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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Interview: The Bendal Interlude


On April 1st, The Bendal Interlude released their latest album Reign Of The Unblinking Eye. DutchMetalManiac's Frank van Drunen already reviewed it (read here) and now it's time for him to ask some questions to The Bendal Interlude.

Thanks for having this interview! For the people who haven’t heard of you yet; can you tell us a bit about yourselves? Who are you guys and what would you describe your music as?

We are Stu, Nat, Dave, Tommy. We started The Bendal Interlude 13 years ago, Valantines Day actually, pretty romantic, ey!

The music style has always been hard to place, it’s somewhere within the Stoner Metal, Sludge bracket but with Thrashy parts here and there, and slow, dynamic Psych parts thrown in.

The Bendal Interlude seems an interesting name. What is the story behind your band’s name?

Stu: Me and Dave used to look after an old lady when we worked together in the Hospitals. She had quite an affect on us but sadly died. We took Bendal from her name as a sort of tribute, and Interlude, which has a few different meanings actually fitted quite well.

You seem to have digressed a lot from your style on the first releases, with way more power, grunting and screaming on the new release. Was that a conscious decision?

Nat : Vocal-wise, it's only ever really been 2010's self titled Ep that deviated from the screamy/growly approach. I experimented with a more typical stoner delivery and a softer tone. While this seemed popular with reviewers and promoters, it never sat right with me and I find it a bit cringey to listen to. For me, the vocals aren't a lead instrument in Bendal. They are there to add extra rhythm and tone.

In the UK, a lot of vocalists (whether they be rock, hip hop etc) have a tendancy to affect an American accent as this is what they've grown up listening to. You get a lot of UK stoner vocalists sounding like they're driving a fast car through the desert whilst necking whisky and smoking a bong. Whereas, they're really sitting on a bus meandering through a labyrinth of grey whilst sipping a Rubicon and making a rollie.

You seem to fall into a peculiar kind of genre; heavy laden with melodic riffs reminiscent of American bluesrock but with a huge dose of balls-to-the-wall metal. What was the appeal for you as a band to this genre?

Stu: We’re all fans of Blues and that Southern American, NOLA thing, but were influenced by Metal mainly, as young players anyway. It’s the heavy groove from the likes of early Sepultura, White Zombie, Pantera which really did it for us. I suppose the music is a good mix of the two.

Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for the new album Reign of the Unblinking Eye?

Nat : It was a dream of Dave's (drums) to use his Yamaha 8-track tape recorder in our practice space to capture his desired drum sound. So, against the advice of engineer friends, this is what we did, and it worked a treat.

We then recorded all of the drums from the tape machine on to Logic with our friend Trippy at Toxdeth Studios. Tommy laid down his bass in one session and then waited patiently as Stu and I spent months recording our parts, moving sessions between our practice room, Toxdeth Studios and Stu's house.

Once we were happy with everything, we spent 3 days with Chris Fielding (Conan) in Skyhammer Studios editing and mixing. Then it was sent off to James Plotkin for mastering.

All in all, a fairly convoluted and lengthy process, but we're chuffed with the results.

What is on the horizon for The Bendal Interlude in the near future?

Nat: We have our first full length album coming out on 1st April through Black Bow Records. Then we head out on a UK tour with Conan for a couple of weeks, with plans to head over to mainland Europe later in the year.

Would you like to say something to our readers?

Yes. Grab yourself a copy of our album and get yourself to one of our shows. Oh, cheers for reading!

Thanks for the interview!

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