Tag Archives: This.Is.Hate

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.

 

 

 

 

THIS.IS.HATE

This.Is.Hate band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

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.

THIS.IS.HATE’S SECOND EP WILL BE RELEASED AROUND THE BEGINNING OF 2018.

IN THE MEANTIME, GET MORE INFO ON THE BAND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: thisishate.bigcartel.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thisishateuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/ThisIsHateUK

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com