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!
zhOra – Hobgoblin New Blood Stage, Saturday
Simple things first – Where are you guys from?
We are from Clonmel, County Tipperary in the South of Ireland. As far as small, rural towns go it’s a solid 5/7. Marks deducted for the heroin epidemic and over-zealous traffic wardens. Truth be told, our bass player is actually from Dublin but he is an utter degenerate and we don’t take too kindly to his big-city, fancy ideas.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
It’ll be six years this November. We been considering treating ourselves to a healthy brandy to memorialise those left in our wake.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Zhora is a character in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”. She has a particularly heinous death scene where she tumbles through an offensive amount of plate glass windows after being shot in the back by Harrison Ford, the swine that he is. We decided our band should have all the sonic characteristics of an android making utter shite of a shop window and we haven’t looked back since. Also, we stylize it “zhOra” because of reasons.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Irish progressive sludge. The music we play smolders and explodes at the same time. We write saucy hooks, offensive polyrhythms and blastbeat the shit out of it when applicable. What makes us unique is that we don’t sound like anyone else. Every band will have sonic fingerprints of their influences within their sound, as do we, but you’ve genuinely never heard anybody do it like this.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
Relentless, taxing on your brain and ultimately rewarding. People will watch us over others in the same way they slow down to look at a car crash. There’s something horribly enthralling about what we do. You’ll be covered in sonic filth after we play and you won’t know why you enjoy it so much.
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
We’ve never been. However, we do plan to beat everyone we meet in a game of hurling. It’s part of our culture along with semi-functional alcoholism and mumbling.
Did you enter M2TM thinking you could win it? Which region did you win?
We seized the day in the Dublin leg of the M2TM final. This was our second dalliance with Mr Simon Hall and this time we managed to coerce him to let us through with promises of sweets and money in the back of our van.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
The main thing you’ll notice about our set is that it’ll revolve around you not having a choice. You won’t have a choice about whether you can withstand the sludge in your ears or not. You won’t have a choice in trying to wrap your brain around where you think things repeat. You won’t have a choice in letting four wild Irishmen scream into your very soul. What we do, we do for ourselves but you won’t have a choice in coming along for the ride.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not squished up next to so you can see them play?
We’ll fight any man and tear the shirt clean off their back. In saying that, I do hope we’re not on the same time as Hatebreed. I want a go at stealing Jamey Jasta’s bandana.
What are you working on at the moment?
We have an full album cycle that we’re beginning with our performance at Bloodstock. Our second, and newest is called Ethos, Pathos, Logos and it’s an hour long concept album about cannibals, aliens and religious zealots. We have three videos in the pipeline, a physical release, launch dates and a hefty tour on the way. We’ve been planning our assault on the general populace for some time now, so again, you won’t really have a choice.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
When we were on the road to Wacken last year we narrowly avoided being arrested by Belgian police. Getting lost on the way to our (luxury) camping ground was our first mistake. Our second was driving around nice well-to-do estates in a battered Ford Transit van, knocking on doors looking for directions. To be fair, I wouldn’t answer the door to myself either.
In any case we found the place eventually and stayed the night. The next morning most of us drove the mile into town to get some food, leaving one behind to get the BBQ up and running. Supplies gathered, we remembered we needed more plates and the like and pulled into a supermarket, leaving me in the van. Someone must have recognised the van from the night before and called the Rozzers because before I knew it, here’s me explaining why we had five hurleys, a lot of toilet roll and a vegetarian’s nightmare in the back of the van. After assuring the nice policewoman that we definitely had proof of insurance and would leave the Belgians in the nice houses alone, we got back to our campsite two hours after we had left. I wondered had our compatriot worried about our conspicuous absence but he was fine. He was down the pub talking to a truck driver who made a mint redesigning the Samsonite briefcase in the 80’s and was also a magician.
To his credit, the BBQ was warmed up.
Jäger, Hobgoblin Ale, Kraken, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon? And, yes, we’ll be counting all the votes!
As strapping young men of Irish descent, we find the notion of letting any fortifying beverage go to waste utterly repugnant, so we’ll take 30 or more bottles of each tipple, and of course; one for yourself.