• Charlotte Claber

Louder with Malevolence

Louder sat down with Alex and Wilkie of Malevolence to discuss the bands extensive touring, representing the hardcore scene worldwide and being a product of their Sheffield scene.

So you guys are really nailing it. This tour then to Australia in January.

W: Sick. Amazing. We are really really lucky to have the tours we have at the moment.

A: Yeah. Super excited to go to Australia, never been before. It’s definitely one off the bucket list for me.

W: I heard you can walk around with your t-shirt off all the time and it’s completely socially acceptable to do that. Looking forward to going to the beach, getting a tan, drinking beer…. Being a tourist and having as much fun as the shows will be.

You’re really at the forefront of great bands coming out of the uk and it’s so well deserved, how does that feel?

W: First of all, very grateful that you said that. Thank you for the compliment. I wouldn’t say we are at the forefront, we are just doing our thing. There’s a lot more popular bands than us but I guess in our circles, like the underground hardcore, we are doing pretty well. It’s pretty sick, I feel very grateful to play to tonnes of people every night.

So you said it yourselves on twitter, next year it’s 10 years of the same lineup in the band, something I think in the scene we don’t see often! Does that influence the dynamics and the sound as you’re growing together?

W: 100%

A: Yeah, I definitely think the style and our influences have stayed the same but how we interpret them and how we write has changed a bit over the years. Having the same lineup we can communicate pretty well and when one of us has an idea, we can communicate it pretty well because we’ve had so many years doing it now.

W: We’re all pretty comfortable and pretty honest with each other, like especially when you’ve known someone forever; I live with this guy. Everyone knows each other really really well and so do their families and girlfriends and all of that, so there’s no awkwardness.

End of a decade. Give us 3 highlights from the past ten years as a band.

W: This tour so far.

A: Definitely this tour. For me, touring the US was an eye opener, it was something again that was on the bucket list and I always wanted to do. Turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it was going to be but worked out in the end.

W: Touring Asia and Japan, that was just fucking insane.

A: I guess just seeing places we’ve always wanted to see. This tour is probably the biggest we’ve done, we’re two shows in and the reaction’s been crazy and we’re super thankful for the opportunity to be here.

You focus on your sound a lot and as a band had fans waiting four years for a great album and now waiting again for a piece of something whether it be EP/album. Why do you think it’s key to spend longer on this process?

W: We can’t do it any quicker basically. There’s a lot of bands who can knock out an album super quickly but that will never ever be us. There’s so many little things you’ve got to organise like artwork, press, music videos, the mix, the way it sounds and we are really really fussy. We want it to sound perfect, we want the sickest artwork, we want out videos to be great. We are quite meticulous. Oh and it takes us forever to write songs.

How do you feel the band grew from reign of suffering to self supremacy.

W: The songs got a lot better didn’t they?

A: I think the production is way better.

W: A lot of the riffs and a lot of the songs off the first album were written by our guitarist Josh who was like 16 and he’s 24 or something now. So there’s eight years there of growth as a guitar player.

A: You go from writing as teenagers to young adults and your view of the world is going to change but your view of what sounds cool also changes. Something we thought sounded cool on the first album, I wouldn’t choose to talk about now. Like demons and souls and stuff…. I think lyrically we’ve always tried to mature but also we don’t want to sing just about anything. If your average person can listen to the song and take something away from it then I’m happy with that. Positive or Negative we leave our lyrics open to interpretation.

There’s the idea that bands are a real product of the scene they were harboured in, obviously Sheffield predominantly is smaller shows but how do you think this impacted you guys when starting out and learning.

W: There’s some pretty big bands from Sheffield like Bring Me The Horizon, While She Sleeps. We played our first show with While She Sleeps in 2006 and I was like 12/13. There’s two members in the band now that were in the band then. They were all a few years older than us and they started touring Europe, going to the USA. People actually liked them and to see that as teenagers made us be like wow they’re actually going and doing that, we could. It was cool seeing guys from our neighbourhood just do that sort of stuff.

A: We all grew up going to shows, even before I was in the band we’d hang out and go to shows together. On the odd occasion, we’d get a good heavy metal band come through Sheffield. We’ve all grown up going to the same venues and same kind of shows. I definitely think the local scene definitely played a big part in who and where we are today.

Finally, next ten years. Based on the growth now what would your dream position be in ten years.

W: Basically; Metallica. Opening for us.

A: There’s a few more things to tick off the bucket list, you know that bucket list I keep talking about? There’s a few things still left to do but it’s all about putting out the music we want to do and the music we enjoy. We just hope people still come along for the ride.