Boss Keloid are on the ascendancy right now and we’re glad to have a catch-up with them, and to feature them as today’s Band of the Day. All questions answered by Ste Arands who hits things with sticks.
We’re all from the Wigan area or nearby.
How did you meet?
I met Al in 2004 through a mutual friend John Briscoe, the drummer in his old band The Hicks. Al runs Urban Sound Rehearsal Studios in Wigan, and I used to jam there with old bands of my own and got to know him well. Paul started the band with Paul and Chris Thomason in 2010 and they used to jam there too. I think that’s where Paul met Al. I only joined after Chris left in 2011 as Al asked me to join. I’d heard the first EP Angular Beef Lesson by that point, and fancied the challenge. Paul and Al knew Adam through gigs and he joined when Liam (our first bass player) left. Matt Milne is a good mate of mine, who I introduced to the band last year. We all met Charlie Seisay through watching him lay down the beef with Halflings Leaf.
How long have you been playing as a band?
With a few member changes, the band have been together since 2010. I’ve been playing with them since 2011.
Before you get sick of being asked – where does the band name come from?
It’s the name of an Iron Monkey track. Paul named the band from the track as it was a strange name.
What are your influences?
We have quite a big mix of influences between us, and I’d like to think we’re all quite open minded when it comes to listening to new stuff. We listen to everything from reggae to classical to prog to jazz to anything else you care to recommend.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I wouldn’t really know how to describe it I’m afraid. We’ve been described by others in some weird ways before though. “Weed-ravaged schizo-prog-doom” is a personal favourite! I think the large mix of influences we have individually makes Keloid kind of unique. We’re also quite democratic when we write now. Any idea is welcome, and we’ll try anything at least once, but we’re also comfortable being very honest with each other when an idea is bollocks.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The lyrical themes in our songs tend to change on each album. Almost all of the lyrics on Melted On The Inch have a positive message or theme to them. Some are about personal battles and tragedies, but even in those, the overall message is a positive one. Herb also had bit of that, but also stuff about drugs and one on religion. Teeth was about all sorts. I’m not sure I can even tell you what those are about now. I know there’s one about a symmetrical killer prostitute and goat-men are mentioned somewhere too. I’ll have to ask Al.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We definitely try to put everything into a show when we play. We’ve had some good crowds over the last few years and they’ve been great to play to, but we’ve played to 3 or 4 people before too and had an awesome night. Either way we try to have a good time and just enjoy it as much as possible. It’s naff to watch bands who look like they’re just “going through the motions” so to speak. As for how many shows we’ve played, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I believe we’ve reached double figures though.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
There have been a few. Saw a drunk guy fall over a monitor once, straight onto his face. Nearly choked laughing (he was ok). That was watching Al’s old band, The Hicks. Keloid once turned up to a gig to find a very pleasant, but very deaf sound guy at the venue. He’d wired the whole P.A. up wrong and it sounded completely ridiculous. Alex helped rewire it all, and a girl who was with one of the other bands ended up behind the desk while the sound-guy had a pint! Brilliant! Some of Al’s occasional “dancing” can be the highlight of the night for me though. He just does whatever he feels like! And his choice of move can sometimes be bizarre and dazzling in equal measure. There’s a video of us playing “Lung Mountain” floating about somewhere, where I’m sure you can see his “Standing Breast Stroke” in all its glory. Beautiful.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Paul uses two Matamp heads (GT2 and GT150) through two 412 Matamp cabs, 1983 Gibson LP Custom with original Tim Shaw pickups through various combinations of EH Pog 2, EH Ravish Sitar, EH Deluxe Big Muff and Boss DD7.
Alex uses a Hagstrom Viking with Line 6 Flextone through Mesa 212 and multi effects board.
Matt uses a Dave Smith Morpho x4 into Boss ME-50B, Novation Launchkey, Propellerhead Reason 10, and a Behringer Eurorack UB1002.
I play a Tama Superstar-Hyperdrive birch kit with 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″ toms and 22″ x 20″ kick, Tama SLP vintage hammered steel 14″ snare, mix of Sabian and Paiste cymbals, plus anything else that sounds interesting when I hit it.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
At the moment we’re promoting our third album Melted On The Inch which came out on 27th April [JohnH reviewed it for us – Mosh]. Please tell everyone you know. It’s quite a different sound to our last two albums, so we were preparing for everyone to hate it! We’ve had some great feedback so far though, which is always a positive, and we’re thrilled people are digging it, and can still hear ‘Keloid’ in it despite the changes.
What are your plans for 2018?
Other than continuing to promote this album, we’ve a few cool shows lined up including ArcTanGent Festival in August and Into The Void festival in the Netherlands in October. Our first show this year is in Manchester at the totally bodacious Rebellion Bar on June 16th. Before we recorded Herb Your Enthusiasm, we’d played those songs live a number of times. These shows will be the first with our new line up though, and also the first time we’ve played Melted On The Inch live. And let me tell you, we’re all absolutely gagging for it.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you?
That’s a tough question. I’d love to support King Crimson, or Gojira… but there are so many to choose from! As support – purely because they never fail to put me in a good mood – Ten Foot Wizard. Gary’s leggings and charming Irish wit are enough to make anybody’s evening absolutely top-hole.
From previous Band of the Day Empire Warning: If a Norse God had to take over from one band member what god will it be, what position would they be filling?
I read this question, and knowing nothing of Norse Gods, visited thenorsegods.com to scan a list of my choices. I very quickly settled on “Ull – God of archery and skiing” as it’s hilarious and made me spit my brew. Who would Ull replace? The only person anywhere near as ridiculous as a “god of skiing” is Paul, so it would have to be him.
From another BotD, The Crawling: Being in a band can be as much of curse as a source of enjoyment and satisfaction. What keeps you going when things get tough?
It can be hard at times definitely, but we’re all very good mates too, which makes it easier to be in each others pockets when we have to be. We also like to keep working on new stuff all the time, and also play with other people in our own time. I think it helps stop things feeling boring or stale, and it’s always good to take a break from things and keep things varied.
And from King Bison (UK): If you could join any band on stage for one song, who would it be and what track would you play?
This is another tough one. Personally, either “Sound Of Muzak” or “Futile” with Porcupine Tree. Gavin Harrison’s drumming is a huge influence, and I love the parts he played on both of those, so to give those a go live would be incredible. I’d probably shit my pants with the excitement though.