INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Tear It Down are a four-piece, comprising of vocalist/bassist Blade Edwards, lead guitarist Jesse Taylor, rhythm guitarist Rhys Jones and drummer Jamie Roberts.
Hailing from the Black Country, the birthplace of heavy metal, the band have established themselves locally with a sound reminiscent of fellow Midlanders Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Now, the quartet are looking to emulate those two outfits by making an impact further afield, which they hope one day will lead to global domination.
Here’s what the guys had to say when I chatted to them recently:
How did the band form?
BLADE EDWARDS (vocals/bass): I’ve been long-term friends with Jesse for about eight years now. One day, we ended up in his room with two guitars and we made a demo of one of our songs ‘Rock God’. It was the worst demo ever, but it expanded from there, and we’ve had a few drummers and rhythm guitarists, but…
JESSE TAYLOR (lead guitar): We just kept sacking Rhys and then kept bringing him back! (laughs)
JAMIE ROBERTS (drums): He was shit, but everyone else we tried was worse! (laughs)
BLADE: After a while, we finally ended up as a four-piece.
JAMIE: I’m the drummer, and I joined about a year ago.
BLADE: It was actually around the time we played our first festival with Anonymous.
JAMIE: And when did Rhys first join?
JESSE: About six months after we first formed.
How did the name Tear It Down come about?
JESSE: Oh, no! (laughs) We were sat in Blade’s house…
BLADE: I think it was actually your house.
JESSE: Well, it was one of our houses. Anyway, we were sat down and Blade told me that we needed to come up with a name for the band, because we didn’t have one and our first gig was coming up.
Some of the names I came up with were Burn The Flag, Tear It Up, Burn It Down, Tear It Down. When I said that, Blade went: “That’s the name!” It was very juvenile, because of how young we were at the time, but it has stuck.
How would you describe your sound?
BLADE: We usually say it’s a fusion of blues and metal.
JESSE: In the early days, we described it as “blue metal“.
BLADE: When we first started, we had more of a bluesy rhythm with a crunchier tone, but as time’s gone on and we’ve added new people, our sound has become louder and heavier.
It started becoming more like when Jamie joined the band, because at the same time, Jesse said that he wanted to play meatier riffs, so we all decided to tune to Drop D, to compensate for his heaviness.
We play mostly metal now, but we also chuck in some blues to mix it up a bit. We deliberately calm our live sets in the middle to keep it all fresh.
JAMIE: And to let me relax!
JESSE: Yeah, Jamie’s T-shirt is literally covered in a mountain of sweat. If you pulled on it, it would stick to him.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
JESSE: I write most of the songs, sort of, so I tend to write a series of riffs, like a series of unfortunate events that sort of collapse forwards in the songs.
BLADE: Basically, we have to write a load of riffs, and we have to pick one out of all of them.
JESSE: It’s like picking a name of a hat!
BLADE: So, Jesse writes the riffs, and then me and Rhys will usually come up with some sort of chord structure to put over the top of it. I don’t write anything down, I keep them all in my head.
What are the inspirations behind the band’s lyrics?
BLADE: Girls are quite a prominent theme, I would say. (All laugh) We have to compensate for the lack of them in our lives by singing about them.
JESSE: Occasionally, we will try to write something that is more emotional and thoughtful, but then we realise that we don’t know how to do that, so then we write about things that sound like they could be.
BLADE: A couple of our recent songs have been about war, and our ideas of what people would think in a war scenario.
You’ve just played the opening set at Uttoxeter Rocks. How is the live experience for all of you?
BLADE: It varies quite a lot. We’ve played a few times at a place in Wolverhampton called the Newhampton Arts Centre. The first time, we went on relatively early and virtually nobody was there, but the second time, we were on second to last and we got a huge reception.
When you have people there, you can see them in front and enjoying the music, it helps our performance a lot.
JESSE: Yeah, that was probably one of the best gigs we have played. We played around eight, nine songs and from the second track right the way through to the encore, there was a constant moshpit in front of us.
JAMIE: Looking at that, standing on the stage, it was amazing to watch.
BLADE: When you’ve got a crowd like that, it gives you a very large buzz.
What’s planned for the near future?
JESSE: Probably head off to the pub! (All laugh)
I meant further in the future.
BLADE: At the moment, we are thinking of getting a new bassist in, so we can make the bass more rhythmic, and create more of a vibrant sound.
JAMIE: Blade’s a botched bassist.
JESSE: We did a tour of Spain and while we were there, we realised we didn’t have anyone to play bass, so after necking two bottles of Spanish wine, we passed the bass to Blade.
BLADE: Once we’ve got a bassist solidified in the band, we’ll be looking at getting an EP out, hopefully by the end of this year. Also, we’re looking at merchandising, among other things, because for a small band like us, it’s a big thing being able to get more material out to more people.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
BLADE: I think a big aim for us would be to play a huge festival or do a big tour. In all honesty, we are at the stage now where locally, we are a known band, so now, we are looking to make our name across the rest of the UK and then, looking further ahead, overseas.
JESSE: It would be an amazing feeling to be known worldwide, going on stage with everyone chanting the band’s name.
FURTHER INFO ON TEAR IT DOWN CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE: www.facebook.com/TEARITDOWN515