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!
Guitarist / vocalist Jack took time out from rehearsals to rattle through our questions…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re from the stag and hen night capital of the country, the aptly named ‘Blackpool’.
How did you meet?
Being from such a small town, we’d all pretty much played in bands together before creating this band, so a mixture of attending local live shows, college and parties etc. We’ve basically known each other for nearly a decade, with the exception of Matt (our drummer) who we only met at the beginning of 2013.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We first played at the beginning of 2013, just after we met Matt. It was impossible beforehand as we couldn’t find a drummer for nearly a year, but luckily we found that beast lurking around live shows so we promptly stole him from a band (probably).
Where does the name of the band come from?
A lot of people ask us this at shows, especially as a couple people have had some trouble with getting it right on posters or announcements (which serves us right for choosing such a wordy moniker), but the name comes from a night of inhaling vast amounts of mind-altering substances and watching YouTube playlists of silly supernatural nonsense from around the globe. The name came from a Russian news video claiming there was a giant alien space craft hovering above Moscow (which turned out to just be a trippy cloud formation) and the headline read “Circle spectre haunting” and from the moment I saw it, it encapsulated everything I wanted in a name for the direction I had in my head.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
As a band, we’re all really into very similar stuff, but it ranges from ancient prog to death metal released this month. The main ones being; The Black Dahlia Murder, Between The Buried And Me, Opeth, Mastodon, Cannibal Corpse, Rush, Cattle Decapitation, Necrophagist, Emperor, Ihsahn, Trivium and so, so many more. I could go on and on with influences.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I’ve always found it very hard to describe our music and better yet pretty much find it impossible to label it. We tend to label ourselves as a death metal band and don’t really worry about the sub-genre side of things. And as for what makes us unique, I like to think that we’re doing something different to most bands, we experiment quite a lot. We try and refine our sound with every release but particularly this time round with our upcoming album “Sin”, (which we haven’t announced yet but its fully written and we will be recording professionally in September), I feel we’ve really honed into our own style of death metal… or metal. Whatever people want to call it. There are tricks and traps in there structurally and melodically that I don’t feel have been touched on too much in the metal world. Like I say though, I LIKE to think that, but I can’t guarantee.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Well live shows started off quite sparse at first but this year in particular we’ve managed to stay somewhat busy with shows which is our main goal, to play better and MORE shows. All in all we’ve probably only played about 25 shows since 2013, but we book more and more as the time goes on.
As for our live performance, we’re quite an energetic bunch, particularly with the new tracks. The old stuff was very technical just for the sake of it and it started to take away from the live performance a bit, so with our latest album we really focused on what the songs would sound/look like live. But I must make the point that they are not easy to play in the slightest, and are easily the hardest tracks to pull off live, but they just give us a bit more room to breathe live.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We played the north west Metal 2 The Masses competition in a great venue in Burnley called the “Sanctuary Rock Bar”. We made it to the finals, but lost out to a great death metal band from around the north west called Bloodyard [who are playing the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage – Mosh], but before announcing that Simon Hall got on stage and said he wanted to see us live again and thusly invited us to play the Jagermeister stage. We were honoured, thrilled to bits and it still hasn’t quite sank in with each of us. It truly is a dream come true.
In fact you can see us being invited to do it on our latest video we put out (we put a lot of these silly partying videos out, they’re all in fun, so please don’t be offended by any of the language or themes throughout haha) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj6XANWYa9g
What sort of setlist can we expect?
The B.O.A 2015 patrons can expect a crushingly fast and heavy 30 minutes of melody-driven death metal. 5 brand new tracks and one long oldie. Be prepared to induce whiplash with a can of warm fosters in your hand!
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
We’re playing on Saturday so for us it would be Opeth. There’s so many great bands playing the main stage, but for us, I’d have to say Opeth. They’re one of the reasons I decided to play in a band. Ivan (our bass player) introduced me to them way back in 2009 when we were recording an album for a different project at the time. He showed me the 2003 Lamentations DVD and from the first note of “Windowpane” I was hooked. Word’s can’t describe what it means to me, to us, to be playing a show along side Opeth among many life-changing bands.
What are you working on at the moment?
Well as mentioned previously, we’re at the end of the writing process for our upcoming FIRST full-length Sin. It’s 35-40 minutes of crushing death metal stories about daemons, Hell, Cthulhu, ancient sharks, witch-hunters, partying too hard and other evil things. We’re extremely proud of it thus far and can’t wait to get it recorded. September is our month, and you can expect a release before the end of the year.
As we’re doing physical CDs for it too, we’re going to package it with our first DVD as well which our longtime friend (and former member) Ryan Forsch will be filming. We’ve already got a quite a lot of footage, but we’re going to capture a lot of the Bloodstock experience and studio updates before editing it into a short film.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
We’ve not done too many wild things on tour really, but that’s presumably due to the lack of shows. I’d say just wait for the DVD to see how crazy everything gets at BOA. A lot of after-hours drinking/smoking action that we won’t ever allow our families to witness.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
It’s a bit of a funny question for us, as we still feel as though we’re starting out. It has really been picking up a bit recently though and we couldn’t be more excited. I guess I’d have 3 points to make to new bands.
- Be original, do something you’ve never heard done before
- Record as often as you can and by any means
- Play any show you are offered – if you can get there, play it
And as a general rule, don’t be shitty to people. Don’t bitch about bands, promoters, PR etc, because its utterly pointless and looks very unprofessional. You want to have as many doors open as possible. Just save those chats for the back of the van for when you’re all steaming in a tesco car park at 3am after a rough show, nobody needs to know.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Yikers, this is a tricky one. It’s split really, the headline would have to be either Trivium or The Black Dahlia Murder. That’s certain. TBDM because they’re our biggest influence and they’re incredible guys (we all partied with them in Manchester on their last UK tour and managed to get in their DVD). But Trivium are the reason me (Jack) and Kemp play guitar together. We met ten years ago and started doing covers from the really old Trivium stuff and still to this day can pretty much both play through all of Ember To Inferno and Ascendancy together, so the fact that they’re headlining the Friday night of a festival we’re playing is utterly mind-blowing to us.
As for a chance to plug an unsigned act to open for us, I’d love to choose XisForEyes from Newcastle. They released an unbelievable album this year, but had to call it quits after being unable to find a drummer. If you get a chance, you should really check out their Convoluted Enlightenment album, one of the best releases of the year. So I’d go with Desolate Horizon, a Preston-based thrash metal band that we’ve played a few shows with (we actually played with them at the quarter finals of M2TM north west). They’re a brutally tight thrash band that put SO much energy into their live show. Really impressive to watch every single time. They’re also coming to party at Bloodstock and plan to camp with us at the four-day-rager event of the year!
Hope to see you all there at BOA 2015, let’s make it special!
Circle Spectre Haunting play the Jagermeister Stage on the Saturday.