Signed to Enso Music Management, London based three-piece Them Bloody Kids have recently released their debut EP entitled The Angel. With a sound that will make you move like you have had 46 lines of cocaine in three minutes, things have been going well for a band very much in its infancy. With the aim of 2020 to gig up and down the country, I thought of catching up with Seb before he packs the van.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Darren (drums) is from Liverpool, Antonio is Italian and I am from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
So Darren and I started jamming and messing around with some ideas in early 2018 and Antonio just joined us in January 2020 to complete the trio.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I think we are making metal more accessible with catchy melodic screams and mega riffs that have everyone banging their heads. We have various influences from a variety of genres and that helps us create our unique sound, often using oriental themes played on the guitar over a heavy drum beat which nicely interlocks with the bass line to create our “vibe”.
In September 2019, you released your first EP entitled The Angel. How does it feel to get the new songs out there for the masses to hear for the first time and how have the responses been?
We are really buzzing with The Angel. We poured our hearts and souls into this and found five songs that really sum up the band’s sound. We meticulously went through these songs to make them better and better until the finished product was complete and it feels as though our time, effort and money has been put to good use. People seem to be really thriving off the EP when we play the material at gigs. It always gets a good reaction and the feedback from the masses overall has been great. People like it and think it’s more accessible than most metal, we have even had positive feedback from people “not into metal” that have said they would listen to our stuff as it’s unique and easy listening.
Being active for a couple of years now, how would you say it compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will Them Bloody Kids continue to keep experimenting?
Well, the material has changed quite a bit as my songwriting style changed. We started with more ballad type tracks that were slow but powerful and decided we needed more energy in the songs. My songwriting style originally was pop/rock acoustic stuff that evolved into rock and then into the more alternative metal. I started to listen to more metal bands to really find where I wanted us to sit in the scene and found some great bands that I drew some heavy influence from. That helped me hone in on how I wanted TBK to sound and focus on writing in that style. My writing is constantly evolving I’m sure this upcoming album will have some surprises for the listeners and I have some very different riffs that I am messing around with at the moment that could take us to the next phase of TBK.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record? How are the songs constructed in the studio?
So we meet roughly once/twice a week to keep the songs tight and the musical relationship between us fresh. When we record so far we have recorded the drums in London at Unit 2 studios and the rest i.e. vocals, guitars and bass in reading at Whitehouse studios with Justin Paul-Hill (previously of Sikth) who records, mixes and masters all our tracks. He recorded the EP and has recorded our upcoming album too. He’s fantastic and really understands the band’s vision and gets us sounding the best we can be, he really helps us to achieve our goals when we are in the studio and makes recording fun, which is always a bonus.
So we have the songs already written, rehearsed and often already gigged as we go into the studio but we are always up for feedback from Justin to see if he thinks there are some sections that need something extra to make it really pop. We start by recording the drums and getting a guide vocal and guitar for Darren to follow, then on to the rhythm guitars to get the harmony of the song sketched out so the bass can follow, next is bass then vocals and at the end we listen through and think of any extra lead guitar sections or atmospheric guitars/vocals that we could slot in to complete the track and get the vibe of each song perfect.
Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Them Bloody Kids a band where all members contribute to the songs?
So the songs themselves are conjured up by Seb., Often alone in his room he will sort the harmony for the song and the lyrics with vocal melodies and bring it to the band to play through and jam out. Darren will write his own drums but takes some direction from the other members on the intensity with which he is playing. For now, the bass lines are written by Seb although with Antonio being involved in the band now I am sure he will be writing bass lines for any new material we write.
Is there a main lyricist within the band? What are the lyrics for the EP The Angel based on?
Yes, I write all the lyrics I have been really into lyric writing for a long time – it’s very therapeutic. The Angel has many themes running throughout, every song is different. I like to keep people guessing with what the songs mean for me and allow other people to take their own meaning out of the lyrics, allow them to connect with it in their own individual way.
Being a three-piece 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?
When we are writing the songs over the first couple months of playing it, there will be changes made and we have been known to have some heated debates about the songs in the writing stage, but this all helps the song get to where we need it to be and we are consistently happy with the finished product. I think everyone in the band would agree they’re our songs and we’re happy about them and they are exactly what we are wanting for the band at this moment in time.
You are about to play Metal to the Masses in the Unicorn Camden, London on February 9th. How excited are you to play this gig and will there be more new material being played at this show?
Yes! We are buzzing to play Metal to the Masses, it’ll be a chance to get some new listeners and show the people of Bloodstock what we are all about. We will be playing some new songs for sure at this gig, including our first single from the new album, “Show No Love” which will be released on 07.02.20. Keep your eyes peeled for the music video, too, coming on the same day.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on more bigger tours and further afield in 2020?
Well, I am currently at university in London so fitting the band around that is difficult enough, but we find time as we are all eager to play music together and as most of the gigs we have played have been in north London it hasn’t been too much of a problem. This year we are hoping to start gigging all over the UK we have dates in Bristol, Croydon, Oxford, Camden and are looking at Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds etc… to get the ball moving up north too.
How hard is it for a band like Them Bloody Kids 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?
Yeah, it’s hard in terms of money but the thrill of gigging keeps me going and we believe in this music we really think it needs to be heard by people so that keeps me slogging away.
Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends. Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and Them Bloody Kids?
Well, personally I think that social media is great for bands and the internet certainly made it easier to get noticed by the masses than you could do it on your own. It’s great for fans as they can get all their information in one place rather than buying lots of magazines. Them Bloody Kids are finding the internet great for advertising and putting ourselves out there allowing people to access our page and understand what we are about from our perspective.
You are now on the Enso Music Management roster. How has it been to work with them and what are they doing to help push Them Bloody Kids to the next level?
Yeah, Enso have been great. They are sorting us gigs/tours getting reviews sorted for singles, etc. They’ve got a great network of people from the industry that gives us the boost we didn’t have on our own.
What are your plans for 2020?
We are dropping our debut album Radical Animals this year. First of all, we will be dropping four songs with videos as singles throughout the start/ middle of the year. Hoping to start gigging all over the UK and get onto the festival lineups for this summer. We have hopes of a northern tour to get back to our roots. (Darren and Seb)
Being from the London area, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend and give a shout out?
October Grey are a great band, I would describe them as “Tim Burton” metal. They put on a great show and each member is crazy talented. Watching the guitarist’s fingers move will honestly have you staring with awe. Secondly, I’d like to say Underjoy. They’re an alternative rock band got some fantastic tunes that will have you stomping your feet and singing along in no time at all. Lastly, a new band on the scene, Vixen X, are great with their unique multi-national line-up that really has their own vibe, each member brings their own thing to create what is Vixen X.
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?
- Toxicity– System of a Down
- Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
- Hate – Thy Art is Murder
- Scars on Broadway – Scars on Broadway
- Kasabian – Velociraptor
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Go and give us a follow on our social media pages. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and don’t forget to check us out on Spotify. New stuff coming on Feb 7th – get excited.