EMQ’s with DETHONATOR
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, England based Heavy Metal band, Dethonator. Huge thanks to ‘randomly selected Dethonator bandmember of the week’ for taking part and making this, without doubt, the best EMQ’s we have done to date. Absolute gold!!!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Greetings. I am randomly selected Dethonator bandmember of the week. I play the things. We go back eighteen years and have been Dethonator since in 2009. We’ve been stomping about the UK underground being phenomenally untrendy since we were kids and nobody has died, popped a sprog or turned 40 yet. So, I guess that’s something.
How did you come up with your band name?
In an era where metal was suffering from a huge self-awareness crisis and every band name had to have a minimum of five words and sound like an indie band, we decided to go for the most Ronseal name we could think of. If you’re analysing it then you’ve missed the point. We are Dethonator. We are a heavy metal band. Bosh!
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
London, at the moment. Right now, it’s exactly the same as everywhere else.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
“Race Against The Sun: Part Two”. It’s a 40-minute concept album about Dracula. It’ll be out in full on November 27th, this year. I suppose it’s a bit like Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory”, if Dream Theater had all forgotten how to play their instruments and decided to base their album on a classic horror novel, rather than on whatever the hell Nicholas and Victoria were supposed to be doing.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders and Aunt Bessie.
What first got you into music?
School. Seriously, I had a recorder in my hand before I cared about music at all. Then other instruments. Played music a lot without actually being obsessed with it. Accidentally stumbled on Iron Maiden at sixteen. Everything went wrong from there.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’d fancy a collaboration with Iced Earth. I’d suggest we record an epic historical concept album. Then, in the studio, we’d play all the open chords and they’d play all the palm-muted ones. I’d call it “Demons and Pissheads”.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
The Great British Beer festival. Scream for me, Kensington.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We got a load of dolls made up of the band as zombies once from a fan’s mum. They used to sit on our amps at gigs. We gradually lost them all but there’s one nailed above the bar in The Devonshire Arms, Camden.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We’re sorry that we don’t post more online. Unfortunately, most of the band are so allergic to social media that we barely know what the internet is anymore. Still, you should subscribe to us on YouTube all the same. Tris still does videos on there, and some of them are alright. There will be a lot of new posts in the coming weeks.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Freddie Mercury. Then there would be a reason to go to Glastonbury at some point.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Playing live is the most enjoyable part, even if it is just to the bar staff and some confused tourists who wandered in by accident. Everything else is a bit rubbish.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d force it to stop pretending that it was still an industry.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Postcards From Heaven – The Lighthouse Family.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
CD’s. Vinyl has become far too expensive, there’s no reason to download anything and tapes are generally awful. People who buy tapes have bought into the idea of tapes; the rose tinted mythology of a bygone era where things were so inaccessible that desperate music fans actually copied and traded them. Unfortunately, without the community of diehards and pen pals, all you have got left is something small that sounds worse than a vinyl and is less convenient than a cd. I should know, my car is full of them. Have you ever heard the first Bathory album on tape in the car? Nor have I, but I have tried to.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Every gig we’ve ever done right now will pale in comparison to the next one we get to play, if we get to play it. Aside from that, supporting U.F.O at The Concorde 2 in Brighton was pretty cool.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d go and be a Viking re-enactor in my spare time. It’s almost as good a way as metal to hang out with my own kind; in my case, a hairy man-child, desperate for a heady dose of escapism from the modern world. At least the shield chomping and axe lumping chaps can less awkwardly explain away all of their Nordic tattoos. Not that I’ve got any; too posh.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Nobody. I’m socially distancing.
What’s next for the band?
Most probably being the first people to click on the heart emoji when you publish this article.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We do have our own rather spiffing website but we’re not sure that people actually go on websites anymore. Alas, we’re mired in that miserable, toxic, algorithm-plagued money pit that people call Facebook. If someone had told the metal bands of the 70’s that, instead of having a record label bankroll and promote their recordings for market consumption to generate financial revenue, they would actually be self-funding and self-promoting their recordings for social consumption to generate digital interactions, then not a single one of them would have ever left Birmingham.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
When the history of the British Isles has been written, very few Historians have given the Jaffa Cake its due recognition in the development of our nations. This omission has much to do with the reshaping of the historical prism by the politics of the modern west; the British public are simply unaware of their own history. The Jaffa Cake does not feature on the school curriculum, nor is it the subject of any noted field of study. This is due, in part, to the confusion you refer to in your question. The ambiguity of the Jaffa Cake’s nature has diminished its prominence in the fields of Biscuitology and Cake Studies. However, one can still trace the journey of this challenging, yet significant comestible through time if one extends the breadth of one’s study beyond the boundaries of Panorama and The History Channel.
The Jaffa Cake first appears in British History during The Glorious Revolution of 1688. With the Catholic monarch James II supplanted by the joint protestant rule of Mary II and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, a new delicacy was commissioned by the revolution parliament in honour of their new sovereign. Intended for the high tea trays of seventeenth century aristocratic society, the intention was to represent the seemingly bloodless and positive transition of power to King Billy by making the Jaffa Cake both soft and, of course, orange flavoured. Unfortunately, with the subsequent Battle of The Boyne and The Massacre of Glencoe tarnishing the intended peaceful public image of William III, the Jaffa Cake fell out of favour in London society and thus entered the free market, the rights of production and ownership to be sold to the highest bidder. So, the recipe came into the hands of McVitie and Price, a reputable Edinburgh-based biscuit makers.
This seemingly innocuous event was to have unforeseen and catastrophic consequences in the north of the country. Catholic Highlanders, enraged at the production of such an overtly Protestant snack in their country’s capital, were quick to join forces with the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group. Jacobs, who had narrowly missed out on the acquisition of Jaffa Cakes to McVitie’s, launched a full-scale insurrection against The Crown. So, commenced the Jacobite Rebellions of the eighteenth century. In the aftermath of the violence and the failure of the rebels, the prohibition of the Jaffa Cake was curiously included in the post rebellion laws that governed the punitive restriction of Highland dress.
Seemingly, this ill-fated snack food had become viewed as too contentious; the Cumberland Sausage was instead proposed to both glorify the Duke of Cumberland’s victory at The Battle of Culloden and to obscure the misfire of the Jaffa Cake’s previous inception. However, the Jaffa Cake proved to be a tenacious foe and survived via the much-lauded escape of the deposed Stuart heir, “Bonnie” Prince Charlie, to mainland Europe. As was written in the original lyrics to The Skye Boat Song (before the subsequent Robert Louis Stevenson penned version):
“Speed, bonnie boat,
like a bird on the wing Onward!
The sailors cry Carry the lad,
with yon biscuit tin Over the sea to Skye”
The Jaffa Cake slips out of history at this point, save for a few scant references in sectarian songs, now banned at modern football matches. In addition, they are mentioned in an unfinished draft of an Ian Fleming novel that was too misogynistic to publish, even in the 1950s.
However, one curious reference does exist in the bafflingly obscure first draft of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, recently discovered by a musicologist from the University of Margate. One theorises that the beloved public image of Mozart being a prodigy who was able to compose music without making alterations or corrections has caused this recent discovery to be downplayed. Still, it would appear that Mozart was frustrated by the Jaffa Cake, and intended the original title to be “Eine Kleine Arsch Platzchen”. Moreover, the original composition contained lyrics, which followed the principle melody and, when translated into English, read as follows:
“This is not a biscuit or a cake; What the hell’s it doing on my plate?”
It is apparent that even minds as great as that of W.A. Mozart have been troubled by this unanswerable question. How fitting, then, that over three centuries since its creation, this delightfully contentious and controversial biscake should survive wars, religious division and transitions of monarchy to be analysed by 21st century metal bands, united by their common search for a lost sense of purpose and significance.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Have any of the other obscure British metal bands you’ve featured been coerced into researching the history of the Jaffa Cake in order to plug their new record or is it just us?
(It’s just you, although I might add that this is the best answer we have received for any question, let alone the Jaffa Cake question…and that’s not just British bands but worldwide! In future “what the hell is a Jaffa Cake?”, or indeed, leaving the question blank, just isn’t going to be an acceptable reply anymore – Rick 😉)
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.