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?
We’re based in Swansea, South Wales.
How did you meet?
Ray Tamanous (guitar) and David Malpass (vocals) met by chance at a local gig and instantly hit it off over their mutual love of heavy music and a desire to create it. Miss Viper already had musical ties with Ray from their previous band so she slotted in comfortably from the word go. Ricky Turner (drums) and Steffan Penhale (guitar) came along as the result of a lengthy, frustrating and exasperating search through our local scene but became quickly ensconced once we’d met and jammed.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We finalised and solidified the line up in September of 2014.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Finding the right band name can be a challenge. We wanted something that would be instantly memorable yet feel dirty, grimy and edgy, as well as being a little bit tongue in cheek. We threw around loads of ideas and Piss Viper was a half joking, throw away suggestion but something about it felt right, the rest is Pisstory.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Our influences are very apparent and we wear them like a badge of honour. Obviously Pantera, Down and Crowbar play a massive part but also bands like Lamb of God, DevilDriver, Orange Goblin, Mastodon and Sepultura add something to the overall mix.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Heavy, groovy, aggressive, almost antagonistic and confrontational in nature. It’s virtually an impossibility to be unique these days as music is mostly derivative, however we endeavour to be respectful to our influences, play hard and add as much of ourselves as possible.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
You can expect heavy and aggressive but our live shows are packed with energy and fun. We like to get the crowd on board and never take ourselves too seriously. As for the amount of shows we’ve played; BOA will be number 14.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We were honoured to be invited to play BOA. As with a great deal of bands at our level we were going to enter M2TM and slug it out for a place on the bill. However, we were fortunate enough to cause a metal blip on the radar of the right people who organise Bloodstock. We received a welcome surprise in the form of an email, inviting us to play one bleary eyed morning.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Heavy, Groovy and riff upon riff. We’ve worked hard to build a show and a cohesive flowing set. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so come and put your chest on the barrier and prepare to take a bite. Or, get bitten, whichever comes first.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
It’s unfortunate that we have to clash with anyone. We’re attending BOA as fans and we’ll as performers so missing anyone is a shame. You never know what you’ll see or discover at BOA. We’re especially thankful that we won’t be clashing with some of our favourites such as Black Label Society and Opeth.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently we’re in the process of writing the follow up to our 2014 EP; Horned Hands and Hardened Necks in addition to developing our live set for future shows.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
We’re a fairly laid back bunch so wild never really comes into play at camp Viper. At a recent gig though we had a fairly conservative looking older gentlemen (he looked a bit like William Shatner), completely off his tits, air guitaring and headbanging like he was channelling the spirit of Jimi Hendrix on get high as fuck day in rock heaven. Seriously, this dude was absolutely fucking going for it from start to finish of the set. We mocked him, we cheered him and got the crowd to applaud and celebrate him. Unbeknown to Miss Viper, it was her uncle.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Don’t rush to get out there with half arsed attitudes and incomplete or poorly produced songs Make sure your band as a product is fine tuned and polished. It’s so tempting to dive on stage as soon as you can but taking a bit of extra time in the practice room can make all the difference to how your band is received and perceived. It’s far more fun when you are doing it right. Also, don’t expect anything to land in your lap for free. You have to love what you’re doing to keep going because for every soaring, amazing high in this game, there are an equal amount of crushing lows that’ll take their toll very quickly if you don’t hold on to the passion to reinforce your figurative heavy metal jaw.
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 who deserve some serious recognition!
It’d have to be Down as the headliners, Piss Viper in the middle and our good friends Pizza Tramp, opening up with their furious, erratic, no fucks given punk rock.
Piss Viper play the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Friday.