INTERVIEW: Taken By The Tide

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You’ve just performed at Armageddon Festival at The Hairy Dog in Derby. How did it go? Did you feel you got a positive reaction from the crowd?

It was great actually. Our new songs went down a treat and everyone seemed to ‘get’ it. That doesn’t always happen, so when you look up to a room full of people banging their heads and punching each other, you have to assume it went well.

Your band is from The Midlands. How would you describe the local music scene up here?

Where we are in the East Midlands there is a vibrant and flourishing underground DIY style scene, especially in Nottingham. Lots of small venues/studios/warehouses putting on shows like in the old punk days where you bring your own beer and everyone is friendly. We like this a lot. Outside of that there are plenty of the usual band dramas and egos floating around, but we stay well away from that and just concentrate on having fun.

So far, what has been your favourite venue to perform at and why?

Stuck On A Name Studios in Nottingham (look it up!). A proper intimate DIY venue (and excellent recording studio). No stage, so plenty of room for crowd intimidation and human pyramids.

Either as a punter or a performer, what has been your best and worst festival experience?

For me personally my best and worst moment, was when I played a black metal festival in Hamburg (by myself, don’t ask). I was terrified, but the show ended up being one of the best I’ve played. After the show I got on the unterbahn (German for the underground) with my new found German friends in an incredibly intoxicated state and headed for more drinks at the Reeperbahn. Only to lose them all in the chaos of drunk Germany and have to find my way across the city to the hostel that I hadn’t even checked in to yet, having only a street name. I managed it, scaling the underground, like a drunken explorer and eventually the German police gave me a lift the rest of the way. I like to think I conquered Germany that night.

Describe your music in 3 words.

Mother!…They’re coming!

Back when you were all kids, what did you aspire to be? Anything crazy like an astronaut?

Of course! My crazy aspiration was to be a guitarist or singer in a metal band. Off my rocker I was.

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At this moment in time, what about the world we live in is inspiring your creativity and song writing?

Well, I think musically the inspiration comes from frustration with what a lot of heavy music has become (commercially, at least). It’s striving to do something against the grain and to not fit exactly into a box that makes us continue to challenge ourselves and push harder. Lyrically, we are a pretty pissed off band. You only have to look out of the window or the news to find a source for anger. It seems we are in a world that on the face of it, is about to collapse. It’s depressing. This is inspiring.

Thinking back to when you were younger, were you influenced by music from a young age? Did the music your parents listen to shape your current music taste?

Definitely. My parents grew up on classic rock and bits of prog. I think when I was born I was 50% Led Zeppelin and 50% Rush.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Probably. But at the risk of being guilty, I’ll hold back.

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Among the many talented and famous artists of the past and present, is there anyone you idolise or look up to?

No Gods, No Masters.

Have you ever had an encounter with anyone famous? If so, who and were you star struck at all?

I know a couple of people who you might consider famous. When I’ve met people in the past I seem to have an overriding ‘they’re only a person’ mode. I find treating people how you expect to be treated gets you most places, despite if they are well known or not.

Back to your music, what does the band have planned for the rest of 2014?

We have load of UK dates being booked as we speak. We just signed up with a new booking agent, who is great. So we’ll be pretty busy touring our new record ‘Hands of Spite’ in 2014. We are slowly writing new music alongside this, but the main thing is to be as far and wide as possible. There is the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses competition as well. We are playing tomorrow in the first heat. Fingers crossed we get through that, slay the final then play at Bloodstock.

Looking to the future, in the long-term what are your aspirations as a band?

We’d like to take it up a few notches. We’d like to be doing this more often and to bigger audiences. But we’re under no illusion here. Our music can be pretty difficult to listen to and we aren’t pandering to any mainstream sensibilities, so we’ll just have to see.

Lastly, if music didn’t exist, what sort of career do you think you would be pursuing instead?

Probably something much more financially viable. But imagine that? That would be horrible!

 

Interview by Kaori Manz