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!
The Raven Age – SOPHIE Stage, Saturday
Questions answered by George Harris of The Raven Age.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re based around London/Essex
How did you meet?
Myself and guitarist Dan met via our other halves. His wife and my girlfriend are sisters. We clicked through an interest in music and guitar and decided to form the band after a few years of jamming and writing together.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Our first live performance was in Feb 2013, which was a small showcase at a studio in Hertford. However the idea behind the band was there a long while before that. It took us quite a while to recruit the entire band. There were me Dan (guitar) and Matt (bass) playing along to a laptop for a good year!
Where does the name of the band come from?
The band name is derived from the ravens of the Tower Of London. Historically, the ravens are guardians of the tower and must dwell within grounds at all times. Legend has it that if the ravens are ever lost or fly away, the tower and monarchy of Britain will fall.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Luckily we’re generally into similar music. We all have our favourites but are definitely on the same wave length when it comes to bands. I think metalcore and modern styles of metal were breaking through at the time when we started getting into to rock music, so naturally we fell in love with bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Avenged Sevenfold, Parkway Drive etc. These are the bands I think we take most influence from musically, even though we’re slightly different.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We label ourselves as melodic metal. Pretty broad I know, but it describes us perfectly. We're a modern metal band which you could say sounds metalcore, musically, but we use clean vocals only on top of the low tuned heavy music, which makes it a different thing. We’re also influenced by film score and epic music which I think is apparent in our songs.
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
We’re extremely energetic on stage. Even if you’re not into our sound, we’ll give you something to watch. We love to utilise the stage and make the most of the space we’re given. We just love playing live, there’s no better feeling than standing up on stage playing your songs in front of a bunch of metalheads losing their shit.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We actually found out whilst on tour. We’ve just been lucky enough to tour around the world for 6 months supporting Iron Maiden. We received an email explaining we’d been selected to play Bloodstock Festival, which we were obviously over the moon about! We’ve never played it before and always aspired to as a band and as fans from a young age. Also, we had nothing booked in at the time after that tour, so to seal Bloodstock in 10 days after we returned was great as we can now keep the buzz going and prolong the post tour blues.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We have a half an hour set, which will include our entire debut EP along with a track from our forthcoming debut album.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Definitely Gojira. One of the tightest bands ever and I’m sure everyone will be going to check those guys out, including us!
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve recently announced a date for our debut album Darkness Will Rise. Being a self managed band, this means we have shit loads of work to do. We’re creating marketing campaigns and a timeline strategy for everything we need to do to make the most of this release.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
I beat the shit out of a bear in Canada.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Stick to your guns. Don’t pander to anyone in a ‘higher position’ telling you to sound like another band or be a certain style just to pigeon hole your band and make you easy to market.
Be yourselves and stop at nothing till you get what you want.
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 think we’d all love to support Avenged Sevenfold. That’s one metal band that we all agree on and they’re obviously smashing it right now so the gig would be pretty epic! We actually all went to see them at Wembley arena recently and I’m sure we’ll be going to the O2 this time around. A mate of ours plays in a local band Far From History who are actually playing Bloodstock too! We're yet to share the stage with them and they’re a real decent band so I think that gig would be a great start.
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
We’re playing the Sophie Lancaster stage and we’re on at 12:40pm.