UK Hard-hitters HOUSE OF HATCHETS continue their climb with the release of their debut album, Reach, which arrives on Friday 21st June. Already picking up favorable comparisons to everyone from Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Deftones and Funeral for a Friend, the towering riff maestros keep on going from strength to strength. The band’s current new video, Burn – https://youtu.be/k5CMyZiWRdY has made its mark too. We had the guys down for a quick introductory interview:
What is the full band line-up, who sings and who plays which instrument?
JAMIE; Chris Allison vocals, Jamie Parker and Lewis Wheeler guitars, Pete Cook bass (and eats Greggs always) and Frazer Parker drums.
How and when did the band form? Tell us anything interesting about your hometown.
JAMIE; Me and Frazer are cousins and have always been into the same music. We always meant to get round to trying something out musically. We’re both from Edinburgh and aren’t snobs.
FRAZER; Yeah we just wanted to have fun with it. We started doing covers of a few Billy Talent songs and eventually got onto writing our own stuff.
PETE; I am from Newcastle, but it was being in Manchester which led to me joining the band. The guys had a bassist lined up to join but when the first gig came about he couldn’t make it. I’m studying at the Royal Northern College of Music with said guy’s brother so they put me in touch. Without me – there would be no band..
LEWIS; I’m originally from Stone in Staffordshire. It’s quiet and the low underground metal scene in Hanley kept me busy.
CHRIS; I’m from a small ex mining town in Central Scotland. I knew Jamie from college and he got in contact with me to tell me he was working on original material with his cousin. Honestly I had reservations about doing anything else musically because I was so busy, but when he sent me what they had recorded I was blown away. Getting back to writing was difficult but those initial drafts he sent me evolved into our EP – The Grind. We found our sound and worked on it HARD. We built up our new album which I am incredibly proud of, and grateful to have managed to make with these guys.
When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?
JAMIE; When Lewis joined it felt like the setup was complete. Lewis and Pete are down in Manchester but we are in touch all the time. Whenever they leave its like a dad saying bye to his two sons going off to uni. Hahaha.
LEWIS; I joined after the band was already pretty solid, Pete studies at the RNCM with me and he asked me to dep for the Silverstein gig just before Christmas 2017. I wanted to absolutely kill it and I was so happy when I was asked to join and become a full time member.
PETE; When we were looking for a new guitarist, I instantly thought of Lew. I didn’t really know him at the time, but I knew he was a great player.
Who are your musical influences?
JAMIE; Oasis and Blur. Incubus. David Bowie. Slipknot. Funeral for a Friend. Killswitch Engage. Queen. Beartooth. INXS. Anything that moves me – I’m into it.
FRAZER; Deftones, Incubus, Funeral for a Friend, artists that Jamie’s mentioned there. List is BIG.
PETE; Trivium, Bullet for my Valentine, and Slipknot introduced me to metal, however nowadays, I take a lot of inspiration from the more Progressive spectrum of metal. Bands like Tool, Dream Theater, and Sikth.
LEWIS; Personally a lot of guitar driven music, Megadeth, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen were highly influential, Randy Rhoads being the all time inspiration of a true musician.
CHRIS; My influences can be split. Lyrically I appreciate people like Richie Edwards, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Morrison, Michael Stipe and many more. Vocally I enjoy lots of different voices, Bjork is a favourite, Corey Taylor, Levi Stubbs, Chris Cornell and many more. I think you can learn something from everyone even if its just that you don’t want to sound like that.
Where did the name of the band come from?
FRAZER; We went through a few, they were all crap. House of Hatchets we felt was strong. Cutting and to the point. Heaps of good possibilities in terms of logos, merchandise, stage backdrops, etc.
JAMIE; We liked the feel of it on the tongue. I like the symmetry of HOH.
LEWIS; For me its gives off a certain pride with no shit taken. We are a family, uniting people together from the dark. I think it’s quite significant in representation of what we stand for, not all good souls appear as they might, but when you reach out your hand into the dark you may never know who it might be.
CHRIS; The name was decided before I joined. But I love it. I’ve never had any qualms about accepting House of Hatchets as a headpiece for the music we create together.
In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?
PETE; We aren’t heavy for the sake of heavy. We focus foremost on songwriting, taking influence from a vast array of music.
CHRIS; I think we are different because of our level of artistry and how it’s teamed with a ‘down to earth’ emotionality. I’ve never heard anything quite like us. “I want to hear beautiful melodies telling me terrible things” – a quote by Tom Waits that I feel sums us up. Some of the subject matter is deeply cathartic and confession for me lyrically, but we try and deliver that in a way that’s understandable and accessible, even if its not palatable.
If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?
CHRIS; Yann Martell spoke about the difficulty in description. He talks about trying to describe a pear to a someone who hasn’t seen one and how impossible it is. I would encourage someone who is aurally impaired to lie down on the floor, turn the bass all the way up and the treble all the way down and let the rumbles jolt them into their own experience. Imagine being a sadomasochist and getting your teeth drilled – that’s the best I can do.
FRAZER; What he said!!
Do you have a tour on the horizon?
JAMIE; We will absolutely be touring on the new album. Definitely around the UK and hopefully making our first steps into Europe. We will also be doing some festivals this year which we are all massively pumped about.
Where can we find your social media sites?
JAMIE; Just search house of hatchets on instagram, twitter, facebook and youtube. Or head to our site and the links are there.
CHRIS; Twitter, facebook, Instagram, our own site. We love to chat. And mosh.