West-London based EXIST IMMORTAL fuse catchy melodies, soaring epic vocals, technical riffing and all out groove to create a unique maelstrom of musicianship. Boasting a reputation quite unlike many other bands of their size. The past year has seen them relentlessly tour all over the place, bringing their ferocious live show across Europe and Asia.
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
We’re Exist Immortal, the hair swinging, headbanging, big riffing, guitar shredding, vocal soaring, technical-ish melodic metal band from London. (Thank the gods for commas.)
You’re called Exist Immortal, how did you come to choose this name?
The name actually came from an old member of the band who founded the whole project. It originally had something to do with a concept that he had in mind but never got round to explaining and after he left we just liked it and stuck with it. It’s actually nice to have such an atypical name compared to the bands we tend to play with.
You recently released a ‘Deluxe Edition’ of your debut album (Darkness of an Age), how did you decide what extra material to put on this?
The extra material was a couple of things. The 2 new songs were ones that came about with our next full release in mind (whenever that may be), whereas the 2 reworked ones are us expanding on songs that we thought could do with a second look. Fractured in particular is really the song we originally felt that it should be, but hadn’t had the opportunity to do justice to.
What makes this release a ‘Deluxe’ version compared to it originally?
It’s the new artwork and the new songs. It seemed like the best way to get some new music and ideas out there without committing to a new full release or an individual new song that would end up orphaned between releases.
Who designed the artwork for your ‘Darkness of an Age’?
The artwork came from our good friend Simon Atkinson of Glass Nails. He absolutely nailed it (pun not intended) on both versions of DOAA.
Your touring schedule has taken you all over the place, which country would you say has been the most fun to play in and why?
Probably India for the sheer madness of the place. The tour we did out there came together insanely quickly, and so after it was booked the next thing we knew we were in Bangalore trying not to die as we crossed the road, before being set up in a 5 star hotel and playing a festival. Getting smashed and watching Hoobastank with the hotel’s owner was the utterly weird cherry on a frankly surreal cake.
I just watched your lyric video to ‘The Void’, it’s a punishingly brutal track which breaks into some really melodic sections, which do you prefer, the heavier side or the more melodic?
We’ve always given them equal weight to keep our music fairly dynamic. We’re a heavy band, there’s no getting around that, but the juxtaposition of the lighter, melodic sections and the heavier side of things serves to enhance the impact of each part. One works much better when used with the other.
Have you had any ‘Spinal Tap’ Moments? If yes, please share!
While we’ve never had any drummers spontaneously combust, we have had a few hairy moments on stage. Most recently, the other guitarist in the band managed to break 5 strings at once 30 seconds into the set. It was awesome.
Which act/band made YOU want to get a band together?
While I’m not sure about what made me want to get a band together, it’s a combination of Jeff Loomis and Dave Gilmour that made me want to learn guitar. Once that started happening, the whole band thing followed naturally.
Give me 3 words that best describe you as a band?
Heavy. Melodic. Hairy. (Or “Drunken Hairy Idiots”, depending on when you meet us)
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
Definitely a gorilla that could do sign language. Dogs are great, but if they could sing at you to get attention, they’d drive you nuts. Also, I find the idea of a gorilla signing at you hilarious for some reason.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
God damn, that’s a hard question. One of my all time favourite albums is Arboreal by The Flashbulb. It’s a masterpiece and in my opinion is the single best piece of electronic music ever made, period. As for the entirety of music, we’d have to get drunk and argue about it to settle on anything.
You made a music video for your latest single ‘The Void’, what is it like making a music video
Making music videos is an extremely meticulous and almost alien process. You need to perform like you’re on stage which, when you’re in a room with a camera and some lights pointed at you is harder than it seems. That all said, it is very good fun.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’ but could only use members called Pete or Jimmy, who would be in it?
One of my favourite tracks is ‘Legions’, tell me how you went about writing this track?
This came about much like most of our other songs – we started with a couple of riffs and just rolled with it until we had something that looked like a song. It just so happened that the riffs were horrid enough to evolve into what is most like our heaviest and angriest song.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
Well I’ve got a copy of The Rocky Horror Show on CD, but I’ve got no problem whatsoever admitting that it’s one of my favourite things ever.
The ‘Dream Sequence’ EP received rave reviews, do you feel your momentum has added to the power of this album release?
Dream Sequence was an extremely encouraging start, that’s for sure! We planned for Darkness of an Age to follow on from Dream Sequence, as it effectively continues the story we started in the EP – it’s the vision that foreshadows all the terrible stuff we talk about in Darkness. The fact that it was very well received encouraged us to stick with what we originally had planned in both a musical and concept sense.
What is your idea of hell? (please don’t say answering interview questions!)
Sitting in a departure lounge waiting for a plane that’s never going to come. The same could be applied to a train platform. No thanks.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
What was the first gig you ever went to?
The first gig I went to was the Beastie Boys at Wembley Arena when I was 13. Don’t think I could have gotten a better introduction to live music really.
What was the first guitar riff you heard that sent shivers down your spine, and still gives you a ‘funny feeling’ when you hear it today?
Hmm, that’s a tricky one. The intro riff in Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd is one of my all time favourites. It’s just luscious – so peaceful and hopeful, despite being the start of such an incredibly sad song. Oh, and the first time I heard the main riff in “$” by Cloudkicker on the “]]][[[“ album blew my face off to a whole new level. It’s a riff that’s both heavy and emotionally charged. Delicious. It does lose points for being called fucking $ though.
Where did you record ‘Darkness of an Age’ and what made you choose that studio?
We recorded at Floodgate Audio which is the studio run by our singer Meyrick. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a member who does that for a living, complete with studio. It was a choice born of necessity and convenience really.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
There are lots. I’ve been recently enjoying the hell out of Carpenter Brut, but also worth checking out are Black Peaks, Toska, Crib 45, Monasteries, The Colour Line and The Flashbulb. There are too many unbelievably good bands about that no one’s heard of that are mind-blowingly good.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
If anyone had our music on cassette I’d like to meet them and ask how they travelled into the alternate universe where we were about in the 80s. That aside, it would be cool to know that someone in a completely different discipline to us who was at the top of their game – Ridley Scott or David Fincher, say – was into our music and took inspiration of some kind from it.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
I’d say it was like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. On the one hand it can be totally pleasant and be an inspiring and motivating friend to you, but on the other, it’s brutal enough to stab six people through the heart at once and be stoked about it.
What are your plans for festivals throughout 2015? Any UK ones we can expect to see you at?
Can’t say a whole lot more than the fact that we do have plans. Infuriatingly, we can’t go into any more details for the time being. We will be about, that’s for sure!
Deluxe Edition of debut album 'Darkness of an Age' or not, Monty was going to answer our quickfire question round, we dragged him, kicking and screaming, strapped him to a chair and unleashed them on him like a pack of rabid dogs, okay a bit of an exaggeration, here's how he got on....
Moshpit or Wall of Death?
Wall of Death.
Drum machine or the real deal?
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Sunday roast
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Manny Pacquaio or Floyd Mayweather?
Car or Motorbike?
Frozen or Cinderella?
Cinderella. Glass shoe swag.
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
UFC or WWE?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Monty for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish the band every success for the forthcoming festival dates (wherever and whenever they may be!), I have put a list of their social media channels together, please take a few minutes browsing them, I'm sure there's something for everyone....
Interview by Mark Wincott