Thrash Hits verdict: When we went down to the Buffalo Bar the other week to catch Thrash Hits’ favourites, God Damn, play their first show as a two-piece, we had the good luck to get there early enough to catch Our Man In the Bronze Age in support. Not only did we dig the whole early-QOTSA-heavy-but-not-reliant-on-it, off-kilter-but-not-wacky-experimentalist vibe they seemed to be able to throw out so casually, but two of them were playing the same drum kit at the same time, and pretty much all of them were shouting into a mic at some point. That’s the kind of controlled chaos we can get behind.
Describe your sound in 3 words
Ha, that’s tough! Er, Melancholic. Doom. Rock. Close enough!
How did you meet?
We’ve all been friends through various previous bands for 15 years now but this is the first time we’ve all collaborated in the same project.
What made you want to start a band?
Bronze Age started as a side project from other bands some of us were doing and over the years has had various incarnations. I think the current line up exists because having the option of making music with your life long best mates is basically a no brainer! We do it because we love music and it’s a great laugh.
Where did the name come from?
It’s actually a quote from Time Team…”and now it’s back to our man in the bronze age.” Adam, who was one of the original founder members of Bronze Age, came up with it and it’s just stuck since then.
Watch the video to ‘Jean – A Turn For The Worse’ by Our Man In The Bronze Age:
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
We all grew up in the landscape of concrete and roundabouts that is Milton Keynes. There was a really healthy local band scene there I think because Milton Keynes itself is devoid of any real culture; it’s generic, bland and inoffensive. A lot of the kids grew up there and started bands that directly opposed what Milton Keynes symbolised to them, to that end I think it directly affected the music. We’re spread out across the country now so I couldn’t say for sure that Milton Keynes affected this band but I suppose we’ll always have that part of our past that ties us together.
What are your non-musical influences?
Ha er…what else is there?! None of us take ourselves very seriously, there is a lot of piss taking and in-jokes in the band, this probably doesn’t come across in the music but for us it’s what makes the band such a laugh, I suppose that’s an influence?! Apart from that between us we’re into: shotguns, tree surgery, shoes, urban myths and puns.
With which band would your dream support slot/tour be?
I think it would vary between all of us to be honest so maybe a joint tour with Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age, The Mars Volta and Radiohead. That would be a fucking tough show to open up.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Oceansize (RIP) were pretty close in a lot of ways to what we’re doing, maybe Mogwai and Russian Circles as well. Any band that can combine delicate melody with crushing riff volume power I’m sure we’d get on well with.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
I think our line up of four vocalists, two drummers, piano, two guitars and bass automatically makes us a bit unusual but also the fact that we try and make songs with a strong emphasis on accessible melody and structure combined with brutally heavy down-tuned riffs. The proof seems to come from the fact that promoters don’t know where to place us but we always seem to get a good reaction from most types of crowd.
And similarly, how do you structure your songwriting when four of you contribute vocals to some extent?
Usually someone will have an initial song idea and possibly vocal that they bring to practice, then we decide among ourselves whether we want to add more vocal layers or any other instruments for that matter. Sometimes though we just jam and communicate with looks or whatever and a song seems to magically form itself out of nowhere, those times are particularly rewarding.
Where did the shared drumkit thing come from?
Well to be honest the main reason is that most venues we play aren’t big enough to fit two drumkits onstage. The idea to share the kick between the two guys came about from that and also I think we just thought it would look cool! I think we like the idea of putting on a show as well playing music. Having something strong going on visually can really enhance what you’re doing, provided you’re not relying on it of course.
What’s the best show you’ve played?
Our best gig so far was probably supporting Russian Circles in Manchester, we’re big fans of their music so obviously that in itself made it a cool gig but also we went down really well with a big crowd that had never heard us before, i.e. not just our mates, so that was really rewarding for us.
What have you got planned for the future?
We’re just in the process of recording pre-production demos for the next album with a view to finding a deal to help fund or part fund the full recording. We feel we’ve kicked it up a notch in terms of songs since the first album so we’re all really excited to get out there and see how far we can take it.
What other band should everyone find out about?
There’s so many! Humanfly, Hawk Eyes, Polvo, Dope Body, Three Trapped Tigers, Jono McCleery and God Damn are all great though if you haven’t heard them already!
Tell us a joke.
I had a crazy dream about Lord Of The Rings last night.
Apparently I was Tolkien in my sleep.
Amongst other things, Our Man In The Bronze Age are supporting none other than the mighty Icarus Line in Milton Keynes on 30 October. Yes, they’re that good. You can go buy a copy of their album, The Gallows Tree, right damn now.