EMQ’s with BEYOND YOUR DESIGN – PART 2
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with East Midlands, UK based Melodic Death Metal band, Beyond Your Design. This is actually Part Two, as guitarist, Harry, did one back In Feb/March but they are just about to head out on tour with Reaper so we thought an update would be good. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist, Rob, for taking part this time!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
How’s it going, my name’s Rob. I’m the lead vocalist and guitarist for Beyond Your Design. The band first started life during our time at Derby University around 2016. We started as a 5 piece under a different name before a few line-up changes projected us forward to where you find us today. We’ve played many live shows supporting the likes of As Everything Unfolds, Invisions, The Five Hundred, Our Hollow Our Home, TheCityIsOurs, Threatin (Yes that Threatin) and Raised By Owls to name a few. We’ve travelled far and wide across England and Scotland including the likes of Edinburgh to Rotherham, and Manchester to Ipswich. We released our debut single ‘From Apathy To Waste’ at the start of 2019 before singing with our management team ‘Unearthed Music’ and a record label who helped us release our debut EP “Together We Rise” at the start of 2021. Shortly after we released our latest single ‘Into Oblivion’ and are currently working on our next release.
How did you come up with your band name?
When trying to come up with a band name, our guitarist Harry was binge watching the TV Series ‘Hannibal’ in which the protagonist Will Graham would deconstruct a particularly gruesome crime scene from the perspective of the killer. He would always conclude this analysis with the line ‘because this is my design’. From then, our band ‘By Design’ was born. Unfortunately, as of 2019 when we were in talks to sign with a record label on an artist development contract, it turns out there’s quite a few artists known across the globe as ‘By Design’. And we weren’t even the highest search result! To not completely change our image, or put all our branding to waste, we reimagined ourselves as ‘Beyond Your Design’.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Beyond Your Design resides from England, UK and have made our home in the East Midlands. The music scene has always been here, however finding the demand for the metal community has always been a struggle. The end of the lockdowns breathed new life into the scene as the bands and venues came back in full force, hungry to bring back live music. And with it came a rejuvenated fan base who realised how much we’ve taken live music for granted. Many of our favourite live shows have been from the East Midlands, with thanks to venues like The Firebug in Leicester, The Old Sal in Nottingham and of course The Hairy Dog in our main city of Derby. Were it not for the tireless efforts of these venues, their staff, and our management team Unearthed Music, then the scene wouldn’t be in such a prosperous position right now in 2021.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest music release is our cover version of the song by Black Veil Brides called ‘Fallen Angels’. You can find the official video over on our YouTube Channel, and it’s available to stream from all your favourite streaming sites including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play and many others! There’s also an orchestral version of our song ‘Need You Now’ taken from our debut EP ‘Together We Rise’.
‘Fallen Angels – Black Veil Brides Cover (Official Video)
‘Need You Now’ – Orchestral Version (Visualiser Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
For me personally, I always call back my major influences to the chaotic mind that is Devin Townsend, the technicality and melody of Periphery. And as is synonymous with anybody who knows me personally, I’ve an incredibly large soft spot for Matt Heafy and Trivium.
As a band we’ve taken a great number of influences from each member that has culminated in the intensity and relentless nature that contributes to a BYD song and live show. We often draw comparison to Darkest Hour, Arch Enemy, Machine Head, and older Bullet For My Valentine.
What first got you into music?
Where would our musical journey begin were it not for our parents? On my mum’s side, she brought me the wonder that is Abba, Savage Garden, and the infectiousness that is Wham! From my dad’s side, it was the likes of Bon Jovi, Grand Prix, Def Leppard, Queen and of course when he made the mistake of introducing me to Iron Maiden claiming heavy metal to just be noise with no melody. The song was ‘Run To The Hills’ and the rest was history.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Hmmm a tough one. The challenge would be convincing them to work with us! It’d be quite fun to have a vocal feature from somebody. Alissa White Gluz would be sick, she’s got a phenomenal scream and a powerful stage presence! Alternatively, somebody like Gojira for some crushing riffage, or out of left field; the London Symphony Orchestra. I can’t think of anything more epic than having that orchestral backing!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
So many to choose from! Despite this, we would have to say Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Park is #1. The place holds a very special place in my heart, and if you ask anyone that has made the journey will say it’s like returning home. You get such a mix and diverse selection of heavy metal artists play there making it a momentous time of the year. If our band were to ever have such an opportunity to play there, then I think we could die happy!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t think we’ve ever necessarily received a ‘gift’ from a fan, though we’re not opposed to being sent weird and wonderful presents! I once bought Harry a ‘how to play guitar’ book for Christmas if that counts? I’m basically his biggest fan.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
You might not know it right now, but you are strong, you are loved, and somebody out there is happy you exist right now. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can or can’t be, and never be afraid to be bold and defiant!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Tom Searle of Architects. Gone way too soon and brought so much comfort to thousands of people.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The enjoyment must be the live shows, predominantly because it’s the reward. What people are seeing is a 30-minute insight into what goes on behind the scenes. The weekly rehearsals in the practice room, the hours of private practice to nail that guitar solo. The hours of vocal practice to improve your voice, the dedication to social media and online presence to market and stay in the attention of the people who matter. Fishing out gigging opportunities to constantly be on top of making the most of what opportunities come your way.
The thing I hate most about being a musician is probably the self-doubt. This probably applies for any person in the creative sector, but damn when you get that sudden wave of self-doubt and crushing lack of belief in what you do is horrible. It’s what makes the kind and compassionate comments even more worthwhile when we do receive them!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The diversity and representation. And to follow on from that, the way people interpret and interact with it. No place for misogyny, homophobia, or general arse holes in this industry.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Periphery’s “Omega” or “Hail Stan” are incredibly special to me! Alternatively, Trivium’s “Ascendancy” is just pure perfection. And I’d be remised if I didn’t mention Devin Townsend’s “Empath”. More animal noises in your songs please bands.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s, or Downloads?
CD’s are my preference, though I’m not sure how many people still purchase CD’s. Streaming’s made it so much easier to discover new and incredible artists, so getting their tangible music is a big sign of respect in my eyes.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We all have differing answers. Including our first-time playing Edinburgh in 2020, our semi-final heat for Metal To The Masses at The Firebug in Leicester or more recently our show opening for Our Hollow Our Home, TheCityIsOurs, ChuggaBoom and Defences at The Old Sal in Nottingham.
For me without a shadow of a doubt must be our last-minute headline show at The Hairy Dog earlier this year. A band had to pull out due to Covid, so we were last minute propped up to headline slot. We played an additional song to a sold-out room, gave my absolute heart and soul into it, and found this ethereal head space on stage that I’ve never felt before. To our surprise, everyone wanted an encore…something we had not prepared for. So, we ended up playing a song we haven’t practiced in a year, Chayce hadn’t ever played the song live, and my voice was shot so I screamed the whole thing. The musicians in the room could tell it wasn’t rehearsed, but there was a great energy in the room, and such a transcendent vibe from everyone that we couldn’t resist having a bit of natural, unscripted fun to cap off a beautiful experience!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’ve pondered this recently. I’d likely watch an awful lot of Disney+, be in constant questioning of what to have for dinner. Aimlessly scrolling through social media, watching as my mind melts away in a desperate attempt to fill that hollow void that would be my existence. In a consistent struggle of feeling alone and isolated, with no channel of expression nor natural flow of my internal emotions.
Sure, there would eventually be some meaning to it all, and something that matters equally to me. But if I wanted to live my life in a state of black and white, I’d have given up music years ago. Though it has its challenges, and it’s very rarely as simple as it may seem, I will always choose being a musician. For as long as I can do it, I will create music.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
So, I’m gonna class dogs as people and say I’d invite my Mum’s 2 dogs, Harry’s 2 dogs, and for shits and giggles, Ainsley Harriet. Surround yourself with what makes you happy!
What’s next for the band?
Many many many things. We’ve got a tour coming up with the sensational Reaper, a performance at Alt Fest including acts like Invisions, The Five Hundred and On Hollow Ground, plus many more large live shows we’re yet to announce before the year is out. And we’ve also began working on new material for our next release. I know every band tries to big up their new stuff, so all I’m gonna say is it ain’t too bad!
What social media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
You can find the source of all things BYD from our website www.beyondyourdesign.co.uk, and make sure you join the Mailing List for premium offers, exclusive content, and early access. You can find us on Facebook and can also join our official fan group page ‘Beyond Our Design’, though Instagram is where we post the most regularly with BTS footage and insights. We regularly post videos to our YouTube Channel so make sure you’re subscribed to not miss out. You can also find us on Twitter where all hope and decency go to die, or if you’re of the youthful generation we have a TikTok account.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake, isn’t it? It goes stale or something. Though it must be said, Jaffa Cakes are wank.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If you’re after an experience with an intense live performance, relentless drumming, head crushing riffs, powerful lead guitar melodies and snarling lead vocals, then we’ll see you at our next live show!
Make sure you come prepared. Ready to head bang and to have a fucking great time.
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