decision of yeah, let’s just go out there and do it. If people get on board cool, if they don’t we’re still gonna do it and lucky for us it worked and I’m sure there are a lot of bands out there that are better than us and try a lot harder that aren’t getting the response but I think we came out at the right time when people wanted change and wanted something different and were bored with that mundane kind of sound. Luckily we came out at the right time and offered that change.”
With a sound made up from so many components it is difficult to imagine The One Hundred churning out the same record over and over, and Field laughs when asked where to next sonically.
“I’m not really too sure,” he managed. “The one thing that we’re blessed with is we’re not a metalcore band where we have to have eight beat downs and we have to wear our black t – shirts. We can play and wear what we want. We don’t have to be any form of cliché. If we wanna write a funk song we will. If we wanna write a dance track with no screaming we will. We have so many different routes we can take and I think because we’re not restricted by anything it will never feel like we’re doing something for the sake of it. We can take any direction we want without having to worry about the repercussions of fans and I think once you get into The One Hundred you’re gonna like us regardless because that’s what we do. You never know. I’m gonna put in a funk eight bit for the next album, why not? (laughs)”
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