Much like we endeavour every year before Bloodstock, this year, for Scotland’s Wildfire Festival which kicks off on 22nd June, we’re interviewing every band set to play the stages of Wiston. You get to hear (or read) right from the horse’s mouth who you should be watching over the course of the weekend.
Previous years have seen some excellent acts grace the stages as our reviews can attest to and trust us when we say this year is no different! So get reading and listening so you can plan your coffee/beer/food breaks accordingly…
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from Northern Ireland! Although we gather in County Antrim, Belfast to be precise. We are from all over this Emerald Isle though!
How long have you been playing together as a band?
That’s a good question. Hmm, let’s see. Although the history goes back further, we initially formed as Conjuring Fate in 2005. Our first show was booked for 2006, though was ‘pushed back’ to 2010 due to lineup changes and other projects. Since we started recording our first 2 CDs, the lineup has stayed the same. Minus new drummer and long-time friend/stand in, Niall McGrotty. He’ll be making his debut recording soon. The guy is a beast behind the kit!
Where does the name of the band come from?
Tommy, our vocalist, was asked this question recently. My answer is slightly different though! Just before Tommy came in, myself & old bassist Micky McAuley threw down some ideas. Being a Megadeth fan, I had The Conjuring on my list. Micky then suggested we stick a “Fate” in there. He was a Mercyful Fate fan, I’m guessing that’s where that came from. It’s quite a unique name, which you need these days. You’ll easily find Conjuring Fate if you Google us!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We are pretty much a NWOBHM-styled band meets power metal! We have had comparisons musically with Maiden, Priest, Helloween, Elixir etc. And I can see them in certain songs. But what makes us unique…I see classic-styled heavy metal as never going “out of date”. It’s stood the test of time for five decades now, much like classic rock. It’s almost like a family, of whom you haven’t met everyone yet. And we wanna meet them all! Our stage show usually captures peoples attention!
What’s your live show like? Why should people watch you?
We definitely aren’t a band who just stand and play! Always on the move, entertaining the crowd and always having fun! In front of 50 or 5000, we’ll always give it our all!
Have you played Wildfire before? If so, when?
Unfortunately not, though we were in talks in the past. We look forward to hitting the stage, and hopefully getting back again in the future. It seems like a great run event that’s suitable for all ages. The organiser, Dave, seems to be a real gent as well.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We haven’t settled on anything just yet. But tracks like “Darkest Days”, “Trust No One” & “Dr Frankenstein” will probably be in there.
Which band are you most looking forward to seeing?
I’ll not go through all the great bands, I would be here a while! But for me (Phil), I’ll say Lionheart & Vega. Lionheart as I’m sure you are aware include some hefty names from ex members of Maiden, UFO, MSG etc. And the new album is great! Nick Workman of Vega is a great vocalist. I’ve followed him for a good few years. He released some great albums with his old band, Kick. I’ve never seen him live, so that’s another definite!
What have you got planned for the second half of 2018?
We are back in the studio writing and demoing the next album. We will however make another appearance in August supporting former Rainbow vocalist, Graham Bonnet in Belfast. It’s then back to the studio for more demoing, then eventually recording. We really cannot wait for people to hear these songs!
What’s been the highlight for the band’s career so far?
After years of hard work we have been fortunate enough to play alongside some great bands. Our first being former Iron Maiden/Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley then Diamond Head, Acid Reign, Graham Bonnet, Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime, Mordred, Dragonforce etc. Along with various endorsements we then got signed to German label Pure Steel Records. Its been a blast so far, and we are going to up our game for the new album!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Well, many of Conjuring Fate have been known to go for danders around the venue. We are all wireless! Or Tommy onstage with water pistols filled with rum squirting into people’s mouths. Should I have called them rum pistols? Anyway, very trusting if you ask me. I do recall Justin Hawkins, however, hovering around Belfast’s Odyssey arena on a flying pair of…how do I say this? Tits!
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!
I’d definitely love to be out there on tour with Helloween! Especially with the Pumpkins United thing going on now! And I’d let Iron Maiden open for us. Only because I know they are old and need to get to bed. And make room for us new guys. If that fails, I’d say new Scottish metal band, Midnight Force!
What day/time are you playing at Wildfire? (If you have your slot yet!)
As far as I’m aware it’s Friday evening. Times, we are still to get. But let’s see how it goes!
Pistonhead Lager, Cloven Hoof rum or Thistly Cross cider? And yes, we’ll be counting the votes!
Never tried Thistly Cross Cider, Pistonhead is pretty good. Though I’ll say Cloven Hoof! That stuff is unreal!