Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
W: We play post hardcore music with a more intense style than usual with a DIY ethic through wanting to control how we present the band. We aim to make our live shows a spectacle by using the surroundings or props to put on a show that’s about more than just the music. We make all our own artwork for single covers, take all our own promo shots and create our own videos.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
W: We are a family band! Al Bristow (vocals) and Jay Rozentals (bass) are brothers through marriage and Dan and Max (both Ashworth, both guitars) are father and son, with Dan and Al being childhood friends. Tim (Doyle, drums) was adopted in January 2020 and that’s when the band really started to gel and solidify as a unit.
We had been playing gigs for a little over a year before Tim joined. We notched up 50 shows and we had released 3 singles across that time. We had plans for much more shows this year but those plans got put on hold because of Coronavirus like everybody else. So instead we’ve been trying to come up with new ideas to connect with people like putting out more music, filming videos and doing more photo shoots. Content is king at the moment!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
W: We’ve got a real mixed bag of influences in the band because of the age differences. A lot of the rhythm guitar is influenced by grunge and the metal scene from that time. Lots of high pitched discordant sounds pop up joined with slow & heavy riffs. But then the lead guitar and vocals are heavily influenced by the early 2000s UK post hardcore scene, Funeral for a Friend, Hell is for Heroes et al. That’s where the main sound of the band comes from, and that’s before you dive into the rhythm section or the lyrical content!
Our influences from outside of music is another mixed bag. If you watch our videos on YouTube (we have a video series showing what it’s like to be in a band called ‘No Lasting Memories’ – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn0KiDaNwJIJ_cb6lPauJz3VcJBaaT4Rw) you can tell that we spend a lot of time cracking jokes and throwing banter at each other, which just comes from our culture I guess. A lot of UK comedy too, Bottom with Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson for starters. But then our imagery and lyrical themes can be quite dark. Horror movies, psychological thrillers, dystopian futures (movies and books), and the world in general is probably to blame for that!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
W: I think the biggest goal at the moment would be to get on a big festival line up. Download, Bloodstock or our home town of Reading. That’d be huge. Long term it’s got to be to be able to do ‘Weaponry’ full time. We can spend upwards of about 100 hours a week between us working on the band, so it’s like a part time job already! There’s songs to write, videos to edit, rehearsals, promo shots and the editing, the website, all the socials. Sometimes we finish our normal jobs at 5, have a quick bite to eat and then work on the band until 10 or 11.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
W: Musically we all write the songs. We will all be in the room, Dan will have a few riffs or Tim will have a good beat, and we’ll just work on it from there. Everyone will have a say and chuck in ideas. Max will usually take the song away to work on lead parts as that’s more intricate but then we’ll all have a say on them when he brings them back a few weeks later.
For the lyrics it’s mostly Al but he will ask questions of the band if he has a line or a verse which he thinks could be improved. The songs can be about anything – Al is constantly writing ideas so it could be something personal to him like his fathers alcoholism (Something I Lack) or a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses hounding him to join their church (true story, the song’s called Blindly Follow Us) or something that happens in the news (the kidnapping of glamour model Chloe Ayling – Hard Place), society and it’s love for one upping each other on social media (Moving to Andromeda). Dan has written one song called Take It Or Leave It, about a time when he was days away from homelessness.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
W: We are constantly trying to create content to promote our band. We have a weekly video series on YouTube called No Lasting Memories (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn0KiDaNwJIJ_cb6lPauJz3VcJBaaT4Rw). It’s a ‘get to know us and what we do’ type series where we will mix in our music. We’re also currently in a cycle of releasing a specially recorded live show song by song every Wednesday. We stay as active as can be on social media with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. We try to mix in a lot of content that is just for the viewer without any expectation to go and listen to our music or come to our show. You can get tired of bands constantly posting their Spotify links every couple of days very quickly.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
W: There’s no need to download music illegally. There’s not really any need to download music full stop with streaming! But streaming can make it very hard for bands to make any money and if the consumer is not wanting records or CDs in their house, paying for the music and downloading the songs is gonna be the best way to support the bands you love. Well, weirdly it’s normally better to buy clothing off them.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
W: Digital Bath by Deftones. It’s way too calm and beautiful to ever be thought up by a member of Weaponry! It’s such a classic song. Deftones can be as heavy as anyone but this is one of their biggest songs and showed at the time of release that no one was on their level. It’s a statement song in that sense.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
W: Bands that ignore all the other bands when you play a show. It’s annoying because it’s quite understandable really, some people are anti-social and don’t really know how to interact and some might get really nervous before a show and that can stop them from chatting. But something that would help that is by chatting with the other bands! You form a bit of a bond then and you know you can rely on the other bands to watch if the attendance is a bit low, or if you need to borrow some equipment, or just to have a few beers with and enjoy the night.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
W: Our next release Something I Lack. It’s by far the best song we have released and after spending quite a while going through drummers it feels like we’ve got a really solid line up for the future and this is the first step.
We also got through to the semi final of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition in Oxford before the virus stopped any further heats. We were up against some incredible bands like Transients for example, but the judges decided on us. That blew us away!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
W: When Something I Lack comes out on the 4th December and we’ve dealt with all the promo it’ll be just about time for Christmas! So we’ll have that break and then we can start concentrating on the next release (Blindly Follow Us will be out early next year). We are planning on getting back into the recording studio before we release that if possible to get another couple of songs lined up. With the world as it is with gigs not really going ahead as normal we think the best idea is to keep pushing singles out.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
W: You can purchase our digital downloads from iTunes or you can listen to them on all streaming platforms. We also have them available on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9oSXemxfrJmJve7dHLMJ7w) along with live performances including unreleased songs! Subscribe for updates.
You can pre-save Something I Lack on Spotify here: https://smarturl.it/SomethingILack