EMQ’s With DEMOCRATUS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Cardiff, South Wales based Melodic Death Metal band, Democratus. Huge thanks to Vocalist, Steve Jenkins for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Steve! I’m the vocalist for melodic death metal band, Democratus. We were formed in the back end of 2014 after my old band, Counterhold, ended. We started gigging in February 2015 and have self-released 2 EP’s, called “Starting Again” and “Damnation”. We have earned notable supports alongside bands like Light The Torch, Suffocation, Vader, Skiltron, Lagerstein and Psychostick. We won the South Wales Metal 2 The Masses in 2018 to play Bloodstock!
How did you come up with your band name?
We were discussing what our band name should be. I pointed out we all needed to agree, we’re a democracy not dictatorship. Our guitarist at the time said, “What about Democratus?” and we all went “oooh”! We then found out Democratis was a Greek philosopher who paved the way to our modern ways of government.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re based in Cardiff, South Wales, but are dotted around the valleys! Like most areas, we’ve been hit hard with venues closing compared to how it was, say 10 years ago, but there is a strong core of bands who genuinely have each other’s backs. Gig swaps, promoting and plugging each other’s work across the genres has created a tight knit group of friends who respect and push each other on.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We released our second EP, “Damnation”, in January 2020, and the lockdown has given us chance to song write for our debut album.
Bind Torture Kill (Official Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a band, we obviously love the likes of Insomnium, Soilwork, In Flames, and Amon Amarth. But we also bring our individual influences too. For me personally, Killswitch Engage, Devin Townsend, Maiden, Priest, and Lamb Of God all get their nods!
What first got you into music?
My Nanna bought me my first little 1 finger keyboard aged 4. I was always singing everywhere, and people kept telling me I was alright at it! I was quite late to finding rock and metal, I was 19 going on 20 before it started resonating with me, but I like to think I’ve made up for it since!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Oooh, locally I’ve already guest vocalled for my black metal siblings, Agrona. I’d love to find a way to return the favour. Dream wise, Killswitch, Devin, Gojira, Fleshgod Apocalypse. Anyone considered masters of their craft!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d love to return to Bloodstock above everything. That place has been my second home since my first in 2008. Outside of the UK, maybe Wacken, or Loud Park in Japan.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
This one’s easy. My buddy Callum, in the run up to our New Blood appearance, had our logo tattooed on him! That blew me away, even more so as he hadn’t seen us live prior to Bloodstock!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you. We wouldn’t have had the opportunities without your support, and we can’t wait to throw the horns with you soon!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Dio. I never had a chance to see him being skint when he toured with Heaven and Hell, and I was ill when they were meant to play Bloodstock.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I try and embrace it all. Even the travelling and between set waiting! Music is my release. It keeps my mental health in check. I hate those people that feel the need to shit on other’s efforts. If you don’t like something, move on.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
That’s a tough question, away from the lockdown, I want an industry that stops exploiting bands. Pay them for appearances, pay fairly for streaming, and give local bands a chance to regularly open for bigger tours in the area.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“The End Of Heartache” – Killswitch Engage. That was my gateway album
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I’ve actually become a digital guy, cos it means I have more music, but zero space needed! I don’t stream though.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Bloodstock, and Light The Torch. To be 9 hours and 200 yards from Judas Priest was emotional, the same thing to open for my vocal idol in Bristol last year was just mind blowing!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’m just about to finish up getting my teaching assistant qualification. So, we’ll go with that!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Howard Jones, Dio, Lemmy, Clement Attlee, and Jeremy Corbyn
What’s next for the band?
Continue working on our album. And hopefully get back on the road as soon as Covid allows!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake! It’s in the name! Layer of chocolate, orange then sponge!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity!
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