WildSpiritz IMS Interview - WE CATCH UP WITH ROB HOLLIDAY FROM SULPHER
After nearly a decade touring the planet as members of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Prodigy & Marilyn Manson's live band, Sulpher has regrouped to commit another sonic assault on the nation’s music venues.
Sulpher are a seriously good band comprising 3 seriously cool guys. Between them, they have toured the world within the folds of Jesus and Mary Chain, The Prodigy and Marilyn Manson. Their brand of sonic metal has garnered them an army of fans and Metal Hammer voted them ‘Best British Heavy Metal Band.’ The guys are currently very busy writing new material bet we managed to get hold of Guitarist/Bassist/Vocalist Rob Holliday for a quickfire round of questions.
Who chose the name Sulpher and is there any meaning behind it?
“We went through a number of names and wanted something short, one word , Sulpher being a chemical of many alternate uses, seemed to fit well as to us it seemed to be very chameleon-like, and it suited the band musically as we are very much similar in our approach to making our music and our sound in general.”
“We like to be all over the place and be extremely dynamic and throw in all of our many different influences all into a big melting pot and you can never be sure what is going to happen at any moment.”
The bands you have all been members of have very high profiles so have you found it difficult dropping away from that and doing your own thing?
“Not so much difficult as per se, different for sure - obviously for starters being used to playing arenas in front of 15,000 and up to festivals of say rock am ring Germany size of 80,000 it’s a lot different to doing small club venues, also doing Sulpher we are fully hands-on with every single aspect – it’s a lot of work.”
With such a melting pot of influences do you draw from that when it comes to writing new material or do you try to steer clear of the styles you have previously been involved with?
“I don’t think we consciously draw from a lot of our influences or bands we’ve worked with or toured as members of but I think yeah for sure little bits of things will fall into the pot when we’re working on the Sulpher material and I’m sure to the outside ear of any fans of the band they will most likely here glints of stuff.”
What is the creative process like in the band and how do you start putting a track together?
“Myself and Monti have always written and recorded all of the Sulpher material up to now, we are currently working on a number of tracks with our new guitar player Joe who’s now becoming involved in some of the new stuff, previously we would either start off in the studio with a rhythm or a loop or a synth idea or some sort of guitar riff and then work off that.”
“If a vibe happens and it moves quickly into something that sounds interesting to us then we would continue to work on that and progress forward - we have at a number of points got bogged down working on ideas that just digit go anywhere and that’s something that I find personally very frustrating, so now if something isn’t coming together for the two of us quite quickly - if there’s no pretty immediate vibe we move swiftly onto a different idea.”
You’ve all got your own individual things going on as well as the band. How much impact does that have when it comes to Sulpher?
“For the past 2 years we had concentrated fully on Sulpher and Sulpher alone so there were no issues with any impact on us moving forward with the promotion of the second album ‘No One Will Ever Know ‘whatsoever.”
You were voted Best British Heavy Metal Band by Metal Hammer. Is that something that is hard to live up to?
“Yeah I was confused by that ……. voting us as best British heavy metal act …. during the push on the first album ‘SPRAY ‘we were on a small German indie label and then there was no kind of follow up or push or any more promotion from Metal Hammer whatsoever.”
“I assume the reason was that our label didn’t have a ton of cash and we didn’t have a big money driven marketing team behind us.
It was kind of confusing to us that they were then pushing bands like Bullet for my Valentine etc etc. I guess they had the machine behind them …. So, we didn’t really feel we needed to live up to anything, we just continued to do what we do and deliver the fury live.”
As busy as you all are is there any room for downtime and what do you like to do to relax?
“We all do our own thing and have very private lives, I think walking dogs in the countryside and riding my motorbike get all the stresses out for me , Monti likes to ski and smash himself into trees and stuff like that.”
You have some well-spaced out gigs and festival appearances on the books. Anything else coming up?
“Yeah we’ve been real busy doing as many shows as possible.”
“For us, this year’s Bloodstock open-air appearance was a high point for sure, that show was killer. We had a number of technical issues as we were using a lot of hired in festival backline - but all in all that show was superb and such a killer crowd.”
Any plans to take the show abroad?
We just came back from a few shows in Germany and were heading out for a few shows in Canada in March.”
Your last album ‘No One Will Ever Know’ was released in 2018 and did very well. Are you working on a new album and when do you think it might get released?
“We are constantly in the studio working on new ideas - there is currently no exact date on the next release - we will keep you posted.”
If the answer to the last question is yes and soon can we review it pre-release?
“But of course, you can review it …. when the time comes.”
As an independent band who manages themselves are you looking towards being signed and getting a manager or do you like things just as they are?
“The last album was out on German label Spv / Oblivion.”
“We have a manager who’s now working with the band for the future.
But yeah we like being hands-on and will always be involved in every aspect.”
We’ve been working on an article for a while now on Empty Room Syndrome. With many venues closing their doors, what is your opinion on this and what do you think needs to change?
“It’s different now, promotors used to promote, flyer, a poster for shows.”
“Now it seems a lot of promotors and venues just rely on the bands to do everything and base everything on their social media promotion which I think is an extremely lazy way of doing things.”
“But that’s the way things are now due to the internet everyone these days is in a band and or a model …. blah blah blah the internet and social media have fucked the music industry, now it’s just a massive cesspit.”
Compared to other bands within your genre how have you managed to stand out so well?
“I think a lot of bands try to jump on whatever bandwagon they feel is popular at the time sound wise and look wise - we’ve been the same since the beginning - we don’t change or alter to suit anything - we don’t follow any little scene
We do what we do and stick to that regardless of what’s going on around us.”
What would be your dream line up to play with?
“Dream line up for me personally would be something like,
Alice in Chains
Throw us somewhere in there and that would be a pretty cool day for us.”
Is Download somewhere you would like to perform, or do you feel that it is too commercial now?
“For sure we would love to play Download.”
“Were chatting with Mr Copping currently about getting a slot on the festival somewhere.”
You have a great many fans. Is there anything that you would like to say to them?
“For the fans, we do have we wanna say thanks so much for hanging in with us for the big gap in-between the two albums and we will do our very best to throw some new music their way a lot quicker this time, and see them out there at our shows! It’s very much appreciated to see them.”
Going back to your individual projects, what would you say is the future for Sulpher?
“New music more touring …. more fury!”
When do you think we will see a new video from you guys?
“Once the new music is on the way we will be shooting a new video of course. That is imminent.”
Any final words?
“Love to all.”
“Keep the fury alive.”
“All the best.”
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