Welcome back to the South West, on what is set to be an intense day of live music, but the sun is shining, and the beers are flowing. How have you guys been?
“Yeah good man. Hung over today haha. Well I am, these guys stayed in and had pizza. Yeah, we scoffed in and had pizza and watched Road Wars haha. Yeah, we got to play some new songs as well, which was nice. Our set was a little bit different, more fun.”
You have your third full length on the brink of release. How excited are you to release it?
“We’ve all got a ‘lob on’ about it. We’re pretty excited [haha]. We’ve had it finished for a while so we’re itching to get it out. Its been finished since March, so we just want to get it out now. Yeah, lob’s been growing and growing. Aching now [haha]. Its gone purple, it’s aching [haha].”
The tracks you have released off the album so far are very definitive of the Heart Of A Coward sound track. Have you been able to experiment a bit on this album, or have you stuck to what you know?
“We did a bit. I think we’ve experimented more on this album than we have on anything we have done before. It was really good with Justin because he was open to everything and like he’d push suggestions over and we’d make suggestions and then other ideas would come out of those suggestions so he’s been really involved with the creative process. We had the songs written, just we added all the finishing touches and the bells and whistles. He was really good.”
Have you been able to bring any new influences into this album?
“Yeah we did with the closing track on the album. We got really ambient with it and messed around in the studio with it. Weird affects and stuff. We bought an eBow which made everything like ‘woah’. I think this time we spent more time writing before we went into the studio, and then when we went into the studio, we had more time to play about with ideas. On ‘Severance’ it was literally like, go, go, go! We’d be like, is that done? Ah shit, just leave it.”
Did relieving yourselves of that pressure to churn out songs help the album to flow a bit more?
“In a way. I think you don’t want to over think it, so it’s finding the right balance really. I think if you have too much time then you end up over thinking and changing whole songs. Going back to Justin, I think last time we had it in our minds, ah its cool we have a couple of days at a time doing it. This time we had three weeks solid booked into do it. So there was a lot more time to expand on stuff.”
Do you prefer that way of recording, being able to go in and work solidly at it for a few weeks or did you prefer doing it in sections?
“Definitely all in one. It was a lot better and more creative doing it all in one go. You’d go and come back the next day and you’ve lot you, you’d listen to it the next day and be like oh can we try this. It throws you off I think.”
I’m gonna have to name drop. You’ve toured with Machine Head. Talk us through that experience, and what did you come away with from that tour?
“It’s a whole different world, man. Its like nothing we’re used to. Machine Head are like one of the biggest metal bands, ever [haha]. So it is like a real privileged to go out on tour with them and extremely lucky. It was a different world to what we have done before, and the tours we have been on. It’s a lot stricter and the operation is tight. But, you’re dealing with professionals here. It was great to see how it works. It was a lesson, and an experience. Definitely a lesson, and a good experience. We were definitely small fish [haha]. Minnows, tadpole’s [haha]. The first day I realized I don’t need to be quitting my job [haha].”
Was the tour as you expected or was it a whole different world?
“It was a whole lot harder. We’d just come off of the Sikth tour and that was great. Were such good friends with those guys, like seamless. The tour was great, everyone had a laugh. Whereas, on this Machine Head tour, it was very much about running an operation. It’s a business. We’re still at the stage of doing this for the love. Not quite yet putting it into the business side of things yet.”
Did you get any tips from doing that tour?
“Yeah, don’t over run by 2 minutes. Over run by 2 minutes and you will get fucked, [haha]. Yeah, you will get a swift bollocking. Yeah, I think just things like the way they are on stage, and the way they tie songs together and, yeah, we kinda picked up on stuff like that. Noddy seemed to forget that last night though! Oh yeah he did [haha]. Our drummer has the memory of a goldfish, probably even worse. To be fair, his brain is just whiskey, and like a walnut floating around in it! That’s his brain [haha].”
It’s fair to say that you’ve done a load of festivals this summer. What do you enjoy about playing them?
“Just meeting new people really. That’s it. It’s probably one of our favorite bits. The summer vibe, and meeting new people, and bands that you used to watch when you were 15 years old. Thinking, ‘wow they’re right in front of me and they are actually really sound’. Trying not to fan boy [haha]. When you go up to them and say ‘alright mate, your music’s alright’ and just think no no no I wasn’t meant to say that [haha].”
Do you guys prefer playing those big festival shows, or do you prefer the smaller, intimate tours?
“Each thing has its own positives. Like, festivals are so different to intimate shows, but obviously the big [shows] you feel a bit more disconnected from the crowd, and there’s a lot more people. Where [as], the small shows you get to see every one upfront. I don’t think you can compare the two. They are both great in their different ways, definitely.”
You’ve just announced a UK tour for November this year. Is that going to be purely to promote the album, or is it going to be a ‘best of Heart Of A Coward’?
“It’s going to be mainly the album. We’ve been itching to get it out, we’ve been standing on it for a while, so just playing new songs. We played a couple of new ones last night.”
How did they go down?
“They went down really well, actually. Yeah, it’s cool to see people enjoying it. We find it really awkward playing new songs, because we don’t know how to move to them. Yeah, its like what’s going on? Are they just listening to it, or do they hate it [haha]. Who knows?”
From the reaction online, of what you’ve released so far, it seems to be really positive?
“Yeah, I mean there are always the obvious great YouTube comments like ‘Generic’. Oh great, we belong to a genre [haha].”
With the experimenting that you’ve done on this new album, are you surprised by such a positive reaction, or did you feel it was the way the bands’ direction would take anyway?
“That’s it; it’s always just what we want to do at the time. We write with a live scenario in mind. Were not gonna write stuff that we hate [haha]. To be fair, I think this album is one of my favourite things I’ve ever done. Yeah, the best one we have done so far. We’re real proud of it. Just itching to get it out [haha], but it’s definitely great when you get positive feedback, which it has been so far.”
From the bands you have played with this year, are there any that you think deserve more recognition, and are there any you would like to tour with?
“Err, trying to think who we have played with this year. Cannibal Corpse [haha]. They need more publicity [haha]. Nah, I think they’re doing alright. Devil Sold His Soul. Yeah, they are a really good band, like probably one of my favourite bands. Like, they’re a great band, but they just don’t get the recognition that they deserve. They make these incredible, huge soundscapes, and I think they just deserve a bit more of a kick and a push into the scene a bit more.”
If you could play with any band, in any venue, who would it be and where?
“Gojira at Brixton Academy [haha]. Killswitch, Gojira and Heart Of A Coward at Brixton Academy. That would be sick. That would be the one.”
That definitely needs to be booked up.
“Yeah [haha], if any promoters are listening. Book. Up. Now. [Haha].”
I can imagine you and Joel comparing beards.
“Yeah, I think I’d lose [haha]. That thing is huge!”
What can we expect from Heart Of A Coward in the future?
“We really want to get over to the States. We have lots of fans wanting us to go over, but it’s such an expensive thing to do. Like, its not as easy for a band from England to go out there, because you’ve got visa costs, flight cost, vans, food. Then you’re going over for the first time so there’s fees, but were looking to do it on this cycle. I think were ready now, and this is the time. Now or never, so hopefully we’ll get it sorted. Next year will be a US tour, but I think the plan is to hit European festivals hard! There’s some great ones, like Ressurection Festival was great. Such a good festival. Alongside Suicide Silence, Black Label Society, Korn, and Motörhead. It was nuts. Sort of like a mini Download. 38 degrees outdoor festival. Gin and tonics flowing all day [haha]. Throwing up, Max Cavalera doesn’t like us any more [haha].
Well, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us. It’s been great to catch up. Cheers guys.