Thursday 27 July 2017

INTERVIEW & ALBUM PREMIERE: Hull Noise Collective Battalions unleash pure sludge fury with "Moonburn"

Hull, jokingly referred to in some quarters as “hole” and viewed by others as perhaps the worst place to live in the UK, it is perhaps best known for its sea life centre “The Deep”, rather than home to some of best upcoming UK bands, enter Battalions

A four-piece band, formed in 2010, Battalions have forged their own sound, playing local shows with great vehemence, sometimes to many, sometimes too few and in spite of original members leaving the fold, Battalions are attacking the underground scene with a renewed strength with their new album ‘Moonburn.' Recorded at the renowned Skyhammer Studios with Chris Fielding of Conan, the band would have to deal with further setbacks, with members once again leaving and potential label support not forthcoming  ‘Moonburn’, will hit the streets on August 5th 2017 via  their own ‘Hull Noise Collective’ imprint once again.

Today ahead of the albums official release, we hooked with front man and bearded gent Phil Wilkinson to discuss the bands formation, influences and the recording of the new album.  Not only that, we’re stoked to be able to present the first exclusive stream of “Moonburn” in full all, of which you can check out below and remember  in SLUDGELORD you can trust.  

Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Battalions?

I first started playing music when I was around 15, me and a few friends started a bedroom band covering Raging Speedhorn songs, it never made it out of the bedroom. After that my first proper band was a band called Centurions, followed by a stint in Introrectalgestation before a few years of doing nothing. Battalions came about from me and our original drummer being bored of not playing gigs and wanting to start a band that stood out in the local scene in Hull, big bass heavy riffs with tortured vocals. A formula that stands to this day!

Although you are set to release “Moonburn” (your second full length), for folks unfamiliar with your band, is there any bands on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point bands to describe your band, and who or what continues to inspire you and push you to try new things?

There’s the obvious, that’s evident in most of our songs – Black Sabbath, AC/DC & Clutch, we are also heavily influenced by the likes of Raging Speedhorn, St Vitus, and my personal influence and vocal idol, Iron Monkey. Bands currently about pushing us to excel are all the bands we’ve toured with this year, each band playing at the top of their craft, and when you play with them each night you only want to do better yourself – most notably, 1968, Ritual King & Regulus.

What can you tell us about your upcoming record and where do you feel it sits within the context of current metal scene?

“Moonburn” is 7 tracks of pure rock fury, with a little more diversity than our first album ‘Nothing to Lose’. Written and recorded within a year of releasing our first album, to us it is an advancement of our sound, bringing the big bouncy riffs to the forefront, whilst also keeping the song short and snappy, keeping with our members punk and hardcore roots. We feel it sits comfortably straddling various heavy genres, from sludge and stoner, with nods to classic rock and big riffs!

Does anything spring to mind when you think about the completion of your upcoming record and how is the mood in the camp at present?

We are just excited to finally get it out there, a lot of hard work has gone into releasing this record, especially so as we are doing it completely DIY. The mood is one of pure excitement, things are stepping up a gear and it’s great to be involved with something that people seem to appreciate and enjoy.

What stands out as your overarching memory from the recording sessions?

Having Sam Orr (of the amazing 1968, if you haven’t already, we implore you to check them out!) come down and hang out for a few days around recording his solo for “Amazonian Woman” was great, and helped the mood stay very positive. Other than that, I must say the biggest memory is the morning after the night before, when our Dennett drank a bottle of gin to himself, and had a few hours sabbatical to pray to the porcelain god.

With a solid gold album in the bag, how is your schedule shaping up over the next 12 months?

Firstly, thank you for calling it solid gold! We are extremely proud of the record and the songs. We have a very busy schedule, starting with headlining the Rock Stage at Humber Street Sesh, a local festival that last year saw 35,000 people attend. Following that we have just been announced for the New Blood stage at Bloodstock festival. After that we have a short Scottish run with Psychotic Depression, along with a tour in the works with California’s Armed for Apocalypse. Other than that we just aim to tour the album as much as possible!

Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like to bestow upon us?

Give everything you do 110%, the rewards are there, its hard work going it alone, but worth it when you have something you can truly be proud of. Be friendly, make friends with the bands you play with, enjoy every minute of the ride.

“Moonburn” is available to preorder/buy here

Band info: facebook || bandcamp