Rituals take on the A-Z challenge

Our A-Z challenge is a fun way to get to know the many bands and artists out there. Here it’s the turn of Rituals to tell us all about themselves!

A song that made you want to make music?

Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode.

Best rider you have had?

I’ll take the 3 bottles of Prosecco from our headline show in Newcastle, the perfect way to round off that day.

Craziest moment in the band?

In all honesty from winning Kerrang Radio’s The Deal competition up to playing Download.  It was almost daily something was happening that was blowing our minds, and our set couldn’t have gone any better.

Deepest lyric one of your songs features?

“I’ve seen a side of myself
Learning to cope
There’s so much more to this life
If only I had hope” – Living Blind

Easiest song you wrote?

When writing I tend to really pick everything apart, which can lead to some quite tiresome writing sessions with just me and my mac.  However, Oceans Subside was a demo that I wrote that came together so quickly I refused to believe it was any good.  I’ll never forget when I showed it to everyone in the band, they were all blown away.

Favourite song in your set?

In Devastation” as a guitar player it’s just about fast and hard down picking the whole way through.  There’s some technical little runs after the first chorus, which as satisfying to play.

Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?

Get Rob Flynn on a Rituals track for a breakdown, his mosh calls are second to no one.

Hardest thing about being in a band?

The hardest thing about being in a band is definitely trying to balance your work, personal and band life but not spread yourself too thinly. We all work full time jobs like everyone else, as well as doing the band, so it’s easy to get yourself in a situation where your day job is on your case or your friends complain you’re never around or your relationships are strained. Sometimes you have to make choices which may seem selfish to people outside of the band that don’t understand, and you have to try and make up for those missed connections with the ones closest to us.

Interesting fact about one of your members?

Dom once choked out Janick Gers’ son in an MMA training session once.

Jokes you have in the band?

It’s usually something Connor McGregor related or something horrific we’ve seen at a service station that day. Or we’ll find a song that we really enjoy for no particular reason and absolutely blast it out the van speakers. Most recently it’s been Best I Can by Queensryche.

Key to writing a song?

Have a solid foundation first whether that be a rough full song or a drum pattern or a vocal melody and then build upon it. Ewan is a song writing machine so he usually brings songs to the table that are 80% – 90% done. Then I’ll pick apart the programmed demo drums and work in some ideas of my own. Then when vocals come in things can change again to fit vocal lines. The final part is usually playing it out live all together in the rehearsal room. Listen to your mistakes too! Sometimes the best moments in a song come from playing the wrong part when you’re jamming, or coming up with something totally ludicrous and scaling it back a bit. Some of our fondest moments in our songs come from just repeating stuff over and over again until you get that eureka moment.

Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?

We played Inverness in the depths of winter last year as part of a tour of Scotland. We can’t wait to do it again!

Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?

For me personally it’s Robb Flynn from Machine Head. The guy is an absolute workhorse and has taken that band and turned it into an enterprise. He has his haters, and has said some controversial things in the past, but you have to be resilient in order to survive in this industry. His “never give up” approach to life has inspired me countless times as a musician, and continues to do so. It’s great to see them on top of their game again too, when a few years ago it looked like the band was going to fall apart.

New band you’d recommend?

If I have to pick one that’s doing the rounds at the minute it would be Done In. They’re from the north east and have riffs that make you do the riff face.

Opening for this band would be ideal?

Trivium. I think we’d go down well in front of a Trivium crowd because our music has a lot of elements that they’d like. Fast riffs, big choruses and plenty opportunities for circle pits.

Place you’d most like to tour?

Personally I’d love to tour in Scandinavia, mainly Sweden and Norway. It would be amazing to soak in the culture and hometowns of some of my favourite old school Swedish death metal bands like In Flames, At The Gates and Soilwork.

Quote that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

‘A good idea, is a good idea forever’ – David Brent

Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?

The lyrics of the new EP touch on a darker side of the human psyche and the issues that we all struggle with. We aimed to reflect how we all felt when we recorded the EP and used the songwriting process as a means to express the emotions that we repress, and don’t necessarily let others see. Releasing these songs has been a great medium to release the anger, doubt and frustration that we all collectively feel at times.

See us live at?

Cork, Dublin and Belfast! We’re playing our first shows outside the UK at the end of August this year and we couldn’t be more excited!

The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?

Not really. While I agree that music wouldn’t be the way it is today without the bands that came before us, and I cherish the music we all know and love. I still think there are some amazing bands making amazing music today and pushing the boundaries of what artists can do, that makes me excited for the future.

Unusual merchandise?

We had a limited edition Alan Partridge Rituals shirt inspired by the fact that he’s the greatest fictional character ever.

Variations you’d like to do on one of your songs?

I’d love to do a full orchestral remake of Oceans
Subside. That would probably sound absolutely ridiculous.

What do your fans mean to you?

Without our fanbase we genuinely wouldn’t be able to do what we do as a band. It’s been everyones love and support that has put Rituals in the position that it’s in now.

X-rays or any treatments needed for band injuries?

So far we’ve gotten through tours and festivals without major injuries. Fingers crossed we continue on in that manner but theres still time.

You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?

The general public and their ability to cause traffic jams at the most inconvenient of times. Every time we are slightly behind, theres always a crash or traffic jam. Wouldn’t be Rituals without traffic.

Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?

I’d have to say a Labrador. One minute it’s calm, the next all hell is breaking loose. We don’t seem to have a consistent period of one single vibe. Stuffs way too mental for that


Elizabeth Birt

August 2, 2023

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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