Guildford’s tech-death crew Doomed From Day One opened the Sunday of Tech-Fest last month and ZT were on hand to grab a quick chat with three of them.
Yet another young band in the UK’s tech-metal scene, Doomed From Day One are currently working on their debut album after releasing two EPs in the four or so years they’ve been together. A band perfectly aware that overnight success just doesn’t happen in the world of metal, they’re also hoping not to live up to their name.
Given the decent crowd they drew at Tech-Fest and that they’ve managed to get a deal with Ghost Music already, the near future is an exciting time for the band. Their brand of progressive death metal holds plenty of promise and it’s no surprise to learn they’ve shared stages with The Black Dahlia Murder, Sylosis and Bleed From Within. ZT spoke to vocalist Sean Scott, bassist Eifion Sweet and guitarist Charlie Griffiths.
How was the show?
Eifion Sweet (bass): Really good, lots of people there, the sound I thought was fantastic from my end at least.
Sean Scott (vocals): We were apprehensive beforehand just because of it being the 12 o’clock slot on the fourth day of music and there were a lot of drunk and high dudes walking around last night. At that time of a day on a Sunday no-one’s awake normally but actually we were really happy with the turnout.
Were you announced late because there were stickers for you all over the toilets?
Sean: No we were in the second announcement, we just flyered the hell out of it. It was just shameless plugging because we worried about the 12 o’clock start. We’ve never played a show that early so we were also worried about ourselves actually being able to perform at that time; my voice waking up and seeing if we could actually work at that time of day.
Eifion: We got the multi-vitamins in and the Pro-plus down us.
Sean: You’re not meant to shout down a microphone at all, it’s not a natural thing to do let alone that early in the day.
How long have you been going?
Eifion: Four and a half years. I found a setlist from our first show which was the 10th May 2010.
Sean: We’ve only ever had one line-up change, that was about a year and a half ago. In the end of 2009 the idea came about for the band and then we played our first show and tried to plough it as much as possible.
How did you get together?
Sean: We all met through university in Guildford. We were all there, everyone bar Eoifian our bassist, studied at the same place. Eofian was literally found at a house party and apparently he could play bass.
Eifion: I just met a guy and then found some messages on my phone going, I’ve got to learn these for practice and had about three days to do it.
Sean: That happened and then two years ago we switched drummers and got Dan.
How would you describe the Doomed From Day One sound?
Sean: I just see it as metal. Probably tech-death metal, it’s got heavy death metal moments but there’s still that quirky tech element.
Charlie Griffiths (guitars): We like to experiment a bit and try to not worry too much about what we’re writing.
Sean: I think putting a genre or label to a band puts a stereotype on a certain type of crowd and the way I see it with music, and especially the alternative genres, is that there’s enough diversity between the normal world as it were and the alternative scene. So I don’t really like the idea of pigeonholing that even more. I’d rather just say we’re a death metal band and if you want to put tech in front of it you can.
Who are your biggest influences then?
Eifion: Individually the guitarists Charlie and Charlie absolutely love Between The Buried And Me, so that comes out a bit in the guitar writing part. For me personally SikTh are a big influence in both playing style and what I like to write, if I’m ever allowed to do any.
Sean: I think we all come from different musical backgrounds a little bit. We have five to eight bands we all mutually agree on and love and that’s where the core of our music comes from. And then there’s the little quirky ideas that we try to put in here and there, from genres we listen to separately. I’ve listened to bands I’d never heard of through these guys. We are on the same page but it’s a big book.
Eifion: It’s good to have a mix that way because that’s how we come up with what we have written and what we do write because we’ve got that influence and that little bit from one person rather than five guys trying to do the same thing.
How much music have you released so far?
Sean: We’ve got two EPs out, The Wasted World came out in May 2011 and then Nine Fingers came out last October. The first one was completely self-released and the second one we released the EP by ourselves but digitally Ghost Music handled it. So the guys there helped us push that out, get it a bit more marketed. It’s good to have a recognised brand, logo and name just because it adds that credibility. People who are into the music follow labels and will look at what they have coming out because they see the previous bands they’ve released and respect that, so it has helped. We got a lot of congratulations when we announced we were working with Ghost so that was nice.
How did that come about?
Sean: We’re based in Guildford but we played a show in Leeds on a tour last year and grabbed Troyan, the guy who runs Ghost Music and pitched the band to him and didn’t really leave him alone. I made him listen to my iPod and hear the demos that were coming out and then followed it up from there.
What lyrical themes do you cover? Sean: Because of my previous influences from what I’ve listened to, I listened to a lot of punk and hardcore growing up, especially with hardcore there’s a lot of cool messages within that and I think if you can get a bit of positivity through your music then it’s a great idea to do. With the style of music though it always works so straight and honest as it is, so it’s nice to put a bit of a metaphorical spin on things. I think a lot of metal bands do take the time to realise that a lot of kids that listen to them do listen to them properly, to their lyrics and it doesn’t always have to be about space and death. If you can write about defining the odds to do what you truly want, why the hell not?
What future ambitions do you have for the band?
Eifion: We’re writing at the moment. We’ve got an album, the first that we’re trying to push out, with a lot of material for that. We enjoyed some tours at the beginning of this year so we’re trying to take a step back from doing that and plan on writing, getting this album out there as a perfect package in our eyes and having enough material not to have to scrape to fill the album so it’s the best stuff. Then once that’s out we’ll tour that.
Sean: We haven’t really discussed when we want to release it, which sounds pretty bad as we have a deadline, but it’s just the first time as a band we’ve tried to write more than an EP’s worth of music for one period of time. So the idea of writing ten tracks when our songs average about four and a half minutes minimum, ten tracks could be ten tracks of seven minutes songs which is a lot of music to write really. We don’t really have a structured set-up for our songs, there’s no verse-chorus-verse-chorus, it gets written and then stops when we cut it off. We really want to have a piece of music where, apart from maybe the odd single here and there, when you listen to the album you can’t listen to it without listening to the whole thing.
Eifion: Yeah you don’t put it on shuffle, it’s start to finish.
Sean: You have songs that people prefer but really you want it as one. That’s how an album should be.
Are you all still at university then?
Eifion: Dan is just about finished.
Sean: As of this year he’ll be done so this is the first time ever as a band that we’ve all got to have jobs, so there’s going to be a lot of change in the vibe of how we run things and work things out. I think that’s good timing really with the plans to step back from playing a lot of shows. It give us time to meet up and discuss what we want to do and where we want to take it because it has been quite a while since we’ve really done that. We’ve got into the habit of just playing shows and printing merch and touring. So we want a bit of structure this time.
How old are you all then?
Eifion: We range from 21 to 29.
There are quite a few young bands at Tech-Fest Sean: Dude there are so many young bands. It’s annoying. Did you ever skate? I’m 23 now and sometimes I still go to the skate park, and I could never skate that well back in the day. But when you go to the skate park and there are 13 year olds pulling of sweet tricks and you’re struggling with a kick-flip and an ollie you look like a douche. So when you turn up here and there are bands you turn to and say they’re only 18 and 19. I’m 23 and he’s 29 and these guys are nailing shit and doing way more than we’ve done in a little space of time, it’s annoying. There’s a youth crew hardcore band called No Excuse from the south and their drummer isn’t even 16 yet. He finished his GCSEs the other day and has to miss his prom so he can tour Europe.
Eifion: It’s a hard life.
Sean: Fair play to him, it’s good doing that at a young age. I think the best bands are the ones that do last and get somewhere are the ones that stick it out. And you need a lot of time to stick it out. A lot of bands are good but they change members so much.You’re not going to get big over night in this genre. My opinion three or four years ago was that it took the average band four years if they were going to get anywhere and I think to be honest from speaking to people now, it’s probably stretched to seven. That’s a long time. If you want to get big there’s a lot of image that companies are looking for now. If you’re starting a band at 30, seven years later you’re borderline 40 and a lot of people, well there’s people my age who have kids and families and I’m like slow down, you’ve got a lot of time to do that. People shouldn’t get married until their dead.
Eifion: That would be a morbid wedding.
Sean: Yeah but it cuts costs. You don’t have to pay for the wedding and funeral, it just comes as one.
Eifion: Double coffin!
Sean: No divorces either, that’s expensive shit.