An interview with Overpass @ Sound City 2023

Words by Misa Mlambo

Birmingham Themes and Dreams Coming True: An Interview with Overpass

Seated in a curved line, the 4-piece band known as ‘Overpass’, makes
themselves comfortable as Bassist Indie Armstrong takes her usual selfie, ready
to capture the moment with her bandmates to commemorate all the memories
they’ve made together since 2020. Teaching us that each moment is worth
cherishing and remembering. Their Sound City set boasted an incredible turnout
with a room full of Gen Z’s screaming their lyrics back with fervour. We sat down
with them to discuss their experience on stage and more.

“We never thought we would get to play with those guys. We felt really lucky”

“It was really fun. It was a really nice crowd, and everyone seemed to really enjoy
it. Which is always good." Guitarist Elliot Rawlings says in a poised manner. It’s
no wonder that Overpass has struck several chords with the youth. Songs
like,'Right Time’ and ‘3 AM’ speak to an insatiable yearning, ache, and desire in
relationships, served in a modern indie-rock style, complete with an infectious
melody and head-bop-worthy drums. Their musical influences differ from each
other but are seamed from one thread. Max’s influence comes from ‘Kings of
Leon’, Jake (at the moment) says ‘Foals’. Indie appreciates ‘Inhaler’ and Elliot,
‘The Strokes’. The band’s growth has been monumental, it wouldn't be unrealistic
for them to be as successful as their influences. Indie reflects on their
achievements, particularly when asked about their experience supporting Inhaler
in February. “We did a show with them in Birmingham and in Bristol, and um, it
was, like crazy. That was probably our dream when we first started the band. We
never thought we would get to play with those guys. We felt really lucky”, she
says with a glistening grin on her face. Juggling part-time jobs and university,
people start to wonder how young musicians balance it all, and what keeps them
grounded. Drummer Jake Bishop takes on this topic first. “Doing stuff like, as a
band that is not musically...”Jake’s head tilts towards Elliot and Max, waiting with
his eyes for them to finish his sentence. They don’t. He continues, “activities I
guess, and hobbies”. Indie adds, “We’re all into the gym at the moment. Just

things like that–staying active. I do Thai boxing, it’s like a new hobby”. Jake
murmurs his agreement. “I thought you said ‘Playstation’,” Elliot says to Jake,
breaking out in laughter, infecting the rest of them. Jake grins, “No, generally
football and stuff, I guess. Football and pub mate”, he explains.

Beyond their sound, achievements and interests. Fans are often drawn to a
bands personal style and aesthetic, seeking to emulate or draw inspiration from
them, It’s clear to anyone with a keen eye on fashion the members of this
Birmingham quartet have an easy-going aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye.
“Dad’s wardrobe”. Jake says in a pleased tone. “Yeah”, says Lead Vocalist and
Guitarist Max Newbold who lets out a soft chuckle. “Sometimes when we do a
photoshoot, I’ll go on Pinterest and look at loads of inspo and then I’ll send it to
the boys and say ‘Guys, this is how you need to dress today’.” Indie adds,
expressing her enthusiasm with exuberance. Another chuckle fest breaks out in
fondness of Indie’s passion, concern and care for their image. It’s clear to see
that their personalities are intertwined, and their obvious compatibility is
refreshing to witness. She continues. “And we all turned up today looking similar,
without really coordinating it. So it started to work naturally. Sometimes we go a
bit smarter, but today is more of a causal thing”.

“We’re proud of where we’re from”

Overpass comes a long way from Birmingham having embarked on a UK Tour a
year after their debut supporting Snuts, and The Lottery Winners to soon be
playing at the Truck Festival in July amongst names such as The Vaccines and
Alt-J. We find out how they keep Birmingham close and at the core of their
career. “We just got some new merch out, there's a Spaghetti Junction on it. It’s a
big Birmingham thing if you’re from around there. The Birmingham theme has a
big influence on anyone who comes to the gigs”. Elliot says, as he reflects on the
band’s heartwarming community. Jake adds, “We’re proud of where we’re from.
We've got the Birmingham flag don’t we?”. Max shyly chimes in with a tender
smile on his face. “We carry the flag around, we put it on stage, so everyone
knows where we’ve come from”. Indie adds, “All of our proud moments have
been hometown shows in Birmingham”. Their sweet sentiments highlight the
band’s pride in their roots and the importance of their community in their music.

Despite being three years into their career, Overpass has already turned their
dreams into reality and has a clear sense of identity and values. Speaking on
their future goals, Elliot says “A more ‘rockier’ mature sound if that makes
sense?” Max adds, “Yeah, a more mature– be a bit more thoughtful about what
we’re doing... not that we’re not thoughtful but you know when you want to
dedicate more time into it”. Max continues, as he reaches the point he wants to
make. “We’ve been listening to a lot of ‘Wunderhorse’.” Elliot chimes in, “And it
was like, Woah! These guys know....”. Max finishes, “They’re like classic rock
songwriters”. Max and Elliot share an intimate moment savouring the awakening
they had when listening to one of their musical influences. Indie concludes,
saying, “Our earlier songs have a thin tone, but yeah as we get older just keep
changing the sound with that as well, and staying true to the roots”.

An interview with Overpass @ Sound City 2023