We caught up with BORN OF THE JACKAL, on tour with Sworn Amongst. Here’s what they had to say when we spoke to guitarist Stephen Moss, at the Cavern in Exeter.
How you doing, man?
“Good thanks, man. Feeling good after playing tonight.”
The second half of 2014 saw you play Bloodstock, tour with Reign of Fury and record your debut album… all this not long after a line-up change. How do you feel, as a band, about the current line up? Is Born of The Jackal in a stronger position then ever before?
“The current line-up that we’ve got, we feel really comfortable about. Obviously, we brought Colin Beale in on bass. He’s pretty experienced, playing with bands like Cambion. He knows what he’s doing. Matt, he’s a new boy, his first ever proper gig with us was at Bloodstock Festival so we definitely threw him in at the deep end, but he’s come on well and we’re really happy with the confidence that he brings to the stage. Yeah, were really happy with this current line-up.”
Has Bloodstock helped raise the profile of the band, on a national level?
“Yeah, I think whenever you get associated with a festival, it’s like a milestone. When anyone ever talks to us about the band they always mention Bloodstock. So far, that’s been our biggest milestone. Yeah, it’s been a real big thing for us as well as the YouTube Press we got from it as well.”
Was the tour, supporting Reign of Fury, just good timing, or purposely planned to make the most of your Bloodstock appearance?
“We’d already planned it and then when I found out about Bloodstock I just thought, ‘Oh, God, this is awesome, this is going really well!’
We did the album after, but yeah, the tour was more luck than being purposely planned. The tour helped us quite a lot. We played a show in Norwich that was packed out and gave us the opportunity to play to some cool people.”
This tour sees you in a support role again. Would you say it’s better to head out as support, and build up the fan base off the back of supporting larger bands, rather than jump head-first in trying to book a headline tour at this level? Does it open up more territories?
“Where we’re at, at the moment, I think its probably better that were playing in a support role. We’re able to build off of larger bands, which is great and allows us to broaden our fans base, which is always the aim when trying to gain attention, and progress. I think its better than being on a headliner, where your fan base isn’t that strong and you end up getting a poor turnout. Some bands complain they only get like 5 people to a show, and it’s just because they’re not that well known. I think you’re a lot better off going out with a band that is already out there, and you’re gonna get their fans checking you out. Sworn Amongst’s style has gone a lot more towards the ‘djent’ style which is a fan base that we’ve never really had the opportunity to gain fans from, so hopefully this will work in our favour.”
Would you say more unsigned bands need to step back and consider what they want out of being in band, and the way they plan, to move forward?
“I think there’s too many bands that just make something, and just throw it out there. They rush it. I think before you get into a band, and before you start it, you need to understand that you can’t just… you can’t put your girlfriend before the band, you can’t put home before the band. The band has to come first. You’ve gotta invest a lot of money. Born Of The Jackal is breaking everyone of us, but we know we’re doing it because its the most important thing in our lives, and we want something good from it. 9 times out of 10, even though were breaking ourselves from it, we might not get anything, but there’s that one time that we might get something out of it. So I think new bands just need to plan it a bit better, and understand that it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s not just messing about. Social media takes so much attention these days. You’re better off spending a few hundred quid on promoting your band on Facebook than you are advertising in a magazine. It’s sad that its like that because I’m an old-school fan. I like a good magazine with a free CD, but nah, Facebook’s taken over the world! But yeah, I think bands are now more like a business and it’s more expensive than its ever been. It’s ridiculous!”
The album was recorded at Monnow Valley Studios, which has seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Queen, and many others record there. What was it like walking into the studio? Could you feel the energy of the legends that have previously recorded there?
“It was! I’ve recorded in studios before, and it felt amazing recording in some of the studios that I’ve been in, but that studio has obviously had so many famous names in it, it had such a different feeling. The reason why we went there was because we didn’t want to just record a bog-standard album, in a bog-standard studio. We wanted to record the best, where the best bands have recorded, because in the end we think we are one of the best, and we want to be amongst the best. So the way to kick-start being the best, was to go where the best started their careers.”
Jeff Rose on production duties, again with a massive list of credits to his name. Was he a natural choice after the band worked with him on the 2013 self-titled EP?
“Jeff’s been connected to the band for a little while. He’s been friends with our guitarist, James for a while, so the rest of us have met him through him, but we could tell, just into our first few sessions, that we could trust him with our music. Some of the advice he was giving, to some of the riffs that we could change, some of the sections we could change. We’ve used his advice and we’re really happy with the product that we’ve created.”
You said at Bloodstock that you we’re looking for a label to release the album though, are you any closer to that?
“At the moment, we’ve kind of got this album, and were currently trying to sort a music video for the single. At the moment, were in talks with a few PR agencies, because there’s two arguments.
The one argument, saying you should just go through a label, and the other going through a decent PR agent and see what comes of that. At the moment, we’re new to the game. None of us have ever had to deal with something like this in a band. We could just go through an Indie label and sell like, 20 copies, but we don’t want to do that. We want to be on Scuzz, we want to be on at Download! We want to be on the biggest channels, the biggest festivals the biggest everything!”
What’s in store for Born of The Jackal for rest of the 2015?
“We’ve got some tour plans coming up. At the moment, in private, we’re discussing the dates. Obviously, were a bunch of poor bastards! We all have our own jobs, we work to pay our own way in the band. We have to make sure we can get the holidays matching each other. We’re also ready to spend a nice wad of cash to get a fully professional music video done! That’s really what we have planned at the moment. Hopefully, when we get the single together, we can start looking to release this album. This album, we spent an incredible amount of money on, and its depressing that it’s kind of just sat there and were just biding our time waiting for the opportunity to come along to release it. Fingers crossed, that time comes quickly.”
Any final words for the fans and our readers?
“Just keep supporting your local Metal scenes. We’re really lucky down here in Exeter. Like, this is our first show of the tour, on a Wednesday night, and it’s busy. People in Exeter support their Metal scene. If people across the rest of the UK can do the same as they can in Exeter, then we’ll have a good thing going.”
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, Stephen. All the best with the massive plans for 2015, and beyond!
Born Of The Jackal are now home in anticipation of the release of their debut album. No release date has been announced as of yet, but we sure as Hell hope it’s soon. Head over to their Facebook for updates.
Interview by Siôn Roe
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