For Highland metal fans, Zombie Militia are a band that need no introduction. From their blisteringly fast and brutal riffs, blast beats and the visceral vocal roars, the band have been flying the flag for Inverness’s metal scene for years – seeing a SAMA award in 2011 for Best Metal Act and an appearance at Bloodstock the same year. Now, after a quiet 2017 so far, they’re back – playing Mad Hatters on Friday night alongside German band We Are H. The band talk to Kyle Walker about new bandmates, new songs – and a dancing drumkit...
Hullo. You’ve been awfully quiet recently – which is extremely unlike you lot. What have you been up to this year?
This year we had Nathan join us on drums, so we have fully integrated him into the band. We also used that time to rework some of our older material and also finalise some new songs.
How did this gig with We Are H come about? Have you known each other for a while? And how would you describe them to people?
We approached the Mad Hatters promoter for a slot, he told us that he was recommended We Are H by a friend that saw them play in Germany and wanted us to check them out for playing alongside the band. We did – they are a three piece from Leverkusen who play somewhere between post-hardcore and progressive rock.
How would you describe the health of the metal scene in the region just now? What would you like to do, or think could be done to help it get bigger and get more folk involved? And where would you suggest Highland metal newcomers listen to in order to get started with regards to local bands (other than yourselves of course)?
It has been a pleasure to fly the flag for the Highland metal scene and to play a part in bringing Metal 2 The Masses to the region. It’s a foundation that can only push the local talents to new highs. Its success two years running proves that our scene up here is strong, and each year it’s getting stronger
It would be great to see venues booking the bigger acts in metal and putting in local acts to support them – let them hold their own with the bigger acts and I guarantee they will rise to the occasion. It would also give them the chance to showcase themselves to people who may be reluctant to go to a local show.
In regards to newcomers, all we can say is, Come and catch a show and get involved. There are lots of local acts worth your time and effort – Seed of Sorrow, Fallen Riot and Slioch for example.
How would you describe yourselves, your sound and your live show to people who might be hearing of you for the first time?
We are an odd bunch but we all like the same thing when it comes to our metal, that’s why it works. No-nonsense metal that makes you want to bang your head until your eyes fall out. Our live show are just that, loud, angry, aggressive – but mostly fun! Expect to leave with a sore neck.
What’s been the best gig you’ve ever played? The worst? The weirdest?
One that sticks out as one of the best, and weirdest, was the Spot The Differents show that Ben Hesling ran. It was a night that took over all the floors in Hootananny and showcased the whole of the local scene. No genre was exempt, so you had metal, indie, country – you name it and it was there. It was weird but it worked. It’s something we would like to see return.
We played a show once where we had to contend with a dancing drum kit. The festival decided a drum mat wasn’t needed so our drummer spent most of the set chasing the kit around the stage.
What’s the nicest thing that somebody has said about your music? And what’s been the most horrible thing?
There is one quote that has been said quite a lot that kind of covers both, and that is “I don’t usually like that s***, but you guys are really good.”
Which of your tracks are you particularly looking forward to showcasing at Mad Hatters, and why?
Sovereign Wasteland is one that sticks out because it’s an old favourite that we have reworked. I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction it gets. Another would be Stem the Tide. It’s one of our favourite tracks yet and we’re really proud of how it came together. It’s also our newest track and this will be the first time performing it in its finished form.
What’s on the horizon for Zombie Militia over the rest of the year?
Because we have recruited our new drum beast we’re going to focus on getting moving again, playing shows, writing new material and getting back on top again. We also have another show in Inverness later in year that we are putting together, so follow us on Facebook and you can keep up to date with all the Zombie Militia news.