Introducing: Black Tree Vultures

Black Tree Vultures are a four piece Rock/Metal band from the South Coast, UK. Made up of guitarist Aaron Hammersley and drummer Jonno Smyth, along with bassist Ched Cheeseman and vocalist Celyn Beynon, the quartet have just released their brand new single ‘Pull Apart’. Here’s the lowdown on what to expect from this hard hitting outfit…

What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?

The Band started properly in October 2017. Jonno and Aaron wrote a song together and began the hunt for a singer and bass player. Celyn nailed his audition with “Cochise” and was recruited on the spot. Despite having other bass players for over a year it wasn’t until Ched joined that the bands line-up was solidified.

How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!

It was a half hour slot opening for the Belgian band Diablo Blvd. in the bands home town of Bournemouth. Celyn was super nervous as this was his first gig with an originals band. We’d rehearsed a lot though so the gig went pretty smoothly and we were happy with our debut performance.

One thing I felt when we first caught you live, was that there was a great deal of variation throughout the set, a very widespread appeal. But how would you describe Black Tree Vultures? What should people expect when they check the band out?

The worry for us, being a band in a genre of music that has been around for a long time is sounding too ”samie”, so being able to overcome that is important to us. People should expect to be engaged with the show. We don’t just stand on stage and play our songs, we make eye contact with every member of the audience put our all in to putting on a memorable performance.

One of my biggest irritations at the minute is when a band announces tour dates and instantly people are complaining, in essence, that the band are not playing their front garden. You guys are based in Bournemouth, and we caught you after you had just driven up to Edinburgh for the gig, when you put in the miles like you do, does it bother you that people will complain about travelling 45 minutes to watch you?

Great question. We appreciate that people’s individual situations may not allow them to make the journey to a particular gig. We try to play everywhere we can to make connections with new people, but there are definitely venues around the country that we want to play regularly as it allows a greater number of our family (aka fan base) to attend.

New single ‘Pull Apart’ is now upon us, your first time working with Romesh Dodangoda, how far in advance did you have to book him?! And what did you take from the experience?

We started talking in May 2019 and recorded in the August. Aaron and Ched learnt more about their instrument tones and will take that to future recording sessions. Celyn learnt a lot more about recording vocals and we all saw an improvement in him, he’s a perfectionist that one!

Is the single indicative of what to expect on the forthcoming album? And when can fans expect it? (no pressure!)

We feel like the single has set a new benchmark for us as songwriters. As we develop our sound every new song has to be as good as ‘Pull Apart’, or better! We are currently responding to you from Spain, recording an EP with Will Maya (The Answer, Breed 77) and we want that out by the end of this year!

The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?

A band has to engage with its audience on every level. The live shows, in person after/before a show and on social media. It doesn’t matter how good you can play if you ignore people that want to engage with you, then you won’t be remembered.

What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?

It’s hard not to give an answer that doesn’t belie our desires, but Halestorm or Shinedown would be both an honour and a line-up rock fans would enjoy seeing at a show.

Who do you feel is the next band to break out in the way that Massive Wagons recently have?

Those Damn Crows seem to us as likely candidates.

What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

Celyn: Listening to Sailing to Philadelphia, after playing international rugby (under 21’s) to 5000 people and playing in a covers band to 4 people I had more enjoyment singing.

Aaron: Seeing the live DVD AC/DC at Monsters of Rock 1991

Jonno: Seeing Metallica in 2009 at the O2

Ched: Spaceman by Babylon Zoo, and seeing Frankie Poullain with a Thunderbird.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Celyn, Aaron and Jonno; Alter Bridge

Ched: Halestorm and In This Moment

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Ched: Michael Kiwanuka, KIWANUKA

Jonno; Justin Timberlake, Justified.

Aaron: Pink, Greatest Hits.

Celyn: Harry Styles, Harry Styles.

What are your plans for 2020?

We’ve already told you about the recording session, so getting the music videos done and planning it’s release. Then gigs, gigs, gigs as always!

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

We try to be very active especially as a release is due. We have hit over 3500 likes on Facebook and that is something we’d like to continue to grow so along with our Instagram that is the best place to see our content.

 

Connect with Black Tree Vultures here.

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