Bossk were one of the UK's leading lights in post-metal and the heavy scene at large. After releasing two excellent EPs and extensive touring they unfortunately broke up in 2008. However, the band announced their return to action last year and are ready to pick up where they left off, and maybe more. Phil Johnston recently caught up with bassist Tom Begley, to find out what Bossk have planned this time around.
(((o))): Hi Tom, first of all it's great to have Bossk back, can you tell us what led to reforming late last year
Tom: It was something I had been keen on for sometime, it would only really work with the original 5 members, so took a little while until we were all on the same page. It all really came about from doing the BBC Maida Vale session. Was just such a huge opportunity for us to do, and for us all a bit of a dream come true.
(((o))): Going back to the earlier days, what kind of influences did you and the band have? As back then, there weren't as many groups playing similar music in the UK scene.
Tom: It was such a different setup for bands back then, even though it's all still fairly recent, the music industry and platforms bands have now is much different. We were all friends with a lot of people that were in metal or hardcore bands that tour a lot harder than progressive or stoner bands. We took a lot of influence from this touring method, and spent a lot more time touring than some of the other bands in our 'scene'. We take influence from a lot of bands and movies too, our drummer and singer are big fans of film scores and soundtracks, but both our guitarists have very different tastes.
(((o))): Bossk amassed an impressive amount of shows, culminating with the 200th gig headlining in London. Are there any specific highlights or memories?
Tom: We did! We actually played more shows after that 200th one, the last 2 we did after announcing we were calling it a day in October 2008. For me my favourites had to be Brussels with Cult Of Luna in 2007, and playing with Envy in London that year too. So many more awesome shows to mention! The fact that we toured Spain and Portugal was an incredible experience too. But if I had to pick the best show we've ever done it would have to be Damnation Festival that we did last year. That was the best feeling to walk out on stage to a packed room and huge cheers as we started.
(((o))): You've been busy personally over the last few years touring with bands like Converge, While She Sleeps etc as tour manager. Did any of this drive your determination to reform Bossk and get back on stage rather than behind the scenes?
Tom: It did yeah, I met a lot of people on the road that were fans of the band, in places I never expected to find. I was so surprised to meet Bossk fans in countries we had never been to. And even though we did much smaller shows to what I have been involved with. Just being involved in live music really made me miss it even more.
(((o))): Bossk have already released a new track, 'Pick Up Artist' (available as a free download). Is this a good representation of what to expect from Bossk in 2013?
Tom: Yes and no, that song is a song we wanted to write before the band broke up, in terms of its structure and sound. The material we are working on for the album so far is different to 'Pick Up Artist'. But with the music industry being what it is these days, bands are able to self release music much easily. This could be the future of how we make out music available. But this is uncertain still at this point.
(((o))): How has work on the new material been going? Is there a different approach or new ground being covered?
Tom: We have always tried to cover as much new ground with our music as we can. And this album will be no different. We want there to be no limits, there will be stuff we have never tried to do before. And stuff that we have learned to do better. New music is our main focus for the rest of 2013.
(((o))): You're currently gearing up to play with Dragged Into Sunlight on a string of dates through the UK. How much are you looking forward to this?
Tom: Very much. It's our first run of consecutive dates since reforming. And our first time playing Glasgow since the split. It's with old friends Dragged Into Sunlight too, their first show was our last Leeds one, and it's great that they are now leading the UK scene for their kind of music. We have some good times ahead on that. We have plans to play the first track off the album live on these shows.
(((o))): Can we expect to catch Bossk on tour again this year, or are there any Festival appearances planned?
Tom: We are doing the ArcTanGent Festival and Hevy Festival later in the summer, and we have a show booked in Birmingham in August with Dragged Into Sunlight. But other than that we don't actually plan on playing anymore UK shows at all. Our focus will be on writing the rest of the album, and playing shows in Europe.
(((o))): What else is in store for Bossk in 2013, will there be more new music released?
Tom: We have plans to tour Russia in September, which is very exciting! Along with hopefully Germany, Holland and Belgium dates too. There are all kinds of things planned, we want to do a physical release of 'Pick Up Artist', probably as a 7". But I can't give you more details just yet.
Thanks to Tom for taking time out to speak to us. Most previous Bossk releases can be found via usual digital and physical outlets.