I recently reviewed an EP by Leeds based band Shadows of Violence who reminded me why I liked my thrash metal before moving onto death metal when I was a teenager. Listening to Exodus, Forbidden and Burn My Eyes-era Machine Head was a revelation to me and listening to Shadows of Violence brought that feeling back. I only listen to a handful of thrash metal bands so it’s testament (see what I did there?) to Shadows of Violence that I rate them this highly and urge you all to keep an eye open for them coming to a town near you. I thought this would be a good time to catch up with guitarist Martin who tells us all about the band’s aspirations and goals for the coming year. Thank you, Martin and best wishes to you and Shadows Of Violence in 2019.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
How long have you been playing together as a band?
As a band we have been going 12 years this year. As this current line up? About 6 months.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We combine driving beats, pounding riffs and powerful vocals from across different influences to bring you a familiar sound but also very different from anything you will have heard before.
Shadows of Violence released an EP, Rise, in 2015 and are about to release your debut album in 2019 entitled Revolt. How does it feel to put in all your blood sweat and tears and get your music out there?
Exhausting and tiring but rewarding. We have received great feedback so far and we are excited to release it and see what everyone thinks of it.
What can you tell us about Revolt and how would you say the sound is compared to that of your EP?
We have learnt a lot from our first recording about what works and what doesn’t work and how to produce the sound we visualise.
Where was the album recorded and where will it be mastered? Are you using the same team or trying something different with this album?
The album was recorded and mastered at Harwood Studios, Wakefield by Andy “The Wizard” Parkinson. We took the decision to use a different studio than the one on our EP to try and step out of our comfort zone and get fresh ideas on our music.
Being active since 2007, with Revolt do you think you have found the sound you want for the band or will you keep experimenting?
Our sound continuously develops with each song we make as we try our push the boundaries, but also keep things interesting.
Shadows of Violence are very active on the live front. What should we expect from a live show and how does it feel to perform your songs on stage and seeing the crowd react?
From us you will get high energy, lots of movement, a few bad jokes, and awesome music. Not to mention the sweat, screams, and savagery.
What are the lyrical themes from the new album? Is there a main lyricist within the band?
Themes include reflections, if there is any injustice in the world we live in and finding your place in it. Chris writes his lyrics based on a number of themes.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
We practise once a week on a Wednesday at 20:30 at Old Chapel Studios.
How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Shadows of Violence a band where all members contribute to the songs?
Our song writing is collaborative where each band member contributes to every other instrument including their own.
Being a five piece band and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
We write the music we want for the band, however there are many disagreements with what works and doesn’t work. Some songs take less time than others to write for this reason. We take our time perfecting our songs no matter how long and how many arguments it takes.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2019?
We have yet to embark on our own dedicated tour, however we fully intend to take Revolt on tour.
How hard is it for a metal band like Shadows of Violence to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non-stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
In the climate it is very difficult to make money, but for us it is all about making good music and having a good time. Any money we do make we put back into the band for things like merch.
Being from Leeds, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
I think there is a small pop band called Kaiser Detectives? They are meant to be pretty good, but I haven’t purposely heard them.
Bands that are local to us that we would tell you guys to check out would include, but are not limited to: Dychosis, Deadlock Saints, Pulverise, Blame and Imprimis.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Chris: Painkiller by Judas Priest
Mick: Iowa by Slipknot
George: Leviathan by Mastodon
Marty: Sacrament by Lamb of God
Tim: Black Sunday by Cypress Hill
Revolt will be out mid-2019