Tag Archives: Bury The Traitor

DERBY ALT FEST 2.0 – The Hairy Dog, Derby, 30/09/2017

Derby Alt Fest 2.0 poster

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

As September drew to a close, The Hairy Dog, fast establishing itself as a key venue on the Derby music scene, played host to an all-day rock and metal festival comprising of many local bands, with a few coming from out of town especially, including headliners To Kill Achilles, who had travelled all the way down from Dundee.

The weather wasn’t very good, and unfortunately, some of the outfits scheduled to play had to pull out prior to the day, but it seemed, in the run-up to the opening act, everybody there was in good spirits.

Getting the second Derby Alt Fest off to a loud, energetic start were A Hundred Crowns, a six-piece from Nottingham.

They were initially going to open proceedings on the second stage, situated upstairs, but were moved to the main stage.

Entering the room containing the main stage, I couldn’t help but laugh at seeing a large arrow hanging from above with “TWAT” written in big letters, but anyway, back to the opening band, and despite playing in front of a sparse attendance, which unfortunately often is the case with the first outfit on, they played a gutsy, intense fusion of metalcore and post-hardcore, with a mix of harsh and melodic vocals.

A Hundred Crowns gig photo

Being relatively new, their set was rather limited in terms of songs, but what they didn’t have in quantity they had in quality.

Finishing off with their debut single, ‘The Highs’, A Hundred Crowns got a good reception from the few people who were there.

Next up on the main stage were fellow Nottingham outfit Infirm Of Purpose, who also had a debut single to promote.

Their set comprised of an intense metal sound, backed up by synthesisers and turntables. The use of these instruments gave the five-piece, of which two had helped to organise the whole day, a electronicore and dubstep flavour.

Infirm Of Purpose gig photo

Watching frontman Josh Blackshaw give a performance abundant in high energy, I wouldn’t have been surprised if prior to going on stage, he had drunk about ten cans of Red Bull.

As their half-hour came to an end, the crowd area had started to fill up, with two or three bobbing their heads aggressively to the music.

However, by the time thrash metallers Hellrazor started on stage, the audience had trickled down to a select few.

Not that there seemed to be any anger from the band about this, their vocalist actually took the opportunity to make a few tongue-in-cheek references, one of which being, “Hope you enjoyed that, all four of you!

Hellrazor band photo

Regardless of this, the set was enjoyable, with the local outfit playing passionately, with catchy riffs and heavy headbangers galore, influenced by “The Big Four” of metal, as well as more classic collectives of the genre.

Hellrazor were also a member down, and Tom, a guitarist who had come in at the last minute to fill in, did a stellar job. It was like he had been a part of the band for years.

After that, it was time to venture upstairs to the second stage to see local metalcore six-piece Buried And Forgotten, where the room was so compact, not all of the members could stand on the stage, so the two vocalists decided to perform in front.

Being in such a confined space, you could really get up close to them, literally feeling the sweat pouring from their foreheads as the whole band opted for full-on aggression.

Buried And Forgotten band photo

The frontmen even got one of the merchandise people to come and join them for a brief mosh. With both of them having long hair, it was as if the merchandiser was being enveloped by their flowing locks.

After all of that, it was back downstairs for This.Is.Hate’s set. Having chatted earlier in the day with the band’s lead vocalist, and another festival organiser, Liam Barlow, he had told me that he saved up all of his aggression for the stage, and judging by his stage presence, he was right.

This.Is.Hate gig photo

With a sound, that in Liam’s words, was “heavy as fuck!“, you could tell that the outfit were pouring their souls into producing the best possible live set.

With some of their set list, they also showcased a groovier and heavier sound, which shows how mature the guys are becoming with their songwriting.

Immediately following them were Bury The Traitor. The Derby quintet had a heavy yet melodic sound that drew from a wide range of musical influences, and they used the stage as a good opportunity on which to exploit this to a high standard.

Bury The Traitor gig photo

They took their music seriously, but didn’t let it get in the way of them having a great time during their performance, with all five of the band seeming to bond really well as a unit, which definitely came across while I was watching them.

Serious” is probably a word alien to Raised By Owls, judging by their eccentricities, which were on full show during their time on stage.

From the moment they entered to the theme tune from Ski Sunday, I knew that it wasn’t in their nature to play a bog-standard set.

Television theme tunes played an important role throughout, acting as little intervals between the tracks, with the crowd also being treated to the themes of Chucklevision and Murder, She Wrote.

Raised By Owls gig photo

The songs themselves showcased effectively their brand of surreal humour, with avant-garde lyrics set to snarling vocals and very heavy guitar riffs.

As well as moshing to the angry sound, the audience were in fits of laughter.

If there had been an award given out to the most original band of the day, Raised By Owls would have won by a country mile.

I had had the pleasure of interviewing Skies In Motion when I had been at the Macmillan Fest in Nottingham at the beginning of September.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see them that day as their stage time clashed with an interview I was doing.

Skies In Motion band photo

This meant that this time, I was determined not to miss them, and I’m glad I didn’t, as they were impressive throughout, playing a number of well-crafted compositions, taken from both their overwhelmingly positively received recent debut album, ‘Life Lessons’, and other offerings.

In the past, the band have played with the likes of Killswitch Engage and Skindred, and after seeing their excellent performance, the passion they put into everything they do, and their rapidly rising profile, the local outfit are seemingly well on their way to emulating those two.

Another of the collectives that I can comfortably say have a strong work ethic were headliners To Kill Achilles.

To Kill Achilles band photo

The Scotsmen’s job was to bring proceedings on the main stage, and the entire day, to a close, and they did it in some style, literally raising the roof off with a powerful set comprising of a unique brand of melodic metalcore, incorporating the use of other musical genres such as pop, rock and emo, coupled with frank and personal lyrics.

All in all, the festival was a great way of boosting the profile of Derby on the British rock and metal scene, full of entertaining bands that were truly passionate about what they played, but were not afraid to enjoy themselves as well.

I presume, judging by this year’s success, that the Derby Alt Fest 3.0 is on the cards for 2018.

 

 

 

 

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BURY THE TRAITOR

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)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

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.

THE SECOND EP FROM BURY THE TRAITOR WILL BE RELEASED IN EARLY 2018.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: burythetraitor.co.uk

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/BuryTheTraitorUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/BuryTheTraitor

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/bttofficial