INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Last summer, Staffordshire metal quintet King Abyss burst onto the scene with a much positively-received debut EP, ‘Reborn’.
Recently, the band brought out its follow-up, ‘The Destroyer Of Worlds’, which is, overall, a better reflection of their statement of intent.
I caught up with some of the guys prior to them playing a gig to mark the new offering’s release, where they went into it in further detail.
How did the initial idea for the new EP come about?
GEORGE HEATHCOTE (drums): Well, Sam Millard, our lead guitarist, had a backlog of strong songs that he had been working on, even before this band formed, so we all decided that with our debut EP, ‘Reborn’, we would get out the tracks that we all thought would get people interested in us, and then comprise the new release of songs that were more mature.
SAM BRYAN (bass): A bit more like our own sound, I suppose.
How did you come up with ‘The Destroyer Of Worlds’ as the EP’s title?
DOM BOULD (lead vocals): One of the tracks on the EP is about nuclear war, and in keeping with that theme, we used a quote from Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who invented the nuclear bomb, which was, “I have become the the destroyer of worlds, I have become death“, so we used one half of that for the title, and the other half as the title for one of the songs.
When I interviewed the two other members of the band, Sam Millard and rhythm guitarist Jay Fellows, just after ‘Reborn’ had come out, they told me that there had been a few problems recording that. How did the recording process for the new release compare?
SAM: It was pretty much problem-free. The only thing that did go wrong was that one day, me and Jay turned up at the wrong recording studio!
SAM: Apart from that, it was an awesome experience. Myroslav Borys, who produced us, was fantastic. I can’t praise him enough, because he knows exactly what it is that he’s doing. He’s such a good producer, and we would definitely go to him again.
DOM: At the end of the day, us and Myroslav are very much like-minded, he had the same sort of ideas that we had, and if he had a decent idea that we hadn’t thought of, we’d take it immediately on board.We put together the songs, but when you take them into the studio, you have to be open to making a few changes.
The recording process this time was so much more relaxed. Sam Millard is the band’s main songwriter, so he would send us what he had written, and we took it from there.
SAM: It was a million times easier with this EP. Everything just worked brilliantly.
DOM: All bands out there, go and check out Myroslav Borys.
(Sam and George laugh)
How would you describe the EP, both musically and lyrically?
GEORGE: This EP is a lot heavier, apart from the last song, and a lot more technical as well.
SAM: Yeah, this is rather cliched, but the melodic parts are more melodic, and the heavy parts are heavier.
DOM: Lyrically, well, it’s quite difficult to describe. It was a long process, and some of it had to be changed during recording, but we got there in the end. It was worth it, though.
GEORGE: In my opinion, the new EP is much better than our first. I’m not knocking ‘Reborn’, because it was good for a debut, but ‘The Destroyer Of Worlds’ is on another level. I’m just so proud, and I think we all are, of putting it out there.
SAM: Yeah, totally.
What can your fan base expect from the EP?
SAM: Lots and lots of riffs.
DOM: Just so many riffs!
(Sam and George laugh)
GEORGE: I’d say it’s more complete than the first EP was, because that, for us, was much more of a test, but with the new release, our fans can expect a sound like what’s on there more often from now on.
SAM: Yeah, definitely.
DOM: It’s like what George has said, it’s more structured, and we didn’t just want, this time, to get out songs that would get people listening, we wanted it to be a foundation on which to build upon in future. A template, I suppose.
GEORGE: At the end of the day, we still want to have people listening to us, but we also want our sound to differentiate, have a variety of styles and that, really push the boat out, so we can draw in more people who are into different sorts of genres, but at the same time, keep hold of the following that have been with us from day one.
DOM: Yeah, we’re trying to revive something that we felt has been lost in the last 30 years, but with more modern aspects. I know that’s been done to a degree by such bands as Trivium, but we’re trying to keep that melodic, thrashy style alive.
GEORGE: I think we’re unique in thrash metal in that we do breakdowns, but we don’t want to find ourselves on the same page over and over again. We want to keep being new and fresh.
Now that the EP is out, what are your plans for the near future?
SAM: We’re going to try and ramp things up. We’re all individuals, we all want this, I was in a band before, so was Dom, so was Sam, it didn’t work out for any of us, and now that we’ve grown up, our hunger has intensified.
We’re just going to go for it, and just keep going until we do get it. We’ve got to the final of Bloodstock Metal To The Masses, so we want to play Bloodstock, and take it further from there.
DOM: We’re going to be releasing an album, we don’t know when that will be, but we’re just going to keep on playing music, and release the odd single, for the time being.
GEORGE: I think a full album will be something that we’ll be looking at in the long term, maybe in a year or so.
SAM: We’ve already got a festival on the cards.
GEORGE: Yeah, we’ll be playing this year’s Hop Fest, near Northampton.
SAM: With Oceans Ate Alaska…
DOM: Crazy Town.
SAM: Crazy Town! Oh my god, yes!
(Dom and George laugh)
SAM: I suppose we’ll be planning a few tours as well, and there’s a few music videos on the cards, so keep your eyes out for them.
At the moment, we’re talking with various media companies, getting quotes from them. Dom knows a guy, so yeah, we’re going to be pushing ourselves even more, try and really get our sound out there.
DOM: We’re going to keep at this for as long as we can.
GEORGE: Until everyone’s sick of us!
SAM: Basically, what we’re saying is that we’re definitely not going to stop.
‘THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS’, THE SECOND EP FROM KING ABYSS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD AND PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, AND GOOGLE PLAY.
THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING THIS YEAR’S HOP FEST ON JULY 1. FURTHER DETAILS ON THIS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:
MORE INFO ON KING ABYSS CAN BE FOUND HERE.