Before social media many of us found bands by accident or from a well versed mate who knew a drummer in a band. On this occasion Heart Through Sacrifice came into my psyche via someone who has been following them for a short while….in their words….You gotta check this band out. I did and I immediatley wanted to know more about them….and get to see them live.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
I (Doug) am actually from New Zealand but have been living in East London for the last 6 or 7 years now, Don (one of my guitarists) is from Ireland but grew up in France and now lives in East London, my other guitarist, JD, is from Reading and the singer, Corinne Cooper is from Gibraltar and now lives just north of London.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The name Heart Through Sacrifice came from the last 10 years that I’ve been away from home (NZ), chasing silly dreams like being a musician, so basically the sacrifice of the things we love in order to satisfy our hearts desire.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
This is a cinematic adventure wrapped up in heavy guitars and powerful vocals that narrate the adventure story under pinning the whole thing… don’t say musical ! I really don’t know what genre it falls under, cinematic prog metal? I’ve been told by those who’ve listened to the whole thing that it sounds and feels like a movie… and that I should make one or at least an animation… but little do they know, doing a solo album means I am broke!
You’re currently working on your debut record, what has this been like recording and writing it?
I have always loved albums that you listen to from start to finish, rather than short snappy singles. Devin Townsend’s Ocean Machine and Fear Factory’s Demanufacture are two big ones that come to mind and so writing and recording something like that on a very tight budget was quite a challenge. It has forced me to use the tools I have to create the sound I did and not to just buy presets which I think is what can cause bands to sound very similar these days.
Also due to budget constraints I recorded all bass & guitars at home using modelling software from Neural DSP, even then I dialled in my own tones for bass and the 6 and 8 string guitars, rather than using the presets they supply. I would’ve loved to have spent weeks in a studio doing all this but sadly time and money just didn’t allow for it.
I still feel the only things you must do in a studio with a proper engineer is tracking drums and vocals, so this is where I put most of my budget
What’s been the reaction to your lead single?
I haven’t been able to target the right people for accurate reviews yet but so far it has been positive with the most negative feedback being along the lines of “… it’s too heavy for our readers, but we love it!”. The best feedback I’ve had was actually to hear it played on radio stations (Metal Meyhem Radio (Brighton) and Rock Rage Radio (US)) on a play list amongst bands like Within Temptation, Tarja and Evanescence and to finally see that it can stand amongst the best and sound pretty decent!
We understand you have a graphic novel in the works? What’s this about then?
The logo designer, Bec Dennison from Bullet on a String, who is also working on the album artwork mentioned that she has always wanted to do a proper graphic novel but up until now, hasn’t had the story to pen one against. Well this album has 10 songs; 10 chapters and it all adds up to one epic tale! It will need some fleshing out before this happens but hopefully, we will see the beginnings of it in 2020… or sooner…
How do you manage to do both?
To be honest, I am doing just the album work, once that is completed, I think I will just be involved in consultation with the graphic novel as sadly my drawing skills are not great !
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I’m not very wild on stage, but I think the wildest… or weirdest thing I’ve seen was probably the screaming ball bags aka Poozers running across the stage at the Royal Albert Hall during the Devin Townsend Project’s last concert there.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
The whole instrumentation was recorded with nothing fancy, just a cheap Ibanez SR500 5 string bass, an Ibanez RG 6 string baritone guitar and a Jackson 8 string fan fret guitar.
Drums were tracked at the Whitehouse Studios in Reading using a DW kit with Zildjian cymbals. I tracked everything myself including all synths and production. The only thing I can’t do, is sing, and that’s where Corinne came in to save the day! We tracked all vocals at London Road Studios in Baldock.
My live guitarists use Kemper’s and a stack load of pedals, Don uses a Fender stratocaster and JD uses his Washburn 6 string with EMG pickups which I believe he installed himself!
What are your plans for 2019?
Release hopefully 2 more singles, complete the album, play an album launch gig and that’s it. I intend to spend the rest of the year essentially doing PR and applying for festivals/ gigs for 2020… and maybe thinking about a follow up sequel to continue the story arc of these characters…
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!
For Heart Through Sacrifice, if we could open for a massive band like Lacuna Coil, that would be amazing… as for a band to open for us? We’re a bit too new to have anyone open for us at this point but, The Black Orchids are a great London band, Kay Elizabeth has an amazing voice… more stoner rock than metal but still spell binding!
A question from previous band of the day From Crystal Ignite:
Have you been to Australia? Do you think it’s true they have pet kangaroos in their back yard and what is your opinion on drop bears?
I think I’m the only one in the live band who’s been to Australia, in fact I lived in Sydney for a year or so. Kangaroos are actually a bit of a pain for those who live outside of the main centres, even kicking cars as they drive by!
Drop bears? I had to look that up! If you’ve seen a Koala, you’ll know the worst they’ll do to you is give you a scratch, sure a pretty brutal one with those big claws, but really… there are a lot more creatures in Australia you need to be worried about!!
And from The Blend: What do you put on your toast?
Just like Paddington Bear… Marmalade!
Heart Through Sacrifice: facebook