Just over 2 weeks to go and we have added a ninth band to the Saturday line-up of the TBFM 4th Birthday Bash!! We are very excited to announce that MAD HATTER 2.0 will be helping us to celebrate on Saturday 1st June 2013 – the second day of the 2 day event.
Below is an interview we did with the band at The Brunswick back in April, when they played the Deconstruct album live & in full! It was at this very meeting that we asked Marc, Dave, Hayden & Kurt if they would play at the Birthday Bash (yes, we’ve kept a secret for THAT long!), and happily they said YES!… The physical CD of Deconstruct is released on 1st June… so if you want your copy right away, get yourself over to the Birthday Bash at Queens Hall in Nuneaton.
When we first launched the TBFM Magazine, it was always our intention to get Mad Hatter 2.0 on the front cover! We sorted this out for the May issue of the mag to coincide with the release of their brand new album Deconstruct and had a chat with the guys about the journey towards making it happen…
You’ve been around since 2010 and have only really had 1 line-up change, bringing in Dave last year… How did the rest of you meet up and what made you decide to form the band?
Marc: I met up with the Original Mad Hatter Bass Player and Drummer about 6 months before hand and we recorded a couple of tracks, etc. I hadn’t sung for over 10 years, but soon caught the bug… The original guys didn’t have the same passion, so I looked about for other musicians who were talented enough, focused enough etc. I found the 1st Guitarist, Paul, through friends, Kurt I found online, and Kurt knew H so he asked him. It all seemed to fall into place and within 9 weeks or so, we had a set and started gigging.
Kurt: Well, I was on holiday from work for a week, I get this message creep up in my inbox.. I immediately think, “Holy shit.. Right Said Fred is sending me a message” (Marc had no hair at the time) Honestly.. If he had asked me at any other time, I would of said No! But, he caught me just right! Funny story, he wanted me to learn 3 songs for the first rehearsal… Noooo. Got 12 under my belt in 2 days. Because of that, and the luck of me remembering “some guy who played Bass” from my local music shop, we were able to gig within 2 months.
Hayden: I actually got roped in by chance, really, I happened to be working in Kurt’s local music shop; he’d just joined the band, and was asked to think of bass players. He remembered me mentioning I played, called the shop, got my number, and the rest, to use a cliché, is history.
Is there any particular band or artist that you could say is your main influence and the reason you like groove metal?
Kurt: My influences are a bit of everything really. When I was younger, I was really in to The Offspring, Nofx, Blink 182 etc.. Travis Barker played a huge part in my influence on drumming. Machine Head are to blame for my love of Metal. Proudly have them stamped on my body somewhere.. I’m not just a metal drummer though. I try and drag different styles into everything. You’ll hear certain aspects and hooks on the album.
Dave: Too many to list but my main influences include the obvious.. Dimebag! right through Chimaira Machine Head and in to really theatrical stuff like Nevermore
Hayden: Well, Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ album is what got me into rock and metal in the first place, so I guess you’d say they are my biggest influence. I feel we try to draw from everything really, we have some off-beat rhythms, almost ska-like, some latin beats, it’s not just metal that we incorporate.
Who writes the songs?
Marc: H took the lead on Deconstruct, with tracks from Dave, riffs from Kurt, arrangements from everyone. We work on the idea that when you’re in rehearsals and someone has a riff, we build it. You know it’s working when the song links and flows and is done in under an hour. I add lyrics and Melodies and job done..
Hayden: Well, this album was the first time I really got into the song writing side of it in a big way, and obviously Dave brought his new ideas in, so I think that explains the slight departure from our old stuff. Marc writes the vocal melodies and lyrics, some songs are me, some are Dave, some are all of us together, Kurt wrote the main riff to Stomp!!!
Where do you get inspiration from?
Marc: Life !
Dave: We just draw on stuff that makes us feel (whatever the emotion may be) and then we all get together, someone will jam out a lick and we go from there and try to play stuff that excites us and reflects how we feel.
Do you make time to sit down and write songs or scribble them as they come into your head?
Marc: I’ve always got my phone with the voice recorder on, shouting melodies and lyrics into it. Then when I get 5 mins, I scribble them down in my lyric book. Once the guys have a track, 9 times out of 10 I have lyrics that’ll fit, work.
Kurt: When certain riffs come to mind, they stick in my head. I’ve got a stupidly good memory. As for drum beats.. Well, I been told off for tapping at work before, to say the least..
Hayden: My style of writing is very frantic, if I get an idea I’ll hum it into my phone if there’s nothing else to hand. I can get very compulsive when it comes to writing, Deconstruct came to me at 6pm, I stayed up till 2 or 3 that morning writing it; I’m always prepared to drop what I’m doing and harness that flow when it comes along.
Congratulations on the new album Deconstruct – we loved it and gave it a 5 star review! You decided to go down the Pledge route for the album which was very successful. Were you surprised how quickly the target was reached?
Kurt: Thank you! Its something I’ve always wanted to do. As for the pledgers.. Wow. Just wow. They’ve really proven to me/us how much our fans mean to us. It goes to show, that in this industry, a band really are nothing without their fan base. And for that, we are humble.
Hayden: Yes, definitely! There were one or two points where it slowed down for a few days, and we started to get really worried, but thankfully our fans really came through for us; it’s an incredible feeling to know that there are people out there who believe in us to the extent that they’d Pledge on an album or – considering it was our first major release with Dave – a line up that they’d never heard before.
Marc: We, I were Humbled… Our Friends, Family, and fans, are amazing! They believed in us, trusted us and allowed us to create without the stress of cash flow etc. Humbled…
Dave: Genuinely fucking humbled that people believe in us enough to put their hands in their pockets and pledge their hard earned beer vouchers. I thank every last one of the beautiful bastards.
If the Pledge option had not been available, would you still have released a new album this year?
Kurt: I would of made the money!! I had to work on this album. I would of begged, borrowed, sold myself on street corners.. Hell.. I would of worked 80 hours a week if it meant paying out for it.
Dave: Oh hell yeah! We’d have found a way. We were talking about recording an album even before Pledge came in to the picture.
We had exclusive first airplay of the first single ‘STOMP’ from the new album (thank you very much for that!) and we got loads of positive feedback from our listeners. What can they expect from the rest of the album?
Dave: More of the same with a few surprises along the way. We tried to make the album an album, and not just a bunch of songs on a disc you know.
Hayden: It’s a really eclectic piece, to be honest, I don’t think it’s a ‘groove metal’ album really, it’s got bits of everything, there’s some softer (shock horror) parts, we’ve got some progressive bits thrown in, but then there’s some brutally simple stuff that just crushes. There’s a definite flow to the album, we wanted it to be a musical journey, I like to think that the songs are all loosely collected as being metal, but very different individually.
Are you going to do a video for the track, Stomp?
Kurt: Oh yes!! You’re damn right we are!! But shhh, it’s a secret..
Hayden: We are, indeed! I’m not sure how much I can reveal right now, but we’re shooting VERY soon, and got some fantastic people working on it, we’re proper excited!
We know you have recorded a cover of ‘Hurt’ by Nine Inch Nails, is there a particular reason for this song?
Kurt: Its a beautifully sick song!! Because of this sick, corroded world we live in, a lot of people can relate to it.
Dave: This song was Marc’s idea. He loves the song (we all do) I was excited when he said he wanted to do it cause it’s a beauty and the vocal performance Marc gave was fucking awesome!
Hayden: Marc suggested it a while back; we all love the song and have strong emotional connections with it, it just felt right, I’d say. We really did enjoy the chance to be a bit more melodic and stripped back, I like to think we’ve given an interesting interpretation of it.
Marc: I love it, I’ve always wanted to record it, so we did. Listen to it, you’ll know why!
You do a lot of touring, probably not far off 100 gigs in a year? Do you get on each others tits after a while?
Marc: We get on better when we are touring. We are a unit. We back each other up and look after each other. It’s when we are home and doing nothing we find we get shitty. I think it’s frustration – we need to gig! Live is how we judge bands so we pride our selves on our live show. Keep music live. Support the scene!
Dave: Like Marc said. We tear chunks out of each other OFF tour. We need the gigs to let our hair down and we work hard out of sheer passion for performing live.
Who would you like to get a support slot with if you got the chance?
Dave: I’d love to have toured with Pantera back in the day but I hear Justin Bieber has an open slot so fingers crossed.
Hayden: For me, it’s got to be Sabbath. I would actually get down on my knees and give them all a good working over just for the opportunity.
Kurt: Well.. As Narcissistic as it may sound.. I’d actually like to support us, from another band’s point of view. I’m curious as how we look on stage. Haydens dancing, my stupid, STUPID drum faces, Daves calendar poses and Marcs controlling of the crowd. That guy can get anything he wants from the crowd as and when he wants it!!
Is there anything you’ve done in your career so far that you regret or wish you’d done better? (please don’t say anything about Spellbound coz you’ll upset Mucka Jay!)
Marc: Ha SPELLBOUND is a good song, but it’s just not us now. As for regrets!! Fuck No! I wouldn’t change a thing
Hayden: The original plan we had with Dave was for us to experiment with him coming in with Paul and making us a five piece, I’m a bit gutted that we never got to see what that would sound like. That said, Dave and I have fantastic writing chemistry, and we wouldn’t have got Deconstruct if everything hadn’t happened exactly the way it did, so I don’t know if I’d want to go back and change anything, to be honest.
For anyone wondering about SPELLBOUND:…
What is your next goal?
Hayden: We’re just gonna see where this album takes us, really, none of us are dreaming of being rock stars; if something happens and it all gets big, then excellent, but we’re not going to lie awake at night and lose sleep over it. With the industry the way it is at the minute, you’ve got to suck up to every ‘name’ that comes your way, just to pay your way on to a label and bankrupt yourselves to say that you’re signed. How the hell does that work? We’ve upset a few people because we’re not prepared to play the little games and massage the egos of all the little cliques and power bases that exist on the circuit. It’s these people that are ruining local scenes, they put the same six bands on every week and then wonder why people stop turning up to shows. So, I guess you’d say our goal is to keep calm, carry on, and bollocks to anyone who doesn’t like us.