1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a four-piece extreme metal band from London, England. We have been playing together since 2006 but only really started to get more serious in 2009 with the release of our second EP ‘Afterlife Crisis’. Since then we have toured all around the UK, released a second EP and performed at Bloodstock Open Air on two occasions. This year we will finally release our debut album ‘All The Rage’ which will be available worldwide.
2. You have your first full length coming out during the beginning of October, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the EPs you have released in the past?
We describe ourselves as an Extreme Metal band. We take inspiration from all different sub-genres of metal music including death metal, black metal, grindcore, thrash, hardcore etc. Our music is fast and intense with plenty of blast beats and thrash but also a lot of groove and some melody. The album takes the sound that we have been developing on our EPs and makes it bigger, heavier and more polished than ever before.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I tend to write lyrics about things that are important to us, issues in our lives or in the wider world. Politics, war and religion tend to be big topics depending on what is happening at the present time. I also like to write more typical death metal lyrics about serial killers, zombies and the devil but always try to include some humour in them. The lyrics for the new album are available to view on our website www.aghastmetal.com.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aghast!'?
The word ‘Aghast’ means: struck with overwhelming shock or amazement; filled with sudden fright or horror. For example: “They stood aghast at the sight of the plane crashing”. We write music that surprises people and often when people see us live for the first time they are surprised by the amount of energy we put into our live show and the extremity of the music. This is why we insist on the exclamation mark! We try to bring this sense of astonishment to everything that we do, that is what AGHAST! are all about!
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have been playing together for many years and have played hundreds of shows. We always have a great deal of fun putting on our own Halloween headlining shows in our drummer’s hometown of Hitchin. I think we would all agree that our favourite show to date was when we recently played the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock Open Air in front of well over a thousand people. The energy that we got from the crowd was incredible, it made us want to do more and more shows just like it!
6. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We are going out on a 9 date tour of England starting on the 29th of September through to the 8th of October. The album will be released the same week so it’s a really good opportunity to play the new songs, visit some new places and meet up with old friends. We were lucky enough to receive a grant from The Arts Council England that allowed us to put together the tour. We hope to go to Europe early next year.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We have received some label interest from a few places but nothing concrete as yet. We consider ourselves to be “self-signed” in that we do all of the work that a label would do by ourselves. Our management company, Chaotic Tapestry Management, have given us a lot of advice and contacts that have allowed us to represent ourselves and for now we are happy to continue doing just that. We will have to see what the future holds!
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
We are always amazed to see the comments and feedback that we get on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Extreme metal is a small community but it is a worldwide community. It is amazing to know that we have fans all over Europe, South America, The United States, Australia and the Far East. We only hope that we will be able to visit all of these places and meet the fans who have given us so much support over the years.
9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Many of the songs on ‘All The Rage’ hint at what we are capable of musically. We try not to limit ourselves to a certain sound and take inspiration wherever we find it. I can see us getting more and more adept at songwriting whilst also experimenting with different time signatures, melodies and becoming more extreme in some cases. We have already written many of the songs that will appear on the second album and they are a big step up!
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We are all huge fans of Pantera and this was one of the main reasons why we gell so well as a band. They showed what was possible with just a four-piece playing heavy music. Apart from that we all love Emperor, At The Gates, Napalm Death, Carcass, Death, Meshuggah etc. But we also draw inspiration from Classic Rock and pretty much all other genres of music. Our bassist Daniel even has a dubstep project called MEGATON.
11. What are some of your non musical interests?
We are all friends first and a band second so we really enjoy hanging out with each other. Food is something that brings us together so we often go out to eat or cook meals for each other. Our chilli cook offs are the stuff of legend! We spend a lot of time going to gigs, both of bands we know personally and ones that we admire. We also enjoy film, travel, archery, shooting, going to raves, comic books, video games and PARTYING!
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just that we are really pleased to finally be releasing our debut album and that we hope that everyone will take the time to check us out. There is something in our sound for every metal fan to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you all at a show. STAY METAL! AGHAST!