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Saturday 21 July 2018

The Spotlight: Pre-Bloodstock Interview With Obzidian By Paul H

Obzidian Interview

Back in the freezing cold of February 2017 we were honoured to have 20 minutes in the fresh (and I mean fresh air) with the beast of a machine known as Obzidian, not long after they had smashed their set at HRH Metal. The band, Matty Jenks (vocals), Baz Foster (guitar), Paul Hayward (drums) and Matt Jeffs (bass) are stalwarts of the UK metal scene and with four albums under their belt, have been invited to play at Bloodstock on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on Sunday 12th August. This will be an unmissable set, so it was great to be able to catch up with them ahead of the festival for an update on all things Obzidian.

Paul: When we first caught up with you it was at HRH Metal in 2017 and it was bloody freezing when Matt and I met up with you. We covered the history of the band in that interview so bring us up to date with all things Obzidian since February 2017.

Obzidian: “Good to be in touch again guys! Enjoyed our “chilled” chat last time. 2017 was a bit of a blur to be honest with you. We played some awesome shows around the country and visited some first-time locations for the band, which is always exciting. Uprising was a major date on the calendar that year and we really enjoyed the setup and the show as a whole; we also played some really cool support slots for bigger bands which are always a good opportunity and good laugh. Also, things with FatAngel Management have been going from strength to strength since our manager Dan Carter joined forces with them.

Coming into 2018, things seem to have exploded: New album on the way and mostly written now, Hammerfest slot, Thrashersaurus slot, Amplified Festival slot, Bloodstock slot coming up, shows far and wide both with and without our FatAngel buddies. Lots more to come this year and next but it’s all been a bit of a blur since HRH Metal to be honest.”

Paul: Your fourth album, Obliteration Process is still on regular rotation in my house. How are things progressing with album no 5?

Obzidian: “Very well now actually. We have 10 tracks with basic structures that I don’t think will change too much. At the moment, it’s all riffs and drums but we should have a single out later this year and the full album mid next year, which is really exciting. It’s always a buzz writing new material and getting to decide what makes the cut live etc. I think writing and performing live is our favourite part of being a band.

Paul: If I remember rightly, didn’t you recently finally manage to get to Swansea for a gig? If I’m wrong this will be a short answer but assuming you did, how was that?

Obzidian: “Yeah we did, with our FatAngel buddies Blood Oath (who we are playing a few dates with again later this year actually). Crowley's Rock Bar in Swansea, great venue and amazing sound guy. Really enjoyed the trip and the show down there and hope to be back to South Wales soon! Even though my 2nd home is technically Anglesey is the North haha!”

Paul: When we caught up with you you’d not long joined FatAngel and you were very positive about them. How has the last 18 months with them been?

Obzidian: “It’s been great! They have got us in front of people and press that we never would have got close to if it wasn’t for them. Massive props and thanks to Dan, Chris and Angel for that. We also recently played the 3rd instalment of Mosh Against Cancer in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was an epic weekend of great bands and managed to raise well over £1500 for the cause”.

Paul: You recently played at the Amplified Festival, one of the real up and coming UK rock and metal festivals. It was baking all weekend. How did your set go down and what was your overall experience of the event?

Obzidian: “The set was awesome! And we cannot thank all the people (a surprising amount) that turned out of bed on technically the 3rd day of a festival for 10.30am! The support was amazing, the crew are and were amazing and the weather was almost too amazing! Gary has a very good thing going there and we cannot wait to see what happens next! I am ordering my early bird tickets next week for 2019 actually and can’t wait to get back there and support the event as a punter. Let’s just hope it’s a little cooler this year, although it’s never good to complain about good weather haha”.

Paul: On to Bloodstock 2018. You are one of the most experienced bands on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage. How did the invitation come about?

Obzidian: “To be honest I think it was right place at the right time kind of thing and we owe pretty much 100% of being able to play to Dan Carter, our manager. We have always supported Bloodstock as paying punters for many, many years, we have always supported the Metal to the Masses competition and related tours as much as we possibly can and have appeared as guests a few times over the years as well! It’s a dream come through and I think this year was just our time and seemed to fit well with the flow of shows we have been getting this year.

Every year we would hope for our chance, but there was something that felt different about this year, an optimism in the camp and also with every fan who we spoke to, who were all certain we would be offered a slot. So, when the call came, we were blown away and cannot thank our management and the Bloodstock crew enough for the opportunity”.

Paul: You are on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on Sunday. What can we expect from you guys and why should the undecided come and watch?

Obzidian: “30 minutes of fast, powerful, aggressive Thrash Groove metal with moments of Death and Doom. But most of all, we have a good time and project that to the crowd and hope they come along for the ride. Also, we will be using the professional filming crew services to film for a later video release, so come and make that video look even cooler with your lovely faces!”

Paul: I know you guys are veterans of Bloodstock as I’ve seen you there several times. For anyone who has yet to experience Bloodstock, why should you go?

Obzidian: “It is literally the pinnacle of the Metal calendar and for most of us regulars, the year as a whole. There is a reason that the extended weekend in August is booked off for us as soon as possible from work and the ticket is secured as soon as possible also, even without any band announcements. It’s the atmosphere and the special relationship the organisers and crew have with the fans that makes it feel special and almost homely in a way. Bloodstock really is like coming home to a metal fan, and newcomers are welcomed with open arms and always return, just how it should be! There is no festival like it out there and long may it continue to not only put on the best in major Metal acts but support the next up and coming headliners and grass roots bands with M2TM”.

Paul: What does the future for Obzidian look like?

Obzidian: “I have to say, in the last 17 years I don’t think we have ever been so positive and excited about where the band is going. It seems weird to say it after all these years plying our trade, but the material we are working on, the shows we are getting and the response from the people out there is amazing, and we hope it continues to grow”.

Our huge thanks to Obzidian for answering the questions. Having seen these guys live, and being a proud owner of all their CDs, I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you want something to clear the fuzz in your head on Sunday 12th August at Catton Hall, get your arse to the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage where these Black Country boys will destroy everything in sight. Sins will indeed be purified.

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