As ever, we’re going to try and cover every single Jäger, New Blood and SOPHIE stage band before Bloodstock kicks off on August 10th. Your chance to check them out and start planning which bands to get there early for!
Trust us when we tell you that this is bound to result in some frustrating clashes because, as ever, there are some great bands on these three stages.
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Season’s End – Sophie Lancaster Stage, Friday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Deepest darkest Hampshire.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Season’s End started in the late ’90s back when we were at college. We were most active around 2002-2007 where we built up a strong following across the UK goth/metal scene and beyond. The lineup has changed over the years but this current lineup has been stable since 2007. We’d been on hiatus for some time until we were finally persuaded to regroup for a one-off gig in Autumn last year. News of this gig sparked off renewed interest among our followers and invited other gig offers including this one.
Where does the name of the band come from?
The band was named by one of the founding members. He nicked the name from a song title as it seemed to fit with our ethereal melancholy image. I suppose we might be indirectly named after the Marillion album although we were unaware of it at the time. Season’s End is a name that’s ambiguous enough to allow us to explore a range of music. For example, if we were called Satanic Death Bitch or something, you already have a preconception of what you’re in for. With us, you just have to wait and see…
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I guess I would say “epic metal”. You might hear influences such as Anathema, Devin Townsend, A Perfect Circle, Dream Theater, The Gathering, Paradise Lost and Porcupine Tree slipping out occasionally. What excites us musically is dynamics – how you can push and pull the soundscape in different directions to affect the mood and ultimately tell the story.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
If you’re looking for melody, harmony, dynamics and a bit more texture to your heavy music then that’s what we’re all about. We put a lot of energy and passion in. Also, our singer is heavily pregnant – I’m pretty sure none of the other bands can say that!
Have you ever played Bloodstock before? If so, when?
Bloodstock is very important to us. We were first asked to headline the second stage in 2004 by Bloodstock founder, Vince Brotheridge. At that time we had made some inroads in the UK goth scene but we were always a bit too heavy to be fully accepted. This gig was pivotal in establishing us in the wider metal community. The response was so good that Vince invited us back to play the indoor main stage in 2005. Despite being early on in the day we played to a packed hall and earned a KKKKK review in Kerrang! We were then asked back for a third year running to play the main stage at BOA 2006 – the second year of the open air festival. I’ve been coming to Bloodstock every year since (bar one) and performed with Nephwrack in 2007 and Tempus Fusion – along with Season’s End bandmates, Tim and James – in 2012. James also performed at Bloodstock a couple of times with The Defiled.
This year I will also be playing with Dendera on the same stage, on the same day, making it my sixth AND seventh performance at Bloodstock!
How/when did you find out that you’d be playing the SOPHIE stage?
At last year’s BOA, a good friend of the band and I had been pestering Simon Hall to book either Dendera or Season’s End for this year. We were all pretty hammered so I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it. Lo and behold! Earlier this year Dendera were sent an invitation to play, then, to my great surprise, a few weeks later a message turned up in Season’s End’s inbox. It’s a huge honour to be playing the Sophie Stage – the Sophie Lancaster Foundation’s message of tolerance and education is one we all support.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
A good dose of live favourites from our glory days and some newer stuff that people may not have heard. It’ll be a mixture of heavy, epic, slow, fast… a bit of everything.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Soilwork and Decapitated, although I’m pretty certain we’re going to miss them.
What are you working on at the moment?
We were working on new material before our hiatus and so now we’re picking it back up and refining it for an eventual release.
Jäger, Hobgoblin Ale, Kraken, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon? And, yes, we’ll be counting all the votes!
I’ll have the cider if you’re offering…