Interview with Ben Symons from Malefice, by Chris Primitive

Before the guys were about to take to the stage at Camden Underworld tonight, we managed to grab Ben Symons for a quick interview!

Chris: Hey Ben, it seems like ‘Awaken The Tides’ has been around ages, although only a year old, probably due to my constant playing of it!
So my question is, any plans for a new release?, anything for your loyal fans to salivate over?

Ben: Absolutely!
We are going into the Studio on August 6th! It’s going to be new obviously, although it’s gonna be slightly different, so hopefully we don’t disgruntle too many people.
I think “Awaken the Tides” let us down so many potential paths, we’ve kinda angled it towards a few of them. It’s still very much us; very much metal.

Chris: Sweet. Who’s the driving force of the band? Or you all in it at equal measures?

Ben: Umm. Well everyone has their role. Dale and I are probably the two who manage it the most, we kinda re-taken over the management of the band ourselves in conjunction with a few other people. We’re going through a re-branding process, we wanna be in charge, so if it all goes to shit then we’re too blame. [Laughs]
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Chris: It’s a good way to be!
You recently took to a facebook campaign to find bands to open for you on your September UK tour. So, how did that go?

Ben: There were too many bands! [Laughs]
Basically it was the best idea we ever had! You know when we started as a band trying to get support slots, it was about selling lots of tickets and bringing a bus.

Chris: Yeah [laughs]

Ben: Now you can get a tour package come through with 5 American bands and no British bands on, so we jump on that.
It’s lucky because before you didn’t get opportunities like that, so now we want to spread the mentality we had, and give people the opportunity we didn’t, so it was nice to allow that to happen. It wasn’t all about votes, it was about working for those votes and overall the music needed to be what we wanted hear on tour with us.
The London band; ‘When Our Time Comes’, have got a really good sound and a nice mix of styles, so we’re looking forward to that.
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Chris: You teamed up with Marcus Hanneman, a Reading FC Legend to record Omega, any plans to team up with anymore football stars or metal loving celebs? OR anyone you’d wanna do it with?

Ben: Nah not really, it was a one off.
Jagermeister sorted it out for us and got various people involved and Dale was happy as he loves football. We took the chance to do it and it turned out really good., he was a top guy and let us stay at his house on tour and play with his BB Guns, I mean the ultimate person to do it would be The Queen or Prince Charles! [laughs]

Chris: Haha that’d be amazing!

Ben: Yeah pure British unbelievableness.
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Chris: How’s your overseas fanbase doing? Any countries you’d like to gig or tour in?

Ben: I just wanna go anywhere! Anywhere and everywhere!!
Even if they don’t know who we are [laughs].
I mean we played in India and I’m certain they didn’t know who we were, but the fact is, they were so grateful that a band not from their country were playing that 8000 of them turned up!

Chris: And I bet you gained some new fans!

Ben: Yeah, and some really weird people. Some guy literally referred to me as his God! Then I didn’t reply to his facebook message quick enough and I’ve never experienced such hate and anger from one person in my life!

Chris: What’s it like being signed? Especially to such a Legendary label such as Metal Blade Records?

Ben: Not all that much changes.
So many illusions in this world that you get a label and its all hunky dory.
We all still work, suffer for the art and we all sleep in a van and on peoples floors. [laughs] We don’t get that much money either, a bit here and there but it’s not luxourious craft.. It’s hard work, and you gotta slave at it!
We get to a venue after been driving for 7 hours then sit around for 6 hours just to play for half an hour!I mean Metal Blade are one of those labels who are renound for being a classic label and we’re honoured to play with them!
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Chris: Any advice you can give to bands who wanna get signed?

Ben: I guess it would be….to not try to get signed!
Just get gigs and try and get on tours further away from home.
We never tried to get signed and we just wanted to play all over and then we got noticed. Just do that and enjoy it.

Chris: How do you all spend your down time away from the band?

Ben: Well Dale likes football, watching it, tweeting about football, being angry about football. [laughs] I like to write; not strictly Metal but alot of classical.
I’m trying to write for some films and TV and lots of symphonic things.
The other guys… I’m not sure; Xbox I guess?!

Chris: Which of your tracks is your personal favourite?

Ben: One of the new ones which isn’t out yet!
Obviously I can’t say a name or give too much away, but the new stuff is my favourite stuff. Off the old material i’d say I’d dislike them all equally! [laughs]
Omega’s fun! Something that I don’t need to worry about playing, where I can just slam, is the best fun.

Chris: Any venue in the UK you’d love to play?

Ben: Yeah I’d say Brixton Academy!
Used to be London Arena but it’s not there anymore, so Brixton is about the only historic place we’ve got left.

Chris: Any bands you want to play with who you haven’t yet?

Ben: I used to struggle with this question!
About 5 years ago I would’ve said Lamb of God, and Unearth who we are playing with now! Some bands aren’t doing as well as they were, things change.
I’d have to say the Ultimate would be Slipknot.
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Chris: Apart from the upcoming album, what’s next for Malefice.

Ben: We’ve got the upcoming Perserverance Tour!
We’re gonna go back to the old stuff as we’ve neglected the first album a fair bit. Take it back to basics, go nuts!

Chris: Cheers for your time mate.

Ben: A pleasure. Cheers.

Photography by Michelle Murphy