Due to the huge number of bands playing at Bloodstock this year, and the fact that our two roving reporters will actually want to watch some of them, we’re doing a little round of pre-festival interviews this year. We’re focussing on the bands playing the Jagermeister and Hobgoblin New Blood Stages so they get a chance to convince you to go and watch them. Remember, these guys and gals are the future of our musical world!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
James: We are from a small town in the ‘Sunny’ South East of Ireland in County Wexford called New Ross.
How did you meet?
Darren: Well, I met Ryan (Guitar) in school and he introduced me to his friend, James (Vocals). And we knew Barry (Bass) through another band in the town and we gave him a call when we were short a bass player for a gig at short notice.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Barry: We’ve been playing together with this lineup since the summer of 2006 with one or two changes along the way. But now we are back to the original form and quite frankly are better than we have ever been.
Where does the name of the band come from?
James: As a group we are all kind of fascinated with history, world events, political themes, war and conspiracy’s which we use to give us ideas and inspiration that we are passionate about and we use these to create music with a message and with meaning. The idea is to try and bring these songs and ideas to life and to animate them, which is why the name Animator stuck with us all. It represents all our ideas fairly well we think.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Ryan: Well, as a band id say we are heavily influenced by artists like Exodus and Pantera. Individually, influences for me would be Megadeth, Metallica, Testament, Judas Priest and Van Halen. Beethoven even had a bit of influence for me too!
James: I would say i draw heavy influence from Suicidal Tendencies too.
Darren: Locally there are bands like Gama Bomb, Psykosis, Snowblind and Dead Label just to name a small few who are influences for me as well.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Barry: I think were not afraid to be musical and have a bit of melody in our songs, which is something that i think is unique in alot of thrash these days. We are also not afraid to step out of the thrash boundaries and dive into uncharted waters when writing music. We arent afraid to try new things with our songs and take influence from every possible outlet.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Darren: We pride ourselves on being the tightest live band that we can possibly be. We want people to be able to hear every note, every snare hit, with razor sharp precision. Entering the M2TM competition also really made us step up our live performance and really made us a better band for it. Our live shows have really become more of a performance now rather than just a kind of live play through of our songs. The best way to find out what our show is like is to come and see us though!
Did you enter M2TM thinking you could win it?
Ryan: We definitely knew we had the potential and ability to win. However, when we saw the level of competition in this years Dublin M2TM we definitely knew we had to step up our game. The level of talented bands on display was absolutely staggering. The very fact that Snowblind got a slot on the Jagermeister stage through the M2TM goes to show just how good the bands this year truly were/are.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
James: We have an EP (Open Your Eyes), an Album (Blacklisted), and we are currently working on a new album, so its hard to fit all of that into a 30 minute set list. However, we have made out a set that has included elements of all of these and we are quite happy with how its sounding and we cant wait to unleash it on the New Blood Stage! And all of our currently recorded tracks can be heard on Spotify and YouTube.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Barry: I’m really hoping that we can avoid a clash with Sepultura, half because I really want to see them and half because we will be trying to get any thrash fans to the New Blood Stage for our set!
What are you working on at the moment?
Ryan: We are currently writing and demoing new songs for our 2nd full length which we hope to have recorded by the end of the year. Most of our focus lately has just been on Bloodstock and getting our set together for that, but the focus after that will be primarily on getting the new album written and recorded.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Darren: I reckon one of the wildest things James has seen was the plastic bullet from an air rifle getting shot directly into his eye in Spain haha. We were doing a string of gigs over there and got extremely drunk one night and decided that trying to shoot each other was the best course of action. Unfortunately, one of the bullets found the way into his eye and he had to be brought to the doctors. It was at this time that we realized that none of us spoke Spanish and so the only possible way to explain what happened was to crudely draw a gun, a bullet, an eye and then write ‘plastico’ next to it and hope for the best hahaha. Safe to say we left the air rifles down for a while after that! Apart from that im generally too drunk to remember any other ‘wild’ stuff that happens
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Barry: Practice as much as possible. You only get one chance to make a first impression so try make it the best one it can possibly be.
Darren: Play as many gigs as you can once you’ve gotten your practice together. Starting out you want to make as many contacts and network as much as possible. It will give you that one invaluable thing too, experience!
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Darren: I’m going for a really probably cliche answer. Metallica (Headlining), Pantera and us opening. How good would that be?! We were part of a pretty sick lineup only last week too. It was Nuclear Assaults last ever Dublin show and ourselves, Psykosis and Gama Bomb supported them. It was a savage night!
Animator play the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Sunday.