Bristol’s Backroads have honed a lyrically charged hard-hitting metalcore sound that packs an intriguing punch with a newly found more melodic contrast.
The quintet began with college course pals Eddie Craven (vocals), Alex Miles and Jack Ford (drums), who were soon joined by bassist Artur Mizerski Jr. after he complimented Eddie on his Counterparts hat, then Kyle Herbert, a long-time friend of Eddie’s, completed the line-up on guitar last April. But it wasn’t always guaranteed to happen, as Kyle recounts: “I remember for months I put off saying yes because I didn’t want to be committed to being in a full time band again but when he told me their first ever gig was at The Fleece in Bristol it started to sink into my head that these guys were ready to make some movements.”
And make movements Backroads certainly are. They released debut single Foreshadow last April then followed it up with The Death Of Love in December, and Kyle tells us both have had an incredible response. He said: “A lot of people local to us had heard some of our tracks prior but as soon as we released the video the whole band just kicked off with people listening to it and sharing it with other people. It’s done us really well to be honest. Our most recent single came out on 15 December and has over 17,000 views across our online platforms, which is absolutely mind-blowing for a band of our size.”
Check out the huge Foreshadow in the video below:
The release of The Death Of Love marked a milestone for the band as it was the first time they included any clean vocals in a song – which tells you all you need to know about how heavy these guys are. As Kyle tells us: “We were quite worried about what people may think but we’ve only heard amazing things back from that so far!”
But the band had no reason to be concerned. It opens with gradually building guitar noise before drawn out guitar chords under ascending high-pitched guitars explode into big screamed vocals. A gut-wrenching scream leads into the aforementioned clean vocals that nicely offset the screams, which are then followed by a brief spoken section that leads into more clean vocals through a big chorus. Drawn-out guitars return as pounding drums continue through huge screamed vocals, then a brief pause for breath is smashed open by a barrage of massive drums and screams over floating high-pitched guitars.
Check it out in the video below:
This is building up to the launch of Backroads’ debut EP next month, on which Kyle tells us: “Putting together the EP has been one of the most stressful things in my life. I know that sounds like a crazy over-exaggeration but the guys had already started work on it before I joined the band last and over time we’ve had different musical influences and opinions on how we want to sound so there’s been constant changes in the writing.
“We also knew we wanted this to be the best music we could put out, so rather than just throwing an EP to the world for the sake of it we’d rather take the time to give out music we’re proud of.”
And Kyle tells us that lyrics are a big issue for the band: “I always go in with making a point about our lyrics. Eddie is an incredible lyricist and I feel it’s a really important part to how we sound. Musically we all come from quite different backgrounds originally but we’ve found our sound taking inspiration from bands like Casey, While She Sleeps and Polaris.
“But I don’t feel like we really have any definite set theme for our music. If I were to narrow it down our current main topics are talking about very serious things like corruption and misuse in the power some people have due to their status. Another topic we talk about is a range of feelings based around loneliness whether that be just a personal feeling or based in love, the theme changes.”
Backroads’ debut EP Faith Left Me, You Did Too is out on 7 March and they’ll be releasing one more video in the run-up to its launch. They also have a few gigs coming up, including playing alongside Valis Ablaze in Cheltenham on Thursday, then the Fathoms farewell tour at Exchange in Bristol on Sunday (11 February) and stay in their home city to support Betraying The Martyrs at The Fleece on 8 March. They’ll also be playing an EP launch show back in Cheltenham on 7 April. All their gig info is available here.