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Interviews: Auraelis and Myst, Metal 2 the Masses Bristol

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Last week, the second heat of Bristol’s Metal 2 the Masses took place with another two spots in the semi-finals up for grabs. Have a read of the show here and then proceed below to find out a little bit more on Auraelis and Myst, the winners of the night in question.

Auraelis

For people hearing about Auraelis for the first time, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

We started the band in late 2013 in Bristol. We would describe our sound as technical thrash metal. It began with Dan Robins on guitar, Jan Pataj on bass and Tom Gough on drums and Jamie Moran on vocals. We gigged extensively throughout 2014 and also recorded our debut EP, “Colours of Impurity.” The band was fairly inactive throughout 2015 and most of last year, but in late 2016 Dan Budsworth joined as a second guitarist and revitalised us. We’re ready to record a new EP in the next few months and are setting out on tour in May around the country.

You’ve played Metal 2 the Masses before, what made you decide to come back?

In 2015 when we debuted and made the semi-finals the competition was good but, now that it’s under new management, it seems much fresher and exciting. We are very pleased to be back in Metal 2 the Masses with so many great bands!

How do you feel your set on Thursday night went? Following on from this, how does it feel to make the Semi Finals?

We had a really good time on Thursday night and got some very kind positive feedback from the judges and gig goers. We’re planning to step it up and focus on delivering the most exciting live performance we can and also perhaps introduce a new song or two in the near future!

Auraelis is an interesting name – what does it mean and why did you change to that from your original moniker, Ascension?

We decided to change the name when we discovered that there were already about twenty other metal bands called Ascension, haha! The name Auraelis is derived from Greek phrase Aurora Borealis (Northern Dawn) which is of course the term used to describe the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

Which three bands do you feel have influenced your sound most?

The three biggest influences on Auraelis from the beginning were Megadeth, early In Flames and a little known band from California, USA called HeXen. They are a melodic thrash metal band with some killer riffs and solos and a progressive edge.

Myst

For people hearing about MYST for the first time, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

An eclectic mix of Prog, stoner, doom, and black metal, with some classic rock, jazz, and spoken word thrown in for good measure. A stage show that draws you in, and spits you out knowing a little too much. Riffs that tear you back and forth combined with lyrical content coming from lived experience, mental breakdowns, and turbulent personal lives. All this makes MYST a truly unique experience so if you like weird shit, we’ve probably got your number! Come and see us live if you really want to know what we’re all about.

This is your first time playing Metal 2 the Masses – what made you decide to apply this year?

We grew to love the atmosphere, the bands, and calibre of performance coming out  when we found out about this competition in our natal stages. Our friends in Mortishead won M2TM Bristol in 2015 to go all the way to Bloodstock and we’ve been hoping for the same opportunity ever since.

How do you feel your set on Thursday night went? Following on from this, how does it feel to make the Semi Finals?

We had a great time being weird and unsettling as usual! It’s always a pleasure to see the effect we can have on audience members, whether it’s disgust, laughter or just a bit of head banging. We have certainly played better in the past, but we put on a good show, people enjoyed themselves, and that’s really what matters at the end of the day. We’re glad that we managed to get through a tough heat with such great performances. That being said, we’re are pretty confident about the semis, having come up with ideas of how to make our show that much more immersive.

There’s a lot going on with MYST: your music incorporates lots of different genres and your live show is certainly a spectacle in its own right. Did you set out to push as many boundaries as possible?

Yes, but not at first. It took a while, but as time went on we started to toy with more challenging ideas. Things got weirder and stranger and we fully embraced that – we try and push ourselves in everything we do, whether it be dynamics, genre, or stage show. We wholeheartedly believe in giving an audience an experience, rather than just something nice to listen to; like bands before us such as The Doors, Genesis, Tool, and many others we are bringing theatre, music, and poetry together in a way that seeks to challenge our audience. When you come and see MYST, we want you walking away with more than just a memory of a good night out. It’s not just about the sound, it’s about giving people a show they’ll never forget.

Which three bands do you feel have influenced your sound most?

Each member has their own personal influences such as the aforementioned Doors and Tool to Opeth and Red Fang, but there’s two examples which stick out pretty universally among us: Mastodon and Black Sabbath. It’s not that we want to sound like them, but more about respect for what they do. Both bands pushed their genres in directions other people didn’t. They did what they wanted to do without pretence and absolutely smashed it doing so. However the theatrics of Tool, and The Doors are a major influence on our stage performances.

Where can we find out more about MYST?

Facebook Twitter, Instagram, all the usual social media outlets. You can also stream our music over on Spotify or any of the popular streaming channels. If you want to buy your own copy of our EP head over to our Big Cartel or Bandcamp pages. Come and watch us live to really find out more about us, or join us for a drink at The Gryphon!

https://myst-official.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/officialmyst
http://mystbandofficial.bigcartel.com/

Finally, what would it mean to play Bloodstock?

Playing Bloodstock would mean the absolute world to us. Some of us have been long time patrons of the festival, and it would be such a fulfilling experience to play there. It will help us expand our fan base, introduce us to the right people, and improve our chances of making enough money to fund our next recording. All we want is opportunity to bring our unique brand of weirdness to as many people as we can, and to let people know they’re not alone in the world.

My thanks to both bands for taking the time to speak to me.

Elliot Leaver
PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.