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Monday, 27 February 2017

Vader, Immolation, Krysthla & More Announced For New Mammothfest show!



Death Metal Invasion in Brighton With Vader & More In New MammothFest & Jackhammer Promotions Easter show!


Mammothfest are keeping busy in 2017! Rotting Christ are set to headline the main Mammothfest festival later this year as a UK festival exclusive. On top of that, two "Mammothfest Presents" shows have already been announced, with Feed The Rhino and Brutality Will Prevail headlining two separate events.

Now the spoil us further with this latest addition to the Mammothfest shows, which could be their biggest yet, featuring some of the best Death Metal acts such as headliners, Polish death metal pioneers Vader, who impressively released their eleventh album last year named, 'The Empire' with main support from New York extreme metallers, Immolation, who have just dropped their new career defining album, 'Atonement'.

Other acts joining them on the main stage for of this monstrous line-up are: Monument of Misanthropy, Krysthla, Divine Chaos, Seprevation, Hades Lab, Mutually Assured Destruction and Enslavement.

On the second stage, acts include Brighton Tech metallers, Hole In The Sky who are no strangers to Mammothfest as they played in 2014 along side headliners Savage Messiah and Martyr Defiled. The band sadly lost their singer Rik to cancer but continue to grow despite this. Mammothfest director was very close to Rik and named one of the festival stages after him in tribute, being the Rikstock stage for emerging artists.

Joining them so far on the second stage is Internal Conflict and Infected Dead with some more acts to be announced! So keep an eye out on their website and social media pages!



Get early bird tickets quickly for only £13 for the first 200 tickets! After this tickets are £15 in advance and £20 on the door.

17 bands across 2 stages for £13 right on Brighton beach at the Arch, what a great way to spend Easter weekend with no work the next day either, so no excuses! Come and be part of this mighty death metal event!


Ticket link: https://mammothfest.uk/product/vader-immolation-plus-supports/



For more information on Mammothfest and other Mammothfest presents shows visit:

http://mammothfest.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/MammothfestUK/





Sunday, 26 February 2017

Interview: Bloodyard (UK)

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing



Groove/death metal four piece Bloodyard from the North-West England have been going since 2010. Since their formation they have been building their fan base and reputation, especially on the live scene, having shared the stage with established bands such as, Monument, Evil Scarecrow, Scordatura, Savage Messiah, Foetal Juice, Warlord, RSJ and Meta-Stasis. They have also played numerous festivals and shows countrywide, including a headliner show at The Manchester Academy. In 2015 they reached new heights earning a slot at Bloodstock and have since signed with TBFM Records and Management. I caught up with guitarist, Nick Adamson to talk about their successes, their latest EP, 'Darker Days' and more...




So for those who aren’t familiar, can you give us a bit of back story about Bloodyard and how you came to be?

Bloodyard came about because Donna was looking for people to jam with, she played guitar in a band but wanted to do vocals. She knew I was looking to put something together so got in touch. We got together and started putting a few ideas in motion, she then invited Matty from her previous band to come along and see what he thought. He thought he was coming to a different band practice, but he must have liked what we were doing because he’s still turning up! Then not too long after that we convinced Dave to join our ranks. We all knew each other from other bands around the area, and it was exciting to get together and play some of our favourite music.


How would you describe your music?

Our music is heavy and groovy, it's death metal you can dance to! We all have a wide array of influences, so it's quite a creative mixture. The only rule we have had from day one and still stick to is can you get up and shake your head to it?!



How happy have you been with the response to your latest EP offering, ‘Darker Days’?

We're very happy with it, and it's had a good reception and some good reviews. We're looking forward to making the next one now.



Can you tell us about the making and recording of the EP?

We recorded it at LMC Studios, which is a studio attached to our local college. It is a fantastic studio, with some great gear, and brilliant people. With it being a part of the college it gave students the chance to get involved with the production. It was the most relaxed we'd been in a recording session.



What are your main influences both musically and personally?

I have a list longer than my arm. We live in a time where there is an abundance of brilliant musicians and awesome bands. We all like and listen to the full rock and metal spectrum, everything from Metallica through to Napalm Death, but for Bloodyard we stick to the heavy end, it's the most fun to play. What inspires us personally is that we have such a great time doing it. We have such a laugh at rehearsals, and really enjoy what we do. I couldn’t say it has ever felt like hard work, it's a brilliant way to do what we love, with our closest friends.



How would you say your sound has progressed since your formation in 2010?

I'd say the sound has grown and become more diverse and challenging. In the beginning, we wanted to play fast and heavy, and now we're expanding on that with more technical parts, and pushing ourselves as musicians.



You have shared the stage with some great bands such as Monument, Savage Messiah, RSJ, Meta-stasis and many more, how does that make you feel and what have been some of your show highlights?

Sharing the stage with those bands has been an amazing experience. It has given us the chance to watch and learn from some of the best bands on the scene up close. We played a Sophie Lancaster event a while ago with RSJ, and they had driven all the way from Mammothfest in Brighton after playing it the night before. You could tell they were feeling it, and were quite quiet before their set. As soon as it was time to go on stage though, it was like an explosion! They put on a brilliant show and you would never have known that they had driven 9 hours to get there. Not only that but they stuck around to watch our set, and getting a nod of approval from Dan Cook, was very cool.



Speaking of sharing the stage, you are playing Hard Rock Hell in 02 Academy Birmingham with the likes of Sodom, EVILE, Raging Speedhorn, Feed The Rhino and more, how excited are you for this and what can attending fans expect?

We are over the moon with landing a slot at such a monumental event! We all have albums by Sodom, Evile, Skindred, and Raging Speedhorn in our record collections, so to be a part of the same line-up is a dream come true. We’re one of the opening bands on the Saturday afternoon, so we’re planning to play a set hard and heavy enough to get everyone awake and ready for the rest of the festival.



You played at Mammothfest 2016 in Brighton, UK, how was the experience for you?

Mammothfest was awesome! Getting the chance to play at the opposite end of the country and seeing what the music scene down there is like was a brilliant opportunity. It was a good small venue we played at, and it was packed from start to finish, everyone was really in to it and it was bouncing ‘til the small hours of the morning.


Have you started working on any new material and if so, what can we expect to hear?

Yes, we have. We have lots of new material ready to go, and a few more songs that we’re still working on, that will hopefully be ready by the time we hit the studio in the summer. If all goes to plan we’re hoping for an early autumn release. The new stuff feels like the next level again for us, we’re really pushing ourselves to make the best music we can, and I’m confident in saying it’s our best yet. We’re expanding almost every avenue of our writing, the fast stuff is faster, the heavy parts are heavier, it’s like everything has been turned up to 11!



What else does Bloodyard have planned for 2017?

With the recording being planned for the summer we’re going to be spending the first half of the year out on the road, we already have dates lined up across the North of England. Once the new record is done, we’ll head back out to show off the new stuff and we’re planning to go further afield and play shows throughout the Midlands and maybe a bit further south.



Is there anything else you would like to share or add?

2017 is already looking amazing for us, with some great gigs and shows booked, but we’re always looking to expand our horizons, so if anyone wants us to come and play in their local venues, get in touch! All info and tour dates and much more can be found on our website www.bloodyard.uk or through our facebook page.



For more information on Bloodyard:

https://www.facebook.com/bloodyard666/

http://www.bloodyard.com/



Monday, 20 February 2017

WEAK13 Release Another Controversial Video 'Obey The Slave'!

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and guitar

Underground Grunge Rockers Release New Video!


British underground post punk band WEAK13 have released a new music video for their song 'Obey The Slave' taken from their 2016 debut album 'They Live' which was well received by press and metal heads alike. WEAK13 have never been ones to be subtle and like to cause havoc with controversial songs, lyrics and videos to accompany their honest views.

The latest music video was filmed in a real English magistrates court and revolves around a theme of law and order. The song raises questions about authority and activism with thought provoking lyrics and proudly shouts “Don't start a revolution. Have a revelation and share. Wake up”.

Witness the bold and compelling video for yourself!




You will be be pleased to hear the band are currently preparing to record their follow up to 'They Live' with as yet untitled sophomore studio album with producer John Stewart at FrEQ in Coventry, England. Frontman and guitarist Nick J Townsend revealed “We were so impressed with the engineering by Stewart on the They Live album; it's important news that we'll be able to work with him again and we know already that he'll do the new material the justice it deserves”. The They Live album contains the song “Obey The Slave” and is only available from weak13official.com


I'm sure we can expect more contentious themes from their anticipated upcoming release!


I reviewed the bands debut album 'They Live' so be sure to check that out! It's a must hear! http://www.madaboutrock.co.uk/2016/02/weak-13-they-live-debut-album-review.html



To find out more about WEAK13:


Saturday, 18 February 2017

Band Focus: VISTA (Interview)



VISTA Are Ones To Watch With Their Anthemic Rock Sound!




I caught up with upcoming new band VISTA, an angsty rock trio from New York City. In their short time as a band they have quickly gained media attention and most recently landed a support slot with the trendy rockers, Against The Current. Following their hit debut EP “VERSUS" they are ready to take things to the next level with their new single “Henchmen", including world domination...



Can you tell us a bit about the formation of VISTA?

Greg: We were all abducted by aliens together. Awoke and soon found out we could play music.
Matt: Greg and I joined VISTA at the same time. We had the same audition the same day actually. I originally messaged Hope when I learned that she had lost her drummer. At the time, I had a band that wasn’t going anywhere, so I went to audition, we had Chipotle and then I went home in a new band.

How would you describe your sound to those that aren’t familiar?

Greg: It’s hard to do, but ill just say we like to get big.
Matt: Big choruses, even bigger drums and guitars. Something you may not see and/or hear everyday at a show.
Hope: Big banger apocalyptic-sounding anthems.

What are your main influences both musically and personally?

Greg: Musically I really like all kinds of stuff. The fall of troy is a main influence for me. Been really into a ton of genres tho. Personally I’ve met/gotten to know a few musicians who are really good people altogether. Matt Thiessien from RK is one of them.
Matthew: Growing up I listened to alot of different kinds of music. From concert, jazz, to Underoath, Anberlin, Armor For Sleep and Yellowcard. My all time fave is Angels and Airwaves. They have a positive message and their shows are the best I’ve ever been to. Plus, what other band do you know who does comic books, novels, movies, animated shorts and albums?
Hope: Life, the world, things I see happening on the news, Warped Tour, darkness (as weird as that probably makes me seem).

You have recently released your new single the extremely anthemic, ‘Henchmen’ on the 13th January 2017 and to coincide with that, you had the amazing opportunity to open for Against The Current on the same day, how was the experience for you?

Greg: I want more days like that. It was a great day!
Matthew: The best day of my musical career! It was a bit overwhelming and felt like a dream. I couldn’t believe we were playing that show. It finally hit me when I went on stage to play in front of 1000+.
Hope: Thank you! Yeah, that show was superrr sick. We really hope to grab some more opportunities like that.

Considering you haven’t been going long you have already gained widespread media attention and are securing some great support slots, how does this make you feel? Did you expect this reaction?

Greg: I’m not sure what I expected. I try not to as much. I usually just try to focus on the grind.
Matthew: I don’t have expectations with anything for the sake of protecting myself from disappointment, haha. But It’s been an amazing journey.
Hope: It’s definitely super humbling, but in my eyes we’re just starting. We haven’t really accomplished anything yet. I think we have some killer momentum now that we’re just going to
keep working with.

Can you tell us about the meaning behind the new single ‘Henchmen’?

Greg: As you can tell, lots of people are unhappy with the state of many things in the world right now, especially with politics and civil rights. We wanted to write an anthem to all those who felt oppressed. It’s the least we could do.

What has the response been like to the song so far?

Greg: Pretty awesome. Very thankful.
Matthew: The fans and in the general public have been very supportive and kind. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time to listen to our music!
Hope: I appreciate anyone who’s taken the time to check out some of our music, even if it wasn’t their cup of tea. The response to “Henchmen” has thankfully been nothing but super positive and uplifting, kind of goes hand in hand with the lyrical content.

What was the recording and writing process like when making the song?

Greg: It started from a tiny voice memo from Hope. Then it just evolved from there.
Hope: Yeah, I had the initial idea as a voice memo, I’d written out I think 4-5 different versions of verses to try. We just built on that first concept!

Have you got any other shows or tours planned for 2017?

Greg: Working on stuff right now!
Hope: We’re playing the Stanhope House in NJ on 2/19, The Space in CT on 3/26, and we have some other stuff in the process of being planned and confirmed! Definitely hoping to be out on a tour within the first half of this year.

What can attending fans expect from your live shows?

Greg: To enjoy themselves, hopefully. We like to put a lot of energy into it.
Matthew: A huge energetic show. If you think the songs are bombastic, the live show takes it up a few notches.
Hope: Ah, I love that word bombastic. It’d be cool to put that in a song somewhere. But definitely agree with these guys, we’re all very energetic not only on stage, but also in general. So we just carry our natural energy over to our set and amplify it x10, because we’re working with each other’s energy.

Have you already began work on your next follow up release? If so what can we expect to hear?

Greg: Yes. We are trying to string it all together right now and are sifting through ideas!
Matthew: We’ve been writing new songs, but so far these songs are a nice staple within the VISTA realm.
Hope: Yeah! We’re working on our next EP right now. I think we’ve been working on it for about 2-3 weeks so far.

What else do VISTA have planned for 2017?

Greg: To be seen and heard.
Matthew: Writing, touring, repeat, haha.
Hope: TO TAKE OVER.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us or add?

Greg: Thank you so much for the interview. Thank you to the fans!
Matthew: Thank you to whoever is reading this for taking the time to check us out! We love the fans and can’t wait to see you all on the road soon! Don’t be a stranger...
Hope: Thanks so much for this! We really appreciate your time and for listening to our stuff.




Be sure to check out their music:

https://www.facebook.com/VISTAband/

https://www.youtube.com/VISTAband

Friday, 17 February 2017

Brutality Will Prevail To Headline Mammothfest Event with Raging Speedhorn & More For Bleed Again's Album Launch!



Mammothfest Announces Special Album Launch Show For Fresh Act Bleed Again With Brutality Will Prevail, Raging Speedhorn, Giants, High Hopes & More!



Mammothfest are making quite the impact already in 2017, with two announcements out for the main event taking place on the 6-8th October at The Arch, Brighton, which includes headliners Rotting Christ (with more to be announced). Now they continue to please with this latest Mammothfest show, the second one of the year, with the first being held on the 1st April with headliners, Feed The Rhino. Find out more about this massive show below...

Worthing metallers, Bleed Again have become Mammothfest favourites in recent years. So, to celebrate the release of the band’s album, “Momentum”, Mammothfest have set up an event to make the occasion even more special.

Commonly the festival is known for bringing some of the best emerging metal acts to Brighton, but, Mammothfest is now dipping its toes into the world of hardcore by unleashing UK hardcore favourites Brutality Will Prevail and UK metal icons Raging Speedhorn on the south coast along with some of the best emerging acts in heavy music.

The event will take place at Brighton's Arch venue on May 6th, the same venue that Mammothfest 2017 will be held in October. The album launch show will be an all day showcase, giving you a choice of 17 bands spread across two stages.


BWP - Brutality Will Prevail
Brutality Will Prevail

Brutality Will Prevail, commonly known as BWP, is about to release their highly anticipated fifth studio album, “In Dark Places”. This will be the band’s second album to feature Louis Gauthier on vocals, formally of popular Brighton-based hardcore act Breaking Point. The Welsh outfit is known for producing a unique style of sludge-hardcore, adding it the energy and aggression of metalcore. More importantly BWP deliver some of the best pit-starting grooves in UK hardcore. Expect a high- octane show.


Formed in 1998, Raging Speedhorn has a lot of experience under their belt as the band quickly established itself as a major presence within the UK's metal scene early on into their careers.The band's first single, "Thumper” was released in 2000, which received significant critical acclaim, then in 2001, Raging Speedhorn charted in the UK Singles Chart with "The Gush". As the main support to BWP, you can expect pounding bass lines and heavily distorted riff-thick riffs, all unleashed with a punishing effect.

Hardcore-punk outfit, Giants, which will follow an extensive European tour with Polar. The Essex and London-based punks released their debut album, “Break The Cycle” in 2016. The album pulled in praise for their fresh take on delivering a mixture of brutal nature and catchy hooks, unveiling influences from the likes of Bad Religion and Pennywise, to Comeback Kid and Gallows.

Bleed Again Promo
The Band Of The Day Bleed Again 
Bleed Again, the men of the hour who will be releasing their album, “Momentum” on May 5th. Bleed again are Brighton heroes and fan favourites at Mammothfest. In 2016, Bleed Again delivered one of the most memorable sets of the weekend, in which they filmed their latest song and video for the melodic “Through The Eyes” and earned them one of the best crowd reactions of the whole festival. Having already supported the likes of Soil, Darkest Hour and Devil Sold His Soul with their reputation for blistering live sets, you don’t want to miss them.



Headlining the second stage is High Hopes from Reading UK. Since forming in 2012 they have become an unstoppable energetic live act, which has seen them share the stage with well-known acts such as  Heart Of A Coward, Skindred, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns and Deez Nuts, as well as touring the world, across the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and China, building a dedicated fan base in their path wherever they go, making them a very worthy headliner indeed!

All these bands plus more! (see poster above)

This massive show strongly highlights Mammothfest’s statement to bring the biggest bands to Brighton whilst giving the local acts a platform to grow and play amongst established acts, especially in this extra special event that marks the album launch of one of the most exciting UK upcoming acts Bleed Again! Come and celebrate Bleed Again’s new release and join in this mental party of big and smaller bands united as one all under one roof at The Arch which is the perfect location being central and along the seafront. You don’t want to miss it!


To get tickets to this massive event go here: https://mammothfest.uk/product/brutality-will-prevail-raging-speedhorn/ Hurry as limited amount of early bird tickets at just £18! 

For more info on this event plus all other Mammothfest shows and tickets visit: www.mammothfest.uk

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Interview: Trivium (featured in Stencil Mag)

Image result for trivium 2016



In the new Stencil Mag (issue 41) I had the pleasure of interviewing the bassist of one of the biggest American modern metal bands around...Paolo Gregoletto of Trivium! Here is where originally featured in Stencil Mag:

https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/114


Interview - Paolo from Trivium:



How did you first get into playing bass?

I was first playing bass when I was eleven years old and me and group of my friends were having lunch at school one day and decided we wanted to play at this yearly festival at school, so we each pretty much picked an instrument and I picked bass and it suited me, and we played things like ‘Dammit’ by Blink 182 and I played For Whom The Bells Tolls (Metallica)…that was pretty much how it started for me.

Can you tell us a bit about when you first joined Trivium, as well as what it was like to be an upcoming band in Orlando, Florida?

When I joined Trivium…I’m actually from South Florida so we’re about three hours apart and we get together for like a year, so we kind of knew each other and they needed a bass player urgently, as the original guy left on the first tour and the next guy didn’t work out on the second so and I had just graduated high school and it pretty much just went from there.


When did you first realize that Trivium was going to be a career lasting band?


I mean it wasn’t really until we came over to Europe and UK I was like this could definitely be something much bigger than I thought it would be. It makes you think there are possibilities for life here and mine was when we first toured and it was like if we could do this here then it might be possible....it’s pretty mind blowing that it has been this long from 12 years now and yeah it’s been awesome.

So what made you want to re-release 'Ember to Inferno', and personally, what track means the most to you from that record?
Well the original deal was a couple of years ago, the record came back to the band after the original deal was up and the album you couldn’t get it in pretty much on all the streaming sites, stores or online, everyone was pretty much having to buy it of Ebay and Matt decided to put all the demos from Ember To Inferno blue, red and yellow demos and took it to Corey and I and some others, and came up with this whole kind of total beginning demos or early Trivium days type thing to put out. It’s really cool and it’s a bunch of different colours vinyl’s .


What has the response been like so far for the re-issue of Ember To Inferno?

People that haven’t heard it before are hearing it for the first time online, it’s exciting – if we play it live it will be good to see how people react.

You guys were only in your early 20s when you started to become successful, so what was it like, to have to tour the world that young, and what do you think you learnt the most from that time?


It was an experience…we learnt more about people all over the world and how music brings people together. It definitely changed my outlook on life and the world.


Okay so let's jump forward here. How happy have you been with the feedback to 'Silence in the Snow', and what do you think the release has done for the representation of Trivium?

I mean here in the states it’s really been our break through record I mean having the radio play some of our music.


What songs are you still really enjoying performing live from that record, and why?

One I really like to play is ‘Rise Above The Tides’ I think because of the vibe …it’s fun and treated well live, it’s very melodic and I think it sounds better live than on record… it’s been fun to work them in and see as the record has gone from being a new release to a year old so see which songs kind of latched on with people live.

How did you end up working with Ihsahn on the track Snofall, and what was that whole process like for you?
We kind of had a good idea of what we wanted and he had a general idea and so we hit up Ihsahn and pitched the idea of doing the intro and he gave us a rough mop up of what it would be and we were just really stoked with ended up being this cinematic dramatic menacing intro so we just let him go at it.

It's been ten years since the release of 'The Crusade', so looking back on that time, what do you remember the most, and how would you say this record compares to anything else Trivium have done?

Kind of a little bit of a contentious time for us… we just finished all the ‘Ascendancy’ stuff and we never really thought about the record so I just kind of remember we learned a lot of lessons and the benefits of pre-production and taking your time and having some space away from touring to really think about what you what to do and that’s one of those things you have to go through and learn and it was a little rocky behind the scenes… some of the songs were my favourite to play live.

Touring wise, what have you been up to this year, and can you give us a couple of personal highlights from your time on the road?

If the right tour comes along then we will do it and just keep doing the festivals…I mean all the festivals we did this year and Rock On The Range they were incredible.
Image result for Paolo Gregoletto



How excited are you for your upcoming UK tour, and what can attending fans expect?
We are very excited because it’s going to be the last tour of the album and we want to end on a high note and before the next break before we start thinking about any new music.

Can you give us one or two of your highlights from performing in the UK before?

Download festival it was huge and the gigs we did with Iron Maiden in 2006 they definitely stick out.

Overall, how would you say the sound of Trivium has grown since you first started out?


I mean Matt’s become a more melodic singer…it would be weird not to feature him more as a melodic singer than just like oh yeah a screaming vocalist with bits and pieces here and there. I mean when you play live it’s awesome because we can really cover any of our albums and we are able to pull them off exactly the way they were on the record and it’s nice to have such a dynamic set and songs.

What else can we expect to see from Trivium as we head towards 2017?


Once we have finished the touring we are going to take some time out and think about what to do next and for us just to like renew energy in the band and we are excited about a new record.



www.trivium.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Trivium/


Check out all the other interviews and content in the latest Stencil mag all for free!


https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41


Also in the issue is my review of Trivium's re-release for Ember To Inferno: Ab Inition (Deluxe)- https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/181








Sunday, 12 February 2017

Courtesans Release New Video For 'Mesmerise'!



British Doom Pop act Courtesans are the band to watch right now, with their unique and fresh sound which ranges from doom, grunge, alt rock and pop, captivating press and music fans alike. 

The band are set to release their highly anticipated new EP 'Better Safe Than Sober' on March 31st. 

Luckily for us they have just unleashed their first video single for 'Mesmerise'. The video itself is hypnotic and alluring and it certainly embraces the songs context and mood, making it the perfect visual representation of the song. Check out the dark new video for yourself:








To find out more about the band:


Website - www.thecourtesans.org
Facebook - www.facebook.com/thecourtesans
Twitter - https://twitter.com/the_courtesans
You Tube / Instagram

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Interview: Skindred (featured in Stencil Mag)

Image result for skindred 2016



So for the latest Stencil Mag I was lucky enough to interview Arya Goggin the drummer from the biggest Reggae Metal band going, Skindred! This interview was done for and first featured in Issue 41 of Stencil Mag which can be seen in the magazine here:

https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41

Interview can be found here on page: https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/106



Interview with Arya Goggin - Skindred!



When did you first get into playing drums?


I think it was probably round about the age of six. I was really drawn to it. My parents were getting me lessons and had to stick with them for a year or so before they brought me a drum kit and that happened and here we are which is great.



What drummers have really influenced you over the years, and why?

My favourite drummer of all time is probably Roger Taylor from Queen – ‘We Will Rock You’ is one of the first drum things that I remember hearing and it was all drums and vocals and I have never heard anything like that before. I was like that is so cool. As I sort of got older I realised he was a song-writer as well and was always very musical he was, and still is a big influence. Stuart Copeland from The Police is a massive influence, especially with the reggae style thing…obviously Gun N Roses, Metallica. I was into like rock music straight out the bat really. And it’s just the big guys, the ones that ever says I guess, like Phil Collins, just sort of legendary drummers. I was always drawn to them to be sat behind the kit playing in front of hundreds of thousands of people and I would be like ‘wow that is rad’.

Can you tell us a bit about the formation of Skindred, and maybe how you found your sound?

With the band Benji was in a band called Dub War earlier on and they were mixing the sort of Jamaican sounds and more sort of indie rock stuff in the 90s and Skindred came about to be a bit more on the heavier side, so the influences were more like Helmet, The Ruts, more of an aggressive sort of sound and then it sort of turned into metal…I don’t know how the metal influence came, I guess it was touring with those sorts of bands, we were put on the road with lots of metal bands like Korn and Disturbed and Soulfly early on and I you could sort of feel the power of metal and we sort of got a bit heavier over the years, which has been great. I think with Benji you have a secret weapon because he can sing anything in any style so it’s very easier for us to provide a background thing for him to sing over. I guess with Skindred we are very lucky because we can do whatever we want musically and we can change things up, there’s not really a box that we have to sit in musically…funny enough it comes quite easy it’s not a real thought about we had to make it sound like this. The guys pick up their instruments that’s the kind of music we are initially draw to making.

Also, how did you get to the name Skindred, and what does it mean to you?

Well the name … our bass player came up with the name? It was using the reggae sound with the ‘dred’ you know the reggae element, with the heaviness of skin head, you know the punk skin head – skindred pop them together. As far as band names go I think we got a decent one there didn’t we!


When did you first realize that Skindred was going to be a life changing band?

I don’t want it to sound arrogant but I knew straight away. For me, the idea of playing music in front of as many people as you can to listen to it, and that’s still the goal of the band, to grow and spread the message, spread the different kind of sound we have to as many people as possible. I wouldn’t have been satisfied us just playing in the practice room all the time, it had to get bigger and it had to grow otherwise I don’t think we would be doing it for as long as we have. Yeah I guess when we joined there was a scope for it as I don’t really know any other bands that are doing it…maybe that’s a bad thing I don’t know (laughs)…I guess when you have a unique sound you want to push it out there as far as possible. I think System Of A Down are a good reference point for us, not in terms of the sound, but there’s no band on the planet that sounds like them and their a massive band everywhere they go and I think that was inspirational for us, as we were like okay they are a different sounding band and their massive…Faith No More, no one sounds like them, Chilli Peppers…those sort of bands that have gone into the mainstream by doing their own thing and I think that was sort of the influence for me anyway.


So, looking back on 'Volume', how happy have you been with the response to this album so far, and what do you think it has done for the representation of Skindred?


I think ‘Volume’ for me did what it said on the tin. We wanted to make an aggressive heavy album again and we wanted it to be concise and I think we did that. It’s been out for just over a year and the response from when we play songs from ‘Volume’ now is amazing. I think ‘Saying It Now’ is one of my favourite songs we have ever written and ‘Sound The Siren’ are songs that I think are great. I think ‘Volume’ is the first step in the new Skindred does that make sense? We want to continue with those ‘Saying It Now’ and ‘Sound The Siren’ type song…so you have got some really amazing lyrics from Benji and really touching subject matter and then you have the Skindred all right craziness of ‘Sound The Siren’ – I want to take that kind of sound to the next level. People seem to really dig ‘Volume’, I’m pretty proud of it. It’s good to do something quickly, we wrote and recorded it in three months which for us was really quick. It felt good though, I’m just a believer in don’t think about it too much – if it feels good do it. If it sounds good then everyone is happy, I don’t like fighting over songs which happens quite a lot of the time.


Which songs are you still really enjoying performing live from 'Volume' at the moment, and why?
I love playing ‘Sound The Siren’ because it fits in a pocket, do you know what I mean when I say a pocket?...it fits in a groove where a lot of Skindred stuff it jumps around, there’s lots of different feels in one song, there’s a metal bit, a rock bit, a reggae bit, the dance bit, and ‘Sound The Siren’ fits in a pocket of a whole song, it’s really comfortable and you can just see dancing and jumping around to it, like I say, going back to if it feels good – that song is a great example of that because it’s very simple and it’s got a great vocal line that Benji will do his acrobatics over it but the actual groove and the riff of the song is simple and it’s really satisfying for the band to play.


There was only just over a year between 'Volume' and 'Kill The Power', which marks the shortest time ever for a Skindred album coming together. So how come this record came to life so quickly?


It was funny because we recorded ‘Kill The Power’ in 2012 but it didn’t come out until 2014, so for us it felt like there had been a long gap, so it was written and recorded and then came out so didn’t feel long. I think when you look it says ‘Kill The Power’ 2014, ‘Volume’ 2015 so people assume it’s a year gap. When ‘Kill The Power’ came out in January 2014 then ‘Volume’ came out October 2015 so it was almost a two year gap anyway. Someone asked me about it in another interview so I think it’s just one of those things…you don’t want people to think that you rushed a record then it’s an easy way to strike it off if it’s crap you know…oh it’s a year between record’s they must have rushed that, but it wasn’t the case


How did you end up signing with Napalm Records, and what have you enjoyed the most about working with them?
Napalm tried to sign us probably about 5-6 years ago, they tried twice before and we went with other labels at the time as it didn’t seem it was the right home for us, but now we’ll see…I don’t want to be down about record labels but to me there just a necessary evil for us. We have been doing what we are doing for so long I would like to have longer relationships with labels but the problem with labels like anything is personnel change so quickly, so you have one guy who loves it, and in our case the guy did, as signed us but by the time the record came out he left the company so. It just seems very transient. If we ever do another record with Napalm that would be great, if we don’t that would be great. As long as we can make music I don’t really mind who puts it out.


How did the idea for the Newport Helicopter originally come about?
There was a point in set with ‘Warning’ where we would get people to do like a wall of death or jump around and go crazy like ‘ahhhh!’ you know and count to three and everyone would go mental ‘ahhh!’ (laughs) and we did it at Download Festival and before we went on the promoters said we don’t want anyone instigating a wall of death or anything violent, like proper moshing, circle pits as we have had injuries, then Benji had this idea that he had, and he hadn’t told us where he saw an old hip hop video where everyone took their t-shirts off from the 80s, and so we got to that bit he just starting telling everyone to take their shirts off and hadn’t told us and we’re all like ‘what the fuck is he doing’? and then everyone went mental, and that’s how it was born really, it was his brain child and he hadn’t thought about calling it the ‘Newport Helicopter’ it just came out – a little stroke of genius from Benji which was great. I think it’s bigger than the song…it’s my favourite part of the set to be honest because you know everyone is going to do it and at that one time everyone is unified. It’s really satisfying as when we play festivals other bands get the best view of the house with everyone doing it, they are like oh ‘we’re going to rip that off’.

Touring wise, what did you get up to in 2016, and can you give us a couple of personal highlights from your time on the road?


2016 everyone is going on about what a crap year it’s been but personally it’s been a great year, I got married, I’ve been on the road with the band, and the bands doing the best they have ever done if you ask me…we played some great festivals, we did Download and Reading, we played sold out shows in Europe, America, it’s been the year of Skindred. I haven’t got anything negative to say about 2016 apart from the obvious things that happened to the world, and everyone was a victim to that, not just one person or one type of person, everyone has been affected by the crap that has happened. But for me with the band it’s been great, I think just being able to do what we love as not a job, but a passion…you have to pinch yourself every day.



Arya Goggin Behind The Drums!


You guys played to over one million people at Polish Woodstock. So what was that whole experience like for you, and what do you remember the most from the set?

It was pretty remarkable, I think talking about pinching yourself to see if real, I mean I think that’s probably the best example of that…you can’t see where the people end, from the left to the right, to the back, it’s very weird. We were lucky to be one of the first, it was an incredible feeling, I can’t really describe it. We are used to playing in front of big crowds. The thing about Skindred is we play a big gig at Polish Woodstock, then in February we are going to small venues and playing to 250 people…I think it’s great, I think we lucky that we can still do that, it keeps you in check, it keeps you normal…if you were doing Wembley stadium every night I think it would probably be hard to keep your feet on the ground, I can understand why people get weird when they get big. It must be a strange feeling. I think for us we do a bit of everything which is great.


Talking of festivals, why haven't you guys headlined Download yet? Do you think that would ever be on the table or be a goal to aim for?

I think you should do a feature on that through the magazine and get a petition together and get Live Nation and Andy Copping to let us headline, that’s a great idea…you can take that idea for free. It would obviously be a massive honour, we would love to headline I mean I don’t know if we are there yet…I think it could happen we are still doing this for the band to grow and Download is our home town, it’s our market, we are like a house band so I like to think they would give us a shot one day…we would blow each other up with pyro, not knowing how to use it! (laughs)

The music you guys have created has always worked very well in a live atmosphere. So if you can, can you tell us how a song normally comes together for you guys?

It’s so sporadic, I mean Mikey (Guitar) will have ideas and some concepts he will bring to the band and Dan (Bass) will do the same, myself and Benji do it with everyone. Sometimes Dan will come with a whole song then sometimes Mike will come with riff ideas, but none of it comes complete until everyone has had their input on it. Sometimes Benji will send a vocal idea to play or sometimes I will send the grooves to someone as inspiration – there’s no right or wrong way to do it. I think if we found the perfect way, all the albums would start sounding the same I think. We will probably look at doing something different when it’s time to write the next one.

How excited are you for your upcoming UK tour, and what can attending fans expect?

I think like we were saying about playing small places, this is what we did in November and the just coming February as we are playing small clubs so we can get up close and personal with people and give an old school Skindred show…the production is very scaled back, it’s just the band on stage rocking out, really hot, really sweaty…talk about the Newport helicopter, you the Newport helicopter in a small club you’re going to feel that you know. That’s the idea, It’s time to get back and give the fans who have stuck with us a long time a chance to see us in a small venue again, because a year ago we were headlining Brixton Academy and now we are going back to playing Concorde (Brighton) all these small rooms, which I think is great as it shows you’re a band of the people, and that’s important to us.

How would you say the alternative rock world has changed/progressed since you guys first started out?

It’s weird because I feel two ways about it, you know they say ‘the cream always rises to the top’, like the good were out…I think there are so many bands that started out when we started out they are all gone. My one theory is because ‘the cream rises to the top’, the other theory is, that it’s really fucking hard, so I’m a bit in the middle with it, to be in a band for as long as we have you have to have the support of the fan base to continue to do it. If you don’t get that support you just physically can’t do it, financially, mentally, everything, so we are lucky that we have that. There is a lot of great bands that started out with us who had to pack it in because they just couldn’t make ends meet doing it. Real life gets in the way, so I think the metal scene has a big strong community out there, people are showing support…you know that thing that happened with Team Rock, and I think it was fantastic that big Just Giving page that Orange Goblin started, that’s just proof that the metal community is really strong. Anything I would say is just take a leaf out of their book, if you have got favourite bands support them, otherwise they won’t be your favourite band because they will have to stop.


What else can we expect to see from Skindred in 2017?

Well we just confirmed a couple of festivals, Bloodstock and the headline of Steelhouse Festival (Wales). I would like to think we are not going anywhere, we are around annoying people for as long as we possibly can. After the February tour we are going to go to Australia, then we are going to go back to America and I think back to Japan, I think the UK is just going to be festivals other than shows mentioned, not sure if doing anything else, but after that I think probably a little break before we do the new record. I would like to have a new record out in 2018, I don’t think it’s going to happen in 2017, I think 2018…I don’t want to leave it too long as people forget about you don’t they.



Remember to check out the original interview here: 

https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/106

Check out the whole issue for free: 

https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41


Info on Skindred:

Www.skindred.net/

https://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial/





Friday, 10 February 2017

Mammothfest UK 2017 Second Announcement!




Mammothfest UK more acts revealed with second announcement of 2017!



Less than two weeks ago, Mammothfest made the first big announcement of 2017, which included heavyweights Rotting Christ headlining in a UK exclusive show and Tjusder from Norway, as main support as well as popular acts Meta-stasis and Lagerstein (Australia), amongst upcoming acts such as Bleed Again, OHHMS and more. The team are wasting little time by unveiling some new additions to the line-up, this time showcasing more of the best rising stars of metal…

Mammothfest has always prided itself in supporting emerging artists and the underground local scene, giving smaller bands the chance to play alongside big acts such as Rotting Christ, and in the past bands like Textures, Venom Inc, Sylosis, Onslaught and many more!

We have the Rikstock stage which is devoted to such emerging bands and the memory of Rik, a metal vocalist for HOLE IN THE SKY and business partner of Mammothfest whom lost his life to brain cancer a few years ago.



New additions:



Friday 6th October 2017 Black Metal Second Stage:



True English black metal band, Heathen Deity who formed back in 1998 and received critical acclaim from press including Terrorizer magazine for their early 2002 EP, "Walpugisacht, For the Glory of Satan". Then band went on a hiatus they emerged from the darkness in 2014 and in 2016 they declared their ‘rebirth’ again and announced they are working on their debut album, this time armed with new members and ready to hit the stage again.



Necronautical are a trio from the Northwest of England have been unleashing their misanthropic black metal since 2010. Fast forward to 2016 and the band signed with well-known British metal label, Cacophonous records and released “The Endurance At Night” that same year via them, showcasing a new dark energy and resilience for Black metal. Come and hear their latest offerings at Mammothfest!



Saturday 7th October 2017 Death/Extreme Metal Second Stage:



Kill All The Gentlemen are a four piece metal band from Exeter, UK who deliver face melting pumped up metal to the masses. They played the New Blood stage at Bloodstock in 2014 as they impressively won the Hobgoblin online video competition for the track, ‘A Rose All Evil’. In 2017 the band are gearing up to head out on tour with death metal veterans, NAPALM DEATH and are in the middle of writing a new album. A must see at Mammothfest 2017!




Metal quartet Materia from Poland quickly established themselves in their home country as in 2013 they released their first LP “Case of Noise” which featured on the “Must be the music” – a very popular talent show in Poland. Coming second place saw them hit the limelight in mainstream television and spread the word about the band nationally and not just among metal fans. Materia have to date played at a number of festivals including Sonisphere Poland (2010) which featured Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth on the line-up, Przystanek Woodstock, Jarocin Festial and Metal Fest. The band are currently busy promoting themselves by touring across Europe and it is our pleasure to welcome them to Mammothfest!



British heavy metal five piece Synaptik from Norwich, inject elements of thrash, power and progressive metal to create their own signature metal sound. These seasoned musicians have in the past shared the stage with the likes of Iron Maiden, Exodus, Onslaught and more and are devastating live! 2017 is the year of Synaptik, having already signed with DeFox and Heart Of Steal records as well as landing a US deal with Divebomb records and re-releasing a remixed heavier version of their hit debut album, “The Mechanisms of Consequence” on 30th January, and they are set to make an even bigger impact with their sophomore album, “Justify & Reason” which is released on March 10th. No doubt they will be gracing us with new songs during their set!



Hole In The Sky are no strangers to Mammothfest, they played in 2014 alongside headliners Savage Messiah, Martyr Defiled, Ingested and more! This is a well established hammering local metal band that continue to grow despite losing their singer Rik (RIKSTOCK STAGE Rik) to Brain cancer a few years ago. The fact they are back is testament to their unstoppable tech death metal so there is no doubting 2017 is going to be an incredible year for them!



Gutteral Carnage are home grown local Brighton SLAM metal band. If you are into Ingested and other such disgusting (in a good way) bands then these nutters are for you! Massive detuned slam riffs and drilling drums come together in harmony to create gut wrenching extreme death metal. They may not have been around long but my god they have a huge future!




Negative Measures are an Hardcore Punk four piece hailing from Brighton. They haven't been on the scene long, as only formed back in 2014, and only released their debut EP 'Demotivational Speeches' via Big Word Records last year (2016) but every time the Mammothfest director Stephen Dickson goes to see them he finds local venues dripping with sweat as this energetic band bring together a community of like minded heads to party and wow they get things going!



And finally another local Brighton band, Rotten Foxes, described as Death Punk, bring a comic element to Mammothfest with their off the wall on stage costumes but don't be fooled, these guys know how to ruin venues! They have currently only unleashed a self titled demo EP, but this month are due to unveil their second EP. So come and hear the foxes wail, howl and cause a racket at Mammothfest!



All this plus loads more bands to be announced including two headliners!


Tickets for Mammothfest are available now with a variety of options, including day tickets and VIP weekend tickets: https://mammothfest.uk/store




Sunday, 5 February 2017

New Stencil Mag - Issue 41: Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Skindred, Anthrax & More!

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, sunglasses and text


Check out the latest massive issue of Stencil Mag which this time includes my interviews with Paolo from Trivium and Arya from Skindred!

Skindred Interview: https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/106

Trivium Interview: https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/114


The reviews I done for this issue are:

Lamb Of God - The Duke EP - https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/180

Trivium - Ember To Inferno: Ab Inition (Deluxe) - https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/181

AFI - The Blood Albumhttps://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/182

Matt Pryor - Memento Mori https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/183

Proll Guns - Horseflesh BBQ https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/188

Arcane Roots - Curtains (Single Review)https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41/188



Remember to check out all the other awesome interviews and reviews/features all for free here: 

https://issuu.com/stencilmag/docs/issue41