Before the first show of the Jagermeister / Metal Hammer tour last month, we were lucky enough once again to catch up with Sylosis guitarist (and now frontman) Josh Middleton and he brought guitarist Alex Bailey along for the ride. If you would like to read a review of the London show of the Jager Metal Hammer tour headlined by Sylosis you can do so right here.
Josh was suffering with a cold and throat infection but generously still wanted to do the interview so I was very grateful for his and Alex’s time, so we stole The Defiled’s dressing room during their sound check! Read on to hear what they had to say:
Jamie: So this is the first night of the tour? or second?
Josh: It’s the first
Jamie: And your throat is suffering already, that’s not a good start..
Josh: No *laughs*, we’ll see how it goes, but tonight is the most important though
Jamie: That’s understandable. I guess one of the first things I should ask is how this tour came about, was it through Metal Hammer or Jager and who approached you about doing the tour?
Josh: Jager, we’re endorsed by Jager.
Alex: Yeah, they literally organised everything
Josh: and Metal Hammer too, kinda a joint effort
Jamie: It seems good for you guys, pretty good exposure, I think your profiles been getting bigger and bigger over the last couple of years
Josh: Slowly *laughs*, but yeah
Jamie: Is this the first time you’ve done a big national tour with Exit Ten? I know you must have played together loads back in Reading when you were both starting out?
Josh: We played together loads back in 2004…2005, which is so long ago and since then, we haven’t really got much heavier but they’ve gone a bit more alternative and not quite as “metal”, which obviously we’re still into but we didn’t think we’d ever be able to tour with them again because we thought it just wouldn’t work in terms of fanbase but its really good that Jager are putting on this tour which is really diverse. They (Exit Ten) are like our best mates so its really good to be able to tour with them
Jamie: So it’s basically a week of hanging out
Alex: Yeah, exactly man
Jamie: Thats awesome, have you guys toured with The Defiled before?
Alex: No, met them for the first time today!
Jamie: Oh wow, thats not bad then
Alex: Yeah, went in their dressing room and they’re quality
Jamie: Well they might stumble into here if I keep you guys too long so I better get my act together
Jamie: When I saw yourself (Josh) and a couple of the other guys back before Christmas last year, you said one of the things that you really wanted to do in 2010 was play a lot more different festivals and I think you’ve managed it playing Hevy Fest and Bloodstock to name a couple, has that worked out well for you?
Josh: Definitely yeah, its gone really well. We’ve done a few european ones, Grasspop, that was really good.
Alex: We did one in Switzerland, I can’t remember the name of it..
Josh: It definitely helps, festivals are definitely the best place for raising your profile, I think Sonisphere was insane!
Jamie: Did you enjoy Sonisphere again this year?
Josh: Yeah, it was only like my third show doing vocals so I was a bit nervous but it went down better than I had hoped. The crowd was amazing the tent was at max capacity!
Jamie: Yeah, I was on the barrier for that and it was pretty awesome!
Josh: *laughs* Even our manager had to get escorted in by the promoter because she simply couldn’t get in
Jamie: Myself and my friends ducked out of Europe early so we missed The Final Countdown to come see you guys and we were in the tent with like twenty minutes before you were on and they’d already shut the tent, we all just went “whoa..”
Alex: It was just crazy!
Josh: Yeah, we never ever expected it
Jamie: Obviously Sonisphere last year was a pretty big moment for you and went down pretty well, have you ever managed to top the circle pit you had during Oath of Silence as it was literally the entire tent, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that
Josh: hmmmm I dunno, we got a good one at Grosspop this year
Alex: And that was bigger than Download, definitely
Josh: I think Sonisphere this year would have been better but my PA cut out, I went “everyone circle pit” and they all just stood there, I didn’t know because I could hear it through the monitor. But we eventually got one going, but not quite to the same level.
Jamie: Obviously you guys have has quite an eventful year with everything that has happened and Jamie (Graham, former vocalist) leaving, do you think the band is in a happier place now than it was 6 months ago or a year ago?
Josh: I guess so, it’s not that its more happy its like me and Carl grew up together, me and Bailey grew up together we’ve known each other so long its just easy
Alex: Yeah its a bit easier now
Jamie: Fair enough
Jamie: Do you find now personally that you’re doing double duty on the live shows that its a different experience, does it make it harder for you to enjoy it?
Josh: No, I mean if I’m having a bad show vocally which at this early stage of doing the vocals happens now and then, like tonight probably *laughs*, when its going well its really nice having a mic there, I really enjoy it. If it starts off well then everythings cool and if not then you just have to forget about it and start again. I get a bit more anxious before shows now.
Jamie: Are there any songs off the album or songs you used to play now with you having a different vocal style, is there anything from the back catalogue you’ve ruled out playing like any of the stuff with the more clean vocal parts?
Josh: We haven’t been playing After Lifeless Years, the first track on the album which we used to open with, but its because we had to prepare for me doing vocals so soon that we didn’t have enough time because Bailey had to learn all my guitar parts and theres lots of widdly stuff that I definitely wouldn’t be able to write down. Not the chorus but the big singing session in the song, I actually demoed and wrote that anyway for Jamie, so I can do it. Its just at the moment I’m easing into doing the vocals, we fancied a change, we didn’t bother learning it for the first show where I was doing vocals so we just haven’t got round to it.
Jamie: Fair enough, its always good to have a change!
Jamie: When I saw you last year you said that the new album was pretty much written and it was a case of just getting it dealt with and recorded, have you ended up using all or most of what you had 12 months ago for the new album or have things changed around?
Josh: Everything, and bonus tracks, its going to be a really long album
Alex: It won’t fit on a CD!
Josh: So yeah, the whole lot!
Jamie: Do you have a confirmed release date?
Alex: End of January (2011) or more likely February to be honest.
Jamie: Ok, quite a random one for you, Alex this probably doesn’t apply to you as you have a lot of facial hair going on but are any of the band doing Movember this year?
Alex: I just have this anyway!
Josh: I’ve heard of it, does it apply to people who can’t grow beards?
Jamie: I think aimed at people who can’t grow beards or taches, its for sponsoring people not to shave for the whole month to raise money for charity
Josh: Why “Mo”vember?
Jamie: Probably for the taches I think
Josh: I…..yeah I’m not doing it *everyone laughs* I can’t grow a beard, maybe I’ll give it a go over Christmas instead.
Jamie: As with last time we asked people to write in with questions for you, someone asked if you guys would ever do a Children of Bodom and “Sylosis up” a Britney Spears song or anything like that? And if so, would anything come to mind?
Alex: We’d probably just cover Winger or something like that
Josh: Yeah some kind of 80’s pop like headed for a heartbreak by Winger *laughs*
Alex: or Spice Girls…I’d be up for Spice Girls
Jamie: Someone else asked, how did you guys come up with the name Sylosis?
Josh: No comment, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a stupid name. It’s just mis-spelt, and it doesn’t mean what most people think it means
Alex: What was it, reverse public sylosis or something? Its some kind of disease
Josh: It’s to do with scalping or something like that. Its kinda cool, you look at Metallica, Korn, stupid names, you can forget about it
Jamie: Well it’s pretty memorable and short which I think helps
Josh: Yeah, but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s terrible, we hate it, well I hate it anyway
Jamie: What do you think?
Alex: Well I quite like it! Its short, blunt *laughs*
Jamie: Album aside, have you got anything lined up for 2011 yet or anything else besides this tour?
Josh: Not that we can announce, not official
Jamie: Fair enough
Alex: We will be touring though, as soon as the album is out we will be out on the road.
Jamie: Since this is the second time I’ve seen you guys, if we catch up again this time next year, what would you like to have happened in 2011 if we talk again at the end of it?
Josh: Be able to headline a venue like this, normally, without it being a free gig, get to that level.
Jamie: I think you did pretty well with The Garage show last year..
Alex: Was that last year? Shit
Josh: Just tour, get to America
Jamie: That was one of the things Carl or Rob said last time, did you make it to the US at all this year?
Alex: No, we went….08, no 09, for one gig
Jamie: Probably the last thing I should touch on even though it was a while ago now, how was the tour with Fear Factory?
Alex: That was awesome!
Jamie: I remember you guys playing happy birthday to Burton or Dino at the Electric Ballroom show
Josh: *laughs* yeah, Dino, I’d forgotten about that
Alex: They were such nice guys man, it was just a nice tour
Josh: They offered us an American tour, but we couldn’t get visas in time
Jamie: Oh that sucks….
Alex: Yeah it was unbelievable, literally the whole east and west coast
Jamie: That sucks so badly, maybe next time they go on tour you can drop a phone call and say “hey, remember us?”
Alex: Dino got annoyed, well, not annoyed, he saw us at a festival this year and was like “what happened to you guys on that tour?!” and we were like, couldn’t get visas. Yeah, it sucks!
Jamie: Right, I’ll leave it with a short one, if you could sum up 2010 in 3 words or less, how would you sum it up?
Alex: Bloody mega incredus!
Josh: Really great stuff!
Jamie: Great, I’ll leave it there guys, thank you very much
Since this interview, Sylosis have been announced to headline another Metal Hammer sponsored tour, the Razor tour, which they will headline with support from Bleed From Within and While She Sleeps.
Catch Sylosis on the Metal Hammer Razor tour at dates all over the UK towards the end of February!