Time to get noisy with today’s Headline Act, all the way from just down the road! Founder member Alex takes time out to tell us about the band, as they release their new single and build up the excitement for upcoming album From The Darkness (March 26th)…
How did you meet?
Unknown Refuge originally formed in 2016 at a music service in Salford. I am the last surviving original member. Not that the others are dead, I just mean the only one to survive having to deal with our drummer. Morgan joined not long after in the summer of 2017. From here we gained a few guitarists and lost a few that has led to our current line up with Harry and Jack on guitars. The current line-up has only been together about 6 months having already recorded the album before finding Harry.
How long have you been playing as a band?
As the current line up only around 9 months, but the origins of Unknown Refuge date back to 2016.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
In all honesty we came up with it because we needed a band name for our first gig and where we were practicing had a refuge point. We thought the word refuge was cool and then I realised I didn’t know where that was at my school hence Unknown Refuge. I’d like to say it was something deep like travelling towards the unknown, but that’s not quite how it came about.
What are your influences?
Alterbridge, Volbeat, Iron Maiden and Metallica mainly all have strong metal influences whilst having hard rock present as well, and I believe that’s a sound we fit quite well into – the mix of hard rock with the occasional breakdown and blast beat thrown in.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Kick ass hard rock. I believe we blend classic heavy metal with new age rock and I think it gives a unique sound. We take inspiration from a lot of places so to combine them altogether I believe makes us who we are.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
A lot of it is to do with the progression of the band buts also its progression in our lives, mine in particular. I take a lot of inspiration from the events that are happening around or to me and this often results in songs capturing a certain snapshot of my life at that time. I also like to take themes from Greek and Norse mythology as it’s something that really interests me, so combining the two gives you a lot of the songs we have on the album.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I believe it’s good, I guess the only way to find out is to come see us! We have a blast on stage and I believe the audience can see that and join in so it’s always a great atmosphere. And probably around 50 altogether over the years.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
A friend of ours decided to climb up on stage, scream down a mic then jump off the stage back into the crowd so that was definitely amusing. And then a bra being thrown at the drummer.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I use an Ibanez bass, Morgan uses a Mapex Armoury drum kit, Jack uses a headless doodah (I believe that’s the technical term for them) and Harry also uses an Ibanez.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our latest release will be the “Battle Hymn” single and followed by the album release on the 26th March. So we’re really now looking towards the album release.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
Well when venues open it will just be to do as many gigs as possible. We’ve missed being on the stage and amongst writing some new material I would love to just get out and gig again.
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!
Well I’d say Iron Maiden open for us and then up until recently there was a band called Bigfoot who me and the drummer absolutely loved. So I would like them to make a reunion comeback gig that would be incredible.
Header image by Christopher James Ryan Photography