Interview with Tom Williams and Ben Peers of Wolves

In what has been an impressive wave of young extreme metal bands emerging recently one has stood out over most others. Welsh band Wolves since forming two years ago have lit up stages supporting some notable names as well as announcing themselves to a wider audience with an impressive two track release  and their excellent brand new EP Alpha Beta Omega. Wanting to know more about the band we had the pleasure of having drummer Tom Williams aided by bassist/vocalist Ben Peers answer some questions about Wolves and their new EP.

Hi Guys many thanks for talking to us.

Firstly can you tell our readers about Wolves and its members?

Wolves are Ad Robinson (vocals), Ben Peers (bass, vocals), Dan Hallows (guitar) and Tom Williams (drums)

How and when did the band begin?

Tom: I met the guys at the end of 2009 through knowing the same people, but really we got the ball rolling last year.

Is Wolves your first band or is there a musical history for you before this?

Tom: We’d all been in local bands before, but nothing that had really taken off. Wolves is pretty much the first thing any of us have done that’s actually moved from just playing at home to our mates

Coming from North Wales there is a strong pedigree before you to contend with, is this as much a negative as a positive with people making assumptions about you and your sound before hearing you?

Tom: There’s tons of great music around here, but it doesn’t really feel like we’re contending with anyone. We tend to get on with most bands we play with actually. I’m not sure what people assume before they see us, but we’ve had such a positive reaction away from home.

You sit in the post hardcore camp musically but have a definite depth and power plus an invention that leaves you spanning other genres too, what are the influences that have made the most impact on your music?

Tom: We all have different tastes, so I think there’s probably the old cliché of a “melting pot” of influences. I’m still not really sure if we’re “post-hardcore”, to be honest. We do love bands like Alexisonfire, Underoath and Thrice though. They’ve definitely worked their way into our sound.

There has been an abundance of similar veined bands appearing in the UK over the past 12 months or so, what is it in your music that makes you stand out do you believe over most others?

Tom: I think we’re probably the least equipped to answer that, haha! I’d like to think we keep enough distance from trends; there are quite a few standards which I think we don’t really fit in. Our aim is still the same though – we just want to write noisy emotive music.

You have just released your excellent Alpha Beta Omega EP; a release we said was not an easy ride for the senses and emotions but a deeply rewarding and satisfying violation at the same time. What is the initial thought when writing a song, to annihilate and make us suffer or to leave us whimpering down on our knees haha?

Tom: Thanks for your support! The aim, really, is to make ears bleed. We want to be responsible for more A+E visits. The NHS hates us.

Seriously though what fuels your songwriting initially?

There isn’t really an initial thought or plan, everything just comes together as we jam. The only preparation we make is coming up with a loose theme or concept. That normally leads to the songs being able to connect better, so hopefully it stands as a body of work.

How does the songwriting work within the band generally?

Tom: We’re very collaborative. Nobody really comes in with any ideas ready or preconceptions; we just play, and things develop from there.

Your formidable lyrics are on the whole angry, combative and provocative, what is the main spark and inspiration for them.

Tom: I think people mistake us sometimes for being political; we’re really not. We’re just trying to write about human struggles, things we’re going through as well as things we’re engaged in on a larger scale. There’s definitely some fury directed, but it’s still kinda vague.

You have shared stages with the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids since forming. What has been the highlight gig wise so far and how much does watching other bands like this impact on your stage and song craft?

Tom: For me it’s playing at venues like The Roadhouse in Manchester and The Sugarmill in Stoke, to appreciative audiences. I always see watching other bands as a bonus. We’ve made some amazing friends and been massively inspired along the way.

Any shows that have not gone to plan for you i.e. disasters haha, as these can equally benefits a band in so many ways in the future.

Tom: They happen now and then. No matter how much you prepare, when things go wrong, you’re never ready. Some of our most chaotic gigs have been the messy ones though, so it’s not always a bad thing…

Ben: For me it was the last show at Retro Bar. My bass cut out continuously and by the time we got half way through the set I gave up completely, picked up a mic and screamed my lungs out along with Ad for the remainder.

Tom: It was actually really cool

Back to the EP, is there a moment on it that gives you the biggest pride or glow?

Tom: I can’t even listen to it. I really hope people like it, and I’m happy with the response, but I struggle being enthusiastic about it. The other guys are much better at that. It’s not that I don’t like it; I just think it’s difficult to have a decent perspective on something you’ve been so involved in.

Alpha Beta Omega is the follow-up to Adrienne-Lynn / Tongue Tied of last year and both releases bring your live power and intensity to the fore. How have you managed to do that so successfully where other bands seem to lose that quality?

Tom: I’m still not really convinced we have, to be honest. That’s always the goal though.

On the new EP the vocals of Ad are a wonderfully mighty growling and at times gruelling venomous attack on the senses which is a perfect companion to your sounds but on the song Collapse you add clean vocals too, is this aspect one you are looking at bringing in more often in the future?

Tom: I don’t think so. If there’s a place for it then we’ll definitely add it in, but we wouldn’t make a conscious decision to include more. So we may as well wave goodbye to radio.

On a great many similar genre releases the aggression and intensity over powers the individual  spice and skill of band members coming through but Alpha Beta Omega is openly generous and effective in that department. Who is behind the mix and production side of the release and how much input as a band did you have in the final sound?

Tom: Thank you. A guy called Gavin Brady recorded and mixed it for us. We had a say on the sound – there were lots of things he would’ve preferred to do differently, I think. But, to be fair, he followed everything we asked. Can’t ask for more than that.

What is next in the planned domination of the UK by Wolves?

Tom: We’re going to become MPs. Failing that, we’ll start the next riot.

Really though, we’re working on our second EP at the minute, then we’ll be back playing as many shows as possible again.

Thanks so much for sharing time to answer our questions and good luck with the EP.

Would you like to end with some words for your fans and all of those sure to become such after listening to Alpha Beta Omega?

Tom: Thanks for listening, we really appreciate it and hope you get something out of it.

And finally give us a song or band that you have a keenness for which one would not expect from listening to you music.

Tom: We’re all massive Celine Dion fans.

Ben: Imogen Heap. No joke…

 

Read the  Alpha Beta Omega EP review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/wolves-alpha-beta-omega/

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2012

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iBurn: Where It Begins EP

Though only the fourth month in we can announce the winner of the EP of the year award. Where It Begins from Irish alternative metal band iBurn takes the honour with an intensity that snatches the senses from within your very soul to stomp all over them with adrenaline driven power and simultaneously revitalise them with ingenious and infectious melodic interaction. The release is immense and has surpassed the already strong promise the early sneak of two of the songs we had the pleasure of hearing gave up.

From Tipperary the quintet first drew eager attention and threw the senses into a blissful state of disarray with their debut self titled EP of last year. Eight tracks that took a dying genre in nu-metal into a revitalised and adventurous arena. The band now returns with seven more songs within Where It Begins that takes the genre even further forward but also declares iBurn as a band that feeds off and thrives across multiple influences and styles. They are fresh, aggressive, and the creators of metal that envelopes and excites every one of the senses whilst setting the heart aflame with invention and innovation.

From their debut iBurn has evolved as musicians and in sound from a band offering excellent exciting sounds into a very important one that is forging new avenues and taking European metal by the scruff of the neck to send new energy through its tired frame. They and this release really are that good. One hoped for something special having fallen for its predecessor but Where It Begins simply blows that out of the water.

The EP starts with Chase It and immediately snatches away the breath. Riffs finger the senses like a demented conjuror sending emotions into overload from blistered chords and groove veined meanderings. As the head becomes disentangled from the body under the intrusive yet delicious manipulations vocalist Matt Sheedy brings his perfect vocals in to calm the situation with harmonies and a clean flowing delivery. Of course he is no innocent and soon adds twisted growls and intent to join the irresistible guitars of Dave and Chuck in a wicked examination of the emotions.

The title track seizes the opportunity to further mesmerise and disable the senses next, a magnificent blend of urgent and dehabilitating riffs behind graceful keys and melodic ingenuity from the band. The drums drop kick with precision and accuracy whilst the bass pulsates with a darkened sinister tone throughout aiding what again is an immense piece of music and exhilarating songwriting. There has always been a Korn feel to the early iBurn songs and that, especially here is still very apparent but it has evolved into a spice that adds a flavour to a very distinct and unique beast. At times on the release one is reminded of other bands too, as on this song where one can hear touches of American Head Charge but iBurn has evolved into a band that when one hears a song they know it is them.

Diversity is rife on the EP to add an even further impressive element. Before Tomorrow has a industrial thrust to its soul, the band bringing a taste of Fear Factory to their creative and beautifully crafted invention. Coarse and smooth the song rips straight through to the heart leaving scorch marks from its infectious melodic teasing and the high intensity disruption of one’s safety zone. If spiteful yet innovative music was a crime the band would be the lead suspect.

The venomous Get It Right leaves one writhing on the floor, the song taking great pleasure from alternately flaying its recipient’s body to within an inch of its endurance and pulling them back up with regenerative melodic skill and sounds. It is as siren like as it is intimidating and further proof that the band has set up its own personal corner of metal to set the genre and other bands on a new course.

The crushing Lashing Out destroys the synapses next, the song bullying with more intensity than the likes of Machinehead have brought in a long time to be followed by the brilliant Human Nature, its Faith No More/Dub War greased metallic drive a staggering result of a band on a march to reshape not only nu-metal but metal on the whole. The continued mix of electronics with the nerve wrenching intensity and power is simply irresistible and alone would ensure attention was permanently but add the sheer invention, thought, and craft placed in each song from composition to ideas from each member and you have music that sets new levels.

Ending on Signs, yet another titanic song of power and imagination, one is grateful for the respite as the EP takes its leave but is soon diving back into the maelstrom of blistering and inspiring sounds. It is impossible to imagine anyone rivalling Where It Begins but one never knows, as to beating it in quality and satisfaction that is one hell of a long shot. iBurn are the future of metal and a band everyone needs to go find out about and as the band have released the EP as a free download you have no excuse not to go straight there right now.

Get the Where It Begins EP via either https://www.facebook.com/iburnmusic/app_2405167945?ref=ts or http://www.reverbnation.com/iburnmusic

RingMaster 06/04/2012

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The Suicider: Four Reasons To Die EP

The new six track EP from Russian metal band The Suicider is a meaty little beast, a release that does take a little warming to but once given time and space within the ear proves to be a strong and impressive reward. The band brings sounds that lay somewhere between classic heavy metal and a sturdier rock powered aggressive metal style. Though not without flaws it marks the band as one to watch closely and one with a full of tank of promise yet to be discovered and explored.

The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Michail Tatarinov in Korolev City, though it was the winter of the following year that The Suicider became a fully functioning band in compliment and sound. Their music is openly influenced by Finnish heavy metal band Sentenced, the band name alone taken from the track of the same name off the Frozen album by the Finns and is covered on this EP alongside another of their songs Cross My Heart and Hope To Die (off The Cold White album).

The EP shows The Suicider to be a band with accomplished musical skills and a driven desire to bring melodic and powerful songs to their listeners with a core from those early days of metal. Alongside Tatarinov, the guitarists Anton Borovkin and Ilya Morozov make a formidable duo, the pair bringing vibrant and stirring melodic passages and solos by the side of hungry riffs and eager ideas, whilst bassist Artem Averin and drummer Pavel Polyanskii grab full attention with their explosive framework of rhythms and powerful intent. The result is a release that though coarse and raw at times especially vocally, captures the imagination and senses if not immediately certainly after being given time to state its case.

The first of four original tracks opens the release up. To The Sky strides in with confidence and a strong energy, the vocals are part growled but relatively clean and work well with the undemanding sounds behind. The track is more than able to get the senses interested with the band offering a variation and unpredictability within the song and a guitar solo that sizzles through the ear. This is a strong beginning continued firmly by the flowing Away and These Days. Both songs again bring pleasing heavy metal sounds with a harder caustic intensity. Away offers a great keyboard element to the song bringing a gothic tinge to the track whilst These Days has a southern rock lilt to its slowly pacing flow. Both songs evidence of the variety the band have to their sound and the thought that goes into its construction.

The best track on the release is Empty Shell, a mighty beast that stalks with grouchy riffs, teasing hooks, and scorched guitar melodies. The song rumbles with venom and intensity which reminds one a little of harder metal bands like the Serbians CounterignitioN. Pounding the ear with demanding rhythms the guitars blister the senses with acute riffs then play in the debris with inspired melodic enterprise. It is an excellent song and alone contains all the promise you need know about the band.

The remaining two songs are the previously mentioned covers. Both are well presented with a heart and enthusiasm that shows the love the band has for this influence. The Suicider is the better of the two, a persistent pleasure that lifts the heart and joy yet again. The band sounds like the little brother of Stam1na here, an eager sibling finding its own identity and works a treat. Alongside its predecessor it heads the release quality wise though the following Cross My Heart and Hope To Die and other songs on Four Reasons To Die are no slouches either.

The Suicider is a band still relatively unknown outside of their homeland and surrounding areas but with Four Reasons To Die and people adding some adventure to their own musical investigations one can see the band becoming a name and force many more will be enthusing over.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Suicider/94065198640

RingMaster 06/04/2012

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