Morning Metal: Interview with Unleash the Archers

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Unleash The Archers

With very few symphonic death metal bands in Canada – Unleash the Archers was incredibly refreshing. So first off, thank you for providing myself and the rest of Canada with that.

Brittney: You’re welcome!  We do seem to love our death metal up here, don’t we? 😉

Let’s talk about Behold The Devastation, Demons of the Astrowaste and the most recent, Defy The Skies in terms of your progression as musicians.

How do you feel you’ve grown from Behold The Devastation up till now?

Brittney: To start, we’ve had a couple line-up changes since ‘Behold…’ so that definitely plays a part in the development of our sound.  Brayden was always the main riff writer so that really ties those three records together, but we had our old guitar player Mike contributing on ‘Behold…’ and our new guitar player Grant contributing on ‘Defy…’ so you can see a huge difference between those two.  We have settled into a more cohesive sound, a little less genre-bending going on these days, but still that same mix of melodic/power/death.  The new record saw the departure of Brayden and the addition of Andrew, who has confidently taken the helm as writer for UTA, so further growth in our sound can be attributed to him as well.  We have all matured as well; we know our strengths better, we do a little less playing around just for the sake of it and really focus on fun, catchy song structure.  This new record is going to be our best one yet, and I really can’t wait to share it with everyone!

I find it perfect that Britteny Slayes does indeed, slay. You got some pipes on you, madam!When it comes to female vocalists in metal, I am glad ladies like you set the bar as high as you do.

Who do you look up to as a frontman?

Brittney: Thank you  I have many influences but the main ones are Bruce Dickinson, Daniel Heiman, Geoff Tate, Matt Barlow, Rob Halford and Jonas Heidgert.  I don’t find much inspiration with female vocalists but I think Floor Jansen rocks, and Alissa White-Gluz just totally kills it 🙂

You recently got off the “Apocalyptour” through North America – how was the tour?

Brittney: The tour went amazingly well!  We played a lot of places we hadn’t been yet and definitely made some new fans.  We experienced every single range of weather there is as well, from +40° Celsius in Mexico to -40° crazy snowstorm in Alberta… We fricken loved it though!

Who’d you tour with?

Brittney: Just ourselves!  It was a headlining tour.  Super fun band time!  We did do the 4 Alberta dates with our good friends The Order Of Chaos though, because they are absolutely phenomenal and we love them

Did you guys explore?

Brittney: We didn’t get to see too much unfortunately, we had a pretty rigorous show schedule, but we did get two days off in Los Cabos so we did the tourist thing there  Drank some beers on the beach and took a glass-bottomed boat to that famous rock arch thing; it was awesome!

When are we going to hear some new Unleash the Archers? I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting.

Brittney: Haha well we have recently sold our souls to Satan so he now determines when we get to release, but we’re thinking it will be late Spring 2015 😉  We should have a new music video and single out in January ish though!

Are there any more tours in the works? We’d love to have you over here in Ontario!

Brittney: Of course!  UTA loves the road; we are always looking to get back out there.  We will be touring in support of the new album this summer so we’ll definitely be hitting up the east in both Canada and the US.  There is nothing solid booked right now but it will happen so you can count on that!

Who is your main influence as a musician to your respective instrument?

Brittney: Daniel Heiman!  Have you heard Lost Horizon?!  Now that guy slays for real… I listen to them all the time trying to perfect his technique 😉

Scott: For the album we just started writing, I’m gonna go for more of a Blake from BTBAM kinda vibe.

Grant: Paul Gilbert and Kiko Loureiro for guitar. Jeff Walker and Chuck Shuldiner for vocals.

Andrew: As of late probably Jeff Loomis and Guthrie Govan, but it always changes as I hear new players!

Kyle: I like the intense pick attack of Glen Benton. But I also like Matt Sinner cause he’s got great tone and plays perfectly for the song.

Unleash the Archers has just been announced as the main headliner on your dream tour.

Who is opening for you?

Brittney: Opening for us?!  I would say my dream tour would be to open for Iron Maiden, because you just can’t beat them, and having to go onstage after them would be impossible!

Scott: I don’t know about opening for us, but I’ve always wanted to open for Danzig. I remember reading about Skeletonwitch getting to tour with him and meet him and it sounded pretty awesome.

Grant: I’d love to do a Canadian assault on Europe alongside Striker and Crimson Shadows. Iced Earth, Hibria, and of course Maiden would be a dream tour.

Andrew: Definately Maiden, but I would really love to tour with Edguy or Helloween!

Kyle: Tough question. I really don’t know who would open for us, but if we were to open for someone, I’d say Iced Earth.

Let’s have some fun;

Favourite drink?

Brittney: Chocolate milk, but I so rarely get to drink it because its bad for my vocals chords 😉 ha!

Scott: IPAs and Espresso Stouts

Grant: Same as Scott and Andrew on the beer selection; a nice coffee stout, mmmm.

Andrew: Dark beer. Stouts and Porters.

Kyle: Gin and ginger. Tropicana OJ.

Favourite food on tour?

Brittney: The C-Boost smoothie from Bolthouse Farms! it helps keep my immune system top notch!

Scott: Tacos.

Grant: Home cooked feast!!

Andrew: Gas station food and chain smoking. But really anything.

Kyle: In and Out Burger when we’re in the Western USA… I’ll eat just about anything though.

Favourite place to play?

Brittney: Edmonton! always a good time and such great people there.

Scott: Edmonton is always killer.

Grant: Everywhere and anywhere!

Andrew: Edmonton fo sho.

Kyle: Hmmm, Edmonton show was killer on the Apocalyptour… But I really loved playing in the Baja, the people were awesome.

Name a musician you’d love to see get slapped.

Brittney: Easy. Justin Bieber.

Scott: I’d like to slap Grant from our band… slap him a high five that is 😉

Grant: Bruised Chickenskin.

Andrew: Lil Wayne.

Kyle: Angus Young, Mick Jaggar or Lars Ulrich! hahaha

Favourite tour show/story?

Brittney: Haha, my favourite would have to be when we had a day off in Fredericton, and we were all walking through the parking lot to go into a mall.  In our usual fashion we were all five of us in black, from head to toe, and walking five abreast taking up most of the lot.  This truck drives by us, speeding ridiculously for a parking lot, obviously trying to intimidate us or something.  Then they turn around, come screeching back up behind us, and as they pass some dumbell in the passengers seat yells out ‘Freaks!’  Hahahaha I laughed so hard, I honestly felt like I was in some high school movie about the outcast kids that decide to blow up the mall or something hahaha it was just priceless. What idiots 😉

Worst tour show/story?

Brittney: Worst?  We’ve had pretty good luck on the road, but I think the worst was when our engine seized in Nova Scotia, and we had to spend 5 days in a motel in this tiny little town called Amherst.  It was like purgatory, we often joked that if we tried to leave the motel room we’d just end up walking back into it, like an episode out of twilight zone hahaha.  We missed quite a few shows, but the second the van was fixed we were out of there and back on the road again!

Where can newer fans pick up some merchandise to rock at your concerts?

Brittney: We currently have no money thus we have no merchandise, but we will be saving our dollars and printing stuff for the CD release in Spring.  We always put everything up on our website in the merchandisesection:

2015 is right around the corner – what can we expect from Unleash the Archers in the New Year?

Brittney: 2015 is going to bring a lot of exciting things for UTA; new album, new music videos, tours to new places… We are ready to unleash this new record on everyone and we think it will be very well received 😉  It took a while to finish but we wanted it to be perfect and we think it will be very much worth the wait!

Thanks so much for reaching out James!  Hopefully we’ll see you on the road in 2015!  \m/

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James Rockso – Host of CKCU 93.1 FM’s Morning MetalMusic Publicist at Dark Matter Relations