Sitting back and taking a break from, well, whatever they do on the weekend; Rob Beeton and Przemyslaw Przytulo of Stormrider answer some of The Other Side Reviews’ questions. Here is what they had to say to writer Nicole Mendes.
OSR: Hi and thanks for chatting with The Other Side Reviews. Shall we begin? First question, how did you all meet and form Stormrider?
RB: We met around Christmas 2016/early 2017. Our bassist Przemyslaw or as we like to call him Seamus met our guitarist Cristiano initially through a Facebook group. They jammed with another guitarist who didn’t quite work out, so they decided to keep it to just one guitarist. Seamus jumped on joinmyband.co.uk in search of a drummer and found me. It wasn’t ’til around May 2017 that I found out an American guy I knew in the metal scene did vocals. Once we auditioned him, we were blown away by his range, and from there the band was truly born.
OSR: Now I know this is a pretty common question, but how did you come up with the name Stormrider?
RB: You know what, the band has such a wide range of influences that at first, we had a handful of names that we were debating over. We couldn’t decide what would fit our early style. Seamus and I both love a band called Iced Earth. Iced Earth is a power thrash band from the States and is known for their unique style using triplet picking combined with the epic vocals of their classic singer Matt Barlow. After dismissing band names like Hell Driver and Juggernaut, we decided to name the band after Iced Earth’s album Night of the Stormrider. The album also contained a song called ‘Stormrider’, and so the band solidified its identity.
OSR: According to the internet, the band line-up was only finalised a year ago. How have you enjoyed your first year as a new band? Are there any memorable experiences to speak of and what have you learned since the first day out of the door?
RB: Indeed, it has only been just over a year since we got together; however, we have been extremely busy, and we feel we have achieved a lot in our first year as a band. Within the first few months, we had our first songs, ‘Heavy Metal Machine’ and ‘Invictus’. Seamus is a great songwriter, and with his previous experience in his old band, Wicked Side, he managed to bring a lot to the table straight off. We soon had our anthem song ‘Made of Metal’ added to our song list, and it has grown since then. We now have pretty much an album’s worth of material.
Alongside all of this, we have a logo, full social media, a banner and that is just to begin with. We entered the studio in the latter half of 2017 and recorded our first two singles, ‘Heavy Metal Machine’ and ‘Made of Metal’. To accompany ‘Heavy Metal Machine’ we recorded our first music video using studio footage which has now reached over 1000 views in its first year. Towards the end of 2017, we also booked our first shows around Manchester which went really well. We had some fantastic reception to our music and style.
OSR: Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
RB: For all of the band members we all have our different reasons. It is debatable if you class what we are doing as being fully in the industry. I guess we see what we are doing as a more independent/DIY approach. The core reason for myself is that I have a true passion for music. We have all been in bands before, so we all have experience in recording and playing shows.
For myself, I have a degree in music, and so Stormrider to me has helped in many ways. Not only to grow as a musician and with other musicians, but also teach me more about the industry itself. I have learnt about responsibility as I kind of take on the role as band manager. So, I put a lot of time into booking shows and dealing with the promotion and social media side of things. If we get far then that will be a dream come true; however, our main goal is to take this as far as possible and have a great time along the way.
PP: To be honest, ever since I picked up the bass I wanted to form a band, write songs and play gigs. It took me some time to start my first proper band, Wicked Side; but in the six years or so I managed to release an EP, an album, and play over 100 gigs not only in Poland but also abroad. So, when I moved to the UK, it was only a matter of time before I got back to being in a band. Initially, I wanted to reform Wicked Side, but we collectively decided to start from scratch.
OSR: Can you briefly describe your songwriting process for us?
PP: I write on my own. I sit down with my bass and my Guitar Pro and write. Usually, it takes me ages to finish a song, but that’s because I don’t force myself to write and I don’t want to rush things. I’d rather make sure that the song is as good as it can be before presenting it to the rest of the band. I would also contribute to songs that Rob and Cristiano write by giving them feedback on the structure.
RB: I am fortunate enough to have a nice little recording setup at my place, so we do a lot of demos here. Seamus is probably our main songwriter; however Cristiano, Mike and myself have started contributing more to the songwriting process. We primarily have writing sessions at mine and build ideas into songs. Seamus sends us mix downs of his projects, and we collectively build from there.
OSR: Who or what inspires you to make music?
PP: Honestly, I’ve no idea. Ideas just come up, mostly out of the blue. Sometimes I’ll read or hear something, a phrase, a sentence and that lights up the lightbulb with an idea for a song. Other than that I still listen to a lot of music, I love discovering new bands, particularly underground ones, and that inspires me as well.
OSR: Who are your favourite artists and why?
RB: Personally, I love Iced Earth, Megadeth, Kreator, Hammerfall and so many more. Collectively, I would say our main influences are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Metallica and Aria. Of course, there are so many, but I would say this sums up the four of us.
Iron Maiden is a big influence for their melodic style. The same goes for Judas Priest, especially having catchy songs! Iced Earth is a big influence on the heavier side of our band’s music, and you can hear it through Mike’s vocals and some of the instrumentation.
PP: That’s always a tough question to answer, as there are so many but I’ll try to narrow it down. First off, Iron Maiden; they’re the reason why I picked up the bass guitar in the first place, great songs, great live band. Second, Aria sometimes called the Russian Iron Maiden. Another great band with no bad album, definitely more advanced musically than Maiden, but it’s still good old NWOBHM. Third, Iced Earth. Musically I prefer their earlier stuff; however, Jon Schaffer’s attitude and relentlessness are also major factors.
OSR: Most bands enjoy playing gigs, but what is your least favourite aspect of performing?
RB: We love playing shows, it is one thing we thrive off. I guess the only thing that can be a pain is when you get a bad sound technician. Ones who give you a bad monitor mix or who are standing on your feet before you have even unplugged your guitar from the amp!
PP: My least favourite aspect of performing is that at some point you have to finish your set and go off stage, lol. Other than that I’d say when you can’t hear yourself and/or other band members onstage, usually due to lack of time for a proper soundcheck.
OSR: Are you a mornings person or would you sleep in at any given opportunity?
RB: Mike is definitely a big sleeper and can sleep ’til late afternoon. For Cristiano and Seamus, they are quite routined; whereas myself, I can be a mix of both. I can easily get up quite early but also go to bed quite late! Really depends for all of us what day of the week it is and if we are working.
OSR: What is your ideal Friday night in?
PP: After the entire week at work I just like to chill with a cup of tea, listen to some music or watch some stuff on YouTube (and I don’t mean the cat videos), or possibly play Football Manager.
OSR: At the moment Stormrider only has singles available, but are you working on EPs or potentially albums?
RB: We believe that rather than release a load of music at once and either see an increase of fans or just a drop, that we release a trickle of music. The thought process is that it will keep people interested and eager to hear more over time. We have just recorded two new songs, which will be put together with our current releases to form our debut EP, named Heavy Metal Machine. The tracks sound awesome, and we really cannot wait to share them with everyone. Chris Taylor of Noiseboy Studios has done an amazing job at capturing our music, and we highly recommend him for recording. The EP will be released at SOS festival on July 13th, 2018, so if you want a copy make sure you get down to the show!
OSR: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
PP: To quote a joke:
Son: “Mum, when I grow up I want to be a bassist!”
Mum: “Well, I’m sorry, son, but you can’t do both…”
But seriously, when I was about five-years-old, I wanted to be a priest. God only knows why. According to my mum, I scrapped that idea upon learning that a priest can’t kiss girls, lol. Later on, I wanted to become a bus driver, and to this day I have some affection towards public transport. So it kind of makes sense, kissing girls and driving around the country as a rock’n’roll touring musician!
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