EMQ’s with POSSESSOR
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, UK based Metal band Possessor. Huge thanks to all of them 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?
Graham: Graham Bywater, dream warrior, axe wielder and excuse for a singer and songwriter.
Nathan: Nathan, drums.
Ollie: My name is Ollie and I play Bass.
How did you come up with your band name?
Graham: My old pal Mark and I were talking about the bands Confessor and Possessed in the pub years back and it just struck me that the two combined made a killer name. It’s got a good horror feel and it’s got that classic metal look when written down. There was a thrash band from the US with the same name, which I didn’t realise at the time, but they seem to have split now. Shame as they were good.
If we’d been more pissed that night we may have ended up called Confessed.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Nathan: UK, London – Competitive, ferocious and unpredictable – it’s a horror show of gruesome proportions and we love it.
Ollie: For the most part it’s decent.
Each genre has its own little sub culture, places where gigs happen, promotors etc. As with a lot of cities it certainly helps to know the right people but there are some great independent venues/bars and promotors supporting up and coming bands.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Graham: We’ve just unleashed our new single ‘Coffin Fit’ which will be followed by a second single and video. Both are taken from our upcoming album “Damn The Light”. Keep an eye out! It should he landing late September. Album due on Halloween!
Who have been your greatest influences?
Graham: Tobe Hooper, Peter Cushing, Metallica, Darkthrone, Fu Manchu, Nirvana, Cannibal Corpse, KISS, Bruce Lee, Star Wars…
Nathan: Neil Peart, Dave Lombardo, Nicko McBrain, Thee Slayer Hippy, Les Binks, Simon Phillips, Paco Carena from Conflict…
What first got you into music?
Ollie: “Kill ‘em All”. First album I purchased when I was 12 and I remember fondly how gnarly it sounded when the intro to ‘Hit The Lights’ kicked in, followed by that first riff!!!
Graham: Probably my parents Queen and Paul Simon tapes and my brothers Iron Maiden records. I was also a bit doolally for every film soundtrack I heard as a kid, be it whatever. Maiden got me into somehow owning tapes by Kreator, Nuclear Assault, Slayer and Megadeth…things got heavy pretty fast.
I got inspired to actually play around the age of 12 when my cousin sold me a bass that looked identical to the one Nikki Sixx used in the ‘Dr. Feelgood’ video. That’s odd as I knew even then that Mötley Crüe were an awful band. Style over any sort of substance. Nice bass though.
Nathan: The pulsing throbbing grime of early AC/DC. That was where I got the metal bug after listening to a friend’s older sibling’s tapes. In the early 80’s it was fascinating. Hearing Slayer for the first time, before Google and Sky Tv truly felt like you were taking a step into the dark side and gambling with your soul – that excitement never fades.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Graham: Our producer Wayne Adams plays in a very noisy electronic two piece called Petbrick. I’d like to lay some riffs onto one of their songs.
I don’t see collabs being particularly worthwhile if the bands are of the same genre.
Nathan: Happy where I am.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Nathan: Impossible to pick just one but Hellfest, Bloodstock, Maryland Deathfest would be high in the list. Right now, we will play any festival anywhere it’s viable. Bring on 2021!
Graham: I guess Wacken or Hellfest? Something big and epic! Obscene Extreme would rule too as that’s just one massive silly party with folk dressing up as bananas and stuff.
It’s not a festival but I’d love to play at the Natural History Museum.
Ollie: For me it would be Obscene Extreme. Heard nothing but great things about it and the way it’s organised. Looks like a cool location and the crowds always seem completely into whatever band are playing.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Graham: Someone sent me an amazing Terminator action figure from America. Not weird as much as just really awesome! And generous.
Nathan: Space cakes or portraits.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Nathan: We love you!
Graham: Always listen to albums from start to finish.
Ollie: Keep supporting underground bands and your local scene.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Nathan: Neil Peart. He was cruelly taken WAY before his time.
Graham: Either Buddy Holly, Kurt Cobain, Freddie Mercury or Cliff Burton.
Ollie: Tough question. I’d probably go with Freddie Mercury.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Nathan: The thrill of the live show. Playing at your best to people who love it is the best thing. I hate nothing about it.
Ollie: It varies depending on how I’m feeling but I’d go with playing live shows and only having to focus on that one moment. The thing I hate is chasing the tone, never quite happy with it and just when I think I’ve got it, it’s gone.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Nathan: Nepotism and rudeness.
Graham: I hate any form of sexism or macho bullshit. There are some creeps out there. They should be strung up.
Ollie: “Cliques” within music genres.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Nathan: King Diamond – “Abigail”.
Graham: Helloween – “Keeper of The Seven Keys part 2”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Nathan: Cassettes then vinyl. But the reality is most music is heard via streaming or downloads, so you have to accept it and go with the flow. We make our records and releases at high cost so those who do buy them have something truly quality to enjoy.
Graham: I’m a sucker for a nice CD, but that’s because they are easier to carry about, post, play in the car and not have to turn over. Vinyl looks the best though of course!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Graham: Probably Sonic Blast in Moledo. We played next to a swimming pool full of half-naked stoned head banging party animals. Much fun ensued. That audience was just the best!
Nathan: The Lexington, long may it reign!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Nathan: Wiring electrics in grade 2 listed buildings.
Graham: I’d like to illustrate kids’ books, run some high-profile social media or focus on recording other folks music.
Ollie: Well I’m currently work in Multi-Media so perhaps still that, but I’ve always wanted to be a carpenter so maybe that.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Nathan: Ozzy Osbourne in 1981, Tobe Hooper, HR Giger, Dennis Hopper, Kendo Nagasaki!
Graham: That’s tough! Er…Peter Cushing, Mark Hamill, Arnie, Steve Coogan, Kathleen Turner, Stevie Nicks…oh that’s six. Sorry.
What’s next for the band?
Nathan: As soon as we can we’ll be hitting every place we can with a vengeance. We miss the stage.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Graham: Instagram is really enjoyable as it’s so simple and straight forward. Facebook is absolutely useless on most levels but it’s a good way to spread the word and promote. I’m pretty sure 75% of our page followers don’t see a thing I post though.
Bandcamp is the main site we use. I’d say that’s essential. It’s run so well and is quite frankly a genius idea.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Graham: Grim Flying Saucer
Nathan: Cake in a biscuit packet.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Graham: This Halloween you will damn the light.
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