Bizarre Show Moments, Taboo Topics & Debut Album 'Smile' With Cane Hill
In addition, our boy Laurie Cromwell also had a chat with the entire band following a poll on Twitter in which we got acquainted with the band.
Eventhough it was last-minute, we were able to hang out with the band in their entirely.
The conversation Laurie had with them discusses a variety of topics which can be read below.
LC: So, I have to open with this… Creampie? What on earth was the motivation with that?
Devin: We’re out to ruffle feathers.
Witt: Yeah, to ruffle feathers but also because there’s so many subjects that are taboo, that I don’t understand why they’re taboo, like fucking. I don’t get why it’s a taboo, why people are prude about it, so we thought we’d put it in a song. Like, fuck telling us what we can and can’t say, fuck telling us what we can and can’t do, fuck telling us who we can and can’t fuck… so yeah, that’s Creampie.
LC: It seems like quite a common theme for you guys to talk about topics that are taboo but shouldn’t be, like you have lyrics about racism and misogyny etc., is this something you like to get into your songs to say ‘fuck this’ about the topic?
Witt: Yeah I mean if we’re not talking about something in our songs were just like every other band in metal right now. There’s a few like Gojira that talk about important shit…
Devin: Just shit with weight to be honest, like you say there’s plenty of bands that are like ‘Oh I’ve had a bad relationship, I’m gonna write a song about it’ and it just gets boring, we don’t wanna be like that.
LC: So, you guys named your band after somewhere in the UK, an abandoned asylum, have you guys had chance to head there while you’ve been over here?
Witt: Nah man, it’s just houses now, they’ve knocked it down. Residential development. I would have loved to live in a house that’s built on what used to be the most haunted place in the country.
LC: I saw your first ever UK show at Download this year, how was that for you, especially considering Rocksound described you as the most destructive band at Download?
Devin: It’s probably the warmest welcome we’ve ever received on any stage, in any setting, it was phenomenal.
Witt: Yeah festivals in America just didn’t compare, they’re great but Download was fucking mind-blowing. Playing later in the day while Megadeth was across the place, you see an ocean of people watching them and when our tent was empty while we sound checked we were like well obviously, Megadeth are playing just there nobody’s gonna wanna see us, then we go out and it was heaving.
Devin: There were people stood outside the tent and I was just like this does not happen!
Witt: Yeah we like the UK, just based off of Download.
LC: So this is your first UK touring run as opposed to a festival? Considering that with festivals it’s a broader audience of metal fans of multiple metal and rock genres whereas a tour is specifically for fans of mainly the headliner – how have the crowds compared?
Witt: We’ve had some shows that were really great, like Germany was awesome, the UK has been interesting. Touring with bands that are legendary like Bullet and Killswitch is interesting because you know everyone is there for those bands, you’re sort of like an auxiliary to it all, so it’s not going on stage and being like ‘fuck yeah this is our show and we’re gonna kill it’ it’s more ‘I’m gonna win these people over and we will make them like us’ – honestly, it’s more fun but it’s just fucking exhausting. It’s worked out really well for us – we’ve sold more merch on this tour in the UK, thousands of miles away from home than we ever do in the US, it’s been great touring here.
LC: Just before you played Download you guys won Kerrang!’s Best International Newcomer – what was it like winning an award before you’d even played a show in the country?
Witt: At that point we didn’t even have an album out, I’m not quite sure how that happened, we had so much fun that night.
LC: You guys make some very heavy, very aggressive music that’s really in your face – are there any bands going around at the moment that you feel like you’d really fit into their show well if you toured with them?
James: Black Peaks?
Devin: In This Moment, Butcher Babies, Halestorm. We’ve toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead, Insane Clown Posse, so we’ve ventured outside of our comfort zone and it works as well
Witt: King 810 would be tight, clearly Korn but that’s kinda obvious
LC: Have you ever played any really bizarre shows?
Witt: The entire tour with Insane Clown Posse. It was all rap artists, three rap artists and then ICP but we kinda played in the middle of it?
Devin: We played to a crowd of clowns and I’m not lying to you.
Witt: They actually dress up as clowns, it’s their culture, they paint their faces and it was even harder to win them over, we knew we had a challenge ahead of us every night
Devin: you show up to these gigs and the Dept of Homeland Security were there because of the fact everyone was dressed up similarly in a single venue, it has connotations of a gang so they send people to every show to keep an eye
Witt: Every venue was wrapped in trash bags, their thing is they throw Faygo, a soda you can only get in some small gas stations, comes in three litre bottles and all they do all show is pop the tops off and soak the crowd and the stage and everything in Faygo
LC: Sounds kinda crazy. Now that you’re touring with some more reserved bands like Bullet that don’t soak their fans in soda, are there any places you’ve been on the tour that you’ve really enjoyed going to for shows or sightseeing? I know everyone always goes on about German shows.
Witt: Tielberg, Leipzig, Wiesbaden have been crazy. The reason everyone says German shows are so cool is because the Germans fucking love metal, they don’t have to know who you are to appreciate you
LC: You’ve only been working together for around five years now, and you’ve gone from nobody knowing much about you to suddenly working with Rise, do they help you guys a lot?
Witt: they’re a big team and they do a lot of work for us, they’re a great guiding hand for us because clearly we have no idea what to do in the industry, we just know what we want us to be, and they help us to make more successful and better decisions to get us to what we want.
LC: I actually reviewed the album ‘Smile’ when you put it out in August and I remember a line in that that will probably make you scowl at me now was ‘one of the best nu-metal releases in years’, but the more I listen to the album I just realise it’s a full-blooded metal album with nu-metal influences – is that confusion a common problem you have to deal with?
Witt: Well thankyou so much for saying that.
Devin: We kind of accepted what the sound was at first because we didn’t quite know where it would all go. The first EP was about as nu-metal as we could have made it, the album came around and we realised we wanted to be a heavy rock/metal group so pulled influences from nu-metal, from thrash metal, bands like Megadeth, Pantera, Metallica. As a kid, I grew up on Korn, Limp Bizkit, Powerman 5000, Rammstein, but it pulls through and shows on the record. Yes, we get pigeonholed as nu-metal but we don’t really mind that, even though we consider ourselves as more of a heavy metal/rock act.
Witt: Jesus, just wait for the new album.
LC: Is that gonna be heavier?
Witt: yeah like metal, hard rock, even some stoner shit on there
LC: So the main reason we managed to get this interview really last second is because you guys got involved in our little poll the other day – thanks for that!
Devin: I’ve actually never seen a poll get retweeted by every band involved.
LC: Honestly neither had we – we were going crazy about the response in our group chat! And to think you guys were winning by far until Waterparks got involved – are there any other bands you’d recommend for our readers to go and listen to that are breaking through right now?
Witt: I would really recommend Sylar and Fire From The Gods. The White Noise put out some crazy punky rock music as well.
LC: Is a UK tour with maybe a few of these bands the sort of thing you could pull off?
Witt: I wouldn’t say it was too far off the beaten path.
James: There have certainly been talks of us doing it
Witt: We’ve got more chance of it happening here than at home if I’m honest, but everyone knows that – we have more press, more fans, more buddies over here.
LC: We’ve also got some great small venues over here that I think you guys could destroy.
Witt: Don’t get me wrong big venues are tight and we enjoy them but there’s something special about tiny sweaty angry venues.
Devin: We did Black Heart in London last year and blew like four things, we blew our gear all night
Witt: At first we walked round the venue like we’d love to do a tour around all these kind of venues and then our shit kept blowing up and I was like maybe we don’t wanna tour these venues… It’s all fun though don’t get me wrong, we love it all.
LC: Thanks a lot for the time, even if this is officially the most last second interview I’ve ever done haha – have a good show and enjoy the rest of the tour!