Centrilia is another case of NHC assigning me to review a band they think I might like. Well done guys, bang on.
Centrilia is pissed off, raw and morally invested. It’s music which has seen the injustices, corruption and warped inner workings of the world and needs to scream about it.
Centrilia were nominated this year for a Scottish Alternative Music Award in the “Best Metal” category, and I’m really not surprised. Slamming guitar riffs and perfectly hammered-out drums married with intelligent lyrics make for music which is not just good to headbang to.
Their album, Memento Mori is ￡4, although on bandcamp the Centrilia guys take pains to explain that if you know one of them they will help you avoid the postage charge.
Stand out track: Coffins
A little more melodic than other tracks with soaring guitars and some beautiful vocal harmonies. Still with Centrilia’s trademark explosive heavy metal sound. This song is pissed off desperation against an unfair system in a nutshell.
There are physical copies of Memento Mori in the NHC Shop, and Christmas is coming. Yes, there are many reasons to be cynical about the festive season. There are pressures put on you to buy, buy, buy overpriced junk for your loved ones just to keep our soiled hamster-ball of an economy spinning, but a CD from Centrilia would be a very good gift for the metalhead in your life. Just saying!
As their message read (quite endearingly) on bandcamp after I listened to their songs several times for this review, “The time has come to open thy heart/wallet”. Yes free download is an option, but if you can, please buy their music. These guys are a very worthwhile musical cause to support.
You aren’t just a generic metal band- your music is – not political, that instantly implies you guys have an affiliation to some movement, but moral. What do you see wrong with the world that you think needs to change?
“That’s a really good way to put it. Politics are a real mess, especially right now, and affiliation to either the left or the right seems to automatically carry with it its own set of hypocrisies. Although we do have our own political leanings, which you can probably guess, we try to approach the music with a more encompassing view of things. For the most part the lyrics are outward facing and philosophically existential in nature, attempting to hold up a mirror, and then dig beneath the superficial - they’re intended as proverbs.
What needs to change? In a word “empathy”. If you could arrange some more of that on every level, that’d be good”.
How did Centrilia form? Who are your members and how did you all meet?
“We’ve all actually known each other a very long time. We all met playing in different bands when we were younger, and probably at least once, all playing at the same gig in those bands. Davie’s old band had disbanded and he had just finished a stint as touring guitarist. Andy and Garth’s old band had also disbanded about a year earlier. Andy and Davie worked at the same company and after a few chats about arranging a ‘jam’ thought it would be a good idea. Davie had a bank of songs written, after a couple of months of rehearsing these, Garth came in as bass player. Davie put out a message on Facebook for a singer and Gav replied. We sent him one of the tracks, Gav put vocals on that…. it was perfect”.
Band life never seems to go in a straight line, has there been any unexpected good and bad happenings along the road?
Nothing major as yet, but, we didn’t expect to pocket some high level supports in our first year including Soulfly, Karnivool, Decapitated and Sylosis. We didn’t expect to get nominated for a SAMA this year. We don’t ‘expect’ anything really so, most things are good happenings. Even the bad ones you learn from, so they end up positives in the long run”.
Finding a balance between a 9-5 working “real life” and music can be hard. How do you cope? What are your occupations when you’re not playing together as Centrilia?
“Well. 3 of us have a typical 9-5 kinda working life, 1 has a more flexible ‘as and when’ type job, so it’s actually not too bad. It’s a case of priorities, we all do this because we love it & ultimately need the creative outlet, so you make the time and the day jobs provide the much needed funding. The rest can work around.
Davie is a Rigger / Runner at events.
Gav creates collaboration & training tools for a bank.
Garth is a Nurse.
Andy is a Digital Designer”.
Who are your musical influences?
“Pantera, Slayer, Machine Head, Sepultura, Tool, Carcass… basically the early to mid 90’s! Gav loves his 90s mid-west emo”.
Your favourite bands to see live in the Glasgow music scene at the moment
“Glasgow is definitely going through a much needed high point in metal bands just now. There’s a few bands who we’ve played with over the last couple of years through choice because they are great bands to watch. Burning the Dream & Blood Thread… are just two of the many that jump out from the current metal community”.
What events in your lives set you on the path of playing music?
Andy: “Nothing specific… generally being into music and wanting to play it”.
Gav: “I watched Queen at Wembley when I was a kid - the moment when Freddie does his big a-cappella call and response session with the crowd was mesmerising. After that a friend of my brother opened my eyes to metal and the heavier side of things and that was that”.
What has been your favourite gig so far?
“Andy: Ooft… RATM - Barras, May 96. / Metallica - Donnington 95 / FNM - Barras Nov 97 / Neurosis - Cathouse ’99 - cannot pin this down
Gav: Tool. Arcade Fire @ Edinburgh Castle were phenomenal”.
You don’t seem like the kind of band who buy into the whole capitalist Christmas extravaganza. How will Centrilia be spending the festive season?
“Christmas is about family for us & the band is part of that family. We’ve got rehearsal slots booked up throughout December so we’ll still be locked away playing & writing. We’re doing a Charity gig on the 20th Dec. for The Royal Hospital for Sick Children where we’re asking for a toy donation as the entrance fee. Other than that, we’ll will be at home with their respective families and Davie will be slumming through a cold winter in deepest darkest… Australia”.
2017 is fast approaching- what are your plans for next year?
“We’re playing the upcoming Heavy Scotland festival with Arch Enemy and Behemoth in April, we’re heading to Ireland in May and hopefully picking up some more gigs for the rest of the year”.
Are Centrilia currently working on any new material?
“Yes, having now self released 2 E.P’s, we’re writing away for what will hopefully be a full length album”.
Any hard-learned advice for other musicians?
Warm up before gigs.
Don’t get too drunk before you play (unless you’re in a doom band maybe). If at all possible, avoid 5 band Tuesday night ‘metal nights’. Never play a gig where you are asked to buy tickets to ‘sell for as much as you want’. Don’t go onstage after a left handed drummer, learn to share equipment. Be humble. Be proficient at your craft first. The song comes before everything else - it’s not about ‘you’ or your ego. No matter how shite you may think the last band was, be respectful and encouraging - everyone has a starting point……generally speaking, don’t be a dick.
Anything else you want to tell NHC music?
Keep up the good work! Glasgow’s music scene is too outweighed by bands and not enough people talking about them, so it’s good to know NHC is helping to change that.
Check out Centrilia online at these places:
Centrilia’s next event is a charity gig on 20th December for The Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Door price is a donated children’s toy. These metalheads have big hearts. A gig not to be missed!