From: Anglesey, Wales
Sounds like: that feeling you get punching your worst enemy in the face till he goes home bleeding and crying
Thrash Hits verdict: Our deputy editor went seven shades of shit-mad for this lot last week – their Kingdom of Dogs EP practically gave him an epileptic fit at its blood-raw, young-Dillinger take on hardcore. He’s not the only one though – Rocksound, Punktastic and our friends over at Rock Midgets have also picked up on these guys’ potential. Future Hits? It’s a no-brainer.
How did you meet?
We’d all been in bands in and around the area of the years, so we weren’t strangers to one another. Bastions was formed by Danny [Garrod, drums] and Jamie [McDonald, guitars] in May 2008 and recorded Hello, I have Toxic Shock in June 2008. Jay [Burne, vocals] joined the band just before recording We Will All Sink in January 2009 and John [Potgieter] joined after saving us last minute after our last bassist left us in July.
What made you want to start the band?
It was a reaction. We formed in May 2008 and we had recorded and released Hello, I have Toxic Shock by June that same year. For us it was just a pure outlet of frustration.
Why are you angry? What makes you angry?
Watch a video containing a clip from ‘Matriarch’ by Bastions
Where did the name come from?
Because Green Day was taken.
How do you think growing up in North Wales has affected your music?
Its banality is a tangible force here. If you want to get out you have to have a lot of drive, so it makes us work harder.
What are your musical influences?
Anything that has a lot of heart really. Unfortunately it’s something that we feel is rare in today’s music and society.
Speaking of which, everyone loves to rabbit on about the successes of South Wales, but not so much about things going on further north. Why do you think that is?
It’s not an excuse, but geography plays a big part. The closest real venue to us is in Wrexham, which is an hours’ drive away. Having said that, the bands that have made it from South Wales are heavily Americanized affairs. So if by success you mean replication, then it’s only natural that South Wales will see more success stories than North Wales’ introverted, closed scene.
In an interview with BBC Wales, you stated that your previous EP, We Will All Sink, had a unifying theme about the sinking of the Royal Charter. Is there a unifying theme with Kingdom of Dogs, and if so, what is it?
Jay Burne: Subjects of an eschatological nature (Biblical, Amillenial, Pre & Post-Tribulation, Dispensionalist etc) have always struck me as very bleak, definite and unforgiving. Kingdom of Dogs is a world divested of human belief, structure and form.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
We play for ourselves mainly. We’re not conceited enough to say that a crowd doesn’t matter, but we don’t go out there thinking we deserve it. Again, we’re very sorry to say that we’ve played with bands who believe the contrary.
Watch a video that we can best describe as the calm before the Bastions storm
What’s the best or funniest show you’ve played?
We had two shows in a very short space of time that stuck out in our minds. The first was one in Harry’s Bar in Stoke; it was absolutely dead but there were maybe five people that had specifically come to see us. Those five people went absolutely nuts, they knew the words to the majority of the songs and they just joined in, stealing Jay’s mic whenever possible! It was defiantly a ‘Bastions featuring…’ gig. It was utterly brilliant.
The second one was in Bar Samui in Liverpool two days later. It was at 3am in the morning, an after-show party for a club night. We were actually expecting it to be very quiet considering it was a Thursday morning. We could not have been more wrong. The place was rammed and the crowd was unhinged. What more could a band ask for!?
What have you got planned for the future?
More shows, more songs. We will be featured on a handful of releases throughout 2010.
Bastions’ latest EP, Kingdom of Dogs, is out now and available from the band’s Big Cartel site, and you can here more of their work over on their MySpace page. It earned a rare full 6 out of 6 here on Thrash Hits last week, so you know we think you should buy it. The band are also playing a handful of dates around Wales and the the West of England in the next few months – if you live nearby, get yourself down to a show
Bastions upcoming tour dates
12 Bangor Rascals Bar (with Betty Parison)
13 Birmingham (with Betty Pariso) – TBC
14 Bangor Rascals Bar (with runWALK! + FirstToDie + Conquistadors)
24 Wrexham Central Station (with TRC and Feed The Rhino
09 Bangor Rascals Bar (with Battle For Paris + Betty Pariso)
10 Chester City Bar (with Battle For Paris)
17 Anglesey Cemaes Bayfest