From: Hereford, UK
Sounds Like: Instrumental, meandering heavy rock that aspires to a massive sound.
Thrash Hits verdict: We first came across Talons in June 2009 when we took part in the Big Scary Monsters 5-a-side football tournament as part of the victorious Fear & Records team. We beat Talons along the way so decided to listen to their CD as consolation. We like it and now here they are with a record which is as ambitious as it is unorthodox. They have no singer?!? CRIPES! We caught up with bassist Chris Hicks to chat about stuff and things related to his band, Talons.
Describe your sound in 3 words.
Medieval Orchestral Riffage
How did you meet?
Talons originated from a previous band of Oli’s which was called Kites, with a change of lineup and the addition of two violin players. We’ve all been friends for a few years, through sixth form college and playing gigs together in old bands in Hereford.
What made you want to start a band?
Living in a place like Hereford is pretty uneventful, which in this case led to us starting a band and playing gigs with other local bands. I guess a lack of stuff to do in Hereford spurred us on in a way, providing relief from what can be a frustratingly lifeless place to be.
Where did the name come from?
Our friend Will Berry suggested it to us, and it carried the bird theme from Kites suitably, also keeping to the theme of animals that most of our artwork is based around. We wanted to keep the name simple, not tying the music to a specific genre.
What are your musical influences?
We’ve always been inspired by post rock bands like Russian Circles and Mogwai, however none of us solely listen to the same kind of music. We’re also into stuff like Assfactor 4, Fang Island and Holy Fuck. On a couple of tracks of Hollow Realm some ideas from drone music creep in too.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Playing loads of gigs all over the United Kingdom, and the prospect of touring in other countries. We’ve had the chance to play with some really good bands and play to a fair amount of people with a warm reception.
With which band would your dream tour be?
Mastodon. They are awesome.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Run, WALK!, Shoes and Socks Off, On Histories Of Rosenburg and Bayonets are all good friends who we’ve played with a fair bit.
What’s the best show you’ve played?
Supporting Manchester Orchestra at Heaven in London was amazing, and then playing gigs in places like Crewe can be a surreal experience. The venue was a movie themed nightclub with a faulty towers style hotel attached to it, and we went out after the gig to a pretty grim club.
Tell us a little bit about Hollow Realm.
One of the first things we decided was that it was going to consist entirely of new material, so that we could start from scratch and write it as an album, rather than throwing in older material. We had Tom Woodhead (Forward Russia) at the helm who bought in a lot of ideas as someone outside the band. One of my favourite tracks on the album is ‘In The Shadows Of Our Stilted Homes’. It brings in pretty different influences like Slint, and even a ridiculous nu metal section which we just couldn’t get rid of.
How do you think being purely instrumental has affected how people receive you as a band?
The kind of music we play is generally seen as a bit of a niche, and naturally it won’t attract everyone. We always get asked why we don’t have a singer, but it wasn’t a big decision not to have one. We simply started without one and have never felt it was necessary to look for one as we’ve built up our sound. It’s interesting how people react differently to each aspect of the music, either focusing on a certain instrument or the song as a whole.
What other band should everyone find out about?
I am really into Adebisi Shank at the moment, they just released their second album which is definetly one of my favourite releases this year. We played with them at Off The Cuff festival in Birmingham and they were literally bouncing off the walls without missing a note.
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a girl with two cunts – N-Dubz.
Talons will release Hollow Realm on 15 November 2010 via Big Scary Monsters. There are a couple of tourdates below but find out more about their November tour at Talons’ official MySpace.
Talons – Hollow Realm tracklisting
St Mary Will Be The Death Of Us All
In The Shadows Of Our Stilted Homes
An Expected Future Event
21 Cardiff SWN Festival @ Y Fuwch Goch (BSM showcase w/ Mimas, Tall Ships, Stagecoach and Dad Rocks)
22 Leeds Brainwash Festival (w/ Melt Banana, Chickenhawk + more)