In this week’s Meet The Band spotlight are the British band Ambrius. Their debut EP Effigies Of Time is out now, and they will play the Bloodstock Open Air Festival on August 13th. Vocalist/producer Sam Shiers introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Ambrius.
Sam Shiers: Ambrius was made from ex members of Tech prog Band Oakhaart and three piece thrash band Tempestora.
What inspired the band name?
It’s a play on the word for immortal or everlasting. When you release an album or an EP these days you have to make sure you’re happy and proud of it because with the internet, it really does hang around forever!
Describe the songwriting process for Effigies Of Time.
The songwriting process will usually begin with a riff or beat that one of us has worked on at home with an idea. We’ll take the riff into a rehearsal, jam it together and usually it will seem to write itself. Other times it may be the case that someone may write 80/90 percent of a song at home. There’s not really a single process but it all seems to work.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
My strongest memory of recording the EP was when I finished the orchestral programming and first heard it with the drums and scratch guitars. I knew we had something special on our hands and it inspired me more to make it as good as it can be.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
I would like to say the sound is quite unique, but to put it into a genre or a category I would just call it heavy metal. I think there are too many sub genres these days and bands/fans seem to only stick inside smaller niches of sub genres. It would be nice for it to all come together as the metal community instead of the many thousands of sub genres.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
From invasions, war, the horrors of prejudice, hatred, and racism, butterfly effects and beyond, we discuss a broad spectrum of important subject matters throughout the EP’s journey. Some of it is our own experience and observations on current events. However, one cornerstone cements our release: Stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance everywhere. (credit: The Sophie Lancaster Foundation).
What led you to go the independent route for the release?
We had the means to do everything ourselves and for what we wanted it worked perfectly. We wrote, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered everything, so we wanted to keep that independence going. Covid was also an issue, due to the lockdown we couldn’t go anywhere so therefore we in a way had to do it ourselves or wait a long while.
What are your goals and expectations for the EP?
We want to enjoy being in a band. We relish every moment of doing what we love to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly hard work being in a band and especially being independent, however the rewards are so brilliant when things come together. When you play a great show and you’re in the car together after for two hours talking about how cool another band that played the bill was, we love it.
What has been your most memorable Ambrius live show?
Probably the most recent one, actually. It was our first local show on June 24th, we played the frog and fiddle in Cheltenham. We had all our great friends, fans and family members turn up (some as far as Canada!) as well as lots of great friends who we haven’t seen in such a long time, other older members of Oakhaart making the effort to come out and see us. It was absolutely amazing to see everyone again.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have a few smaller tours being booked at the moment that we’re working hard on. As well as a couple of one off shows in the near future. Keep checking in to our socials and we’ll keep you posted!
How did you get started in music?
I first got started in music probably because of skateboarding videos. It was always bands like Sum41 or anything like that. It inspired me and Jason to take guitar lessons at school together, and we’ve been in bands together ever since! Obviously as time goes on you get into heavier music as a natural progression as the genre just gushes talent and inspiration.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Guns N’ Roses, Yngwie Malmsteen, Metallica, Megadeth, Maiden, Killswitch Engage.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
I think it was Killswitch Engage in Birmingham. Absolutely insane.
What was your first band, and what style of music did they play?
Tempestora was my first real band. We were a 3 piece thrash band with a little bit of a progressive side. It’s still on Spotify if you’d like to take a listen.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I honestly don’t have much time for anything else after music. I like to put everything into music, any spare time will be writing, promoting or recording music.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Our debut EP is out now. More information can be found here. Thank you for having us for this interview! We really appreciate it!
(interview published July 23, 2022)
Watch Ambrius – “Breathe” Video