As ever, we’re going to try and cover every single Jäger, New Blood and SOPHIE stage band before Bloodstock kicks off on August 10th. Your chance to check them out and start planning which bands to get there early for!
Trust us when we tell you that this is bound to result in some frustrating clashes because, as ever, there are some great bands on these three stages.
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Biggus Riffus – Jägermeister Stage, Friday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re from Warrington / Frodsham, U.K.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Since 2015, I had written the album tracks years ago and finally decided to track them and find some like minded Riffers to boogie on down with.
Where does the name of the band come from? Monty Python?
It most satanly does sir! In a previous band we had a song that had a working title of “Bigg Riff” – My love of Monty Python soon turned it into Biggus Riffus and I thought that these two silly words needed to be heard/seen more so it became our name.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well that’s a good question, it’s hard to be “unique” in this day and age and there’s nothing wrong if you are not just that. A lot of artists claim to be when they are in fact the exact opposite – no offence intended. So, we don’t walk that path. I’ll tell you about the sound though:
We have three vocalists – I sing and play guitar, Jimmy B the same and Mikey G brings the low end thunder, plus the voice of an altar boy in the vicar’s office. This means that we can use plenty of harmonies – which we utilise pretty well – overlap parts and have some thick layers. We can be super clean, kinda gritty, high as Halford and even somewhat screamy in the vocal department.
When it comes to the instrumentation: twin lead guitar, not just like the mighty Thin Lizzy but like some 80’s shredders too haha! (We both use Carvin guitars) The riffs are… well… BIG, catchy and fun to play – that’s the main point. Mikey G (bass) complements the riffing/shredding with a super groove, precision and tasty note choices. We use a couple of drummers due to busy schedules but both guys (Adam and DR. Fage E Seed) groove like there’s no tomorrow and accent everything they need to to make the riffs really pop.
We also have a live Hammond player (Jai) – well, keys with a HAM sound – I think that this is a nice condiment on our table of medium rare, prime Riff steak.
Our debut was compared to the likes of Clutch, Alice in Chains, Kings X, Down – I don’t endorse this but if that’s your bag then come check us out at Bloodstock… RIFFS OUT!
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
First and foremost: We do this for fun, we really enjoy being in a room together or on a stage or in the studio. I think that this really comes across on stage as we’re always messing around with part of a riff or trying to out play each other. We’re usually sporting huge smiles, cracking jokes and strutting around like there’s a big riff in our pockets and we are pleased to see you. We want to make your hips move and your necks groove, maybe you’ll walk away pregnant – that’s the power of the riff for you.
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
Yes indeed sir, twice actually. The first time I was stage tech for UK thrashers Hospital Of Death (check em out!) and after a wicked set with a packed tent, we spent the weekend partying like it was the end of the world and checking out some incredibly enjoyable bands.
The second time was for a stag party… that was hard. But King Diamond was magnificent so I’ll leave that there. Oh, I think I saw Bossk that year too – love that band.
As far as the layout of the place, I was surprised as with some other popular UK festivals, everything is so far away that you can easily miss a band just on the walk up and getting into a queue. Also I experienced zero trouble on both of my visits. Friendly atmosphere, great line ups, ales on tap, phone charging, I was at home. It reminded me of a metal festival in Clisson, France a little (but with different weather). That’s a huge compliment as I try to get there every year. Same with Bloodstock but I’m often already playing shows so I can’t always make it.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We entered Metal 2 The Masses, Merseyside via Deathwave Entertainment and were surprised to win the heat as, frankly, we stuck out like a sore thumb. Don’t get me wrong – I cut my teeth on metal – but we’re very melodic so we thought there was no chance. Then after a really fun, sweaty, riffy set at the regional final last month at EBGB’s in Liverpool, we hung around enjoying the atmosphere, the bands and the guest headliners Metaprism and Bloodyard.
Then came the announcement via Simon (Bloodstock man). When he initially thanked each band, he hilariously and incorrectly pronounced our name – so we thought we were out. Then he announced the winners “Reaper” which further cemented our thoughts. Much to our rifftacular delight – he then said that Biggus Riffus would be playing on the Jager stage. We were so shocked, surprised, aroused and headed to the bar… Incidentally, Simon also compared our three way vocal harmony attack to Kings X.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Well brother, we’ve got riffs aplenty. We’ll play a lot from our self titled debut and a new track. All groovy as you like with a cheeky swagger and a double shot of humour.
Which other band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Well I’m not sure of running orders as yet but I’m a big fan of: Whitechapel, Soilwork, Testament, Decapitated and Gurt – who all play on the same day as us – so hopefully not these fine gentlemen.
What are you working on at the moment?
Album number two, sir. We have a bunch of demos and are looking to record the riffs this summer at my studio. It will be a lot easier for me this time around as I won’t be playing nearly every damned instrument on there! Look out!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
We’re planning a tour but have not actually toured as yet per-se. We’re all involved with other bands too so have toured, just not all together… yet. Craziest thing I have ever done though? Probably at that festival in Clisson I mentioned earlier. When I fronted The Ocean, me and our other singer climbed the scaffolding on the stage during the intro of “City In The Sea” and swung around screaming our lungs out over the stage. It was so high but what a rush. Sure there’s other things but I don’t want to incriminate myself or others of course, haha!
Finally: Jager, Hobgoblin Ale, Kraken, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon? And, yes, we’ll be counting all the votes!
Bulleit Bourbon, all day long. Let’s do doubles!