From: Brighton, UK
Sounds like: As I Lay Dying, Clutch, Raging Speedhorn, The Haunted
Thrash Hits verdict: There simply aren’t enough straight out and out metal bands around. We’ve ended up in a world of diversification and niche genres, diluting the one thing we all love, deep and dirty metal. They’re already selling out shows nationwide and with a new EP out at the end of the year, things can only get heavier.
How did you guys meet?
Anthony: “Me and Gaz were at college together in different bands. When those bands came to an end, we decided to start something together.”
Gaz: “The main thing was that we wanted to play metal that we wanted to play. In previous bands it was about pleasing someone else, and we wanted to play something that we liked.”
So it was more about the bands you listened to rather than what was hot at the time?
A: “Yeah, at the time everyone was getting into really technical sounding metal and we didn’t want to do that, not because we didn’t like it but because it wasn’t strictly what we enjoyed playing.”
Where does the name come from?
A: “I came up with the name. It was taking the ethos of having your inner demons, and the band being that release. It was interesting researching the name – it came from cartographers. On the maps it used to just say Here There Be Monsters over Wales because they didn’t know what was there at the time, and then anywhere that there was a dangerous spot or mysterious things going on at sea they would put Here There Be Monsters on the map to warn people off. It’s that thing of you don’t know what’s out there, and I think we are like that.”
G: “I have an image of the four of us with very big shadows behind us, and it’s those monsters that come out when we are on stage.”
What bands are you listening to?
G: “For me I like a lot of old English bands, I don’t mean like Maiden, but more recent bands like Raging Speedhorn – their first album was amazing – and Earthtone9 are a huge influence on me.”
A: “Stuff like Hatebreed, Lamb Of God or Converge.”
G: “Lamb Of God aren’t exactly hardcore, but I love the way do things, how it’s delivered, the way it is portrayed.”
What aspects from a band like Lamb Of God do you put into HTBM?
A: “I love them, and we don’t sound like them in any way, but I love how you can look at a track like ’Descending’ for example, it’s very different to the rest of that album but it’s still clearly them. We will take a band like Converge – that really extreme sound they bring – and then apply a Clutch-type groove to it. Between the four of us, we have very different tastes and opinions in music, we’ve never said we want to sound just like Slayer or Down, but we take the concepts from them and apply it to what we do. We love Deftones, how they produce records that have really different sounds to them but you can still hear it and know that’s a Deftones track.”
Your sound is difficult to classify – there’s no camp that you can nail it to…
G: “We always keep it simple. That’s how we format it. We play around with things all the time when we are writing and if anything we tend to take things out rather than add more in.”
A: “Totally. We don’t sit on that sub-genre shit, we play metal, if you like it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine. We aren’t going to try and convert you, we want to always like what we do. We can do something that sounds like Down, or we can play a two minute thrash track it doesn’t matter because the way we do things together makes it distinguishable as a Monsters track.”
What Brighton bands are out there that are impressing you at the minute?
A: “One Knuckle Fist have split up, but they were fucking amazing. When we started out, we had Johnny Truant and before that Imprint doing great things for the Brighton scene. Right now, SurFaces and Architects are pushing that tech-metal scene further than before, and then there’s Blackstorm who are more sludgy with groovy riffs. There’s a good scene with a lot of different stuff being put out there. Lithurgy are killing it right now everyone should check them out.”
Do you think there is a really strong scene in Brighton at the moment?
A: “Much better than it has been. A few years ago it was really cliquey. If you weren’t in with the right bands then you weren’t getting anything, you would just get stonewalled. Now it’s much better with all these different people doing good things, like the record labels, promoters and all the bands are a lot more about working together regardless of sub genre or who you are and who you know. There’s a proper unity now, and a lot of bands now go and watch other bands play, that hasn’t always been the case.”
Next month you’re playing the Radio1 sponsored Brighton Live. Are these events good for the metal scene?
A: “If they recognise the Brighton scene, then it’s good, but there is a lot of push towards indie and dance music because popular opinion says that it sells but it’s great that there are some metal bands on the bill for this year. Everyone knows in this country that Brighton has a big music scene as a whole it’s good to be acknowledge as part of it.”
G: “I would love to play a festival where there is a mix of indie and electro bands and then right in the middle just slap a metal band, that would be excellent and it would give people an opportunity to check it out when they might not have done otherwise. And maybe they’ll like it for one reason or another and hopefully change their opinion.”
A: “Sometimes metal is seen as quite insular and metalheads often don’t want mainstream to be into it because its their thing, but if you put it out there more people may enjoy it. Every genre of music is doing the same thing, its the same emotions and the same feelings its just to a different sound track. Hopefully these kind of events will help people see that by mixing up the bills a bit.”
What’s been the highlight of HTBM’s career so far?
A: Touring in Holland was amazing. We also went to Belgium on that tour, we played in Antwerp in a small club across from a much bigger venue, we could see load of hardcore kids outside this place and went over and chatted with them, we were trying to persuade them to come check us out, the band they’d come to see weren’t on until after us. We were in sound check and fifty of these kids waded in to watch us, we were trying to explain that this was just sound check but they were loving it and started moshing! Loads of them came back later to watch the set.
G: I really love recording. You get to sit and reflect on what you have been playing and tweaking it and playing with sounds. I love playing around with gear and trying new things.
Here There Be Monsters are currently recording a new EP and will be playing some shows, including Brighton Live. They want to play at Download Festival. Somebody help them.