The mad metal/punk trailblazers ‘The Bastard Sons’ from York have just released their superb ‘Roads’ EP – on March 10th – having just returned from an epic US Tour.
In the meantime, the band have released a stunning new video for the lead track from the EP – titled ‘O’ Brothel, Where Art Thou?’ – and produced by ‘Smoking Hearts’ Ben Mills.
We caught up the The Bastard Sons at this year’s Hammerfest – to chat about the US trip, the EP and making the new video:
HOW WAS THE USA TRIP?
It was awesome … 10 days away … good reception and good crowds – and good shows every night.
We did a couple of dates in Cali then we went over to Vegas (we played the ‘Dive Bar’ just off the Strip) then down to just outside Phoenix Arizona – we went to the Mexican border at Sierra Vista. That was probably the best show we did – we have ever had – then we travelled to San Diego and finished in Idyllwild, California – up in the Mountains- about 6000 metres up (sic – that would make it the same elevation as Mount McKinley) – we could hardly breathe. The show was in a movie theatre … a good experience.
When you start playing music, you dream about playing over there. It fulfilled all our dreams. If ever we were invited back to the US to perform we would love to play Sierra Vista and Idyllwild again!
SO TELL US ABOUT THE NEW E.P. ‘ROADS’
Yep. It was released on the 10th March we just put it out there … in the US. It’s already had a great response. “O’ Brothel, Where Art Thou?” is like a single – a standalone track – from the EP. It’s probably our most ‘tame song’ and we have released a video to go with it.
Our buddy Ben from Smoking Hearts did the video – he came up with an idea and shot it over to us. So that was quite an experience for us. The video has been going down really well.
The song was probably one of the last songs we wrote (that’s on the CD) – it came together really quickly – It’s one of the smoothest, grooviest tracks we’ve ever done. A really catchy song. The dynamics and the vocals are very strong. With some catchy licks. It’s got a good range of everything. It just worked really well.
WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD THAT TRACK PLAYED BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO – DID YOU KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE YOUR FIRST SINGLE?
Yes, we think so, yes. We didn’t necessarily tame it down to be the single though. It was always a song that had singing in it. Rather than shouting or screaming or whatever you wanna call it. But it always seemed kinda the obvious choice to draw people in. And hopefully, our other songs aren’t too heavy … so they won’t push people away. We definitely think it’s one of the easier tracks to listen to. It’s got that accessibility to it – for people that are perhaps into other genres that are lighter than metal. But it’s still us … so it creates a kind of buttery curve into our other music.
SO TELL US ABOUT YOUR LINK WITH SMOKING HEARTS?
Yeah. We played with them and Idiom in York. in October. We all hit it off. And Ben (vocalist) and JJ took them out (we had mutual friends in tattooing) and when we saw Ben Mills video stuff we asked him if he had any ideas for us. And he said that he did. And we liked his way of videoing – it seemed new – and he had a good idea – us dressing up as women -( and we must say that drummer Rich made a beautiful woman. ) It was fun to do.
WHAT ABOUT WORKING ON THE EP IN THE STUDIO?
For us it was Rory Vallely at the Edge Studios in Cheshire… Rory was the man. We brought the songs in and the whole thing just grew in the studio. He is a great engineer – a guitar player himself – and he was so involved and so ‘into it’ right from the start- it’s a big credit to him how some of the songs have turned out. He brought the best out of the guitars and virtually stripped JJ’s throat of any vocal chords. He wanted each track laid down about eight times – at various levels of scream!
It was mastered by Ray Staff [(Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Muse etc.] it got sent over to Ray — and it came back ten times [even] better!
[We feel] it was the most fun we could have had in a studio. This is the thing we are most proud of – it’s the best CD [we] have have ever worked on.
SO JJ [JACKSON] – TELL US ABOUT YOUR TATTOOS…
I have got a few tattoos. But the most spectacular is the ‘Bastard Sons’ logo written on the palm of my hand. It was probably the worst thing I have ever had done. My good friend Billy Hay from Custom Ink in Glasgow did it for me.
I had my other palm done a few years ago (The Tudor Rose) and that took about two hours. But the ‘Bastard Sons’ logo took just twenty-five minutes – but it was the worst thing imaginable. Luckily I’ve now got both palms done. So I need never get them done again. A word to your readers, “Don’t get your palms done – kids”
“ It’s not cool and it’s not clever … and more importantly … it hurts. It really, really hurts.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW INDEPENDENT LABEL [ Kaiju Records ] – HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU?
Yes it’s been going fantastic. Basically one of us (Rich ) set up the label. We were shopping around, seeing what we could get and what could get done – and in the end we settled on doing it ourselves. We could cut out the middle man that way. We could have more control over the product. We set it up just for us really – but we have started looking at other bands to sign. But we’re still concentrating on us for a while.
With Kaiju we have had a lot of freedom. We have been able to do [things] exactly how we want to do things. It’s helpful in that sense. At this stage we thought that maybe it was the right time to give ourselves a bit more control.
Essentially, it’s fair to say, that we are a D.I.Y. band. It’s a term that’s massively over-used. But basically Rich sorts everything out for us …. Basically he’s our ‘carer’.
But we have seen him party – he might have an angelic face – but we have seen him party the night away. For example, he was the only band member who didn’t sleep in Vegas!
WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THE REST OF THE YEAR FOR YOU GUYS?
We have a couple of dates lined up for April. We’ll keep pushing the EP as much as we can. We have a couple of dates lined up for the summer. There’s a lot of things in the pipeline. So stay tuned to social media to find out where we are going to be. And what we’re up to.
Hopefully we’re gonna record a new video. I won’t be for a while yet, but a lot of people are desiring a new video for ‘Winter’ – the last track on the CD. Obviously that track has got a strong link with ‘Game of Thrones’ – so everyone wants to see us battling with wolves and skinning a bear. Dressed as real men this time.
That’s what it’s all about for us. Keeping the music serious. But everything else – well – we just have a good time.
Most of the time, really, we’re just having a laugh!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH BASTARD SONS. AND CONGRATULATIONS ON PRODUCING A SPLENDID E.P.
The Bastard Sons were talking to: @neilmach © 2014