#ROADTOBOA Interview: The Face of Ruin

Bloodstock 2016 logoHere we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?

Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!

The Face of Ruin – Hobgoblin New Blood stage, Saturday

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re from the lovely medieval town of Warwick, which is famous for having a big castle and not much else. We play most of our gigs in Birmingham though.

How did you meet?

Most of us met at school. We were actually in a band about 10 years ago, but it fizzled out for a number of reasons (including our drummer running off to join an indie band, but we’ve forgiven him now, kinda…)

Then we did the classic thing of meeting up, having a few beers and deciding to get the band back together. We were down a guitarist though, which is where Chris came in. Our vocalist Alex knew him from their very exciting work in the field of IT. Luckily, he’s an awesome guitarist and fit right in. He’s great with a spreadsheet too.

How long have you been playing together as a band?

It’s a bit complicated to be honest. We ‘officially’ became a band in 2014, although we actually started writing and playing music in 2013. But things didn’t really get off the ground until 2015 when we played a few local gigs and entered Metal to The Masses in Birmingham.

Where does the name of the band come from?

A lot of our songs are about the end of the world and society collapsing, so the name reflects those themes. There’s also a lot of stuff about monsters and demons. You know what you’re getting, basically.

Also, our drummer likes to pull this horrific, unsettling facial expression that is truly nightmare inducing, so that’s kind of the face of ruin too (although we prefer to call it ‘the goblin boy’). Ask him to do it if you see him about. Just make sure it’s not straight after your lunch.

What are your influences – individually or as a band?

Musically, we’re pretty open to anything. Melodeath will always be at the core of what we do, mainly because we love bands like In Flames, At The Gates, The Black Dahlia Murder and so on, but we listen to so much stuff that it all ends up in there eventually; the grim black metal, the metalcore breakdowns, the death metal grooves.

Outside of music, we all love old school horror movies: Evil Dead, Friday 13th, stuff by John Carpenter… that kind of thing. That plays a big part in the lyrics and the live show and our approach in general, having these gross, dark themes but with some humour in there too.

And then there’s just our lives and personalities in general. We’re all pretty normal guys. We do this because we enjoy it and have a lot of laughs along the way, so we try and bring that fun across to the music and especially the live show.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We’re like a collision of melodic death metal, thrash, black metal and metalcore, thrown together into one cohesive sound. Catchy Gothenberg-esque riffs are the heart of our sound but we chuck a lot of other stuff in there too. One of our songs switches from a slap bass-backed groove to a fast black metal riff, which sounds weird but makes sense when you hear it!

So yeah, there’s a lot of diversity in our sound even though melodic death metal is our ‘main’ genre. We also like a big chorus, although you won’t hear any clean singing. We’re all about the growls and screams!

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

In a word: fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously in the slightest there’s a lot of messing around, headbanging and gurning. We like to get the crowd involved but really you’re free to do whatever you want: if you want to start a pit, awesome. If you want to disco dance, be our guest. As long as you’re having fun! At the same time, we work hard at getting our sound as tight as possible.

As for shows, it’s hard to say! We’ve been actively gigging for nearly 2 years now and we’ve supported some awesome bands and played some awesome venues. Our live show has developed a lot since then too. We started out pretty serious but once we started letting go and having fun, crowds responded a lot more. We love every second of being on stage and hopefully it shows.

When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?

We won the Metal to the Masses Final in Birmingham, which was an absolutely incredible moment.  There was a livestream of the announcement on the Bloodstock Facebook page and you can see us go nuts when the result is read out. It meant a hell of a lot to us, not just because we’re playing Bloodstock – which is obviously awesome – but because we’d put a lot of hours into writing new material and working on our live show after missing out in the final the previous year. So yeah, it was an amazing moment none of us will forget!

What sort of setlist can we expect?

We’re bringing only the best, so expect 6 songs of brutal melodeath goodness! We’re opening with Murderer’s Lair, which is probably our heaviest song, so we’re hoping for chaos from the start. No One Left To Save seems to be the one everyone loves at the moment, so keep an ear out for that too – it’s the one with the waltz-y chorus.

Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?

We could list most of the bands here but we’ll go for Gojira, Behemoth and Rotting Christ. Oh, and Evil Scarecrow; we saw them at Bloodstock in 2014 and they were one of the best bands of the weekend, and that’s saying something when Emperor and Carcass were playing too.

What are you working on at the moment?

We’ve got a couple of new songs in the works. One of them is undoubtedly our best to date, which is such a cliche but it sounds like the culmination of everything we’d done so far and we’re ridiculously excited to start playing it live. We’re also working on something a bit different, a slight tempo change from usual, so that’s cool too.

We’re also getting plans in place to record our EP, which should hopefully be out by the end of the year.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?

Haha, we’re all pretty well behaved so we don’t have too many wild stories. Someone got stabbed at a venue we played at recently, but we can’t claim any credit for that (he was fine, by the way)!

What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?

The first thing we’d suggest is to be yourself. It took us a while to figure it out, but once we started just doing what we wanted instead of conforming to some idea of what a metal band should sound like and do on stage, things started taking off for us. So don’t feel pressure to do what everyone else is doing.

Also, get organised. There’s so much to do in a band beyond just showing up and playing, like getting together promo materials, merch, social media, finding time to practise, booking gigs – the list goes on. We split all that stuff between us, which makes life a lot easier.

Finally, and this is the most important one, get out there and meet bands and promoters! We’ve got so many opportunities out of just talking to people at gigs, and we’ve made good friends too.

Oh, and don’t expect to make any money.

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!

This is a tough one. If we’re talking major, major bands, it’d probably be The Black Dahlia Murder or At The Gates headlining. Locally, we’ve still got dreams of supporting Morgue Orgy (if you’re reading…) and, even though we’ve supported them before, Gehtika are always great (and lovely chaps too!)

As for the other band, it’s tough to pick just one but we’ll go for Pelugion, an incredible band from Coventry that you should check out immediately. We’ve played with them a couple of times and they’ve blown us away each time.

That’s more like a 6 band line-up. Can we have an all-dayer instead?

What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)

We’re playing the New Blood Stage on Saturday 13th August. We don’t have a time yet but we’ll stick it on our Facebook when we do!

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