Category Archives: Interviews
You have just played at Hammerfest in Wales. How did it go for you guys? I believe you had to stop your set for a bit due to an incident.
Yes, it went well…in the end. A guy in the crowd hit his head. We heard he was epileptic and he might have been fitting after that, so there was a fair bit of concern for him. We decided to break off while he was tended to, as his welfare was obviously the primary concern and we wanted to clear the way for the medical people etc.
That aside, I might be wrong, but It seemed like most people were there for the more traditional metal stuff. So the raucous reaction for us was definitely a pleasant surprise. We were also playing with a fill-in bass player, Jesper Liverod (ex-Nasum) while Shane was unavoidably busy with another band, so you’re hoping that it’ll all come together well. And it did all go swimmingly in the end.
You are a band that are known for breaking records or being the first band to do something. You are also known for the shortest ever song recorded, and the first band to perform in South Africa. Have you got any more record breaking plans for the future?
These don’t tend to be pre-calculated things. They just kind of happen. Apart from ‘ethical’ objections, when you’re a band who is very open to stuff, you tend to find the unlikeliest things land in your lap sometimes. We like to be adventurous – we find just doing the same things all the time to be a bit pedestrian and the offbeat things help to keep up the enthusiasm. Similarly with making the actual music, we have little desire to be just a cut and paste band.
Napalm Death were first formed in the 1980’s, however, none of you are original members. Even so, although there has been quite a few changes over the years, this present line up has been together for quite sometime. What is the secret to your success at sustaining the same line up?
We are realists and know that we need to tough it out together when needed. And after all these years of managing to keep ourselves together as a unit, we know to respect each other’s differing traits and ways of doing things. This is essential when you are going to be living in assorted steel boxes on wheels for weeks on end with the same people. Napalm Death is an incredibly important part of all our lives. None of us, I don’t think, would be prepared to give up on it easily at this point.
You must have played in some amazing venue’s over the years. What has been your favourite?
Hard to recall overall, but I do remember playing in a small hill fort in France where the back of the stage gave way to a fifty-foot cliff dropping into the sea. One overzealous stage move in the wrong direction and you’d be in the drink! We were also the first band to (independently) play in the Soviet Union and headlining two nights at a national ice hockey stadium was quite bizarre and surreal – especially back in 1991 and in the largely undiscovered Soviet Union.
Is there a country that is your favourite to perform in?
In terms of approaching gigs, we go to it 100% – every gig like it’s the last – no matter where we are. I do love Japan though. It’s kind of a second home for me as my girlfriend lives there and also Napalm has a big network of friends there in the music scene. Korea, a very short hop away, is also quite an interesting place to play given the depressingly tense situation north and south. Both Japan and Korea also have wonderful natural environments outside the big cities.
When you’re in a band travelling around, you may as well try to get out and about where you can – not many people have the privilege to do so in life, so I certainly don’t take it for granted.
What has been your hardest time in the band, and how did it come out on the right side?
The nineties was a testing period, as this kind of music lost its appeal a little bit. Touring was pretty challenging in terms of getting people out to gigs and inevitably it maybe rubbed off on the band a bit. I was actually ejected from the band for a little while over a few things, but it all got sorted in the end. Generally, you just have to plough through things and if you’ve tried your utmost to make the music forthright and the gigs intense, then you can’t say you didn’t give it your best shot. We’re pretty resilient as bands go and, as I said previously, we don’t give up easily.
Even though I’m 12 years of age, I have already experienced how cut throat the music business can be. Have you ever been a victim of this or witnessed anything?
We always tried our best to move outside of the accepted big music industry. Consequently, we didn’t really end up in any situations where we were knocked down by it, as we always decided what we wanted to do first and foremost. At the end of the day, when you’re told by some big mover that a situation might be good for you when you feel deeply uncomfortable about it, well, that’s not particularly inspiring. The only times we really got caught out was on stupidly signing bad contracts, or being sold into situations where we had no control because the person we put our trust in decided to cash in without paying us that much heed.
Barney, had you always wanted to be a singer in a band or did you have any other careers in mind? Maybe Politics?
I never planned to be singing in any band. At all. Ever. It really just kind of happened after a series of circumstances. I never viewed it as a career either because when you start to think of your band like that I believe you start to make pedestrian choices. My opinion.
Back in the real world, I was actually an engineer in the car industry beforehand. In future, I’d quite like to be a Soviet era historian – that’s a period of history that fascinates me. Or an evolutionary biologist because that area of science is just…everything. I’m asked pretty frequently about getting into mainstream politics, but the system as it is would probably not let me achieve my goals of pure social justice or equality. So for now I’ll jostle for change around the edges. Ha!
You’re last album was in 2015. Any plans for a new one in the near future?
We have ideas for music and lyrics, but no fully formed music as yet. We’ll start to work a lot more seriously on it in a couple of months or so.
Could you come to my school and play there? They could do with some more windows !!
We’re more likely to break windows with the violent noise than give you more of them. But yeah, maybe I’ll at least drop in for a friendly chat sometime.
- You have just released you 3rd studio album called ‘In Search of Ancient Magic’ which was released on the 24th February. What feedback have you got off your fans about your new album?
BRIONY – The album has only been ‘on the shelf’ for around for a few days (at the time of writing) … but having said that, we have already received some fantastic feedback, from fans and reviewers. What stands out from the comments is “how much you have grown and evolved as a band”, we are constantly challenging ourselves and pushing to do the very best we can, hearing that people have noticed feels great, it really does!
DAN – Well, it is early days yet as we have only just released it, but what we have had back so far is good, and has all been positive from the fans and the reviews.
- How was album launch gig? Did you get a good crowd?
BRIONY – Being an ‘up and coming’ originals band comes with its difficulties, people often want to sing along to a good tune on an evening out, which can be hard when people haven’t heard our songs before! We had our regular, (and bloody awesome), group of fans who always sing along, but the new people are the ones you want to leave an impression on. Gladly, we saw a lot of new faces who looked on in wonder as we played through the sets… people tend to do a lot of wondrous staring/casual head bobbing when they first come to see us, I guess they are taking all of the spectacle in and digesting it song by song! The crowd were very receptive and eager to see us play again in the future after the show, which was great!!
DAN – The album launch gig was great and so much fun! During the rehearsals for it we just couldn’t wait for the gig to hurry up so we could finally show all the hard work we had put into the album, and finally let the people hear it. As for the crowd, they were great! There were old and new people who came to watch and hear us and we definitely gained some new fans.
- You describe yourself as a Symphonic Metal Band. As a band , who are your main influences?
CARL – Well, not who you might imagine! I grew up listening to melodic bands like ELO and Supertramp. And, because I am originally a keyboard player, I really enjoyed the likes of Rick Wakeman, Vangelis and Tomita. I can’t say I listen to much symphonic metal which is a good thing really as it means I’m not trying to conform to a style when I’m writing songs.
- When did you form and how did you all meet?
CARL – I originally started Dead of Night in 2013. I had started writing songs and got in touch with an ex-student of mine, Courtney, who was a grade 8 singer. We added a guitarist and completed our first album in 2014. After the album they moved on and I spent quite a while looking for another singer until I finally came across Briony on Bandmix. Later, she introduced Dan to the band and we subsequently added Jason, again from Bandmix. When I decided to move from keyboards to drums for the live shows, my wife Isabel took over on keyboards.
- Since some of you live in Manchester and some in Morecambe, how often do you guys get to meet up and practice?
BRIONY – We keep in constant contact with each other via group chats, phone calls, and sometimes a skype session! We tend to have a run of rehearsals before a gig, usually 4 on consecutive weekends leading up to the gig, that gives us time as a band, and time on our own during the week to work on things! It works, because we make it work!
DAN – Even though we don’t live in the same area, we do get to see each other and meet up a lot. Before a gig, we tend to meet up and practise as many weekends leading up to it as possible.
- What process do you go through for writing your music? Do you all participate in the process or is there one main contributor?
CARL – So far I’ve written all the music with the others bending it around a bit! I’m a control freak so I also produce and mix the studio sessions and am involved in the final mastering stage. For the next album I’m trying to encourage a bit more band input and we have a shared folder on the net where they can drop ideas in for me to have a play around with. I don’t think I could sit and write with someone else though as it’s a really personal process for me.
- Up to date, what has been your favourite venue to play at and have you had any nightmare experiences?
BRIONY – I would have to say the first gig I had with the band, which was at ‘The Railway’ in Bolton (which has now been cruelly turned into one of those fancy gastro eatery things……..). The venue was intimate, very well set up, and had that ‘dingy rock club’ feel, without smelling like sick/damp socks. I have always been a fan of intimate venues, as a crowd member I love feeling like I’m part of the action, it’s the same on stage, I just wanna mosh with everyone!! This gig obviously meant a lot with it being the first live gig for myself AND the band. Previous to this, DoN were a studio band, so this gig was kind of a deal breaker in some ways! It was an amazing experience, one I will never forget, and thankfully… it went well, because here we are now releasing our 3rd studio album!!! (internal screams of joy)
So far, we haven’t had any disasters on stage, we have had some veeeeery questionable rented rehearsal spaces though, I’m not going to name them… but man, some places are just rough!
- Apart from your new album release, what else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
BRIONY – We have some awesome festivals/gigs lined up for the first part of 2017, ‘Northern Symphony Festival’, ‘Quinphonic Festival 4’, ‘Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses’ and ‘A Splendid Day Out’ Steampunk Festival. Alongside rehearsals we are also aiming to produce a music video this year, and we bring some tech specialities to our gigs in the form of backdrops, which as a band we all help to create! I will no doubt create another costume piece, and Dan might remember to turn on his guitar fret lights at our next gig ;)!! We are busy celebrating the release of our latest album by working on some new music, nothing ever stops at DoN, I swear we do sleep, sometimes!
DAN – Well we have a few gigs lined up already, and a couple of them we really can’t wait to play, like ‘Northern Symphony Festival’, ‘Quinphonic Festival 4’ and ‘A Splendid Day Out’ Festival. We also have new merchandise to plan and sort out, and can’t say too much, but we are putting our heads together for some more new music.
- I have always found that there is normally a joker in every band; do you have a joker in yours and what is the worst thing they have done?
BRIONY – We all have our own ways of entertaining the band, we always have a laugh at rehearsals, and when we get together on group chats (endless, endless whimsical gifs)!! As of late, Dan has brought an accidental hilarity to rehearsals, being an ex-professional dancer he can’t help but spin (in a pirouette manner) during songs, thanks to his new shiny wireless system… it absolutely cracks me up every time! Dan and Jason now sit down in one of our ballads (Other Side of the Rain), which started out as a ‘Westlife gag’… unfortunately the song doesn’t have a key change where they can rise from their seats in dramatic, Westlife style… maybe we should stop doing this???!!!
- What advice would you give to people of my generation who may want to form their own band in the future?
BRIONY – Without doubt, you absolutely have to ADORE what you are doing! Every ounce of your creative soul goes into a band, so it has to be worthwhile pouring out, if you don’t love what you are doing, why are you even doing it?? As a band, give everything you can possibly give and go the extra mile, people notice that! It’s the little extra things that you do that people remember! BE DIFFERENT! In a world of 10,000,000,000 genres and sub-genres it is so easy to conform to whatever ‘style’, ‘scene’ or ‘genre’ you fall into, don’t try to be like someone else that you like, take inspiration from them and turn that inspiration into your own thing. As an artist, craft and perfect your own art, whatever that may be, equally, ALWAYS be willing to learn from others, you might be surprised how someone can inspire you in so many different ways. GO AND SEE BANDS, LOADS OF THEM!! Watch how they perform, what tricks do they use? How do they interact with the audience? What is different about them? Learn from what they do and tailor this into your own performance/artistry. HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, this is what it all about, graft hard, rehearse even harder, then go out and just enjoy it! J
CARL – You’ll never sound more like your favourite band than your favourite band does! Let yourself soak up influences but then run with them and do your own thing. Stamp your personal mark on your music and write authentically and from the heart.
- Where can people buy your albums from?
BRIONY – You can purchase our latest album ‘In Search of Ancient Magic’, and our remastered debut album ‘The Dead Shall Rise Again’ at:
www.deadofnight.co.uk (band website)
www.deadofnight.eu (band store)
You can also download both of our albums at
DEAD OF NIGHT are….
BRIONY – VOCALS
CARL – DRUMS AND SONG/LYRIC ARANGEMENT
DAN – RHYTHM GUITAR
ISABEL – ADDITIONAL KEYBOARDS
JASON – BASS GUITAR
Jovi: Thank you Matt for inviting me to the Red Wall recording studio to talk about your new and upcoming album – Insight to the Mind of a Million Faces.
Matt: Hey you got the title right. It’s a long one isn’t it?
Jovi: Yes it is! Twisted Illusion’s line up has changed recently, so who have you got to replace them on this album?
Matt: Ah, it’s a secret at the moment, I am not allowed to tell you! If you have seen us live recently you will know who the line-up is. But, other than that I can’t say anything. The people who played on the album are not permanent band members; they’re just some very good friends who have come in. We have got Steven Ellis on Bass from a band called Kaine that you should check out. He came and did the Bass – he was amazing, and then we got a lad called Philip Shacklady from a band called The Last Reserves. He came in and did the drums and he was ace so I can’t say anything about the new line up sorry. I’m not allowed.
Jovi: The new album is going to be a double disc. As I’ve listened to your previous two fabulous albums, how long is this one going to be?
Matt: Only one of my previous albums is fabulous! I don’t like one of them. This new album wasn’t intended to be this long. I didn’t want it to be a double album but I just kept writing and writing and writing and didn’t want to chop anything off. It was like “let’s just be a legend and just put out whatever I can and how much of it I can; let’s just do it all!“ So, I just threw in the kitchen sink in this album. Literally, it just has everything. There’s like some Malteasers, a box of Cheerios, a puppy dog in there, a roller coaster ride, there’s a romcom in there, a bag of Skips, some ice cream, a few peanuts, a pint of lager, and a can of Coke, some Rainbow Drops, and then a Freddo. There’s a lot of stuff on the album basically.
Jovi: So basically the whole shop?
Matt: Yes, that’s it.
Jovi: Your new album will have eleven tracks; which one is your personal favourite so far, and why?
Matt: There’s a song we have been working on today called “I Wish I Was There”, and I really like it because it’s so cheesy and 80’s. It sounds like an 80’s Yes song. Really catchy, and a really good chorus. I’m not sure I think it would change when I have finished all the vocals but that’s my favourite up to now.
Jovi: What is your process in writing your songs? Is it the tune that comes to mind first or the lyrics?
Matt: Always the music first for me, I don’t do words. I literally write the words as I sing them. I have a blank song and I will go” Hmm, what chocolate do I crave this week? I know I will put that in the song.” I’m joking! But, definitely words second for me. It’s the least important part as you need to remember a tune in your head don’t you? I’m rubbish with words. I don’t remember words. I can’t remember the words to my favourite song, so that’s how important they are to me. I just want tunes to remember; that make no sense! I just want tunes YOU will remember!!!!
Jovi: When is your album due to be released and where will people be able to purchase it from?
Matt: I’m doing a pledge campaign for this album so it won’t be released for a long while yet so it’s not going to have an official release at least until summer time. But, if people are pledging they will get the album a lot earlier. So that’s going to help me contribute towards this record.
Jovi: With your pledge campaign, what can people except for the money they pledge and how much are you hoping to raise?
Matt: I was mainly inspired by Massive Wagons to do this pledge because I know Baz was always against doing it just like I was, and then he did it and he really enjoyed getting to know the fans a lot more, as you get to give people who are enjoying music a lot more for the money they pledge such as £10 for the album and a t-shirt and a download of the album. So everyone wins really as the fans get a lot more for their money.
Jovi: How much time have you spent in the recording studio recording this album and have you nearly finished?
Matt: FOREVER!!! I can’t leave this place. I have been here since the first day of January, literally after New Year’s Day we got here and started tracking. I felt ill, so I was in bed for a week and this is my first day back today, it’s taking ages. Temple of Artifice was recorded in April and it took 8 days and now we are on our 17th day of recording this album and we are not even close to finishing. There is a hell of a lot more material to do on this album.
Jovi: I must say the art work for your album is amazing! I believe it was designed by Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art. Did you have any input in the design or did you just trust him to come up with the goods?
Matt: I pretty much just trusted Andy. The way I usually work with Andy is that he will ask what the album is about, what kind of lyrics they are, and I obviously don’t do lyrics till I am singing them. I don’t have a clue, so I’m making up like I know what I am talking about. Andy just second guesses me and kind of knows what I am going for and I tell him what album covers I like and like the look of. He will use that and listen to music I recommend and that will give him an idea of what visuals I want to see. He just runs with it really; he is just brilliant to work with. He knows exactly what to do. Like you said, the art work is amazing.
Jovi: How do you personally feel about your new album? I know that you wasn’t particularly pleased with your first album Calm the Dark, even though you should be.
Matt: You had to bring it up didn’t you? I just think Temple of Artifice was a big step up from Calm the Dark. It almost felt like a debut on its own. I feel like this album is a continuing album to it. I think it is a good standard as well. It felt like a different band, a different step in time. The first one to me does not measure up to what I have done since. It was a starting point and I should appreciate that and I do, so that’s why I am going back to the songs. One of the songs off Calm the Dark is going to be on this new album. We have redone it, with lots of new harmonies in it that makes it sound a lot prettier and sexy. It sounds really good but I will always hate Calm the Dark and it’s going to die!!!! I will make it die!!!!
Jovi: Your second album Temple of Artifice was received well from your fans. How do you think your new album will be received?
Matt: One thing I’m not expecting from it and this might surprise you, but I’m not expecting to get any new fans because of it. This is more of a present for the people who supported Temple of Artifice and supported the endless line-up changes and still came to watch us and didn’t go “oh no, there is another line-up change” and didn’t come to watch us. It’s for those who continued to support Twisted Illusion as a project. It’s more of a present for those who are already into the band. It’s not a marketing tool to get new fans to make money or anything like that. It’s just a big Thank You to those who already like us.
Jovi: Will I get to review it?
Matt: Of course you will. You will get a really early copy. I just expect a really good review!!!! You are not allowed to let your parents hear it though. You will get it for professional reasons only and we will get you to sign a contract so if you show it to them, then I can sue you!!!!
Jovi: OK, and thank you for your time
Matt: you are not welcome!!!!