Band of the Day: Arkdown

Sometimes we give you a Band of the Day which is something completely new to you. Here, we’ve got something a bit more straightforward.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re based in around the Sheffield, South Yorkshire area.

How did you meet?

Ed (bass) and Mike D (guitar) had been in bands together goring up in their teens. Alex (drums) and Ed had known each other since nursery and brought Alex into fold just before forming Arkdown. Kyle and Mike W we both contacted through adverts when looking for new members to join shortly after Arkdown formed.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band formed in late 2015. Kyle, Ed, Mike D and Alex were a part of the original line up. Mike W joined Aug 2017.

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

We could go on forever about this but essentially it’s something we came up with that ticked a lot of boxes for us such as conveying the kind of image we wanted, being unlikely to be used anywhere else and also wouldn’t help you in guessing what kind of music we played if you just saw our name written down on a line up.

What are your influences?

Growing up listening music in the 2000s, we took a lot of influence from early metalcore, deathcore and other contemporary metal bands where our sound is concerned. As we mature as a band as well as individual musicians we appreciate bands for other reasons such as efforts put into live performances. We feel a lot of modern metal bands, certainly at independent levels, often forget that it’s at the very least a 50/50 split between what the audience hears and what they see that makes up the quality of a show. We take a lot of influence from bands and musicians who pay mind to that and bring a unique live energy to the stage.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

As a modern metal band, we draw heavily on metalcore and deathcore styles and what we find is that many bands of that persuasion tend to sit in one camp or the other. We try to bridge the gap between the two with the hooky and melodic riffage of metalcore but without the typical clean vocals choruses you tend to find, favouring more aggressive vocals. Likewise we pack our music out with the brutality you’d expect from deathcore in the form of blast beats, double bass and death metal low tuned shredding but we’re not afraid to break it up, change pace and totally lift the mood of a song.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Generally our lyrics tend to be quite personal to our vocalist, Kyle. Our latest release, The Calling, is a nod to the French term “L’appel du vide” which literally translates to “the call of the void” and concerns our subconscious urge to throw ourselves into danger. The lyrical theme around this record is about the lure of self-destructive tendencies.

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

Our live show is intense. Our shows are well planned and we bring custom lighting rigs with us to every show, pre-programmed to emphasis the speed and impact of our songs and really make it visually intense to match our sound. The way we structure our set means there is very little silence in there and momentum is maintained all the way through. It’s very much a performance and not just a band practise in front of a crowd. We played around 37 shows in 2017 and we’re probably on for a similar amount by the end of 2018.

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

We once played a hometown show at a venue popular with university students and a large group came in dress in fancy dress, including one guy dressed as a giant juice box with a huge straw and everything. We got him up on stage to mosh with us during the set and Kyle handed him the mic to see what he’d do. He immediately announced to the crowd he could do ‘Inuit throat singing’ and proceeded to make the strangest sound we’ve ever heard a person make. Needless to say the crowd loved it and we rolled with it.

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

  • Both Guitars: Ibanez guitars and Line 6 Helix amps
  • Bass: Ibanez guitar and Ashdown amp
  • Drums: Tama drums and hardware and Meinl cymbals

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

Right now we’re showcasing our sophomore EP, The Calling.

What are your plans for 2018?

The remainder of 2018 is all about pushing The Calling. We have a few nice shows lined up to but other than that, we’ll be planning for 2019 as there are further tour plans in the works.

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

Supporting Whitechapel or Thy Art Is Murder would be the dream for us. Opening band would be our brothers in band called Isolate based out of Leeds. They’re of a similar style to us and we’ve toured together before and they’re just generally really good guys.

Arkdown: facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube | bandcamp

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