CONSTRUCT (from l-r): Rich Howle (guitar), Sam Hunt (drums), Callum Howle (vocals), Chris Lovatt (bass), Mike Foxall (guitar/backing vocals)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Construct, a five-piece metal outfit from Stoke-on-Trent, were formed two years ago from the ashes of former rock bands Zero Divide and Terrestrial.
According to their Facebook profile, they “aim to create an atmospheric performance and push the boundaries of existing genres, while merging the most unlikely genres together.”
This musical approach, along with the talents of the band members, have made them a group to watch out for.
I decided to have a chat with them to discuss their past, present and future.
How did the band originally get together?
RICH HOWLE (GUITAR): Originally, we started off as a trio (me, Cal and Sam) jamming out in Sam’s living room after our previous bands Zero Divide and Terrestrial phased out, we’d been friends for quite a long time before.
After the old bands phased out, I started working on my own material in early 2013 and in the summer of 2014 Sam suggested we jam out some of the tracks at his place.
When we finished the lyrics for the tracks last year, we invited Chris and Mike to join to complete the lineup.
Why did your previous bands come to an end?
CHRIS LOVATT (BASS): I was in Zero Divide with Cal and Rich, and I left because of a disinterest in the music we were playing.
MIKE FOXALL (GUITAR/BACKING VOCALS): Mine was because we all felt it ran its course and there was nothing else we could achieve by remaining in that band, so it was all mutual.
CALLUM: I eventually left Zero Divide because everybody else did basically.
Chris and Rich grew uninterested and the rest of us decided to call it a day as a result.
RICH: Yeah, I didn’t feel that the previous band I was in suited my change in taste.
Although, we did have a lot of fun doing it and there’s memories preserved in the format of MP3’s and JPEG’s on the internet. We’re all still good friends and we regularly keep in touch.
SAM HUNT (DRUMS): Terrestrial split up because one of the guitarists started seeing the bass player’s girlfriend behind his back and that caused arguments between the members.
RICH: Well, it’s a bit more interesting than Zero Divide’s breakup to say the least (laughs).
How did you come up with Construct as the band’s name?
RICH: Funny story actually, it was Chris’s uncle who came up with the name.
We originally had differing ideas about what the name could be and so we had a list brought to us by Chris.
We wanted something with a meaning behind it that would suit the lyrical content and portray the band in a meaningful light.
One of the original ideas for a name was “Harlequin Scream”, as there was this contrast between two opposites i.e. good vs evil.
In the end, a “Construct” is neutral and could portray either side.
A Construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject’s mind, as opposed to a real object, where existence does not depend on the mind.
How would you describe your music?
RICH: Powerful, emotional, melodic, heavy and energetic.
CALLUM: Also progressive!
What bands are you influenced by?
MIKE: The obvious mutual main influences are all there with bands such as Tesseract and Periphery having a big influence on our sound, but individually, we all take influence from bands such as Red Hot Chillis, Dream Theater, Protest the Hero, Monuments, Don Broco, Mastodon, as well as an overall like and appreciation of the whole Scandinavian metal scene.
What inspires your lyrics?
CALLUM: At the minute, the core lyrical concept is all about fighting inner demons.
In the album we’re currently working on, we sort of fuse that idea with a religious concept in that throughout the album, our protagonist is fighting a battle against his sins, he finds that this doesn’t give him the solace he desires and he eventually calls out to a deity for answers.
RICH: The lyrics were conceptual to begin with, as is the upcoming album’s title “The Deity”.
Who’s the main lyricist in the band?
CALLUM: That’ll be Rich, our resident genius (laughs).
He writes the majority of them, I usually add to his ideas but I’ve written the lyrics for a couple of the songs alone.
RICH: I’ve always had a “work on it, present it, then ammend it” kinda mindset.
Cal’s always been there to help out in times of peril, and if it weren’t for him, the lyrics wouldn’t flow as well for sure (laughs)!
You said that you have an album coming out soon. How was the recording process?
CALLUM: Very long!
RICH: Very long, tough and strenuous. It was a learning process for sure, and there’s definitely a lot we’ll be doing to shorten the process for the next album.
It was a hell of a lot of fun though! Just listening to the end results are mindblowing to say the least.
Exactly how long was it to record?
RICH: Oh God, this is embarrassing. It took longer than three years (writing rough demo tracks from scratch).
But bare in mind, we’ve only been a full band for a year, so we weren’t ready to fully and professionally produce it until early this year.
You’re from Stoke-on-Trent. What’s your opinion of the local music scene?
RICH: It’s blossoming with lots of new bands making appearances from out of nowhere.
We’ve already played with a few and it’s always been a great experience, and we’re enjoying meeting and getting to know new people having a stab at a creative hobby.
It is difficult to get up there on the stage, and we admire anyone with the confidence to do it, as people can be very judgemental.
How is it playing live for you?
CALLUM: A lot of fun! We always seem to get a solid reaction so that’s very encouraging.
It’s pretty technical stuff to play and the vocals are pretty intense, so we practice regularly to make sure we are all on good form ready for any upcoming gigs.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realise. We all practice daily individually and once a week together.
All this combined with working full time is a lot of work, but we love it regardless.
What’s the plan for the near future?
CALLUM: Well once we’ve got the album to a place where we’re happy with it, we want to send it off to a few record labels and hopefully get signed to help get our music out there.
We’ll be doing a local album release show and then we’ll more than likely go on a UK tour.
After that, we’ll be working on the next release.
We have also just shot a music video for our song ‘Reflection’, which we’re hoping to release within the next couple of months once all the editing is finished.
When’s the release date for the album?
CALLUM: Being honest, we don’t have an official release date. We’re really hoping to get it out in January next year, but that all depends on what happens with any possible record labels.
What’s the band’s long-term aim?
CALLUM: Just to keep doing what we love doing and make sure that it doesn’t eventually become a chore.
We also aim to get a good following too, so we know that other people are getting just as much enjoyment from listening to our music as we do making it.