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 from Norwich, in the UK
How did you meet?
Matt and Gareth met at auditions for another project that never quite got going, Gareth had been in a band with Mike before and Mike was still in another band with Pete when Soulborn first started.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Since 2010, possibly even late 2009
Where does the name of the band come from?
Mike randomly wrote the word on the side of a lighter while in the pub once and it looked cool, it just kinda fitted!
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Musically, we’ve got pretty broad influences. There’s classic metal like Anthrax and early Metallica, there’s Grunge like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, Southern and Heavy Rock like Down and Black Label Society, heavier stuff like Meshuggah and American Head Charge, more tech stuff like SikTh and Every Time I Die and a hefty dose of riffs from bands like Rage Against The Machine. Some of us like some things more than others but if it’s guitars being played loud we’ll probably be into it.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music is mostly about riffs and keeping a groove going. If it doesn’t make us want to move in some way then we can’t expect to get other people banging their heads or stomping their feet, so that’s what we aim for. It’s heavy but we try and keep melody in there, or some bounce or something to keep it from being one-dimensional. We get a lot of comments from people on Mike’s voice too, our sound wouldn’t be the same with anyone else’s vocals.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
No idea how many shows we’ve played now, it’s not that we’re gigging constantly but we’ve been doing it for a while now. When we’re on stage we play like we mean it, we wrote these songs to get heads nodding and fists pumping so we’re leading by example! Playing live is always a rush so we give every show the energy it deserves.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
When we entered M2TM we knew we had what it’d take to see the finals, but there’s so many great bands around Norwich at the moment anything could have happened. Mainly we entered M2TM because some of the best nights in Norwich’s live calendar have been at the last couple of years’ M2TM rounds, we just wanted to be involved! Some of the local crowds can still be a bit inclined to stand outside smoking until their friend’s band are on then leave once they’re finished, but that didn’t seem to be happening at these competitions so we figured we could reach a few more people – getting the chance to play Bloodstock has really made that one come true!
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We’re going to keep our set nice and punchy, there won’t be any filler! No ballads, no love songs, just lots of riffs and groove!
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
We’re really hoping we’re not going to clash with Death – Human and Symbolic are two of our vocalist Mike’s all time favourites. It’s a real shame it can’t be the original line up but it’ll still be an awesome show, RIP Chuck. If we were on the Friday we’d hate to clash with Armoured Saint and on the Sunday it would have been Black Label Society.
What are you working on at the moment?
Once we get back from Bloodstock we’re going to get back to work on new songs, we’ve got about three that were almost finished but we kept getting to a sticking point and working on one of the others instead, then going around in circles like that! We didn’t want to just say “that’ll do” so it’ll be for the best in the long run. Aside from that we’re going to try to get some more shows around the country and get more people to hear our music, that’s what it’s all about for us really.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
The best way to hear about our escapades is to be in one – come to one of our shows and bring your drinking shoes!
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Get out there and play it like you mean it, enjoy yourself and remember it’s a show so the odd missed note won’t even be noticed. Write the music you want to, if you’re trying to fit into a mould set by another band you’ll always be in their shadow. Don’t copy the big bands, they’re already making albums and the world doesn’t need immitations – play what feels right to you and you’ll find your own sound.
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!
Headlining would have to be Pantera, because who else are you going to have headlining your ideal metal gig?! Opening I think we’d get our friends Hedra on board, they’re a great bunch of guys and they give it everything they’ve got on stage like us.
Soulborn play the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Saturday.