EMQ’s with UNKNOWN REFUGE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bolton, UK based Hard Rock/Metal band, Unknown Refuge. Huge thanks to lead vocalist/bassist Alex 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?
My name is Alex and I play bass and sing. Unknown Refuge originally formed in 2016 at a music service in Salford, I am the last surviving original member. Not that the others are dead I just mean the only one to survive having to deal with our drummer. Morgan joined not long after in the summer of 2017. From here we gained a few guitarist and lost a few that has led to our current line up with Harry and Jack on guitars. The current line-up has only been together about 6 months having already recorded the album before finding Harry.
How did you come up with your band name?
In all honesty we came up with it because we needed a band name for our first gig and where we were practicing had a refuge point. We thought the word refuge was cool and then I realised I didn’t know where that was at my school hence Unknown Refuge. I’d like to say it was something deep like travelling towards the unknown, but that’s not quite how it came about.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Bolton but fall into the Greater Manchester Rock scene predominantly. It’s brilliant, there are loads of grass root venues that love to help out rock bands. We’ve seen some great bands from the area over the time bands such as Ninja Report and Bigfoot.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest releases are the ‘Battle Hymn’ single and our debut album “From The Darkness” which came out on the 26th of March.
‘Battle Hymn’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
I went to my first gig to see Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators with my Mum and I remember just thinking “wow, that would be amazing”. Ever since then I have been interested in being in bands and writing and performing my music. They’ve both been influences ever since.
What first got you into music?
I’d say it’s different for all of us but personally I would say my mother, Alison Home, she was a music teacher who still works within a music service. I believe it’s a combination of this and my dad having a drum kit set up in the garage that I’d say first interested me in music!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
In my opinion I would love to do a collaboration with Steel Panther. They’re just an amazing band and I’d love the excuse to wear leather pants.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
It would have to be Download Festival in Spain. I mean one its Download and amazing and two it’s in Spain so the weather would hopefully be a bit better than what we get in England.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
In our earlier days we had a bra thrown onto stage which I’m sure the drummer has still got til this day.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
It would have to be just a huge, massive thank you. Without fans we wouldn’t be where we are right now and I know we’re not massive but each and every fan we gain just drives us to work harder, perform better and hopefully change the world and inspire a new generation of metal heads so for every fan we have just a massive thank you.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Chester Bennington: the man was an inspiration as to how much rock/metal could influence the world and I believe we lost a legend the day he died.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Personally, I’d say I enjoy performing songs which we have written ourselves, songs we have put our thoughts, emotions, feelings and skills into creating. To see people enjoying it is what makes me love this.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d say places like Spotify where people listen to music, however, the artist receives a ridiculously small amount of money from this. I hope this changes because for small bands having that bit of extra cash to help the band grow can mean the world.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Appetite For Destruction” by Guns ‘n Roses! It’s an album that just has no bad tracks. Its constantly on repeat in my house and I believe to this day it is the best album ever released.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl hands down, it just feels authentic to have shelves full of your favourite albums.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Stonedead Festival. We played the first year of the festival starting on the Friday night and it was incredible, it was one of the busiest gigs and the crowd were amazing so for me, and I imagine the others as well, definitely the best gig we’ve played.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well funnily enough, I’m currently working for Heineken as an engineering apprentice which I will come out of this year as a fully qualified engineer, which is both great and very worrying.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
James Acaster, Frankie Boyle, Peter Kay, Ricky Gervais and Boris Johnson. I’d just love to listen to them and I couldn’t imagine the things said. I feel like this would single-handedly be the funniest event of the decade.
What’s next for the band?
Well, when venues open it will just be to do as many gigs as possible. We’ve missed being on the stage and amongst writing some new material I would love to just get out and gig again.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play and YouTube all of which you can find by searching Unknown Refuge, if you feel so inclined to listen.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake, it’s in the name!!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Not that I can think of other than a massive thankyou to anyone who has supported us especially over the last year with the album. It’s been massively valued so thank you. And thank you for having us here.
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