Having cut their teeth during the UK’s ‘Metalcore‘ scene back in 2004 and proceeded to evolve into a platinum-selling international live act that has become one of [if not the biggest], new artists, to emerge from the UK in the last decade.
Their last studio album ‘Amo‘ breached the top ten charts in many countries around the globe including number one spots in Australia and the UK and if the hype on ‘Post Human…‘ is anything to go by, they are gonna own 2021.
Speaking from their homes amidst the current UK lockdown, drummer Matt Nichols and Jordan Fish talk about the bands’ latest creation which was finally be unleashed to the world last week [Friday, October 30th].
OD – The new EP drops tomorrow [Oct 30th], I have to ask, was there always a plan to do an EP or did the lockdown just shift the paradigm on the bands’ plans?
MATT – We actually started writing before ‘lockdown‘. Oli, Jordan and Lee went to Amsterdam to get their heads together and get things rollin’. We wrote ‘Parasite Eve‘ before lockdown and then when that all came to be, we stopped for a while, a couple of weeks or whatever and then Oli and Jordan decided to keep things moving and just started writing over Skype and that’s how the EP was created.
OD – The decision to document the creative process with the videos was an insightful way into the working process for the band. Did you have any hesitation in doing that, and did you find that it was a positive medium to stay in touch with the fans?
JORDAN – It was something that we had to force ourselves to do. We’re not really that kind of band that invites people into our personal lives. The conscious decision to open the doors to a private part of the bands working process was strange at first but we got used to it as we progressed.
For me, the mystic and the process is something I would never have felt comfortable with but things are just so different now with the current state of the world. We did a sort-of, ‘behind the scenes‘ things for ‘Ludens‘ which came out earlier this year and is on this EP and although we didn’t release that footage that came out after the track, it was really well-received. I think that gave us a good feeling about the idea to open up a little more about things on social media.
There were some ideas and bits of tracks here and there on that footage but we were okay with that and to be honest, it felt kind of nice to get something very different out to the public, even though some of the stuff that can be heard is not entirely in a finished state.
In January, we had our video guy, ‘Brian‘ come out and continue to film things. The first series that you see is all from Oli’s house and was filmed two weeks before lockdown kicked in. Then we went away and had a week or two apart from each other and played around with the idea to record it ourselves using FaceTime and Skype etc..
OD – Was there any part of that process of publically sharing all of this private stuff that you felt weird about?
JORDAN – Yeah [Laughing]. One thing that I found weird was that when we’re in a room talking to each other, it’s kind of hard to know what’s going on at times but because we were communicating over FaceTime, it was like the viewer was right in the middle of the communication and was very direct.
It kind of forced us to actually properly communicate and from the perspective of the viewer, I feel like they got way more from the footage as it was very clear and direct as to who was talking, what we were talking about and what we were trying to achieve.
OD – So, looking at the tracklisting on the EP, what really threw me off guard is the heavy into the track ‘Dear Diary’ and to be honest, the overall guitar presence on the EP in general. It’s a lot heavier than previous album ‘Spirit’ and ‘Amo’. Was there a conscious decision to write heavier material, or did it just happen?
JORDAN – Ther was a little bit of a mindset to go for a heavier sound. I suppose when we wrote ‘Ludens‘, it felt so good to play live and for some reason, it felt like the right thing to do. It felt like we had combined elements with some of the stuff that we picked up over the last few albums and then take into consideration everything that’s going on right now, there’s no question that there’s a frustrating vibe in the air due to the issues we’re all experiencing.
Had we released ‘Amo‘ during a situation like this, it would have been a totally wrong album for the events we’re all living through. [Laughing] If fact, some of those tracks seem alien to me now when I think about them.
All of that stuff was akin to the sound on the new EP. It all seemed to line up perfectly and channel a more aggressive sound, without backtracking on what we have already accomplished.
OD – With ‘Post Human…’ referenced as an ‘EP’, does that mean that there is an album in the works that we’ll see a little sooner than expected, due to the flatline in the live/touring side of things?
JORDAN – Well, this is meant to be the first of four small EP’s. The idea is to have a series of EP’s that when are all put together works out as a 16 or 20-track LP or ‘double’ LP… to be honest, I don’t know as of yet.
But then, ‘Post Human…‘ ended up being much longer than we wanted. At the end of the day, they are all going to be connected, so this one is ‘Post Human: Survival Horror‘ and the next one will be ‘Post Human …‘ something etc. Ther will be different phases etc, we don’t really know how long they are going to be but we have material that we’re working on now that will most likely turn up on the later EP’s.
OD – Of course, we see a few collaborations/guests on this release, with Suzuka [Babymetal] Yungblud, Nova Twins and Amy Lee [Evanescence], were each of these tracks written with these specific people in mind and if so, did it come together relatively easy?
JORDAN – They all kind of came up as we were writing. With regards to working with Yungblud (pictured above), we’d seen his name around a few times and we know him from crossing paths in the past. I kept seeing him everywhere and then we were working on ‘Obey‘ and then it just made sense because he’s got that frantic energy that is very much a part of the track, so we just got in touch as it happened really quickly.
Oli sent him the track and he was really keen. He went straight into the studio and recorded it and sent back the track within 24-hours! It was the first track we did with a guest.
The Babymetal track (‘Kingslayer‘) was an idea that we had a while back but couldn’t do anything about because of schedules etc. So, we resent it again and once they said that they were interested, we finished a bit more on the track to their vibe and had yet to finish the chorus.
In fact, that chorus on ‘Kingslayer‘ is not typically something we would normally do as it has more of ‘J-Pop‘ vibe to it.
OD – I have to say, the overall confidence on. ‘Post Human...’ is at an all-time high on this EP. Would it be a correct assumption to assume the balance of writing and creating is working better than ever before?
MATT – Yeah! Everybody in the band is on the same page and we really enjoy what we do. It’s great to have workaholics in the band like Oli and Jordan. It’s just working really well. Nobody in the band has an ego or thinks they are better or whatever, we’re all just humble and down to earth.
There’s a lot of metal bands out there that won’t try anything new because it’s not “METAL” and they are terrified that people may not like it. We’re just the opposite. People are going to just understand that this is what we’re doing. Take it, or leave it! It’s our band and we’ll do as we like! We’re all on the same page that’s the only thing that matters.
OD – BMTH has [in my eyes] become a multi-genre concept, floating between the lines of Rock, Metal, Pop, Electronic etc. This is one of the most difficult [and coveted] achievements in any artists career. To be able to appeal to so many genres but also being your own entity. Would you agree with this?
MATT – Yeah! I think that’s the beauty of our band. We can’t be pigeonholed and expected to do the same thing over and over again. We have the confidence to try new things and explore our ideas and give things a chance. We believe in ourselves and are not afraid to take risks.
We’re all for that. Like, look at ‘Amo‘, that was our attempt to tackle a more “Pop” approach. Some of it worked and some of it, not so much but we still made it successful.
JORDAN – Not everything we’ve done in the past works to our advantage. There are definitely things that we’ve done since I’ve joined the band over the last eight years that didn’t work out or thought: “Fucking Hell, we were really close to doing something really shit there” [Laughing].
At the end of the day, the ambition is to move forward and progress using music to create something that we hope people will say: “Holy Shit, this is really different!” We don’t always win. In some ways, I feel like we’ve played it a little safer this time around with ‘Survival Horror‘.
OD – How so?
JORDAN – When we were writing this, it didn’t feel like we were ‘genre-hoping‘ to me. It kind of felt like we were being BMTH but when some people listen to it, they think: “Fucking hell! This record is all over the place!”
OD – But there’s no question that this is a dramatic shift from ‘Amo‘…
JORDAN – ‘Amo‘ was really us pushing as hard as we could to be… we made things quite hard for ourselves writing that record. It’s a huge departure from the traditional BMTH structure.
For example, there’s hardly any chords in the songs. So, yeah this EP is not us stepping away from new challenges. It’s more in a comfortable and familiar zone for the band. It’s us trying to find that ‘sweet spot‘ that’s not quite in our comfort zone because that would result in boring music.
This EP is us in a very creative ‘fun-zone‘ where we’re on full creative mode trying different stuff and feeling confident about doing so.
OD – The band has been through so many trenches to reach this point. I find it funny how still to this day, people get so heated about everything you do. One discussion I was reading lately involved the prospect of BMTH headlining Download Festival. If you were approached, would this be something that you would consider because it seems that you could pull off your own festival much like All Points East?
JORDAN – I’m not doing that again! [Laughing]
MATT – That [All Points East] was such a stressful event! Right up until we got on stage we were dealing with the biggest amount of shit in the world. But when we finally got on stage, we were thinking: “Wow! We actually managed to do it!” But it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure! [Laughing]
JORDAN – It was one of those things that will be referred to as: “You live and learn“. [Laughing}
OD – If you could change anything about this business, what would it be?
JORDAN – Well, for me, I really don’t like it when records leak online. It’s a really uncomfortable time for me. This EP leaked online about a week ago and it’s a really horrible and uncomfortable feeling for me and the rest of the band.
MATT – I don’t really know what I’d change. You get out of this business what you put into it. It’s hard for me to think of anything as we’ve got it pretty sweet.
JORDAN – I guess a lot of people would say, “Getting a record deal” or something like that. We have a great relationship with the team at Sony. They pretty much leave us to it, but I’m pretty much they are shafting us behind the scenes [Laughing].
MATT – Yes, they are really great to work with.
OD – Of all your achievements to date, what is the one that you are most proud of?
MATT – The fact that we’re still here, doing what we love to do. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ve been in this band since I was 17-years old and I’m now 34-years old. To have been able to ride that wave and still be here is a huge thing. It’s not like we’ve always been at a massive level. We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are now.
JORDAN – I was gonna say that. There are loads of things that we have to go through behind the scenes when we spend so much time together in making this band work and I suppose there have been times when this band could have fallen apart but it has never happened, so I guess, just like Matt said, the fact that we’ve managed to navigate so many difficult situations ever since I’ve been in the band over the last eight years, but we still manage to deal with stuff when it feels like the end of the world and everything is coming down on us. We just put out heads down and get stuck in. We always get through it.
Bring Me The Horizon ‘Post Human: Survival Horror‘ is out now via Sony/RCA Records. Pick up your copy here. Tickets for BMTH UK dates are on sale now.
Read our review of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror‘ here.
If you like what we do and you would like to leave us a small tip [the price of a cup of coffee] then please visit this link. Thank you for your support.
www.overdrive.ie © 2020.
All Rights Reserved.