Due to the huge number of bands playing at Bloodstock this year, and the fact that our two roving reporters will actually want to watch some of them, we’re doing a little round of pre-festival interviews this year. We’re focussing on the bands playing the Jagermeister and Hobgoblin New Blood Stages so they get a chance to convince you to go and watch them. Remember, these guys and gals are the future of our musical world!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Portishead /Bristol, UK.
How did you meet?
A combination of living in the same town for Ash (guitar) and Slippers (keys) and searching for that special someone for the others, Rich (Drums), Jono (Guitar), Luke (vocals), Dan (bass), via the internet on sites such as tinder, uniform dating and gumtree.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
The origins of the band were back in 2013 but this was only studio based, without vocals and without a band name.. We initiated Luke into the band early 2014 which gave us the ability to be an actual group and play live. Although we did play a few gigs with a one guitar setup we changed that to a dual guitar setup in January this year for the 1st round of Metal to the Masses. So, together in our current and perfected setup as a 6 piece we have been playing together since January this year, 2015, and no more than a year before that in our earlier formation.
Where does the name of the band come from?
One day Jono come out with ‘why don’t we call ourselves Mortishead’. It was initially said in jest but we immediately realised nothing else could possibly be better and more appropriate, especially as we have grown out of Portishead.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
We all have a wide range of influences, which hopefully is reflected in the sound. Not just metal either. As far as metal goes we can all universally agree on the likes of Pantera, Slayer, Slipknot etc. But there’s a whole world outside of metal that you can learn from – blues, funk, electronic music, hip hop for example.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our tuning alone sets us aside from most bands as our songs are predominantly in drop C, and then lowered an octave. But more importantly it’s us, the members. We are a culmination of each of our musical paths and we take elements from all/any styles of Heavy Metal. There are sections of total Thrash, bits that would please a Djent fan, parts that are reminiscent of old school Doom and most important of all pure fucking groove! We aren’t trying to be anything in particular, or fit into a “sub genre”. Ultimately we just make music that we like. We’re not targeting any particular market.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
In short, fucking mental. We aren’t the type of band to stand on stage and play one song after another, with a bit of chatting in between, whilst stood still going through the motions. We understand the need to put on a show and we aim to deliver that in a bludgeoning way. The songs and transitions between are all considered. We are all over the stage, in the crowd and climbing up the walls.
Compared to our first show on 11th July, 2014, we have raised our game considerably. We have played 10 shows now in total, Bloodstock will be our 11th. Each previous show has helped shape us into what we are today and Bloodstock will bear witness to our bloodiest performance to date complete with savage music, a uniformed stage presence and total disregard for our own safety in the name of entertainment.
Did you enter M2TM thinking you could win it?
Depending on who you talk to in the band you’d most likely get a different response. In short though we have always been confident and focused. We are not naive enough to say that we are better than everyone else, as the standard throughout the competition was incredible. On top of that the final is decided by a judge whose personal preference and style could have gone against us depending on what they were looking for (thankfully it went our way and we are hugely grateful to Rob Bannister for giving us this opportunity). What we did believe in though was what we spoke of in the previous question. We not only have unique songs and the ability to play them but we also pay great attention to detail, to our appearance and overall performance resulting in a show that is engaging and bludgeoning from start to end.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Relentless. Our set for Bloodstock is brutal from start to end. Once we set off we don’t rest until we leave the stage. There is never a moments silence nor time to catch your breath.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
We’re lucky enough to be the only band playing during our set time so clashes aren’t a possibility. In saying that we’d love to watch Sepultura, cannibal corpse and Rob Zombie as we can all mutually agree on those guys, but like we said earlier, our tastes individually all vary so much so there’s loads really. Its an awesome line up, as always, here at Bloodstock.
What are you working on at the moment?
The past few months we’ve been focused on reaching Bloodstock and refining our stage show to what we know it should be. Luckily for us everything has fallen into place and in perfect timing for the festival. From here on out we want to gain as much exposure as possible and take our show to everyone that wants to witness it but at the same time we also want to make progress with our debut album so that we can release it early 2016 and show people more of Mortishead.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Luke, our vocalist, he’s a bastard.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Surround yourselves with great musicians. Write songs that everyone is passionate about. Perfect your performance of these songs and weave them into a show that is consistent from start to end – Do not underestimate your stage look and transitions between songs. Finally though, get the balance of fun and work ethic. You need to enjoy it as much as possible whilst networking and creating new paths wherever possible.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
- Rammstein / Slipknot as both these bands pay great attention to entertaining their audiences.
- Ascaris – They were also in the competition and hail from Gloucestershire, just north of where we are. They are a brutal 3 piece that know how to entertain a crowd.
Mortishead open the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Friday.