Back in Blighty today as we take a homeland pitstop on our tour around worldwide Bands of the Day…
Various towns in South Wales including Barry (of Gavin and Stacey fame) and Bridgend.
How did you meet?
We all attended the same school in Cowbridge which is a small market town outside just Cardiff where very little happens! We all met around 1999 when Ollie (guitars) and James (bass) moved to the area. I (Ryan – vocals & guitars) gave Ollie a few guitar lessons to earn some pocket money as our parents were friends. James and I were in the same year in school and were introduced through a mutual friend who also played guitar and started jamming together and off throughout school. Matt (drums) was in the same year as Ollie and they also jammed a few times if memory serves me correctly!
How long have you been playing as a band?
The band was formed in 2015 but our current line up has been in place since last summer. Our first line-up started out just playing a few grunge and metal covers (such as Man In The Box and Bullet With Butterfly Wings) for fun before we started trying some originals. It just snowballed from there really.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It was the best of a bad bunch! Seriously though, we wanted something that wasn’t too extreme but would still give listeners an an indication of what to expect. it felt like it had just the right amount of ominousness without sounding too much like a grindcore band.
What are your influences?
For the most part we are influenced by heavy rock and metal acts likes Metallica, Alter Bridge and Killswitch Engage but we also have our more progressive and epic side which is partly influenced by bands like Tool but is also influenced by movie soundtracks and some classical stuff. Individually we take in everything from classic rock and blues right through to cheesy 80s ballads and 90s electronic music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We are more dynamic and diverse than most of our contemporaries. There’s plenty of light to shade and back again in a single song and all of our songs have their own identity. We have the old school twin guitar and double kick drum attack but with plenty of ambient and stripped back sections too. For example, the title track from our upcoming EP “Between Ghosts” is almost completely acoustic with some piano and a few layers of textural guitars.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Lyrically our first EP The Fracture was based loosely on the concept of a man and his fight against his own corruption by an eldritch entity. He begins to question his own judgement and morales and longs for a better life. I deliberately wrote the lyrics in a way that they can hopefully still resonate with the listener though. More recently however the lyrics have diversified and dealt a little more with the outside world and personal relationships. I’m not sure any love ballads are on the horizon just yet though!
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live show will move between heavy fast and energetic to slower and more brooding mainly due to the variety in our sound. We generally keep things quite light hearted in between songs and aren’t afraid to banter a little with the crowd and each other. At this point I think we’ve played about 30 shows across South Wales and beyond and have probably learned something from each and every one of them.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Well we had a guy walk straight across the floor and break another bloke’s nose with a solid headbutt just as we were heading into our last 2 tracks of the night. We never quite got to the bottom of it but it looked completely unprovoked so we gave the the victim a t-shirt so he at least had a clean shirt to go home in!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Ollie and I generally use PRS and Gibson guitars live and for the majority of recording work. We’ve also got a few Fenders and LTDs between us too and I use a Schecter 7 string to thicken up certain parts in the studio. We both run a Line 6 Helix each direct to FOH and our own mixer on stage for our in-ears monitors. it saves so much hassle and gives us a consistent sound at every gig. Bass-wise James is using Ibanez basses into an awesome Darkglass head which again is run into FOH and our mixer. Our guitars are quite rich in the mid frequencies so he has his tone relatively scooped with nice glassy attack so it avoid us all cluttering up the mix. As for drums, Matt is endorsed by Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals and wherever practical goes for 2 individual kick drums so they breathe a little more (and it adds to our stage presence!)
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are due to release our new EP Between Ghosts in May so we are just starting to promote it and get it to as many people as possible. We are also trying to substantially boost our social media profiles to build up a bigger following and interact with our fans as much as possible.
What are your plans for 2020?
We are looking to fill our calendar and get around as many town and venues across the UK as possible to get our name out there. We would love to get onto a few festival slots this summer and then probably work on new material again later this year.
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!
The ultimate goal would be to support someone like Metallica but perhaps more realistically someone like Killswitch Engage or Iced Earth would be far more attainable at this point! For an opening band, as we’ve played with so many decent ones that is a far more difficult one to answer so we might have to plug a couple. TREP, I Digress, Ethyrfield and Ravenbreed are all excellent local bands that we’ve played with and are all are excellent musicians that we would be happy to play a show with anytime.