This week we’re featuring the British group Conjurer in Meet The Band. Their debut full-length album Mire has already generated a lot of buzz for the newcomers prior to its March 9th release. Vocalist/guitarist Brady Deeprose introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Conjurer.
Brady Deeprose: After meeting through the local metalcore scene we started making music out of frustration more than anything. No one we mixed with was really expanding their horizons musically and we naturally came together out of a need to do something interesting. Since then we’ve played hundreds of shows, released an EP and will be putting out or debut album via Holy Roar Records.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Mire.
This is a weird one because some of the tracks on the album were played at our first show in 2015 and some were written just before we went into the studio. The record represents and embodies our progression as a band. Our process for actual writing is that we’ll get the majority of a song tabbed up in guitar pro, all learn it, and then get into the rehearsal room to bring it to life where we will invariably argue and completely re-write it.
Recording-wise, we spent two weeks with Lewis Johns (and his gremlin Dom) at The Ranch in Southampton. This was the most amount of time we’d ever spent together in the same space which was certainly interesting. We’re all fairly easy-going, which made it bearable. Compared to recording the EP, when we were really wide-eyed and a little inexperienced, we had a fairly solid idea of what we wanted and Lewis just completely got what we were going for. The songs came to life as we were hoping and I think the album is a really good representation of where the band is at right now.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
This is a tricky one because our sound, almost by design, avoids description. We take everything we love from various subgenres and fuse it in the most logical, interesting ways we can. If an idea, riff or bit is solid, we wouldn’t discount it just because it doesn’t typically sound like us; we make it work. With all of that in mind, I think we skirt the borders of progressive, post, and death metal while keeping everything fast-flowing. I’d say we try our best to avoid stagnation.
Is there a lyrical theme or thread?
There’s nothing as airtight so as to call a concept, but it’s certainly all pretty miserable. Every song explores the human experience of negative emotion in some way, be it self-hatred or existential dread. Dan, who writes the majority of the lyrics, has an incredible knack for creating vivid imagery with his words which I think has become a trademark of our sound.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We have absolutely no expectations. This is an important thing for us. If everyone hates the record and we end up back at the bottom of the ladder, then so be it; we love the record. First and foremost, we need to be creating music that ticks all our own boxes. We’ve definitely done that with Mire. We’ve love to be able to keep playing cool shows, doing festivals and hopefully start touring outside of the UK and if the album helps us to do that, sweet.
What has the early response been like?
Overwhelmingly positive thus far. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the support we’ve had from not just the press, but people that have been following the band for awhile. While we do this for ourselves, a lot of people have invested their time, money and effort into supporting this band so to be able to live up to people’s expectations and hopes is a good feeling. I want people to feel like they’ve backed a good horse and if they spend their money on a record or merch or to come to a show, that we make it all as good as possible.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have four shows at the end of the month around the release date of the album. Later in the year, we’re playing at 2000 Trees Festival, a first for all of us, which already looks incredible. We have loads of other exciting things that are as of yet to be announced. It’s going to be a big year.
What has been your most memorable Conjurer live show?
This is always a really tricky one but for me, playing Damnation Festival was a real highlight, even though the set itself was an absolute nightmare. I snapped a string on the first note and didn’t have any spares! We clashed with label mates Svalbard too and, rightfully so, expected our stage to be empty, but both stages reached capacity.
How did you get started in music?
I started playing cello at school to get out of RE lessons and that sparked my interest in performing. I got to travel all over Europe playing with orchestras and played at some huge venues in the UK. My Dad got me into rock by playing stuff like Adam And The Ants and Oasis, but nothing really got my attention until The Darkness, who my Dad took me to see several times.
What drew you to metal?
I ended up just falling into metal in secondary school. Everyone thought Bullet For My Valentine and Enter Shikari were really cool and that just became what I got into. I very swiftly progressed to Slipknot and it was heavier and heavier from there. I think it was just so much more visceral than any other music I’d heard, nothing else was quite enough. Funnily enough, I now find that I listen to less and less metal or maybe that I’m more picky with what I give my time to. Hip-hop has been the most exciting genre for me of the last few years. Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Brockhampton and Childish Gambino are making the music that I find myself listening to more than anything else of late.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Personally, I think Justin Hawkins from The Darkness has always been the coolest motherfucker going. I wish I could rock a catsuit. Moving on from that, I’ve always looked up to Kanye West in a weird way. The man must be clinically insane, but he’s proven his chops as a producer, rapper and all-round icon and I just find him really interesting. His headline performance at Glastonbury the other year was absolutely iconic. I actually have a theory that he is just playing a character as part of a social experiment and he’ll be submitting a thesis on ‘fame, ego and self as art’ in a few years time. Oh shit, was I meant to say Jim Root or something? My bad.
What was the first concert you attended?
My Dad took me to Paris to see the Darkness in 2004 which totally blew my mind. He actually took me to loads of shows before I was old enough to go on my own and is definitely responsible for my passion for live music. I couldn’t be more grateful for his support. The first time I saw a ‘metal’ band was at a school assembly. They played “Enter Sandman” and “Sweet Child Of Mine” and I remember thinking they were the best band in the world before finding out what covers were.
How is the heavy music scene in the Midlands these days?
Really hit and miss, to be honest. I used to work in music promotions and we’d always see a notable dip in attendance compared to London or ‘The North.’ There have also been a disturbing number of local bands calling it a day of late, which is not only shit, but a sign that all of the UK’s underground venues being closed down is having a tangible effect. There are some really cool bands, venues and promoters in the Midlands but heavier music will always be much better embraced in places around us: Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, London and Brighton in particular.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
We’re part of a really sick record label called Holy Roar Records so you should definitely go check their roster out, in particular Rolo Tomassi, Employed To Serve, Wren, OHHMS and Pijn.
If you’re looking for press representation as a band, Hold Tight PR are second-to-none. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is the best mainstream rap album and Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition is the weirdest. If you really like our shit, you can get our album here and merch here. The Imperial Skies by Chapters is the best heavy album you’ve never listened to and is on Spotify for your listening pleasure.
(interview published February 24, 2018)
Watch Conjurer – “Retch” Video