I was recently lucky enough to catch up with Josh Middleton, guitarist from Sylosis for an exclusive chat before their headlining show at The Garage in London (for a review of the show please click here) about the snow, what 2009 has done for Sylosis, The Thrash Big Four and what the band have in store for 2010:
Rocksins.com: You guys picked a wonderful day for your biggest ever gig, the coldest day of the year and it’s the biggest Sylosis headlining show yet?!
Josh: Really? We didn’t know that. We drove up here with the singer from Panic Cell and our van was the hottest thing ever, we were all taking shirts off! But its good that its snowing for Christmas!
Rocksins.com: Sylosis have had a pretty good year, between Download, Sonisphere, the tour with Dragonforce its all gone pretty well
Josh: Well you know we haven’t actually done that much. We did the Black Dahlia Tour in January/February all around Europe including about a week in the UK, and we’ve just come off the tour with Dragonforce, and in between those two tours we did like 12 shows, which isn’t a lot, but they all seemed like the right shows, the show with Testament, we went over to America, Download, Sonisphere, Summer Breeze (in Germany), but it doesn’t feel like we’ve done that much.
Rocksins: Do you feel like 2009 has raised the profile of the band and more people now know who you are?
Josh: Yeah, for example when we played Download we didn’t expect the reaction we got and we didn’t think that we had reached that level and then we were thinking Sonisphere can’t possibly be as good as Download and then it turned out even better and seemed like we managed to get bigger.
Rocksins: You’ve just robbed me of one of my next questions! I was in the crowd for both shows (Download and Sonisphere) and I was going to ask which one you thought was better.
Josh: Oh really, which one did you reckon?
Rocksins: I thought Sonisphere, some of the reaction in the pits was just insane, especially the pile up you had, one of my friends went in and it took him about five minutes to come out (During the song Oath of Silence there was a tent wide circle pit and wall of death resulting in a very large pile up).
Josh: Yeah,it was so cool, we were just about to start playing then the lights went down and then came up it just gave it really cool ambience.
Rocksins: Definitely! At both shows, especially at Download, there weren’t necessarily that many people there at the beginning but so many people heard you and came in and by the end of both shows the tents were absolutely rammed and everyone was having the time of their life.
Josh: Yeah, and not to sound like “oo we’re better than that” but we were getting a lot of chanting before we came on and we totally didn’t expect it and then again we didn’t think Sonisphere was going to be better and it was and that was just really cool.
Rocksins: Based on that, do you think Sonisphere was the highlight of the year then?
Josh: I’d say all the festivals in general, getting to hang out and usually its sunny (laughs).
Rocksins: How did things go for you on the Dragonforce tour? (At some time around this point we were joined by Carl Parnell, Sylosis’s bassist)
Josh: Really well, we didn’t expect it to go as well as it did because it wasn’t (traditionally) our sort of crowd, the whole widdly guitar nature of it all, so I was really surprised at a lot of the shows before we came on we were getting chants as well and there were a lot of t-shirts in the crowd. But the coolest shows can be the ones where the first couple of songs people just listen and then by the end they’re all getting into it with massive pits. Thats normally a good sign of us winning over new fans. But there were loads of tiny kids in guitar hero t-shirts so it was kinda funny.
Rocksins: Well that broadens the audience definitely.
Rocksins: Have you guys started writing for the new album?
Josh: We’ve started recording it, we’ve tracked all the drumming. We did all the drums the week before the Dragonforce tour. We’ve been writing solidly at home since the last album finished. We probably already have 2 songs ready for the album after this one. We’ll be recording the rest in January.
Rocksins: Do you know potentially when the album will be released?
Josh: May/June time, hopefully in time for the summer festivals.
Rocksins: Are you looking at getting on the festival circuit again in 2010?
Josh: Hopefully, always the highlight of the year for me, hopefully some different festivals to last year too.
(Around this time we were also joined by Rob Callard, Sylosis’ drummer).
Rocksins: I know you guys are all thrash fans, having read another interview with yourselves you mentioned you grew up listening to Metallica and Megadeth and that kind of stuff, what did you think when they announced Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer were all going to be doing festivals together?
Carl: Didn’t really believe it, to be honest
Josh: Are they definitely doing it?
Rob: Download or Sonisphere?
Rocksins: Yeah, at the moment it’s only been announced for Sonisphere in Poland and the Czech republic
Josh: That’s awesome, I never thought that would happen, would be really cool to see them (Mustaine and Metallica) play stuff onstage together
Rocksins: Standard question that we like to ask everyone, anything you’re listening to that you’d recommend to anyone? New or old?
Josh: As with everyone, not just everyone in the band everyone I speak to, Crack The Skye (Mastodon), obviously that, and I’m currently in Tool mode, listening to a lot of Tool. I’m getting into 10,000 days, I never really liked it that much when it first came out.
Carl: Revocation, and a band called Martyr from Canada as well.
Josh: Revocation are a thrashy-death metally 3 piece, really good stuff.
Rocksins: Would you say (not necessarily this year) that there is one particular moment in your career that is your favourite since you started?
Rob: Download & Sonisphere would probably be..the highlight of our lives.
Josh: Yeah, when we came offstage, we were just so high from the adrenaline.
Rocksins: I can certainly appreciate that, I thought you were definitely one of the best bands of the weekend at Sonisphere.
Josh: Cheers, I think we were a little bit worried because we weren’t on the “metal” day, it was the Linkin Park day and we thought everyone would just buy tickets for the Metallica day.
Rocksins: Were you guys at Sonisphere the whole weekend?
Carl: Yeah! Any festival we play at we get to stay for free! We’ll get there on the thursday or friday, get settled.
Rocksins: Do you muck in and do the camping with everyone else?
Carl, Josh: Yeah, well, V.I.P Camping!
Rocksins: Ok, last question, is there anything you’d like to achieve in 2010?
Rob: Play more festivals.
Carl: Tour America.
Josh: Just try and tour as much as possible I guess, we’ll do a headline tour for sure.
Rocksins: Sounds good, do you think that will be after the new album is out?
Josh: Probably before I think.
Rocksins: Well thats it, thanks very much guys!
You can catch Sylosis on tour in the UK in early 2010 at the following locations:
- Liverpool – Masque – 24th February 2010
- Leeds – Rios – 25th February 2010
- Cardiff – Barfly – 28th February 2010
- Crewe – The Box – 6th March 2010
- Doncaster – Vintage Rock Bar – 10th March 2010
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