As you'll probably be aware, musicmuso.com is helping to promote an East London festival called SHINDIGNATION which takes over 4 venues with over 40 acts on Saturday August 5th. To generate a bit of interest, we thought it would be great to chat to a few of the bands who are to play there. We heard that an awesome heavy rock band called AT THE SUN were featuring and we just had to get in touch and have a chat with them, read on to see how we got on....
To make things easier to understand, we chatted to:
AM = Alex Matthews (Bass), KH = Kieron Heavens (Guitar) AKA Justin Lee Collins (all will become clear as you read on...), HD = Harry Dale (vocals)
Other members (who were otherwise engaged at the time of the interview taking place): Chet Jogia (Lead Guitar), Craig Steen (Drums)
You’re a London based 5 piece heavy rock band, that’s about as much as we know about you, please tell us something about the band or a band member that not many people know….
AM: We have an ex city-slicker and a teacher amongst the group, if the name Motley Crüe hadn't already been taken then it would be very apt for this band!
I tend to stumble across LOADS of pop punk acts at the moment but not that many heavy rock acts, would you say that this genre is particularly strong in London at the moment?
AM: It is strong if you look in the right places. However, the rock scene does seem to be moving towards this pop punk feel, this can be seen by the gradual take over it is having at festivals such as Download. The Sunday lineup has still kept the hard rock scene alive though!
HD: Yeah I guess so. I suppose it leaves a space for heavier bands like ourselves to make an imprint on the music scene at the moment.
Tell us which acts influenced you as a band? Do you all share these influences?
AM: AC/DC not only for their music but the raw energy and feel good factor they give you at their gigs. Of the more modern bands, MUSE and Royal Blood have this intensity about them along with the rise of Black Stone Cherry which was a love first shared by all those that founded the band.
HD: There's a wide range of influences in our music, from classic bands like Sabbath and AC/DC inspiring riffs, to more modern rockers like Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry, to more blues inspired solos, which you can hear in our track "Walk On Over".
KH: As the boys mentioned, Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry have a big influence on my guitar playing. We all have our own influences on our own instrument which is great as it means we are constantly bringing a mix of vibes to the music we create.
Who is the principal songwriter of the band? Do you have a tried and tested method when it comes to pulling new tracks together (lyrics then melody etc…?)
AM: Kieron the riffmeister produces the skeleton for the tracks and Harry the majority of the vocals and then it is down to the other instruments to add their parts on top. Some songs come together so quickly I think that's where a lot of the raw energy and excitement comes from. Just excitable rockers that love making a big sound! Getting the name of a song however, that's usually the longest part of the process!
KH: Ain't that the truth… A key part to our songwriting is that everyone is free to contribute whatever they want. Some of our favourite song parts have come from jamming in the studio and jumping around with excitement.
I couldn’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance between your guitarist Kieron and the Westcountry comedian Justin Lee Collins, am I the first to make this connection? (I think JLC is a handsome bugger in a non gay way….)
KH (aka JLC): You’re not the first! Others include: Jesus, Noel Edmunds with long hair and our personal favourite - WIZARD!
AM: JLC and Zakk Wylde's lovechild. I swear he grew all of those locks in one weekend!
KH: Zakk Lee Collins, I’m down with that.
Do you have many places in London where you can play that are suited for heavy rock acts? (ie. NOT full of beanie hatted, tattooed 17 year olds in skinny jeans sipping on vegan skinny lattes expecting to listen to someone playing the harp whilst making whale noises….)
AM: There's plenty of great venues still keeping heavy rock alive, but hey if you want to wear a beanie and rock out then be our guest! Don't have to wear anything if you don't want to!
HD: Anyone is welcome at our gigs, and we want our shows to be a place where people can come together, share a beer and enjoy the music we make.
KH - Oh man, I really fancy a latte now... As corny as it sounds, there will always be a place for heavy rock acts and venues that support them.
I checked out a 20 second teaser video on your Facebook page and although it was very short, I love the energy that comes from your sound, where can I check out more of your material online?
KH: Glad you got that energy! That’s a big feel we go for, big songs to nod your head to and move to. We're in the final stages of preparing the release of our debut single "Breathe" which should be out on May 8th. Anyone who wants to hear more, get on the Facebook, get liking us and make sure to check in on May 8th!
AM: We also have our debut EP launch on June 3rd so come have a taste of it live!
Your website is currently ‘Under Construction’, do you have a date when this will be finished and will you be hosting your material on it?
KH: It'll be back online along with the single launch on May 8th. There you can hear the single, check out some live shots and do all the usual website-y things.
You’re playing at Shindignation in East London on August 5th, for someone who has yet to see you live, please describe a typical live show?
AM: Riffs and solo's for you to get your air guitar playing fetish going, ball grabbing vocals and some serious power stances!
KH: Ah man, it’s just good times. You'll get moving, hand clapping, fist pumping, all that jazz. Oh and me banging my head and shouting into the air a hell of a lot... Once a metal kiddie, always a metal kiddie!
Shindignation is shaping up to be a great one-day festival featuring over 40 acts, which of these are you most looking forward to seeing?
AM: Most exciting part is to check out loads of new bands we have never heard, with that much talent knocking about we are bound to find ourselves some new favourite acts to follow.
KH: If we're honest, we've been locked away in the studio for the last few weeks recording our EP so we're a bit out of touch! Knowing the boys at Engine Rooms, they will all be quality acts. We will be checking them all out as we plan to be stomping around all day rocking out!
Where can people keep in touch with your live dates etc? (please list all social media sites I can share on the feature) Any other festivals planned for 2017?
KH: Keep track on our Facebook and www.atthesun.com. We're also on Twitter & Instagram - @atthesunband Our focus has been on the debut EP so we kinda missed the boat this year for a lot of the summer festivals. We hope to be hitting a few later in the year, so stay stay tuned for those announcements.
Staying with festivals, what are your top tips to surviving one? (let’s assume it’s a 3 day UK festival with camping with rain forecasted!!)
AM: Go with like-minded people who are up for a good time, beer funnels, talcum powder and a strong bowel!
HD: Wet wipes, Cider, Stamina
KH: Haha, dont camp near the toilets... Also, buy one of those line up timing lanyards. You think you’ll remember when your favourite band is on but trust me, half a bottle of Jaeger later, you have no idea....
Let’s pretend that you’ve been given the chance to pick the 3 headline acts for the bestest EVER heavy rock festival in the world, who would you choose and why? (super-groups are allowed and you can also pick deceased people too)
AM: AC/DC, Rammstein and MUSE
HD: AC/DC, Led Zep, GnR
KH: Alter Bridge, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Queen, Freddie Mercury days.
You have your debut EP launch on Sat 3rd June at The Water Rats in Kings Cross, any surprises in store on the night or will people just have to wait and see?
KH: We're still kicking ideas around for how we make this a special show. We have some awesome support acts, Saint Apache and Stoneflies which our fans may not have heard before so that’ll be a great surprise! There will be some cool things, we have total control over the night so anything could happen!
AM: Treats a plenty!
We'd like to thank the guys for sparing the time to chat to us, we wish them all the very best for the future and look forward to sharing a bottle of 'Jack' with them on August 5th when they tear SHINDIGNATION a new one!
3rd June - EP Launch - The Water Rats London
5th August - SHINDIGNATION - 4pm (venue TBC)
You can keep up to date with the band at their various social media sites, they're all listed below, just point and click!