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?
London and the south of England.
How did you meet?
Me and Johnny were originally in a stoner/doom band called Burnt Oak Sun. I worked with both Joe and Dave (Pattenden, our original guitarist). Ben Ash, who’s now in Carcass, has been in and out of the band over the years, and was integral to our third album, BLUES + POWER = DESTINY. Dan joined in 2011, and has now made two albums with us.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
First rehearsal was July 2001. First gig was June 2002. We did a BBC session with Bruce Dickinson in December 2002, and our first London show was January 2003 with Budgie. First trip abroad, to Sweden, was 2004. That was all before we had our first CD out. In September 2005 we supported Maiden at Hammersmith. We achieved quite a lot early on.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Look up the dictionary definition and I think it’s a good description of the early sound of the band: raw, unreconstructed, unrefined, heavy. We’re a bit more refined now.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
The usual: Sabbath, Purple, Zep, Black Crowes, Rush, Skynyrd, early Queen, Monster Magnet, MC5, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Hendrix, Jeff Buckley, UFO, Alice In Chains… you get the idea.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We’re very 70s old school. A bit southern, a bit rawk, a lot of blues. I don’t think we get enough credit for our blues side. Johnny is a great harp player. Dan does some great slide. We’d love to play with Robin Trower.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve been playing almost 15 years, so I have no idea. Not as many as you think, though.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
I was invited at Download. It was an instant YES. We previously played the Jaegermeister stage in 2011.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We’ve only played together once since we did Ibiza in May, so that’s not been decided yet. Hopefully some tracks from the new album, “Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution”, our 5th album. There’s a lot more acoustic songs on the new one.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Opeth or Sepultura.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re always working on new songs. We’re also looking forward to Bloodstock obviously and Hard Rock Hell in November too.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
We tour the world tidying up hotel rooms. And watching documentaries on penguins. I’m not exaggerating.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
It may sound obvious, but believe in what you do and also enjoy what you do. Play for the pleasure – and honour – of playing in front of people. If you succeed on that basis, you’ll be very satisfied. If you fail, at least you failed on your own terms. It’s pretty tough out there.
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!
I signed Black State Highway to my label, and so I do what I can to help them, although they’re not technically unsigned. They used to support us, but give them a couple of years, and we’ll be supporting them. Johnny has a new band called BRULE, who are very heavy, and a bit of a stoner/doom supergroup. We’d love to support Skynyrd or Sabbath, but we’ve played with Quo, Maiden, Goblin, Stray, Pat Travers, Download, Mustasch. I lose count.
Pig Iron play the Jagermeister Stage on the Saturday.