Band of the Day: Black Water Chemistry

Our continuing mission, to bring you bands you may not have heard of before and give you a chance to add to that music collection. Today we head to South Wales, where men are men, women are women and sheep are scared…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Newport, South Wales, birthplace of British Democracy and the UK’s youngest city. Although we’re all basically valleys guys who have relocated, we’re pretty proud of our roots.

How did you meet?

We’ve known each other for a while, some members longer than others. We’ve also got brothers in the band, Matt and Chris. The organic bit was between Matt and Chris having an idea to change musical conversations into real music, we auditioned Gizz who I’ve known forever, Dan was added, then Murph who was previously in Rock outfit GoX. And now here we are!

How long have you been playing as a band?

3 years in our current guise coming up. But we’ve been a project I’d say for about 4 years now.

Before you get sick of being asked. where does the band name come from?

Black water is waste, chemistry is the analysis of compounds. It’s about missing the bigger picture of what something is by always focusing on the micro rather than the macro.

What are your influences?

Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Architects, Tool, the list goes on. Basically anything with an idea and a progressive attitude to the way the medium is used. I think we’re all pretty easily bored by 4/4 rock and roll by numbers. It doesn’t stimulate the grey matter too much, although I’m sure to a man we all love AC/DC!

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

In the scene at the moment a lot makes us unique. We sit in a musical area that’s pretty unoccupied. We fuse elements of darkness and light so we have elements of deathcore and elements of old-school emo. There’s my grunge roots that always leave a mark on everything we do in some way. I’d describe our sound as modern metalcore with a progressive edge. That’s at a push.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

We explore the relationship between beginning and end a lot; everything in life is cyclical, life and death, darkness and light, day and night. So that is a common theme if you listen hard enough but I don’t want to say too much. Sometimes it’s however you interpret the message that is the right way. It’s probably best not to pull the art apart too much otherwise the picture ends up distorted and loses all meaning. Songs can have deeply personal themes that are totally different for different people. It’s very subjective, I suppose.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

I’ve never counted but I’d guess about 50 now, it’s pretty intense so we are told. We try and make it as engaging as possible. We don’t really ease off at all and it’s quite exhausting being up there. It’s a very energetic performance where we are aware that you have to give energy to the crowd to receive that energy back. You can’t just stand still during a breakdown with a huge drop, it just doesn’t sit right or feel like the right thing to do.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Probably climb on gear that I shouldn’t climb on, frontal mains and stuff. I try not to do the whole “wild rock star” thing, it’s a bit 80’s and isn’t at all what we are about. I prefer to be like Vedder and just roam the stage and use things as a climbing frame.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

We use a lot of Sure gear such as in-ear monitors and SM58 mics because they are bulletproof and road-proven kit. Chris is playing a Schecter at the moment which he loves, Seymour Duncan pickups, Planet Waves cables, Sabian Cymbals and Pearl drums, Bugera and Peavey amps, Palmer and Orange cabs. Good gear is essential, anyone who says gear doesn’t matter is talking rubbish. Our touring setup is pretty compact 2×12 cabs and heads, one guitar effects rack, my IEM rack, amps and pedalboards. We’re used to being on the road a lot.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Our New EP Return to Ashes and a video and single off that which I can’t say too much about yet. It’s out on 31/8/2018 and is a big step up for us in terms of pushing ourselves creatively.

What are your plans for 2018?

Play the shows we have booked for the summer and a six date tour to promote our new EP in September time. We’ve just played Breaking Bands Festival main stage which was awesome. We’ll be visiting Ebbw Vale, Bristol and Manchester respectively over the coming weeks and will then be preparing for that. We will probably go back into the studio to write at Christmas time for a few months.

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?

Meshuggah could headline, that would be awesome and I’d like our friends in Salt Bath to open because they are so visually and audibly arresting live. That would be a diverse show, which would be great.

A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Haast’s Eagled, Newport doom legends are an absolutely incredible band who have put out some amazing stuff, our studio mates Salt Bath for all your queer punk/noise needs, and (if you’ve been under a rock for the last three years) Venom Prison who are ridiculously good.

Can you give us a question to ask a future Band of the Day?

What do you enjoy the least about playing live? That’s a pretty good one, for me it’s all the waiting around between bands and soundcheck. That and service station hopping on tour, an interesting one. Everyone only asks about the good bits, probably because it’s so enjoyable.

Black Water Chemistry: facebook | twitterbandcamp | youtube

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