DERANGE (from l-r): Justas Brazdziunas (guitar), Joe Macpherson (bass), Cat Pereira (vocals), Joe Farrell (drums), Nick Crosby (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
In the autumn of 2015, London tech-metal collective Derange burst onto the scene with their debut album, ‘The Awakening‘, which appealed to fans and critics alike, with the likes of Metal Hammer and Powerplay Magazine giving it excellent reviews.
Since then, the band gave been building up their following further, with tours of the UK and continental Europe, appearances at festivals such as Bloodstock, and a string of well-received single releases.
Following a highly-energetic set to a packed crowd at The Devonshire Arms in Camden – as part of the recent Camden Rocks Festival – vocalist Cat Pereira and guitarist Justas Brazdziunas spoke to me about all of this and much more.
How did the band initially form?
CAT PEREIRA (vocals): The band initially formed while I was at university. I met Joe – our bassist – at a party, and he asked me if I would be interested in joining a band he was thinking of forming.
I replied, “Okay. Why not?“, and then I met Nick when he turned up to our first rehearsal, where I showed him a few ideas that me and Joe had come up with, which had been very badly recorded on my mobile, which he then transcribed, so I knew then that would be the right person to join the band, and Justas and Joe – our drummer – joined later.
JUSTAS BRAZDZIUNAS (guitar): I joined quite recently.
CAT: We already knew each other, as we were already good friends, so I knew that Justas was a great guitarist. We invited him to join us on tour last year, and we quickly realised that he was giving us that extra charge, so after the tour had finished, we made him a permanent member of the band, and that’s how our current line-up came about.
How did the name Derange come about?
CAT: It was completely random. In the summer of 2013, I was listening to a lot of nu-metal – bands like Rage Against The Machine and Linkin Park – and I would think, “I want to be in a band like that“, and then one day, I was listening to a track called ‘Deranged‘ by Coheed And Cambria, and afterwards, it kept coming back to me. Sometimes, people will call us Deranged, but it’s Derange.
JUSTAS: That’s why it helps to remember the name.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
CAT: Our songwriting approach usually starts off with Nick writing a cool riff, or having an idea for a verse or a chorus.
Usually, I will have lyrics at hand that I have written at other times, and I will suggest that we try them, so it usually starts just being me and Nick, and then when we’ve put together a melody, us and the rest of the band will jam it, and then one of the other members will come up with an idea or something, therefore, everyone in the band gets a chance to participate, and that’s the way the songwriting process works for us.
There’s none of this “something is better than the other“, as if something fails to work, it all fails.
What inspires the band lyrically?
CAT: It all depends on our approach, on how I’m feeling at the time. For our first album, ‘The Awakening‘, I was very much interested in the power of consciousness and spirituality, but I didn’t want it to focus entirely on me, because I wanted the lyrics to be of more general appeal, but recently, I have found that that doesn’t really work for me any more, as when the lyrics are more personal, I can get the emotion across much better.
I now write about that, as well as everyday things that happen, really, but I like to write about things that actually mean something.
‘The Awakening’ was released in the autumn of 2015 to very positive reviews. Honestly, was that something you were all expecting while recording it?
CAT: We knew that it was a good album, because it was written on a perception of the truth, but we have an even better album coming out soon, which we’ve been working very hard on.
However, we weren’t expecting ‘The Awakening‘ to get the response it did, which we got to fully experience when we played at Bloodstock the following year.
How was playing at Bloodstock as an experience?
CAT: It was amazing. When we were first told we were going to be playing at Bloodstock, we had no idea we would end up playing on the second stage, so that was awesome.
You earlier mentioned a new album. When are you thinking of getting that out by?
CAT: We’ve been working on the album for a while now, and we have actually released a couple of tracks from it already, but in regards to a release date, unfortunately, we can’t say at the moment. We’re not even going to reveal the album’s title yet.
The band have just performed a set at Camden Rocks. How is the experience – for you all – of playing live?
JUSTAS: It’s great, especially the set we’ve just played. It’s such an enjoyable experience.
CAT: We were genuinely surprised at the high turnout we had for our set, especially when it was at one o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. Camden Rocks is a great place to discover new bands.
CAT: The bigger the crowd, the more energised we feel, so it creates a real buzz.
JUSTAS: It also makes you relax more, as there’s less pressure, therefore, we could play a really good set today, as we could see a lot of people who were watching and listening to us, and it gave us a very positive feeling.
And lastly, album aside, what have you got lined up for the near future?
CAT: We are going to be playing at Tech-Fest, we also have a tour lined up for this autumn, and we’re going to be releasing a few more singles, as the ones we have released from the new album so far have had great feedback.
We’re currently looking at getting the next track out in mid-July, so we’re not going to be having any rest from now on. (laughs)
‘DIVIDE’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM DERANGE – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S SECOND ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.
FURTHER INFO ON DERANGE CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: