Tempest are a metalcore act from Eastbourne, South Coast UK. They recently headlined a new local festival to help revitalise the scene as it has been in decline in the area, but thanks to the guitarist in the band, Steve Collier he is on a mission to make the scene what it used to be again, as he is the one who formed the first Deep Water Festival, along with a promotions and bookings company called Deep Water Bookings. Now is an exciting time for the South East scene and for Tempest, so I caught up with Steve to discuss all this, what lies ahead for the band and more...
Can you tell us about your formation in 2013?
Alex, Adam and Ross were in the band prior to Tempest starting. One of their guitarists left and I originally just filled in, as I was in a different band at the time. I got on with the guys pretty well and ended up becoming a permanent member. Since then another guitarist left, where Ross then moved from bass to guitar and Mike joined us on bass.
How did you arrive at the name Tempest?
When I joined the band we had the new line up and new material on the go so we decided the band needed a new name to top it off. The previous name for the band was ‘Only As Strangers’ which we all agreed was pretty naff. It’s also frustrating finding a name for your band that everyone can agree with and not already taken, so it did take a while. Then finally Alex threw ‘Tempest’ into the hat, which he found while listening to the song Karma by Parkway Drive. We all felt that the name worked and wasn’t too cheesy so it just stuck. A lot of people did think our name is from Shakespeare’s play of the same name, but it’s not. Though ironically ‘The Tempest’ was my favourite play by Shakespeare that I studied at school so maybe the name was meant to be!
When did you first get into playing guitar and what inspired you to play?
I knew I wanted to play guitar ever since I was in primary school. We had an assembly where they got some rock band in called Track 17 (maybe it was one of the teachers kids bands) and I vividly remember thinking that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen! I begged my parents for a guitar but they always said no, so I eventually stopped asking.
A few years later when I was thirteen my brother bought himself a Fender Squire acoustic guitar. He learned the James Bond theme and then got too frustrated with it so he came in my room and threw it at me. My face just lit up and I was like OH MY GOD I FINALLY HAVE A GUITAR!
I learned a few chords from a book and showed my parents and begged again for an electric guitar and they finally agreed. They bought me a Yamaha ERG and said that if I couldn’t learn any songs or play it within two weeks they’d sell it. I’ve been playing guitar ever since!
You released a new track titled ‘Remember Me’ featuring George Wright of Idle Shores, what was it like working with George and can you tell us a bit about the song?
Remember Me is dedicated to Ashleigh Connor Brown, who sadly took his own life at the beginning of the year. It was that event coupled with my experience living with my girlfriend while she grieved which inspired me to do something about it, and the only thing I felt I could do was to write a song. The track is focussed on depression, how it can make us feel and remind us that no one is alone in having those feelings as well as my experience on the day we were told what had happened.
Working with George was awesome because it was the first time we’ve written and recorded a song together. We’ve been good friends for a while and it was great to collaborate with him for this song. He wrote all the lyrics for his verse which has a real impact when it comes in! I just hope we’ve done Ash justice with the track.
Last month Tempest (October 2017) headlined a new local festival in Eastbourne called, Deep Water Fest which you actually formed also, what was the experience like for you and how important do you think this festival is for the local scene?
It was terrifying! It was the biggest event I’ve ever booked and although I had a good idea of how it would all work I was still worried about it all going wrong. Luckily I had brilliant bands and friends involved who really helped me to make it work The changeovers for the first half of the festival were so tight and the bands dealt with it so well which was incredible.
The venue staff were lovely and Chuck Tipler was absolutely brilliant as the sound engineer! Without his help I don’t think the festival would have gone anywhere near as smoothly.
The festival just proves that the local scene isn’t dead. It was so cool seeing so many people come down and enjoy themselves, not only that but actually watching every band that played as well and having a great time. That’s exactly what I wanted to happen when I planned the event and I can’t express enough how happy I am that Deep Water Fest became a reality because of them.
Following on from that, do you think will it go on to become an annual event?
I really hope so! I've had a few ideas of some bigger names to get down, it all depends on the local scene and if the support is going to be there next year.
What were some of the main highlights from the festival for you?
Seeing how cheap the beers were was probably one of them! Another highlight was seeing my friends in The Aphelion play as it was their first time playing in Eastbourne. I think there was a human pyramid in the pit at one point, Idle Shores had a wall of death, it was just awesome.
As well as starting a festival you have also formed a promotion and music bookings company called Deep Water Bookings to help the local scene further, what made you decide to initially set this up and what future plans can we expect from this?
I started Deep Water Bookings because I realised that no one was really promoting live music in Eastbourne any more (except acoustic singer songwriter gigs), but we need a music scene to thrive. Eastbourne used to have a brilliant music scene like five or six years ago, so I want to bring that back. It was one of those moments where you know you have to do it because no one else will. I usually book a lot of shows at Bar Blue but I am looking to book at other bigger venues too, like Leaf Hall for example. I book anything ranging from rock, pop punk, metal and all inbetween and strictly staying away from cover bands.
What would you say are some of your main musical influences right now personally and as a band?
For me personally I’d say a lot of my influence is a mix of Alexisonfire, old Architects (like Hollow Crown, The Here and Now, Daybreaker). There are other bands that weigh in but those two bands mainly make me want to do the music I do. I love the contrasts between the screams and the catchy singing parts from both bands. Architects have inspired my guitar playing a bit more. I try to push myself to write more interesting parts with each song we do but I also want the songs to be fun to play at the same time, it shouldn’t be a chore. It’s hard finding that medium sometimes.
The band collectively takes a lot of inspiration from Architects, Bury Tomorrow and In Hearts Wake. I think those are the three bands we all agree on though we’re always finding new bands and new songs from all over that we’re really in to, constantly showing each other what we find and what we like each week at practice! I think Crystal Lake’s latest release ‘Apollo’ was the track we blasted last time!
What can fans expect from your live shows?
I know a lot of bands say this so it just sounds cliche, but we bring a lot of energy with us. We know no one likes to watch a band just stand there looking like they don’t care, so we like to jump about and bang our heads. Ross definitely tends to go pretty crazy, and if people headbang with us and get involved then awesome! If not then we’re still having a blast regardless!
Are you currently working on any new material and if so can you give us any insight into this?
We’re really close to finishing our first full length album, which is crazy. It’s got some really powerful tracks so far, lots of singalong sections which I think are pretty catchy. Our songs aren’t about any random stories, they’re all based on real emotions, feelings and experiences we’ve had. So some songs might cut a bit deeper than others, depending what the listener relates to. The album will be out next year, I can’t give any rough date yet because due to perfectionist ideals it’s definitely taking longer than we thought!
What else do you have planned and how does 2018 look for Tempest?
We’re playing at Icebreaker Festival on the February 3rd in Portsmouth which I’m super excited about, and we’re going on tour with our mates in Behind Blue Eyes at the end of February too. Other than those dates and recording the rest of the album, we have no other plans set out just yet. We just hope to play as many shows as possible!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d just like to thank everyone that made Deep Water Festival happen! Everyone who attended, all the bands, the venue staff, Chuck Tipler, and all my friends.
Support live music and be involved!
Check out their official lyric video for their latest song 'Remember Me' below: