Bradford’s Ironrat have made a name for themselves in their native Bradford. With hard rock, regular gigging, practising and having some killer groove to boot, they’ve become one of Bradford’s best exports. Speaking to the band before their trip to Bloodstock, we talked about their origins, the scene in Bradford, their debut Monument, Bloodstock, the stoner scene and what comes after that.
Jack: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?
Ironrat: No problem Jack, sorry for the late reply! We’re all good here thanks, hope you’re doing well too!
Jack: How did Ironrat form?
Ironrat: Ironrat formed after a conversation between Wayne and Martin over the Metallica Death Magnetic album on the day it was released. We realised none of us were in a band at that time, so we arranged a jam and it all started from there.
Jack: What’s the scene like in Bradford?
Ironrat: The Bradford scene is great. There are so many cool bands around and plenty of different musical styles, from metal to blues and country – Monolith Cult, Lazarus Blackstar, Hollow Earth, Total War, Black Falcon, Hoodoo Operators, Valafar, Pyschlona, to name but a few.
Jack: What bands are your biggest influences?
Ironrat: There are no particular bands that influence us more than any others but we all grew up listening to Metallica, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Maiden etc. We actually draw inspiration from a wide variety of musical styles – blues, prog, country, hip hop, funk – you name it, somebody in the band is probably into it!
Jack: What makes playing stoner rock great?
Ironrat: We wouldn’t exactly describe ourselves as “stoner rock” but what is great about that style is the looseness and freedom within that music. And the vibe is always cool, we like a good groove.
Jack: Do you think Bradford itself has influenced you?
Ironrat: Bradford has definitely influenced us, both musically and lyrically – everyone is a product of their environment – which is probably why our sound is becoming darker! [Laughs]
Jack: What makes the band’s chemistry work?
Ironrat: The band’s chemistry comes from just knowing each other really well – Martin, Wayne and Chris have all known each other since school and Stuart and Gordon are coming from the same place musically – we just have the same instincts and drive when it comes to writing.
Jack: Monument has been out for two years, looking back are you happy with the response?
Ironrat: The response to Monument was pretty good, although we’re moving in a slightly darker direction now (sound wise).
Jack: Is there a concept to the album?
Ironrat: There was no concept for the album, it was more like a way of showing a back catalogue of well-gigged material prior to starting work on a new production.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Ironrat: The recording process was LONG man! [Laughs] We were pretty naive really, having not recorded an album before. We made a lot of mistakes, which were very time consuming to rectify! All part of the learning process though, we should do it a lot quicker next time. Although with us, ya never know….
Jack: Would you change anything about the album?
Ironrat: We would change a lot of what we did on Monument if we were to do it again but it was from a point in time and we’re way beyond that now, so we look forward to pushing our personal boundaries on the next album.
Jack: You’re playing Bloodstock, how excited are you to open the Sophie Lancaster stage?
Ironrat: We’re beyond excited to be playing Bloodstock and to open the Sophie Lancaster stage, it is such a huge honour!
Jack: Have you been to the festival before?
Ironrat: We haven’t been to the festival before but we can’t wait for it!
Jack: What are you most looking forward to about playing the festival?
Ironrat: The whole Bloodstock experience is something we’re all looking forward to but also really looking forward to seeing our friends Morass Of Molasses (so stoked to be sharing the Sophie stage with them) and Hoofknuckle on the new blood stage – both great, great bands.
Jack: Would you say the stoner/sludge/doom is getting bigger or is it just getting more connected?
Ironrat: The stoner/sludge/doom scene does seem to be slowly getting bigger but it feels like it’s just creeping up on people, rather than exploding as a new craze.
Jack: You’re also playing HRH with Alestorm and Elvenking in Febraury. Do you prefer indoor festivals?
Ironrat: Couldn’t really say we prefer indoor or outdoor, as long as we get to play, we don’t mind!
Jack: What else is coming up for the band?
Ironrat: We have some cool shows coming up – Mosh Against Cancer Derby in September, a hometown show in November with Morass Of Molasses and Sound Of Origin, a kickass all dayer for United In Fuzz promotions in December, then HRH in February. We’ve got a new single and video in the the works as well.
Jack: Finally, what is the best stoner album of all time?
Ironrat: Deliverance by Corrosion Of Conformity, hands down. No question. Only Down‘s Nola comes close.
Jack: Thank you so much for your time!
Ironrat: No worries man, thanks for taking the time to talk to us!