UNLEASH THE ARCHERS have a new album out on Napalm Records. That alone warranted an interview but also the urge to know more about them resulted in this interview. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
Could you please introduce the band to us?
-Unleash The Archers is Brittney Slayes on clean vocals, Scott Buchanan on drums, Grant Truesdell on guitar and screams, Andrew Kingsley on guitar and screams, and Kyle Sheppard on bass.
When you form how easy is it to pick up a thread as to where your sound is going??
-When we first began writing music, we were all very much influenced by different genres; traditional heavy metal, death metal, metalcore… Subsequently our sound could not really be defined by one particular genre either. However we have come a long way and our tastes in metal have changed quite a bit, so nowadays we tend to lean more towards a power metal sound combined with some death elements. Having clean vocals will always put us in certain boxes, but personally I prefer to call us just plain old heavy metal
How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
-It was the only name we could all agree on in the beginning hahaha, I think it has actually helped define our sound a bit though. I am a history major and also a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy so the name works well with a lot of my lyrical content. It conjures medieval imagery, the excitement of battle, the urgency of life on the ramparts; all of which are reflected in the energy of our music.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-Image isn’t everything, but it is important. The way a band presents itself will help the fans determine what kind of music they play, or if they take themselves seriously. Some genres tend to try harder than others it seems; a fully dressed folk metal band is always entertaining, and thrash bands are often covered in studs and bullet belts. Really it all comes down to whether or not you want to put the time and effort in though I suppose!
I am a huge fan of LP artwork. How important is it to have the right artwork for your album?
-We love working with JP Fournier, he is incredibly talented and he understands well what we like. The artwork you choose for your record has got to both portray a message and be eye catching. Being judged by the cover is not just for books! Bad artwork can be off-putting and can also make you look unprofessional; every aspect of your band must be cohesive or none of it matters!
How do you avoid being affected by the hype likes on youtube and facebook can create on social media?
-Well there are always just as many negative comments on youtube as there are positive so that’s never really a problem hahaha. but in all honesty we don’t feel special or anything so it’s not hard 😉 We concentrate on writing music and playing shows and that is really all that is worth thinking about.
When you play in a metal band does it feel like you are a part of massive community?
-Absolutely! The best community in the world! We have travelled to so many cities and met so many amazing people. No matter where you go, more often than not you are surrounded by really good people and you all have lot’s in common and you just can’t help but have a good time! Metalheads are the best!
How important is it to be signed to label today? What can they do that you cannot do on your own?
-Unfortunately, being signed does get you a lot of recognition that you can’t get on your own, and the industry in general respects you more. Booking agencies, magazines, webzines, radio stations; they won’t even give you a second glance when you’re independent. Which is stupid really because I know plenty of bands that aren’t signed that are better than most bands that are! Being on a label doesn’t mean you are a good band, and being independent doesn’t mean you aren’t good. A label is just another part of the process.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of the States?
-Touring is the best part of being in a band! Every year we try to go further and further, we began with crossing Canada, then ventured into the USA and Mexico, now we have our sights set on Europe. I think touring is very important, if you don’t get out of your hometown those around you will never know who you are. The harder you work, the better the rewards. Booking tours is not easy, but that doesn’t matter, you have to keep trying and sometimes you play some pretty crappy places before you get the hang of it, but it’s always worth it in the end!
What will the future bring?
-Soon we will release the first single from our new album ‘Time Stands Still’, and with that will come a new music video, and hopefully soon we will also hit the road again. We are not yet sure where we are going, but we know it will be awesome!