Manchester’s Ingested have been rising high through the ranks of the UK’s metal circuit in recent years. Following a breath-taking performance at this year’s Impericon Festival, vocalist Jay Evans and drummer Lyn Jeffs take time to talk to me about Impericon Festival, the importance of social media to a band’s success and why the metal scene is stronger than ever.
So you guys just played an awesome show at Impericon Festival. How was that for you guys?
Jay: Thank you very much, it was absolutely incredible! To play a show like this, in our hometown, and to get the reaction that we got, it was literally one of the best days of my life!
That really leads me on to my next question, Impericon Festival has been all over Europe but this is very much a hometown show for you. Were you expecting a lot of Ingested fans today?
Jay: Not as many as what actually turned up. It was really overwhelming, I mean we were about to go on stage and we could hear people chanting and we thought this has never happened before! It was very new to us. It just filled me with Mancunian pride haha!
Impericon Festival has a lot of great bands playing today, are there any bands in particular that you guys are going to see today?
Jay: Whitechapel and Suicide Silence
Lyn: Desolated were amazing!
Jay: I’m quite interested to watch The Ghost Inside
Lyn: I’m looking forward to watching Stick To Your Guns as well!
Jay: But yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to Whitechapel and Suicide Silence. Eddie is an incredible vocalist and Phil Bozeman – the guy is a fucking demon!
Impericon do this great thing of bringing all these different bands together. When you got booked for the festival, were you expecting it to be as big as it has been?
Lyn: I think we were one of the last bands to be booked, we were expecting it to be big but as big as it has showed today!
Jay: It was at the Ritz last year wasn’t it?
Yeah it was
Jay: Yeah, and the Ritz isn’t even half the size of what this is
Lyn: We’ve all seen bands here that we’ve looked up to so it is an absolute pleasure to come and play here.
Jay: I remember the first ever show I saw here was Fear Factory back in like 2002 or something like that, so to walk out on that stage and play to that many people…It’s literally a dream come true!
I remember seeing you guys play very recently at the Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore show, you guys were announced very last minute, what actually happened there?
Jay: Oh yeah! That was very last minute!
Lyn: We were supposed to play in Leeds and it got cancelled for whatever reason, and we were playing Paris the day after. So I spoke to Sean, our guitarist, and said “do we just drive to Paris?” And he said “let me just see if there is a show we can jump onto”. We saw the Skeletonwitch show and just asked if we could play as we were in the area. They aren’t the type of bands we normally play with but it was a very good show.
Obviously that show is different to the bands you are playing with today. Do you think that with Ingested’s style you can appeal to everyone?
Jay: I think at the moment we are in a really good position because we are heavy and brutal as fuck for all the heavy death heads but we are catchy enough for all the deathcore and even hardcore fans. They like us as well, so we are sort of like right in the middle and it is a really good place to be. So I think we are appealing to quite a wide variety. Playing shows like this with Suicide Silence and Whitechapel but then you have bands like Being As An Ocean! There are so many different people coming to this show, say like you have 200 Stick To Your Guns fans, and that band don’t sound anything like us, and then say 10 of them walk away after our set liking our music, I’m fucking happy with that!
Do you think that is a problem with metal today, people can be too picky with sub-genres?
Jay: I think it has got a lot better, but it such a tiny minority…the elitists.
Lyn: Metal as a whole is still such a niche genre, society just doesn’t listen to metal. It’s a niche market but I do think it is getting better.
I mean you can see it, you have bands like Bring Me The Horizon getting huge!
Lyn: I love Bring Me The Horizon! I think if anyone wants to look at a band that is the band to look that. Everyone used to hate them and now look at them!
Jay: It’s that polarising thing, say half of them hate them and then half of them LOVE them, it’s that polarity that’s made them what they are.
Do you think that metal can become popular in the mainstream?
Jay: Slipknot have proved that, Metallica have proved that. Bring Me The Horizon have played Wembley!
Do you think that social media is important to a band’s success, especially today?
Jay: With social media, it is a great great tool but a lot of bands think it is the be all and end all. And it is not, the music should always be. You could have the best social media network in the world but if your music is shit, it’s going to show! But if you have amazing music regardless of how big your online presence is, if you’re music is that good your music will get out there and people will flock to it. I think music is far more important, too many bands nowadays rely too much on social media.
Do you think that is a problem with the metal scene today, that too many people are obsessed with everything but the music?
Lyn: Especially a few years ago, when deathcore first exploded with the Myspace phenomenon. How many of those bands now are still around?
I think social media is important to branch out to fans.
Jay: It’s definitely an important tool but it is not the be all and end all.
For a band like Ingested, what is the most important way to connect with your fans?
Lyn: Playing live.
Jay: Playing live for sure! We are a live band.
Lyn: But we don’t play too often.
Jay: One of the problems with the scene today, especially in the big cities in the UK, everyone is spoilt because there are shows all the time. So when local bands play like The Star and Garter and you have a half empty venue. People are too spoilt for choice.
Lyn: Look at today! You have 10-12 twelve bands here, indie down the round and then on the other side of the city you have Trash Talk. On the same day! Then in London you have that three or four times a week.
Do you think that why Europe are leading in festivals? Because they aren’t as frequent and have a much more varied lineup?
Jay: I wouldn’t say European festivals are better, but I think especially with international bands, when they are coming through Europe they will always play London without a doubt. I think in the grand scheme of things European and UK festivals are on about the same level.
Lyn: I think they are a little bit ahead, Europe is more exposed to the market than we are.
Jay: Metal is a lot more mainstream over there. Especially in Germany, metal is like mainstream whereas over here it’s not mainstream at all. I think it is just a cultural difference.
So when you guys go abroad, do you find people are more accepting of Ingested?
Jay: Yeah, today is really the exception isn’t it?
Lyn: We did a European tour a few weeks ago and I think if we did the same tour in the UK, I don’t think we would have the same level of turnout.
You have the elitists of course who say metal died after the 80s. Do you think metal is stronger today?
Jay: I think metal is the strongest it has ever been. Going back to what we were talking about earlier, to have a band from Sheffield (BMTH) playing Wembley, that is amazing! To me, that is fucking mind blowing! It shows you that it is happening, it’s not just the big American bands.
So where can you see the metal scene in the next five years?
Jay: I hope it is stronger than it is now. I hope it continues this snow ball effect, it’s getting bigger and bigger and gaining more momentum. And the thing is, you’re getting better and younger bands coming out all the time. You get musicians at 17 years old and they are ridiculous! It’s incredible! That shows you that metal is becoming more popular. Some of the bands we play with, their guitarists and drummers are absolutely incredible and they can’t even buy a beer! To me, that says everything.
So really, what’s next for Ingested for the rest of this year?
Jay: We have another show in Sound Control, we have a couple of shows in London with Decapitated for the Wake Up Covan tour so all of the proceeds from that show will go to Covan for his medical care. We are also playing Incineration Festival. And we have a US tour for a month in September.
So playing in the States must be a bit different from playing here?
Jay: We’ve never done it yet! Lyn’s played there with Annotations of An Autopsy.
So is the US crowd a lot different to the crowds here?
Lyn: It is different yeah. We’ve talked about the scene being accepted, you take a show over here and times that by four and that is pretty much a US show. The drives between shows though, they are such hard work!
So other than Incineration Festival, are you guys confirmed for any other festivals this year?
Lyn: Not in the UK, we are doing one in Germany and we are doing one in the Czech Republic.
Jay: With the American tour taking a month, because we all work that has taken all of our work holiday time for that tour. The only shows we can do now are one off festivals on the weekend.
Lyn: It works in our favour though because we don’t play too often!
Do you think that is a problem today, that bands play too much just to make ends meet?
Lyn: Yeah I think so
Jay: Yeah, and I think that is what contributes to poor ticket sales to be honest. If you have seen a band four times in a year are you really going to go and see them again? You don’t need to! It’s over saturation. We are very sporadic when we play so it goes in our favour really.
Okay, well thank you very much for your time.
Jay & Lyn: Thank you.
You can follow Ingested on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ingesteduk.