Alistair Blackhall, Thomas Simm and Jamie Hughes, Deified
I somehow managed to get Jamie, Thomas and Alistair from Deified to answer a few of my questions post-gig last Friday. They were in their after-set buzz, and this setting up this interview was like herding cats. Interview was done on a road behind the venue and a car almost hit us. I love my job.
How did tonight go?!?
Jamie – “Excellent! It was over so quickly”
Alistair – “Yeah, the time just flies”
What have you been up to lately? There seems to be lots of new things coming out of the Deified camp at moment!
Jamie – “We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes”
Alistair – “We’ve had lots of practice with the new drummer to make sure that we’ve got a set to just go out and gig, but we’re also wanting to make sure that he also gets his own stamp on the band, so we’re recording a new EP. Even though we’ve just recorded Inhuman Manifesto last year, we thought it would be better to record something completely new.”
Jamie – “Every member brings their own style to the band and he’s a lot younger than us, so he’s got a bit more spunk in him. As you can tell from tonight, he was really going for it. We’re happy with him, he’s eager, and as Alistair said he’s come in and he’s putting his own stamp on the band, so we’re going through his kind of rebranding. We’ve got the new logo, the new music, it’s a fresh start”
Thomas – “And it’s just the gigging. We’ve got loads of gigs. Rock Out For Ray, Pentrefest tomorrow, Krysthla in May.”
Jamie –“We’ve got Metal Mayhem which is back here at Tank. We do this every year. We get a bunch of bands, some local, some out of town, and just pile them all in there and we usually do It for charity.”
Alistair – “Hype4Life is what we usually raise money for”
So I’m not from St. Helens, is Tank the main music venue in the area?
Jamie – “Pretty much”
Alistair – “The only other place their used to be was the Citadel but that is shutting down, and then there was Rendezvous but you had to put your own band nights on in there, it wasn’t a regular thing. We’re such good friends with the people who own Tank, we just bring the metal here. We’ve even put on gigs where we’ve not actually played, we just wanted to bring other bands to the town to play. We brought Witchtripper here, that was crazy getting to chill out with them”
Jamie – “I think that separates us from other bands, we don’t just play, we put on shows as well. Nobody want to hear the same bands over and over, so all we can do is bring in new bands for people to enjoy because you know, there is not much in this town anymore. It’s run down. You walk around the streets, the shops are all closed and there’s naff all going on, it’s kind of grim, but people come down. People come to Tank. Ian does a great job, he pays the bands, you get a free drink out of it and there’s always a great turn out”
Do you think promoters across the north west do enough to raise the profile of the metal scene?
Jamie – “I think so. I think they do loads. When you look at the likes of Badger and ourselves and all the others. Gary Amplified, he does a heck of a lot of promoting. I think they all do a great job. I’m always turning on my news feed on Facebook and every day I’m finding new bands, you’ve got FYM now, that’s taken off”
Thomas – “That’s the new cool thing, FYM… it’s just him headbanging. It’s fucking cool. He’s fucking class. Such a good guy too”
Jamie – “We’ve met him too, Badgerfest! He is cool”
Outside of Tank do you have any other favourite venues?
Alistair – “Grand Central in Manchester”
Thomas – “Oh yeah, GC”
Alistair – We’ve played there, I can’t remember how many times now”
Thomas – “The Star and Garter is good”
Alistair – “We always seem to play GC on a Thursday night but that never seems to matter. We had a pit last time we played there and we were all like ‘Whoa what the fuck’ and people were just wrecking GC for no reason. We weren’t even the headliners”
Thomas – “We were like the second band on or something like that, we weren’t expecting that. They were pitting to us on a Thursday, we were the second band on… we were like ‘We love you Manchester’ “
Jamie – “I love Rebellion, Rebellion is my favourite”
Thomas – “ Oh yeah we want to play there again”
Jamie – “When you play a show and you see… a small person, shall we say… beating up someone else with a wet floor sign… THAT’S what it’s all about.”
Alistair – “It was 11 o’clock at night, we came on after PIST, people were doing sherbert and having a dead good time. Everybody was off their tits, and then we come on stage as the ‘Keep Everybody Warm Before the DJ’ band. We’d been there since 5pm, so we were hammered… We were the headline band. We shouldn’t have been. We were the fluffer before the DJ”
Jamie – “We’d been getting really pissed all night long”
Alistair – “Was this question about funny stories?”
Nope. It is now.
Alistair – “You know the prostitute story then? Our only ever groupie was in Coventry and she turned out to be a prostitute”
Jamie – “All I can say is I had a lovely bottle of Budweiser at the front of the stage…”
Alistair – “… and she put Hep C on it”
Jamie – “Yes, this lady took it off the stage and shoved it as far into her throat as possible. I turn round to the drummer to go ‘thumbs up’ and then I turn around again and the bouncers are dragging her out. I was like shouting down the microphone ‘Nooooooo, bring her back’. Ladies of the night need fun too”
What’s your favourite song in the set list at the moment?
Jamie – “Dead Inside and Paralyzed”
Alistair – “I’ve always liked Shitwreck because we started our set with it for so long that it just became so comfortable to play.”
Thomas – “I’d say Dead Inside as well”
Alistair – “Yeah, that represents what the new EP is about really”
Dead Inside definitely had a groove feel to it, is that where your sound is headed?
Alistair – “I think we would describe ourselves as groove metal. We’re all about the riffs. We’re not bothered if its death core or metal core or whatever”
Thomas – “Just as long as people are enjoying it, that’s our main priority”
Jamie – “We try to progress with each EP or album, we try to take our sound one step further”
Thomas – “We’re just going to get fancy as fuck. We’ll just get digital. Like Calvin Harris”
Jamie – “…………………………………. Fucking Calvin Harris”
And what’s the most challenging song in your set?
Thomas – “Paralyzed! Jamie’s personal favourite!”
Alistair – “We hadn’t played it in so long! It just doesn’t stop, the BPM is so high paced , the riffs are ridiculous and we hadn’t practiced it in so long. We did it at one practice with the new drummer, we were like ‘we’ll have a go’ and it seemed to go down well”
Jamie – “ We said before, he’s really eager, he’s come to practice and he’s like ‘I’ve learned this song, I’ve learned that song’”
Thomas – “He’s probably the most dedicated member of Deified right now”
Deified thank you so much for your time tonight, we’ll see you again at Rock Out For Ray
Interview by Sarah Cummings