Band of the Day: Accidental President

All the way Down Under again for today’s BotD…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

As a band we’re from Sydney, Australia. Beth (lead singer) and Leon (drums) hail from Sydney, but Dave Ben Lee on guitars was born in Birmingham, UK and emigrated to Sydney 10 years ago.

How did you meet?

Beth had tried starting a couple of bands with old friends but everyone wanted to take their music in different directions. Meanwhile Dave was in a bit of a rebuild stage due to certain comings and goings and placed an ad for a new front woman for AP. When we met up, we connected on the music we both enjoyed and our outlook for the band and the rest is history! Leon was later hunted down and invited to join due to his work with The Dirty Earth. He is extremely talented, and we’re very grateful he joined the band!

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band in its first guise started 5 years ago, but a couple of years in, it turned out that not everyone was on board for the long term hence the change in personnel

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Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Too late! but Aside from just the love of music, the band ethos is to express a social awareness and we wanted a name that reflected that in someway, especially given the history of political upheaval and inequality around the world. There’s a line of thinking that wanting to be in power should automatically disqualify anyone from being so. Accidental President suggests a possible ideal where someone finds themself in a position of power due to their good standing rather than because they strived for it. (It’s a misconception by some that we named ourselves after the Donald Trump situation, but we’ve been working under that name since 2015)

What are your influences?

So many. I grew up listening to everything from Herb Alpert to Wagner as a kid but since my teens I’m very much a guitar guy. I love the theatrics of Iron Maiden and Eddie growing up – still do, I’m in awe of the musical excellence of guys like John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess in DT, but I also love the raw live energy at concerts like Suicidal, Living Colour, The Specials. So we try to take a bit from everything! Beth’s influences are all the bands she was obsessed with as a teenager including Evanescence, In This Moment and The Pretty Reckless.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Essentially we’re a female-fronted 3-piece with a socially conscious hard-rock sound from metal to goth to alt-rock with a theatrical flair. In and of itself it seems we are striking people as quite unique given the variation of our sound and influences. I think different people take different things from it. Beths a great singer and front person, there’s some big riffs, tunes and harmonies in there, we’ve got a theatrical look, a dynamic sound and live show, and at the heart of it we’re passionate about what we write and sing about.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

We love to tell stories, whether it is about personal experiences, to the social structures of the world. We don’t tend to write many love songs!

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Too many shows to count! Live shows are where we thrive. Beth becomes a totally different person when she’s on stage, and is very commanding. Leon and I are very schooled in live performance and so musically we are very tight. We fly in soundscapes, have a theatrical flair and like to put on as dynamic a show as possible. Provide some real Rock n Roll escapism! We also like to throw in a couple of covers for newbies as it’s good to give the audience something to latch onto and sing along to.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Probably the wildest was a Macc Lads gig where people were throwing bottles and glasses and the guitarist took one straight in the face. There was blood everywhere, but he stopped, wrapped a t-shirt around his head and finished the gig.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Leon plays a 6 shell Ludwig. It’s a big sound. I play Ibanez and Musicman guitars. I’ve got a couple of Majesties which are just beautiful to both look at and play. Amp wise I use either a MkV for raw tones or an AxeFx for variety. I also use the AxeFx for LIVE with a mix of Guitar Cab and FRFR to create a big and wide sound.

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What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We released our eponymous debut album on July 1st and are currently promoting it with the release of performance and lyric videos. So far we have released three: “Rotten Child”, “Strength Inside” and “Last Breath”. Next up is a performance video for “Hateful”.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

Initially we aim to continue with the video releases and promo for the next couple of months. At the same time we are also heavily into songwriting and demoing for a follow up album next year which is already sounding incredible. We also hope to do a couple of gigs here and there. We did a streaming gig a couple of weeks back too, so another one of those is an option.

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!

There’s so many great bands that it would be an honour to support. Bands like Alter Bridge, Queensryche, Dream Theater spring to mind as audiences that would get where we’re coming from. I wouldn’t be so assuming as to say we should be second on the bill, but a couple of decent Sydney bands we know and like are Spiral and Wicked Envy.

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