INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Vulgore are a five-piece from Stoke-on-Trent, comprising of vocalist Ian Bennett, lead guitarist David Jones, rhythm guitarist Andy Lovatt, bassist Sam Williams, and drummer Hayden Ball.
Influenced by such bands as Black Sabbath, Lamb Of God, and Gojira, the outfit play a loud, brash heavy metal sound, laden with grooves and melodies, and since they unveiled their debut EP, ‘Bliss’, earlier this year, the collective have risen rapidly, having gained a growing devoted following, as well as performing a set at this summer’s Bloodstock festival.
Vulgore told me more about all of this prior to a recent set supporting American black metallers Abigail Williams in their home city.
How did the band get together?
DAVID JONES (lead guitar): I got bored of not being in a band after a few years, so I decided to set one up, and I started looking around for other members. I found Hayden first, as we had been in a band together before, then Sam came in, then Andy joined, and finally, Ian.
We all immediately gelled, and it went from there. We’ve now been going for a year-and-a-half.
How did the name Vulgore come about?
DAVID: To be honest, it was just a random name that came to us, and we all liked the sound of it.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
DAVID: Really, we just throw stuff around, see what works best, and we just work from there.
What inspires the band lyrically?
DAVID: What goes on in everyone’s heads. It depends, really, for example, if we do a faster-paced song, the lyrics tend to be darker.
SAM WILLIAMS (bass): Mentally, we’re all quite similar.
ANDY LOVATT (rhythm guitar): Yeah, we all have a mental age of around 12!
(The band all laugh)
IAN BENNETT (vocals): I would write lyrics more often, but I think I would be thrown into prison if I did!
(The band all laugh)
Earlier this year, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Bliss’. How was the reaction to that?
SAM: The reaction was decent, it got some pretty good reviews, but having played a lot of gigs since then, including a set at Bloodstock, I think it’s now starting to get a lot more attention.
IAN: Yeah, the more people we play to, the more who will listen to it.
The band entered their local Metal To The Masses, which they won. That must have been a good feeling for you all.
SAM: It was strange, because we genuinely had no idea, as the first heat of that was actually the first gig we had ever played as Vulgore, and we won that, and got through to the final.
DAVID: We were genuinely surprised, more so when we actually won the final. It was unreal.
IAN: We were fortunate, though, because it was the first time that Metal To The Masses had been held in Stoke-on-Trent, therefore, there weren’t as many heats as there could have been, but that’s not to take away the fact that there were some really good bands who were also in the competition.
And the prize for winning Metal To The Masses was a set at this year’s Bloodstock festival. How was that as an experience?
SAM: To be honest, until we walked out onto the stage at Bloodstock, none of it felt real.
IAN: It only really hit us when we saw a sea of people watching us come on. It was just crazy.
DAVID: The weather was on our side that day, as well, as it was raining, and as the stage we were playing on was in a tent, loads of people were coming in.
SAM: It was great to be representing Stoke-on-Trent there, as well.
Also, the band have supported the likes of Infernal Conflict and Proteus, and you’re playing with Abigail Williams this evening. How is it, for you all, performing live?
DAVID: We love it, as there’s literally nothing better. We’ve got to a point now where we kind of base our lives around our live sets, which sounds crazy, but it’s worth it.
2019 is just around the corner. What are your initial plans?
SAM: We’ve already got quite a lot planned for next year, we’re going to get some new material out, and we’re also going to play as much as we possibly can, to as many places.
DAVID: We’ve also got our second EP in the pipeline.
And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?
SAM: Our long-term aim is to dominate the world!
(The band all laugh)
To be honest, we just want to make this our full-time career.
DAVID: And if we manage to play with some really monstrous bands, then that would be a dream come true for all of us.
SAM: Also, it would be great to use those as opportunities to really big up the metal scene in Stoke-on-Trent.
‘BLISS’, THE DEBUT EP FROM VULGORE, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S SECOND EP WILL BE RELEASED AT SOME POINT NEXT YEAR.
VULGORE WILL ALSO BE HEADLINING THE SUGARMILL, IN THEIR HOME CITY, ON JANUARY 19, MORE DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW: