In June TBFM hosted the London Metal 2 The Masses Final at the Purple Turtle. The whole final was broadcast live on air for those not lucky enough to be at the event. Wretched Toad were the eventual winners but also getting a slot at Bloodstock Open Air was metal band Skarthia, long time favourites of the TBFM DJ’s. Scarlett caught up with them after the event to get their views on the competition and the bands future.
Congratulations on being offered the Guest Slot at Bloodstock Open Air following your ‘London Metal 2 The Masses Final’ performance. How did it feel when you heard the announcement?
Anyone who came down to see any of the London heats would have known that the level of quality in this competition was outstanding. We made friends with a lot of fantastic bands but all of them exuded extreme talent. So when it came to being announced as the guest slot artist at Bloodstock, it meant a lot to us. We’ve been wanting to play Bloodstock for a long time now, we are very excited about bringing our show to the new blood stage. It was a long journey, and that final night at the Purple Turtle was the climax of an unforgettable experience.
Do you have anything special or anything different planned for your Bloodstock set that fans may not have seen before?
If you’ve been to a Skarthia show, then you already know the sheer relentlessness we deliver on every stage we play. Bloodstock is a platform on which we can deliver our biggest performance to date. We don’t want to give away too much, but rest assured, the core of the performance is the music itself. While you can expect skulls to be crushed and necks to be snapped, be prepared to derive pleasure from bleeding ear drums.
You reached the Metal 2 The Masses final in 2013. Was there anything you learned from that experience that helped you in the Finals in 2015?
Attitude, a lot of what we learned was simply to do with a change of attitude. This took a lot of work, and we still have more to do now, everything from our approach to rehearsals and practice techniques (we like to perfect our songs in the dark, pitch blackness), to our delivery on stage and interaction with each other as professional musicians. We learned that if the audience believes in you, then we would be doing them an injustice by not believing in ourselves. We focused a lot on the audience and their perception, looking specifically at their enjoyment, aiming to deliver not just the music but a show as well. The aim being of course that the eyes and ears of fans would be entertained to the point they can only smile afterwards, no matter how metal they are!
How did you choose the set you played for the final, was there much discussion amongst the band beforehand?
Our sets vary from stage to stage, since every stage is different we look to maximise the quality of our show for each setting. Leading up to the final we had realised that the M2TM shows in London were no ordinary shows, they brought the charm and ambience of Bloodstock festival itself. The shows had a naturally big presence, so for the final we worked to deliver a show with a big presence and festival touch. We rewrote small sections of the music to suit the set better, we focused on the smaller details such as the areas of the cymbals hit for certain sections and the harmonising of pick slides to deliver maximum impact on the start of the next bar. All of it came naturally to us however, we don’t really talk it over, we communicate with each other through making musical noises and there’s always a mutual understanding between us through that medium.
How did you feel about being the first band to play on the night of the final? Was there extra pressure being the opening band?
Other than knowing that through lateness less people would get to experience our performance, we weren’t too bothered about anything else regarding being the first band on. We came to the final with the music and set we felt would give fans a show and experience to remember. Whether we delivered that at the beginning or at the end made no difference to us. It was awesome, we had a great time doing it, to be honest we wished we had had a longer set!
It’s been a while since you released your debut album, ‘Retaliate’, is there any news of a new release?
We’ve been working on the follow up to ‘Retaliate’ for a while now, some of the songs we’ve written can be heard at some of our shows. The mistake we want to avoid is releasing anything prematurely, the fans deserve the best we can give them and that is what we intend to do. It was our focus on our last album, it’s our focus on this one too. The album has not named herself as of yet, but the feel of the material so far is slightly darker and more vicious than the first album, maybe even slightly tribal. But it is, unquestionably, still Skarthia.
What’s next for Skarthia? And what’s the next goal for Skarthia?
Well for now, Gigi has decided to remain in this multiverse so you can expect to see us on the road very soon. 2016 could see Skarthia playing Europe and possibly even further afield. The next goal is the same as the current goal, the top. But our focus is to continue our development, to seek out as many new fans and to bring the old fans new experiences every time. Our number one priority however, is the music. Creating, performing, perfecting, enhancing and enjoying more Skarthia, if our music doesn’t burst your ear drums and break your neck then we’re not satisfied. Perhaps, Gigi can weigh in on this?
Gigi: For now I wish to remain in the dark, you may see me creeping around in the shadows and preying on the weak, haunting those of you that do not believe. You may even see me in your cupboard while you sleep, BUT!!!!! when Bloodstock comes I will emerge from the dark with my deathly stare to kill and feast on the blood of the audience as they enjoy the gruesome groove machine that is Skarthia.