The Milton Keynes quintet are changing hip-hop and metal with their experimental sound. Vocalist Ben Marvin and bassist Josh Gurner get excited about their debut album due next year.
Your sound is so instant, aggressive and powerful. How do the songs originate?
Marvin: Sometimes we’ll have lyric ideas and other times the music comes first. Every song goes through a lot of changes and the final product is completely different from the way it started. We all vibe off each other’s ideas and everything seems to always work.
Do you sit somewhere between Meshuggah, Enter Shikari and Jay-Z and did that make it hard to get the right gigs in the early days?
Gurner: That’s actually a pretty good description, although we’ve got more love for the UK hip-hop and grime scene than the American hip-hop scene. Most of us have grown up in the metal scene, so when the friends we’d made found out about this new project, they were keen to get us on their bills and we were headlining our own shows pretty quickly. We love the UK metal scene, but do plan to surpass the boundaries of that genre.
Do you ever get mistaken for being American?
Marvin: As far as I’m aware that’s never happened. I think the music we’ve created is distinctively British. Specifically the clean guitar sound known as “Milton Cleans”. Being a British band is something we wear proudly.
How important is it for your lyrics to convey everyday concerns rather than just become slick, clever bragging rhymes?
Marvin: It is very important for us. Our overall message to people is to think more and also keep an open mind. Most of the mainstream rappers you hear these days have nothing to say about the things that matter. We want to make a change in the world. That is so much more satisfying to us than trying to outdo other rappers.
Where do you draw the line on experimentation?
Marvin: No one’s ever laughed at for ideas they bring to the table. We try to smash through any boundaries there may be in music but at the same time there’s obviously certain things we’ll never do. We’re writing our debut album and we’re pushing our music even more.