Mordrake are a Dark Melodic Metal band formed in Bristol in 2012 and have since gone on to support many mighty acts including Exodus, Akercocke, Evil Scarecrow and Cambion. In 2016 I got a chance to talk to the band about their origins, influences, Bloodstock festival and the UK music scene.
Jack: Hi, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?
Mordrake: Very well thank you.
Jack: Mordrake formed in 2012, how did you all meet?
Mordrake: James, Chris and Squire all met at Bristol Institute of Modern Music studying on the same University course due to a what we refer to as a “speed dating event” in the first week. Gordon was introduced into the band later on being an old friend of James’.
Jack: The band has been described as ‘darkened melodius metal, what bands are your main influences?
Mordrake: Wintersun, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Pantera, Feared, Behemoth.
Jack: I detect a strong Pantera influence with the vocals, how important are Pantera to the band?
Mordrake: It’s funny how often Pantera come up as a “main influence” on the band with songs such as ‘Rumours Myths and Legends’ but vocally they actual have no impact whatsoever. They are more of an influence on individuals then the bands music itself.
Jack: What is the best Pantera album?
Mordrake: Far Beyond Driven. It’s just got ALL the groove going on there.
Jack: As a band you’re from Bristol, what’s the scene like in Bristol?
Mordrake: The scene in Bristol is great. There are so many gigs and bands around now that its rare that you’d be left on a weekend and nothing to do. Mid week is just as busy it just takes a bit more on the promotion side of things to get people out to fill a venue. The Bristolians are dedicated music fans and you’ll always find the regulars at the front.
Jack: What up and coming bands are you a fan of?
Mordrake: Hollow (Canada) have really caught our attention, they also happened to have an album called “Mordrake.” Oakhaart are good friends of ours and on the same management (Enso Music Management) They keep getting better and better with amazing technical ability and groove in their music. Cambion who are also on the same management and playing the main stage at Bloodstock this year.
Jack: What was supporting Exodus like?
Mordrake: It was an absolute blast, the guys were great and the crowd was incredible, packed out from the very start. Big shout out to Lost Society from Finland who were the tour support.
Jack: You’re playing Bloodstock on the New Blood Stage, how excited are you to play the festival?
Mordrake: Well you certainly won’t be seeing us looking miserable at all over the weekend. Its been a dream for a long time, being massive fans of the festival and everything it does and stands for its an absolute pleasure to be able to play this year. And hopefully we will be able to come back and play different stages in later years.
Jack: Have you ever been to the festival before?
Mordrake: All but one member has been on multiple occasions, James holds the record at seven times.
Jack: The Metal to the Masses competition has been criticised for diving the scene and causing competition instead of unity. What are your thoughts on this?
Mordrake: Our second ever gig was in a M2TM first heat and we went on to play in the final. We have no problems with it whatsoever, at the end of the day it is bringing unsigned bands to Bloodstock and there are people like Simon Hall who travel all over the country and now even further to give this opportunity to bands that might not be so well known.
Jack: You’re also playing Beermageddon Festival this year, will you approach Beermageddon different to Bloodstock?
Mordrake: We have a longer set at Beermageddon so that will really be the only change, we approach every gig the same and that is to put on the best possible show that we can and just enjoy it.
Jack: This year we’ve lost Hevy, Temples and ATP fest while Wildfire (formerly Les Fest) had to be saved with crowd-funding. Are there too many festivals?
Mordrake: No not at all, it all comes down to money. If there wasn’t festivals there wouldn’t be as much exposure for bands. It is very unfortunate what has happened with festivals such as Temples, all these people put their lives into the events and when everything costs so much there’s nothing you can do, if only money grew on trees.
Jack: You’re touring with King Goat in September, what do you like about King Goat?
Mordrake: Brilliant stage show, brilliant music, brilliant image and they are lovely guys. Really looking forward to the tour. Also the use of incense while playing, you know a tour with these guys is going to smell better then most!
Jack: What is the best thing about touring?
Mordrake: The feeling of being on the road, heading somewhere new, somewhere you’ve been before and know its going to be a great show. The live show is what Mordrake is all about.
Jack: As a band you use Artistecard. Why do you use Artistecard instead of another site like Bandcamp or Soundcloud?
Mordrake: We actually have all three, we try to use as much online presence as we can so we have many accounts for many many things, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud etc.
Jack: What plans do you have coming up after the King Goat tour?
Mordrake: We have Fire and Forge Fest Rock Diabetes in October and then its promoting the new album Guardians of the Hollow.
Jack: Finally, what is your favourite rum? Mine is Kraken Rum.
Mordrake: Our favourite rum would have to be Old J Spiced Rum, however we do love some Captain Morgan’s and Kraken.