BLOODSTOCK PREVIEW: ZT SPEAK TO NO SIN EVADES HIS GAZE
Possibly the newest band set to appear at Bloodstock, No Sin Evades His Gaze made one of their first live appearances at Tech-Fest last month and ZT grabbed all five of them for a chat beforehand.
Taking their name from the videogame BioShock Infinite which only came out in March last year, they’ve managed to bag a few festival slots at the likes of Tech-Fest, Bloodstock and Mammothfest despite being relatively fresh faced. Tinges of tech, death and metalcore can be heard in the band’s sound so they’re not narrowing their scope in any way and it’s this appeal that has handed them such opportunities.
Not just one of the newest bands, in drummer Theo Harvey, who doesn’t turn 18 until the day they play Mammothfest at the end of August, No Sin Evades His Gaze may well have the youngest member to ever play at Bloodstock. As the interview took place just after midday bassist Matthew ‘Moat’ Lowe was still in his dressing gown (admirable considering it was about 25 degrees by that point) but ZT ploughed on regardless.
ZT: How did you guys meet and form the band then?
James Denton (vocals): Me and Moat (bass) got together at a gig in London when my old band played with his old band. We talked for a while, maybe about a year but didn’t instantly do it and then our bands stopped. Theo (drums) filled in for my old band’s drummer so at the end I invited him to this new project, and Kevin (guitars) and I have always written together doing projects. In fact it was a project that Kev and I had that was kind of the basis for this.
How long have you been going?
James: Publicly only a few months but behind the scenes maybe a year.
Kevin Pearson (guitars): Yeah ten months I’d say.
James: I think the album was written in four, five months, maybe six. As a concept it has been around for about a year but only really came to fruition within the past six or seven months.
You’ve got quite a few gigs and festivals already lined up considering you’re so new. James: Yeah and quite a lot of those were picked up over the course of a month when we were writing the album. I think the fact they were all announced in the space of six weeks made it look like there were loads.
Where does the name come from?
Kev: Bioshock Infinite. The third in the trilogy. It’s the best one.
James: It’s towards the end of the game and it’s written on a wall in probably one of the creepiest levels in it. Kev and I are massive fans of that game and we thought it was a cool name. It’s interesting because people who don’t know where the name is from are like ‘that’s a very long name’. But if they’ve played the game they’re like ‘that’s a fucking great name for a band’.
So you’ve recorded your debut album now, when is it out?
James: August 9, the same day we play Bloodstock.
What do you hope to achieve with No Sin Evades His Gaze?
Dan Thornton (guitars): Take it as far as it can go I guess.
James: Yeah, even though it fits into the tech scene I don’t think it’s confined to just the tech-metal scene. It uses groove and more old school influences. I think it has, not a greater shelf life but a wider range of people that it can appeal to. Because of that I’ve got high hopes for it. It’s been a good start.
You’ve all played in bands before as well?
James: Yeah apart from Theo.
Theo Harvey (drums): I was in Ravenface for a few months and did the last tour with them.
Do you reckon all that experience has helped you a bit? James: Definitely. For me it was like a crash course in how to be in a band. Coming from what you would do again and what you would do differently, which is why I think we’ve all got a good start in this. We’ve all been like ‘this is what was a problem in the last band and this is what was good’ so you can take all the best things and leave the negatives and hit the ground running.
You’ve already recorded a video as well. Where was that?
Matthew ‘Moat’ Lowe (bass): Peterborough quarry. It was a huge quarry.
James: They mine minerals and clay there. I didn’t think there was anywhere like that in the UK. I’ve always wanted to do a video in that kind of massive, open desolate space but thought there was nowhere in England, it’s all countryside. But that place was an absolute godsend. The fact that we found it, the fact that they let us film there and the fact that they just drove us round was so nice.
Kev: It was the director who found the location.
James: Dark Fable Media shot it and Richard was really good, he did the CGI and the massive swirling black hole.
That wasn’t just there in the sky?
Moat: It was on the first day but the weather forecast was bleak for the next few.
James: There were hopes we could get it to kind of coincide on the same day the black hole was predicted for but it just didn’t happen.
Moat: I mean we sacked our meteorologist.
What lyrical themes do you cover on the album?
James: Yeah I wrote the lyrics. I guess it centres around things that are not that out of the ordinary for metal; politics, religion, current affairs and our view on the world. I think the way it’s put is not very direct so you can make observations and parallels and metaphors, rather than being ‘here’s my statement, here’s my political stance, this is what I think.’ It’s less direct than that.
Kev: It can be taken in different ways.
James: Yeah, it’s got a message but it’s not said that directly.
Dan: A lot of it’s very subtle.
What got you into playing metal?
Kev: From a young age? Probably Slipknot. Joey Jordison, I started out as a drummer and thought they were awesome.
James: Nu-metal was kind of something that gets a lot of people into metal.
Moat: I grew up on hip-hop, garage, house.
James: There’s the divide in the band. Some of us got into metal the straight route in, through the normal Slipknot, Metallica etc. and these guys are the proggy guys. They play stuff that wouldn’t fit into most models of what you’d call metal.
Moat: It brings a different edge to the writing as well.
James: It’s crucial. You can’t all just come from the same place with the same influences otherwise we’d all just sound the same. You need that diversity to make it sound different.
How did you write the album if you live all over the country?
Theo: Social networking a lot.
Moat: And meeting up for writing sessions.
James: Not that differently from bands that lock themselves in a studio for six months. Rather than doing something every week like you would with someone who lives closer to you, we’d pick two weeks in Blackpool then two weeks in London with a portable sound thing we’d take down. But it was all mixed and mastered in Blackpool.
What future plans and ambitions do you have with No Sin Evades His Gaze?
Moat: I’d like to get this band up to a point where I can afford a more dashing wardrobe collection. Kimonos etc. I’d be happy with that.
Theo: I’d like to do it to a point where we can play with people who have influenced us.
Dan: We already are, today.
Theo: Yeah but bands like Lamb Of God.
James: I think it’d be great to get to a point where we’re playing with the people who really got us into the music, not just the ones we’ll discover along the way but the ones that properly cemented our interest in metal, it’d be great to play with them.
Moat: It’s really satisfying as well hearing our influences from other fields digging what we’re doing and really appreciating it. We’ve had a few bands in the prog scene that I’m really into who have said they’re really loving the stuff we’re doing which is nice.
James: What’s exciting about it is, like I said before it doesn’t fit into one subgenre, there’s a lot of ways we can take it. I’m really excited to write the next album because I genuinely don’t know what it’s going to sound like but I know it’s going to be sick given the influences.
Dan: It’s going to sound like us but more defined.
James: I think it can go anywhere. I don’t think we’re going to be one of these bands that bring out an album and everyone goes ‘oh they’ve totally changed genre’. I think it will be interesting for people to hear.
Moat: It’s going to have a wider pallet.
James: It will grow into something really unique and specific to us I reckon.
Anything else to add?
James: We have an album coming out and we’ll be touring hopefully later this year and we’re playing Bloodstock.
Theo: Come see us!
Will you be doing anything special for Bloodstock or is playing there special enough?
James: Just playing Bloodstock is special.
Theo: We’ve got massive flamethrowers and fireworks.
Moat: We’ve stolen Rammstein’s production team. We can afford it after we sacked the meteorologist.
James: For the next video we’ve got to surpass the first one so are thinking outer space will be good, under the ocean
Theo: In Mars.
Moat: On Mars not in Mars. Inside? One, get to Mars, two dig into the core…
James: We kind of shot ourselves in the foot there with ‘let’s do the most epic, big video…for the first video!’
Dan: How do we beat a black hole? A bigger black hole!
Moat: Three black holes!
James: In a year we’re going to be Rammstein and broke.
No Sin Evades His Gaze play Bloodstock’s New Blood stage on Friday August 8.