Posts Tagged “Tom Doyle”

Northlane: Aussies Rule

We are in the midst of a golden era for Antipodean metal and Northlane‘s Josh Smith is fucking stoked. “Australia is kinda isolated but that means all the bands out here have to work so much harder to get anywhere,” enthuses the guitarist of the Sydney natives. “It’s pushing a lot of musicians to really lift their game so they can take that next step. It’s awesome!”

But with new album Singularity it’s not so much steps as leaps and bounds that Northlane are taking right now. “The wider this record spreads the faster it seems to spread!” jokes Josh of the burgeoning hype. “But we’re always looking forward – the biggest thing on our minds is where we’re going to go from here!”

Such forward momentum has already seen the band incorporating more progressive elements into their metalcore bluster to impressive effect on Singularity. “We love that proggier stuff,” explains Josh. “We were on tour with Karnivool recently and the amount of inspiration we got from that band was incredible. But, equally, we never want to lose that energy of hardcore. That’s really what we grew up listening to”. Most importantly, though, Northlane just want to hit the road. “The fact that we get to go to other countries and play our music is exciting enough but particularly the UK is a place which will be awesome to finally get to,” adds the six-stringer. “Like Australia, there’s so much awesome music coming out of the UK right now – I mean, we’re named after an Architects song, so we love it!”

In true Aussie form, they’ll even be bringing their cricket set with them; “We like to play before shows while having some beers.” Get ready for Northlane to smash you for six in every conceivable sense.

Singularity is out October 7 via UNFD

Interview by Tom Doyle

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AFI: Back in bl-oh you know how it goes

Post hardcore legends AFI return with new album Burials next month. Tom Doyle grabbed frontman Davey Havok to talk anniversaries, changing skin and leaving scenes behind.

Hi Davey! You guys have obviously evolved a hell of a lot over the years. Will Burials keep AFI relevant to fans from The Art Of Drowning days?

“To be honest, it may or may not be depending on how long those fans have stuck around. If those fans are still here and they came in in ’97 then I think it’s extremely relevant because if you’re still with us at this point it shows that you have a really true understanding of AFI and a band who evolves with every record. If you see and appreciate that with each album there is growth then I think you will understand that, as in the past, what we are delivering with Burials is something new, something fresh and something that doesn’t really sound like Crash Love or Sing The Sorrow or Black Sails…. It is different whilst keeping with the tone of what we do. It’s very honest and very pure, grew very naturally and represents who we are now as musicians and writers.”

AFI: Chillin’

What do you think the Davey Havok of 2000 would think of Davey Havok in 2013?

“In a way, things have come full circle since the very early days. In the inception of the band and when I was new to writing I hadn’t really found my voice both figuratively and literally I was writing very direct lyrics. Similarly, Burials is very direct and very candid. In that respect there is a very strong parallel between what was going on stylistically in 1995 and now, although the scenes are starkly different and the mood and tone is starkly different. In that middle period around ’99, 2000 I grew into creating a mood more through symbolic and metaphoric imagery but I am back to being much more lyrically direct.”

Do you feel that the amount of time you have been around and the influence you have make you, in some way, custodians of a scene?

“No, I really don’t and it is hard for me to accept or even recognise. I just don’t see us part of a scene, we don’t really fit anywhere and we never have and I’ve never seen or really heard anything that seems to be influenced by AFI. I sometimes speak to people who are kind enough to say that we have influenced a lot of bands and on occasion someone in a band might say ‘Hey, I’m in a band are you really influenced me’ and it’s very flattering, but I never really see evidence of it so it’s hard for me to truly accept it. I think what I’m more able to understand is when people say AFI have impacted their lives in a way that they make comparisons to artists that I feel very strongly about. That feels more real to me, that someone might think about me in the way that I feel about those particular artists that I love. It’s still surreal, though.”


There have been a lot of bands doing anniversary shows lately. Next year is 15 years since Black Sails In The Sunset, do you see yourself revisiting and touring that album?

“I have no interest in doing something like that. I’m proud of all of what we created, it was all a time and a place and they were great times, but those times are over. It would feel very inappropriate for us to try and go back and re-create them. If I was ever to do something like that, it would mean something was terribly terribly wrong with me.”

You’ve had quite a long break from AFI since you released Crash Love, how excited are you to get a new record out?

“It’s really exciting for us to be releasing Burials and I’m super excited for people to hear it. We spent over a year writing these songs and they came to life in such a complete way as we were working and demoing that I was very anxious for people to hear every one of them. There are songs that didn’t even make the tracking session that I’d love for people to hear some day but equally I’m thrilled for people to hear what we decided to call Burials – I really hope they enjoy it.”

Burials is out October 21

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Limp Bizkit: Better than you

Gaslight Anthem aren’t the most natural fit for today’s bill and they know it, but if you’re at Download Festival chances are you have an appreciation for a beautifully constructed rock song and Gaslight have those in spades. 45, Handwritten and Howl all sound glorious as the sun starts to set and a relatively small initial crowd swells over the course of their hour on stage. Whilst the between song chit chat might leave a little to be desired, Brian Fallon’s dulcet tones are an absolute ace in the hole for the New Jersey boys, and with a cover of The Misfits’ Astro Zombies thrown in for good measure it’s hard to see how even the most hardened genre snob couldn’t enjoy their performance.

A somewhat more familiar name to most of the crowd is Limp Bizkit, who have the unenviable task of headlining the second stage as Rammstein are detonating bombs over on the other side of the field. How do you compete with that sort of opposition? Here’s how – you open with Rollin’  and then smash straight into Nookie. It’s an absolutely blistering start but there isn’t a second of let-up in a set made up exclusively of hits with no filler whatsoever anywhere in sight. Fred Durst looks a little subdued on stage but by god he knows the right things to say. Announcing halfway through Re-Arranged that his band want to turn tonight “into a party” they leap seamlessly into a full throttle cover of Killing in the Name and we can hardly believe our eyes and ears. That is backed up by two further covers, Faith and Behind Blue Eyes before they bring it home with the nuclear warhead that is Break Stuff. A mighty, mighty, MIGHTY fine way to start drawing proceedings to a close.

Tom Doyle

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Stone Sour

Stone Sour

Those Mosh-tralian scally wags Parkway Drive are probably the pick of the crop when it comes to breakdown heavy metalcore and there are plenty in the crowd keen to bust a move or two to the boys from Byron Bay. They set about kicking up the dust with a selection of tracks from recent opus Atlas as well as a decent chunk of tunes from Deep Blue, all of which sound fucking monstrous even on an outdoor stage. Winston McCall is an understated, if genial, front man but his roar could strip paint and the beat down in Deliver Me is just one of several that threaten to literally tear Donington in two. Joined on stage at one point by a geezer in a fox costume (no, we don’t know either) Parkway manage to give their bludgeoning racket an edge of fun and their performance is all the better as a result. After a fulsome thank you to the crowd the band depart to leaving a host of big smiles in the crowd behind – the power of party mosh in action!

You fancy that if you cut Corey Taylor open that ‘Download’ would be written through him like a stick of rock. Having smashed everyone’s face off with a Slipknot performance of epic proportions on friday night he is back for round two with Stone Sour in the afternoon sun. Made of Scars has an entire field yelling along at the tops of their voices while a cover of Children of the Grave dedicated to Sabbath sounds nothing short of fucking brilliant. Taylor steps out with a guitar round his neck midway through the set and treats us to a couple of tracks which remind us that behind all the bluster his voice is a thing of impeccable beauty – the conclusion of what can only be described as a Pretty Productive Weekend for one of the best in the game.

Tom Doyle

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Download FTW!

Enter Shikari’s appearance headlining the second stage will come as no surprise to those who have charted their inexorable rise over the past few years. Latest album A Flash Flood of Colour firmly planted their flag as one of the UK’s leading lights but it is with their live show that they have always excelled. Rou Reynolds’ maniacal energy is supplemented by a potent political edge and tonight he revels in tracks like Arguing With Thermometers and System…Meltdown, giving him a chance to wax lyrical about causes dear to his heart (the ‘NHS not Trident’ t-shirt he is sporting is a bit of a clue as to what those might be). But let’s face it, the crowd are here to dance and Shikari gladly oblige with healthy helpings of dubby wobble and punchy electro topped off with a laser show so mad it could probably be seen from space. Mothership induces absolute bedlam in the pit while closer Sssnakepit is transformed into an en masse ravealong as guitars are flung with a scandalous disregard for personal safety and crowdsurfers fly over the front barrier. A headline slot hard earned and extremely well played – nice one lads.

It’s gotta be tough for a young punk band from Devon to go up against Iron Maiden in the scheduling and it is little surprise that the crowd for Rat Attack is relatively sparse and noticeably young. That said, the quartet do a good job of making their bratty, jocular hardcore count with vocalist Mike Hodges’ boundless enthusiasm dragging weary festival bodies into the bouncing pit. His questionable taste in gold sequined shirts aside he is a superb front man and he and guitarist Charlie Wesson work every inch of the stage expertly. There may be a little work to be done on the songwriting front but there is the basis of something here which, with a little polishing, could see them rising to the bigger stages in years to come.

Tom Doyle

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Download FTW!

Kicking off the main stage today for the hungover masses are Young Guns who remind us all what rude health young British rock music is in these days. They have been over in the good ol’ US of A for the past 8 months or so but their excitement at being back on home turf and sharing a stage with the big boys is palpable. Striding out in Andrew W.K-esque all whites they bring their anthemic strut to the Donington party with admirable enthusiasm and while the crowd might be a little sparse so early in the day those who have dragged themselves out of bed are treated to the bouncing melodies that littered last years LP Bones. Closing with the garganutan title track from that record they have both put down a marker for the rest of the bands who will take the stage today and served us a reminder of what a diverse festival Download truly is.

At the other end of the spectrum are Mastodon whose beards ‘n riffs schtick is highly anticipated and rapturously received. While their sonic complexities are done no favours by the sound at the start of their set, things gradually improve and by the time the climactic Curl of the Burl rolls around they are hitting their stride in mesmeric fashion. Drummer Brann Dailor is almost impossible to take your eyes off, a human whirlwind behind the kit he drives proceedings on without ever even looking like missing a beat. Meanwhile, Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher knock out the sort of fretboard wizardry that plenty of bands could only dream of with frightening ease – you could argue that they look a bit disengaged (there’s certainly not much by way of between song banter) but the songs themselves are so towering that there really isn’t any need. Headliners of the future? You wouldn’t bet against them.

Tom Doyle

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If you’re 555…

A lot has happened to Slipknot since the last time they graced these hallowed grounds. Their experiences over past four years would have broken a lesser band but tonight they are back to take their rightful place as Donington headliners. They are, probably more than any other, the act who have sealed their legend and legacy at Download and tonight’s set is emotionally charged and full of the intense passion we have come to expect from the kings of Iowa

Here, tonight, they give it everything and more. Corey Taylor is, surely, the greatest frontman of his generation, holding the whole of Donington in the palm of his hand as his band devestate with a set of imperious precision. As they launch into Psychosocial the heavens open and as Taylor roars the “…and the rain will kill us all” refrain it feels like the sort of Big Moment that are written into the history books. The setlist is a career spanning greatest hits with the self-titled and Iowa firmly represented. Everyone goes fucking batshit. Indeed, such is the anticipation for Slipknot tonight that crowd surge after crowd surge forces the band to stop proceedings a couple of times to make sure no-one is hurt. The ‘we-are-all-family-and-noone-should-get-hurt-here’ rhetoric a lot of bands dole out can feel somewhat hollow, but tonight it is utterly earnest, this is a band who represent us, the outsiders and the love flows both ways. A band of the people if ever there was one.

An astonishing encore of (sic), People=Shit and Surfacing round things off in triumphant fashion, with Paul Gray’s #2 emblazoned across the back of the stage to remind everyone, as if any reminder were needed, about the memory tonight is all about honouring. Taylor suggests that we might be seeing the ‘knot again on these sures sooner than we think – on tonight’s showing, it can’t come soon enough.

Tom Doyle

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Download FTW!

Converge have long since had a reputation as one of the most ferocious live bands on the block and their set today is one of the most anticipated of the weekend amongst those who like their metal with an abrasive hardcore edge. However, despite being in the relatively enclosed surroundings of a tent, festival surroundings are not neccesarily Converge’s natural habitat and it shows, while the onstage energy levels remain high from Jacob Bannon and co the chemistry between band and audience feels somewhat stifled. There are moments where their brilliance is clear for all to see, Aimless Arrow and Axe to Fall are breathtaking and Kurt Ballou’s guitar playing once again sets him apart as one of the great visionaries of the genre.

It is certainly enough to get us ready for the boilersuited maelstrom that is about to hit the main stage but this is not Converge as their blistering best.

Tom Doyle

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Download FTW!

Oh, Korn. It is easy to forget just how weird, eccentric and downright mental the Bakersfield boys still are even after all these years. But it seems that no-one has forgotten just how fucking good they are as they are greeted with an absolute sea of horns spanning all the way up Donington hill. There’s an added significance today too, with Head back in the band this is the classic Korn line-up and they look in fine fettle – lean, focussed, and ready to give the crowd exactly what they want.

And boy, oh boy do they have the tunes to back it up. Got The Life threatens to punch a hole in the earth’s surface while Skrillex collabo Get Up! has absolutely everyone off their feet and wailing along at the top of their voice. Mr Davis is on top form too, his dextrous vocal lines are as distinctive as ever while his appearance midset with bagpipes for Shoots and Ladders gets one of the cheers of the day. The rest of the band back him up admirably, their dreadlocks flailing in the wind as they give a performance that smacks of a band who are back and enjoying it. A crowd sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to drummer Ray Luzier caps off a fine set with a reminder of the place Korn still rightly have in so many of our hearts – wonderful stuff.

Tom Doyle

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Download FTW!

Today has been a long time coming for Rise To Remain. The guys were forced to pull out of last year’s festival at super-short notice thanks to the apocalyptic weather, and though this year isn’t exactly a summer holiday, Austin et al do turn up to open up the main stage in pretty outstanding style.

Keeping in the vein of brilliant young British metal are Architects, who walk onstage as the heavens open on the sizeable crowd. Vocalist Sam Carter is a ball of ferocious energy from the get go as they dish out half an hour of choice cuts including recent banger Black Blood which is met with the sort of circle pits you rarely see at 9pm, let alone 2 in the afternoon, and shows that the Brighton lads have still got the skills to pay the fucking bills.

As Asking Alexandria stroll on stage amid rising synths the sun peeps out from behind a cloud and basks the Donnington masses. It’s a fitting setting for a band who bring a quintessentially British rock swagger to their incendiary metalcore. Danny Worsnop’s roar is clear as a bell while his near-note-perfect clean vocals carry the quintet through a raft of choruses best described as ‘shitting massive’. They leave triumphant in the mid afternoon sun. Download has fucking begun.

Tom Doyle

 

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