In the second of our ‘Countdown to Bloodstock’ series of exclusive interviews with some of the UK’s brightest emerging metal talents, Emily Castles speaks with Leicester Metal to the Masses winners, Sulvain.
Many congratulations on winning Metal 2 the Masses in Leicester – has it sunk in yet?
Thanks, Emily. We were completely gobsmacked when we were announced as the winners. To be honest we are still in awe from it all. It will probably sink in closer to the time but right this second, we are still pinching ourselves that it’s happening. The competition is Leicester was fierce and is thriving with underground talent, so yeah, definitely a surreal moment for us.
Q: How was the night? What was the most memorable moment or set of the evening?
A: The whole campaign was run exceptionally well. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Simon Yarwood, his team, the venues (Duffy’s bar and The Firebug) and their staff (bar, security, light, and sound engineers) for being extremely professional and making us feel right at home through out our campaign in the Metal 2 The Masses competition this year. The day of the finals was a superb event. You had the 5 competing bands battling it out for their place to play Bloodstock, then you had 5 top guest bands also playing throughout the day, making it one big all-dayer full of riffs. It was mega to be part of it. Our most memorable moment was absolutely hearing our name be called as the finalist, however, the whole damn day will be one not to forget. On a side note, please check out all the bands (competed: Running With Knives, Pluto, Bile Caster and Augurist // Guest bands: Pelugion (playing Sophie stage this year), Ballsdeep, Pemphigoid and our very good friends in From Eden To Exile and heavyweights Krysthla who finished the night off with class)
Q: You’re currently working on your debut album, what can you tell us about it?
A: Yes, we spent 10 consecutive days in the studio. We are extremely proud of it and looking forward to hearing the final mixes. We have already discussed the track listing and order, which when the listeners get to play it for the first time that they feel like they’re on a journey packed with emotion like we did when recording it. The music was written from our own experiences and Skye (vocalist) poured a lot of his emotion into this record. He gave us goosebumps because he packed so much behind each word that he sung. These songs are real and we hope people can relate to it in their own way. All of us collectively when recording this felt the same energy through the whole process and its raw.
Q: How has the recording process gone?
A: It felt like it went really well. We worked extremely hard leading up to recording the album. Individually we all had a goal on how we wanted to perform in the studio, and we can proudly say that it paid off. The countless hours working with the click track in the practice room weekly and at home daily, really made it easy to settle in to as soon as the red light was on. Neil Hudson, the producer and owner of Initiate Audio and Media, knows our sound to the bone and he is fantastic and getting the best out of you. He knows when to push you and the ideas that he contributes to the music are phenomenal. He hears things that no one else does and when it’s added, the track feels bigger than ever and you can’t listen to it without these little pieces, so yeah, we are excited for everyone to hear it for themselves.
Q: Had you been fans of Bloodstock before M2TM – have you been before?
A: Absolutely. It is the best UK metal festival by a country mile! The layout, the bands, safety, the staff…. From the time you parked your vehicle, it’s the best damn 4 days you can have. We have attended year after year and we will keep doing so. We mentioned in our statement to Bloodstock, which can be found on the Bloodstock website, that Bloodstock is the heart of the underground scene. Simon Hall literally travels miles across the UK to judge all the finals of the Metal 2 The Masses competition. That commitment to unsigned bands is untouchable and deserves the upmost respect. It is a mighty fine festival, and if you’re reading this and never attended before, please do so. You’ll feel right at home. There is a public group on Facebook called ‘BMF666’ and we have seen people post that it’s going to be their first time at the festival and so many people give top advice and offer to help in any way they can. It’s wholesome.
Q: Do you have any other gigs or tours planned this year?
A: Yes, we do have a few shows lined up across the UK. Current locations booked: Sheffield, Leicester, Northampton, and Nottingham. There are plans to reach out further the back end of this year. This can all be followed on either our Facebook page or Instagram. Next year will be the year we tour our debut album and hit as many venues and cities as possible.
Q: What can fans expect who may be seeing you at Bloodstock for the very first time?
A: If you are asking for style for people to get a better idea of sound, we’ve had people from all over compare us to Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Down, Black Label Society, Stone Temple Pilots and Kyuss. From those who have heard the album, even Korn got mentioned once or twice. Hopefully, this is a good mix bag for anyone reading this. There’s plenty of riffs to go round, that’s for sure. Regarding the live show, it’s a journey of emotions, as we explained earlier in the interview. We literally give it our all live with energy and crowd interaction, whether that be banging their heads to clapping their hands. We hope that those people who have seen us or will come to see us at Bloodstock that they dig it, join in, enjoy it and hopefully gain new fans. That would be super ace. Thanks for having us, Emily, and thank you to anyone who reads this. We hope to see you on the Sunday. If you see us about, don’t be afraid to come and say hi and chill. It would be our honour!
Sulvain are: (image above, left to right)
Skye Bertram James Day – Vocals
Aaron Flynn – Guitars
Rob Hopkinson – Drums
Mat Williams – Bass
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