Wales has quite the scene going on and we are seeing more bands playing there than ever before. Of course, it’s generating its own talent as well. For example, today’s Headline Act, Karmen Field…
A smallish Victorian seaside town, Penarth in South Wales.
How did you meet?
Joe and Lewis were frenemies in primary school, turned buddies for life. They played as teens in a metal band called Inferno Ortum. Molly and Joe grew up together going on family holidays as kids. Will and Lewis were also in a band together as teenagers, called Naked Chaos. Will and Joe would jam together before the days of Karmen Field. Molly and Lewis met in secondary school. Whilst Will and Molly actually met in a Karmen Field band practice. That about covers it!
How long have you been playing as a band?
It’s been about 6 years now since we formulated as a foursome. We had a few other guitarists come and go before that, but we decided to stick with the core four. We’ve been taking things seriously since lockdown.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Lewis loves a good scientific fact, and one day when researching he came across the term Karmen Field, which is the last layer of the Earth’s ozone before you come into contact with space. We thought that was pretty cool, so it stuck.
What are your influences?
Tool is the big one. But additionally, we need to mention Lamb of God, Rage against the Machine, Alice in Chains and Deftones.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s just raw emotion put together during writing sessions, so every song is different, marking the mood in the room at the time.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Some of our lyrics provoke images of burning skies and broken wings, but with a few of our songs, like “Take it Back”, “Breaking the Cycle” and “Benighted”, the lyrics pinpoint moments of anger felt during an argument. Writing lyrics for us is a deeply reflective form of self-expression, and the most brutally honest lyrics are the ones that usually stick in the mind.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We have taken part in 2 Metal to the Masses competitions (a battle of the bands where the winner gets to perform at Bloodstock Festival) in the last 2 years. We competed in every round, and this really helped us step up our gig game. We are currently in the semis for a battle of the bands in Swansea… fingers crossed!
At countless gigs (supporting and headlining), in Cardiff, Pontypool, Penarth, Bridgend, Bristol, London, Leicester, Nottingham…. we always bring the festival energy and a tight performance accompanied by raw emotion. We are somewhat notorious for feeding audience members jam. One performance by Karmen Field was described as like “being on drugs, without having taken them” Musipedia Of Metal 2022.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Will and Lewis, guitar and bass, performed on top of giant speakers at Hangar 18, wearing colourful summer dresses.
And at our album launch, we exploded a colour smoke bomb and everyone got covered in blue dye. We love to feed the audience jam, it’s been known to happen at 1 or 2 of our live shows, but we’ve seen people take jam all over their face.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Joe gets most of his drum supplies from Drum depot on Penarth Rd. They have a wonderful team. His favourite sticks at the moment are a Danny Carey design. His pedals are Roland DW3000 , and the kit is a mix of Mapex and Evans. Cymbals are a combination of Roland, Meinl, Stagg and Zidjian.
Will is currently playing a Brian Moore I Guitar, his back up is an Ibanez electric, using a Katana Boss amp. Pedals wise he has a cry-baby Wah, Memory Boy EHX and an EHX Silencer.
Lewis uses a Boss G-100 pedal board with a Yamaha bass.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have just released a brand new music video for our song “Benighted”, filmed near our hometown at a place where we love to hang out. We hired another fantastic musician from the South Wales music scene who has their own film company to help us create it. We had such a laugh, stomping through the woods and fields to film along the Welsh coast. Check it out on YouTube! [or just scroll down – Mosh]
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
We have some more music coming out! We are hoping to release some live recordings of three songs we took down in April at Musicbox studios. We are about to start planning our second tour for April 2024, but before then we have the final round of the battle of the bands in Swansea to look forward to, as well as a few gigs.
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 dream is to support Tool, or Perfect Circle. Our options for a support band; we recently hosted our own debut album launch, and hired 2 support bands: Land Captains, and Painted as Monsters. Both amazing and unique bands, we recommend them!
If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!