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 Balls Deep Interview - Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014

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PostBalls Deep Interview - Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014

Balls Deep Interview
Bloodstock Open Air Festival 7th-10th August 2014

It's hard to believe that the last time I saw Balls Deep was at Rock & Metal Circus Festival a year ago, it has gone so quickly. This meeting might not have happened either but when 'Phil Campbell's All Star Band' had to cancel their appearance at Bloodstock Festival, all the bands on the opening Thursday night were moved up one space and Balls Deep were given the fabulous opportunity to open the Festival on the Sophie Lancaster Stage. They grabbed this opportunity by the short and curlies and blasted the large assembled crowd into submission with a thumping, trip hammer heavy set. Anyone hoping for a slow, gentle ease in to the best Metal Festival in the UK was rudely awakened. This band don't do slow and gentle, as their tag line states they are 'Aggressive, Not Progressive' and they go, well... 'balls deep'!

In-between my stage hopping I had the pleasure of meeting up with them on the Friday for a chat to find out what's been happening in the world of BD!

Rick: So, it's a year since I met you and we last spoke. That was a great interview. Can you tell me what you've been up to since then?

Balls Deep: Yeah, we really enjoyed it. We've just been touring the album really!

Rick: Is the album still selling well (It's entitled 'A Thousand Nights' and here is the link to my review
(Click Here)

Balls Deep: Yeah, it is and Facebook is still going great. We're still getting plenty of hits every day so that's all good. Been touring and gigging loads.

Rick: You did 'Out Of The Ashes Festival' didn't you?

Balls Deep: Yeah, Yeah!

Rick: How was that?

Balls Deep: Yeah, it was great, really good, we had a great time. We were on the little core stage and it fucking blew up, it was nuts! We've had a couple of drummer changes and stand ins that has delayed things a little bit though!

Rick: Ok, why has that happened?

Balls Deep: Rob, the original drummer decided, you know, he needed to step out of it, just for a little while, so he did. We got Tim who is like our main stand in but he couldn't do Bloodstock, so we got another!

Rick: He was bloody good last night!

Balls Deep: Oh yeah, that's after three practices! Fucking yeah, he's really got it sorted!

Rick: You were all great last night, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Balls Deep: So did we thanks! We've done that so that has sort of delayed the writing process a bit but we hit the studio in 3-4 weeks (by the time you read this they should be there)

Rick: So you're starting on a new album?

Balls Deep: Well we're just going to do two tracks. They will both be on the new album, but we're not doing an EP, we are doing these as two videos and then they'll obviously feed us through to when we record the new album. Hopefully, if all goes to plan we will hit the studio to do the album in the Spring and it will be released around this time next year (August)! So we're all planned out as long as everything goes to plan (laughs)

Rick: That's excellent! What was it like opening up the festival yesterday because that was a pretty good crowd?

Balls Deep: Fucking Amazing, hell yeah!

Rick: You got a great reception for first band on!

Balls Deep: Yeah, it was great. I mean before we even walked out...all the Balls Deep chanting and it's just wow! It's hard to take in you know. Even after we came off stage it was like 'Has that just fucking happened'...and all the photos!

Rick: Well it's two years since I was last here but I'm noticing how every time you come back it's all getting slightly bigger isn't it? The sound was great as well!

Balls Deep: Yeah, You know it can go one of two ways. You can have a bad gig and that can be it, but we just seemed to drop on it. Last year we played here on the Jagermeister stage (Bloodstock's smallest stage that used to be purely acoustic but is gradually being used more for full band sets) and that blew up and you know the response was fucking amazing on a little stage! Last year we couldn't have gone on a better stage!

Rick: It's a great little stage to ply your trade isn't it?

Balls Deep: Yeah, to put yourself out there. It was easier to get noticed on that stage because you're on in the gaps you're not being overshadowed by the other bands on the bigger stages so that worked really well for us and then we get invited to play the fucking Sophie Stage!

Rick: It was quite late that you got announced to play wasn't it?

Balls Deep: Yeah it was only about two and a half weeks ago we got asked!

Rick: When I saw it I was like, wow, I'm well chuffed now! How did that come about so late in the day? Was it down to 'El Manageress' (the lovely Angel Merry of FATangel Management, link below, looks after Balls Deep and if I didn't say how lovely she is I would get a clout round the ear next time I saw her!!)

Balls Deep: Well sort of, it kind of was. We've always had contact with Simon (Hall) (who puts on the bands for the Jagermeister, New Blood and Sophie Stages). We speak about stuff and Bloodstock and he said this year probably wouldn't be happening for us and then out of the blue Phil Campbell's band pulled out, so they moved everyone else up the roster and chucked us on first. Simon just phoned us up and was just like 'do you want to play'!!

Rick: Simon does a bloody good job doesn't he? Of course being on the Thursday the Sophie stage is the only one running so it's perfect because you're not clashing with anybody else and you've got everyone's attention?

Balls Deep: Yeah, and really everybody was there, no one left! It's always a bonus, I mean we had people standing outside the marquee!

Rick: Yes you did, and I was watching what others were doing and they weren't leaving!

Balls Deep: Fucking hell, it was awesome wasn't it because you wonder if people are just gonna come in and then wander off and I didn't see anyone leave that came in!

Rick: I just loved the chanting as well!

Balls Deep: And it got louder and louder every time!

Rick: I think it's a great stage and there are some cracking bands on it this year!

Balls Deep: Oh yeah, I mean Hell Yeah, when are you ever going to see Hell Yeah in like a better situation?

Rick: It's not a small stage but it is fairly intimate in there isn't it?

Balls Deep: Compared to the main stage yes, it's gonna be awesome!

Rick: So you’ve already mentioned you're going into the studio for the album sort of March time and you're gonna do two songs preceding it? Have thingschanged or is there a musical progression?

Balls Deep: Yeah, it's still going to sound like us but that little bit further on. Having a different drummer almost automatically changes you. I wouldn't say we've particularly changed because we just write what we like and what we like is what we've recorded beforehand, but yeah I think we are working hard to make a slight progression on what was done you know?

Rick: And of course the longer you're together the more you're in tune with one another anyway!

Balls Deep: Yeah and with the last album 'Swampi' (Balls Deep bassist Roy Beetham) came in half way through the writing process so that sort of changed the album a bit. With this one he's involved from the start so we've got quite a few factors that will make this album a little different! We're going back to Prism Studios in Stoke, where we did the first album, to record the two tracks. Whether that leads to the whole album being recorded there we've yet to see but I can't see us going anywhere else!

Rick: You like it there?

Balls Deep: We're pretty comfortable there. Shaun Lowe (Producer) knows what we like, he gets us. What we are aiming for is to do the second album there because we are comfortable and we know it works, then with the third album shake it up a bit, go somewhere else and get a different stand on things!

Rick: I think it's good to be able to think like this and be planned ahead!

Balls Deep: You've got to be able to think like this and plan this way so you can have things to look forward to. So I think we can get away with two albums being sort of similar. People may only just be getting into us so you don't want to change things too much so give them what they want and the third album can be shaken up a bit and taken further. We'll see what happens!

Rick: And how are you looking for gigs the rest of the year?

Balls Deep: Steady, we’re not hectic we’re just nice, one or two a month you know?

Rick: That’s alright isn’t it?

Balls Deep: While we’re writing then yes. I was gonna say we’re just really trying to write because with having the drummer changes and stuff like that, that really just kind of put a stop to the writing so we need to get a crack on with now! Yeah, but the gigs we’ve already booked we’re keeping to. A few good ones have come our way, playing with Incinery in Nottingham for instance. You can't say no to stuff like that.!

Rick: No of course you can't, they are a great band.

Balls Deep: You can't turn down good shows can you? So you know we’ll just try and fit everything in. Whether we are out there gigging or not we're going to be busy!

Rick: That’s fantastic and of course if you can do stuff like Bloodstock then it opens you up to a new audience all the time doesn't it?

Balls Deep: Definitely yeah. hopefully there will be some new fans from yesterday. From the response we got and the fact people have been coming up to us in the arena and asking if we have T-Shirts and CD's!

Note: At this point we had a long conversation, as fans of music, about the cancellation of Alt-Fest which was due to be taking place the weekend after Bloodstock and which I was also meant to be covering for Brutiful. The way in which the event was cancelled and the manner in which some people were treated created a fair amount of heated discussion on Social Media, but, as the dust has started to settle, I've decided to not publish this part of the interview. Balls Deep weren't actually due to play that festival, and had they been I would have included it, but enough has been said elsewhere to not drag everything up again. However, it did start us talking about the origins of Bloodstock which started as an indoor one day event in 2001.

Rick: You have to start small don't you?

Balls Deep: Fucking hell yeah, I mean this started from...nothing

Rick: But they've done it the right way haven't they. Started small and look where it's at now!

Balls Deep: Yeah, bit by bit. You know two of us have played Bloodstock in the early days with other bands and since then it's fucking grown immensely, and I mean even from last year to this year. We have noticed the difference, especially on the camp sites!

Rick: Well this particular area is much bigger this year isn't it

Balls Deep: Last year, we virtually camped exactly where we are now. We had a bit of space around us sort of out the way. Then we get there this time and it was like we couldn't fit it in. we were angling the tent round to fucking get it in. So the difference is immense.

Rick: This is still my favourite weekend of the year I think. I love the atmosphere here!

Balls Deep: Yeah, we love this festival. Don't think anything could make it better. It's perfect, the size. They don't need to try and make it better do they? Bands are perfect. They cater for smaller bands like us and then bands we've looked up to all our lives! And you know it's all in a sensible space as well!

Rick: There is no distance to walk to anything here is there? It's not like Download where you're fifteen minutes away from something!

Balls Deep: Exactly, and in here you’ll be able to see like other bands knocking around the place like you know you'll see the guys from Bull-Riff Stampede walking around the arena. Well, we’re watching Phil Anselmo (Down were headlining the main stage on the Friday) in a bit we’ve got a meet and greet with him. It's just like wow, what the fuck, where else are you gonna be able to do this?

Rick: Well that's something you've got to be looking forward to?

Balls Deep: Oh yeah, and we're meeting Vinny tomorrow! (Hell Yeah were headlining the Sophie stage on the Saturday)

Rick: Bloody fantastic!

Balls Deep: People that you've idolised and you're!

Rick: Well, to finish off I was going to ask you what you were looking forward to for the rest of the weekend, but you've basically answered that!

Balls Deep: Phil Anselmo!! Also Hatebreed, Biohazard, Resin and loads of the little bands you know? Finding little bands!

Rick: Well you know I love to focus on the smaller, unsigned and independent bands and there are so many on!

Balls Deep: Yeah, yeah there are fucking loads!

Rick: I don't have to bother with the main stage! I mean there are obviously bands I want to see but there is so much to choose from!

Balls Deep: This is the best place for smaller bands. It's so nice to play a festival like that. Last night playing with Gehtika and Incinery, people we're dead good mates with already.

Rick: That was a great little lineup last night wasn't it?

Balls Deep: Yeah, that's like our mates straight after us in both bands. It's just like fucking hell, we all know each other!

Rick: And Monument are a great band and Jaldaboath are just hilarious!

Balls Deep: Yeah! (Laughs)

Rick: You couldn't have asked for a better evening to kick things off. I Loved it!

Balls Deep: Best weekend we've had! Bloodstock all the way!

Rick: Thanks guys, it's lovely to see you again!

Balls Deep: And you!

That's where we wrapped the interview up. We chatted on for a bit longer about anything and everything and then the guys had to be off to their next interview, but not before I had purchased my very own Balls Deep T-Shirt!
They are a wonderful, friendly bunch of guys that know it's not all about the money! There is no money, or very little, around for a band of their size, it's the thrill of playing, and to open up a Festival of this size meant an awful lot to them!
If you get the chance to see them live then please do so because the energy they put into their performances is second to none. For those that cannot go and listen to and buy the debut album. It's a great listen and I am really looking forward to the two new videos and subsequent second album next year!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:
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