Crossing The Limits – ‘You just need to believe in what you do’

Words: Miljan Milekić

If you’re up for some new and fresh pop punk sound, we have just what you need. Crossing The Limits is a new band hailing from Norwich, UK, taking big steps forward on the UK pop punk scene. Just recently they released their debut EP ‘Preservance,’ so we took the opportunity to talk with singer Rachel Holland.

First of all, congrats on your new EP. How does it feel to finally hold your debut in your hands after all the time and the work you’ve put in?
Rachel: Thank you! It feels so great to have it out there. It took a lot of work and a lot of time to start this band and get it off of the ground. To have the EP completed is such an achievement and a proud feeling for all of us.

So, ‘Perseverance’ is finally out. Are you happy with the reactions so far?
Rachel: Yeah! Really happy, our fans are the absolute best. We’ve had a ton of tweets, comments, and messages from people who are really enjoying it. One person had messaged me to say “Thank you for writing relatable lyrics,” that meant the world to me. I really want our music to be able to help other people get through their shit times too. We really love talking to and staying well-connected to our fans. Having them enjoying the music is what’s most important to us.

Your songs, and especially lyrics sound really personal. Where do you find your inspiration, and do you ever fear of revealing too much of your inner self in your songs?
Rachel: I used to be pretty afraid of talking about some things. I think it’s important to have great friendships within your band, and a level of trust because they’re the people that are hearing those lyrics first. After that’s out the way, and you’ve sung the song a bunch of times, the fear of judgment kinda dies pretty quickly and it becomes comfortable. I really never like to think too much about my lyrics and just write as honestly as possible. The inspiration for the songs comes from real life for me, most of the time it’s when I’ve felt hurt or let down by other people or even myself, I need to get it off of my mind and write it down.

I’ve read somewhere that you’re a big fan of the Spice Girls. How do you find the balance between your pop side and your punk rock side? Do you feel pop music influences you as an artist and songwriter?
Rachel: (laughs) I thought that Spice Girls mention would follow me! I’ve always loved pop music, I just always felt personally sometimes it lacked in intensity and sometimes realness lyrically. I think that’s where I found my place in pop punk because it’s not so clean cut and it’s got that edge.

Except for your music, you’ve done a really good job on the visual aspect, from the artwork to the music videos. Do you feel like today music itself is often not enough to gain the attention of the fans, and videos are practically “a must”?
Rachel: I think the social media side of things is so important these days. I don’t think just putting your music out is enough. People are spending most of their time on the internet, especially YouTube, so I think music videos are important to gain new fans who may not have known of your music before. It’s also something fun for the fans to be able to grasp the concept of the song and get a real feel for the story. I really enjoy doing music videos!

Pop punk music was always popular among young generations, often in their teenage years. As an artist, do you ever feel the pressure of being seen as a role model or someone young girls could look up to? Do you see it as a blessing or a curse?
Rachel: I have younger sisters and so with that, I’ve always tried my best to encourage them to be good people and understand that my choices could influence theirs. However, I can’t live my life overthinking every little thing I do, that would be exhausting, but I don’t consider myself to be an asshole or a bad influence. If anyone looks up to me honestly I’d be flattered.

For quite a few years, pop punk was a boy’s game, with Paramore carrying the torch as practically the only successful female-fronted band. However, in the last few years, we got Tonight Alive, Against The Current, Stand Atlantic, PVRIS, and many other bands. What do you see as the main reason for that?
Rachel: Possibly because there has been a big roar about the lack of females being given decent recognition and respect. People are starting to pay more attention to us. I still think there is a long way to go to find some equal balance, but we won’t sit back and be quiet.

The UK pop punk scene exploded in the recent years, starting with Neck Deep, ROAM, As It Is, and many other bands. Do you think you got lucky to come into the scene at this point, or do you feel that today is even harder to break through because of the bigger competition?
Rachel: No, I think it’s always gonna be tough. You just need to believe in what you do and not worry about the rest. Whatever happens, happens.

This year has already been huge for you, but there is yet a lot more to come. What can we expect from you in the future?
Rachel: We really just wanna get out there and play a ton of shows, then head back to the studio and record some more music! You never really know what’s gonna happen.

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*Interview edited for length and clarity

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