Interview: 404 Error “I want to see how far we can take this!”

Devolution caught up with 404 Error, a darkwave, synth, and electro project from Newcastle. The band is fronted by a musician who goes by the name of 36663. We discussed the modern on-demand music scene, whether there is still room for a concept album, the simplicity of a basic rider, and which festival bill they would like to be added to in 2025.

Introduce the band in your own words…

“404 Error are an electro/goth/darkwave act from Northeast England. We use plural “we” despite technically being a one-man band.”

Tell our readers about your current album / ep / demo release

“’Scene Killers’ is our debut album. It playfully pokes some fun at the Goth scene while also being a celebration of it.”

Who or what are your biggest influences?

“Pitchshifter, Apoptygma Berzerk and other bands we sound nothing like.”

What have you been up to this year?

“Debut album. Project launch. Releasing videos! We had a lovely AI video for ‘ETHAL’.”

Pick your dream band line up. Each band member selecting a corresponding musician who may be dead or still very much living.

“Maria Mar from Omnimar. Do I only get one pick cos it’s just me?”

You’re asked to select a band to tour with you as support. Who would you choose and why?

“My fantasy is to be popular enough to tour big venues with support acts of my choice. I’d pick some local friends. Maybe different ones each tour. I think lots of bands say they’ll do this, but it doesn’t always work like this in reality.”

If you could name any one item that would be delivered no questions on the band rider, what would you choose and why?

“Some riders get silly. All I’d want is stuff needed to play the show. A good meal. Some refreshments. A decent-enough place to sleep. I was going to put a joke in there for clickbait, but I can’t bring myself to do it.”

If the band got offered a major label deal but it meant a change of image to something you are uncomfortable with and censorship of lyrics, would you take the deal or walk?

“I’m not desperate to ‘make it’. I am sure there is guidance I could listen to from a prospective label especially if they are paying me – but – I think putting out stuff I am happy with is more important.”

Describe the local music scene of your hometown and how you fit into that as a band?

“Newcastle has a small scene. But a good scene. A lot of people are passionate about music. We have some really cool bands that really deserve more recognition and attention as there is a lot of talent – including but not limited to: Social Youth Cult, Stock Image, Dimension Breakers, Play/Dead. We are also a local act.”

Some bands have goals for albums, the UK Subs for example recorded an album for every letter of the alphabet. Do you have any goals for future albums?

“We have ideas for future albums – but – want to focus on promoting this one first.”

In the modern on-demand music scene is the concept album dead or do you feel there’s still room for them?

“I think albums are still hugely popular, but that the way they are promoted has to change. Hence so many bands releasing 12 track albums, but then doing a video or single for one each month.”

The hardest step and leap of faith for any band today is going full time, is this something you envisage being able to do in the future?

“While it would be a dream, we also have to be realistic. But also going full time puts pressure on things continuing to be popular – the industry is so volatile.”

With everything being so digital and run predominantly through social media what is your view on the importance of regional and national print press?

“Those who buy print press are most likely to read them, which makes it valuable compared to something which can be glossed or skipped over. However, with there being so much other means – I can understand why so many save costs by not buying, which creates challenges for both the press, and for bands wanting to be noticed.”

What are the band goals for the remainder of 2024 – with just a few months left of the year are there any important milestones to be reached?

“I want to see how far we can take this. There is an album out, we are pushing for press, publicity – taking adverts. Having released an album is something that can be considered a success.”

If you could choose to play any UK festival for 2025 – which one, would it be and why?

“Resistanz. As that would be a sign of endorsement as I know they have high standards for bands. This isn’t me casting shade at any others. Being invited to anywhere would be something of an honour.”

‘Scene Killers’ Album Cover

As a band who have been working hard to get yourselves out there in the live circuit and industry – what do you hope will have changed for unsigned and independent bands once this year ends?

“At the minute it’s shit. Costs of playing gigs has gone up. Costs of hosting gigs has gone up. So, it’s expensive and risky for bands, venues, promoters. So on. A lot of costs get passed onto the gig go-er via higher ticket prices, higher bar prices, so on.  And they are also a squeezed audience. I’d like things to level out so bands can afford to play more shows and crowds can afford to go to more shows.”

How would you describe 2024 so far?

“A debut album from 404 Error and a leaving party for the government. A good start to the year!”

Here is your opportunity to end the interview with some final words on a subject of your choice….

“We love the whole Goth/Electro/Dark Alternative scenes. We don’t love some of the silly bickering. I don’t want to do the whole “why can’t we all get along” thing, but honestly, some folks get into dramas over silly shit and could do well to swallow some pride and put hands up to apologise or say they’re wrong.

We don’t all have to be big friends, but scenes work better when folk aren’t sniping at each other. Listen to music that you enjoy. Make the music you enjoy. Have fun being creative and enjoying things.

God, I feel like a Miss Universe contestant harping about ‘World Peace’ – but, yeah. There are enough horrible things in the wider world.

Also, as a final note – Trans rights are human rights, sex workers rights are human rights.”

The new album ‘Scene Killers’ by 404 Error is out now on Bandcamp, Spotify, and all major digital music stores, and the new video-single ‘ETHAL’ is on YouTube: