Category Archives: Interviews


Fathoms band photo

FATHOMS (from l-r): Sam Rigden (guitar/vocals), James Munn (guitar), Max Campbell (vocals), Lui Sarabia (drums), Steve Cogdon (bass)


In the seven years that they have been in existence, Brighton metalcore quintet Fathoms have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, garnering acclaim for a powerful, gritty metal sound, as well as embarking on several successful tours around the world.

Since bringing out their debut album, ‘Lives Lived’, to rave reviews two years ago, the band have mainly been in the studio working on refreshing their musical stylings.

Now, the five-piece are back with a new album, ‘Counter Culture’, set for release this December, which promises to be their finest offering to date.

They told me about this, and other things, when I chatted with them.

How did the band form?

A few of us were already friends and knew each other from going to parties and hanging out, we all listened to the same music and loved the scene, so we decided to give something back and make our own music and start playing shows anywhere we could!

How did the name Fathoms come about?

We come from by the sea, and a Fathom is a unit of measurement of water. We always hang out on the beach, so the name just came to us while we were getting high and chilling on the beach.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

The band gets together, and James and Sam will write the skeleton structure of our songs, then each member will add the drums, bass, vocal pattern and lyrics over it. It works really well for us all being able to have an input and put our own influences into every song.

Speaking of influences, who are the main ones for the band?

Our musical influence mainly stems from the film ‘School of Rock’ and Jack Black started this all for us. Nah! Really, we love a lot of hip-hop and metal, particularly early 2000’s nu-metal bands.

What provides the inspiration for your lyrics?

My lyrics always stem from what is going on in my life at that moment, how I’m feeling, and it’s my way of venting my thoughts and emotions. I take a lot of influence from hip-hop artists, so I try to make that come through in the music, whilst sticking true to the metal roots of the band.

In December, the band will be releasing a new album, ‘Counter Culture’. How has the recording process been?

To be honest, we’ve had a lot of trouble with it. Unfortunately, our long-term producer Tom Denney messed with us and would not give us our finished music back for over a year.

It’s been a struggle and we had to re-record most of the album, but we are all so happy with how it has turned out. We couldn’t be more proud of how the album sounds and it’s by far the best music we’ve made as a band.

And what can your fan base expect from it?

A change in sound, we’re coming really heavy with the riffs and we have some mad nu-metal/hip-hop parts to songs. The whole album is both heavier and more melodic than our previous material. Just expect something different, you will not be disappointed.

Earlier this month, the band were on a European tour with Kingdom Of Giants and Create To Inspire. How did that go?

It was great, a highlight was playing an insane show in Budapest. Both bands are super talented and we couldn’t have been more happy to be playing with such a great bunch of guys, make sure you check them both out!

Fathoms Album Cover









Calling Apollo band photo

CALLING APOLLO (from l-r): Kevin Williams (guitar), Zak Woolf (drums), Christian Neale (vocals), Dan Hughes (guitar), Luke Walters (bass)


Calling Apollo are an alternative rock five-piece from Cardiff.

The band burst onto the scene two years ago with a well-received debut, ‘Hunter/Gatherer’, which showcased an aggressive sound mixed with melodic song structures and ambience.

Since then, the quintet have not looked back, getting more rave reviews for the first part of their release, ‘The Great Depression’, which dealt lyrically with the political attitudes of 1920’s America and how it is being mirrored in contemporary Britain, as well as winning over rock fans across the UK with a solid live presence.

Having just released a new single, ‘Light The Way’, and with the eagerly-awaited second part of ‘The Great Depression’ coming out next month, the Welshmen spoke to me about all this and more.

How did the band get together?

We actually all met online. Our previous bands had all disbanded and we all fancied a bit of musical online dating!

From where did the name Calling Apollo originate?

We’re space geeks and were talking space geekery for band names.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Anything. We love bands like Arcane Roots, Caspian, Deftones and Funeral For A Friend and we also take inspiration from film scores.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It literally depends on the song. Sometimes, we’ll see what comes organically in the practice room and sometimes, we’ll develop a demo that’s been written at home. One thing we try to do is write a specific type of song, so we know what direction to head in without spiraling out of control.

The band have just released a new single, ‘Light The Way’. What can be expected from it?

It’s a song that’s always had a great live response. It’s both big and delicate at times and hopefully it’s a bit of an anthem too.

You have also recently completed the recording of the second part of your release, ‘The Great Depression’. What were the reasons for splitting it into two parts?

It’s something we’ve always wanted to do. The story is set in two parts, one out of confusion and anger, and the other with a retrospective look on how we see the world today. It felt too compressed to be crammed into one record.

How is the experience of playing live and touring for the band?

It’s great. We wish we could do it all the time.

What is your long-term aim?

It’s hard to say, but we simply want to do as much as we possibly can.












Survival Kit band photo

SURVIVAL KIT (sat from l-r): Andrew Lynn (guitar/vocals), Billy “Two Times” Kilgore (bass), Travis Blake (vocals/guitar) (lying at front): Allen Beck (drums)


Since the release of their debut EP, ‘Hard Work & Dedication’, last year, Atlanta alternative rock four-piece Survival Kit have been enjoying a rapid rise in profile.

They have made a big impact on their home city’s music scene with a unique sound blending different genres and formed from a wide range of influences, including Nirvana, A Day To Remember and Panic! At The Disco.

The quartet’s main goal is to help reassure their growing fan base that they are not alone in any struggles they may face in life, and to give them the confidence to take on what is, at the moment, a turbulent world.

Having just released a new single, ‘Valedictorian’, which has seen the Georgia outfit gain further acclaim, they took some time out to chat with me all about themselves.

How did you all get together?

Allen and Andrew met when they were 14, 15 years old and played music together in a metalcore band. Billy (known as “Two Times” and “Chewy”) & Travis both joined to play bass at some point and we all became really good friends through music.

After high school, we all went different ways, but we all kept in touch and always felt we would write great music together again.

How did the name Survival Kit come about?

We tossed ideas back and forth for a few months trying to decide and Survival Kit just hit home. We feel like music is our whole purpose here on this world and without it, we would feel pretty empty. It’s our Survival Kit.

From where did Billy’s nickname “Two Times” originate?

So Allen and Andrew started that metalcore band in high school with Bill Metcalfe (Come Down Denver). When “Chewy” joined, we had to find a way to differentiate between the two Bills.

“Two Times” was the name that eventually stuck for Billy, but then Travis started calling him “Chewy” for short. Now, he has three names and you will probably hear us interchange the three throughout our career (laughs).

Seriously, he is one of the most important elements of our sound. Listen closely and you will hear some awesome unique bass riffs in all of our songs.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

For every song we write, we want a new dynamic and sound. In ‘Valedictorian’,we decided to pick a old school rock n’ roll vibe. When writing the verses, we wanted it to be groovy and fun, so we knew the melodies were right the instant they came out.

As we went through the lyric writing, we talked about stories from our lives and put together a narrative that fitted how those situations impacted the people we know.

Last year, the band released their debut EP, ‘Hard Work & Dedication’. How was the reaction to that?

So ‘Hard Work & Dedication’ is basically an EP showing our roots. It’s four songs that solidified our abilities and emotional side, so that the world can see where we came from.

The reaction was great! Everyone that listens always has a different favourite song, so it definitely did what we wanted it to do. It is probably the only set of songs that will sound like that in our career. Everything from here on out is going to be a surprise to our listeners!

You recently brought out a new single, ‘Valedictorian’. Will that eventually lead to another EP or debut album?

At the moment, we are planning on only releasing singles. We have tons of songs that we could record and release, but right now, we are focused on putting out songs that are different. We want to show the world that we can write all different types of rock.

We are in full control at the moment, so we want to give you what we truly feel represents us…and we like to have a good fucking time! Also, we feel that albums do better with representation. Until then, we will push every single like an album and reach as many new friends and listeners as we can.

The band are from Atlanta. What is your opinion of the city’s current music scene?

ATL! We love Atlanta and the endless opportunities here, it’s like the new Hollywood. The big music scene is focused around festivals and clubs. The “scene” is mostly comprised of incredibly talented hardcore and metal bands.

Alternative rock artists have to fight very hard to get noticed here, but we all work together to spread each other’s names as often as we can. Teamwork makes the dream work!

You will be supporting VISTA in your home city in the next couple of weeks. How is the experience for you all of playing live and touring?

When we play shows…that is when we feel most alive. We laugh, we jump, we scream, we fall down, and we have the best time of our lives. We want to make you feel like you can do the same.

The tour in August was so sick, and we can’t wait to find more opportunities to see our beautiful country. Until then, we are flying between New York and California to meet industry professionals and get advice to build the longest future possible for us.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

Longevity. We want to be the biggest rock band in the world. We want to get to number 1 on the Billboard charts. We also want to be constantly pushing boundaries in our music and in the music industry.

We will never “sell out” because we are always going to write music we love. No-one will ever force us to write crap. We won’t let it happen. We already scrap so much music that you will never hear…it is insane. We’re already building a strong base of fans in the UK and France, so we are well on our way to that goal!















To Kill Achilles band photo

TO KILL ACHILLES (from l-r): Matthew Tippett (bass), Kieran Smith (drums), Mark Tindal (vocals), Shaun Lawrence (guitar), Marc Sharp (guitar)


From Dundee in Scotland, five-piece To Kill Achilles play a distinctive brand of melodic metalcore, incorporating the use of other musical genres such as pop, rock and emo.

The band’s sound, as well as frank, personal lyrical content, has enabled them to amass a fast-expanding worldwide fan base, which has seen the quintet play live in much of Europe and Russia.

The outfit, with their motto, “We’re all in these together“, also have a strong work ethic, having recently released an EP, and have already started to put together a new album.

Taking time from this to headline the Derby Alt Fest at the end of last month, To Kill Achilles chatted in-depth with me about their journey so far, and what their hopes are for the future.

How did the band get together?

SHAUN LAWRENCE (guitar): It’s a long story! It must have been about seven years ago, actually, neither of us were there at the beginning.

MARK TINDAL (vocals): Basically, Sharpy (Marc Sharp), our guitarist, started the band with some of his friends. Some left, some joined, and we came in after the first six months.

It was literally just friends playing music together and having a good time, you know, and that’s still the case now.

SHAUN: I had been in another band before I joined this one. Sharpy and the other guys had kicked out their old guitarist, and they asked me to fill in. I said, “Yeah, alright, but I’m not going to join permanently“, and I’m still here today.

How did the name To Kill Achilles come about?

MARK: There’s a bit of a concept behind it. The initial idea was that we wanted to do tracks that were kind of messages to make people feel better and stuff, so Achilles was this Greek god that you could never be, but he had a weak spot, which was his heel, so the name kind of influences the theory that anything is possible.

The Achilles thing also came about by watching the film Troy.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

SHAUN: Actually, what we tend to do is that we come up with a lot of personal lyrics, stuff that has happened to us, and we try to convey that into a story. It’s not something really niche, it can relate to any individual.

Sometimes, we will actually write the music first, we will get an image from what we hear, and when that happens, we will write a song like that.

MARK: Some of our lyrical content is also based on, and I know this sounds weird, films that don’t exist, so I try to think up of a film and a story that could happen in it.

I always try to make sure there is a beginning, middle and end, that it’s a full story rather than just buzzwords, which I don’t like in songs.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

MARK: It’s quite a weird one, with our style, to be honest, because we do play around with a few genres.

SHAUN: Honestly, as a band and as people individually, we don’t really listen to metal. I listen to a lot of The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon, Fleetwood Mac, things like that, it’s not what we take as musical inspiration, it’s rather the stories they put together in the lyrics.

We also listen to a lot of Architects, Slaves, both really good bands, and that’s actually where a few ideas for our songwriting have come from as well. Mostly, we take in as much as we can, and see what comes out.

I’ve always said that we don’t really have an approach to songwriting, we just sort of start writing, and then we see what happens. We don’t just sit down and go, “We’re going to write this today“, one of us will have an idea with some imagery behind it and a story in their mind, and if we like the idea, we go forward with it.

MARK: That’s what we do.

You’ve recently released an EP, ‘Anywhere But Here’. How was the recording process?

MARK: Really good, actually. Luckily, I record other bands in my spare time, so for the recording of this EP, it was the first time I had tracked everything, so basically, it was so much fun, because we are all such good friends. We like to think of ourselves as friends first, bandmates second.

It was great, we’d had the songs written for a while, and then I just gave everyone else a call, saying, “Come down and put some guitars to them, man.”

SHAUN: There was no pressure. We did the first album in a studio, and we had a lot of ideas, but we were never really able to turn them into full songs.

It was money on the clock, though, which we didn’t have this time around, so we could approach things more at our own leisure, which probably made the time it took to record longer than it should have done, but it was a good learning curve. We now know what to do next time.

MARK: We did experiment with a lot of ideas, and because with this one, there was no time limit, when I was tracking the final bit and something went wrong, we could actually go, “No, that’s not too bad, keep it.”

The final mix was done for us by Avenue Studios in Surrey, and they were incredible. They really did work their magic.

How is the latest EP different to what the band has done before?

MARK: It’s a lot heavier, but there’s a lot of emotional content in it. The title track itself is about never doing something you don’t want to do, basically, so people who have been stuck in rubbish jobs for ages and are depressed, not doing what they want.

SHAUN: Like the nine-to-five grind, no-one really wants to do that, and ‘Anywhere But Here’ is kind of like, “I want to be anywhere but in this kind of social structure, where there is a grind.”

MARK: There’s a couple of other tracks as well. ‘These Days’ is about war, and the way the world works at the moment. It’s much heavier, but there’s also a couple of influences from lighter stuff, there’s a few melodic breaks.

SHAUN: The song structures are a lot more mature than what we’ve had before. In the past, we were really guilty of doing a lot of stuff through composed, which we’ve done on this EP as well, but we’re kind of moving away from that now.

We’ve found structures that we like, and we’re actually repeating things that we enjoy. It’s like with a chorus, we go, “What’s that?(laughs)

You’ve played across the UK and much of Europe, also supporting the likes of While She Sleeps and We Came As Romans. How is the experience of playing live and touring?

MARK: It is the literal best thing in our lives.

SHAUN: Best thing around.

MARK: On our first tour, we were bitten by the bug, as it were. We were absolutely hooked straight away.

It says on the band’s Facebook page that you’ve also played Russia and plan to tour Asia in the future.

SHAUN: Yeah. Russia came about through our manager and booking agent at the time giving us this weird tour, going to places such as Italy and Bulgaria. He wanted to test our resilience, to see if we could tour as a band.

It did throw us in the deep end, but after that, we wanted to be out on the road for as long as possible. We aim to do three or four tours a year, even though our last one was cancelled through something that was out of our hands. We’ve slowed down recently, but that’s because we’ve been busy behind the scenes.

We don’t want to become this bigger band or anything like that, we just want to go to as many places as possible. We’d love to tour Asia, go back to Russia, and it would be amazing if we could get to play a few gigs in the States.

What are the band’s plans for the near future?

MARK: We’ve started writing a new album, we’re about seven songs deep at the moment. We did have quite a long stagnant period where we didn’t bring out any music, we just toured a lot, but now, we’ve got more time in which to get more stuff recorded and released.

What is your long-term aim?

MARK: Really, it’s just to travel and play as much as we can, also to meet and talk to as many people as possible.

SHAUN: When we went to Russia and other places like that, there were culture shocks, even in eastern Europe, because we come from a place that’s not necessarily anti-Eastern, but there seems to be a lot of propaganda about how these places work and how these people are, but when you actually go there, you find that the propaganda is just a load of shit.

It’s really humbling to be able to go to a country like Russia, and you know, speak to the local people, because you can get an insight into what it’s really like there, so to get away from here and visit as many countries as possible, it builds up your knowledge on what actually goes on.

Also, it’s something you can show your family and friends in years to come. You can say to them, “This is what I’ve done, this is how I’ve made my mark.”

MARK: I guess, literally, the plan is to be able to, like Shaun’s just said, to say one day that we did all of these things. That’s my end goal. I can say, “When I was 27, I did all of this, and it was amazing.” That’s all I could ask for.

To Kill Achilles EP Cover









Bury The Traitor band photo

BURY THE TRAITOR (from l-r): James Cordall (drums), Scott Day (lead guitar), Oli Loewenbach (vocals), Martyn Sheridan (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Emmett (bass)


Having burst onto the scene last year with their debut EP, ‘Anchored’, Derby five-piece Bury The Traitor have impressed many with an intense sound that spans the sub-genres of metal.

The band have been hard at work boosting their profile ever since, having toured extensively across the UK, as well as honing their heavy, powerful compositions.

With a new single, as well as a follow-up to ‘Anchored’ in the pipeline, I sat down with them before they played at the recent Alt Fest in their home city, and they had much to say.

How did the band form?

SCOTT DAY (lead guitar): I’ve been in the band for…I’ve lost count of how many years. We lost members through some of them going off to uni and whatnot, so the band started way back, under a different name.

OLI LOEWENBACH (vocals): Scott’s the longest standing member, he’s been in the band since the very beginning. The reason I joined was because Scott’s my best mate, and when he told me his band were looking for a vocalist, I decided to jump onto the bandwagon, as it were.

A month after I joined, we rebranded to Bury The Traitor, to mark a new chapter of the band.

How did the name Bury The Traitor come about?

SCOTT: It came about through a weird discussion after we had a practice. We were all sat in a circle, we were in the process of rebranding anyway, so we threw a few names around.

MARTYN EMMETT (bass): We were trying to come up with two words that we could have a “the” in between.

SCOTT: We then had a band vote, where we all wrote our favourite names down, and the majority of the votes were for Bury The Traitor. That’s pretty much how the name came about.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

SCOTT: Chaos, absolute chaos.

OLI: Basically, Scott will play a riff, and if the rest of us like it, then it will get put down. We basically track everything, so we’ll listen back, and find ways in which to work further at it all.

It’s not just the one person doing everything, everyone will get in on it.

SCOTT: It all falls into place a lot easier than it used to. Back then, we used to all sit in a room, and it felt like flogging a dead horse. We all used to end up going: “This is going nowhere“.

Now, everything flows much better, and it all comes together pretty quickly. Our songs are probably a lot better as well.

What influences the band lyrically?

SCOTT: This is another thing that we all work on together. Me and Shezz (Martyn Sheridan) will throw some lyrics in, so will Oli, so will Jamas, our drummer, otherwise known as James.

For me, at the moment, most of the lyrics for our new songs are politically driven, about the current state of the world and how things are, especially with the forthcoming single.

OLI: It’s everything that’s affecting the world, what you see on the news. Depression seems to be a massive thing at the moment.

SCOTT: There is a lot of negative shit coming from the media currently.

OLI: Our lyrics are something that people can relate to, that’s the main thing.

SCOTT: What everyone sees on the television, there’s no point in trying to shy away from it, because it’s in your life, you may as well deal with it head on.

Last year, you released your debut EP, ‘Anchored’, to mainly positive reviews. Did any of you expect the reaction that it got?

SCOTT: Yes and no. I mean, obviously, when you’re in a practice space, all you’re doing is playing your own songs and just practicing, whereas when you’re in the studio, and everything’s getting put down and tightened up, all being done professionally, it’s like…

OLI: With the whole ‘Anchored’ procedure, for me, I’d only been in the band for about a month, and we literally had scraps of songs, so we decided to try and form something around it.

We had a looming deadline, so we all thought: “Let’s try and make this the best that it can“, and that’s what we did.

Honestly, none of us really expected the reception the EP got, but we’ve had so much feedback on it, good and bad, and we have learnt a lot as well. We’ve taken all of that information to make a bigger, fuller sound, something we’re totally stoked about.

I think the new single is going to be good, because we’ve been kind of sticking to the same setlist since ‘Anchored’ came out.

SCOTT: We’ve actually thrown in a few songs since, but like Oli’s just said, our setlist has revolved around the EP, and we’ve all been thinking recently: “It’s time to get some new shit onto the table“.

The band have gigged extensively across the UK over the last twelve months. How has that been as an experience?

SCOTT: I love touring, for me, it’s just a constant alcohol fest!

OLI: Bands may put up something like: “Yeah, touring’s amazing“, but for me, honestly, that’s what it genuinely is. The atmosphere, playing on stage in front of people, is just electric, but even if there is not a lot of people watching you, you still need to give your heart out.

The one thing we all like is certain people being able to control their alcohol.

SCOTT: You’re not mentioning any names, but I presume you’re on about me.

OLI: Yeah. On our last tour, it was pretty much 24/7.

MARTYN: He can still pull it off though, and play fairly well.

OLI: It’s not really a tour for us, it’s more of a holiday. We’ve got a close friend of ours, who drives our van, so six lads travelling across the country in a Ford Transit, it’s amazing. Honestly, it’s the most fun we’ve ever had. Touring’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it. You pretty much all become a family.

MARTYN: It’s a completely different world, you don’t really think about anything else. It can be rather depressing when you have to go back to your normal life.

SCOTT: We’ve been on a few UK tours, which have lasted three to four days, but they’ve just been great. The most fun part, honestly, is the driving to and from places, like pulling up somewhere to camp for a night.

OLI: Being in a van after a show, whatever you do, don’t do van karaoke, especially if you’re a vocalist. It will blow your vocals, that was something I learned the hard way.

SCOTT: They’re all learning curves. Don’t go out every night and get smashed, you have to pace yourself.

OLI: Yeah, we learnt that on the first tour.

What are your plans for the near future?

OLI: In October, we’re not planning to play any gigs. The reason for this is that we’re going to be focusing on our next EP. We’re all going to spend a week in the studio recording with Ben Gaines, who is a great producer, and we’ll just be solidly working on everything with him.

We’ve also just recorded a new single, and filmed a video for it, our first ever, actually, which hopefully will be getting released later this year.

A massive shout out to Sean from Loki Films for doing that. When we were filming, it just pissed it down all day, but Sean was an amazing guy to work with. I would recommend him to any band.

SCOTT: Yeah, we’ve seen the footage, and it looks great. We’ve just done a shameless self-plug there. As Oli’s said, the single will be out later this year, and the EP should be released early next year. Look out for them, they’re going to be good.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

SCOTT: Our long-term aim is to probably…it varies from member to member, but for me personally, it would be to play Download and all that shit, a massive UK festival, a tour abroad. A European tour would be fucking fantastic!

OLI: An unrealistic thing, for me, would be to be able to quit my job and focus on doing this full-time.

SCOTT: Yeah, that would be the end goal, to make a career out of it.

OLI: It would be a dream come true, but at the end of the day, it’s the little things that make it all count.

SCOTT: The end aim isn’t to get rich, famous and have the band name up in lights, it’s actually to have a great time, just hanging out with your brothers. If we could make a living out of what we’re doing, that would be great.









Raised By Owls band photo

RAISED BY OWLS (from l-r): Lee Deane (drums), Alex LeGrice (guitar/backing vocals), Sam Fowler (vocals), Tobias Cope (bass), Mark Bainbridge (drums)


Hailing from the dales of Derbyshire, Raised By Owls are no ordinary metal outfit.

The quintet have a sound that pushes the boundaries of the genre, a real mix of grindcore, death metal and extreme metal.

This is accompanied by their unique brand of surreal humour, with eccentric lyrical content and song titles focusing on British themes, such as ‘You’ve Been Mary Buried’, ‘Chucklevision is Just Drug Slang’, and ‘Ainsley Harriott Advises You To Give Your Meat A Good Ol’ Rub’.

Before playing at the Derby Alt Fest recently, I chatted with them, and a dull interview it certainly was not.

How did the band form?

SAM FOWLER (vocals): We formed in Alex’s bedroom. Me and him were making love, I was screaming quite a lot, and I said to him: “We might as well do this live in front of an audience“.

To be honest, me and Lee were with Alex in his bedroom, listening to the bands we liked, and we realised that we wanted to play that kind of music. It started off as a joke, we never intended for it to be public consumption, but here we are.

LEE DEANE (drums): Unfortunately.

SAM: And everyone still hates it!

From where did the name Raised By Owls originate?

SAM: I don’t know.

(All laugh)

ALEX LEGRICE (guitar/backing vocals): Next question!

SAM: Honestly, literally none of us can remember.

LEE: It was a joke, just like us!

SAM: Yeah, I think it was just something silly, like…

LEE: It was literally you going: “Has there ever been a band called Raised By Owls?“, and us all thinking: “That might be a good name for the band“, and it just ended up sticking.

SAM: Normally, a band playing our genre would be called Raised By Wolves. Actually, at a few of the gigs we’ve played, some people have come up to us and asked: “Are you from Raised By Wolves?“. I think we wanted an animal that isn’t very metal.

ALEX: Owls are seriously metal!

(All laugh)

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

LEE: Your approach, Sam, is to get horrendously drunk.

SAM: To be fair, we don’t really have a process. If it sounds good, then we use it, if it isn’t very good, we still use it.

(All laugh)

LEE: It’s just a whole mix of stuff.

SAM: Yeah, it’s a mess.

LEE: We haven’t gone: “We’ll do strictly grindcore or strictly death metal“, if a riff is alright, we’ll just chuck it in.

SAM: Yeah, it’s just whatever goes.

What are the band’s musical influences?

LEE: Satan.

SAM: Yeah, Satan. Satan and his jazz band.

ALEX (laughs): The Electric Light Orchestra!

SAM: Carcass are a massive influence, The Black Dahlia Murder, for me personally, lyrically, not lyrically, actually, the frontman doesn’t sing about Ainsley Harriott.

ALEX: Not that we know of.

SAM: Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer, Every Time I Die, for me, as well. What about you guys?

ALEX: Elton John.

TOBIAS COPE (bass): Elton John.

ALEX: Celine Dion, as well.

SAM: Elton John and the John!

(All laugh)

ALEX: Yeah, good old Elton.

SAM: Westlife, especially the ‘Greatest Hits’ album. Not forgetting Shania Twain.

You’re known for your eccentric song titles and lyrics. Did you deliberately set out to do that, or did that come about by accident?

SAM: No, not really. We thought: “We want to do silly songs, not serious death metal“, but with our theme of Britain, we started off writing a few songs, which were all about British celebrities, we all decided to run with that, and we went from there.

The band have already amassed quite a following, with many of your videos going viral on social media. You also released an EP, ‘The Great British Grind Off’, which was well-received. Did any of you expect the reaction that all of this has had?

SAM: I’ll let someone else answer.

LEE: I didn’t expect any of the positive reaction, only disappointment. (All laugh) I was expecting people to go: “WHAT’S THIS?“, stuff like that, so it was a surprise that our music got such a good reaction. It was a very nice surprise, definitely.

SAM: I’m surprised not more people hate it, that we haven’t had as much grief about it online as we thought.

LEE: When the EP came out, we all went: “Wait until all the negative feedback comes through“, but to our surprise, I think there was only a select few that were negative comments.

What I found impressive about those were that they weren’t very memorable, because most of the time, the insults do tend to stick to you.

ALEX: There was one which read: “Delete this!

(All laugh)

SAM: We’re waiting for all the lawsuits.

LEE: Yeah.

SAM: We’re bound to get sued at some point. I’m hoping so, it will be hilarious!

You played the New Blood stage at Bloodstock this summer. How was that as an experience?

SAM: Overwhelming.

LEE: Five out of ten! (All laugh) Yeah, it was really, really good.

SAM: It was an incredible experience.

ALEX: One of our career highlights so far, possibly.

SAM: Definitely. We’d love to play there again, hint, hint.

LEE: Please!

SAM: Please let us play again!

What has the band got lined up for the near future?

SAM: Just gigging. There will be more shows, some daft videos, and then we’ll be thinking about our second EP.

LEE: We’ve also designed some terrible T-shirts, as well.

SAM: Toby hasn’t spoken much. He can talk to you about them. Come on, Toby.

TOBIAS: So, I’ve been introduced to this software, and I’ve just gone to town on it. (All laugh) I’ve made fifteen T-shirt designs, and they will be on sale soon.

(All laugh)

SAM: At a retailer near you!

TOBIAS: Not one that you can find, though.

ALEX: Thankfully!

SAM: You will be able to get them on the black market.

What is your long-term aim?

SAM: To not get sued!

(All laugh)

LEE: To not lose money! Actually, our aim is to get sued.

SAM: Our aim is to annoy someone so much with our music that they will kill all of us in a murderous rampage. That’s our aim.

ALEX: There’s no long-term plans.

SAM: We’re just going to run along with it, and enjoy ourselves while it lasts.

LEE: You never know, it could die a death next week.

ALEX: It died a death last week! And the week before!

Raised By Owls EP Cover









This.Is.Hate band photo


Playing an aggressive fusion of hardcore and beatdown, Derby outfit This.Is.Hate have been rapidly growing in stature since forming almost two years ago.

They have already amassed a devoted local following, first with their well-received debut EP ‘Karma’, then with live sets that are a perfect reflection of the band’s sound.

I caught up with their frontman Liam Barlow, just as they were setting up for the Derby Alt Fest, where Liam was also one of the organisers.

How did the band get together initially?

We actually got together here at The Hairy Dog. Me and the other two founder members, Jason the bassist, and Jay the guitarist, were drunk on a night out and we all decided that we wanted to go back on stage. That was two years ago this December.

Initially, we were just a covers band playing a one-off gig, but from there, things just escalated. We brought in a drummer and another guitarist, and here we are now.

From where did the name This.Is.Hate originate?

We were thinking something that truly represented what we wanted to do, something serious. We realised there was a lot of hatred in our music, and This.Is.Hate sort of popped up from nowhere. That’s the story behind it.

How would you describe your sound?

Heavy as fuck! (laughs) With our first EP, we just wanted to get something out there, something that we had been working on, and what we wanted to do was get the hardcore and beatdown through our sound, but this new sound that we’re doing is groovier, we’ve added a lot more style to our music, now that we’ve established ourselves.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

There’s about three or four bands that mainly influence us. They are Malevolence, Desolated, Hatebreed and Broken Teeth. Those four have really influenced our style of music, but we also take a lot of vibes from Grove Street Families.

To progress forward, there are bands in our genre that we really want to play with and take influence from. That’s the direction we’ve always taken.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We start by getting some riffs down, putting the drums to them, and then I put my vocals down. We really just play through loads of different stuff, mainly the different musical styles that we want to do, with some of them, we will go: “That’s good. Let’s mould that with something else that we’ve been writing“, and then we will progress until we’ve got a complete song.

‘Demons’, one of the tracks off our first EP, was written in 45 minutes. Jimmy the guitarist started playing this riff that we thought was really cool, Ryan put the drums to it, and three-quarters of an hour later, we had this song. It’s less than two minutes long, but it was awesome, and we still play it quite often.

What inspires the band lyrically?

There’s a lot of different things we write about, whether it’s something to do with our personal lives, we put a lot of stuff in about my own life, and a lot of the hatred tends to come from the lyrics.

Normally, I’m a really nice guy, but a lot of my aggression comes out when I’m on stage, which I really love. I also love pouring my soul into writing the lyrics and getting them down.

Actually, some of our songs are about certain individuals that have come and gone from my life, but for the most part, it’s straight-up, pure aggression.

You have another EP coming out soon, the follow-up to your debut ‘Karma’. How has the recording process been?

We haven’t actually started yet. We’ve got the full EP ready, and we will start recording in November. We’ll be releasing a new single, with a video to go along with that, around the end of that month, and then with the new EP, we’re hoping to get that out around the start of next year.

What can the band’s fan base expect from it?

It’s going to be heavier and groovier.

You’re playing at the Derby Alt Fest later today. How is the experience of playing live?

Oh, we love it. The thing is, we’ve all come from different musical backgrounds, so we all poured something in when we first started. On stage, we just go from five friends jamming in a room to a family really enjoying watching the energy from the crowd. That drives us to get even better, and we just bounce off each other, having a good laugh as well.

The best thing we have is the audience participation. If they’re all going mad, it just becomes one big circle which makes us all happy.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We want to go on another tour, preferably at the start of next year. We’ve got some things in the pipeline.

We recently signed to Deadshot Live Events. Our tour manager basically put a lot of our stuff together, and you can expect to hear something about that from us shortly.

We’re also hoping, for next summer, to get ourselves across to Europe, and then get our first fully-produced album out over the next eighteen months or so.