Meet Guillotine. Although, having said that you've probably already been introduced without realising it just yet.
Recognise the posters in the pictures above? They were plastered around cities up and down the UK over the last few months, connecting only to a rather ambiguous Instagram account and website. Many theorised over what it could be, with most people coming to the conclusion it was an advertisement of some sort, though what it was actually advertising was largely debatable.
Well, yesterday the campaign came to a close (the anonymous part of it, at least) as the band behind the message revealed themselves to be Guillotine, the latest signing by Failure By Design Records.
The announcement of an EP set for February 2017 came along with the release of the band's debut single 'Sapphire', which you can hear below:
Other than the single, details of the band are still pretty scarce. I managed to catch up with one of the members to find out a little more about the thought process behind the intricate press campaign, and what to expect in the future from Guillotine, though, they seem to remain a little reserved when it comes to sharing who they actually are:
"We're four people from no place in particular, long time friends, first time collaborators. Guillotine is a band, but secretly it's a lot bigger; we got to work with a lot of friends around the UK, in shooting our artwork and videos to producing this 12" we're about to put out with Failure By Design."
It's been a fair few months since the first "We'll Be OK Here" poster showed up and according to Guillotine, they might have been waiting all this time to get the track out, but they also found some enjoyment in watching everyone speculate during their silence:
"We've been sat on these songs a while but that doesn't mean we were sat on our hands. Once people saw the posters we could hear you talking amongst yourselves. It's not really a secret if so many people are talking about it, you just don't know all the details."
As to why the band wanted to spread a message ("We'll Be OK Here") rather than their name or EP details like any other band, they had this to say:
"You don't follow a band on Facebook because you like the name, you do it because the message resonates with you in some way. A lot of our music's about experiences we've all been through and it's important to know if you've been through something similar that you will come out the other side just fine. We'll be ok here."
"We posted a few [posters] in places that were personal to us, near venues doing great things for local music, but people picked it up and ran with it. We had people posting images from all over the UK."
So, how does a band go about recording an EP in secret? Well, they enlist the help of an old friend. In Guillotine's case it was Hamish Dickinson at Phoenix Sound in Mansfield:
"We've spent a lot of time on the road with [Hamish's] band Yearbook. He's just built his own studio up in Mansfield and we couldn't imagine asking anyone else to add their ears and hands to the project, we couldn't be happier with what he produced with us."
Obviously, the way Guillotine have gone about announcing the release and inception of the band itself is very unique. Though, when I asked them about what their plan was when they started writing the upcoming EP, it became apparent that behind the scenes their songwriting can be a lot more easy going than the carefully thought out press campaign might let on:
"Honestly, you don't think about these things, one day we'd come in from seeing Brand New and Manchester Orchestra and the next we'd be be put in a totally different place by Weatherstate or Basement and it takes the song in a different direction. We've got something we enjoy playing and listening to and hopefully some other people do too."
As for what's next, at least between now and the February 2017 EP release, it seems it's back to keeping their cards close to their chest for Guillotine:
"Since this morning's reaction, reading a lot of the messages, it's fair to say we have enough to keep us busy and you all involved between now and then."
You can pre-order the EP 'Sapphire' ahead of the Feb 24th 2017 release date in a whole bunch of cool bundles [here].