Nottingham metalcore upstarts The Five Hundred first caught our attention a few years back when they released their Winters EP. Since then, they’ve released their debut album, Bleed Red, and have now scored the biggest gig of their careers so far, a prime slot on The Boardie Takeover on the Thursday night of Download Festival 2019. We caught up with The Five Hundred to learn a little bit more about them and so that Download goers can get a bit of an insight into the band who are likely to blow their heads off in The Doghouse in a weeks’ time.
Can you introduce yourselves to our Rock Sins readers who might have been living under a rock and might not know who you are (yet!)? Who are you and what do you do!?
We’re The Five Hundred and we’re your new favourite band.
So you’ll be taking over The Doghouse on Thursday (13th June) at Download Festival. We have to ask the obligatory question, what does it mean to be playing at Donington and what can festival goers expect from your performance? Why should they come and watch you?
It’s a real honour and something we’ve all been dreaming about since we started playing music. We’re so excited. It will be loud, energetic and sweaty as hell.
Earlier this year in an interview you said you’ve already started writing your second album and follow up to your debut, Bleed Red. How is progress coming along and what can fans expect? Are there any surprises in store?
Yes we’ve got about 4 or 5 songs together so far. I’d say we’re just working hard to ensure this album is stronger everywhere than Bleed Red. Heavier, more technical and more melodic.
Do you have a release date set yet or is it still coming together?
For the moment, there’s nothing set in stone but if all goes to plan, we’re hoping to get something recorded before the end of the year.
This leads to me our next question. What is the typical song-writing process involved when you come together to create your releases? Are you writing all of the time or do you take a more organic jamming styled approach as a collective and go from there or, does it depend on the song?
We tend to write individually and then share stuff between us. Most of work with Logic X at home so it’s easy for us to share music with each other and collaborate remotely. I’ve got a nice home studio setup so most of the finishing touches happen there. Once we’re all at a point where we’re really digging what we’ve got down, we’ll bring it into our rehearsal room and jam it to make sure it’s got a great vibe live.
Are there any bands or musicians you’d like to collaborate with in the future on a song? Maybe they’ll see this article and call you!
Well I’ve just seen Pijn and Conjurer have got together which is awesome. I’d be keen to get some guest vocalists on the next album so let’s see. Myself & a couple of the guys in the band have been getting into Grime a lot over the last few years… if you are reading this and you’re interested… then get in touch 😉
You’ve not long hit 14,000 listeners on Spotify. That’s a fairly huge number! Just how important is Spotify for bands like yourselves trying to climb the ranks in the metal scene? And how does it feel to know your music is reaching so many people via this platform?
Yes, it’s incredible to think our album is close to hitting a million streams worldwide. The exposure we’ve had is amazing and there’s no denying that without streaming platforms like Spotify / Apple music etc it’s highly likely that the people in countries like Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong etc would have never heard our music. While we’d love to get out and tour there someday, for the moment we’re very fortunate to have services like this available to us.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
Well that’s a difficult one but I’d say the demise of a number of venues around the country is disappointing. It’s so important that the small bar/clubs that put on upcoming bands stay open. So, my advice is go to a show, support the bands in your scene. All of your favourite bands used to be an unknown local band at some point so keep getting out there and exploring the next big thing. This will help the venues stay afloat.
You’ve toured with some metal legends in your time from Napalm Death to Fear Factory to All Shall Perish to Tesseract (and the rest!). What is the best piece of advice or words of wisdom you’ve ever received from bands like this that you could share with us?
Don’t be an asshole. As you say, we’ve met some great bands and for the most part everyone has been cool as fuck. It’s the people that are pricks that you remember so be nice to everyone and work hard at your craft!
Can you recall your first encounter with the heavy metal genre? Did you stumble upon Metal by accident or did you have really cool parents/relatives big into the genre that introduced you at an early age?
I can’t speak for everyone but from a personal point of view, I got into metal through my cousins. I recall being introduced to Pantera’s Vulgar display of power album when I was about 14 and that changed my life. I’ve been a metalhead ever since.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
Just get out there and play as much as possible. That’s the thing we love doing the most. Playing shows and meeting people.
After Download, we’ve got a short run of dates with our Long Branch Records label mates in Siamese, we hit Amplified Festival in Gloucester, Nottingham with Cabin Boy Jumped Ship in August, Rabidfest in Oxford and more still TBA
In closing do you have any final comments for our readers out there?
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on the road soon!
The Five Hundred play The Boardie Takeover on the Thursday night of Download Festival 2019 in The Doghouse Tent in the village. The full lineup for The Boardie Takeover can be found on the poster below. If you’re yet to pick up your tickets for Download 2019 – what are you waiting for? Do it now! Right here!