For the record I would like to state that I’ve heard of Stockton. Although I’ll never admit to having been there…
James – We’re from a small town called Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England. Since no-one on the planet has ever heard of that we usually say Middlesbrough.
Frank – We’re from Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England.
How did you meet?
James – The only person I knew before the band properly was Cal. We went to the same secondary school but didn’t get on at all until we both took music as one of our GCSE options. There were only six boys in the class and four of us formed a band called ‘Singapore Safehouse’. Conor actually went to our secondary school too but he was two years older and seemed scary (due to his long black hair) when I was younger. Cal and I first met Tyler when he came to see a band we were supporting. Tyler wore an Avenged Sevenfold T-shirt and ‘Singapore Safehouse’ played some Avenged Sevenfold covers at that show, so we had a good chat about them! A few months later I saw that Tyler had posted a drum cover video of 115 which blew me away. I decided to contact Tyler to arrange a jamming session which resulted in the two of us forming a band. I decided to leave ‘Singapore Safehouse’ due to feeling like the band was becoming stagnant. Cal decided to leave with me and so he took the part of singing and rhythm guitar in Nephilim. Two and a half years after the initial formation, Jake joins the band as the bassist. Conor and him go way back but the first time I actually spoke to him was at his audition. He’s one messed up dude!
Frank – My introduction came when we all went to go see Avenged Sevenfold in January of 2017, but I went with another friend as I didn’t know the lads in Nephilim. Me and James followed each other on Instagram and when I posted a picture of the guitar pick Synyster Gates threw me, James offered to buy it off me. (Obviously I said no). After that we started talking, which led to jamming. This led to James realising I could fit really well in the band. I met Cal a couple of weeks later at another jam, then our drummer, ‘The Jester’, at my audition. I got Ace into the band after our last bassist left earlier this year. I met Jake about 7 years ago through mutual friends, and from the first day we met we said we were gonna be in a metal band together. Now look where we are! (Love u, jakey baby xoxo)
Ace – Frankie and I met just as I was getting into metal and became best friends almost overnight. My first memory of cal is him laid in a field snogging some blonde lass and i think that kinda says enough about him! Tyler came to my house to get blackout drunk and watch the Motley Crue movie The Dirt I can’t remember much after the film finished, which is always a good sign.
How long have you been playing as a band?
James – The band originally formed in late 2016. We’ve only been playing for 3 months with the current lineup but it is by far the best version of Nephilim.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
James – We originally wanted to be called ‘The Fallen’ but since that had already been taken, Momma Nephilim did some research and we went with ‘Nephilim’. Nephilim is a term used for the offspring of a demon and a human woman. The Nephilim were supposedly giants who ruled over humanity and destroyed anything in their path. The term can meet slightly different things in different languages and religions although none of us are religious as far as I’m aware… Nephilim just sounds metal.
What are your influences?
James – I would say Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria and Ghost are the main band influences. For me personally, my main guitar influences are Synyster Gates and Slash. Others include Zakk Wylde, Bumblefoot and Jesse Cash.
Frank – My personal influences come from bands like Avenged Sevenfold and HIM to Sublime and Tiny Moving Parts. My three main influences on my guitar playing are Syn Gates, Brad Nowell and Dylan Mattheisen.
Ace – Mainly bands that take their lives to the extreme, Motley Crue, Asking Alexandria, Slipknot.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
James – Since the formation, we have listened to many different bands, and with the member changes and additions, different influences have been brought to the table. If we’re comparing ourselves to the local scene, I’d consider the use of dual guitars and the fact that the vocals are both clean and unclean.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
James – For our debut album, all of the songs are encompassed in the theme of a ‘Demonic Society’ and so we deal with a lot of problems within the world. This includes war, the media, drug addiction and mental health.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
James – Very energetic. We don’t just play our music, we put on a show. I’d say we have played over 100 gigs since the formation.
Frank – Our shows are the epitome of five best mates playing a show together. We have fun, have a laugh, headbang a bit and entertain ourselves as much as we entertain the crowd!
Ace – It’s pretty straight forward. We get drunk and have crazy amounts of fun, usually ends up with us being soaked head to toe in sweat and sometimes blood.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
James – Whilst being on stage I’ve put my teeth around one of Tyler’s cymbals which was fun. I’ve seen our bassist Jake go off stage and jump off a table too. On the other hand, whilst another band has been playing, I’ve been thrown over a table full with drinks. I was lucky enough to knock over one of Tyler’s pints in the process!
Frank – Seeing James getting thrown over a table is a fun one, although I have seen that a couple of times. I love when things get wild, people climbing on tables and breaking things.
Ace – I recently jumped 4ft off a stage and quickly realised that i had no way of getting back up, until a friend came over with a folding chair, thanks Emma!! Other than that similar to Frankie’s answer the wilder the better, break stuff, throw food at us just go crazy!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
James – I play a Schecter Hellraiser guitar with EMG pickups and a Floyd Rose through a Schecter Hellwin amplifier. I occasionally use a few Boss pedals but I’ve recently been moving away from effects pedals in order to achieve a more raw live sound.
Frank – My main guitar is an Epiphone Explorer, all black and the coolest part is it has a killswitch built into the tone knob. I use a blackstar ID stack and I have never used effects pedals.
Ace – Toby Pro 4 string and a Hartke 250 watt amp, no fancy things for me just yet.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
James – Currently we’re promoting our debut album which will release on Friday 20th September. We are playing a show to the launch the album at The Georgian Theatre in our hometown, Stockton on the same day. We’ve just released three singles in the lead up to the release.
Frank – Our debut album! We’ve spent so much money and time on this we want to share it with as many people as possible. Release date is 20th of Sept and we’re putting on a huge show at The Georgian Theatre in Stockton to celebrate.
Ace – A little bird told me there’s gonna be some nutcase bass player stage diving at our album launch at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton 20th september, it’s gonna be a wild night.
What are your plans for 2019?
James – After the album launch we are aiming to do a tour. We’ve already got nine dates lined up outside of our local scene.
Frank – We’ve got the album coming out, obviously. Then after that, just gig as much as possible, everywhere we can.
Ace – Writing, touring and of course a whole lot of drinking.
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!
James – If we’re talking big boys there’s absolutely loads but right now I’d love to support Avenged Sevenfold or Killswitch Engage. For the opening act, I’d pick Desolation, Collapse of Colour or Dead River Kings as they are supporting us at our debut album launch show.
Frank – Big boy bands! I’d go for A7X and Asking Alexandria, but local my favourites are Desolation and A Dying Reign, they’ve been really good to us and deserve more recognition!
Ace – Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria… bands that like a good party after the show.