CAMBION have been making a name for themselves in the metal world since forming in 2009. They have played up and down the UK and a couple of times in Europe, sharing stages with the likes of Scar Symmetry, Circle of Contempt, Evile, Sacred Mother tongue,Breed 77, and toured with Chris Jericho’s band, Fozzy, and many more....
We caught up with the guys after their set at the Mike James Rock Show Zombie Halloween Ball in Exeter where we shared Haribo sweets, talked about Spinal Tap moments and made one of them answer some tough quickfire questions, here's how we got on....
I’ve got sweeties guys…..’FangTastics’ or Trick or Treat Haribo’s? Infact have both of the packets otherwise I’ll end up eating the lot!
Wow, thanks man, we need some sugar!
So, you're called Cambion, you formed in 2009, you're based in Exeter, you’re Elliot, Mark, Jonny and Frank, what else can you tell me about the band?
We all went to the same music academy (AMS Exeter - Academy of Music and Sound) , not all at the same time but we all attended, we’re their lovechild!
Is it a bit like the Brit School of music?
It's a really good college, they teach you how to play your instruments really well, it’s a dedicated place that really get the best out of you.
Well it obviously worked as you sounded tight tonight….
Thanks, it's basically a guitar school as everyone else seems to leave after a while and then all you’re left with is a large group of guitarists…..which is okay if you like hanging with other guitarists all the time!
The word ‘Cambion’ according to a well known online encyclopedia is the offspring of an incubus and a human, is this what you all are?
The name is quite weird as none of us can remember how it came about, we needed a new name ages ago and one morning, we all woke up and we had this name, where it came from, we just cannot remember!
Which other band names were in the melting pot?
Can’t remember any of them! Just loads of random stuff that we stumbled across on Google and Wikipedia!
You should have tried ‘bandnamemaker.com’, we just did and came up with ‘Bubblegum Prozac’, we’re gonna go a long way!
Your ‘Virus’ EP was released around Halloween in 2012, where did you record it?
It was recorded in Studio 6 in Swindon by a guy called Stu McKay, he has done everything that we’ve done except our first EP (2010), we went up there for ‘Last Rites’ (previous EP) and we were also up there earlier this year to record 2 new tracks that will be available as part of a re-released version of ‘Virus’, one of the new tracks we played tonight ‘Mechanics of Extinction’, this should be out in March, we’ll also have a single release and a music video around the same time so keep your ears to the ground!
What about your debut album? Is this still due early 2015?
Hopefully, we want to do more of the album ourselves, in order to make it a more ‘personal’ album I guess, this way, not only are we more involved in the writing but also in the recording of it too. We’ll be using Studio 6 in Swindon again but as I said, we would like to do as much of the process as we can without sacrificing quality, this we hope will be out mid to late 2015. It all depends on how well the re-release of the Virus EP goes, if it’s looking really good, we may decide to tour off the back of it and in the meantime, postpone the album release until a later date.
What festivals are you planning on doing for 2015?
For 2015? not sure yet, we’ve done so may this year, they’ve all been great. There are some things in the pipeline that we aren’t allowed to tell anyone about just yet, as I said, we did loads this year and we are carefully considering which ones we would like to do as we are conscious that we don’t really want to go back to all of them again and flood them with the same material, we hope to tour off the back of the Virus re-release and come the album release date, we’ll hopefully be doing some more promotional activity. Keep an eye on the site as we hope to be able to make some announcements in the New Year.
Which social media platforms help you get your music out there?
Facebook is great for communicating with fans, we have loads on YouTube from this year but I guess it’s Facebook that we use most, we don’t really like it that much but what can you do?
Have you seen or heard of a new platform called ‘ELLO’? It’s being billed as the alternative to FB, no advertising, bit of a less commercial feel to it, may be worth a look?
I see that you endorse Schecter guitars, does this mean that they send you an unlimited supply of guitars for free?
Ha, I wish! That came about a few years ago when we toured with FOZZY (Chris Jericho’s band), we were offered some endorsements from companies who were involved with the tour and these weren’t really to our liking so when the tour ended, we contacted a few companies that DID tickle our fancies and told them what we’d been offered and to ask what they might be able to offer us. We did this with Schecter and they offered us a really good deal on guitars.
I see that Schecter have a LOT of acts on their books!
Yes, there are loads, we also have a deal with a company called Double Slit Guitars who are based in Guildford and he’s been making custom guitars in his garage for years, we met up with him at Tech Fest and we started chatting to him and since, he is making me a custom guitar and lending us guitars for videos etc. Same with Zilla Cabs, unsure how we met up with Paul, I think we just sent him a message and from there we all ended up with Zilla cabs as our back line, a really nice guy to know and work with. He’s up for anything, you can chat to him about any crazy ideas and he’ll try to accommodate your vision….
Steph Knight at Domino PR does all your promotional activity, did she find you or did you find her?
I think we met at Tech Fest, a day after we played she approached us and asked us what we had in place re PR and at the time she was working for a company called Hold Tight PR, she started up Domino PR and we got in touch again and she has been running our PR since, she’s doing a really good job. I think that the timing was right as well, we were in the process of planning our album and it all just slotted together nicely.
You’ve toured the UK and Europe with some pretty impressive names, who would you say you learnt the most from?
Meshuggah….they educated us well, they played Euroblast and they were headlining on the Sunday, it was just a masterclass in how things should be done, it wasn’t like watching a gig, it was like a tutorial on how to play your instruments properly, how you setup a gig, they’re an incredible live band.
I also think that we learned a lot from when we toured with Fozzy, this was the biggest tour that we’ve done and their guitar tech ’Serge’ was the most helpful guy ever. Back in 2010-2011, we were a little naive and we didn’t know as much about setting up equipment and preparing a live show and he just took time out to talk to give us some tips and tricks on HOW to get it right, this really opened our eyes as to how big bands do things, everything is so orchestrated, everything is the same every night. It makes such a difference, you have smaller bands that are just breaking through and it’s so important to just make everything a repeatable process every time, changing guitars quickly, the lights and mixing, the crew, working together seamlessly to get things done and put on a great show for people to enjoy.
You hit the nail on the head there, it's not just the band that make the event, it’s the unseen crews of roadies, techs, sound and light people and others that make it possible!
We were here at 3pm this afternoon watching Skindred setup and soundcheck and you never realise just how many people are behind them, preparing everything so they can come out and do what they do best. That’s what makes the difference!
What do you all enjoy most about touring?
Playing gigs to different people and TEA, we’re about the LEAST rock n’ roll band in history, after a show, once we’ve packed down, we like nothing more than a cup of tea and a sit down!
If push came to shove, what do you feel the best album EVER is?
Not THAT question……I’d probably say Dark Side of the Moon by Floyd, either that or 10000 Days by Tool (Jonny), I’ll have to admit that I don't listen to that much metal music at home, between playing gigs and writing metal music, I just don’t feel the need to go out and listen to MORE of it, everyone I’ve listened to has been analysed so critically, their playing style etc, I just don’t get as much from it as I used to (Elliott)
I’ll just put down Katherine Jenkins for you then! (laughter)....
I do have a CD by TOTO in my car that has been in the player for months now….
You can’t beat a bit of ‘Africa’ can you?
It’s such a great album to relax to rather than listening to the same sort of music that I play and tour with all the time, just nice to get a different sound every now and then. Then, when you go back to writing, you feel a little fresher.
Have you ever had any Spinal Tap moments?
Plenty, in a previous band, I fell backwards off the drum riser, the gig was so cramped, one leg of the drum stool fell off the riser and I fell against the canvas of the tent that we were playing in, a couple of guys came running up to help me out and managed to push the stool back on the riser and just about get me back on to carry on playing!
Nobody has blown up yet then?
Marc was nominated to take part in a short quick fire round of questions....
Ozzy or Lemmy - Ozzy
Robert de Niro ro Al Pacino - De Niro
Hiccups or Sneezing - Hiccups
Camping or Glamping - Camping
Kerrang or Metal Hammer - Metal Hammer
Halloween or Christmas - None
Zombies or Vampires - Vampires
Trick or Treat - Treat
God or Google - Google
Keep your eyes on their website for more announcements in the new year about future gigs and festivals and anything else they deem newsworthy....
A big thank you to the band for sparing their time after their set to chat to us, we wish them every success in the future!