Band of the Day: Thirteenth Sign

Back in the day we used to call this “New Band of the Day”, which definitely wouldn’t apply to this bunch who’ve been around for longer than a lot of you…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Originally from Norfolk starting under the name ‘Skeletal Embrace’ but in recent years as most Norfolk band members have left and were replaced with members from Nottingham area and so we now consider ourselves a Nottingham based band.

How did you meet?

Lloyd joined myself (Chris) in an early Norfolk based band when he was only 13 (I think!) and I haven’t performed with another drummer since! Dale is Lloyds brother (who works with Dave) and we found Reno in the musician’s ads!

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How long have you been playing as a band?

The early version as Skeletal Embrace started approx 1998, first demo 1999! We’ve gone through a load of ex-members to get to this point but we’re still going and stronger than ever!

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

At the time we were changing our name our ex-singer’s wife had stumbled across the thirteenth sign of the zodiac and seemed kinda fitting at the time, it was one of the few names we could all agree on also!

What are your influences?

Wow, too wide a spectrum to mention, as long as it’s metal it’s in the musical mixing pot! Generally we love blending the modern, aggressive thrash (The Haunted/At The Gates/Kreator/LOG etc) with older trad metal melody, structure and big choruses. However with this album being a concept the biggest influence on this individual album is Operation Mindcrime.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

1: our ability to combine the old trad metal and the new aggressive metal and making it work great together whereas most bands would choose one or the other

2: our ability to write longer more involved songs but without them dragging on and sounding boring, keeping things interesting for both us as musicians as well as the listener (hopefully)

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

On previous albums there’s been a lot of references to Armageddon and general metal themes however on this album the concept is based on the background and events of real life serial killers and how they got to live the lives they did.

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

Never as many as we’d like but life gets in the way. We play every show as if we’re playing Wembley arena and we’re happy to open a show or headline, the songs are fast and furious with minimal talking in between but as long as fans are there to enjoy what we’ve got to offer we’ll blow the doors off!

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

Sadly nothing that wild gig-wise, we’re usually in our own world concentrating on performing and miss stuff going on around us! Did have one young lady insist on showing me her freshly pierced nipples but that was sadly years ago!

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

Both guitarists and bass are Ibanez fans, amps change periodically but generally something small and portable. Lloyd has a gloriously huge DD Drum kit but as most gigs require using the house kit it doesn’t get out half as much as it should!

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

Our new fourth album The Ashes of a Treacherous Silence.

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

Unfortunately as with everybody that’s down to Covid 19 and scientists hopefully finding a vaccine so life can get back to some form of normality! As soon as we’re able we can’t wait to play some of the new songs live for the first time!

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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!

Personally I’d love to support Exodus or Kreator as we’d fit the crowd well and I’ve never seen them live yet! As for opening for us… We’re good friends with Pemphigoid from Nottingham so we’ll sneak them in the back door!

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