Headline Act: Kvilla

Manchester is just heaving with bands, or so it seems, with a massive scene building up around them. Here’s just one from a very impressive pile…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We are based in Manchester but are from all over the UK. Manchester is like a breeding ground and hub for creatives.

How did you meet?

We all met as a group through mutual friends. Ryan and Sean have known each other for ages but the rest of us met through friends of friends on nights out. The rest is history as they say.

How long have you been playing as a band?

As mentioned Ryan & Sean have known each other for years and were making demos back 2012 but Kvilla officially started in 2018 when the song “Red Pill” was written.

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

The original name for the band was actually The Ward (before recording/doing shows etc) but since Adam joined, we decided to change it. We decided to call our EP The Ward instead as a homage to the original name and it also fitted with the themes of the tracks we eventually released. The name Kvilla came about when Adam was looking at Nordic/Norse words and the name stuck for both the look and also the meaning (sickness.) It was unusual, and we thought it stood out. It also without us knowing at the time a small village in Sweden. For sure we are going to get a band photo there some day.

What are your influences?

Dillinger Escape Plan for their absolutely chaotic shows. Deafheaven for their ferocious yet beautiful music. We all listen to quite different styles of music but when we get together in the rehearsal room, magic appears every time. We pull inspiration from everywhere. For example, Adam makes electronic music in his spare time and listens to groups like Massive Attack & Orbital so he thinks of ways we can incorporate electronic elements and pianos in the tracks. Andy for example really likes groovy metal like Pantera whereas Sean loves slam and bands like Vulvodynia. The base for all our music though is from the amazing riffs of Ryan. He is basically like Bill Kelliher from Mastodon churning out sweet riffs all day.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We combine lots of different genres together and are pretty experimental. We want the ferocity of hardcore music and black metal but sprinkle in other elements to spice it up. There is a lot of raw emotion in our tracks and you can really see that when you compare it to our live shows.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Our songs for the EP are very conceptual and aren’t so much inspired by real world events but rather our own imagination. We wanted to tell a story with the EP that centres around someone locked in a mental institution for doing something truly terrible but the institution itself is as crooked as the character himself. That or the institution is really just his mind itself? You decide!

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

Our recent shows were in Edinburgh and Glasgow which Adam organised as he currently lives up there. Those would have been our 7th and 8th. Over time we have developed our own style of live performance which people have described as pretty intense. Especially when you see Sean starting at you with his cold,white, dead eyes… Don’t expect us to be playing on the stage for long either as we will take any excuse to get in the pit with you all.

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

Our previous drummer Max nearly broke his back while crowd surfing when we were watching Rolo Tomassi at Download Festival. He smacked the barrier as he went over it. Our vocalist Sean who was also with us was horrified but it turned out Max was fine… just a little sore.

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

Takes deep breath like Ace Ventura…


  • Shure GLXD24/SM58 Wireless Microphone


  • Pearl Decade Maple Drum Kit
  • Sabian AA 21 Bashride
  • Sabian AAX Eplosion Hi Hats
  • AA Holy China
  • 16 AAX Explosion Crash
  • AAX Splash
  • Pearl Dominator Pedal


  • Shecter Blackjack ATX-C1
  • Ibanez Gio
  • Orange Dark Terror Amp Head
  • Orange Crush Pro 4×12
  • Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Strings
  • Hall of Fame 2 Reverb Pedal
  • Metal Muff Distortion Pedal


  • Heavily Modified Stagg LP with custom Armstrong pickups
  • Schecter Banshee Passive 7
  • Harley Benton MP-100
  • Axe-FX II Mark II, Jazz III XL Ultex Plectrums
  • Line 6 Relay G50 Wireless Setup


  • LTD F-415M
  • Ibanez GSR105EX
  • Line 6 Relay G50 Wireless Setup
  • TC Electronic RH750 Bass Amp Head
  • TC Electronic K-410 4×10” Bass Amp Cabinet
  • Ernie Ball P02736 Bass 5 Slinky Cobalt Strings
  • Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
  • Digitek Hardwire DL-8 Delay/Looper
  • TC Electronic Fangs Distortion Pedal
  • TC Electronic Iron Curtain Noise Gate

And that explains the abrasion on your palm!

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

Because of lockdown we haven’t had the opportunity to tour our EP so we are concentrating on that at the moment. We are also testing the water with a new track called “Idols” which is going down really well. We recently released our first music video which was loads of fun. Shout out Forshaw Media and go check out “Stigma”!

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

We are currently writing new material in the background but concentrating on getting more shows and meeting you all. We are aiming to get back in the studio to work on an album in that time as well. We have a lot of riffs courtesy of Ryan to go through and we are probably going to do more electronic stuff as well. Adam is currently doing some remixes/reimaginations of some existing tracks as well so keep your ears and eyes open for that.

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!

We all would love to support Slipknot. That would be an amazing experience and would love to get the crowd pumped up for the big show. We would love to bring H8teball from Fife with us. They put on such a fun show and really get the crowd going with their antics. If you haven’t been to one of their shows yet you really need to go.

Check out 2021’s Headline Act Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

Kvilla: official | facebook | instagram | spotify | bandcamp | youtube

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