by Anabel Dflux
– Senior Photojournalist –
Backstab Burial is a young, but very determined band that hails from the U.K. With a brand new song released by BlankTV, Backstab Burial is ready to take over the world. Anabel DFlux had the pleasure of chatting with the British lads, discussing the new single “Cloverly Avenue,” what it means to be an artist, and a little peak into the band’s world.
Hardrock Haven: Hey! Thank you so much for answering my questions. How are you doing on this fine day?
Backstab Burial: We’re doing awesome! Very busy, but the good kind of busy!
Hardrock Haven: Tell me about “Cloverly Avenue.” What prompted you guys to write this song? What is it you want fans to know about the music?
Andy: I actually came up with the lyrics for this song before anything else during my stay in LA. I’ve been a couple of times now to visit one of my best friends, Alicia. A couple of years ago I was going through a hard time with a lot of personal issues and demons. I just needed to get away from home and rethink my approach to everything. So rather than mope around I got off my ass and did what any normal 17 year old would do. Caught a flight to LA alone! (Laughs). I’d already been friends with Alicia for a while so her and her family very kindly took me in for a few weeks and they were awesome. It helped me get back on track and in the right frame of mind. I returned with a hunger for success. I don’t think we’d still be doing this if it wasn’t for that!
Cal: I think our task when writing this song instrumentally was to try and bring out the positive energy from Andrews experience, and I think that was pretty successful, especially in Ben’s solo!
Hardrock Haven: What was your first concert like?
Andy: Terrible… probably. (laughs). In all seriousness though. We supported a local indie band called The Monday Club. I remember being surprised at the reception and how well we did. Most bands will tell you how bad their first show was. I’m not saying ours was good. But I think to this day we all still agree that it could’ve gone A LOT worse!
Cal: I thought we did okay really, to say that was the first time we’d stepped out of my garage as a band and played a show! My most prominent memory of that night is coming offstage and some guy beckoning me over to a wall to show me the massive fucking hole he made during our set because he was pitting like a lunatic!
Ben: At the time, I thought it’d gone horrifically bad. I’d had a bit of gear trouble right at the start which knocked my confidence for the duration of the show and really put me down about the whole experience. However, once we stepped off stage, the feedback we received from the audience made me realize that for a first gig, we really didn’t do too bad at all. Like Andy said, it could have gone a lot worse!
Hardrock Haven: What has been your best experience as an artist?
Andy: Most definitely recording this EP with Ginge Ford. He’s recorded and/or engineered most of my favorite bands in the world. It was our first experience of being away from home for an extended period of time too. 9 days in a premiere inn. Living the dream! He was really into us too, which was a plus!
Cal: Got to say I agree with Andrew. Nothing has surpassed the time we spent in Wales to this date. We seriously turned some heads over there and it really made all of us believe that this band really has a chance. We had to eat out of cardboard boxes and shit every night, but it was all part of the experience!
Hardrock Haven: What is the most influential song you have ever heard?
Andy: Probably ‘Ghost’ by Devin Townsend. I adore that track and the album of the same name. It’s my favorite song of all time so far. You can literally listen to it no matter what mood you’re in. You should check it out!
Cal: Personally it would have to be ‘My Plague’ by Slipknot. Not what most people would consider particularly inspiring, but what I love to hear in music is powerful, raw and tangible emotion. The whole Iowa album is aural hatred in it’s purest most untainted form. I’ll listen to that song and to this day it blows me away and downright terrifies me, with what music has the capability to do to you. And that’s what I’d like to achieve, to be involved in the creation of music that does things to you.
Ben: My personal most influential song would be ‘Epiphany’ by Intervals. I love this song because it’s very guitar centered and it combines a really jazzy feel with a heavy groovy rhythm section. In general, Aaron’s guitar playing completely changed the way I approach my own playing. His style may not be the most similar to that of which Backstab requires, but I’ve taken away a lot from watching him play. It’s really helped me progress as a guitarist. Thanks Aaron!
Hardrock Haven: In this day and age, what do you believe the music industry is about?
Andy: Personally, I believe it’s about adapting. Technology is progressing so fast that it’s almost just become a race to keep up. Not just for bands either, it’s obvious that labels are looking for the next tool or strategy to sell more too. It’s very dog eat dog too. I see a lot more bands screwing each other over than helping each other which is sad. I don’t think bands, especially in metal, quite understand just how much they could achieve by teaming up for a shared tour or for gig swaps. Too much cynicism!
Cal: There is an awful lot of injustice and it sucks. But that’s what is pushing the evolution, and pushing bands to evolve respectively. If nothing else, it ensures bands are at the top of their game but I agree, people should see the benefits in helping each other out!
Ben: The music industry to me, is about believing in yourself, but not becoming over-confident. Arrogance is a terrible characteristic to have in a world where there’s always someone younger and more talented than you hidden round the corner. Of course you have to show that you believe in yourself, or why should anyone else? But as soon as you get too big for your boots, people will lose respect for you and move onto the next aspiring artist who will ultimately be the ones then getting the gigs instead of you.
Hardrock Haven: On that note, what does rock and roll mean to you?
Andy: For me it’s most definitely not listening to other people’s opinions or feedback. Even if it’s good feedback. Because even good feedback can alter your decisions or perspective. I’ve had plenty of people throwing me pessimistic comments about how this or that won’t work or how ‘realistically’ this or that isn’t going to happen. So far they’ve all been wrong and we’ve done exactly what the same people have said we couldn’t do. That may not be rock ‘n’ roll to some, but it most definitely is to me.
Cal: Rock and roll is definitely about the push and the determination. It’s about getting knocked down, getting deflated or being stuck in a rut and fucking powering your way out of that, that’s what tests bands and that’s what makes people.
Ben: The way I see it, rock and roll is an attitude towards life. It’s not caring what people think about you, not conforming to people’s expectations and just doing what you want. As a band we’re not exactly wild, crazy or rebellious people, but I think that the way we approach things has a very ‘rock and roll’ mentality to it. Whenever we receive negative comments, it only makes us more eager to succeed and prove those people wrong.
Hardrock Haven: Let us into your world- what is an average rehearsal day like?
Andy: I think we’re quite sensible actually. We’ll literally meet up at the rehearsal space, set up our gear and start playing. Usually we’ll have a laugh with our friend, Kerry who runs the studio we rehearse in, then get back to rehearsing. There’s usually a few bad puns thrown around by Ben. I’m sure he’ll tell you about that. Doesn’t get much more crazy than that!
Cal: Sometimes in rehearsals I like to play a game I call ‘Let’s see how much of an idiot I can make myself look and still play my parts properly’. Needless to say, I look an idiot. But other than that full band rehearsals are pretty professional, we pay for our time so we try not to waste too much. When we’re writing it’s a different story though..
Hardrock Haven: Are you boys looking to get signed, or enjoying independence?
Andy: We’re most definitely looking to get signed. Although we know there’s no easy way about it. We’re willing to do what it takes to get attention. I wouldn’t like to think we were getting signed for not working for it!
Cal: We’re definitely hoping that we can turn some labels’ heads once we release our EP, and we’re going to work very hard at earning that privilege!
Ben: I’m really hoping that the band does pick up some label attention once we release this EP, we like to aim large even if it is over-ambitious. I think I speak for the whole band when I say finding a label that can move the band further down our chosen path is a lot more important than just getting signed so we have someone to do some of our work for us.
Hardrock Haven: Any guilty pleasures?
Andy: I LOVE Prince. I can’t get enough of Purple Rain. He brings the sass. I’m also a fan of Phil Collins. I don’t think I’d feel guilty about blasting them out with friends in the room though!
Cal: I feel bad about classing anything as a guilty pleasure, I’d hate for our music to be considered one! I am a huge Bob Marley fan, and I like a little dub-step every now and again.
Ben: I don’t really have any guilty pleasures if I’m honest; I listen to anything and everything. I think if Cal could answer this question for me though, he’d tell you American country artist Black Shelton would be my guilty pleasure but I’m far too into his music for that to be the case – I even considered auditioning as his guitarist once… I live in hope.
Hardrock Haven: What’s next for Backstab Burial, any future goals or cool plans?
Backstab Burial: More music, more content and more SHOWS. We’re trying to play as much of the UK as we can right now. Maybe another music video… who knows!
Andrew Wilkinson – Lead vocals/Guitar
Connor Wilkinson – Bass
Ben Chalker – Lead Guitar
Callum Ripley – Drums