Interview with Nick Hurford, vocalist of After Smoke Clears and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Nick: We are a modern metal band, mainly influenced by heavy hardcore bands such as Structures and Knocked Loose.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Nick: Nick, Dave and Aaron met in 2017 and formed the initial iteration of the band. In January 2019, we rebranded to After Smoke Clears and began writing our debut album Edification. This was released in November 2020 to critical acclaim (7 out of 10 from Metal Hammer).
In 2021 we released 3 standalone singles: Fuoco, Obsessed and Kaizen. More music will be released throughout the rest of this year and into 2023.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Nick: Musically, we take inspiration from Lamb of God, Gojira, Northlane, Knocked Loose, ERRA and Parkway Drive. Also, UK up and coming bands such as Malevolence, Loathe, Static Dress and Death Blooms.
Non-musically, we are influenced by anything that creates strong emotion.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Nick: For Nick, playing at Brixton Academy is the #1 goal, as it’s a venue that’s home to so many great memories. European festival slots would also be incredible – Download and Wacken are the top two choices.
On a less tangible note, we just want to keep creating music that we enjoy, fulfilling our creative desires, and for as many people as possible to enjoy it.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Nick: For this EP, we are exploring the darker side of the human experience – exploring topics such as addictive behaviours and social anxiety. Our debut album Edification focuses on personal development, psychedelic medicine and spirituality.
Aaron is the main songwriter, with Nick writing most of the lyrics (Aaron also writes lyrics sometimes).
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Nick: We promote over social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). We also use SubmitHub to help our reach on Spotify. We also use social media to promote shows.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Nick: The current method of streaming music is great for exposure, and also allows bands to be far less reliant on labels to get their name out. However, it would be nice to get paid a bit more than we currently do, as the only real source of income for underground bands is via merch sales.
In the future, I think we can look forward to a scenario which gives more power to artists (not labels), and the ability for fans to make micro payments to artists using blockchain technology.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Nick: Clenching the fists of dissent – Machine Head. Because it’s a masterpiece that I don’t think can be beaten!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Nick: Modern pop music and pessimism.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Nick: Releasing our debut album Edification to critical acclaim with a 7 out of 10 review in Metal Hammer. We worked really hard for this record and it was great to see people enjoy it.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Nick: Right now we’re focussing on promotion of our new track The Fear (feat. CJ from Thy Art is Murder). See the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNqd7oPd2e4
We have also started writing demos for our next batch of songs.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Nick: You can listen to our entire catalogue on all streaming platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube etc. We don’t have a bandcamp, but you can buy merch from https://shop.aftersmokeclears.com
After Smoke Clears links:
Band/Artist location – London England
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Merch – Twitter –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Last Fm –
Check our page for After Smoke Clears