INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Comprising of vocalist Darryl “Daz” Jones, guitarists Anthony Hayden and Davey Langford, bassist James Kinnear, and drummer Ben Adcroft, Cheshire five-piece This Is Turin‘s sound may be described as “blackened tech-metal“, however, the band do not believe in staying within the confines of a specific genre, preferring to surprise their fan base with an unpredictable sonic approach.
Prior to the quintet’s set at the recent Derby Alt Fest, the collective spoke to me about such things as their recently-released single ‘Wrath‘, next EP – coming out in the new year – and intense, award-winning live performances.
How did the band initially get together?
DARRYL “DAZ” JONES (vocals): It was probably around 15 years ago, when me and Hayden realised there were no metal bands in their local area, and it was a time before social media, and if you wanted to go and hear new metal, you had to go and watch bands at local gigs, so we decided to set a band up, and 15 years later, here we are, chatting to you in a van.
How did the name This Is Turin come about?
JAMES KINNEAR (bass): Me and Daz finished practice one night, got home, had a few beers, and we were both watching Most Haunted with Yvette Fielding and Derek Acorah, and it was an episode based in the Italian city of Turin, which had the tagline “This is Hell. This is Turin“, which we referenced in ‘Rev 23:1‘, a track from our debut album.
DAZ: It was about this elected official from there, and his first port of call was to rid the city of evil spirits, so he actually employed three exorcists, and that pretty much summed up the band itself, as we are dark and thematic, and our lyrics are steeped in religion and that side of things, although some of our fans still don’t know that Turin is a city in Italy! (laughs)
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
JAMES: We’re old-school jammers. We just stick ourselves in a practice room, near to where we live, and bash around ideas until we come up with something we all like, and then we move forward from there. We tend to do the music first, then we hand over to Daz, who writes the lyrics.
DAZ: We’re rather old-school in our approach, I think.
JAMES: To be honest with us, it’s the best way to do it. It does take a bit longer, but we come out of it with a better finished product.
DAVEY LANGFORD (guitar): There’s always this possibility that it will produce magic moments in a way that we wouldn’t be able to get if we were relying on software and stuff. It’s just those little moments where everything seems to click. It’s basically how we do it.
What inspires the band lyrically?
DAZ: I like to think that the lyrics can be interpreted as a number of things by different people, but definitely, the overall theme is the questioning of humanity. Some of that is religious, some of that is spiritual, whatever it may be, but yeah, it’s trying to battle demons, and venting that on stage in a constructive manner.
You recently released a new single – entitled ‘Wrath’. How was the recording process for that?
DAZ: Amazing, actually. We record everything in the same place – Foxhound Studios – each time, so the producer really knows how to push our buttons, he knows how to get the best out of us, and to be fair, because we practice in the same room, we prepare so hard for recording, so the process goes swimmingly, because we already have it nailed when we get in there.
We knew exactly what we wanted tone-wise, and we were really impressed with how it turned out, as it was the sound we were looking for.
JAMES: Yeah. It was a weird thing to write, because the previous couple of singles we’d done were a bit different, when you compare it to ‘When God Bleeds‘, and with ‘Wrath‘, we wanted to move our sound in a new direction, and then when we got the finished product, we went, “Yeah, this is where we want to go now“.
DAZ: It’s a bit different, as well, as since when ‘When God Bleeds‘ came out, there has been a member change. Ben has been our drummer for a couple of years now, so we wanted to utilise his skills, as he’s such a blistering drummer, what I think we’ve managed to showcase well in ‘Wrath‘.
And how has the reaction been to the track so far?
DAZ: Really solid. Off the back of that, we’ve managed to secure some of the gigs that we’ve wanted with different types of bands than who we’ve played with in the past. If you listen to the likes of ‘Thrones‘ – which has always been really popular – and the end bit of that EP, there’s been a really nice progression, so yeah, the track has gone down really well, and now, it’s about planning for the next stage, and what we do next.
The band have a good reputation for intense live performances, which you even got an award for from Kerrang! a few years back. How is the experience – for you all – of playing on stage?
DAVEY: I think harking back to what Daz was saying earlier, with the way he vents personal things through the lyrics, for me personally, it’s a way of blowing off steam, it’s a real cathartic experience.
Ordinarily, I’m pretty quite, I’m not a very outgoing person, unless I’ve had a couple of pints, but doesn’t everyone? I think, for me, being on stage enables me to really lose myself, which I think everyone in their own unique way does, whether it’s just focusing on playing, or just interacting with the audience, or just giving people that experience. I think the show is key for us.
DAZ: I’m known as a fairly positive guy, but when it comes to getting on stage with This Is Turin, something different happens to me, and it’s my chance to let that darker side – which I don’t like to show often – out, and I’ve always made it my number one priority to perform well live, and to do it professionally.
You have also appeared at festivals such as Bloodstock and Tech Fest, and you also supported Slayer once, didn’t you?
DAZ: Yeah, we’ve played on a load of massive bills in the past, and we’ve played with everyone, from 36 CrazyFists and InMe, through to Chesney Hawkes.
Chesney Hawkes? How on earth did that come about?
DAZ: Actually, it was after we got the award from Kerrang!, and they had invited us to play this festival with Chesney Hawkes and Slade. We might have been a bit different, as I don’t think the people there really knew how to take us, but there’s one thing I can always say, we’re the one and only. (All laugh)
DAVEY: How long have you been waiting to say that, Daz?
JAMES: I think going from that, to playing with Slayer and Joey Jordison, and supporting Decapitated and Soulfly, for us, it’s crazy to get that kind of recognition.
DAZ: It’s why we do it.
JAMES: But it’s those moments that make what we do so special.
DAZ: Bloodstock was special, as I think we played to a crowd of 3,000 in a packed-out tent, and beforehand, we thought we were going to struggle because our set clashed with another band, so that was a special moment for us, and I see that as just the beginning, as I’m sure more moments like that will come along.
And lastly, what are the band’s plans for the near future?
DAZ: We’ve been working hard on writing some new songs, and we’ve got some more bits going on, but at the moment, our focus is purely on writing. We’re going to be doing an EP next January – we’re pretty much 70% there now – there are going to be a few cheeky guest appearances on that, and then the plan after that is to do a couple of tours and festivals, but the EP will be our next step, and we can’t wait to get it done, to be fair.
ANTHONY HAYDEN (guitar): The EP will essentially be the first half of the seven deadly sins, which we’ve already wrote a few songs around, ‘Wrath‘ being one of them, which along with two other tracks, will form the EP, and then there will be another four songs, which will make another EP at some point, so that’s the project we’re working on.
JAMES: I think it’s been tough writing around a concept.
DAZ: It has.
JAMES: It’s really the first time where we’ve all thought, “Let’s push the boat out, and let’s also try to work to the constraints of the concept“, and it’s given us the chance to work out different styles and themes.
ANTHONY: I don’t want to give too much away, but with stuff like ‘Wrath‘, it is aggressive. It pictures exactly how it would look sonically, but when you’ve got things like ‘Lust‘ or ‘Greed‘, you think, “How the fuck do you get that sound into the lyrics?”
DAVEY: The feel, for us, is the most important thing. It’s got to evoke an emotion or a certain thought, and trying to nail that down the best you can, and I personally think we’ve done something that is so special, and what we can be proud of.
‘WRATH’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THIS IS TURIN – AND THE BAND’S NEXT EP WILL BE RELEASED NEXT JANUARY.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS IS TURIN CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: