Bloodstock has grown into the premier festival in the UK for metal bands and year in, year out, the festival has been essential for bands looking to further their career or solidify their dominance in the top tiers. Whilst the Ronnie James Dio Stage graces some of the biggest names in our world and the Sophie Lancaster Stage showcases bands that are really beginning to smash through the gates, Metal 2 The Masses is an enormous pillar to both Bloodstock and bands that are bubbling with potential. We caught up with Mancunian victors PROGNOSIS to reflect on their road to Bloodstock alongside talking about Manchester being the Northern powerhouse for metal and what the future holds for this exciting band.
So PROGNOSIS have played the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage earlier today, how did you think the performance went?
Danny: Good! Really good actually, it was above expectations!
Phil: Sweaty is my go to word, but I was saying before, it feels like we’ve been working towards this for a good few years now and the wait has been so long! And then you get on stage and it just flies by!
Danny: Before we knew it we were on our last song but even if it was the last song, just looking out there and seeing so many people supporting us. We maybe know about a quarter of them and the rest of them, maybe it’s people we’ve met over the weekend who have come down, other than that it is just curiosity saying “who is PROGNOSIS?”
Phil: There was a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. We’ve got some really loyal supporters, they give everything they can.
Danny: They got us through Metal 2 The Masses. We had to play and dance about on stage but if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have got here.
Phil: But at the same time, it’s so nice seeing your close mates and people who have supported you in the crowd, but we saw so many people who have never seen us before going just as crazy. That’s the important thing.
Danny: But the real question, how many t-shirts have me managed to shift from the merch stand?!
Phil: That will be the gauge in how well we’ve gone down…
Danny: At least four would be nice!
Going through Metal 2 The Masses, it’s a gruelling competition, where it is so fierce. What were your expectations coming to Bloodstock? Was there a lot of nerves?
Phil: I was mostly more nervous about the competition. I felt, once we got through that quarter final, which was incredibly tough, it was just such a fierce competition! We knew if we did well in that we knew we’d be able to just fly through the rest of it and we gained so much confidence. Obviously, there are going to be a little bit of nerves coming into this as that was the biggest set of our lives.
Danny: It was the loudest we played! Probably the biggest crowd we’ve had, definitely the biggest circle and a wall of death we’ve had!
Phil: We had a little one in Grand Central…
Danny: That was like a Lego wall of death.
I guess PROGNOSIS have made a statement by playing Bloodstock, a festival that is so well established…
Danny: It feels where we belong, we are so welcomed. Whether it is the people who are involved with the festival itself, the organisers have done nothing but been really helpful. The people we’ve camped with have been amazing, you guys have been cool as hell. It’s been great!
Playing a festival like Bloodstock must surely make you think “hang on, we’ve gone up a tier here”?
Danny: Yeah, we haven’t taken it for granted.
Phil: Winning the Metal 2 The Masses competition was the end of a very long road, it was like ascending this ladder. Once we got to the top, we are now on another level.
Danny: Turning off that side road onto a main road!
Phil: Like you say, we’ve gone up a tier. We had to promote the hell out of our show and we had a great crowd and now we’ve got this album coming out and lots of touring, so that is the next challenge.
Danny: Hopefully with this and future exposure with our new single that will hopefully make people actually want to listen to the album when we finally get it out hopefully by the end of the year!
You actually just answered my next question there!
Danny: Sorry mate!
Phil: September-ish. We need to make sure that by playing this festival we make the most of the new fans we’ve gained and hopefully a lot of people will be talking about us. We don’t want to go quiet for six or seven months, we’re going to be hitting the rest of this year a lot harder.
The rise of PROGNOSIS has come at a time where the Manchester metal scene is probably at the best it has ever been. Just how fierce is the competition when you are trying to make a name for yourselves?
Danny: About fourty-ish bands went through that Metal 2 The Masses and that’s bearing in mind those are the ones that haven’t played Bloodstock. We have three this year, three Manchester bands playing, and all the other years Metal 2 The Masses has gone on, a lot of those bands are still active and are still with us, they are all still going! So when you come into this, you are essentially competing with them. But, we’ve got a really good relationship with Manchester, I’ve been putting gigs on at Grand Central and I’m friendly with all the bands, they scratch our backs and we scratch theirs. That’s what Metal 2 The Masses felt like.
Phil: There were so many wild cards that popped up throughout the competition as well. TRADING ARMS aren’t my particular style of music but they smash every stage they play.
Danny: GOREHEAD, they will be here next year. SKELETAL DAMAGE, and then you have bands like IMPAVIDUS who won’t play the competition because a lot of them have already played with other bands. You have bands like that who, if they entered, I’d be like “that’s it.”
Phil: Manchester is traditionally an indie city but there is so much metal there but it is in a strange place, the Manchester metal scene. You have all these great bands but venues like Retro Bar are going.
Danny: Ruby Lounge had a bit of an issue recently.
Phil: The Star and Garter has always been threatened. But, I’d like to think all the bands can keep the scene strong.
With that fact that PROGNOSIS are breaking through now, is it a sign that UK metal is in such good form. Do you feel that you have emerged as a band at the right time?
Danny: Only time will tell with that, we can just say yes but I’ve seen the scene ten years ago and I’ve seen the scene now, it does seem to come in waves. Ten years ago you had bands like I DEFY and there was a good scene. But, this last few years, it has just boomed! I think Rebellion helped big time with that coming about, the likes of Manchester Metal Collective and Noize who pushed the smaller bands.
Phil: The other side of it is with the modern day, it is so easy to get your music out there. There are a lot more bands, there’s a lot more really great bands but there is a lot more competition. So it’s good and it’s bad. You could argue that 20 years ago we could have easily broken through but nowadays, you can’t just be good.
Danny: We’ve had a good break here but we’ve got a long road ahead.
You really have to maintain that momentum, to be constantly on the scene and tour…
Phil: Look at a band like GOJRIA, they are going to headline Bloodstock next year. It’s only been in the last few years that they have soared.
And really just to round up, now that you have done Bloodstock, what’s next for PROGNOSIS?
Phil: Finish the album then just tour the hell out of it. I think in Manchester we’ve grown a really big fan base but outside of Manchester, I don’t think we are that successful. I think we need to make sure that people everywhere know who PROGNOSIS are so we need hit major cities like London, Nottingham, Glasgow etc. But we also want to play smaller towns as well, try to team up with other Metal 2 The Masses bands or something.
Danny: Getting out of the country would be nice as well!
Well awesome, thank you for talking to Distorted Sound guys, I wish you and PROGNOSIS every success.
Danny & Phil: Thank you very much.
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