As ever, we’re going to try and cover every single Jäger, New Blood and SOPHIE stage band before Bloodstock kicks off on August 9th. 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!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Three of us are from Stafford, Midlands (Baz, Jeffry and Paul) and the loud shouty one (Matty J) is from Wolverhampton.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
This year we celebrate our 17th year as Obzidian.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Our drummer, Paul, took Geology A level at high school and has always been interested in science and the natural world. When we learned of the black, glossy, volcanic rock “Obsidian”, we thought its attributes and look were relatable so we took it as our name and changed the “S” to a “Z” for effect.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We have been described in the past as having very “Sabbath like” undertones, which for a thrash groove band in the vein of Pantera and Testament is quite humbling. We feel that we have an extreme edge but never like to lose the “groove” in our playing. Obzidian just have a very individual style, which is mostly down the upbringing and writing style of our guitarist, Baz Foster.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
We always get a lot of comments regarding our musicianship and the crazy frontman who is frightening and uplifting in equal measures. Our shows are full of energy, speed and aggression, while still being fun to experience and as our frontman often says, “we are the metal band that like to smile!”
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
For me personally (Paul), I have been attending Bloodstock since 2005 when it was still an indoor festival if I remember correctly? I have missed maybe two years in the last thirteen due to family commitments or clashes, but it is a festival that all of our members love and have fond memories of.
Bloodstock will always be a special festival and has managed to build an atmosphere that is impossible to capture at any other festival. For our tastes, the lineups are always perfect and the fun times and memories made while there will live with us forever.
To be asked to play this year was the icing on the cake and a true honour after many years of dreaming of playing.
Did you enter M2TM thinking you could win it? Which region did you win, or did you come through other channels?
We didn’t come through via M2TM, but we have been the guest band for two or more M2TM shows over the years and have always tried to help out in any way we possibly can to promote the amazing work that Simon, Rob, Lisa and the crew do. The expansion of M2TM to other areas and even into Europe now is amazing to see and the festival as a whole does so much to nurture grassroots bands to hunt down the next future headliners and rising acts.
We had the honour of being invited to play this year on the New Blood Stage and we hope to return in the near future to play again. Our journey at Bloodstock is just beginning.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
While I am not privy to the exact order of our tracks just yet, we are definitely focused on our Obliteration Process album material, being the latest to be released, but we are also working on some new material and some material that we haven’t played live for a while to mix things up for the people who come to see us.
Which other bands do you most hope you’re not squished up next to so you can see them play?
There are so many great bands throughout the weekend, but personally our “must see” bands from the day we are performing are: At The Gates, Devildriver, Monument, Evergrey, Act of Defiance and a few others that some members will want to check out.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently in pre-production and writing for our fifth official release, which is as of yet untitled. The basic song structure and drums are all written and we start tracking anytime now. As well as that we are planning some more content for our YouTube channel and working on some short tour runs with our management label buddies in the near future.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
The last time we played The Retro Bar in Manchester, we did have a couple of head injuries and an ambulance on scene following our set. Everyone was thankfully OK and no major injuries, but that was a tad unexpected and insane! We’ve also been flashed by a 75 year old grandma who had appeared on Jeremy Kyle a few months before, for having multiple lovers at once. Fair play I guess!
Jager, Hobgoblin Ale, Red Bull, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon? And, yes, we’ll be counting all the votes!
Paul is a massive fan of all of the above and will be taking decent quantities to Bloodstock this year. In fact he was barred from the Jager Truck at Bloodstock 2010 for buying too many shots and cleaning them out of merch!
The rest of us tend to enjoy a slower pace of drinking but do enjoy a nice whisky on top.