Leeds newcomers Captives have honed a tantalising sound that sees delicious clean vocal melodies played off against powerful metalcore-influenced instrumentals and rhythms.
This intriguing sound is honed by Captives’ interesting musical background, from frontman Matt Flood’s more mellow influences to the heavier tastes of Benji Wilson and Chris McIntosh (guitars), Lee Horner (bass) and James Lazenby (drums). As Matt puts it: “Imagine You Me At Six and Architects started meeting up on the sly and rubbin’ all up on each other’s shit…. 9 months later, out shoots Captives.”
While Matt expands: “My own background is rooted in pop-punk and acoustic projects. This allowed me to focus on my clean vocals and putting catchy melodies and singalong choruses at the forefront. The rest of the band are more rooted in the heavier side of things, which has allowed us to create something that we feel speaks to people who like metalcore whilst also giving a broader spectrum of listeners the chance to sing along and get involved.”
The band released their debut single Ghost Like You at the end of September, on which Matt told us: “It’s always a nervewracking process releasing new music and even more so when it’s your debut. Thankfully the reception has been great! Better than we could have hoped for and we are really appreciative to everyone who’s taken the time to listen to it. For those who haven’t listened yet, expect hard-hitting riffs with soaring clean vocals. Head over to YouTube to watch it in all its glory and then get that sucker on your streaming platform playlist.”
And their first track promises plenty. It opens with a low noise that reminds me of a Godsmack song from way back, before a smash of pounding drums and guitar chords kick in under high-pitched flickering guitars. It drops into a verse of laid-back vocals that gradually build in intensity with a chugging bass line, then a cry of “But there’s just one thing that you need to know, You can’t do this on your own” ushers in chugging low-tuned chords under Matt’s vocals, that lead into a huge singalong chorus.
Repeats of “You should try” hang over chugging guitar chords, then the pace increases again led by repeating fast-paced guitar flickers, building into another powerful chorus, which drops into a laid-back section of vocals. Building guitars are met by a drum roll that feeds into one last blast of the chorus, bringing an energetic, enjoyable, emotional track to a suitable ending. Check it out in the video below.
As Matt alludes to, the Captives sound has been influenced by everything from the cheesiest of cheesy pop through to the heaviest of heavy metal like Architects, Wage War and Polaris. As he explains: “That’s the joy of having clean vocals over heavy music, we aren’t confined to doing the norm. We can have catchy cleans over breakdowns and super poppy influenced chorus melodies.”
And when it comes to what inspires them to write music, Matt tells us: “Musically we write what we’d like to listen to. Usually the music comes first and the lyrical content second.
“I find that the music will give me a feeling. Like smelling something from your childhood that takes you back to a place and time. That’s what I use to get started with lyrics. Often the themes are based on experiences I’ve had myself or ones I’ve seen friends or relatives go through. It’s easy to think that the lyrics only apply to that one person’s life but we’ve found that people that we don’t even know have reached out to us about Ghost Like You to tell us it spoke true to their lives too.”
Captives have new music coming before the end of the year, and promise us lots of exciting things for early 2019. And Matt adds: “We’d all like to let everyone know that we appreciate any support you give to us. Coming to shows, buying merch and listening to the music online is greatly appreciated. But we love hearing from you all. If we aren’t playing in your area or you can’t afford merch, just reach out to us and get involved online. We are fans of music just as much as you are, so let’s make things happen together and have fun!”
You can see the band support Delayed Departures’ EP release at The Boileroom in Guildford on 18 November, more info is here.