Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Pythia – SOPHIE stage, Sunday
Guitarist Ross answered these for us…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
England. All over England really. We have band members down on the south coast, up in Yorkshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
How did you meet?
Some of us knew each other for years before Pythia, the others were recruited via friends or by coming across them online etc. The idea of Pythia has always been to get the best group of musicians, songwriters and performers together to make music that we can all be really proud of. We have had a few line-up changes along the way (mostly due to people no longer having the time to commit to Pythia) but I feel our line up now really is our strongest to date.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Pythia first started in 2007. We have released three albums since then (Beneath The Veiled Embrace, The Serpent’s Curse and Shadows of a Broken Past) and the current band line up has been together for a little over a year now.
Where does the name of the band come from?
It was from a lyric in the first Pythia song we wrote. The Pythia was an oracle and a powerful priestess in ancient Greece. The name also has links to greek legends of the slaying of a monstrous snake. So all of that added together felt like a cool and fitting name for the band.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Overall, when we first started the band my plan was to try mixing together thrashy power metal (Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, etc.) with slower, darker and more atmospheric metal (Paradise Lost, Amorphis, etc.) with big symphonic keys (Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, etc.) and a powerful female voice on top.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I guess people would describe us as “female fronted symphonic power metal”, but there is more to us that just that. We have fast and furious thashy tracks but we also have slower, darker and more intricate tracks as well. It’s not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s not meant to be either. I like to think we are putting the “metal” back into “female fronted metal” ;-)
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
I think we just fit perfectly at Bloodstock as it is a festival that traditionally has celebrated power metal and thrash and beer and swords and warriors and all that good stuff. That is what we are all about. Plus we wear armour onstage! It’s our first time playing Bloodstock with our new singer Sophie and we had a different lead guitarist and keyboardist last time we played too, so it’s very exciting for us and hopefully there will be a few Pythians amongst the Bloodstock crowd.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We received an email back in march saying they would like us on the bill. That was a very nice email to receive ;-)
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We have quite a long set, I believe, so we should get to play a good mix of tracks off all three of our albums. Usually we tend to lean mainly towards our faster and more energetic songs when playing live, but we’ll chuck in one or two slower songs to keep things nice and varied too.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Well the line up is so strong this year that unfortunately it is probably quite likely that we will clash with a band that some of us would like to have seen. We are playing on Sunday evening, so personally I’m hoping we won’t clash with Symphony X.
What are you working on at the moment?
We have started writing for our fourth album and after Bloodstock we will try to really crack on with that.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
We try to be a pretty professional and reliable band, so we don’t really get up to anything too crazy on tour. There are times when people have a drink too many etc. but nothing has gotten stupid and out of hand so far. In the company of other (well known) bands I have seen some spectacular drunken antics, but it’s not my place to go into details about such things.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Do it because you love it and have a passion for it. Make music that gives you goosebumps. Enjoy it and try not to overthink things. If you are in a band to be rich and famous, get girls (or boys) and live a rock n roll life on tour, then don’t bother. The world doesn’t need any more rockstar wannabes, but it will always need passionate and honest artists.
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!
As we are a “female fronted” metal band, playing with Nightwish would be really cool (as they are one of the biggest influences of this genre) and to open the show I’d go with our good friends Metaprism, who are an excellent band and nice people too.
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
We are playing on the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage on the Sunday around about 7.30pm I believe (although final times haven’t been confirmed yet).