Friday, 26 September 2014

Interview - Steve Dickson - The Man Behind Mammothfest! Read details of the future of the festival!

Check out my interview with the man that made MammothFest happen up on Burning Fist here:

Me and Steve Dickson at MammothFest, Brighton 2014! Bring on Mammothfest 2015! Read details on future of festival in interview!
Special Thanks for Burning Fist for putting interview up on their site and be sure to check out all the other content on there!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Collisions Interview - MammothFest, Breakout Fest & Debut Album!

Photo by Me - Taken after interview

I caught up with Ollie (singer/programmer) and Andy (guitarist/backing vocals) of electronic metal band, Collisions who hail from Brighton UK, at the return of Brighton's dedicated Metal festival, MammothFest 2014. So they discuss Mammothfest and it's importance to Brighton, along with another new Brighton Festival, Breakout Festival, which they are due to play on the 27th September 2014 and their upcoming new album which is due for release at the end of this year..
Ok we are here today at MammothFest, So hailing from Brighton, how important do you think the rebirth of MammothFest is for the Brighton and South East music scene, especially as your from Brighton?

Ollie: I think it's really great for the scene, there hasn't been an incredible amount on I personally feel, really sort of going on for rock/metal really recently, so it's really nice to see something actually happening and taking place. Well behind Steve and Mammothfest!

Andy: Yeah, this isn't the first time like a metal festival has tried to take off in Brighton, the first try was a couple of years ago and that was amazing, but it's taken this long to get back like what was initially was hours spent and it's nice to see that it has been a success story, and now it's going full throttle today.

Did you actually go to the Mammothfest back in 2010?

Andy: Yes yes, it was absolutely amazing, I was DJing there, first time I have like a Town hall, it was absolutely huge, it was great.

How excited are you to perform later at Mammothfest?

Ollie: Very much so, I think it's going to be..I have literally just got here so I'm looking forward to it and getting in there and checking out some bands, it is a great line-up and it's definitely going to be good fun, most definitely.

What other bands are you looking forward to seeing over the weekend? Are you going tomorrow aswell? (have you managed to catch any of the first bands playing earlier?)

Ollie: We will be loitering..

Andy: Yeah I came down a little earlier to see Headface, like a really kind of dirty kind of metal, very angry guys which was cool, Porshyne just playing now, looking forward to Martyr Defiled tomorrow as well as No Sin Evades His Gaze, they are probably going to tear a hole in the stage, should be sweet and Core Of iO..I could go on..

Ollie: The line-up is great, so many local bands as well as really good.

Andy: It seems to be like a really good vibe going for Brighton bands at the moment, just recently, there was like four Brighton bands on on the Metal Hammer cover CD and now we have got our own festival going on and a large percentage of that is like Brighton home grown kind of grass roots talents.

Hopefully it will be the start of something really big..

Andy: I mean Brighton has always been like, everywhere we have played live the general consensus is for Brighton is just like a melting pot for music, everyone's just so envious like 'Oh yeah, you're a metal band from Brighton, it must be amazing over there', it's just like a double edged sword because there's so many bands here, even though you have got that melting pot of like different styles and people coming together and making something beautiful, there is so much down here, sometimes it is saturated for the person who just wants to listen to it, it's half the challenge though (laughs).

You definitely stand out which brings me on to my next question actually. You have an interesting and distinct sound, incorporating dubstep and metal and other elements, what would you say was the main inspiration behind your sound and how did it come about?

Ollie: I think it was always an initially a desire to do something a little bit different, a little bit not of the norm and in order to stand out I think it's quite important that bands stand out for one specific reason or another, and it basically bore? out of some of my interest in electronic sounds and learning to appreciate electronic music, even though I was like a deeply devout metal head, so my sort of coming to grips with all of that is very much presented I think to an extent, but we listen to loads of Slipknot where you hear sort of drum and bass and samples and stuff and Sid the DJ stuff underneath, and that's originally where it started for me, and going into it there's lots of aggressive sounds shared by both styles of music and I think sticking them together is great.

Andy: It was quite funny actually how it all kind of kicked off because I myself, how it first went was like, Ollie was working in the nightclub where I was DJing and we just hit it off like a house on fire and started talking about bands we were into, and initially Collisions was his idea. I had some dealings with some ideas kicking around before anyway, like I was playing around with two drummers for a band called Ultraviolet trying to make a project called Hate Panda, which is quite hilarious, like a drum and bass thing and then he was like programming and sythns and everything like that, so I thought it would be amazing..and the rest they say is history.

Since forming in 2011 you have had a lot of success and received positive press, from the likes of Kerrang, and more and had comparisons made such as you sound like “Skindred meets Pendulum”, how does it feel to get such a great response? And what do you think of the comparisons?

Andy: In response to “Skindred meets Pendulum” comparison he adds "In a bar fight"! *laughs*

Ollie: I mean to have such great bands that we are personally massive fans of is quite an honour for us.

I like the “Prodigy meets Arctic Monkeys”!..

Ollie: That is a bizarre one, interesting one nonetheless. We will still take it though, I will still have that!

Andy: This is what we try and do, try and bring the furthest genre together and smash them together, it's fun to see what we can get out. We we're still trying to fit in some banjos! *laughs*

Ollie: Stick a banjo in it!

Following one nicely from that, Skindred have just picked you to play as their headliners choice at another new festival in Brighton, Break Out Festival, that must be an amazing feeling?! How excited are you for this?

Ollie: It completely blew our heads off!

Andy: The night it came through like on the email. I contacted Ollie and was like "OH MY GOD!” like a proper fan boy, like you're never know..

Ollie: That's truly an honor, it really is, and we are properly stoked for that, that's an understatement to say the least!

Andy: It’s nice to have like a head nod from a major act like that, it kind of like puts us in the right direction, feels like we are going in the right direction, getting feedback like that is fantastic.

Again that's another new festival starting out in Brighton so it will be a good to be part of the first one, so it's cool to be part of that anyway..

Ollie: Hopefully to try and reestablish what's sort of been lacking in the scene in the last couple of years, hopefully like MammothFest and things like this is the start of a change in that, most definitely and we hope we can do everything we can to help in any capacity really.

What would you say have been some main highlights for you so far?

Andy: Will in his Onesie? In America, not in America, Europe sorry..

Ollie: We've had had some phenomenal support slots over the last year or so and that's been great fun, getting some shows out in London with a couple of our mates bands, you know with the Algorithm. We are doing some shows and things with Seething Akira bands like that, who we have grown really close with. I think those are the highlights really, just getting out and playing, making some really good friends like RSJ ,and cypher16 guys as well, that's definitely a highlight on the year so far.

Andy: All the amazing people we met on way, through the journey is so good.

I understand you are currently working on your new release, the follow up to 'Push' which is to be released early next year,  how is the writing and recording process going so far?

Ollie: Well it's pretty much nearly done, our first go and sort of really a debut album sort of thing with like a full track listing. The albums before we did like our five track EP and singles and things like that, so this is our real first go at a debut album. We are quite precious so to say the very least, but it is finished now, it's in its final throws of being done and we will start making some noise about that before the end of the year actually.

Andy: We are really excited about the music that's on there.

Ollie: We have really, we are really trying to push whatever kind of boundaries we really can in what we are doing on that album, there's lots of different stuff that's sort of us.

Andy: Just different takes and view points and stuff. It's going to be quite an interesting to see how people actually relate to it and stuff. We are totally stoked about it, can't wait to get it out.

Ollie: Some of the songs of it we're already playing and there getting some great reactions.

Would you say it differs to your previous material?

Ollie: In places yeah, I mean it's sort of trying other elements like that I wasn't too keen on, that we might not have been keen on in the past, opening out and really branching out into this fusion of electronics and metal where it can really take us.

Will we be lucky enough to hear any new material today at Mammoth Fest?

Ollie: We got a couple of new songs in the pipeline, one or two off the album thrown in there...just sneaky, we don't say a lot about can't it just suggest getting people's reactions, but yeah there's definitely some new stuff in the set.

What other plans have you got for the rest of the year?

Ollie: Finishing off the album is the main plan for the year and then making preparations for releasing and a tour next year, which is the main focus. Still keeping up a pretty good rotation of shows throughout the end of the year, we certainly like to spread out across the UK more.

Andy: Collisions are definitely addicted to live, that’s where I think we do flourish. We just love..for me personally that’s a place where a band should be; if you can’t handle it live, there’s no point in actually putting anything as many shows as we do really.    

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Ollie: Yeah, we basically if you want to find out what’s going on about us, you can check us out either on the website, which is or type in collisionsuk and you’ll find something from us.

Andy: All one word, if you separate you might get something completely different. Yeah there’s loads of videos, reviews and stuff, and a bit of talking blogs and stuff, so yeah come say “Hi”, as essentially that’s what we really want to do, we want to connect with people..come find us.








Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Abhorrent Decimation Interview 2014 - Inside lies exclusive news!!

Abhorrent Decimation Performing at MammothFest 2014 - Ashley Scott (Photo Credit to Ajit Dutta at Raid Studios)

So we arrive at the return of MammothFest's in Brighton after its four year break and I catch up with one of the bands playing later today on the first opening day of the festival, Death Metallers, Abhorrent Decimation. Having interviewed Ashley before this time round we dig deeper and discuss events more in depth, so I met up with vocalist, Ashley Scott and also drummer, Matt Doubleday just down the road from the Mammothfest venue to speak about the festival, the bands Bloodstock appearance and their anticipated debut album due to be released next year! They were even kind enough to give me a exclusive bit of exciting information regarding their debut, so read to find out!!..

So the reason we are here today, is because of the rebirth of Mammothfest Today, how excited are you to be playing later on and to be part of this crucial event for Brighton?

Ashley: Yeah it's awesome, I mean we know Steve through his band that he plays in, and we weren't really on each others radar back when he first done the show in 2010, and because we have become relatively close with him now, we are fully privy to what went on and what he was trying to rebuild here, and it was really cool we got asked to play because youv'e got to sort of commend people this sort of stuff, because without people coming to shows, without people actually digging deep and putting on these sort of events, we don't play, so it's super good for us to know people like Steve and it's super that with we have got people like Steve that are going to put a bit of effort in and get it done.

Matt: He's put a lot of work into this show, and if you remember how Bloodstock started, it started in a similiar fashion to this, so you never know where things can go. He 's put a lot of work in and we want him to do well so we are going to play his come back is great.

In the last interview you said you would be playing some new songs which I'm looking forward to hearing, how have the rehearsals gone for this?

Ashley: We had a lot extensive rehearsing for Bloodstock which we've just come back from, we wanted to put two or three new songs into the set, but there has been a lot of behind the scenes interest with the band, we have to be careful about how much we actually put out there now, as we are trying to negoiate deals and things for the band, so we are basically now limited to just playing one of the new tracks, so we have got one new song in the set which is called, 'Echoes Of The Vortex', and that's like sort of our only real thing we are going to be putting out for the forseable until we get a bit more of an idea of what's going on and what we can do.

How excited are you to unleash the new material? Is this the first time you have played this?

Ashley: The first time we played it live was at's a really good like live track, it's one of those ones where the EP was written behind closed doors without any sort of consideration to how it would go down and whether we would be a popular band and whether people would care, and now we have done a good amount of shows for a year and had a good bit of press, we've had a good amount of experience with people, so now we kind of know what presses the buttons, so this music is sort of written fifty fifty to keep us emotionally happy with what we are creating, and also get a good reaction out of people, so it's got a good section for crowd participation and good drops and good solid stuff, it's written with the fans in mind.

So talking about Bloodstock festival how was it to play such a established festival especially as so early in your career?

Matt: Absolutely, we are only a year and a couple of months old. It was incredible to be there for one, because it's a great festival and runs extremely well, and a lot of our favourite bands were playing, so for us to even be there was great, but then to jump on that stage and see it completely packed out was incredible and we did a lot of rehearsing, so the set went extremely well, the crowd loved it and we come away with our heads held high, as we sold a lot of merch as well, and put ourselves out there, and did a lot of press.

Ashley: It was one of those things where we went into it totally..we knew we had done all we could, we done some good little bits of press and build up, interviews, we had tracks streaming here and there, and put a bit of money on Facebook sponsering stuff, we did all we was just that not knowing, we were lucky that we didn't have a terrible clash with anyone relevant to our sound, so people that want to hear the more modern death metal were going to be in that tent, but it's a bit arrogant I guess to think that your'e gonna have a great crowd, so we were just like very humble going into it, a bit like "Oh if there's a hundred people we will be happy", walked out and I can't even head count, the tent was just full.

Matt: It seemed to me like the festival was waiting for a band like us to play, as there were a few bands that were a little bit more of a calmer genre..people sort of looking around waiting for something heavy to happen and then we provided that on the Friday and Decapitated provided that on the Saturday and it was the same sort of vibe, everyone was waiting for something..Decapitated come out and absolutely nailed it.

Ashley: It was good, there was so many things I could feel and so many things I thought was happening, I just didn't know if I was imaging them, so it was like I was seeing people wearing our shirts before we even played and I was like that means someone has come..hang on that's our merch, it was a bit like I say surreal, but I don't know what we were expecting, but it was everything we were working for, was to get a massive turn out, to play to..we got given an amazing platform so early in the career, it seems riducoulus to not try and captalise and play to absolutely as many as we can get..we didn't have to do any gimmicks, we didn't have to do any..I mean fair play to other bands, did you see a band at the weekend were like giving away free beer?..'come to the tent and you get a free beer', that's one way of doing it, we just tried to rest on the music and the work we had done behind the was just that feeling, coming out, we worked a little intro into the set, so I stayed off stage for a couple of seconds, so they were all playing away the intro and haven't looked out yet so I don't know what's going on, I walk out on stage and I'm just like "YES", you can hear it in my voice, in the video, "You alright Bloodstock!", I was so like humbled, like "christ what the hell", and then they were participating which was again something as a frontman I was having nightmares about leading up to.."Let me hear you Bloodstock" and tumble weed, but they were absolutely on form, screaming and shouting and doing everything I was asking of them, so it was awesome.

Following on from that would you say that is one of the biggest milestones for you as a band and what other aspirations and goals would you like to achieve as a band?

Ashley: Oh you know for Abhorrent Decimation, singularly we have all done other things away from this band which are cool and good at a very high level, but even then I'd say Bloodstock is an absolute highlight of my musical journey so far I think..that's a good community, it's a good vibe going on there, as far as what's going to happen now, we have had a taste of the good stuff and we just gonna get more of it, we are going to do everything we can to get bookings done to get everything we want..I mean if the job opportunity comes we would definitley do things like Download and Hellfest is a huge one for us..Neurotic (Deathfest) we hope to end up Neurotic (Deathfest) on a tour next year (not 100% confirmed)..the sky is the limit, once we have got a few more shows out the way, we are playing this one today obviously, we have got a show with Arsis in London, we have got a show with Seprevation, we don't really want to over fill the diary now, we are going to concentrate on getting this album incredible, we're actually going to be sitting on the finished product around December/January, but we're not going to release until April next year, we basically want to build as much as we can, as much momentum, as many dates in the diary, as many tours and festivals and go out there on a proper mission to dominate.

So you just mentioned about the album, how is it going as you mentioned you were about half way through last time back in June, so is there any new developments?

Ashley: Yeah yeah, we tied of another one last night actually, our guitarist, I was sending some comments on a track he written, and Dave has done a fantasic job really, as far as the structure of our writing goes, the EP was, I'd go as far to say a mutual effort between Dave and I, we very much worked in each others pockets on that. The album it was more a sort of, like we we're saying earlier about the new song we've got in the set, we're are just taking stock of what we have done so far, what works of the record, what gets the reaction, and ultimately where we want to drive the sound, and we we're always going for something a little bit more extreme, just never quite pulled it off that far, so we ended up sort of sitting at this level where we we're, we definitely say we are a extreme band, definitely say we are a death metal band, but we have got commercially viable aspects, and that's something we don't want to loose, because we have really enjoyed this last year, playing it to some more people and you know having a much better response..much more truer following now to any other band we have been in before, so we're gonna keep that, and Dave is working prodimintely on his own, on writing the music, the concepts already there, the concept was dreamt up and most of the lyrics were written before the music, that gets given to Dave as inspiration and he goes away and sort of soundtracks the script, so yeah we are five tracks in, we are aiming for nine all in for the album..again whatever comes out, comes out, we won't force it.

Have you any titles or artwork done, or is it too early for that?

Ashley: It's way too early for that to say, but the records got a name, I can already tell you the artwork is done, everything is there, we know who we are recording with..I think now is maybe a good time to reveal who we are talking too, we haven't publicised this anywhere's not the be it end all comment, but we are working with a guy called
Ronnie Björnström who done the production for Aeon, on their last album, he's done a load of good stuff, to work with him is a really big honour, because as a band, Aeon, Aeon's album, 'Aeons Black' is one of our favourite records, and we just thought, "Oh sod it I will send him an email" and see how much it is, his services and that, and yeah for what it is, it's totally reasonable, we are like yeah let's do it, that's exactly what we wanted and it happens to work with our budget so yeah let's go for we are actually tracking the album ourselves over in the UK, and then sending it over to him, he's based in Sweden, he will mix and master it, I'll fly out there and do the vocals with him and tie the record together and then it's done..the artist is also swedish, but I'm not gonna say on that yet, but very very..if you know your bands in this genre and I say he's Swedish, that should be enough..
Matt: It's going to be amazing.

Ashley: We had the artwork, final pass of the artwork back like a week ago, it was just so refreshing like to talk to him, he wanted little to any sort of inspiration, he just wanted a very loose, "What's the record about?", "What's the concept?"..I gave him maybe four lines, two reference images, things I was seeing in my head and that was it. We got this first sketch over and because his artwork is so sick, I'm sure he won't take offence to this, but he sent the first sketch over, and he did make crystal clear this is a very rough sketch and in my head I was just like, "Oh Man..I don't like that" (laughs), but I went back to him and just said I don't where you are in the process, but he basically said this is a stickman version of what is to come and I was like, "Oh god, thank god", and I sent him a bit more detail and he came back and it was just like, "Wow", the first pass I didn't want anything else done, I was like I'm happy with that, but we got what we wanted in the end.

The band performing at MammothFest 2014

Again it might be too early to say but are there any main influences or inspirations behind the album?

Ashley: We got some weird stuff going on on the record now, the first EP, I think I have said before in interviews and that, if I were to actually say what the influences were that first EP wouldn't correlate, it wouldn't make any sense..its like Suffocation, Maleficent Creation, bands like this, but if you listened to that record you would be like no way, you would think if was like Decapitated, Chimeria, Lamb Of God, these sort of bands, just because of the more commercial side of things, but now it's a lot more tough, shit tonne more blast beats, that is something we really wanted to lift our game on because before the record came out Matt wasn't the drummer for the band, and one of Matt's biggest things he brings to the plate as a drummer is his insane blast beaters, so we had written a lot of pedal work on the EP and now we have got the king back on the throne, so we thought sod it, we are going to put loads of 240bpm blasts in there and let Matt loose on far as influences go, to be more direct probably say there's bits of Behemoth in there, bits of Decapitated..It's still got that Abhorrent Decimation sound from the EP, Dave's got a very unique way of doing solos, he's not on of these modern tech death soloers..

Matt: Me and Ash have got death metal influences going back say ten years, but the two guitarists in the band are actually a lot more mainstream metal influenced, that's what kind of seperates and makes us interesting because there a bit numb to what death metal, modern death metal should be, so you can tell in there writing there a lot more mainstream influenced which is what seperates our sound a little this new album will definitely be where we want to be sound wise, whereas the one before was like trying to work out where we want be, but this one that comes out next year will be where we want to be sound wise, and it will be the influences of Me and Ashley death metal wise and then the other guys will be adding lots of solos, harmonies with their guitar work.

Ashley: It's taken on a way like a more mature form, I wouldn't say the EP is particularly immature but it's cheap in some ways, we do tricks, we pull tricks, just generic things..oh what shall we put here, oh yeah that one, put that in there, whereas this is a lot more thought out.

Matt: We are definitely fans of having structure in songs, where you can pick out verses and choruses we are really fans of that.

Ashley: I'm not afraid to say we would even use..go as far to say we have got almost pop formula to our songs, we are a fan of intro, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus.

Matt: I think people like that, there's definitely a lot of underground bands that just have scribble all the way through.

Ashley: We rattled around the underground scene for so long with our other band and just when you play a show and people come to see you, they are watching you play, they do not know what is going on, all it is is just..they are just standing there..they headbang because they ought to be but it's not don't get that engagement.

Matt: We don't want to be one of those bands you watch live and its really hard to decipher. They all look like they can play really well, and really brutal and that's great, I mean we grew up with that, that's brilliant, but we want this band to be a lot more enjoyable to watch live and we really want everyone to notice the tracks we have made and you can listen to it before you come out to a show and you will know what you are listening too live..we really want it to be like that..sing the tunes.

Ashley: Yeah, exactly, we wanted that thing you get with, I say like the 'big bands', when I say proper I hope you know what I mean..when you listen to a new record you know the song by the first chord, you know it by first verse, we want that, we don't want just putrid thirty minute long album that's just farts for the whole record..we want them to know, oh it's that one!

Matt: I think we achieved quite well in the first EP actually..every track is very different, you can definitely pick it apart, but we want to go a step further with the next record and know for a fact that when you hear a track you can say that's definitely track number three, because I heard it the other day or whatever.

Ashley: The funny thing is that was probably more down to our lack of knowledge of where we were going, every track sounds different because we didn't know what we wanted to sound like, whereas now it will be a more refined sound, with differences in it, so it's really exciting.

We have had some great support in the build up, when I thought the crest of the EP wave was just dying, we just picked up some new solid support from Dom Lawson at Metal Hammer, he wrote about us in The Guardian and Metal Hammer, they done a review of us lot..he's been so cool with us, giving us encouragement and congratulating us on what we are doing and being like come on you guys, you have got something good, so keep going..that feels us with so much confidence. Dom we grew up reading his reviews in magazines and that, not trying to make him sound like a decrepit old git but it means so much to us, for someone like that to say, you guys are doing something good, carry on.

Back to Mammothfest, you mentioned that you knew some of the bands playing, so with that in mind, who are you looking forward to seeing the most? Did you catch any of them earlier?

Ashley: No, we just literally got here and handed the merch over and then came here but we have got some friends from Croydon who are playing the show today, there are more sort of rocky band, Mordecai, it's always good to see those guys.

Matt: We used to rehearse next door to them in Croydon for a while, so that's where there based and that's where me and Ashley we based in previous bands, so yeah we know them guys. A lot of the guys we know are actually playing tomorrow, so we might not be able to get to see them but.

Ashley: Guys like the Ingested guys, there's bands like Metat-stasis, also Savage Messiah would be great to see them and Martyr defiled..I'm trying to think if there's anyone from our management roster..Mask Of Judas, there's a couple of cool bands playing, once we are done, we can relax, have a few beers and enjoy some bands.

Matt: Every show we do, we are making friends as we go, because we are only a year and a bit old, everyone that we meet is like a fan or a friend and you know we need to build up as many people as we can.

Is there anything you would like to add or say about anything else?

Ashley: Just check us out really, if your not aware of what we are doing or who we are, just let it be known that we are are going to bury away a bit, we have got a show the nineteenth of October in London at the Black Heart supporting Arsis and just to really just keep us on the radar, we are going to do as much as we can and look forward to pummeling the shit out of you with the album!

Matt and Ashley after interview (Photo by Me)