I’ve been a fan of Yorkshire Metalheads since very early in their career, so here’s my long overdue interview with frontman/chief poseur, Bing
*(And if any of his answers don’t seem to be written in English, that’s his Yorkshire side shining through)
Now, originally, I was supposed to interview you late last year (it’s my fault it never happened), but so much has happened since then… new album, new band member and now new covers EP…
Ta for having us! You’ve helped us out from day one, so I’m chuffed to be doin’ an interview for ya!
We’ll begin with the album, The Last Days Of The Good Times, your 3rd album in as many years… I know mature is a word that probably isn’t thrown at you (personally) very often, but as a band, you’ve really matured on this album. What have you done that’s different, and was it a conscious decision to head in a more, well, Iron Maiden, direction?
The only thing that is properly different is that we’ve had more of us chucking riffs and tunes in the mix; instead of Will writing a whole album, he wrote a few, spruced up a few he had knocking about, me and Eddie chucked in a song or two each and a few riffs… we’re saying that it’s just a more interesting album.
The Maiden/NWOBHM direction was not fully conscious, but it was definitely in there in our subconscious. The album wasn’t necessarily written any differently in terms of aiming for a specific sound, but we’ve been discussing NWOBHM together a lot over the past year; using it as a reference point and something of a rallying point as we try and stick to being a metal band…
And the artwork, it’s certainly different… were drugs involved when you chose/created it?
Artwork has never been our strong point, but personally, I like the other albums’ artwork – I like the ideas, and they’re there if you see ’em. This one is a bit different because there is actually some ‘art’ work… did it misen wi a pen and some crayons… the idea isn’t too difficult to discern, and I have always doodled this way, lines and wotnot… so – yeah – drugs were indispensable!
I know you like to play live as often as possible, so I guess losing a band member really messes with your live schedule… so who’s out, and who’s the new addition?
Yeah – wheels came off a bit back end of 2018… briefly: Luke is out, Eddie has switched instrument and Duayne is (back) on bass!
Luke (Rodgers) decided in November that he didn’t have time to do the band, for very personal reasons. It was sad because Luke was there from before the start.
So from there, Eddie moved over to guitars; now, Eddie is a guitarist, one of the best I’ve ever known, but he’d been away from doing bands for a while, so that’s how he originally ended up on bass; as soon as the opportunity to get on guitar presented itself, it was an obvious move.
So that left the bass spot open; we had a few people get in touch, and we kinda got the feeling that some were just saying that they were into it and wanted to do it on the assumption that we were just a ploppy little metal band… once they started to have a look at the riffs, I suppose they realised they’d have a job on their hands…
So the only guy who actually learnt any of the songs got the job; and that was Duayne… which is funny, cos Duayne was the original bassist for Psython in 2014, our first incarnation!
Now you’re gigging again, what can we expect from you in 2019? Is it cramming in as many gigs as possible, or do you try and get some more high profile support slots?
We’re trying to get what we can man… we’ve done alright so far, we’ve got some gigs a bit further away (Bristol, Newcastle etc), which is cool, but we’re uncertain if it’s the best strategy for us – see how it goes.
We have to take what we can – we’re not in a position to dictate terms or even ask for payment, so while high-profile supports would be good, we can only hope that we get a few! We’ll keep on at folk like, but, as ever, it’s in the hands of the gods…
And Bloodstock? What would it mean for the band if you got through to play there?
Mate – can you even imagine…??? It’d be massive! Frankly, I’d be in a rock-star reverie all day, if we got to play…
Presuming you’re looking at it through the perspective of M2TM: If we did get there, I think we’d try to make the most of it, play like bastards! Hopefully we’d make some fans, and get some more interest from people able and willing to give us a hand wi stuff… there’d be so many cool underground bands there and so many promoters/managers etc… like to think we’d make the day count!
But, ultimately, it’d be nice to be able to play shows and festies like that under our own steam, to be asked to play… but that’s way off!
Your new EP is a very nice selection of Metal covers from the likes of Def Leppard, Saxon, Maiden and Priest. How did the idea of the EP come about and were there any covers that didn’t make it on this time, that we might get to hear in the future?
Glad you approve! There were loads of covers that didn’t make it; but it was tricky deciding on just one song per band. Really happy with how it’s come out though… I think we’ve done NWOBHM proud, even if I say so myself!!!
We did the EP for loads of reasons really; we needed something to promote once we started gigging again, something to attract attention to the album. We wanted to try out a new method of recording, that would help speed up the recording of albums; Harry recording drums at his place then sending them over to Will for guitars, vox and mixing – worked a treat!
But, perhaps more cynically, we wanted to record some songs that nailed our metal colours to the mast… we feel that there’s a lot of splitting hairs when it comes to genres; we’re metal, and we use hues from the whole spectrum of this broad Rock and Metal church! We decided that we’d like to do something to tip out hats to a time when Metal was still the unwanted child of the music scene, but was full of pride and energy.
So lots of reasons, but we’re chuffed wi how it’s come out, and we hope we’ve done NWOBHM proud… I actually got in touch wi Graham Oliver to send him the song; he lives near me and every now and then I see him dropping his mum off in the centre. He gave me the thumbs up… it’s proper mint to think that there were kids like him, playing music like that, in the 70s right where I live… and Metallica supported them in the US… mint!
But it is really tempting to do another load of covers… just cos it’s so much fun!
We all know the music industry and has been turned on its head with streaming, declining cd sales etc… So, a band in your position, trying to “further your career”, what’s missing and what needs to be done to help emerging bands?
Oh man… we need some industry magic… or a lottery win! We need someone to bang our drum, cos we’re really bad at selling ourselves and doin’ all that PR stuff…
But who knows what a career in a metal band will look like in a few years!!! I’ll stick to my guns though and repeat what I always say; you can’t analyse ‘the scene’ without taking the wider economic picture into account. Top and bottom of it, most people have a lot less money in their pockets. Couple that with the fact that the way we socialise these days does not demand that you physically be anywhere. Essentially, I reckon, people stay home to have a drink and listen to music, watch vids… save their pennies…
Until something drastic happens economically, I really struggle to see where live heavy music will be in say 10 years. 10 years ago my hometown was far from awesome, but there were half a dozen or so decent pubs where you could catch live underground metal bands… they’re gone now… and it’s hardly news to point out that there are so many ‘metal-friendly’ pubs shutting down, even in the cities!
Many thanks for your time… is there anything else you’d like to add, shit to plug etc…?
Thanks for your time man – always there to help us out, just wish we could do more for you! I’d urge any readers to check our choonz out… and then come to a show and buy some merch!!!