After loading Bovine‘s debut release, “The Sun Never Sets on The British Empire” out of curiosity on my iPhone I was absolutely blown away by the quality and emotion the boys from Birmingham brought to the release. I was lucky enough to catch up with Bovine and we chatted about the new release, touring, and I demonstrated my ability again not to be able to understand what people are telling me.

Welcome guys and thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Is anyone a football fan because we are missing the big game right now, hope that’s ok.

Marcus: You’re welcome thanks for doing the interview. One of is a footy fan.

Damon: I am and I got the game on here.

Don’t hold it against me but I am an Arsenal fan…

Damon: {audible groan followed by laughter}

So anyway how did Bovine come into existence

Marcus: We all played in a few different bands in the area. It just sort of happened, we started jamming together. It really started with Damon and myself then we brought in Chris on bass. Finally we brought Tom in on guitar. Everyone seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

I have to ask, where did the name Bovine come from. I have long held that metal bands need to stay away from any medical dictionaries.

Marcus: {laughter} I used to work in a butcher shop and based on that experience I couldn’t bring myself to eat anymore. People ask me why I’m a vegetarian everyday, so the subject is always on my mind and I rather liked the word bovine, so there’s no magic there.

So the release is finished and its making its way around the press how do you feel about it.

Marcus: Quite surprised we really didn’t think that many people would be into it. You don’t know what to expect from a record until it comes out the other side and so far the support has been amazing.

Chris: I am surprised as well, mainstream music is quite different from ours and we really didn’t expect everything that’s happened. Onward!

Where do you guys get your influences from?

Chris: Mid 90’s hardcore and metalcore and a variety of other things. For me I try to give my own interpretation of this music I grew up with. We do what we feel is necessary musically. We all like the bands Baroness and Queens of the Stone Age, but there are a myriad of others thrown in there. At the drive in, Oxbow, even the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa.

Tom: I am a huge KISS and Journey fan.

Tom I have to tell you that I admire Neil Schon quite a bit, I mean look at his playing in Santana and then Journey its brilliant. However, if I have to listen to Steve Perry’s voice it will be to soon. I am a huge fan of KISS they got me into metal.

Tom: Right on. {followed by laughter at my mention of Perry’s vocals}

Marcus: Prog is a word that opens a huge can of worms, we are into loads of those bands but what we have mentioned really influenced us.

Damon: I dig a variety I will go from Deftones to Foals.

My son digs the band Foals as well. He goes from Foals to Sunn o))) to Sleep.

Damon: Maybe when he gets a band he will show some major diversity.

Damon, I agree if I could just get him to jam with other people. Who writes most of the songs and where do you get your lyrical inspiration.

Marcus: I write most of the lyrics and I really just get inspiration from day to day stuff that happens around here. If I have a beef with someone or something I usually write a song about it. I’m not a poet and I don’t try to be too big for my boots, so it’s generally, all the shit that goes on in the world, from my point of view, put into a song.

Where Did you Get the title of the release, The Sun Never Sets on The British Empire?

Marcus: Its kind of got an overall war theme to it. When you see the Joe Bloggs that goes to work 9-5 and has no real idea of what kind of stuff goes on in the world every day. So its kind of a theme to people just going on oblivious to the things around them thinking they are immortal.

Which tracks are you most proud of?

Marcus: ‘Thank Fuck I Aint You’.

Tom: ‘Ghost Chair’.

Chris: ‘Military Wife’.

Marcus: Little known fact is that the album was recorded and the pressing was done even before Tom joined the band.

So Tom you came in after it was all finished is that right?

Tom: Yeah I did, it was a done deal. They really felt that they needed a second guitar to really maximize the sound live. We all kind of knew each other anyway so it was just a good fit.

Marcus: That is actually Tom on the cover and he was on the cover before he was ever in the band.

So Tom, have you made any changes to the guitar parts from the completed album.

Tom: I have made some changes for the live shows but have really tried to keep things the same. When I was learning the material, Marcus would stop and say this is how I played it and I would add what I thought would improve it but really tried to keep it loyal to the recording as much as possible.

Who does those vocals, on your bio it lists that three of you do vocals?

Marcus: I am really the front man and handle most of the vocals. Chris will do some occasional yelps and Tom really helps out on the harmonies. Where it makes sense and helps a song Tom and Chris will come in but most of the time its me.

Are you concerned about live translation of your music, you guys have a rich complex sound on the album is this a concern?

Marcus: With any live show you are really in the hands of the sound engineer so we always hope things sound great to the audience. It always seems to work well. We understand the sound guys importance so we always making sure we stay on their good side.

Tom: We like to open with ‘Ghost Chair’ and people are really surprised by how heavy it sounds live, its just a great opener and introduction to just how heavy we can be.

Do you suffer victim to sound people tweaking your sound especially turning down instruments and vocals. I remember a band called Gaza got treated poorly one night and it was to bad they were an awesome band.

Marcus: Gaza are really cool! I’ve been digging that band for a while now, too bad they broke up. You should check out Bird Eater too.

Chris: We thankfully have not had that problem before. I think we do a good job of staying on the good side of the sound people our experience has been that they really try to take care of us.

I forgot to and really have to ask Damon who his influences are as drummer?

Damon: Dave Grohl hands down. I like the work of Matt Cameron buts its really Grohl for me. It may be a lot different from other people’s influences but I think he really gets a deep dynamic out of his playing. You will never hear me doing double kicks in my playing.

Now that you mention it, I can’t recall hearing any double kick stuff at all.

Damon: Yeah, for one, I cant do it and I really don’t hear it in our sound anyway.

I know that you have a release show coming up soon what’s next after that?

Marcus: We are going to be doing a short UK tour in about 7 days. We are going to start off in London and then end up in Birmingham where we are from. Those home shows usually sell out and they are a great way to close the tour out.

Is this a DIY yourself kind of tour?

Marcus: Yeah at this stage we are still alone, but we are starting to get booking agents interested. Up until recently I think even bands like Baroness did DIY tours. It’s always a good thing to get to know the bands you’ve played with, as most of our upcoming dates are with bands we’ve played with before so we know they’re gonna be good shows.

That is a tough feat, my experience is that the US is so large you couldn’t do a DIY in a van and cover the whole country in that time.

Chris: We really only have about a 3-4 hour drive between shows so for us we can make that happen and still balance out day jobs and other things we have to do.

So you mentioned that he release party has some agents, booking agents and other people interested in your music coming, are you nervous?

Marcus: Its kind of a make or break show for us in terms of getting some people on board to help us. So naturally we are doing this in London where all cool things happen (or so we are told) and its free so we are hoping fill the venue with as many Bovine lovers to support us.

Tom: We really aren’t nervous about playing and we may even drop a new track or two.

Marcus: Since we got Tom on board we have written 5 or 6 new songs for the next album so like Tom said who knows we play one or two and see how everyone responds.

So who would you guys love to tour with.

Damon: Queens of the Stone Age.

Marcus: I personally would love to tour with this Norwegian band called Camel Attack.

Time to wind down anything else you want folks to know about Bovine?

Marcus: Just that we have our release party coming up in London on May 9th so come on out. We have some limited edition vinyl and lots of t-shirts coming. We are also doing 2,000 Trees Festival in July.

{Post Interview Question}

Marcus I have been looking for a Norwegian band called Camel Attack but all I could find were these stupid youtube videos of actual camel attacks, which were kind of funny but I think I got the name wrong.

Marcus: {lots of laughter} Brilliant, actually the band is called Kvelertak, you were almost there.

Dude I wasn’t even close on this one, cheers. The perils of transcribing…

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