Close to home (Glasgow-ish!) with today’s BotD who we have featured before in a handful of live reviews. Time to find out a little more about Centrilia…
Airdrie / Glasgow / Stirling areas of Scotland
How did you meet?
We’ve all played in bands that shared the same stage many times over the years. Going all the way back to 1996, a good 23 years ago!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Just over 6 years, since about Feb 2013. Davy and Andy passed some demos and riffs between each other and decided to get into a room to have a jam. There was a definite chemistry from the get go, so the hunt for a bassist and singer began. Garth played in Andy’s previous band End of Everything for many years so he was a natural first choice. Shortly followed by the opportune timing of Gav emailing Davy to ask if he knew any bands looking for a vocalist which couldn’t have come at a better time. We all knew Gav’s vocal abilities from being the front man in other bands, he then demoed some rough vocals ideas over one of our demos and the rest is history. We finally had a fully functioning metal band.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Never get sick of this. The name is derived from a coal mining town in Pennsylvania called Centralia. In the 50s a fire was set at the town dump to clean up for Memorial Day celebrations due its close proximity to the local cemetery. But the blaze got out of control and ignited a coal vein beneath the town that has been burning ever since. It’s estimated that it’ll continue to burn for another 250 years. Due to the toxic smoke that comes up through the ground and the sinkholes that open up to expose fiery pits like “a gateway to hell”, the town has become a renowned ghost town and the inspiration for the horror game/movie series Silent Hill…and also our name which Andy spelt wrong when he wrote it down.
What are your influences?
In no order… Pantera, Machine Head, Slayer, Nothingface, Norma Jean, Scarve, Decapitated, Meshuggah, Tool. Gav likes his classic 90s mid-west Emo
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We take quite a broad spectrum of metal – the classic (to us at least) and modern – and try to find the right balance of heaviness and melody whilst focusing above everything else on tight song structure. We primarily write for ourselves, and pay little attention to what’s “on trend”. The music, song structure and lyrics are everything – fuck image.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Gav spends a lot of time on lyrics writing and re-writing multiple drafts until they’re on the money. Thematically they vary from deeply personal to the more abstract and ponderous. There’s no central concept but, we tend to gravitate towards scrutinising morality, mortality and social/political injustices. All the happy stuff.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Short answer a lot, but not as many as we’d like. When we write we are always thinking about how the song will come across live. We like to think our live shows are tight, heavy and we put every bit of energy we have into them. A lot of sweat and broken drum sticks.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We did a show in Elgin, that had a couch on the stage – as we were starting a bus load of eastern European workers piled in and rammed the place. Luckily, they were mostly all metalheads so when we kicked in they tore the place apart. Bodies flying, dancing, smashed pints, a fight, one guys supping his pint quietly on the couch up beside the band, punters forward-rolling over pedal boards…not even mentioning the telly on behind the band showing a Liverpool v Chelsea game. That night always sticks out as the most we’ve laughed during a gig; proper old-school chaotic punk vibe.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Guitars – Ibanez 7 string, Dimarzio pick-ups; Charvel Desolation 6 String, EMG’s – all through Kemper Profiler amp. with Nolly Getgood profiles.
Bass – Warwick 5-String Thumb basses; Darkglass amp & pedal arsenal
Drums – Tama kit; Tama Speed Cobra pedals; Mapex Brass Master Black Panther snare; a collection of various interchangeable cymbals – Sabian Mega Bell ride is a staple though.
Vox./Samples – Shure mics & in-ears; Roland ST-404 sampler; currently experimenting with a TC Helicon Voicelive 3 for live FX.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our debut album is released on 28th June this year, mixed by the legend Terry Date, mastered by another legend Pelle Henricsson and recorded with an upcoming legend Steven Jones. The first single was released on May 24th, we’ll also be playing a special live show to promote it on 20th July in Glasgow.
We’ve also kindly been added to From Sorrow to Serenity’s album launch show Saturday 8th June at Drygate Brewery with loads of killer bands – Scordatura, Clawhammer & Dancing With Dakota.
What are your plans for 2019/2020?
Promoting the album launch, releasing some videos and booking as many live shows as we can…if anyone wants us to play their neck of the woods, get in touch.
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!
Tough one, we’d love to support someone like Gojira but… would be worried about being blown off the stage. Gav would say Norma Jean because that’s his answer to most things.
To open for us there are many … many … many bands to pick from in and around Scotland, but a band that we love and don’t get to play with enough are Lucifer’s Corpus from Edinburgh. They’re just ‘hold your pint up, bang your head & enjoy’ music.