Brit prog-metallers Memoreve released their debut EP Insignia in October. The exciting sextet are for fans of TesseracT, Dream Theater and Symphony X. We challenged bassist Matt Hudson, guitarist Anthony Quinn and drummer Ross Lavery to our A-Z questionnaire.
A song which made you want to write music?
Anth: Tough question, quite possibly Korn‘s Freak On A Leash, I’d been playing guitar for a few years by the time the song came out but I was really captivated by the layers and texturing that the Munky and Head achieve on the albums. I especially loved the chromatic riff in the mid section, I just remember playing along and turning my amp up extra loud during that section!
Matt: The track ‘Am i Demon‘ by Danzig was the track that first made me try and write my own music, it’s got so much energy, groove and passion that it laid out the blueprints to me of what makes a great song. Recently, the track ‘Gone with the wind‘ by Architects has given me a boom in the creative mind!
Ross: There are so many different bands that made me want to create music. Different stages of my life I have realised another piece of the endless puzzle of ‘what makes a song special’. A real eye opener moment for me was the discovery of ‘Temple of Shadows‘ by Angra. The song… ‘Waiting Silence‘.
Best rider you have ever had?
Matt: The best rider i’ve ever had was the first, simply because we had one! It was in a previous band of mine and we were playing in a venue the night after Motorhead played there and i think our rider consisted of what they left behind!
Ross: Honestly? Probably the cash. Too many promoters dump loads of money into buying booze for the band (if your lucky). Problem is most of the guys in Memoreve don’t drink and the ones that do, don’t when playing a show! A little bit of cash goes into feeding the guys.
Craziest moment you experienced in the band?
Matt: Probably any time where the fans sing the lyrics back to us. Those moments are crazy because they are overwhelmingly special!
Anth: We played this small gig in Reading a few months back and these kids just went crazy for us, they opened up a proper mosh pit during These Reflections, was really great to see people truly enjoying the music.
Ross: Similar to Matt. When people get in contact to tell us how genuinely special our music is to them, That it got them through hard times or lifts their spirits etc. I know how that feels when I listen to the music that has that effect on me. To think I contribute to something that does that for someone else is something I have trouble letting sink in.
Deepest lyrics one of your songs features?
Matt: For me its the lyrics to a song that hasn’t been release yet. I can’t say anymore but once it is released i hope it can be as moving for others as it was for me writing it.
Ross: Falling Further has a lot of intimate details to it. Like Matt said, Insignia is only the first chapter! The best is yet to come.
Anth: … Lyrics? I just hit strings.
Easiest song you wrote?
Matt: They are all easy to me because i rarely get involved in writing the music haha!
Ross: Writing is a long and meticulous process for us which is never truly over until that song is on a record! We always go back to songs and see what a second and possibly a third look could do to enhance the song and it really has done! A long time ago, ‘Falling Further‘ was a completely different song. We dug it up and breathed new ideas into it and the song completely transformed!
Favourite song in your set?
Matt: Alleviate is by far my favourite, it has some beautiful melodies and it’s a song that I love to watch the others play because it really shows what great musicians they are!
Ross: I have mentioned this song already but ‘Falling Further‘ is a song that has a really big impact live. Just when people think that have seen just how intense we can be live, this song kicks in and blows people away! I love kicking in with that song, the reaction from the crowd says everything!
Anth: For me it’s Silent Words, it’s a song that you can download on our band camp, it’s one of our most upbeat songs and it’s just super fun to play live, people seem to really dig it.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
Matt: I would love to have Sam Carter from Architects feature on our music, he performs with a passion and conviction like no other!
Ross: That is a great suggestion from Matt. If we had a guest I would love to get someone in who would really take people by surprise and they would never expect to hear in our music. There is a singer from a Brazilian band called Iaweh (go check them out!) called André Leite. One of my favourite voices!
Anth: I’d love to have Per Nilsson from Scar Symmetry do a guest solo, he’s a massive influence on my playing.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Anth: Gigging is really hard work but I love it so much, they’re really hard to organise, expensive to put on and you hardly ever break even. It’s totally worth it in the end though because I get to play music with a bunch of great guys.
Matt: Keeping up the energy to battle a crumbling music industry.
Ross: Most people have no idea that when you go to a music industry professional and ask them how to make a living in the music industry and their honest answer is “have another skill you can sell”.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
Matt: One of us has a Harry Potter tattoo!
Anth: I think probably the fact Colin is a part-time yoga instructor, he does it during rehearsal sometimes, we’ll be getting set up and then I’ll turn around to find him standing on his head doing the splits!
Jokes you have in the band?
Matt: The fact that i am still on a trial period!
Ross: Matt and Alex communicate exclusively in TV and Movie Quotes. The rest of us get to play the game of where the quotes come from!
Key to writing a song?
Matt: Not forcing it. If you do you’ll only dislike it later!
Ross: Do not imitate or copy. You sit there one day and think “I want to write a heavy slow chugging riff!”, well pick up your guitar and start to practice how to get those ideas out of your head and onto paper. What comes out might not be exactly what you imagined… but it’s 100% you and that is a S**t load better than being a fake!
Anth: Playing to your strengths, I sometimes hear a new band and think: Fuck that was awesome, I wanna write something like that. If it doesn’t come naturally though, you can spend your time being distracted trying to emulate a sound rather than crafting decent song. I just tend to write what comes natural and find that I end up absorbing other styles through a gradual process of musical osmosis.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
Matt: Probably an 8hr drive in one hit, i was on my own and meeting the band there so that felt brutal.
Ross: We have been up and down the country at this point. Longest was probably 7 hour plus journey, straight on stage, load back into the car and another 3 hours+ home in the same night!
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
Anth: Devin Townsend without a doubt, I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago and he’s a genius and an absolutely lovely guy!
Matt: Probably any and every time I’ve seen Danzig live. His shows give me the strength and determination of 1000 people hah!
Ross: Seeing Aquiles Priester at a drum clinic at Wacken festival. He did two and I went to both. One of the most powerful and consistent players I have ever seen.
New band you’d recommend?
Matt: They’re not a new band to the world of music but i’ve only recently discovered the band ‘Alcatrazz‘ by Graham Bonnet. I can’t believe that i’ve been missing out of such great music. Graham is so talented and this band seriously deserves a listen!
Ross: I will take this opportunity to give a shout out to our good friends in Gabriel! We met while supporting Circus Maximus in London and had a great time. We knew we had to do it again so we invited them back to share the stage with us in London again a couple of months later! Here’s to more in the future!
Opening for this band would be ideal?
Matt: I think opening for Iron Maiden would be ideal because it would not only be a dream come true to me but also I know that the fans can be brutal to support acts and I know we could rise to the challenge!
Ross: Too many to count but I would love to open for a band called Evergrey. I think the styles would be a perfect fit while still providing a contrast.
Anth: It’s no secret I’m a huge Scar Symmetry fan, I’d love to open for those guys one day. Who knows eh?
Place you’d most like to tour?
Matt: I would love to tour a lot of the eastern European countries because the metal scene is so alive out there. Plus the people and fans are some of the loveliest people out there!
Anth: I really want to get about in Europe, maybe Germany, those guys really love the melodic stuff.
Ross: As cliched as it is these days… Japan would be the big one for me. I have done Martial Arts for most of my life so Japanese history and culture has always been something I was aware of and want to visit.
Quote that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Matt: Hello to all our fans, old, new and forthcoming, lets rock!
Ross: Visit our Facebook/Youtube etc and let us know where you are from! Hopefully we will get to a venue near you soon!
Anth: Once a month, go check out a local music event, doesn’t matter who’s playing, big or small, just turn up, you never know what you’re going to discover.
Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?
Matt: The title ‘Insignia‘ was chosen because this is the first release and first Chapter of Memoreve, as thus we wanted something that fulfilled this statement of intent.
Ross: It is essentially another way of saying it is our identity. It is our first mark on the world, but there is so much more yet to come!
See us live at?
Matt: On the second part of the Insignia UK tour in the first half of 2017, dates to follow soon!
Ross: Keep a close eye on our social media accounts. We hope to hit a few new places a bit further from home!
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Matt: They are in an nostalgic sense, but the current is always visceral, therefore the current can only be better once they are the old.
Ross: There are a lot of exciting things going on in music today, but equally there are a lot of copycats. Back in the good old days people were bolder and didn’t desperately try to fit in with what is ‘hot’. We need more people to be like that. Stop looking for approval and strive for that which hasn’t been done before and make it yours!
Anth: It is really hard to make music for a living than it has ever been, bands starting out are always the ones that get the raw deal and are expected to do everything for free. The Internet has made becoming a musician really accessible too. Years ago you HAD to go out and play gigs to be known, now you can do everything in your bedroom with a few hundred pounds worth of gear. I think it has raised the bar with regards to musicianship, there are way more incredible players around now than there were when I was at school. So in summary: its harder now but there is better music in abundance too.
Matt: All of our merchandise is pretty usual, but I’m sure it won’t be long until we come up with something more unusual, we need the fans to demand something odd and then we will supply.
Ross: We once did custom shot glasses. I am sure we will do them again if the interest is there.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your tracks?
Matt: We try not to dwell on what we have already done. We are always looking ahead to whats next and enjoying everything as it’s happening.
Anth: I think we’re pretty happy with the tracks, we tend to experiment more with the transitions between our songs, that can be a bit more fluid for us.
Ross: The music doesn’t get released unless we think we have done absolutely everything we can. We go over the tracks numerous times. Some tracks have been on the cutting room floor for almost years at this point and we leave them there right up until the last second before the need to be recorded and pressed.
What do your fans mean to you?
Matt: Our fans are our friends, we try our best to stay in touch with them online and to give them the best performances and music. Hopefully they believe in what we do as much as we do!
Ross: It is true that a lot of our fans over time have become friends! When asked to contemplate what the fans mean to us I just think about what the musicians I am a fan of mean to me…
Anth: Our fans are everything, they are the reason we can keep doing what we love doing. Yes we can still write at home but it’s better if you can enjoy your music with other people.
X-rays or any other treatments needed for band related injuries?
Matt: Both Anthony and i have torn ligaments in our legs in the last 2 years so hopefully thats enough for now!
Anth: I went to Sweden to a guitar school over the summer and came back with a torn calf muscle. Damn lake trolls.
Ross: We have shot music videos and done big shows with members pretty much in wheel chairs! We have sustained some major injuries on stage too. I have opened my snare case a few times at a sound check the following night of the tour to discover my snare head sprayed with blood.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
Ross: Honestly I don’t think we have been late for a show. We always do everything we can to make the life of the venue crew as easy as possible, you get a better sound when you play nice!
Matt: Usually the problem is that we can’t find Colin, but i guess if someone is late it is probably me!
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of the band?
Ross: On our records we are deep and complex… Live we like to give an aggressive and intense show. I am going to go with something like a Panther!
Matt: I wouldn’t like to think of animals in Zoos. I would describe our band as a pondering bear wondering through the woods singing to himself!
Colin Callanan: Vocals
Matt Hudson: Bass Guitar
Ross Lavery: Drums
Adele Pease: Keyboards & Synthesisers
Alexander Green: Guitars
Anthony Quinn: Guitars