Interview by Ryan Spearman
Live Photos By Black Lotus Photography
I’ve never known of a band with so much hype, yet so little public exposure as No Sin Evades His Gaze, hype well justified I might add. Having played only a few shows thus far, namely Les Fest and Tech Fest, they’re about to spew forth their debut album ‘Age Of Sedation’, and play Bloodstock also, so no pressure what’s over. Hear the story of how this quite remarkable coup was pulled off, as well as obscure objects to make sandwiches with, and how the Jeremy Kyle show should be remade.
James Denton: Vocals
Kev Pearson: Guitar
So I guess the best place to start would be the beginning, explain the bands conception..
James: The band is a product of several old bands that collapsed around the time. I knew Moat (bassist) from when I played a gig with him in Islington, which coincidently is where our management is from. We got talking on online, sorted that one out. Kev was in a band from around here (Blackpool), I was in a band from around here. We use to get together, which was an outlet to write more heavier stuff than we could in our other bands. Theo (drummer) stepped in after a tour we had together, and Moat knew Dan’s (guitarist) band from London. We’re spread out between there, Blackpool, Essex and Brighton.
Earlier than that, what were the bands/musicians that got you into music in the first place?
Kev: Lamb Of God for me, mostly. Really early on, it has to be Slipknot when I was 14,but then I found the Black Dahlia Murder and Lamb Of God type of stuff.
James: I guess it was initially soundtrack music, and stuff like Donny Osmond made me interested in music, it gave me a good founding in melodies, and chord progressions, then I got into rock and metal. Especially the old kind of metalcore, like Killswitch Engage, Trivium, August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, that kind of riffy, yet melody driven type of bands.
Am I right in believing you guys have only played 2 shows?
James: Technically 3.
Kev: We did a show in Eastbourne over the weekend.
James: We indecently burnt down after we were there, the fucking pier burnt down! Like 24 hours after we were stood on it, which is just proof that we are from hell itself (laughs).
OK, so your first two shows were Les Fest and Tech Fest, that’s pretty full on
James: And the next one is Bloodstock, so no pressure. It seems like we’ve only been around for a short amount of time, but we’ve been working in private for about a year, writing an album together. So instead of forming a Facebook page where the songs would go up gradually, we thought ‘Lets get our shit together first, and write everything’ we had our bases covered and released everything all at once. Playing these festivals is a massive deal for anyone, but it wasn’t like we came out and people said ‘hey guys, play this!’, they were booked months and months in advance, but it seems we’ve only been in the public eye for 6 weeks.”
We’re you at Tech Fest the whole weekend?
James: Minus a few hours on the Saturday, yes we were. It was awesome!
Favourite bands? I’m going with Vildhjarta and Jon Gomm
James: I loved Vildhjarta.
Kev: Their sound was absolutely on point.
James: I also enjoyed Monuments, but I don’t think their drummer did.
Still though, I commend Chris Barretto for the way he held that together
James: Yeah, when the issue with the drums happened. He became stand up comedian/compare/anything else they needed to get through the fact that Mike (Malyan) had to have his drum kit drilled into the floor half the time.
Kev: Vocalists kind of get a rough deal when things go wrong.
James: It is unfortunately on your head to hold it all together, but he handled it like a trooper. To be fair, everybody in that room massively adored Chris, so I think he could of just smiled, and they’d of clapped (laughs).
Kev: I really enjoyed Modern Day Babylon. SikTh as well.
James: I saw Doomed From Day One, and they were disgustingly heavy, in a good way. Exist Immortal too, who I’ve toured with, were the best I’ve seen them. They pulled a really big crowd too.
Yeah totally, they’ve really stepped up their game
James: I’ve legitimately seen Exist Immortal more times that I’ve seen any other band, so I think I’m fairly qualified to say that’s the best I’ve seen them.
Fast forward to Bloodstock, who are you most excited about seeing?
Kev: Dimmu Borgir.
James: Yes! Absolutely Dimmu. I’m also looking forward to Hellyeah. I’m a massive Mudvayne fan, so that’ll be cool to see Chad (Gray) do his thing. Even if he’s not with Mudvayne. Also Children Of Bodom.
Kev: Children Of Bodom, I’ve seen them before, they’re really good.
James: Amon Amarth too, I’ve seen them before, they were good. They’re really big men, all stature.
I saw them at Download last year, and they came out on a massive pirate ship. It was amazing
James: I love how they’re so over the top, it really works for them.
Kev: I think Iron Maiden did a tank one year at Download.
James: They’re also over the top. Don’t know if it works for them, but, you know. They had a full air show at Sonisphere this year.
I must say, it was overly hyped
James: I think it was the earlier 30’s style BBC presenter that was commentating. I think he was just trying to make up facts to make it more interesting. It was funny when he said ‘And Bruce has just shot the man in the face’, and there would be a cheesy sound effect after. We didn’t get that, it wasn’t like ‘No Sin Evades His Gaze, supported by an air force’, but Maiden killed it though, they always do. I liked The Prodigy too, because they played just one song and didn’t stop, so you were very drunk by the time they finished. (laughs)
I missed them, I was lost in a green haze at Electric Wizard
James: (laughs) While we’re on the topic of Sonisphere actually, let me just say it was the best festival I’ve ever been to. It was the perfect size and the right bands.
The thing is, I think that the fact they didn’t sell enough tickets really benefited the festival itself
James: That, and how its laid out. you’re only 10minutes from anywhere. Unlike some of the bigger festivals, but yeah, I had a good time. Which had nothing to do with the fact that I had a guest pass what so ever. Seriously though, it’s an awesome festival, I’m definitely going back. But I think that if more people knew what the experience was like, they’d sell infinitely more tickets, thus ruining the experience. Beginning the vicious cycle.
Kev: Sounds like there was no brutal walks like Download
Download was OK, until they introduced “The Walk”
Kev: It was, I went in 2006,07,and it was much shorter. It guess it’s like how Sonisphere is now.
Back to the task at hand, post Bloodstock. What’s the plan?
James: I think we’re going to drop a new music video, or a live video, or both along with the new album, which drops the same day we play Bloodstock. Kev, what else have we got?
Kev: More writing, a tour maybe?
James: Yeah, I think we’re touring towards the latter half of the year, which should be sick! We’ve also got a show coming up in Islington with Invocation.
Kev: We’ve got Mammothfest as well.
James: Yeah Mammothfest, is going to be awesome.
Yeah, the line up for that one too is immense
James: You’ve got Martyr Defiled, Nexilva. I’m massively under selling it with just those two bands.
I remember when they released early bird tickets, and they were £15. Then early bird was over, and it had gone up to a whole £18
James: It’s a cheap ass festival, compared to all the good bands on offer. Its over two days as well, but its in a small venue. So it’s going to be loads of bands, and loads of people struggling to breath in a horrendously cramped environment. It’s going to be fantastic.
Like Tech fest then, come to think of it. What was it like to be band there in that heat?
James: It was like an incubator. I remember setting up and literally dripping in sweat. I’m a vocalist, I don’t have a lot to set up. But our poor drummer had to setup an entire kit, so before we’d even started, he was exhausted. Playing itself was like a very enjoyable heart attack.
Kev: You tended not to notice the heat too much, then you’d come off stage and be like ‘Holy crap, that was hot!’
James: I noticed the heat, if you look at the photos and videos that’s gone up since, you’ll notice I’m absolutely drenched in sweat. But saying that, Tech Fest was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever played.
Kev: Yeah, I’ll second that.
James: The thing is about Tech Fest, they stagger the stages, but they were right next to each other
Kev: It’s really clever, you get no clashes.
James: 5 minutes before we went on stage, the room was empty, I thought ‘Crap, we’re playing to no one’. Then the other band finished, and we walked out to a room full of people. It was awesome.
You mentioned a tour coming up, who would you like to see on that tour with you, defunct or otherwise?
Kev: For me it’s Erra, Within The Ruins, Black Dahlia Murder, Lamb Of God, Nile.
James: Lamb Of God during The Sacrament era, I’d love to tour with Killswitch during the Howard Jones days, Trivium as well, Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder.
So no Babymetal? Thoughts on this latest craze
Kev: I’ve skipped over it, and not listened to them yet.
James: I have mixed feelings about them. At first, I thought this is abomination, this is terrible, these two things should never be mixed together. Then I was at Sonisphere, and their parents were with them, rehearsing the dance moves backstage. It was fucking adorable. Dom Lawson of Metal Hammer just released this review of them, and legitimately loves them. His opinion on music is massively respected, so I thought OK, I’ll put my feelings aside and listen to them. You can’t say the music is bad, it’s some scary ass shit, but the music aside, the girls are a gimmick on top of it. I think it’ll have its time and die out, but they are very fun live, and I can’t fault them for that.
Kev: I can’t disagree with what people are doing, if people are enjoying it.
I hated them to begin with, that all changed at Sonisphere
James: That’s how it starts! I’ve heard die hard metalheads, who love Pantera and Slayer say ‘I fucking love Babymetal’, and I’m like What?’. They have a really big fan base, and not just people who find them fun and entertaining, people genuinely like them.
Kev: It’s the bands that are weird and break the mould who tend to excel.
James: And they are cute as hell.
Kev: Well yeah, there is that as well. (laughs)
In terms of underground though, any bands you think that deserves more hype?
James: I’ve said for a long time that Trigger The Bloodshed were massively underrated. They were a really cool English death metal band, who played main stage at Download and everything, and just as they were getting there, the drummer went off to play in Decapitated. They just kind of fizzled out after that.
Kev: Not saying they don’t get recognition, but I’d say Nexilva. We saw them at Les Fest and they absolutely blew my face off. Gaz (King) is so scary, how can those noises come out of a man that size!
James: Kev showed me one of his favourite bands, which is Within The Ruins. He showed me their album ‘Phenomena’ the other day, and its, well, phenomenal. (laughs)
Trial by combat time. You guys are in a fighting pit, weapon of choice, and who would emerge victorious?
James: No no, without a doubt, Moat would kick the crap out of him. All the band are physically intimidating, but Moat is a force unto himself. He’s a massive dude from Essex.
Kev: He has this attitude where he might snap at any moment.
James: I’ve seen him angry, and I would not like to fight him. If he genuinely wanted to destroy us, he’d snap us in half.
Kev: Weapon of choice though. Probably a sinister, contagious disease.
James: Wait, we can pick any weapon?
Kev: I guess so.
James: The I’d pick a giant death ray that instantly destroys the other 4 member of our band, and then of course I’d win. Actually, I have this sword next to me. I had a lodger who collected weapons, and left me this sword when he went to America. I’ve always wanted to use it, but I don’t want to go to prison. But to decapitate Kev would be brilliant (laughs).
Have you considered making sandwiches with said sword?
James: I consider the idea very strongly now you’ve suggested it, in fact, that’s what I’m going to do when this interview finishes. At Tech Fest, I used my ID to make all the sandwiches, I brought all the ingredients, but no knife. Seriously, I would cut all the tomatoes in half with it. I was even offered a knife after this, but I said ‘No, I’m sticking with this, it’s well effective’. So if you’ve got a spare citizens card lying around, and you need a sandwich, its well good for that.
Kev: My ID is a Machamp Pokémon card (laughs).
James: You can make a sandwich with that. This should be a thing now, where at festivals, everyone finds a new object to make sandwiches with.
Kev: I’ve got it. Another sandwich.. (laughs).
James: Thing is, you’d have to have another sandwich pre bought from the shop, and people will be l like ‘Why are you buying that?’, well, to make another sandwich of course. This area of sandwiches is for removed from sex, drugs and rock & roll, and to be fair, I’ve had some pretty awesome sandwiches, and some very terrible sex. (laughs).
That statement right there needs to go on your tombstone.
James: Yeah, that way, people will know that I ate well, and am not a virgin. What more do you need to convey than that? (laughs)
Anyway, back to the fighting pit, if you guys could all gang up on someone from history, who would it be?
Kev: Jeremy Kyle.
James: Now he’s said that, I kind of agree, I don’t think you can get a more despicable person.
Kev: Because he’s an asshole basically.
James: The problem with Jeremy Kyle, he has this whole show, which is under the facade of helping people. Yet all he does is yell at poor people.
Kev: Its disgusting, he gets loads of people on the show, yet only broadcasts the juicy ones, the kick offs
James: To make it even worse, he’ll shout at someone for an obvious thing they don’t need to go on TV for, like ‘Stop hitting your wife with a frying pan’ at which time, this pantomime audience will boo and cheer, like it’s not real life. He may as well be dressed as a panto dame or something, with a double ended horse as a camera man. (laughs)
Anything else you want to say?
James: Yeah, buy our album (Age of Sedation)..
I’ve heard it, there’s a riff in ‘Filth’ that made me pull the biggest lemon face..
James: Funny story behind that, Dan, who we’d only met for the first time at this point, played this joke riff on a stupidly downtuned 8 string guitar. We said ‘That’s going in and he said ‘no, I was only joking’ and thus the second breakdown of Filth was born. But yeah, buy our albums, see our shows, and play Bioshock infinite, as that’s where our name is from. Can I also go on record to say, I’ve also had bad sandwiches and good sex.