XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?
At the moment, it’s hard to keep much momentum going due to the COVID-19 situation. We do, however, have a new album releasing on 24th July (originally scheduled for 1st May but delayed due to the pandemic), with a couple of lyric videos ready to roll, etc. After that, I guess it’s a case of getting back to live shows as and when that’s logistically possible.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
In various forms since the end of 2016. The current lineup has been together since January 2020, (we added bassist Kenny in January, previously our vocalist handled bass duties too). Other than that, the lineup has been solid for a good while.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
I think the same as most people, the love of music.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
I was raised in a house where my dad played drums in a punk band, and a lot of punk and metal was played, so I was more or less raised on it.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
I guess we just look like your normal metal band – long hair, tattoos, etc.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
At this point, to get our music to as many people as possible. We’ve already achieved a lot in a short time – 2 EPs and a full length in the space of 3 years is pretty good going. We’ve also got some really cool guests on the new album – Phil Demmel (Machine Head, Vio-Lence) and Joey Radziwill (Sacred Reich) so those are definitely goals checked off.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
They both have their merits, but I definitely prefer playing live to recording. The energy and passion is there, and you’ve not got the stress of having to have every single note totally perfect. Writing together is obviously a fun experience, but let’s be honest, recording sucks!
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
They cover various things, a lot of them are about environmental issues – humanity destroying the planet, etc, and there are others which are more about personal struggle and overcoming obstacles in life.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Integrity. It’s not cool to see bands jumping about from one trend to the next, always trying to ride the wave. I like it when a band writes music that’s honest and true to themselves. That and good guitar tone.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
We don’t, really. Most of the time, things are pretty sensible. We’re all fairly mature, grounded people so for the most part, there’s not that much wild stuff happening. We did get pulled by the police in Germany and made to empty the van, though
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
We’re a relatively small band, so again, there’s not been that much of this but we’ve had people asking for guitar picks, photos and stuff (especially on our European tour last summer) which, for a bunch of guys who all work 9-5s and do the band for fun, is pretty cool/strange.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
I can’t really speak for the other members, but mine definitely is. As I mentioned, I was raised in a house where my father was playing drums for a punk band, so he’s very supportive. He’s actually a screen printer and does all of our merchandise etc.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Practice and don’t jump on stage until you’re good and ready. Make sure you’ve got your own amps etc, and if you don’t, make sure you can afford to rent some for your shows because nobody likes lending their stuff out last minute.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
At the moment, it’s probably Transcend from our first EP. That’s always our set closer live, I’ve played it so many times I don’t need to think about it and it’s just super fun to play. There’s definitely some potential favorites on the album, but we’ve not really been able to start playing most of those live yet. Another good one to play live is Codeine, which is usually our encore (if we get one, we’re not one of those bands who does it regardless), and we don’t play it often. It’s super heavy and straight forward, just a total neck-wrecker.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
It was Phil Demmel of Machine Head who first inspired me to pick up the guitar – I just loved his style and on-stage charisma. He’s not the most technical player or even the tightest, but he plays with such passion that it more than makes up for it. I’m really lucky to now call him a friend and have him appear on a track on our album – total dream come true stuff!
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
I guess to pay service to everyone in the band it’d be all our favorites:
Avatar (me), Nightwish (Calum), Rammstein (Sean), Jinjer (Col), and Lamb of God (Kenny). I’d definitely be happy to open up that bill!
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Definitely our new album. 12 great songs, with by far our best playing to date and 2 great guest appearances.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
We all work normal jobs – I work in software, Col works in education. Sean works in insurance, Kenny works for an automotive supplier and Calum in telecoms.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Sean and I both use Peavey 6505 amps. I use Jackson guitars, and Sean changes guitars more often than most folk change underwear. Kenny plays an ESP bass through a Hartke amp and Calum uses Yamaha drums and UFIP cymbals.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
That’s a very broad question. It’s a good time for new music and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of what everyone’s been cooking up during this lockdown time period. There should be a lot of great music released after it’s done.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
All of our music is self-recorded!
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Please check our new album, Connection Lost. It comes out July 24th and will be available digitally in all the usual places and physically from www.catalysis.bigcartel.com
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Col MacGregor – Vocals
Drew Cochrane – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sean Ramson – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kenny Valentine – Bass
Calum Rennie – Drums