For the second successive year, PlanetMosh is delighted to be the main media partner, and main stage sponsor, for Monsters Of Rot V, the annual celebration of the best in the extreme Irish metal scene. As part of our continuing build up to the August 1 event, we today turn the spotlight on upstarts Attack The Day, for whom the fest is practically a hometown show – as will become apparent, as we start by asking the band to tell PM a little bit more about themselves…
We are from the Fermanagh and Monaghan area. We play alternative rock music although we have been compared to other styles of music such as alternative metal, grunge and even punk. Our band is made up of Daithi Murphy on vocals, Mark Cadden on lead guitar, Donavan Mc Brien on rhythm guitar, Ciaran Fitzpatrick on bass and Shane McGovern on drums. All of us are from around the Enniskillen area, apart from our singer Daithi, who is from Monaghan.
The band started off with Mark, Donavan and Shane as we all went to the same school and we were always around in the music room together. We then later met Ciaran who lived in the same town as us and played bass and was the singer for a while. We later decided that if we got a new singer that it would let us be more creative with rhythms and bass parts. Donavan, our guitarist, was friends with this girl and he asked her if she knew anyone who was able to sing and was looking to be in a band… who just happened to be Daithi.
What inspired the band name?
The band name wasn’t really inspired by anything we were just looking for a new one because we all hated the old one. So when we were trying to think of a new name for a few weeks [when] our drummer Shane saw “Attack The Day” wrote down somewhere, so we all thought we would change it to that until we could think of a better one… which never happened!
How would you describe your style of music?
We don’t really know how to describe our style of music because we all take influences from so many types of different types of music from rap to pop punk to metal. Other people have described us from punk to grunge to post-rock to alternative rock. But we like to take influences from a lot of music. On our opening track on our EP ‘Shadows’ there is a little intro with clean guitar and Mark did this thing where he used an octave pedal: put the guitar down an octave and play rakes to create this almost trip hop/hip hop beat. And there is a new song we have wrote for hopefully the next EP which has a funk-influenced verse and pre-chorus for the guitars and a softer clean vocal then the chorus explodes with a more Nu-Metal sounding distorted guitar and aggressive vocals.
What are your musical influences, both individually and collectively?
As a band we are influenced by bands like Lostprophets and Sum 41. It ranges out a lot but they are the main two bands that influence us collectively as a band. Individually it’s a lot more varied. Our singer Daithi [pictured left] would be influenced by bands such as Twenty One Pilots and The Amity Affliction. Our lead guitarist Mark would be influenced by bands such as Korn and Gob. Donavan who plays rhythm guitar is influenced by bands such as Slipknot and Oasis, [while] Ciaran’s main influences are bands from My Chemical Romance to Guns N Roses. Our drummer Shane takes most of his influence from the band Mallory Knox. We all listen to other styles of music too such as rap and some pop music, we can’t say it influences is us massively but it defiantly does bring something to the table when we are writing.
And lyrically what inspires you? What subjects do you write about?
We are not really sure what inspires us lyrically but they always seem to have a more pessimistic feel to them. When we were reading over the lyrics of all the EP songs, we noticed that all the songs seem to about a betrayal of some sort!
You’re from Fermanagh which, goegraphically, might seem to be a bit remote to many? But, in recent year, it seems to have developed quite a vibrant scene, with lots of new bands coming through, events such as MOR, promoters such as Henchman and new venues? What’s your take on this?
We are definitely glad to see all this happening: it helps promote Fermanagh as there is always something going on such as gigs and there are always bands to fill the slots, which is never a bad thing. Monsters Of Rot is defiantly a big part of promoting our scene as it gets a lot of metal and punk from around the country to come down to Fermanagh and experience and promote our scene first hand.
You recently released your debut EP: tell us a little bit about that… where was it recorded and what are the songs about?
Well it’s called ‘Shadows‘ and it’s got six tracks, including an intro track. The name of the EP sort of reflects what the songs are about: they are pretty dark lyrically and some of the music sometimes has a sinister sound – like the title track. When we were writing the lyrics for the songs we knew we wanted them to be all very pessimistic and they all seemed to end up about being betrayed, so I guess that’s the whole theme of the EP. Our friend Charles Knox recorded the EP out at his house and he also mixed all the songs as well.
What hurdles do you think bands from your area face in terms of getting recognition? The distance involved to play gigs in the likes of Belfast and Dublin, for example, must mitigate against you in this regard?
It’s mostly just transport when it really comes down to it because, with promoters like Henchman and Penny Jar, they always have contacts and are always willing to put a good word in for bands and are always more than happy to let you know who to get in contact with.
What other bands from the Fermanagh area should PlanetMosh readers be putting on their radar?
Readers should definitely be putting bands like The DM’s, Hydryophonex, Always Decline and Sense Deficiency on their radars: they are good bands and between them are a nice variety of music from punk to indie.
The reason we are chatting is because of Monsters Of Rot: have you played with any of the other bands on the bill before?
We have played with Jobseekers twice and Axecatcher once before and we couldn’t be more excited to see them both again they are both very talented bands and just so much fun to see live.
And are there any bands you are particularly looking forward to seeing?
Well, apart from Jobseekers and Axecatcher, we saw Bad Boat out at Oaks Recording and Rehearsals at a house gig to raise money for Monsters Of Rot and we enjoyed them a lot and are looking forward to seeing them again. But, overall, we are looking forward to seeing every band.
So, what’s next for Attack The Day after MOR? More recording? More live shows?
After Monsters Of Rot we are just going to continue writing more songs, as we have already started writing our second EP: but, on October 9 and 10 Xerosun and Kinasis have asked us to come play with them in Fibber Magees in Dublin and The Bar With No Name in Belfast.
Finally, do you have any message for anyone who is thinking of heading to MOR and hasn’t quite made up their minds yet?
Just go it’s going to be great fun, cool people and good music! What else could you ask for in a festival?
Monsters Of Rot takes place at the Halfway Inn in Letterbreen, County Fermanagh, on Saturday August 1. It should be another great day, and one which PM certainly is looking forward to… Next in our series of previews, we’ll be getting the lowdown on Drogheda crusties Okus.
- Live photograph by Jason Gallagher.