Christian Sykes – Vocals, Guitars
Eddie Johnson – Guitars
Benjamin Edwards – Bass
Paddy Monaghan – Drums
Betraeus are a four piece progressive death metal band from Manchester, UK. Forming in 2009, the band has a distinctive sound which treads a fine line between Atmospheric, Progressive & Death Metal genres.
In just two years they have gone from local phenomena to one of the UK’s most exciting underground bands.
Why did you pick the name ‘Betraeus’ and what does it stand for?
Well, we wanted to be different from the off set, so we started with the name. It was also important that we wanted to sound like a proper metal band too. We were sick and tired of all the scene kids floating around with band names
How would you describe the band?
We are an extreme metal band (we’ve been labelled as thrash/death/tech/djent/prog/ambient you name it, all we know is we’re metal!) from Manchester UK. We like to write music you can bang your head to and that has a certain complexity that musicians would appreciate, as we like to make the song writing process as enjoyable for ourselves as for our fans. Our music certainly has elements of what we’re labelled as from the press, but we try not to pigeon hole ourselves especially on our first release.
What has changed since you first started out in 2009?
Not much has changed apart from now we know that we have an audience and a fanbase around the world. It’s nice to get recognition for your music, and just getting it out there meeting new people is what we’re all about. We still approach things the same as we did in 2009 apart from we know how to ‘play the game’ a little bit more shall we say now!
What are your musical influences?
At the time of writing ‘Towards’ we were all heavily influenced by Opeth and Gojira collectively. So that explains the proggyness and groove behind the CD, as well as keeping hold of melody throughout the brutality. We all listen to a wide range of stuff though, we are definitely musicians before we are metal heads.
What was it like to play on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock Open Air in 2010 and also The Pepsi Max stage at Download Festival last year?
Awesome, it really was a life changing experience! BOA kicked our professional career off on the metal scene. In 2009 we took about 6 months off and just had a step back, took the blinkers off. We’d recommend any under achieving band to do the same. We knew we had potential and chemistry between us but it just wasn’t coming into fruition until that time. It gave us a chance to just stop and review ourselves and we pretty much wrote all the material on the EP in those 6 months, then entered the M2TM competition to play BOA 2010 and bloody won it! Everything has been snowballing from there really…
Any particular gig story or memorable experience you would like to share?
Our acoustic set at BOA was something quite different. I remember it being much more relaxed and just a bit of a laugh compared to our heavy set earlier on that day. We got to play our own material and cover some of our favorite songs including Holy Diver which we held in tribute to Dio!
Can you give us a track by track description of your debut EP ‘Towards The Sun’ that you released last year via Siege Of Amida Records (S.O.A.R)?
1) Towards The Sun – the destruction of Earth in a parallel universe
2) Frustrate Recluse – the insane notes of a suicidal man
3) Blossom Into The Void – putting all of your being into something, which turns to nothing
4) Obsolete (Live at B.O.A. 2010) – fighting back against (and overcoming) people who may try to put you down
5) Locust (Live at B.O.A. 2010) – a lucid nightmare where the dreamer becomes trapped in his own execution
What is your favourite track on the EP?
Either Towards or Frustrate! It depends what mood you’re in, if you fancy something epic or just downright brutal!
How would you sum up 2011 for the band?
2011 was off the scale! Playing download was unexpected, and signing to SOAR wasn’t in the plan either! You can’t afford to pass up opportunities when you’re a young band so we certainly try and get everything we can, and it would be a good idea for any other bands reading this to do the same. Another highlight would be reaching number 3 on the Scuzz TV chart and our first ever tour.
What are your plans for 2012?
2012 will include more touring, hopefully playing more places we’ve never played before, maybe even mainland Europe. We’re supporting Decapitated on Feb 27th in Manchester which will be pro filmed, so make sure you get down to that!
Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to the readers?
Just thanks for all your support and come show some love at a gig sometime soon! Cheers!