With their latest record Faith/Breaker just released, Distorted Sound’s Jessica sat and got the latest from Birmingham band AURORA.
First thing is first, how are you guys today?
Josh Hammond – Doing good thanks, cheers for having us
Rhys Whitehouse – Seconded, can’t complain
Faith/Breaker is the first AURORA record to feature Rhys Whitehouse after switching from a female vocalist, how do you think this has impacted the music you guys make?
Josh Hammond – Totally different dynamic. The songs that were on the album were actually being written when Jess was still in the band, however due to personal commitments outside the band she stepped aside. But we are very grateful for her helping us get to where we are today. Rhys has brought a renewed vitality to our sound, which granted will take a bit of getting used to for a few people but we hope you like it either way
Rhys Whitehouse – To be honest, as Josh said, I joined with a pre-written album so the only real influence I had musically was structuring Luke’s cleans, I have spoken to the guys about this and I have stressed that we shouldn’t change the initial sound of aurora to accommodate my vocal range, that really would be spitting in the face of our fans, some of which I’m still hoping to win over, haha.
For your first LP release, how does it feel getting such positive recognition?
Josh Hammond – Feels good! To be honest we had no idea how it was going to go down to people, so whatever feedback we receive (both good and bad) makes us glad that people are listening to it in general
Rhys Whitehouse – The album was written on my behalf very intensely – I had two weeks to write it and learn it and record it and it wasn’t long after that that we took it to the stage. I was sceptical of the release as I’m somewhat of a perfectionist – for months I’d listen to it over and over learning it inside and out and with such a positive response we have received I am unequivocally relieved and maybe I can stop trying to pick out faults in it, we cannot thank people enough for their humbling words that have come our way. We’re very grateful.
How was it for you to be taken on a weekend tour with Martyr Defiled?
Josh Hammond – Such a laugh it was. Saw some great bands that weekend as well asides MD, particularly Chapters and Incarcerate (the latter who will be also supporting us at our album show). Prior to that it had been a while since we’d last played outside Birmingham so felt good to broaden our horizons to new audiences.
Rhys Whitehouse – Yeah it was pretty funny. It sucked we couldn’t get to the Preston date but stoke was hilarious. We never go on stage looking to act tough or preach; we wore novelty t-shirts and some kid brought a trolley into the pit.
Cardiff was tiring but it was a hive of talent and such a beautiful city, too.
For an upcoming band from Birmingham, you’re getting so much exposure through Kerrang and as said above, Martyr Defiled, has this been gaining new popularity levels for AURORA?
Josh Hammond – We like to think so. Birmingham has a very proud music history, goes without saying, and one of the main things which drives us as a band is making sure we keep that heritage going. Plenty of good local bands out there too, Lock & Key/Shvpes/Bloom to name but a few.
Rhys Whitehouse – We don’t tend to really look at what exposure has done for us or any of that – as Josh said, with Birmingham being such a historically music orientated city, it’d be ridiculous to dive in and just expect to be known. It can be surreal being stopped by strangers who know who you are but at the end of the day, we’re in it as cliché as it sounds because we all love playing balls to the wall metal, haha.
How is Faith/Breaker being received?
Josh Hammond – Didn’t think people would be as receptive about it as they have been! Any support we’ve had has been overwhelming, words can’t thank them enough for buying/listening to the record.
Rhys Whitehouse – From what I’ve seen, pretty well. There was mixed responses to the single and the video release, but then again it’s not always easy for fans to adapt to a band’s new sound. The album, however, has been received very well by fans new and old so that’s a massive bonus.
Your release show is in November at the Rainbow, why did you guys pick there for a venue and how are you expecting it to go down?
Rhys Whitehouse – Oh lordy – we have some big plans for that show. The venue idea came about by our friend Kieran Murphy from KJM, who is helping us put on the show. It’s a strong venue with a decent capacity. I’m not expecting to sell out, but I’ll be happy with whoever turns up and, if I’m honest, I’m looking forward to meeting those who are planning on doing so. Plus the supports are sick so you’d really have to be an idiot not to.
After the release show, what are you guys planning on doing after?
Josh Hammond – Writing for the next record is the next step, hopefully get some good tours/gigs on the go as well and see what happens.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day for answering these questions, the best of luck to you with Faith/Breaker.
Josh Hammond – Cheers, thanks again for having us!
AURORA will play their release show at The Rainbow in Birmingham, Saturday 14 November, you can get tickets here!
Faith/Breaker is out now via In At The Deep End Records.