I Fight Bears – Self Titled

An encounter which just grows in strength and persuasion with every listen, the self-titled debut album from Welsh metallers I Fight Bears is an ear grabbing statement of potential and success. Brewing a healthy blend of the familiar and fresh, it is a declaration of a band with all the weaponry to make a potent impact on the British metal scene.

Hailing from Bridgend, I Fight Bears draw on the inspirations of bands such as Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Lamb Of God for their voracious sound. It is not necessarily the most unique proposal you will come up against yet each song within the band’s first album has a freshness and adventure which commands attention. Since emerging around two years ago, the band has stirred ears and praise with their singles and a live presence which has taken them alongside the likes of When We Were Wolves, Skies In Motion, and Perpetua. Predominately self-recorded by the band itself with Micheal Paget (Bullet For My Valentine) involved on some songs for both mastering and mixing, their first album is a big nudge at richer and thicker attention and instantly makes a potent impact.

It opens with the mighty Hammers, melodic enticement and hungry rhythms instantly to the fore before it all unites for a rapacious and inviting enticement. A great blend of throat scraping and clean vocals grab their own healthy portion of attention soon after, the excellent mix matched by the predacious craft of the rhythms and creative weave of the guitars. Infectious and intimidating, it is a great start to the release; as suggested familiar and new imagination entangling in magnetic success.

Upcoming single, Envision, follows sharing melodic vines which maybe are not the most original but make a tasty appetiser for the blossoming enterprise of the song to flourish upon, again vocals captivating at the heart of the creative web. As the guitars weave, rhythms pounce with an anthemic touch, fiery grooves and spicy hooks latching onto their intrusive swing. With a touch of Avenged Sevenfold to it, the song hits the spot before making way for the band’s current single, Lost The Fight. The track’s roar is unleashed on a snare of grooves and sonic temptation, their enticing bait laid on the more volatile but no less gripping lure of the rhythms. I Fight Bears have a multi-flavoured surge of sound at the heart of all songs and maybe none as compelling as that fuelling this very easy to devour proposal, especially as it grows more predatory by the minute.

Design And Purpose carries that intrusive intent into its following proposition, beats and bass a grumbling trespass soon bound in melodic strands with their own imposing touch. Vocals blast the mix with a raw emotive breath, the song a predacious assault before opening up its melodic dexterity as clean vocals again provide a superb contrast matched by the endeavour of the guitars. As imposing and catchy as its predecessors, the track is a just as inviting lead into the band and its sound, quickly matched in that quality by Life Of One. Another smart weave of styles and sound bound in an adventurous intent, the song a swift and increasing captivation epitomising the band’s craft in songwriting, performance, and imagination.

It is fair to say that next up Disposed did not grab our ears as dramatically as those before it, surprises less open yet it is a richly satisfying and intriguing encounter with vocals once more especially magnetic before Trust thrusts its rousing prowess through ears. Rhythms harry and punish the senses as raw vocals graze their surface, an appetite stirring mix only enhanced by the melodic and harmonic tenacity of guitars and the cleaner side of the two pronged vocal persuasion. Barbarous yet seductive, the song is superb and only escalates in captivation with every subsequent twist.

From the cantankerously wired Exhale, an incendiary slice of metal with a hardcore lining that is as irritable as it is infectious, and the senses crushing tempest of Smoking Gun, the album hits another high spot to rival its early plateau. Both songs are a cauldron of what the band does best and right to the fore of our favourite moments, their might leaving System a task to bring things to a just as potent close which it does with its own corrosive furnace of enterprise and power. The trio alone leave ears and pleasure full with a hunger for more in close attention.

With the realisation of their inescapable potential and a real vein of individuality, I Fight Bears could become a real presence within the broadest metal scene. Their thickly enjoyable first album already declares the band one exciting prospect on that British landscape.

The I Fight Bears album is out now.

http://www.facebook.com/ifightbearsband   http://www.twitter.com/ifightbearsband   http://www.instagram.com/ifightbears

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

From Rust – Lost Sense Of Life

from-rust-online-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

British metalcore outfit From Rust have just unleashed debut EP Lost Sense Of Life, a release which makes up for what it lacks in real surprises by breeding an attention luring character bound in a ferocious tempest of sound.  Fair to say it is a promising, potential loaded introduction to the Somerset hailing quintet which has installed itself as one of our current persistent listens.

Created in 2014 by long-time friends, vocalist Jake Searle and lead guitarist Camden Gibson, From Rust has taken their time to emerge. With a line-up finally completed by rhythms guitarist Tom Waters, bassist Sam Elswood, and drummer Sam Kellaway, the band spent numerous months creating and honing their sound, its raw and pungent creative roar making a potent impact once the band hit the live stage towards the end of 2015. Since then they have shared stages with the likes of Despite My Deepest Fear, Thrones, Values, and Materia while hitting the studio earlier this year to uncage the fury fuelled Lost Sense Of Life.

Inspirations to the band are said to include bands such as Parkway Drive, Northlane, and All That Remains; essences which do not hide within the EP and opener Whispers but it is fair to say adds to the storm rather than drives it. The first track coaxes with a fiery groove initially as rhythms and riffs collect in the background before consuming the senses and shaping the blossoming assault. They align to rather than devour that initial enterprise, melodic flames and scything sonic spears joining the potent ire and variety in Searle’s vocal trespass. As atmospheric throughout as it is venomously fierce and relentlessly vicious, the track is a strong and engaging start but soon outshone by its successor.

from-rust-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewInside Out is superb, from the sonic web slung out there by the guitars at the start exposing itself as a ravenous beast of raw and inventive temptation which burrows itself into the imagination and psyche. There is a swagger to that initial tapestry of guitar matched in the prowling beats and threat loaded bassline of Elswood; all luring and baiting the senses before entangling in a rabid onslaught. Twisting through those varied attacks and more across its inventive body, suggestive intrigue soaked melodies and varied metal strains circling ears, the track grips and enthrals taking best track honours whilst uncapping the potential of real uniqueness within the band to hopefully emerge ahead.

If the previous track is predatory, Predictable Pain is bestial as it stalks the listener, all the time jabbing away with its salacious rhythms as guitars and bass weave a mercurial tapestry of sound and imposing emotion further shaped by the raw throated intrusions of Searle. With senses wilting breakdowns and rapacious vocal squalls within the net of sonic enterprise, the track is certainly a centre of attention if lacking the final elements which ignites its predecessor and indeed the following Grey World. With Searle using his range of attacks, to great effect, the track is a cancerous yet infectious abuse cast with an invention and imaginative boldness hinting at greater things ahead as the band develops in sound and songwriting.

Final track Gone Forever is just as intensive and enjoyable, epitomising the release in many ways as recognisable essences are embraced by the band own keen invention and readiness to be bold and try to be different. It is that element which really helps Lost Sense Of Life command the senses and suggests that once From Rust really go for it, they could be one of those taking British metal boldly forward.

Lost Sense Of Life is out now on iTunes.

https://twitter.com/fromrustoffical    https://www.facebook.com/fromrust/

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blood and rage: exploring the roar of Incentives

Incentives_RingMasterReview

Bred in and roaring from the heart of the Australian melodic hardcore/metalcore scene, Incentives is poised to release new EP Dusk. Already drawing potent attention their way, the release is sure to accelerate awareness of the striking quintet. We recently took the chance to explore the band ahead of the EP’s unleashing and get to the core of the potential fuelled outfit…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Holla! We are Incentives, a band out of Melbourne, Australia. We started about three years ago thanks to our guitarist Rory bringing us all together.

Is Incentives your first musical adventure?

None of us had really been involved in anything of any real significance before the band. I suppose it was kind of cool that we can all call this our first and only band!

What inspired the band name?

Honestly, I’ve no idea what inspired the name it was more of a “this will do for now” kind of thing, and then it just stuck and we’ve grown to really love it.

Did you come with a specific idea when forming the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

We really had no idea what we wanted to sound like or anything along those lines. I feel that this has in a way helped us to find our own sound which I believe we are honestly starting to do.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Well I guess it grows a bit. We started off happy just playing any show, but now we are looking to play bigger shows, get on more tours and just generally keep growing as a band!

Photo Andrew Bromley

Photo Andrew Bromley

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

I’d say it’s just constantly becoming a more refined sound. We were all teenagers when we first started and so now we are finding we are making a more complete (whole) sound. Slowly learning what suits us and what doesn’t and hopefully making stuff people will enjoy too.

Has that refining been an organic movement or more through the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

I’d say pretty organic, nothing is forced within the group. We obviously always like to experiment, some of which works, some that certainly doesn’t but it is all part of moving towards a unique sound.

Presumably across you guys there are a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I couldn’t really name one specific band or artist that has really changed our approach, but bands such as Volumes and Counterparts have provided a massive influence on our writing and sound. Parkway Drive is probably the reason we all got into this kind of music in the first place so they deserve some credit in here that’s for sure!

Is there a certain process to your songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

Usually our guitarist Max will write some riffs and melodies and then our drummer Joe will program drums and then Kyle our vocalist will write all his lyrics and patterns over that.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Everything is based off life experiences. And more specifically they are based around relationships, with friends, loved ones, and family. Sometimes things will get exaggerated, but who doesn’t love a bit of a story hey!

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is Corrode which is the first single off our upcoming EP, Dusk, set for release on the 30th of June. It’s a fast paced hard-hitting track with our mate Max from Imprisoned art_RingMasterReviewfeaturing in it and doing a stand up job.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and other songs.

I’ll answer this from the viewpoint of the whole EP (yet to be released). It’s all to do with relationships and the ups and downs to pretty much every little emotion and situation that defines them. Corrode in particular is about dealing with a partner that is suffering from a mental illness and just how damaging it is to not only them but to you too.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

It’s a bit of both really! We usually go in with a pretty decent idea, but there are always aspects that still need writing or changing and Sam who produces our stuff and also writes for his band Ocean Grove really helps us out.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?

Absolutely! We all love playing live. We like to think we are pretty high energy band, lots of bouncing around and head banging. If it’s fun for us, we figure it is fun for the audience!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Oh for sure! There are sooooo many bands out there at the moment and to stand out you really have to do everything right all the way from image to music and live performance. Melbourne in particular has a ridiculous amount of talent (Void of Vision, Ocean Grove, Sentinel) just to name a few. I guess what we do to separate ourselves is just play our style and hope people dig it. High quality production of music and promotional work is of huge importance if you’re going to get anywhere!

Incentives2_RingMasterReviewHow has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Without social media I doubt we’d be anywhere. In fact this is a certainty. We were lucky enough to get to tour overseas last year and I know for a fact that we were discovered via social media! So best we all pray to the Facebook God’s and hope that our ridiculously over-priced Facebook Boost’s get us some decent exposure!

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks for having us! Keep an eye out for our debut EP coming June 30th which hopefully you will enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/IncentivesMelb   https://incentivesmelbourne.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Guardian – Revolution

Guardan Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

There is a fresh tempest about to savage the British metal scene; a bracing consumption of the senses going by the name of Revolution. It is the title of the debut album from Guardian, a Northumberland quartet which had already shown its creative intent with their earlier Tyrants EP. A long time in the making, the new twelve fury encounter is a ferocious blend of varied metal provocations driven by themes “centring on the balance of life and nature, and an emphasis on the unsustainable damage that humans are inflicting on our planet”, and a wake-up call to national attention for the great invasive roar of Guardian.

The band made their first impact with the aforementioned Tyrants EP mid-2014, inspirations from the likes of Pantera, Machine Head, Whitechapel, and Parkway Drive adding to the varied metal bred textures making up the release’s sound and even more so now, Revolution. Well-received by fans and media alike, the EP was supported by Guardian going on a month long European tour followed by a just as busy series of shows around the UK. Thoughts then turned to the band’s first album, Guardian taking their time to write and create the beast before us and proving suggestions that they are one of Britain’s exciting new breed of extreme incitement.

The short introductory climate of Resolution starts things off, its sombre yet elegant melodies the lining to an emerging portentous air as the instrumental leads ears and imagination into the volatile and combative landscape of the album’s title track. Instantly Revolution is an intimidating threat of wiry grooves and biting riffs against barbarous rhythms, the raw antagonism driven by the throat grazing vocal scowling of Matthew Hall and lit by grooved spicing from guitarist Zac Yates. It is a magnetic challenging of ears and emotions; one sculpted with open enterprise and unpredictable imagination within a ravishing cauldron bred from essences to be found in many flavours from death and thrash metal to hardcore and metalcore.

Guardian Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewApart from the fade-out, the track is an immense beginning backed as forcibly by the mazy dynamics and brutal tirades of Politics. Ears are instantly pushed back by its intensity as the predacious nature of the song brews, building until erupting in a hellacious outpouring loaded with the violent rhythms of drummer Joshua Stephen matched in vitriol by the bestial tones of Cory Young’s bass. Yates again veins the storm with toxic but virulent grooves and hooks, their potency successfully riding the crushing breakdowns, as here, breaching the whole of the album.

Innovate devours the senses next, its instant cantankerous character the spark to the song’s savagery in sound and vocal animosity. Inhospitable but again rabidly catchy, the blistering track inflames the appetite for voracious trespasses before the rapaciously energetic prowl of Capitalism matches its triumph. Rock ‘n’ roll to beat up on the world to; the song is an incendiary slab of heavy-duty metal vehemence leaving body and emotions with a want to take on the world.

Through the fearsome heavy metal seeded enmity of Deliverance and the outstanding hardcore toned Catharsis, band and album keep an already hungry appetite greedier, both tracks a sonic web of inventive twists and murderous inclinations before Propaganda provides a rousing if corrosive weave of winding groove honed tendrils to inflame the cancerous tapestry of sound. In some ways the three together provide the pinnacle of the album, each leading and seeming to inspire the following to new creative antipathies before the ‘mellower’ landscape of Hope hugs the senses. Its touch sears the sense from the off and of course it too unveils barbarous sounds and imagination over time, but from start to finish it enthrals with a ‘lighter’ atmosphere and infectiousness absent elsewhere within Revolution.

Nomadic leads the listener through a meandering landscape coated in raw melodic and electric sonic endeavour next, its rhythms building another bad blooded dispute as Hall’s vocals infest the psyche as supporting band roars incite the instincts. It is a crushingly invigorating proposition setting up body and emotions for the back breaking intensity of Ambivalence and finally the ravenous sonic dexterity and rhythmic rabidity of Restoration. The pair creates an intrusively dramatic and explosively volatile finale to Revolution, at the same time giving glimpse of even richer veins of exploration within the Guardian sound.

Revolution is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyably exhausting release from a band easy to see making strong waves ahead. It is an encounter which might not live up to its name in regard to stirring up the metal scene, moments of surface similarity between some tracks and a familiar feeling to others noticeable if no issue, but for relentless seriously accomplished and stylish metal fury, Revolution is set to wake up thick attention.

Revolution will be available from 22nd January through all stores and platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/GuardianUKNEMC

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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WHEN WE WERE WOLVES reveal their ‘Heartless’, on 22nd September‏

When We Were Wolves
EXCITING SOPHMORE EP FROM WHEN WERE WOLVES RELEASED AND UK TOUR ANNOUNCED!
 ‘The Welsh quintet hold nothing back here, ensuring that their heavy parts are scathingly so and imbuing their melodies with heart-rending ethereal grace’ KKKK Kerrang!
Impressive South Wales Post-Hardcore quintet ‘When We Were Wolves’ unleash their explosive new EP ‘Heartless’, through all stores on Monday 22nd September. The rising bruisers will also tour throughout the UK this September.
Reared on a healthy diet of A Day To Remember, Slipknot and Parkway Drive, and adding to that genuine craft and an imaginative approach to penning highly engaging slabs of post-hardcore, ‘When We Were Wolves’ have sculpted a sound that is whole-hearted, progressive, and above all, utterly gripping.
Born during the middle part of 2011 and hailing from Bridgend, South Wales, the band soon set themselves on a course for playing as many shows as possible, which saw the five-some quickly amass a strong and loyal following. Their unbridled determination to deliver a ferocious, dynamic live performance at every show has earned them a glowing reputation, and in turn, has led the band to share stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow,Born Of Osiris, After The Burial, Betraying The Martyrs, Bleed from Within, Heights, The Blackout, Devil Sold His Soul, Malefice and The Amity Affliction, to name a few! As well as being a growing force on the live scene, the band have worked diligently on recording, witnessed by last year’s ‘The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same’ EP, which secured widespread national praise from Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Big Cheese and Rocksound, through to radio airplay with XFM, Totalrock and Kerrang! Radio. The record also racked up a stunning KKKK in Kerrang!, as well as a new band featurette in the magazine. Further UK and widespread European touring followed in support of the record before the troupe decided to hit Bandit Studios (home to Devil Sold His Soul) to commence work on their new record, soon to be titled ‘Heartless’.
The band’s follow up EP certainly delivers on all fronts, exploding with innovate ideas and cut-throat riffs. The first track and lead single, ‘Dying On the Inside’, soon slams you in the gut with its infectious groove that stomps and sways before a killer refrain blows you over. The menacingly brilliant and adrenaline-fuelled ‘The Devil You Know’ pounds it ways into your head before ‘Blind’ continues to batter you into submission. ‘Confession’ is further evidence that When We Were Wolves knows how to execute an engaging slab of exhilarating post hardcore, packed with sheer intensity and gripping dynamics. Lastly, the EP’s namesake, ‘Heartless’, rounds off the record with a captivating and passionate vocal performance by Mitch Bock, who really pulls it out of the bag. ‘Heartless’ is an EP that is destined to be heard, and with a UK tour confirmed for September, there’s nothing stopping the band’s swift rise.
WHEN WE WERE WOLVES LIVE W/ Valiant – SEPTEMBER 18 – BRISTOL, The Gryphon; SEPTEMBER 19 – PLYMOUTH, Tiki Bar; SEPTEMBER 20 – WORKINGTON, Lounge Bar; SEPTEMBER 21 – NEWCASTLE, Think Tank; SEPTEMBER 22 – HULL, O’Rileys; SEPTEMBER 23 – STAFFORD, Grapes; SEPTEMBER 24 – SOUTHAMPTON, Unit; SEPTEMBER 25 – ADDLESTONE, The Cave; SEPTEMBER 26 – BRIDGEWATER, White Hart Hotel; SEPTEMBER 27 – CHELTENHAM, Two Pigs.
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Icons – Lifesigns EP

Icons band

Crafting their own very appetising take on metalcore, UK band Icons certainly on the evidence of their latest EP Lifesigns, has a potentially rich and potent future ahead of them. Consisting of four tracks which rage at, coax in, and invigorate the senses, the release is a sizeable introduction to the Leicester hailing metallers. It is fair to say that there is not a major expulsion of genre shaking invention or sounds from band on the release but plenty to suggest that the quintet is capable of such feats in the future as they evolve and hone their songwriting.

Formed in 2011, Icons has earned a strong reputation with their live performances alongside bands such as Bleed From Within, Hacktivist, Martyr Defiled, Continents, Giants and Napoleon. With a collective blend of inspirations from the likes of The Ghost Inside, Architects, Parkway Drive, Periphery, Northlane, Bleed From Within and Heart of a Coward, the five piece conjure up propositions which certainly do not slip past ears and attention easily. Their songs provide a skilfully layered alignment of sounds and textures; hooks and rhythms spearing the creative landscape with equal purpose and passion to the voracious vocals. It is a raw and uncompromising endeavour but one with a wealth of enticements to seduce and transfix the imagination.

Opener Cataclysm strides into view with jack booted rhythms and a caustic sonic haze, its infectious enticing soon permeating ears and Icons Lifesigns EP Covereagers thoughts. Taking a breath to establish its intent, the track then winds its sinewed riffs around the senses as the beats of Alan Forrest punch with a sure antagonistic touch. It is fiery bait which is soon under the squalling vocals attack of Neil Vernon, his coarse roars a scathing incitement within the emergence of sonic enterprise cast by guitarists Nick Toutjiaris and Joe Newman. Clean vocals join the picture next to bring a warm temperance to the still blustery gruff narrative, the union of both within the creative tempest of sound stalked by the great throaty bass provocation of bassist Chris Riley, magnetic in the least and thrilling in its strongest moments. As proven across the whole release though the ‘weakest’ elements are those vocals, both clean and raw deliveries undeniably potent instigators of the lyrical climate but at times landing wide of the levels musically the track elevates to.

Though the next up Fall of Avarice offers a similar scenario, it is not as big an issue as it might suggest with both styles working well enough but a further honing to rest easier within the maelstrom of inventive sound whilst still achieving their intensive aims would seem a wise move. The second track twists and flirts with the senses through intensive riffs, muscular rhythms, and a rigorously designed entanglement of sonic enterprise which holds the imagination capture from its opening play. The cleaner group vocal calls work perfectly it has to be said providing an anthemic pull which further entices the appetite to reconfirm that those vocal nags are minor for the main.

The latest single, Helios steps up next with viciously shaped grooves and melodic shards of adventure, the combination another easily accessible lure to immerse bravely within. The track creates scenery of emotive reserve and ravenous spite, both evocative propositions which merge fluidly together as the sounds expand their resourceful premises. It is not as striking and imposing as the previous songs with the vocals again raising small questions but still a song sparking keen attention and a lingering success for itself and band which is very easy to often return to.

The closing Hitch 22 opens on a rugged storm of strictly invasive riffs, deeply barbed hooks, and a contagious rabidity which instantly secures focus and hunger. Stretching its muscle flexing arms around the ears, the song proceeds to jab and scythe its way into the passions whilst simultaneously lighting the imagination with gentle but evocative short melodies and again superb group vocals, something they should definitely employ much more. The best track on the EP, it is a skilled cantankerous maelstrom which engrosses from start to finish and almost alone reveals all the promise within Icons to indicate that they are a real prospect as an emerging force.

There is plenty more within Icons to come, a continued evolution needed to see the band find a spotlight outside of the crowd but Lifesigns indicates that all the weaponry and craft is there waiting to be bred into something unique as it provides a very satisfying and enjoyable base to start from.

The Lifesigns EP is available now @ http://iconsuk.bandcamp.com/ as a buy now name your price download.

http://www.facebook.com/Iconsmetal

8/10

RingMaster 15/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sweet dances and psychotic episodes: an interview with Fede of Destrage

fede2

Difficult to describe but very easy to enthuse vociferously over,  Are You Kidding Me? No. the new album from Italian metallers Destrage is easily one of the most thrilling and innovative albums to come along not only this year so far but over a long time. It is a fever of invention and imagination which confronts and seduces the senses through a maze flavours, styles, and experimentation. It is sonic and noise anarchy at its best, a psyche teasing triumph which declares its creators as the exhilarating maelstrom of adventure metal and music is always crying out for. To find out more about band and release we had the pleasure to explore the depths of Destrage with drummer Federico Paulovich, venturing into the creation of the album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, tomato juice, audience sex and plenty more…

Hi Fede and thank you for talking with us.

Before we look at your new album would you tell us about the beginning of Destrage?

The current line-up has been consistent since 2007 and after their first demo, Self Id Generator, Destrage signed a deal with Howling Bull Records, Japan, and released their first full length, Urban Being, which also saw a worldwide release by Coroner Records in 2009.The second full length The King Is Fat’n’Old was released in 2010 by Coroner Records and Howling Bull, supported by European and Japanese tours and international festivals such as Heineken Jammin’ Festival, Euroblast and Mair1 Festival, The Bad Side Festival, MetalItalia Festival, MAV Festival and more. The eclectic festival run afforded Destrage the opportunity to share the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Every Time I Die, Lordi, Moonspell and many more. In 2012, we wrote and recorded our third album. The result, the band’s most focused and dynamic effort yet, Are You Kidding Me? No. led to a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records.

What was the spark and intent of the band at the beginning and does that still drive the band just as potently today?

We simply LOVE to spend time together, playing together, laughing and making jokes or just hanging. If “millions $$$” are not involved in a musical project (like in our case) every member needs to enjoy every single moment of the “band life”, form the sound check to the time spent on the van. It’s about alchemy in my opinion.

Of course conflicts, like in every relationship, are part of the game. But that was intent at the beginning and nothing is changed at the moment 🙂

How would you say the band has evolved over the years musically and emotionally?

We believe that our evolution as musicians and composers fully reflects our personal growth in real life. You gotta experience something before you can say something; that’s the main reason why we are always evolving, and we’ll always be. So, expect something really different from the albums to come… About how we changed through the three albums, there are a couple reasons that can explain the process. At the time we were composing and recording Urban Being, there was a big change of line up, and all the songs were composed mostly by Matteo; only with The King Is Fat’n’Old we started working all together on the songs, so the main difference from Urban Being is the result that came out from a combined work. We had the same approach in composing Are You Kidding Me? No., but a few years passed, so we were more close-knit as a team, and above all, our music influences had really changed in the meanwhile, as well as we grew up as persons.

Italy seems to have a rather rich and expansive metal scene, how have you found it on the inside and has it becomes easier for a

 Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography


Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography

band from your country to break into a wider audience over recent years?

In Italy, being in a metal band is definitely not easy. Italian scene, especially on rock and metal music, can’t be compared to the German, UK, Scandinavian or American ones. Our scene is based on pop-folk authors. We have to face a pop and hip hop mainstream market which dominates our local music market, and you have to fight a lot to find, not only a good label deal or an honest booking agent, but also a decent place to play. I have to say that Destrage always met great guys on the road, who contributed to support local bands and this was a great luck for us. Nowadays for the first time we can see a metal scene growing in our country and that’s incredible.

You have just released your third album as you mentioned, the quite brilliant, and I am not just saying that because we are talking, Are You Kidding Me? No. Because of the album we described the band as ‘a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.’ The album must be your proudest moment to date recording wise, even over the achievement of making your very first release?

I think this album is what makes us really proud at the moment. The first Urban Being wasn’t even a team work, the whole band wasn’t even there. As much as it can be uplifting to see your first record see the light, we believe it’s much more precious to wait a few years and deliver something that really reflects what you are.

If Urban Being was modern metal with a touch of Destrage, The King was Destrage with some modern metal dressing, Kidding is finally the essence of Destrage.

Your sound as clearly shown on the release employs a maelstrom of styles and flavours crossing fields of genres. How would you describe it in context to Are You Kidding Me? No. for newcomers to the band?

We destroy, create, transform, sublimate. We worship enthusiasm and venerate the shake that it gives.

I think Destrage sound’s is spontaneously various and weird. It’s like we learned how to speak the “metal” language as kids, and then growing up we opened our ears to the world and learned so much more, and the process is still going.

Everything that inspires us, from movies to fine art to haute cuisine to love and sex, can be easily translated into hard music as it is our native language.

This said if you take a look to our Spotify profiles you’ll be surprised. Or disgusted ahahah…

I’d love to tell these newcomers: we’d love you to take what the album is actually giving, with a clear and naive point of view, not expecting this record to be something that is going in the direction you already have in your mind. We are not saying the album is a unique piece of music that doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve heard before, no, but it definitely has its degree of originality.

It comes to my mind a story: the first time i tried tomato juice I almost puked, since it is a fruit juice and I was expecting a fruit juice-like taste. My brain was ready to enjoy a semi-definite, predictable experience and was already projecting it in my mind as the glass got to my lips. By the time the liquid touched my tongue I was disappointed, disgusted. The contrast with what I imagined was just bad.

Now tomato juice is my favorite.

Let’s not expect cats to bark.

Simply listen, enjoy or not.

1978605_10153840599710104_1863836033_nThe songs on the album are almost exhausting in their imagination and ever evolving inventive anarchy, they border schizophrenic at times haha. They sound like a puzzle to excitingly decipher and it is easy to assume they are constructed in a similar way so how do you approach the writing and creation of your songs?

Ahahah you’re right. It’s a giant puzzle made by post-it! We love to use them to keep always in mind the structure of every song, and be able to get an overview on the whole album structure as well.

A Destrage song can start from a riff, a melody, or a drum pattern coming out from any member. Then we work on it all together…in the name of post-it !

!We just try to make music that makes us happy and that is fun for others. If this means diverse people will come to our shows then be it! Can’t ask for more. We believe a band is like a person. No human being is always angry, happy or introspective all the time and a project of five different people should naturally deliver many feelings and states of mind at once.

!Also it is easier to swallow a bitter pill if before and after you eat a spoonful of sugar, that’s why complex parts are inscribed in a creamy song with melody and apparently simple rhythm. It is then choice of the listener to enjoy the surface or dig to the nerdy core, it is our business to make both levels as enjoyable as possible.

We don’t want people to come to our gigs and take notes, we want them to come and jump.

Do songs organically grow from those initial seeds or is there a stronger element of deliberate sculpting in their creation from you?

It really depends on the song, but usually what we try to do is to start from an idea or concept that has its own soul and then decorate it with our craftsmanship, instead of putting together many different elements, that most of the times wouldn’t match very well. It is way easier to write very complex stuff for the sake of being technical, so we try to make it enjoyable by anybody. Once I’ve been told by a wise person that we should put sex in every single thing we do, so we put a lot of effort in doing so because we believe that having sex with your audience is way better than masturbating on your own. So even if our technique may result impressive sometimes, we think that music must come before sport in any case.

Did you approach the recording of the album in any different way to your previous releases?

I think every time is different because we change, we evolve as persons and musicians. It’s really a big mixture of feelings, emotions and thoughts. For AYKM?N. after a long period of composition and pre-production, everybody was really focused and motivated to give his best. Somebody was excited, but still worried about some parts here and there, because we didn’t have that much time to rehearse every song properly, so the trickiest parts were kind of scary. Obviously everybody wanted to have fun as well, so jokes and funny moments happened all the time; that’s the way we like doing things together. Every time we enter the studio we realize how much we love making records, and how stressful it is at the same time. Everyone wants the record to be “perfect”, so sometimes somebody loses his mind or goes crazy. Fortunately we have five very different personalities, and we know each other very well, so everything usually sorts out very quickly.

Tell us about the recording of Are You Kidding Me? No. Did the songs evolve further in that environment and did you learn anything this time to take into your next adventure?

The recordings were a bit messy, definitely a non-linear path. Even in the final phase of the production we were having new ideas and insights. Probably hiking in nature, getting lost in an unknown city, visit art galleries, alternate your perception are good ways to get inspired in the beginning of the process and recording is the best way to get inspired in the end of it. Even in its half dark, closed, silent spaces the studio itself is a huge source of inspiration. You are there, but you are not what matters. The album is all and you disappear.

Many of the songs made it to the record the way they were written, other didn’t and we kept changing them until the very end.

We made a documentary of the whole recording process, it will be published soon.

As the album teased, seduced, and thrilled us we laid numerous comparisons at its feet; moments in the eclectic alchemy which Destrage 1reminded us of bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More Kontrust and French bands Mucho Tapioca and Toumai, even at one brief point Ugly Kid Joe. It shows the diversity and expanse of your sound. Are there any specific inspirations which have really influenced you if not for the band as a musician?

All those that you mentioned played a crucial role in our inspirational feast, but not more than Michel Gondry, Quay Brothers or Paolo Barnard did. And they don’t release albums.! !

Are You Kidding Me? No. sees a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns’N’Roses on its title track, How did that union come about?

We all are Ron’s big fans. When we finished the track Are You Kidding Me? No. we felt something was missing in the end. In fact, a Bumblefoot solo was missing. Since we had no connection with him, Mat emailed Mattias “Ia” Eklundh, who played on Jade’s Place (in our previous record The King Is Fat’N’Old) and became our friend (he’s such a cool guy!). He asked him for an address, a number, some contact to get in touch with Ron. Mattias as usual answered very politely, but didn’t give Mat what he wanted (he’s a very respectful person). So Mat was left with no choice other than going on Bumblefoot’s website and write to the general mail address. And surprize, Ron answered immediately telling us the song was super good and he’d do the collaboration. He told Mat he was touring with GnR in that period, so we should wait for a month or so. We thought it was his way to refuse. Instead he actually wrote back when the tour was over, asking what we wanted exactly, and we answered “we want you to do whatever you want for 32 bars”.

Few funny private messages followed and we got our perfect solo in 3 days. Smooth. The song seemed to be made for him, as he also said later in an interview. So, good experiment, and when we got to meet the guy in person we liked him even more. Ron is rad.

That track is also the most, can we say creatively and thrillingly psychotic on the album, probably our favourite song though it is hard to choose just one. Can you give us some insight into its creation?

Are You Kidding Me? No. is one of our favourite tracks too, for two main reasons: its origin and its content. The song was born randomly, as Mat sang what became the trumpet melody while going around on his red Vespa.

So, in the beginning we only expanded what comes after the trumpet, all that gipsy-sounding part. We wanted to make it a bonus track and leave it as it was. Then with no reason or precise plan, we wrote all the rest around it, putting no limits and setting no borders, following the lyric concept “Everybody does all kind of shit, I’m sorry that I’m sorry, I had to do this”.

The content came along in exceptional short time, and surprisingly our mindless creation gave birth to some of the most cerebral and psychotic parts of the whole album. !

As you said earlier the album is also your first with Metal Blade Records. How has the link up impacted on the album so far?

Being signed with such a great label is a dream come true for us! Definitely it’s giving us way bigger exposure, and much more people are listening to the new album because of this. But on the artistic point of view it didn’t have any impact, simply because we could sign the deal with MB because we already had the new album finished and ready to go.

Destrage is a band never slow in hitting the road and stages, the same again for 2014 I can assume? Any details you can reveal?

Absolutely yes! Everything is “work in progress”, our goal is to play these songs live, touring as much as we can, bringing our music everywhere…we’ll see what happens! 🙂

We can’t wait to be on the road again!

Once more thank you for sharing time to chat with us. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for your attention! Our new album Are you Kidding Me? No. will be release on March 3 in Europe through Metal Blade Records. More music and videos will be released soon, so stay tuned though our official pages http://www.facebook.com/destrage, http://www.youtube.com/destrage andwww.twitter.com/destrage!

Thank you so much for this interview guys! 🙂

Read the review of Are you Kidding Me? No. @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/03/2014