The Safety Fire interview

With a mental live show, stated as a ‘must see band’ by yours truly at Crossfire and tipped to be the next big thing by Metal Hammer, UK band The Safety Fire are hot property right now. After putting out an insanely strong debut in Grind The Ocean earlier this year we needed to grab a chat with the eccentric band. Backstage at Hevy festival journalist Emma Wallace caught up with hilarious front man Sean McWeeney, and banterous guitarist Derya Nagle who were suitably dressed in Hawaiian shirts! Here’s what went down…

How have your festival performances gone down this summer?

Sean: Well today we played Hevy, and considering we were on at 12:30 I was pretty pleased with the turn out. I thought people would still be dying in their tents, but it was quite busy.

Deyra: Yeah I mean its always hard when you are a smaller band or on early in the day but that performance went well. I heard it was a lot busier than for the bands at the same time yesterday. Pretty pleased!

Sean: But the problem with playing so early is that you finish early and get drunk early and you still have the whole day and night ahead of you to drink!

Deyra: Just to point out, we aren’t alcoholics. We don’t drink before we go on stage. We’re good boys like that. At Download we played at like half eight in the evening, but we didn’t drink before that, and there was plenty of hanging around before hand that could have been taken up by drinking! Download was cool actually, we played before Gallows and Cancer Bats. It was rammed. It was ace.

The_Safety_Fire_Interivew

The_Safety_Fire_Interivew

Sweet! Guys, I can’t really ignore it anymore, what’s with your attire today?! Hawaiian shirts aren’t that metal!

Deyra: Well we are at a festival so why not eh?! Hawaiian shirts are where it’s at. The sun’s out today, and I think you can thank us for that.

Sean: The shirts have a nice little story behind them. We originally bought them all in Florida when we were touring there.

Deyra: And someone told us they have a magical power. And earlier on today none other than Andrew W.K. gave us the nod of approval. You know one of those looks that are like ‘Yes Sir, you look mighty fine.’

Sean: Indeed, it was actually a point and a nod. You can’t get better than that. These shirts were actually bought at a Salvation Army charity store on a highway. Someone might have died wearing this shirt. They cost the equivalent of about £1. And they are beautiful shirts so you can’t miss a bargain like that. So essentially, what we are doing to metal is bringing the Floridian sun over to England. I think it might catch on you know, they are gorgeous and I’d love it if people turned up to shows in floral shirts, i’ts injecting a whole lot of colour into a goth club. All the hardcore kids are in tie dye, but I’m not sure, you need something more formal, I mean these shirts have buttons. They might make an appearance on the BTBAM tour!

They are beautiful indeed…Well you’ve bought us on quite nicely to the tour. How are you feeling about that? Excited?!

Deyra: Its going to be a lot of fun! We know the Periphery guys really well who are on the tour. Playing at Shepherds Bush Empire will be special. We’ve played all sorts of venues in London, right from the bottom to some of the best.

Sean: It’s great to play to a passionate crowd after years of playing to one man and his dog.

Deyra: And to be on tour with Between The Buried And Me will be something else. We feel that musically we are closely matched. They’re one of those bands where we think our style is very similar and I imagine their fans will be open minded and listen to what we do and enjoy it.

Are there any bands out there at the moment you think deserve a plug?

Deyra: Let’s go with all our old tour buddies Rise To Remain and Bleed From Within.

Sean: No not Bleed From Within! I’m starting a tongue-in-cheek hate campaign against them so plugging them doesn’t really work! They are from this area in the north of England called Scotland. You can barely understand them when they talk. They say ‘Hello we are Bleed From Within’, but it sounds more like ‘Bleed From Wuthwon’ or something bizarre like that.

Deyra: Sean isn’t actually a dick. We take the piss out of them and they do it to us. We tend to do it in interviews the most. I think this is about round three of TSF v BFW. Scott, the pretty front man, stole a pair of Sean’s sunglasses, he didn’t like that very much. So now, we have a bit of banter with the guys, a bit of friendly beef. Make sure they find out about this though, make sure you get me in there quoted as saying ‘Bleed From Within are from Northern England’.

Sean: But yes, they are a great band. We’re just better haha!

Catch The Safety Fire on tour with Periphery and Between The Buried And Me at the following shows:

OCTOBER

1st, Reading – Sub 89
2nd, Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms
3rd, Glasgow – The Garage
4th, Newcastle – O2 Academy 2
5th, Manchester – O2 Club Academy
6th, Leeds – Cockpit
7th, Bristol – O2 Academy
8th, Southampton – The Brook

NOVEMBER
2nd, London – Shepherds Bush Empire

Andrew WK video interview

He has been branded the ‘master of positivity’ the man who sleeps the least and parties hard the most. Whatever you think of his bloodied face and chipper attitude to life on earth, the multi-talented musical artist that is Andrew WK made one of the most raucous rock albums of all time ‘I Get Wet‘ back in 2001. ‘Party Hard’ may still be a dancefloor smash and found in DJ bags as ammunition to feed a frenzy in clubs today, but where does AWK’s thoughts lie on animal welfare, skateboarding in the Olympics, sex life on the road and classic three-spurt art amongst other topics?

Emma Wallace caught up with him on a hotel sofa following his latest live appearance at the Hevy festival to answer the questions from our Facebook page subscribers. Click play to find out.

Hevy Festival 2012 Highlights

Its fair to say that Hevy Festival was a resounding success this year. Plenty of ‘partying hard’ was had and the sun shone throughout! With three stages of awesome music, we though we’d bring you the highlights, the bands who really stood out, so that you can be sure to check them out at any future shows or events…

FRIDAY 3rd AUGUST

Deaf Havana

Described by some critics as ‘McFly with tattoos’, Deaf Havana are a little out of place here, especially coming on as headliners after Deez Nuts. Leaving their original southern hardcore influences behind and filling their set with pop-rock genius, Deaf Havana impress the critics and cynics a like. Old school fans will be a little disappointed that tracks from ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’ dominated, but when James Veck-Gilodi has the balls to perform a beautiful solo rendition of `Friends Like These’, a vulnerable yet triumphant highlight of the festival is being witnessed for all to see.

Trapped Under Ice

With a hench front man and chugging bass lines, basically, you don’t fuck with TUI. The kids are in their element during Trapped Under Ice’s set, these guys know how to do hardcore, everyone is moving, this is the real deal, a blistering combination of punishing punk and a whole lot of fun. Perfect.

Bleed From Within

After a small amount of heckling from the crowd due their strong Scottish accents, Bleed From Within launch into a powerful performance, a master class in modern metal. Front man Scott Kennedy doesn’t stay still for more than a second and gives the set some real guts. Riffs in the vein of As I Lay Dying blow away any remaining hangovers. After a dominating set here and having recently signed to Raw Power Management and Century Media, expect these guys to become metal titans with their next release.

Last Witness

Hevy’s line up is full of hardcore bands. Some bad ones, some average ones and some real treats. Last Witness are right up there with the best. Adrian Cecil goes absolutely nuts on bass whilst the crowd go a even more insane. The bizarre competition to ride an inflatable dolphin on top of the crowd isn’t needed, everyone is two-stepping and surfing over the barrier as it is. The bouncers certainly earned their money during Last Witness’s set.

SATURDAY 4th AUGUST

Seahaven

Seahaven’s emotive post-punk is blissful in the summer sun. ‘It’s Over’ is a calming yet tormenting track that highlights their set. Their melodies are unmatched throughout the whole weekend and fully deserve the recognition they receive from the Hevy crowd.

Bury Tomorrow

These guys had a rough deal at Hevy. First off the sound cuts out just as front man Dani Winter Bates launches into his first scream. But ever the charismatic front man, it doesn’t faze him; he interacts with the crowd at ease whilst the techies get to work. Once everything is sorted the set is victorious, Mehdi Vismara performs exquisite solos with the crowd lapping up every note with glee. Catastrophically for the band, the plug is pulled as the set over runs during the time of highest momentum. The last song is cut short and the crowd are left in disgruntled. Bury Tomorrow deserved more than just a 20 minute set, however the cheers that resound long after the band leave the stage emphasizes that Bury Tomorrow are the next big thing in British metalcore.

Glassjaw

Despite creating two genre defining albums, recent live outings from Daryl Palumbo and co. have, at best, been mixed. Fortunately, the band delivered a bursting performance of chaotic tracks taken from their back-catalogue, including ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence‘ and highlight ‘Siberian Kiss‘.

Andrew WK

Finishing the night, we were treated to a masterclass in partying from the king of not giving a shit, Mr Andrew WK. Opening with ‘It’s Time To Party‘, followed by ‘Party Hard‘ and ramming the theme down our collective throats with ‘Party Til’ You Puke‘, we got exactly what we were hoping for from the set. Chaotic, ridiculous but ultimately a insane amount of fun, the night drew to a close as a sea of sweat and smiles.

SUNDAY 6th AUGUST

Hawkeyes

Despite this being the third festival the band had played this weekend, Leeds bruisers Hawkeyes played one of the most compelling sets of the Hevy. Setting up his microphone in the middle of the audience, singer and guitarist Paul Astick encouraged the crowd to get as close as possible, creating a raucous basement show feel in the middle of the English countryside.

Listener

On paper, an experimental spoken-word act stands out on the Hevy line-up, but with the crowed pouring in to witness them at the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage proves they were an inspired booking for the festival. Rousing, affecting and impossible to take your eyes off, Listener are a band to be genuinely excited about.

Hundred Reasons

Although they have put out four albums in their career, Hundred Reasons are destined to be remembered for just one. Fortunately, said album ‘Ideas Above Our Station‘ was one of the finest pieces of British post-hardcore of the noughties. Realistic enough to know that they’ll never recapture that time, yet smart enough to give fans what they want, Hundred Reasons played IAOS in full to incredible effect. Despite the waves of nostalgia, the 12 songs still sounded as fresh as the first time they were played and were delivered with boundless energy, with the excitement of the band only matched by that of the crowd.

Vinnie Caruana

Vinne Caruana, the I Am The Avalanche and former Movielife frontman loves to tell a story. So much so that he only managed to play around six songs in the entire set, whilst treating us to tales of New Jersey and his ex-wife. Despite complaining that he’d ruined his voice, the songs he played still held up, with Movielife anthems including ‘Walking On Glass‘ proving a real treat.

Descendents

After a disappointing return last year, it was great to see the Descendents on incredible form. The Californian legends most definitely deserved to play to more people than they did (sadly, this was a true for a lot of the bands over the weekend), but hearing tracks like ‘Everything Sux‘, ‘Hope‘ and of course ‘I’m The One‘ live will be a memory that anyone who still holds a torch for the band will never forget.

WORDS: Emma Wallace & Joe Parry
PHOTOS: Cat McKenzie

7 Seconds, Madball, H2O live at Underworld, London

7 Seconds / Madball / H2O
London, Underworld

6th August 2012


It’s safe to say that London feels like a pretty special place to be this Monday evening, a line up of this calibre is the stuff most festivals are made of and not a regular night in the subterranean confines of the Underworld. Each of these hardcore heavy hitters is capable of headlining this place on their own so it comes as no surprise that the venue is packed to the gills and the sold out sign is up on the door.

H2O are billed here tonight as the rather obvious ‘Thicker Than Water’ and are a last minute addition to this already strong bill. The NYHC posi-core outfit are as entertaining as ever, vocalist Toby Morse bounces from left to right as they tear through ‘1995’, ‘F.T.T.W.’ and ‘Fair Weathered Friend’ oozing PMA from every pore. You have to love hardcore back slapping and both Madball and 7 Seconds are given their props tonight as H2O rip out covers of ‘Pride’ and ‘Satyagraha’ respectively.

Next up are old school bruisers Madball, front man Freddy Cricien inciting the now heaving crowd on the Underworlds floor. For forty five minutes they stomp with an anger and energy that’d put their younger contemporaries to shame. A set culled from their whole back catalogue is delivered with venom tonight, ‘We The People’, ‘Spit On Your Grave’ and ‘Set It Off’ are a steamroller of riffs and beatdowns that incite the crowd into whirling dervishes. Cricien leaves the stage to rapturous applause, sweat dripping from his shit eating grin.

You have to pity any band that has to follow the runaway train that was Madball, this is something 7 Seconds vocalist Kevin Seconds acknowledges as the Californian melodic hardcore four piece take the stage to a slightly diminished audience. Undeterred the four piece rip through a set of classics including ‘The Crew’ and ‘In Your Face’ that soon get the remaining crowd whipped up into a suitably moshing mood. Their faster, melodic take on punk a welcome tonic to Madball testosterone fuelled set. All in all this was a stonking night of hardcore royalty from the old to newer school, from speed to crunch, that shows that this movement is as alive and well as it has ever been.

Words: Miles Hackett

Interview: Sharks

With influences ranging between The Clash, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division and Black Flag, the Leamington Spa quartet, Sharks, are right up our street. We caught up with the James Mattock (lead vocals and guitar) and Andrew Bayliss (guitar) backstage at Hevy Festival before their set to discuss their album No Gods, signing to Rise Records and their plans for the future…

So for those who don’t know much about Sharks, if you could describe your band in three words, what would you say?

James: God I don’t know….

Andrew: Well, I’m going to go all cheesy and say, ‘Rock. And. Roll’. Sounds so cheesy I know, but it does sum us up quite nicely.

You’ve been on tour with some awesome bands, who would you say are the most inspiring bands you’ve toured with?

James: Oh I don’t know, there are so many… but Social Distortion was cool. Gallows, The Gaslight Anthem…

Andrew: We’ve been so lucky with tours, we’ve had some really good ones. We’ve had a mixed bag, lots of different genres and plenty of big names.

You’re signed to Rise Records, they are currently famous for their metalcore bands, although they do have some sweet punk bands like The Bouncing Souls. What was it that swayed you to Rise Records?

Andrew: They were just very enthusiastic and passionate about wanting to put out our records. We were a little skeptical at first because as you say their roster does lean more towards metalcore, and at the time they hadn’t signed The Bouncing Souls and other bands like that. We were one of the first bands for them to sign that was different to what they had been doing but they were so passionate we went with it.

James: Yeah, we knew of their aspirations to branch out and we were proud to be the band they wanted to branch out with, so yeah, we just went for it! They are a very good label if you want to attempt to crack America. So far they’ve helped us a lot. The only negative thing about signing to Rise Records is that people might see our video on Rise Records Youtube etc and then be a bit confused, like,’Hang on, this doesn’t sound like Of Mice & Men, where the fuck is the breakdown?!’.

Andrew: We were just enthusiastic for people to hear the record, and Rise really wanted to get it out there. We’re pleased to have signed to them.

How has the overall reception been for your latest record ‘No Gods’?

James: Overall its been great! Even these more sort of hardcore kids are into it, I’ve heard they regard it as their ‘chill out’ music, which is a little odd as essentially we are still a punk band! But whatever, as long as people are getting into it, that’s cool!

Andrew: I’m still really proud of that record. We went in with something that is the polar opposite to what we put out, but I think that’s for the best. Brian McTernan, the producer, really helped to reign us in and get a more focused sound, because to start with, looking back it was more of just a jam!

James: I can’t put my finger on it, there’s material that has inspired us from all over. Some really old stuff too. We wrote it over a few years, whereas the current record we are writing over a smaller time scale, like two months! So its hard to say what our influences were when its such a long time span. We were just aiming for a solid debut, a timeless guitar record.

Andrew: We wanted the production raw, we wanted to walk on that line between a nicely produced record and something that is still quite alive. Kind of like The Gaslight Anthem, although they definitely have a different sound, its that kind of guitar record.

Are there plans in the pipeline for new material and tours?

James: Yeah, its going good. I guess we are about half way through a record. We’ll aim for about 20 songs, then cut back.

Andrew: We want to get it wrapped up as quick as possible to keep the positive attitude going and get people to hear new stuff. As much as we like ‘No Gods’ we aren’t going to sit on it for too long.

James: We want it written by the end of the year, and I guess we’ll have to see where we are financially, we might have to record it ourselves. At the moment we are focusing on getting the best songs we can to get out there as quickly as possible.

Andrew: We aren’t on the road as much as we have been, so we are using all this down time to write. Although saying that, we are heading out to Australia soon which we are so looking forward to, and then Japan after that!

James: Hopefully we’ll have a UK/Euro tour soon, maybe November time.

WORDS: EMMA WALLACE

Seahaven UK Tour Dates

If you read our preview of Hevy you’ll notice that we highly recommend Seahaven as a ‘Must Watch Band’. The Californian quartet combine post-punk, indie sensibilities and a touch of hardcore to perfection (think Brand New/Crime In Stereo) and have an impressive reputation when it comes to live shows.

Hevy is the bands’ debut performance over on our shores but Seahaven have just confirmed they will extending their stay in the UK by joining Balance and Composure, Pianos Become The Teeth and Departures on tour. The dates are as follows:

August
4th Kent, Hevy Music Festival
5th Bristol, The Fleece
6th Leeds, Cockpit 2
7th Glasgow, Stereo
8th Manchester, Moho Live
9th Sheffield, Corporation
10th London, The Borderline

WORDS:EMMA WALLACE

Hevy Festival Announces Final Additions To Line Up

Brutality Will Prevail, Broken Teeth, Demoraliser, Napoleon, Brotherhood Of The Lake, Grade, Acoda, Page 44 and Never Means Maybe are the last of the bands to be added to this years Hevy which takes place between August 03 and 06 at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent.

Although all are worth watching, out of the latest additions, the bands we most recommend catching are Brotherhood of the Lake and Demoraliser. Brotherhood of the Lake for their heart-wrenching emotive hardcore that commentates on dark subjects such as depression with great honesty. And Seige of Amida Records signed Demoraliser for their bone-crushingly heavy metalcore.

So the final line-up is insanely strong with the bill including Deez Nuts, Deaf Havana, Sharks, Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino, Madball and Devil Sold His Soul plus all the other bands we mentioned above and on our must watch list. Here at Crossfire HQ we’re pumped and if the weather stays this beautiful (fingers crossed!!) Hevy is sure as hell going to be a weekend to remember. Tickets are still available, what are you waiting for? Pick one up now!

WORDS: EMMA WALLACE

Hevy Festival: Must See Bands

Written by EMMA WALLACE

So Hevy is only a few weeks away and after several festivals (including Download & Isle of Wight Festival) being complete wash-outs this year, Hevy have decided to defy the elements and gain a roof!

A statement on the official Hevy website reads, “Using production wizardry and festival witchcraft, we’ve put a roof over every stage for this year’s Hevy Festival! We’ve merged our 4 existing stages into 3, with 2 alternating Main Stages under one roof (which means there are now no clashes for all major bands) and our Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage boasting it’s own tent. All this without compromising set times!”.

So now we know that we aren’t going to get too soaked at the festival, which bands are on the must see list? Obviously main stage headliners Andrew WK and Descendents should be seen- this goes without saying but there are plenty of other acts across the board that should make it onto your timetable. Crossfire reveals all.

Glassjaw

After tearing up Hevy in 2010, the mighty Glassjaw return to destroy the Rock Sound stage on Saturday. Although combining multiple genres including screamo, punk and psychedelic rock, Glassjaw are most often celebrated for their hardcore roots. The band are nothing short of iconic in the hardcore world, with many present day artists taking inspiration from these legends. Known for their emotive yet ferocious records and aggressive -and at times insane live shows- Glassjaw are definitely on our must watch list.

The Safety Fire

After touring relentlessly with the likes of The Arusha Accord, Periphery, The HAARP Machine and Xerath, The Safety Fire have slowly but surely started to make an impressive name for themselves amongst technical and progressive metal fans. Their debut album ‘Grind The Ocean’ has been complimented by many critics for its punishing riffs and soaring vocal melodies and will most certainly impress this year’s festival crowd too.

Trapped Under Ice

If there is one band on the line up that will demand you take notice it’s Trapped Under Ice. Last seen over in the UK as support to Your Demise where they dominated an obviously strong line up that also included Man Overboard & Basement, Trapped Under Ice define pure and gutsy hardcore. Hevy is the only summer festival in 2012 where you can catch this great band, don’t miss out.

Sharks

Raw and emotive, Sharks are a true DIY British punk band. Their critically acclaimed album ‘No Gods’ (which was released earlier this year via Rise Records) has finally got heads turning in the right direction. Although tamer than many other bands on the Hevy bill, Sharks do still have a strong bite to their The Clash/The Gaslight Anthem; Brit-pop infused rock and roll.

The Smoking Hearts

Despite a continuous touring schedule, every The Smoking Hearts show is just as crazy as the next. Famous for their rather destructive performance, expect to see instruments thrown around, the band in the pit and the crowd on the stage. Despite only forming in 2009 they have already shared the stage with huge names such as Gallows, Bring Me The Horizon & The Misfits. If you want some insane rock n roll to party to check these guys out on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage.

Bleed From Within

If you are after a bit of straight forward metal with no strings attached, Bleed From Within are for you. This hardworking Scottish band have shared the stage with bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Suicide Silence, After The Burial, I Killed The Prom Queen and All That Remains and have 2 EPs and 2 Studio albums under their belts. Bleed From Within are currently working on their third album and will hopefully preview new material to the festival crowd.

Gnarwolves

Gnarwolves are awesome. Not only for having a brilliant band name and for their love of skateboarding but for their ridiculously energetic pop punk. Having already shared the stage with the likes of Touché Amore, Basement & The Wonder Years, hype has started to develop around these Brighton boys. Check them out as they open up the Punktastic stage on Friday and see why their latest EP ‘CRU’ recently entered out Buzz Chart.

Seahaven

Seahaven are a buzz band at the moment, one of those underground groups who will soon burst into the limelight for all to see. Forming in 2009 as the brainchild of singer/songwriter Kyle Soto, Seahaven caught the attention of Run for Cover Records (Tigers Jaw, Title Fight, Man Overboard) after self-releasing the EP ‘Ghost’ and went on to release their debut LP ‘Winter Forever’ via RFC records. Hevy have treated fans to a bit of exclusivity as Seahaven’s performance will be their first on UK shores!

Hevy Festival announce first line up

hevyfestival2011We had a rad time at Hevy Fest last year and this year looks set to compete with a line-up that shows great potential for another fun weekend packed with great music.

Back in Port Lympne in Kent, at the Wild Animal Park, Saturday night will be co-headlined by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Architects. Dillinger aren’t even doing any other European festivals this summer. NONE! The rest of the line-up is looking like this so far:

The Dillinger Escape Plan (European Festival Exclusive), Architects (co-headline), Bouncing Souls, We Are The Ocean, Zebrahead, Capdown, Ceremony (UK Festival Exclusive), Polar Bear Club, Your Demise, Rise To Remain, Touche Amore (UK Festival Exclusive), La Dispute (UK Festival Exclusive), November Coming Fire, Awaken Demons (UK Festival Exclusive), Man Overboard, Lemuria, Brutality Will Prevail, Spycatcher, Death Is Not Glamorous, Rot In Hell, Polar, Cheap Girls, Heart In Hand, Hang The Bastard and Hildamay.

Weekend camping tickets are priced at £89 and will include free entry to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park for the weekend. Tickets will be available online from www.hevy.co.uk / 0843 221 0100 / and from selected HMV stores across the UK.

Probably worth it for Dillinger, Architects, Ceremony, Polar Bear Club, Touche Amore and La Dispute alone. OK, that’s quite a lot already. Roll on the announcement of the rest of the 80 band strong bill!