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Notts-based Metal Band The Five Hundred on Personal Demons, Moscow and Their Debut Album

27 February 19 interview: Matthew Williams

Since forming in 2014, devastatingly heavy Notts-based metal outfit The Five Hundred are making their mark on the UK scene, with their unholy blend of crushing eight-string guitar breakdowns, soaring yet haunting vocal melodies and pummelling drums. Following the release of their EP, Mirrors, in 2015 and their debut album, Bleed Red, last year, the band have been picking up some serious momentum. We spoke to bassist Andy Crawford discuss their bleak lyrics, the current Nottingham metal scene and their plans for the future….

How would you describe your sound for those who might not know you?
Meshuggah getting into a fight with the metalcore scene because they are tired of their bullshit.

Who would you say the band’s biggest musical influences are?
Alice In Chains, Meshuggah, The Haunted, Architects.

On your website, you talk about how each member of the band has overcome their own variety of personal demons. Would you say this has influenced the band’s music and lyrics?
Yeah, without a shadow of a doubt. Read the lyrics, man – they’re bleak as fuck. I’m not proud of them. I’m horrified that we had to write something like that.

Do you wish to advocate a positive attitude to your fans with your music, so that they too can overcome these issues?
No, because that would be a blatant lie. Our music does not advocate a positive attitude, it explores the darker side of the human condition. It’s not all bunny rabbits, sunshine and rainbows. It’s real. And that’s why it’s relevant. Life isn’t always a walk in the park. Why would we write about it like it was?

What can fans expect when listening to your new album Bleed Red?
It’s not pretty, so don’t play it for your nan.

What do you think of the metal scene in Nottingham?
We moved over here because of the famous Nottingham scene in the early noughties. It then went to shit and died out, but now it’s back. Use it or lose it, it’s the best scene in the country right now.

Can you explain the band’s name?
A journalist once wrote that our sound was so big that it sounded like there were five hundred members on stage instead of just the five. We kinda liked that, so wrote a song called The Five Hundred. The song sucked so it didn’t make it on to the album. But we kept the name for the band.

Do you guys prefer the stage or studio?
The stage! Who in their right mind prefers the studio to the stage?! 

What’s your favourite memory of playing in Nottingham?
Too many to mention, but our album release show at Rough Trade this year was something else. It was one of the smallest hometown shows we’ve played, but it was just buzzing from front to back, side to side. MacMillan Fest is always special too, because it’s always rammed.

Are there any plans for new music in 2019?
We’ve already started writing album number two. Will we release it in 2019? Probably not, because you guys don’t buy records anymore and we are sick of the lot of you.

What bands in the metal scene are you listening to at the moment?
Conjurer, Palm Reader, Unprocessed, Valis Ablaze, Cabal, Cold Night For Alligators, Led Zeppelin.

 What’s the wildest thing that’s happened during one of your live shows?
Moscow is the wildest thing that has ever happened to us. That place is insane.

 Is there anything else you would like to add for our Leftlion readers?
Get out of yer mam’s front room and down to a show, you wasters.

The Five Hundred website

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