Saturday, 20 July 2019

Keeping The Faith - An Interview With ENAMEL ANIMAL

UK Psych Stoner Rockers ENAMEL ANIMAL first came to my attention way back in 
March 2017 when I reviewed their spaced out new album UNFAITH.

The band have kept a low profile since then and I was intrigued what the band were currently upto. Did they split up. Were they on a break. Was there any new music on the horizon. 

So I decided to do this interview the band and see how everything was. If you haven't heard of these guys I would recommend you read this in-depth interview and discover a cool new band by the name of ENAMEL ANIMAL...

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

All - Cheers for having us! Life is going pretty well thanks, just happy to be back writing, recording and gigging!

Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

Phil - me and Ryan used to play in bands together and decided to form a new band back in 2012, we knew Glen through a mutual friend so recruited him on bass, plus our mate Delki joined on lead guitar and Enamel Animal came to be! Delki left the band so we had a few different lead guitarists until Jon (the producer of UNFAITH and all of our music, he also played a lot of guitars on the album after Delki left) joined as a full time member earlier this year.

Musically, we have developed our sound from a raw grunge/alt rock style into a more mature sound, we think our lives have definitely affected our sound, and obviously the ageing process has changed us as people. I think that is reflected in how we sound today.

Can you tell what style of music the band actually plays. As you created quite a psychedelic and spaced out sound for your 2017 album UNFAITH.

Glen - We've always felt we were a raw, alt rock kind of band, due to our own personal influences, but elements of punk and even alternative metal are melded in there somewhere.

Phil - The psychedelic side of our sound comes from our love of stoner rock, so it's a mix of all that we collectively love, which is what all bands are I guess.

Where did the name Enamel Animal come from. How did you come up with the name.

Ryan - The name just came from conversations we used to have, trying to come up with funny tongue-twisters.

Phil - When we formed the band, me and Ryan remembered this example, enamel animal, and thought it would be funny for people to try and say it.

Glen - Usually people will ask us to repeat it to them, especially when drunk, it can be tough to say! Which is probably a really stupid thing to do when choosing a band name to be honest!!

Which musical artists inspired you to become musicians.

Ryan- I've always loved Dave Grohl's style, the way he makes the drums a central piece of the music, rather than a compliment to it. Nirvana is a big unifying influence on us all to be honest, along with a few other bands.

Glen - My main influence is Krist Novoselic, believing he is a very underrated bassist, but then I love Justin Chancellor and his style. Jon is a huge fan of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and is his major influence guitar-wise.

Phil - I grew up listening to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, all kinds of stuff really, before being drawn into grunge as a teenager. But the moment I realised I wanted to play guitars was upon hearing the guitar solo parts in the Thundercats cartoon theme tune, that was probably my revelation moment. 

You released your last album UNFAITH back in 2017. It received some praise from the Stoner/Hard Rock Reviewing Press. Did it surprise you how well the album was received.

Phil - When we recorded UNFAITH, we did it with the sole aim to record a record that we could ourselves be proud of, that we could look back on and say, "we have done an album!" So we didn't really expect it to be noticed much at all, maybe a few kind words here and there. So when we got those reviews we were very surprised!

Glen - Not that we didn't think we hadn't made something good, just that there is so much amazing music being released all the time by underground artists, we didn't think ours would get noticed along with them! But yeah, we were fucking made up when people told us they liked it!

Was recording the album or hard or easy experience.

Ryan - The album was a tough project to complete, we financed it all ourselves so it was a slow process, getting the money together to do more.

Glen - The gaps between recording were frustrating, Delki left half way through recording, life stuff was going on, it took not far off 3 years to get in finished. We definitely don't want to take that long to do the next one, I mean we all love Tool but we don't want to go down that road!

Looking back, if you could change anything about the album. What would it be and why.

Ryan - I wouldn't change anything to be honest; the process was slow but it all happened as it was supposed to.

Phil - Maybe I would have thought a few things through a bit more before starting a song, we re-recorded a few tracks as maybe the tempo wasn't quite right, things like that.

What inspired you when righting the album. As it contains some deep progressive themes.

Phil - In terms of the lyrics, there is a definite theme there, a kind of concept that we hope people can get onto, but isn't blatant.

Ryan – Yeah, here's a narrative that exists, that takes you from track one to eleven.

Phil - lets just say there is a voice speaking, and it's not necessarily our voice, but a voice talking about what they are witnessing in the world around them. I hope that kind of explains it for you?!!

Has the band been touring since then. Locally or on a National Level.

Phil - After the album came out we signed to Holier Than Thou Records who released a couple of singles, but myself and Glen both had babies (not together, with other people, we're not THAT kind of band!) so we took a time out after playing our last gig in summer 2017.

Since getting back together this year, we have played 2 small gigs to get back into the saddle, but we will be looking to get out and play wherever will have us! So if you are a promoter, get in contact, we would love to play for you!!!

What has the reception been like to the live ENAMEL ANIMAL experience.

Phil - Reception to our live shows is always positive, but maybe it's all in our heads?! Seriously though, I think we can cross over from heavy rock audiences to sort of more indie-rock audiences, so we like to think anyway. We put all of our emotion into our live shows, we feel every part of the music inside us and try to transmit that to our audiences on a sort of subconscious emotive wave. We hope that they feel it like we do!

It seems you guys have been away for the past 18 months or so. What have you all been upto.

Glen - having babies and being grown ups!

Ryan – Yeah, we started a 3 piece called Pet Virus but it didn't work out, Glen left and we realised what we wanted was to play Enamel Animal songs. When Jon said he would be up for playing we couldn't resist getting Enamel Animal back together, so here we are!

I’ve heard a rumour of a new album is in the works. Can you expand on this and provide more info.

Phil - the rumour is true! We have recorded a new single which will hopefully be out later this summer, but we have an album worth of songs we want to record, plus we are writing new stuff all the time.

Ryan - Jon has brought a lot more ideas to the band and it's great to have an actual musician leading us in writing processes!

Glen - we have a lot of stuff we want to do, so hopefully we won't take 3 years to release this one

When writing for a new album or EP. What comes first. Lyrics or Music.

Phil - music usually comes first, lyrics seem to develop from the sounds of melodies I come up with when jamming. Although sometimes I will have a fully formed song read to go, but yeah usually it is the music

Will you be touring to test out the new material on an unsuspecting audience.

Ryan - we have some gigs booked for this year but we really want to fill up our calendar.

Glen - yeah once the new single is released we will be looking to get out there and push it as much as possible.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go. Do you have anything to say to your fans who maybe reading.

Glen - We want to make up for lost time!

Ryan - To any fans out there, we appreciate your patience and we promise we are better now than we have ever been, the best Enamel Animal is here and we hope you will enjoy the new stuff.

Phil - yes thanks for supporting us, we remember each and every one of you and will give you all kisses when we see you. And the new stuff is going to be amazing, we promise you that too.

Words by Steve Howe and ENAMEL ANIMAL


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