Interview with Matt Sheedy of iBURN

Immediately we heard it the new EP from Irish alternative metal band iBURN has us at The Ringmaster Review drooling and shouting its merits to all and sundry. Already fans of the band from their debut EP of last year, the new release Where It Begins with its fresh, aggressive and infectious melodic interaction alongside adrenaline fuelled intensity shows iBURN has emerged as one of the most striking and inventive bands in European metal. We had the pleasure of having vocalist Matt Sheedy from the band to tell us more about the release and the band.

Hi Matt welcome to The Ringmaster Review and many thanks for talking with us.

First question is…… is it iBurn, IBURN, or iBurN, we ask as we have seen it written all ways haha.

Haha…I don’t think we know either! I reckon it’s iBURN and before you say it, yes I know there’s a whiff of  plagiarism there but sadly we haven’t been sued by a certain American multinational corporation, I don’t even know if I like the name of the band but how ever written or whatever name it could have been it’s the music that matters to us.

photo Michael Wall

Please introduce the band members and how did you all meet?

Well myself (vocals) and Dave (guitar) did a mini tour with Dagoba a few years back  we were in different bands at the time and just found out we were into the same music and eventually we got this band together, Mark (guitars) was a good friend of Dave’s so he got him in and he tore it up so he got the job,  we have had a couple of different bassists along the way that had to leave the band but Shelley (bass) stepped in and secured that spot and we know her  through Mark and as for  the human drum machine Marek he jammed with Dave a good few years ago and his skills were remembered so we had to have him in the band.

How long has the band been going?

Since June 2008.

What were the inspirations and influences that brought the band into being?

To be honest we were into heavy shit! I just left a Hardcore Metal band and Dave just left a Death Metal band, so if you listen carefully you’ll always hear those two elements somewhere in the music, but  I think on top of that we really loved bands like Deftones, Tool, Slipknot, Pantera…ya know bands that bring power, groove and a big sound!

You have just released your brilliant new EP Where It Begins which we will get on to properly shortly, but since then the line-up has changed to the one listed above. Is this one of those things that bands, which have to fight and claw their way to attention in the world of music today and usually for a very long time, have to deal with more and more as frustrations and maybe disillusionment affect members?

Well the internet is the music hub for so many young bands to get their music out to the world and how and where it trends isn’t going to pay the bills so for some I guess it can be an uphill struggle in that respect but that’s only for those who want things too quickly… you have to realise it’s always been that way for bands but you share a vision and try to see how far you go with the band, I think the main reasons for a member becoming  frustrated or disillusioned are the same as they have always been…artistic differences and big ego’s!

As an emerging band you know there now is going to be a struggle and many walls you come up against on the journey for the band, how do you keep your enthusiasm and determination going? There must be times where it makes one think is it work it?

Yeah that’s gonna happen, that’s just life in general but we love music and playing live and that’s not gonna change.

You are from Dublin and surrounding areas, which seems from the outside to be enjoying a vibrant metal/rock scene right now. Is this how you find it being in the middle?

I wouldn’t say vibrant. It can come and go in waves.

We and a great many others discovered you with your great self titled EP of last year but with Where It Begins the band has really grown with a maturity and fully evolved sound. How do you feel the band has grown between the two releases?

Well we rushed the first EP, we got the band together in June ’08 and had to have the album written and recorded by August ’08, so the band has changed a lot in that time, these days we’re challenging each other a lot more and everyone is writing music that just keeps getting better.

As mentioned there are multiple frustrations for bands in trying to reach audiences, finding opportunities to play etc, how easy or hard is this to turn into a positive energy and force to add to the music?

It’s Easy.

Where It Begins contains seven intense, fresh, and aggressive tracks that hit hard and deeply. What do you hope most of all people get from the release?

Whatever they want, there’s many layers.

Is there anything particular about the release that brings you the most satisfaction and excitement?

Positive Energy.

Where It Begins is distinctly varied in sound and creative structure to songs; you have really worked with thought and intent to make the release the best of iBURN?

Nope, never any intention to our songs, we just play what we like.

How long has it taken from first song to now to make the release?

Too long! We wrote and recorded it in just a few months but due to a few stumbling blocks the release date got pushed back several times.

 Tell us about the inspiration to some of the powerful and instinctive slices of metal on the release?

Again we just went with riffs and vocals we like, never much focus on where it’s coming from or what inspired it.

What fuels and inspires your lyrics predominantly?

Truth.

Are there a lot of personal experiences that come into the lyrics?

Yes.

How does the songwriting start and work within iBURN?

There’s no one way we write songs.

Do your songs continue to evolve until the final recorded result or do you seal their form before going into the studio?

Right to the end, that’s what you pay a producer for, it’s always good to have someone with a good ear who could spot something that needs to be changed for whatever reason.

The production on Where It Begins is especially understanding to the creativity and persistently changing sounds and ideas within the songs. Who handled that on the EP?

Charles ‘Kallaghan’ Massabo produced both iBURN EP’s, he’s on top of his game and not afraid to try different ideas in most genres.

What comes next for iBURN?

It’s all about playing shows at the moment but we will always be working on new ideas and working towards something bigger and better.

Are we looking at a possible album this year or do you find mini album/EPs a better way to release new material?

Not this year, when you’re a new band you’re better off with an EP to see what the feedback is like.

Once more thank you for talking with us.

Would you like to end with a message for your current fans and who will become such after hearing your new release?

Hope to see you out on the road!

Download the Where It Begins EP for free @ http://www.reverbnation.com/iburnmusic

Read the Where It Begins EP review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/iburn-where-it-begins-ep/

The Ringmaster Review 26/04/2012

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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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