On Sunday the 14th of August, the last day of this year’s awesome Bloodstock Open Air, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Glasgow’s own heavy rockers Attica Rage. The band (lead vocalist/guitarist Jonny Parr, guitarist Stevie Bell, bassist Matthew Ward and drummer Richie Rage) and I talked about their Bloodstock experience, their latest album Warheads LTD (review here), their future plans and more.
All – It is!
Jonny Parr – It’s been a long time coming.
I’ve been bumping into you throughout the whole weekend, and I believe you’ve been here the whole time. Have you enjoyed yourselves so far?
Matthew Ward – We have. We don’t think we’ve made fools of ourselves so far…we don’t remember if we have!
Are you saving that for after the show?
MW – Yeah!
So who have you seen so far?
Stevie Bell – Twisted Sister. They stole the show!
MW – Gojira ripped the place to pieces last night!
Richie Rage – The band that really ripped to pieces for me was Acid Reign.
Awesome. So you guys are headlining the Jagermeister stage tonight. Your set is sandwiched wonderfully between Anthrax and Slayer. Are you guys looking forward to it?
JP – Absolutely! You can’t go wrong when Anthrax is your support band!
JP – The Jagermeister stage is right next to the main stage so everyone can come and see us after Anthrax.
MW – Come to our little den! I’m sure it will be very fun!
So now we’ll talk a wee bit about your latest record which is Warheads LTD. How’s the fan reaction been to the album so far?
JP – Yeah it’s been awesome! One of our fans already has two tattoos of our previous albums and now he’s added the new one to his forearm. That’s a pretty good sign! All of the reviews have been very good. The album has been out since June so we’re just starting to include it in the live set. It’s still early days at the moment.
So what sort of setlist can we expect here at Bloodstock tonight? Will there be a lot of songs from Warheads LTD and maybe some classics as well?
JP – Tonight we’re playing 45 minutes so we’re doing a couple of songs from the new album and a couple of older ones.
MW – We’re keeping it heavy…no ballads tonight!
So Warheads LTD is quite different when you compare it to your older albums like your debut, Ruin Nation. There’s a lot of ideas going on when you listen to it. How would you describe the growth of the band and any influences or inspirations you’ve picked up along the way?
JP – Well we like to try a variety of ideas and mix it up a bit. The main progression I think we’ve made is in terms of the songwriting. We’ve developed a lot in that side of things. This is the first album to feature Matthew who joined us a couple of years ago.
MW – I got a couple of writing credits in there, and the crazy bastards even let me have an instrumental on the album!
JP – The thing that really bugs me though us metal, for all its variety, also has a habit of pigeonholing bands. We like lots of different bands and if people don’t like the variety then so what? We do what we want to do you know? There’s always a ballad or two on each album, and sometimes we like to try something unusual.
RR – The thing is, if you play the album back after recording it, and you still like it then that’s good. You make the album to please yourself first and foremost.
Aye definitely. So looking to the future, and I know it’s jumping ahead a wee bit since Warheads LTD is just out, can we expect a continuation of the musical experience while staying true to the core of the Attica Rage sound?
RR – Good question!
JP – Yeah I think so. People tend to analyse albums but in reality when you write an album, the songs kind of take shape at the time (during the writing process). Some bands will write a concept album or set out to make a specific kind of album, but we’ve never really done that. We’ve just thought “what songs have we written at the moment? Let’s work with them.”
RR – As long as they’re good songs!
JP – Yeah! We like to do some heavy stuff, some rocky stuff…
MW – Some jazz!
RR – Jonny’s right. Our song “Falling Down”, when that was in its early days, Jonny came up with the the riff and I was like “No, no I don’t like it. It’s not us!”, but we played around with it and it works.
And you made a video for it.
MW – yeah.. that one has been around for a while though. I remember when the riff for “Falling Down” was first written…a lot of the song’s on Warheads LTD have been around for a while.
JP – We like to road test songs for a new album on your. I think it’s a good idea to road test new material.
MW – Well with “Beyond the 45”, we road tested it last year with no lyrics. It was in the setlist as “new song”
It must have been a success since it opens the new album!
RR – I must admit it’s one of my favourites on the new album.
MW – Our little Scottish jig!
So we’ll wrap this up right now to keep it short and sweet. What’s your future plans after Bloodstock? Maybe some more video singles off Warheads LTD, more tours in support of the album, and maybe some festivals next year?
JP – We’ve got two videos planned. One is just a normal video and the other is a lyric video. We’re graduating Rockwich festival in Cheshire on the 28th of August. We’ve also got a headlining tour of the UK and Ireland from September til November.
Definitely something to look forward to then! Thank you very much guys!
All – Thank you, too!
Attica Rage’s latest album Warheads LTD is available now via Off Yer Rocka Recordings and the band are currently on tour throughout the UK and Ireland promoting the album.