It’s time to get to know Ursus! We set Aaron and Joe 10 questions about their musical likes, tastes and guilty pleasures!
How would you describe your taste in music?
• Aaron – I mostly listen to the heavier side of music, however I grew up loving 80s pop music and 90s hip-hop. I’m really loving Every Time I Die’s latest album ‘Low Teens’ at the moment, incredible song writing, from an incredible band. I’m also loving everything Post Malone has released. In my opinion that dude is a genius when it comes to making killer songs.
Joe – I’d honestly consider my taste in music in some way isolated. I love heavy dark stuff and the more sinister sounding the better. I’ll base an entire band on whether or not I like the vocalist and that really restricts new material to me, but then out of nowhere I gain a guilty pleasure like Twenty One Pilots….(not sorry).
Who do you consider to be your favourite band and why?
• Aaron – My favourite band is Deftones. I first got into Deftones when I was around 8, after I borrowed their album ‘Around the Fur’ from my brother and have loved them ever since. To me, they are part of the elite group of bands that have a perfect streak of quality albums. It’s impressive when bands have 3 great albums in their career but when you have 8 albums that are all pure class, that’s special right there. Not to mention that they’ve managed to make each album differ in style to the one that came before it.
Joe – I tend to jump from band to band and go through about a month absolutely rinsing a new band like with Sworn In, but my all time favourite band would have to either be Cradle of Filth or All Shall Perish. Cradle introduced me to a whole new world of music and theatrics, where as All Shall Perish eased me into the deathcore genre and really ignited my love of the heavy stuff.
Who is the best live band you’ve ever seen?
• Aaron – The show that I remember being the most impressed by was Korn at Brixton Academy in 2014, with Hacktivist supporting. It was my first time seeing Korn in an indoor venue, and holy shit it was pure chaos. The setlist was banger after banger, and the performance from the band was outstanding. Korn are seriously one of the most consistent live bands ever, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
Joe – The best live band I’ve seen was probably Enter Shikari, going back 8 years now. They played a random show in bath (which is even weirder as there is no scene) but it was a spur of the moment thing and I wasn’t even into them THAT much, but their energy and control of the crowd completely blew me away. I came away from that show feeling really inspired to be a front man but also be part of a band that can equally pack as much stage presence into their performance as a front man.
What is the one song that you could listen to forever?
• Aaron – The song I could listen to forever is probably Disasterpiece by Slipknot. That song, in my opinion, is the heaviest song ever written. It’s played at such a relentless speed, that you feel so hyped after listening to it.
Joe – The song I could listen to forever would probably be Godmaker by Lorna Shore. It’s so evil, heavy and just packs such a force behind it that in makes my hairs stand on end and that’s what I want to be able to do with our music.
What album, if any, was a turning point in your ‘musical life’ and why?
• Aaron – The biggest album which signalled a massive change was Iowa by Slipknot. It was the first metal album I got into when I was a kid, and it opened my eyes up to other music that my dad and brother were listening too. Joey Jordison is a massive influence on me as a drummer so if it wasn’t for that album, I probably wouldn’t be playing drums, let alone metal music.
Joe – I can pin point the exact album. I was 11 and I heard Alien Ant Farm‘s cover of Michael Jackson‘s Smooth Criminal and I was like “WHAT IS THIS?!?”. Later that year, I asked for a CD player and Alien Ant Farm’s Anthology album for my birthday and I put that album on a constant loop. I must’ve driven my poor parents to insanity but I was so hooked. It had the slight nu-metal influence and I caught onto that and it led me down a path I haven’t turned back from.
In 3 words, what makes a good album or song?
• Aaron – Three words that makes a good album or a song are heaviness(lyrically or musically), use of emotions and a nice big riff.
Joe – What makes a good song? Hooks, originality and impact.
A festival or a gig? Why?
• Aaron – Both have their pros and cons. I’d say I prefer gigs to festivals. With gigs its more about the music and the layouts are way more intimate, which I like. However, depending on the size of the venue and ticket sales, you don’t really get your own space, so for some people gigs can sometimes be too much. Festivals are a completely different beast. They’re normally held over the course of a weekend, and they’re more about the overall experience of camping with your mates and getting drunk in a field for a weekend, which is really good fun. But we live in England, so the weather is crap all year round and camping in muddy and wet clothes isn’t ideal.
Joe – Honestly….I’ve never been to a big UK festival. I’ve always been too poor or been too focused on other things to put my money into these festivals. As a kid, I would have loved to but I had no money and now I just simply don’t have enough time on my hands. So for me…gig.
Who would be your dream 3 festival headliners?
• Aaron – Iowa era Slipknot, Tool and Bon Jovi, I feel would make for a fun festival.
Joe – Oooh! That would have to be Korn, Cradle of Filth and Slipknot. There’s a lot of bands that I could list that I’d love to see at a festival, but they aren’t big festival headliners. I’m not putting down the artists, but what I’m saying is some bands need to have audiences right in their face and staring them down. Some bands fit festivals where as others suit a more intimate atmosphere.
Who are the best new band you’ve discovered lately that everyone should know about?
• Aaron – I’d have to say Parting Gift. We played with them a while ago, and we were completely blown away by the whole performance. Their single ‘Asleep’ is one of my favourite releases this year, go check it out.
Joe- Shadow of Intent. These guys are taking the underground deathcore scene by storm. They’ve literally just played their first show but holy fuck, LISTEN TO THEIR ALBUM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!
What band or artist is your secret, or not so secret, guilty pleasure?
Aaron – I don’t really have any guilty pleasures. If you like something, enjoy the fuck out of it. It shouldn’t be some great secret. Music is subjective after all. But if I have to say one, I’d go with Belinda Carlisle. Heaven is a Place on Earth is the greatest song ever written, and I’ll argue that until my dying days.
Joe – It’s not a secret. I love Twenty One Pilots. Elitists get at me. They’re dope. There is something about them that is sinister and dark, yes it’s hidden by up beat tones and anthemic songs but shit…. Just listen to what they’re saying and it really makes you think and see things from their perspective.