Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Interview with Jon Barmby, Brides

Brides only formed in May 2007 but have already been featured in Rocksound and Kerrang! and they recently released their first studio mini-album 'Ocular.Unveil'. The four piece from Brighton signed to 'Visible Noise Records' the label that boasts the likes of 'Bring Me The Horizon' and 'Bullet For My Valentine,' and Brides could be the next to make the step up.

We talked to Brides drummer, Jon Barmby:

Where did the name ‘Brides’ come from?

Its quite a funny story to be honest, back when we started out in college we were high a fair bit and found B-Movies hilarious. Back then we were a bit more comical in regards to our music and myself and Ant where looking through a list of B-Movie horror films and we came across 'The Brides Wore Blood' we thought it was pretty funny so went with that for the name of the band. Over time as our sound developed we did too and grew out of naming songs ridiculous things such as 'White Bear' and 'James Brown brings the beatdown'. To co-incite with our fresher more unique sound we shortened our named to just 'Brides' it works better for what we where after and I mean 'The Brides Wore Blood' - that is just the shittest band name I have ever heard!

And, what about the name for Ocular.Unveil?

Ocular.Unveil came from a lyric on the record, which states 'Dawn that ocular veil' and we thought that summed up the record quite well as most of the songs are written from someone's perspective. We thought it worked better to contrast it as 'Ocular.Unveil' as it too is the unveiling of a band in a sense, this is our first release and we wanted people to see what we are all about. It's really just about opening your eyes to new things and things already around you, gaining a wider perspective on the world.

Brides is still a relatively young band, how does it feel to already be in major magazines like Kerrang and Rocksound?

It's amazing, we have our press agent Austen to thank for that, he has been great and helped us out a lot with the release. Of course as a young band, nowadays you grow up reading magazines such as Kerrang and Rocksound and to be in them is a great achievement let alone have full pages in them. The press has been a great part of this whole release - its always interesting to hear what people have to say about your music and the response we have got has been overwhelming. Overall, these things we don't take for granted - a lot of bands nowadays don't even know that they are getting exposure from a certain magazine but we fully appreciate any bit of publicity we get.

How would you describe the sound of Brides to someone who has never heard you before?

It’s a mixture of punk, rock, hardcore and progressive music. We like to keep things open and experiment layering different genres. We take different aspects of music that we like and put them together to create what I hope is a working mixture. If you like, either A Wilhelm Scream, Hot Water Music or Polar Bear Club and want to find some fresh music then give us a try! You might like it.

Who are your musical inspirations?

We are inspired by most things to be honest, from a number of genres within music to everyday things. The wider your inspiration is the more chance you have of creating something fresh and unique. We tend to look at aspects of different bands we like and take inspiration from that - The vocal depth of Hot Water Music and Polar Bear Club to the instrumentation of A Wilhelm Scream, Misery Signals and even some older work such as Fleetwood Mac and Dire Straits. Everyone in the band likes to take inspiration from different things that way when we put it together we can create a more unique sound.

The band had to change lead singer just under a year ago, did that set you back at all?

Yes and No, it set us back in the sense that when Max joined the band it was 4 months prior to the recording of Ocular.Unveil and we had already demoed the record with our previous vocalist but the time came for a change that we all wanted and we got Max on board. So Trist then set about re-writing and re-working the entire album vocally with Max and due to the added commitment of Max and his determination we where able to finish demoing just before heading into the studio. It helped a lot as we all were happier and more relaxed going into the recording process knowing what we had to do and that includes Max who after a very short period of time had done an enormous amount to contribute towards the making of this record. It was the better move for the band and, as a result, we have a record that we are all so proud of.

Your label, Visible Noise looks after some big acts, like BFMV, BMTH etc. What was
it like signing to them?

It was fantastic, we couldn't have asked for any better really. The story goes we where demoing the record with Max as mentioned above around July last year, so we where working on the demos one day and Julie from Visible Noise had seen that we where heading in to record in October and wanted to hear some demos. So we sent her over what we had got down and as we finished each song we sent it through, fortunately for us she loved it. I might add at this point that the reason we where demoing was not only to sort out final parts on songs but also that at the end of the process we had a list of labels to send the record to in hope that they would like to help us out. It's quite funny as Visible Noise weren't even on that list, as we didn't even consider them a possibility. So we met with Julie down in Brighton and after four bottles of wine and countless Chicken wings later we knew that this was the label we wanted to work with. I think we where in that meeting for around five hours and only around three of them we spent discussing music - the rest of the time we talked. That was really nice as it gave us a chance to get to know the label, besides the great roster of bands they have they are great at what they do and we feel very lucky to be a part of that.

Which band that you’ve been on tour with has been your favourite to hang out with?

I would have to say our good friends from up north Lavotchkin, those guys are the best. We have toured with them a number of times and they are also our oldest friends from playing music, we met a few years back when we played up their way in Newcastle. We ended up staying with them while up there on tour - they are just a great bunch of guys who share the same passion for music that we do! Last year when we where on tour together we stayed at our house on the Brighton leg of the tour and D-Rail came down as well so we had a few drinks after the show and the guitarist of Lavotchkin - Ben decided to let someone hit him across the arse with this titanium motorcycle bike lock, I think it was Lavotchkin's bassist Hubb that got the honour of doing it and I kid you not it left the most severe injury across his arse cheeks! We got sent through a photo of it a few days later and it was outrageous plus he couldn't sit down for like a week, which we found hilarious considering the next day they had a 7-hour drive back north to Newcastle. Also the first night we met these guys we shot cymbals with an air rifle in guitarist Martin's kitchen, Good times.

And which was the best to see?

We have played with all be it not on tour, A Wilhelm Scream, it's very rare that bands get to play with their favourite band at all and we had the honour of doing it a few times last year which was awesome. Also Failsafe, when we played with them in London they where absolutely awesome.

What can fans expect from the upcoming tour in April?

Just an energetic passion filled 30-40 minutes, this is the first string of shows we have really had a chance to do since working on Ocular.Unveil so it will be a lot of people's first time hearing these songs live which will be great fun. We are just looking to have a good time, meet some awesome people and play to hopefully some great crowds!

Do you have a favourite venue to play at?

I would say The Underworld in London, its a timeless classic, its simple but does the job and the sound is actually pretty decent which is hard to come by at some venues across the UK. We are back there in April with Devil Sold His Soul on the 22nd, which we are dead excited about.

What are your long-term hopes for Brides?

My only wish is that we take this band as far as it can go, we all love what we do and long may it continue. We are just looking to tour as much as possible as well as playing with some great bands and keep writing music that we enjoy, that's what being in a band should be about. We have already started work on the next record but as to how it will sound - we don't even know yet! The more influenced we get the more the sound will develop and that's going to be exciting to hear.

Damon Fowler
Comfort in Sound

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