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Tuesday 4 June 2019

The Spotlight: Bloodstock M2TM Final Interview With Blind Divide By Paul H

Interview With M2TM 2019 Final Competitors Blind Divide

Few bands have come back to M2TM with such snarling aggression as Cardiff’s Blind Divide. The metalcore crew narrowly lost out in 2018 to Democratus and from the opening song in Heat 1 the quintet has been clear that they are going for it again. I was able to catch the band for a few words.

Paul: Let’s start with the journey since you progressed from the Heat. How has it been?

Blind Divide: It's been great, the competition was fierce from the word go, we'd have been quite happy to have made it out of the heats alive, never mind having gotten through the semis as well!

Paul: Getting through the heat was challenging enough. What were the emotions like after the band’s name was called out on stage?

Blind Divide: It was tense enough at the heats waiting to hear who would go through, but the semis announcement was crazy, there was a moment where we all looked at each other as we realised there was only one slot remaining and we just couldn't call it!

Paul: Every band upped their game for the Semi-Final. How did you prepare for the show and what did you feel that you needed to do to get through?

Blind Divide: We felt we needed to show progression between the heat and the semi, we did this by ramming two new songs into our set, Betrayer and Nimis, we're really pleased with how they've been received. There's an instrument change involved now, which we were worried might come across as self-indulgent for one track, but it's the direction we're heading towards and we're excited about it!

Paul: You had a bit of time between the heat and the semi-final. What’s been happening to the band in between the two shows at Fuel?

Blind Divide: It's been a busy start to the year for us, we've been more active than any of us can ever remember. We've been playing new venues, writing new material and we've released new merch, so it really feels like a high time for us, it's been spurred on by M2TM.

Paul: There have been hugely positive vibes about the South Wales scene at these shows. Did you feel that it’s a true reflection of how metal in South Wales is at present? Is the community there?

Blind Divide: We love the metal community in South Wales, some of the bands we've met throughout this competition have put a ton of effort into travelling to take part and support the scene (See Sepulchre & In Which It Burns as prime examples), we think it really highlights the fact that we've got something awesome going on here. People look out for each other when it's all said and done, competition or not.

Paul: One of the aims of the M2TM competition is to gain exposure and new fans for the competing bands. How has progressing benefited the band?

Blind Divide: M2TM has given us a chance to expose ourselves to people that might not have gone out of their way to see us otherwise, the support at each heat and semi has been massive, so we've had plenty of fresh ears to try and win over.

Paul: So, 8th June sees a six-band final on what promises to be an astonishingly good evening. What’s the strategy to impress the Bloodstock judge who makes the decision on the night?

Blind Divide: The strategy is to make the judge imagine how we'd perform on stage at BOA, we'll be putting everything we've got into our performances at the final, just the same as we have in the heats and the semi. We think we've got what it takes, it's time to hammer it home!

Paul: Rob Bannister or Simon Hall will be judging on the night [probably Rob] They can be notoriously hard to impress and guard that coveted spot zealously. With a full house guaranteed, how will you deal with the pressure?

Blind Divide: We're playing with bands we know, and respect and we'd be happy to see any of them going to BOA, judging by the previous rounds, we expect the crowd to be rabid. Pressure or not, we're going to revel in every moment of it.

Paul: We’ve noted the immediate benefits, what about the post final plans? Where does the band go after the final?

Blind Divide: Whatever the result, we love what we do, and we'll keep on doing it. If we get the honour of playing BOA, it's the start of an entirely new chapter, if we don't, it's far too late in the day for us to get knocked back by defeat, if nothing else we're tenacious!

Paul: And finally, you are now older and wiser about this competition. What advice would you give to the new intake of bands who will be thinking about taking a run at it in 2020?

Blind Divide: Watch every band carefully, learn what you can from them and network whilst you’ve got the chance, you’re not making it anywhere by yourself. Take criticism gracefully - if nothing else you’ll come out of the competition a better band, music might be subjective, but the judges will steer you in the right direction. Absolutely above all else, enjoy yourself and learn to relax on stage.

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