Are we ending a week or beginning a week? I never could get my head around how Sundays work. Thankfully Akilla have done all the work for me with today’s Band of the Day…
How did you meet?
We were all friends in the local metal scene, Ross and the previous guitarist founded the band. After a year of experimenting with various musicians Jonny joined the lineup on bass and backing vocals, with ‘Ginger’ Taylor providing the rhythm section on drums. After our previous guitarist left Carl joined to complete the current lineup.
How long have you been playing as a band?
As our current line-up, since early 2019. But we became a four-piece band in early 2018 and have been gigging since April 2019.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
When we realised we wanted to actually go somewhere with this band, we figured that we’d need a proper band name rather than go by “la zona peligrosa”, which is what we’d book ourselves in as at our local rehearsal studio. I think we spent nearly a month going back and forth between a bunch of names, until our ex-guitarist started suggesting Aquila as a name. We felt it would only be a good name if we found ourselves a female singer to front the band, and that’s when Ginger jokingly said something along the lines of “Let’s be more metal and call ourselves Akilla!” as we were leaving rehearsals one night. Obviously, it stuck. Carl continued to mistakenly call the band Aquilla for 3 months until finally corrected…
What are your influences?
Between all the members of the band we have a varied list of influences ranging from melodic metal, technical metal to soundtracks all of which are incorporated into our music. Some examples of artists would be: Insomnium, Amon Amarth, In Flames, Gojira, Devin Townsend and Nightwish.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
What works in our favour is we all have vastly different musical backgrounds that just happen to blend together. Ross will typically write out the shell of the song and then we all go in individually and add our own edits until we’ve made this Frankenstein’s Monster of a melodeath song that is a combination of heavy riffs with large epic chorus sections and melodies over a backing of soundtrack inspired Pieces. Harsh layered vocals complete the death metal sound with ambient clean sections providing a tonal contrast.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Jonny had already been writing lyrics for over a decade, so offered to be the lyricist. He wrote the lyrics to one song and then had a last-minute change of mind when he realised the music made a much better backdrop to tell stories from the world of mythology. When he came into rehearsals with a bunch of lyrics written out for all the songs we had at that point, we jokingly called our genre “mythlodic metal”. With each song that we write we now aim to match the music and orchestral backing tracks to a culture from around the world.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We have performed 15 shows to date mostly around the East Anglia and South of England area. As our songs are long we tend to only play 4 or 5 songs a set but combine them together with ambient backings to tell the story of various myths from different cultures in the world. We try to keep our music interesting to watch with sections constantly evolving from heavy riff based verse to large epic chorus sections and clean ambient parts.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Always check the stage… we have played on various sized stages with some glaring health and safety issues such as an entire section of support beams missing. It’s fun to play a set always wondering if the next step will land you in the audience!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Drums: Mapex Saturn, Gibraltar hardware, Sabian cymbals and pro mark drumsticks
Guitars: Ibanez Falchion XF350 (Custom), Jackson JS32 Warrior (Custom), ESP Custom V
Amps: Blackstar ID TVP100 Head, Line 6 Pod Pro X, Blackstar Cabs, Peavey Bass
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have just released our second single Echo which was our most requested song from gigs to record. We will be releasing our full length album later in the year.
What are your plans for 2020?
We are hoping to venture north to play alongside some more great bands and continue to build our fanbase. We would also love to start getting into some bigger festivals once we have released our debut album.
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!
Tricky one as we all have different influences and tastes in music. Between us bands such as Insomnium, In Flames, Devin Townsend and Gojria would take the top spot. For support we have worked with so many great bands in the underground scene and we’d love to have our brothers in arms Akkadian play alongside us.