UK metalcore/post-hardcore band A Higher Demise had a mishap during the summer, as their screaming vocalist Charlie would depart from the band. That would not cause despair for the group, as they are in the process of searching for a new vocalist fo fill the void. Thus, that bump the road has not caused their most recent release an EP "To Death and Victory" to see any disappointment in reviews and promotional coverage, as many take joy to it. With that the band has gotten together discussing their time together, the EP's release, and what plans are ahead.
1. Give a brief history of A Higher Demise's music style, and it's members.
We started with the idea of being super heavy death metal. But it was pretty clear from the first rehearsal that we couldn't help but lean toward the softer side of metal. Dan (guitarist) had written a few heavy songs before forming the band back in 2011. He had persuaded James (Drums) and Charlie (Scream vocals) to join but when Terry (Guitar and Vocals) joined the fray and began adding poppy clean vocals to the mix, the feel and sound changed quickly. After a few years and a line up change Rachael (Bass) joined and the band finally felt complete.
2. Why did you want to play this genre?
It sort of just fell in to place. Once we were playing as a complete band. The pop sounding clean vocals and the style of Charlie's screams sounded more reminiscent of 2004 screamo than heavy death metal.
3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?
It was Dan who formed the band and he knew each of the original members separately. Charlie worked with Dan, James and Dan both attended the same secondary school and Terry and Dan were at music college together. Terry later brought in previous colleague Rachael.
4. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?
The working band name was 'Death of Kings'. We feared we would be difficult to find, sharing the name with a famous book, so 'A Higher Demise' is an adaption.
5. Can you tell me, where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We're technically based in Dartford/Kent (UK), but since we've been a band we have seen countless local venues close or stop hosting live music and virtually no new ones open. So now we're from Kent and our local venue is now in Gravesend. Hopefully that venue will stay open! The scene may be weak in terms of venue and support but not in the bands it offers.
6. What are A Higher Demises’ musical and non-musical influences?
Bring Me the Horizon, Atreyu, Linkin Park, Asking Alexandria. Non musical influences mainly consist of proving everyone that doubted us wrong! (It's a slow process).
7. What inspires A Higher Demise's music and lyric writing? What do the lyrics talk about?
It's always usually what angers us. The reasons behind the anger has shifted over the years from ex girlfriends and people we didn't like to ideals and realities we don't like. Maybe because we're all settling down? Or maybe we've run out of people in our lives that make us angry.
8. Give in more detail, some information about your latest EP "To Death and Victory"?
'To Death or Victory' is our second official EP. The name came from a famous Churchill quote. We have always tried to integrate famous speeches or quotes in our live show and felt that this one would create a great theme that we could use in our artwork and merchandise. The EP features 7 songs and in our opinion flows together and showcases a far more consistent sound from our earlier stuff. We feel like we have progressed into our own individual take on metalcore and screamo. We hope that listeners will now be able to identity 'A Higher Demise' from the contrasting pop vocals and harsh screams that acts as recurring theme throughout our music.
9. What is the difference between your latest EP and your first debut EP?
Our first EP was a learning curve for us; we had to adapt quickly to the demands of a serious production when recording in the studio and consequently deal with the pressure of playing songs live that the audience were already familiar with. There was a certain expectation on our shoulders to pull off the EP in a live setting. When touring the EP there were so many times that we would think 'damn I wish we had something in our music that would make the crowd do this' or 'damn, the way that band had the audience in the palm of their hand with that part of the song. We should do something like that'. These ideas made their way into our next generation of songs and hopefully these cool tricks and musical maturity is evident throughout 'To Death or Victory'. The journey we have taken as a band should be something you can follow from the last EP to one.
10. Why go with releasing another EP instead of a debut full-length album?
Besides the reasons of money and time, we also feel that the attention span for new music and new bands has diminished on certain years. It feels as though potential fans become aware of you on a song by song basis. A whole album in one go is too just too much nowadays. The full length album will come but for now it's too early for where we're at.
11. How much time does it take for A Higher Demise to write and record an EP?
What feels like a long time, however not as long as some I do imagine. For this release we had written more songs than we intended to record and had the challenging luxury of deciding on the best 7 to take forward to the studio. So naturally we spent a little longer writing but it was about 18 months from start to finish. It's taken us longer to organize the release than it did to make!
12. Has A Higher Demise ever played in the U.S. or plan to do so in the future?
We've never played the U.S. but would love to do so if the opportunity ever came up.
13. What does the band plan on doing in mean time?
Promote the new EP, where we can and get some shows booked in, all while searching to find someone to replace Charlie our former vocalist.
14. Have any words of wisdom?
If anything can go wrong at a gig, it will, so always bring spares!
15. Is that your final answer?
Depends if that's your final question? ;)