CONJURER have really exploded onto the UK metal scene in 2016. Releasing their debut EP, I, back in July, the band has captured the attention of both journalists and fans across the UK metal scene. Following successful performances at this year’s Bloodstock Festival and supporting ANAAL NATHRAKH has bolstered the band’s grip on the scene and Damnation Festival is the band’s next challenge; a challenge in which they conquered. Prior to the festival we caught up with guitarist/vocalist Brady Deeprose to talk about Damnation Festival, the reception to their debut EP and their forthcoming full-length alongside reflecting on CONJURER‘s explosive year.
CONJURER have had a solid year. You’ve released your debut EP, performed at Bloodstock Festival, supported ANAAL NATHRAKH in Manchester and now you have a slot at this year’s Damnation Festival. In reflection, how has this year been for the band?
Brady: Thanks for talking to me. This year has been pretty unbelievable. We started playing shows in February last year and to be in the position we are now is more than we ever could have expected. I think it’s testament to the hours and hours of time we put into what we do, we are passionate and dedicated and I think people pick up on that. This year in particular has been beyond busy for us, I think it’s going to work out as more than one show a week.
Being billed on Damnation Festival, which bolsters an incredibly strong lineup, are you feeling any pressure to performing at the festival?
Brady: Being a fan of the festival, I think when we got the call there was that initial, ‘Oh shit, we’re actually doing this’ moment but we don’t see any competition when it comes to any lineup, it’s not about comparing bands, it’s about supporting bands. We will go up there and do what we do – some people will like it and some will hate it, we have no control over that. It’s just a case of being confident in your own music/performance and being happy to take whatever reactions you get.
Your debut EP, I, was released back in July. How have you found the reception for that EP?
Brady: That’s one of the things that has surprised us most – when we first started talking about studio time, we expected to be doing a little self-released run of 100 CD’s for free. Having the support of Holy Roar has made all the difference and helped us get out to a much wider audience. But I think the most surprising thing is just how into it people have been. We regularly get positive feedback and there are people buying the record on several formats. It’s cool that people want to support us, and it drives us to be better.
And have you already started looking ahead to working on your debut full-length record?
Brady: Yes, it’s pretty much written and will be recorded early next year. It’s going to be vastly different. Heavier. Less heavy. Nastier. More refined. Whatever it is, we hope it will be interesting.
The overall sound of CONJURER contains elements of sludge, doom and dabbles of post-metal. What are the overall influences throughout the band?
Brady: We’re a weird bunch in that we have very little music that unites all of our tastes and influences us all, which makes the music choices on tour a difficult battle! Dan [Nightingale, vocals/guitar] and I started listening to GOJIRA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and ARMED FOR APOCALYPSE…our first few tracks kinda sounded like REVOCATION, but we quickly tired with all-out fast. Dan wrote the majority of Behold The Swine which ended up opening the EP, and I was hooked – we developed everything from there just trying to keep what we were doing interesting and exciting. I think that’s what unites us, when we’re working on an idea at practise and it’s something we can all get excited about, we know we’re onto a winner.
Festivals like Damnation are showcasing a lot of emerging talent in the UK metal scene, a scene which has exploded again in the last several years. Is it becoming more difficult for emerging bands to make a name for themselves?
Brady: Yes and no. There are so many bands out there so I think people can be forgiven for thinking it’s harder, but it’s down to your attitude and dedication. People will support bands that support themselves. I, along with a good portion of the scene from both a fan and industry perspective, will support an “okay” band that work hard and are nice guys over a brilliant band of lazy assholes any day of the week. While there are more bands these days, I think people pay a lot more attention to the little details so if your meticulous with it, you will get noticed.
With the fact that this year you will have performed at both Bloodstock and Damnation Festivals, two festivals which differ in their approach. What do you prefer? Outdoor weekend festivals or one day in-door festivals?
Brady: Both have their merits. An indoor festival is weatherproof which is always a bonus – I’m a bit of a clean freak so regular festivals are stressful enough as it is. Damnation in particular has such a brilliant buzz about it, the venue is perfect and you’re usually going to get better sound indoors regardless. Outdoor festivals are brilliant because of the volume of people. We all know seeing a band in an empty room sucks and an overcrowded show can be a bit much too so a large festival is kind of the best of both – but the sound usually suffers. Bloodstock is fantastic and was an incredible opportunity for the band so I’m not going to sway one way or the other.
This year has really seen CONJURER cement themselves in the UK metal scene, looking ahead what are you hoping to achieve in 2017?
Brady: To be honest, we blew any expectations out of the water for this year so we’re in a really good place at the moment. Next year, we’ll be heading to the studio to record an album and hopefully getting over to Europe for some shows. Before then, we’re out with REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER in December which is going to be crushing.
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