Interview with Seven Sisters

 

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Seven Sisters are a four-piece metal band from West London, England forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. They have gained a reputation as a “stellar” act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe and proving that “they are not simply copying the template laid down by the fathers of heavy  metal but they are moulding their own sound to usher in a new era.”

I recently had the chance to interview Graeme from the band and here is what he had to say:

Hi, I am Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all well?

All good here, cheers for talking to us!

Ok, for those who don’t know who you guys are, can you tell us a bit about the background of the band?

Sure! We’re a Heavy Metal band from West London, currently promoting and touring our second album which was recently released on Dissonance Productions. Our sound is a bit of a mix of old school Heavy Metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.

So, your new album, The Cauldron and The Cross, was released in April of this year. How has it been received?

Yeah it’s been received really well on the whole! We’re not massively surprised as we were really happy with the way the album turned out, but it’s always nice when people understand and buy into what you’re trying to do as a band.

Would you consider yourself part of the NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) movement? If not, what would you describe your particular genre?

Yeah I guess so. I’m not sure how much of a coherent movement it is, but there’s definitely a fair few bands around playing traditional-sounding metal, and we’re one of those bands. I don’t think we’re a straight up copy of the original sound of the late 70s and early 80s, but it’s definitely a major influence and I think that should be pretty obvious to anyone listening to our music. We prefer to just think of ourselves as a Heavy Metal band though, rather than trying to pigeonhole it too specifically. It’s too easy to become obsessed with genre labels, rather than just listening to something on its own merit and deciding if you like it or not.

We all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to music, what’s yours?

Not really, actually. I listen to all sorts of stuff, but I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed by any of it as it’s all music I like. I listen to plenty of stuff that isn’t Heavy Metal. But if you mean things that people might be slightly surprised by, then ABBA are one of my favourite bands of all time. That might be a guilty pleasure for some people, but I think they were amazing songwriters with an incredible sense of melody. Some of their song structures are more similar to the type of thing you’d expect a prog band to do than a pop group, but a lot of people don’t even notice as the songs are so well-written and catchy. I think that’s something a lot of metal bands could learn a thing or two from, actually.

What bands have been your greatest influences, both individually and as a band?

Obviously the NWOBHM movement, as I mentioned earlier. But we like a lot of European and North American bands too. Helloween really spring to mind here. We’re also pretty obsessed with Yngwie Malmsteen! We listen to all sorts of stuff individually though. I’m really into hair metal and AOR, Kyle listens to a lot of progressive rock (Frank Zappa is his idol), and Steve and Javi like some of the more extreme stuff like thrash and death metal. This probably all creeps into the overall sound of Seven Sisters in one way or another.

If you could bring back one metal legend, who would it be and why?

Most of my metal heroes are still alive actually. I’d maybe say Ingo Schwichtenberg. I really like the first three Helloween albums, they were a massive part of me growing up and getting into metal, and he’s one of my favourite drummers of all time. I would have loved to get to see him play live.

How have you been enjoying your recent gigs with Toledo Steel? I was gutted I missed the British Steel 2 Festival at the end of May.

Yeah they’ve been fun! Toledo Steel are good friends of ours, and they’re a great live band so it was cool getting to watch them do their thing every night. They’re really funny guys and great company too, so we had a right laugh driving round the country in a van with them. I can’t ever remember laughing as much as I did on that tour!

There has been some controversy over the price of gig tickets recently what with the Ozzy Osbourne/Judas Priest and Metallica gigs. Do you think metal shows are overpriced?

I guess they can’t be over-priced if people are willing to pay them and the shows still sell out, but personally I’m not interested in paying £140 to see Lars Ulrich attempting to play the drums. I’ve always found it interesting that Maiden’s ticket prices are significantly lower than bands like Metallica and Ozzy – and Maiden are actually still good live too. I guess maybe some bands treat their fans with a bit more respect than others, but that’s nothing new. If people are willing to pay crazy money to see a band, I don’t have a problem with it. I just have better uses for my severely limited bank balance myself!

Who is the driving force behind the band? Is there one of you that takes charge and organises everyone else?

Kyle is definitely our driving force. The vast majority of the music comes from him, although I chip in with a riff or two here and there if I have anything good. The lyrics are more of a collaborative effort between the two of us, and Steve and Javi then come up with their own drum and bass parts. So whilst Kyle is definitely the mastermind of the band, I think the songs wouldn’t sound the same if it wasn’t for the individual input of all four of us.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Seven Sisters?

We’re playing some shows in Europe and Ireland over the autumn to promote the new album, and we’re hoping to do as many summer festivals next year as we can. After that, I guess it’ll be time to sit down and start working on a third album!

Well, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Not a problem. Thanks for talking to us, and cheers to anyone that took the time to read this!

 

SOCIAL LINKS:

  • https://sevensistersuk.bandcamp.com/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Toledo Steel

 

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Toledo Steel are one the leading forces in the NWOTHM wave. Recently, I had the chance to do an email interview with Richard from the band.

Hi! I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all ok?

Hey! Yeah we’re all doing great cheers. Glad we can be doing this interview with you!

Ok, for those who haven’t heard of Toledo Steel before, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

The band officially formed back in late 2011, myself and Matt Dobson (our drummer) are the only two original members from that first lineup though. We both wanted to form this kind of band for a few years prior to actually meeting each other but we didn’t have much luck finding likeminded people. This soon changed though after we put our heads together and it wasn’t long before we had our first lineup and were busy writing songs in preparation to get out there and play live.
Since our formation we released a bunch of demo tracks and followed it up with two self financed independently released E.P’s. We love playing live of course and have always tried to play as many shows as possible! Not just within the U.K but venturing over to Europe fairly frequently too.

Your debut album “No Quarter” was released through Dissonance Productions on the 18th May 2018. How is being received, both by the critics and reviewers and by the public? And, more importantly, how did the album release party go?

So far the feedback we’ve been receiving has been great! You only have one chance to make a statement with the first album and you don’t wanna drop the ball and undo the good work you’ve done in the years prior with the building up of the bands name and profile. We couldn’t have asked for a better album release show either, it was tied in with the Frost and Fire festival which took place in Camden and we played the official after party. The festival was totally sold out and everyone in attendance was already on a high from the whole thing so it only contributed even more so to a great atmosphere when we played.

You have been doing a lot of gigs with Seven Sisters, how has that been? How was the British Steel 2 festival at the end of May? I was gutted I missed that!

The shows with Seven Sisters have been awesome. They’re a great bunch of guys that we get along with really well so teaming up with them as much as we can makes total sense. The British Steel 2 event was cool also, that was also Primitai’s album release show who are also signed to Dissonance Productions so it was great to see that.

With festival season now in full swing, what would be your favourite festival to play and why?

There’s so many great festivals so that’s a tough question to answer but something like Sweden Rock or Hellfest would be great exposure to a bigger audience. There’s so many cool smaller festivals too that we want to play, Keep it True in Germany for example.

You are a favourite with Dean Archer at The Rock Den in Hatfield. What do you think of guys like him and what they are doing for the rock/metal scene?

I think that people like Dean are essential to the music scene and the future of Rock and Metal music. He makes a real effort to bring different bands to the Rock Den and play alongside some of the more established older bands. If every city had promoters and venues like this, there’s no doubt that the scene within the U.K could begin to thrive even more so.

Your website describes you as “one of the UK’s leading forces in the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal!” Is this just the new name for NWOBHM?

I guess so! The NWOTHM tagline just makes it clear that it’s a new wave of bands coming through with the NWOBHM inspired sound. The term NWOBHM is specific to that era so it makes sense to alter it slightly.

With venues closing down all the time and people seemingly preferring to watch cover bands and tribute bands, where do you see the future of metal lies? Some of the “older” metal heads are saying there is nothing new coming through. Do you think this is the case?

People who say that there’s nothing new coming through need to open their eyes and ears a bit more! Haha. There’s plenty of new rock and metal bands emerging the world over. Sure, it’s not all gold and you gotta scratch beneath the surface a bit to discover these bands but there most definitely is a lot of new stuff worth listening to.

How do you all cope with being in a band, with rehearsals and gigs etc as well as jobs and family life? You must all be knackered all the time!

None of us have kids so that simplifies things and we work it around our day jobs fairly easy enough. We’re not robots, so yeah there are days where we’re a little tired but I personally feel like I’ve always got energy. I like to be as active as possible really, I can’t sit down for hours on end in front of the T.V for instance. Having something to constantly look forward to or do band wise outside of day to day life suits us down to the ground really.

Who is the driving force behind the band? You know, the guy that organises rehearsals, gets you all together when you need to be, that sort of thing?

Matt is great with all the organisation of things and the finer details. He is essentially the band manager and he’s done a fantastic job. We tend to always rehearse on the same day each week so we all know the score with that, but the booking of shows and networking side of things is handled primarily by him.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Toledo Steel?

Next up we plan to continue getting out there playing live and promoting the new album of course! We’re also gonna start working on ideas for album number two fairly soon as well. A music video for one of the album tracks is well under way too and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to release that! We’re really excited to get that finished off and up online, it’s looking pretty cool so far.

Thank you very much for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add yourselves?

No worries and cheers to everyone that’s supported us so far and continues to do so. “No Quarter” can be streamed online via Spotify or physical copies bought from us directly or via Amazon, HMV Stores or ITunes etc. Keep supporting emerging bands and spread the word to keep the music and scene alive!

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.