Interview: The Raven Age
The more opportunities come your way, the more decisions need to be made and only you know which is the right one for your band.
Steve Fallows caught up with metal band The Raven Age to ask them about their new album Darkness Will Rise and their recent tour with Anthrax and much more.
(((o))): You are quite a new name to a lot of people. Tell us a bit about the band?
We’re a young British band from London. We’ve been playing together since February 2014 and since had the privilege of supporting some amazing bands around the world, released an EP in July 2014 and are about to release our debut album Darkness Will Rise.
(((o))): Your music takes in a lot of different styles, from harsh metal to more melodic moments. What influences do you draw from?
I think from a songwriting perspective, we’re influenced by metalcore in a big way. The heaviness in the rhythms and melody in the music is what we love. But melody is the key word here, we decided to keep our vocals completely melodic from the beginning as a way to be different to these bands we look up to. Also, film score and epic sounding music are favourites of ours. I think that’s why we’ve ended up with a 77 minute album! It’s all about the dynamics.
(((o))): Who brings the different elements together during the creative process?
Up until now it’s been myself and Dan Wright, our other guitarist. We met back in 2009, started throwing ideas back and forth and eventually founded the band after having written a load of material. So the writing process has stayed that way so far. We usually come up with a riff or chorus for example and branch out from there, jamming it out with our drummer Jai always helps get the feel of the track and what rhythms go where.
(((o))): Your first full length album is coming out in the near future, which features some re recorded older tracks. How has this album and the band evolved to this point?
Darkness Will Rise isn’t a complete different direction to our EP, but it has a lot more variety to it. There’s a lot more dynamic in the the album, it feels like the EP was a snapshot of our sound and the album is more of the full spectrum. There’s very much the same vibe, so it still sounds like this era of The Raven Age, but there’s a lot more to it.
(((o))): With the obvious and much talked about link to Iron Maiden [Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris’ son George Harris is the band’s guitarist], what type of advice did you get about being in a band?
The best piece of advice that I got from someone who’s been through it all, was to stick to your guns. That’s a pretty broad statement but it really does apply to everything. The more opportunities come your way, the more decisions need to be made and only you know which is the right one for your band. Keep your vision and idea true to how you want it be and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
(((o))): You are currently on the road with Anthrax, how are those shows going?
They’re going great! Playing to packed out crowds across Europe, you can’t complain. Some places we’ve been before and we’re hitting some new cities too so it’s an excellent tour for us to build on. It’s our first time in front of a thrash metal audience which is a new challenge for us and so far the reactions have been very positive.
(((o))): You’ve come a long way in a relatively short time and have played some massive shows. How have you gone down with the crowds?
We’ve been totally overwhelmed with how well we’ve gone down with all audiences we’ve played to so far. I remember before we first played with Gojira, we were like “Shit, I don’t know if we’re heavy enough for this crowd”, but they accepted us and we had one of our best shows to date in Lisbon. I think we seem to cross over to fans from real heavy stuff to rock. Let’s just say we’ve not been booed off the stage yet haha.
(((o))): What do you learn from those shows?
You learn all sorts from each show and tour. One of the main things is how to fire yourself up when the crowd aren’t quite as responsive. Sometimes people like to watch and enjoy the support rather than go nuts, which is totally cool. But naturally you feed off of the crowd, so there’s a art to finding ways to get yourself fired up and fill yourself with adrenaline and ultimately have fun! I guess it all comes under showmanship.
(((o))): You run a membership scheme for your fans. This has proved popular with other bands (such as allowing Ne Obliviscaris to tour the world). What has the response to this been, do you plan on expanding it?
It’s going really well so far! It’s pretty new for us, but people want to jump on board and be a part of the bands journey which is really cool. We’ve got ourselves a group of very loyal fans who will support us in everything we do, so our subscription service is mainly to look after those guys and give them the perks that they deserve. We’d love to expand when we take the leap of faith and start doing our own shows!
(((o))): What is the plan for the rest of the year, can we expect to see some headline shows?
So our album drops the day after this Anthrax tour, then we’re going to be releasing another single which we’re excited about. I guess touring the hell out of it is the main objective at the moment. We’re hitting some festivals in Europe this summer and hoping to book in some more gigs around those. We really want to try and get back to some of the other countries we’ve been to last year, but headline shows are inevitable if we want our band to grow, it’s just getting the timing right. We’ll see how things go and maybe look at the end of this year or early next.