Zombie Militia

March 21, 2011


ZOMBIE MILITIA
/Inverness

You recently won the Best Metal award at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. Was that a proud moment?

Aye.

Where did the name Zombie Militia come from?

A back garden smoke-out.

You’re from Inverness. What is the metal scene like up there?

Intermittent at best!

You’re self-proclaimed ‘old school’ metal. Are you not fans of ‘new school’ metal then?

Correct.

Do you think metal is a misunderstood genre?

By indie fans, absolutely.

What do you reckon is the quintessential metal album?

Pantera’s ‘Vulgar Display of Power’.

And finally, Metallica – metal geniuses or sell-outs?

Both.

www.zombiemilitia.co.uk

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Achren

January 17, 2011

Achren: Bare knees not required, but desirable.

ACHREN/Glasgow

How would you describe the sound of Achren?

(John Paterson, bass): We play a mix of death, thrash and black metal with a few other influences thrown in here and there. We all listen to wide range of stuff, from classic to extreme metal bands and also a lot of stuff from other genres, so we incorporate a lot of different elements into the sound of the band. The Achren sound has taken on the term ‘Blood Metal’, which was the title of the first Achren EP, so I suppose that’s as good a term as any to have because it doesn’t really pigeonhole the band into any particular area.

What does Achren mean?

It’s an old Celtic word for ‘Otherworld.’

You’re releasing a DVD of your performance at Bloodstock 2010. Is it a visual spectacle of epic proportions?

Haha, well, we hope so! It’s a great festival and it went really well for us. We managed to do a lot of promotion before and during our time there which helped a lot, especially as we were up against much bigger bands on the main stage at the time. The opportunity came up to film the whole set and produce the DVD, and getting the chance to do a full DVD production wasn’t something that we wanted to miss out on. It will give people the chance to see what the band can do on a live stage and hopefully help with booking as well. With the debut album coming out this year we want to try and use every possible means we can of raising the profile of the band, so it’s a good step for us to take in achieving some good exposure.

And you’re playing at the Wacken festival this year too. Will it be a proud moment taking to stage there?

Yeah, we’re ecstatic about the whole thing – it’s the biggest metal open air festival in the world, so we can’t wait to play! It’s still a bit strange when someone asks you what gigs you’ve got coming up and you say Wacken. Again, it’s a great opportunity and having been there myself before as both as a festival goer and in a press capacity, it’s amazing to be going back this time as an artist.

When you start going to metal festivals as a teenager you always hope that someday you might get a chance to play at these kind of events, so it’s a total privilege to be at Wacken. We just need to make sure that we make the best of the time we’ve got there, make sure we put on the best show we can and make sure we do our best in promoting the band off the stage as well, which is equally as important when you’re a lesser known band at an event that size with so many amazing bands playing.

Is the Scottish metal scene alive, barely breathing or dead?

The Scottish metal scene is most definitely alive. There are some amazing bands in Scotland doing a lot of hard work and some of them are doing really well. Daemonolith, Co-Exist, Hell Above, Man Must Die and Nerrus Kor are a few that come to mind.

It’s always more difficult for Scottish bands to make an impression in the UK scene with the added travel times between cities and obvious higher costs of getting to gigs. When you look at the population of Scotland I always find it a bit of a shame that we don’t get recognized on our own in the metal scene – we kind of get stuck on to the whole UK scene. We’ve got a similar size population to Norway and Finland but 99 people out of a 100 here will be able to name and own albums by a lot more metal bands from those countries than our own. I think a lot of Scottish metal bands get a bit overlooked sometimes and I don’t think its due to a lack of quality. A lot of the problem stems from lack of funding and the fact that most of the funding allocated to the music and arts industries in Scotland tends to go to areas of music which benefit a very limited amount of people and a very narrow audience scope compared to metal.

Another weird thing as well is that a lot of metal bands that progress their careers relying lyrically and musically on Scottish themes tend not to be Scottish. You only have to look at German bands like Grave Digger and Suidakra to see that.

What is the quintessential metal album?

Not sure on that one. Obviously it’s a generation thing though so ‘Reign in Blood’, ‘Master of Puppets’ ‘Peace Sells’, ‘Live After Death’ or something like that for me – but there’s so many good albums to chose from and the good thing is to keep discovering new stuff you like and keep an open mind.

Do you think metal is a misunderstood genre?

Sometimes it is, but it depends on how serious you take things. It definitely has been traditionally misunderstood in terms of social acceptability but I think that’s becoming less apparent as time goes on and age barriers decrease. Everybody today gets bombarded with death, war and destruction in every newspaper and commercial news story every day so if it’s done through music logically to me it shouldn’t be nearly as offensive as turning on your TV.

Hopefully when metal becomes a religion in the next census all the metal bands in the country can declare themselves as registered charities and take to the streets in corpse paint asking randoms on the street for money. Thats my vision, although I’ve not noticed an increase in Jedis on Buchanan street in recent times. Hail Satan!

What’s the lowest guitar tuning the band has ever played in? Z?

Haha – speaking as the bass player and using a five string most of the time, its actually a low ‘A.’ I get to play the lowest notes! We tune down a tone from standard tuning. I would reckon that more people probably tune down these days than play in standard tuning. And…of course, it is a bit more metal!

And finally, what is Achren’s drink of choice? Vodka and lemonade? A cheeky swig of Lambrini?

Well, we’ve built up a healthy relationship with some Devon monks for purely medicinal on-stage purposes, you understand – apart from that and since you’re asking, I’ll take a pint of council lager please!

www.achren.com


Metal gigs to check out before Christmas

November 8, 2010

With the winter nights drawing in, what better time to check out some of the best metal gigs Scotland has to offer before Christmas arrives and we all sit and watch soul-sapping films we would never usually surveil, like Free Willy and the one where Arnold Schwarzenegger goes on a quest to get a must-have Christmas toy for his stupid son and endures silly – if mildly amusing – japes in the process.

And, almost naturally, as the afternoon sky becomes increasingly shady, the metal gig scene seems like it’s thriving in the darkness.

They’re not quite metal – but they’re not quite rainbows and sunshine either – but Pulled Apart By Horses take to Scotland in late November, with dates including up there in Inverness. From Yorkshire bands to Danish bands, and the Lars Ulrich-supported Volbeat travel to the Glasgow Garage on December 3.
Pulled Apart By Horses: Probably not pulled apart by horses, otherwise they might be dead

If you like your rock and metal a bit like AC/DC – well, a whole lot like AC/DC – then check out Airbourne at the Glasgow Barrowland on December 4, and if you like big metal tours, then the SECC might be your place of choice on December 9 as Bullet for My Valentine and newly-credible Bring Me The Horizon take to the stage in the gigantic, oversized tractor shed.

It’s more package tours and more gargantuan sheds as Disturbed headline the Taste of Chaos tour at the same venue on December 11 – but if you want something a little (slightly) more underground, check out thrashers Municipal Waste at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow on December 15.

Everyone’s favourite industrial metallers Fear Factory return with everyone’s favourite fat guitarist/home-made pornstar Dino Cazares at the QMU in Glasgow on December 16, but if you’re looking for something even more nostalgic, check out tribute band 101% Pantera at Ivory Blacks on December 18 for some deepthroated Dimebagging.


Sacred Betrayal

August 30, 2010

SACRED BETRAYAL/GLASGOW

How would you describe the sound of Sacred Betrayal?

Screamo-y, metal-y, poppy synthcore-y music.

You’ve played at the Download Festival and T in the Park this summer – with Sonisphere and the Underage Festival also on the itinerary. Did you ever expect this to happen?

Never, ever, ever, ever did we expect this! When we entered the Red Bull Bedroom Jam competition, we were ecstatic at even winning the first chart on week one – but winning the festival chart after a further 16 weeks is just insane. It just goes to show how great our fans really are – they got us here!

The Daily Dose saw you play at Download. You played at the same time as Slash did over at the packed mainstage. Did you feel a tad disappointed that your slot was up against such a popular act?

Not at all really – a fair number of people came to see us. But we can’t complain at all when we were given this opportunity for free!

Scotland doesn’t have the greatest record of producing hard rock/metal bands that have gone on to enjoy success in the UK. Are you about to change this?

Definitely! We’ve got our heart set on taking this band somewhere and already have started to establish ourselves recently. You’ll be hearing from us much more often later on…

What’s next for Sacred Betrayal?

Now that would be telling. At the moment we’re keeping our cards close to our chest but will be announcing extremely exciting awesome news very, very soon.

Why should people come to one of your shows?

Music punters that enjoy getting involved in shows will definitely enjoy our shows. We’re very energetic on stage, and full of surprises. Maybe you’ll need to try us out to find out first, eh?

And finally, what is the most sacred way of betraying someone?

Stealing someone’s tent. Ian didn’t quite appreciate having his new six-man tent nicked at T in the Park on the very first day…Sacredly betrayed at TITP.

www.myspace.com/sacredbetrayal


Metal Monday – A Summer Of Riffs, Grunts and Sweat

July 19, 2010

The summer is usually a time for daffodils and trips to the beach, not slabs of guitar riffage and shouty vocals. But trends are there to be bucked, so we at The Daily Dose decided to look at some of the metal gigs you should check out this summer in Scotland.

Monday 2nd August – Katatonia, Cathouse, Glasgow.

Not to be mixed up with Cerys Matthews and Co., Katatonia are yet another Scandinavian metal band, but they’re one of the better ones. Their doom ‘n’ gloom tendancies however can be overcome on the night by going to the Cathouse nightclub afterwards and listening to some Paramore.

Monday 2nd August – Alice in Chains, 02 Academy, Glasgow.

Those with a slightly more docile nature might enjoy Alice in Chains a little more than scary Scandinavians, so check out the grunge veterans down the road at the 02 Academy instead. Not exactly metal metal, but you get the point.

Thursday 12th August – Kong, Captain’s Rest, Glasgow.

An Oceansize offshot, but don’t be fooled – these guys are pretty damn heavy. And they’ve got masks. But there’s only three of them, so the Slipknot comparisons stop there.

Kong – Do you want salad with that?

Monday 16th August – Sacred Betrayal, Ivory Blacks, Glasgow.

Sacred Betrayal are local boys, but their tour schedule for this summer includes dates at the Download Festival, T in the Park and Sonisphere. Local? More like national, or something.

Thursday 26th August – Limp Bizkit, 02 Academy, Glasgow.

Yep, they’re returning. Rejoice, grab the person next to you and jiggle them. Limp Bizkit are back in Scotland, supported by Twin Atlantic (who are also supporting Blink-182 this summer – a job well done by the booking agent.)


Scordatura

May 24, 2010

Uh oh, curfew time soon.

Who? Scordatura Where? Glasgow

Can you sum up Scordatura  in three words?

(Owen, guitar): Heavy, brutal, rapid.

Why should people take the time to check your music out?

I think it’s just a bit different compared to a lot of death metal music coming out right now – if people are into what we’re doing then we’re happy.

Where on earth did your name come from?

It’s Latin for mistuning or altered tuning.

What makes a good metal band? And in your eyes, do you fit the bill?

I think a good metal band should have really good, solid tunes, be tight as a group, gig as much as they can and always be trying to find new ways to promote themselves to as many people as possible. In my eyes we do fit this bill. The material for the upcoming album is, to me, the best we have done so far, and we have always pushed ourselves to be as tight as we can be.

How healthy is the Scottish metal/hard rock scene at the moment?

It’s going good. There are bands such as Cerebral Bore & Man Must Die who are from Scotland and are now touring all over the world, but that is down to the fact that they put in the time and effort and got where they are today through their own hard work. I think the Scottish metal scene is good but I think that people really need to start supporting bands and going to gigs more.

What encouraged you to start listening to metal/hardcore in the first place?

I started listening to Metallica when I was about 14, then got into Death, Decapitated and Cannibal Corpse and it just went from there!

Why are death metal band logos so hard to read?

Think it’s just part of the package with death metal. I think the Scordatura logo is quite clear though, compared to some bands.

We spoke to Cerebral Bore a few weeks ago, whose summer tour internary is full of European dates. Do you have European dates in the pipeline?

Not right now, but we’re trying to tour anywhere outside of Scotland next year once the album is done to try promote it as much as we can!

What’s best – rhythm guitar riffage or finger shredding soloing?

Rhythm riffage definately.

And finally, banana or strawberry milkshake?

Strawberry, no sure about the rest of them though!

www.myspace.com/scordaturaglasgow


Azriel

April 19, 2010

Please don’t hurt me…take my lunch money, I don’t care

Who? Azriel Where? Glasgow

Can you sum up Azriel in three words?

(Sean, bass): I think I’d say sick, rad and awesome. Or alternatively, melodic, heavy and intense.

Why should people take the time to check your music out?

People should take the time to check us out because unlike a lot of bands out there, we put everything into our music, we write songs that actually mean something to us, about experiences we have had. We are a band writing music that we absolutely love, not a band writing music to fit into a bracket.

Where did your name come from?

Well a lot of people think that it’s either the Angel of Death, or the cat from The Smurfs. Actually I’m pretty sure that it’s something from a book David was reading, but I think it was spelled Asrael or something like that. Let’s just go with The Smurfs thing.

You’re playing the Slam Dunk festival in London soon with the likes of New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio. Are you going to be the heaviest band there?

I doubt it. Our good friends Your Demise are playing on the same stage as us and they are heavy as fuck! Also Four Years Strong are pretty heavy so I don’t think we are gonna stick out too badly. All of us are super stoked on playing those shows though – there are some bands playing that we all love and it’s gonna be sick to play with them.

What makes a good metal band?

To be honest I’d say that regardless of what genre you are, it takes heart and passion to make any band good. I think that when bands are just churning out songs and writing lyrics about any old garbage it really shows. So I’d say that to make a good band you need determination and dedication, as well as talent and of course, some wicked sick riffs!

How healthy is the Scottish metal/hard rock scene at the moment?

I’d say it’s very up and down at the moment. If there’s a really good show with a few really good bands on it then turnouts are awesome – there’s been a few really busy shows recently. But sometimes unfortunately people are apathetic about smaller shows, and there are occasionally bad shows too. Although, the DIY ethic is good in Glasgow at the moment, a lot of kids are doing their own shows and releasing their own records, which is always good to see. It’s all about doing it for the love of the music.

What encouraged you to start listening to metal/hardcore in the first place?

All of us come from different backgrounds – some of us from punk bands, others from death metal bands and some even from pop music backgrounds. But all in all I think it was a natural transgression from bands like NOFX, Minor Threat, Hopesfall etc. I think for me the most attractive thing was that it seemed like a hardcore show was a place that you could get out all of your frustrations and anger, and watch bands that you could really relate to, bands full of people who were just like you, singing about things that you’ve gone through. This is something that I don’t feel I could find in any other scene and I hope that kids feel that way when they come to see us.

You’ve toured with guys like Bring Me The Horizon in the past. Are they ‘real’ metal or are the doubters out there just too quick to criticise them?

If I’m honest, I don’t think it matters whether they are ‘real’ metal or not. They are great guys and a great band. The fact of the matter is that as soon as a band gets popular or big, people immediately criticise them, saying that they’ve sold out or that they aren’t good anymore. I’m not sure if it’s jealousy or what, it just seems to be the way people are. They came from nothing and have become one of the biggest metal bands around at the moment, so I say well-fucking-done to them!

Metallica or Megadeth?

Metallica, it’s got to be!

And finally, fairy cakes or fairy lights?

Wow, a red herring. Emm, I’d say fairy cakes! Delicious.

www.myspace.com/azriel