Interviews

Interview with Frank Dennis (Drums/Backing vocals) (Cambion)

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Interview by Alan Daly

 

 

Cambion are an Exeter-based Technical/progressive metal four-piece who performed at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. They played on the Sophie Lancaster stage on Friday, just two years after they first performed on the New Blood stage after winning their local Metal 2 The Masses competition. We had a quick chat with them to ask about their festival experience and plans for tours and recording…

 

 

Alan:

Firstly; great gig this morning! Obviously my first time seeing you play, and I actually really enjoyed it. It was a great start to the festival for me.

All:

Thanks man.

Alan:

To start, I’ll ask you to introduce yourselves one by one. Tell me who you are, what you do in the band, and then tell me something your three bandmates don’t already know about you!

Frank:

I’m Frank; I play drums; and something the guys don’t know about me is that I’m NOT an idiot!

Marc:

I’m Marc; I play guitar in Cambion; and something nobody knows about me is that I have an incredibly small penis.

Frank:

Oh, we knew that…

Elliott:

I’m Elliott; I’m the lead vocalist and guitarist; and I really need the loo.

Jonny:

Hi, I’m Jonny; I play bass with Cambion; and I dropped a pair of shears on my foot once.

Alan:

So what’s going on in Cambion at the moment? I see you have an album on the way?

Elliott:

Yeah, at the moment we’re primarily writing, and will soon be recording, our album. We have an EP out at the minute, called Virus. We’ve just recorded two tracks which are going to be added to that as bonus tracks. We’re re-releasing it with new artwork and things like that as a kind of build-up to our album coming out. We’re aiming to record it around January or February, and it should come out mid next year. It’ll be a digital and physical release. That’s our primary concern when we get back from here; to finish up the album and get it moving.

Alan:

How about the rest of the summer? Any more tours, gigs, festivals?

Frank:

We’ve got a short run with the guys in Exist Immortal. We’ve wanted to play with those guys for a while. We’ve got Mammoth Fest, and Wreckless Intent Fest on the same date. So that’s going to be fun.

Alan:

Where are they?

Frank:

Brighton and Bournemouth. An early show in Brighton and then we are headlining the Wreckless Intent Fest.

Marc:

And we’ve got Rock and Metal Circus in September [Editor’s note: event has since been cancelled]

Frank:

We’ve also got the Halloween Zombie Ball down in Exeter. We’re the opening band on the main stage there. Skindred are headlining that one, which we’re pretty fucking excited about. And there are always more gigs. Every weekend we’re out doing something.

Alan:

Cool. And your own first time performing here at Bloodstock was two years ago on the New Blood stage, through the Metal 2 The Masses competition. How is it different this time around?

Frank:

The main difference is that the New Blood Stage is a lot bigger than when we played. When we played, it was a big marquee tent. It was quite big; and there were a lot of people there. But this year it’s massive.

Marc:

These guys had a warm up doing the new blood stage. Me and Jonny are recent additions. For us, we’re like straight in on the Sophie stage.

Alan:

So how long have you two been in Cambion?

Marc:

I’m here just over a year. Jonny joined about six months ago.

Frank:

We’ve been through a few members, but this is definitely the strongest line-up we’ve ever had.

Elliott:

We did the Metal 2 The Masses competition three times, and the first two times we didn’t win the final. The third time, obviously, we did get it, and we went to the New Blood Stage. We were so happy with that; as anyone would be. And then to be asked back to play the Sophie stage two years later is just the best feeling in the world. That’s probably the biggest and best thing we’ve done so far. We were so honoured to play here.

Alan:

I understand you have been together for about five years; since 2009. Is that correct?

Elliott:

Yeah. It’s been Cambion since then. We’ve all been in bands since school. We’ve come together as this line-up in the last year or so. But yeah… as Cambion, it’s been about five years.

Alan:

So where would you like to see yourselves another five years from now?

Frank:

Right here… Mainstage… Selling out Wembley Stadium…

Elliott:

…Megadeth teching for us…

Frank:

Yeah, realistically, that’s not really going to happen. But in five years’ time, I think we’d like to see ourselves established as a “UK band” rather than a “Southwest band”; we’re from Devon. We do a lot of shows all over the country. I think in five years, if we’re touring a lot and a lot of people are coming to our shows, then we’d like to get out into Europe a bit.

Marc:

I think we’d like a nice even fanbase across the country.

Frank:

Yeah, if we can get a fanbase all over the country, I think we’ll be happy.

Alan:

Sounds like you had some fans in the audience there this morning. Some girls in particular shouting your names! Groupies, maybe?

Frank:

It was quite nice actually. The first four or five metres of the crowd from the front were just filled with people from Devon. It was nice to see so many friendly faces. Even some members of other bands that are playing here this weekend like Kill All The Gentlemen, Born of the Jackal, Metaprism from down our way. Everyone turned out; it was great.

Elliott:

We met so many people today who were in the audience that we sort of bumped into later in the day, saying “we’ve been massive fans for ages, but we’ve never seen you before”. It was nice to actually meet these people. It was so cool.

Alan:

I guess that’s a sign that things are going well; when you don’t know all your fans. When you’re a small band from a small town, you know all of your fans.

Marc:

That’s a good thing about playing here as well. There’s a lot of people that might not have heard or seen us before, and I think we’ve added a few new fans hopefully.

Alan:

Those people who weren’t hungover in their tents from last night! It can be hard to attract a big crowd to the earlier shows. Other than yourselves, can you choose one of the bands playing at Bloodstock this year either on the New Blood or Sophie stage, that you think should really be performing on the main stage?

Frank:

I’m going to say Metaprism actually. They’re good friends of ours. I think they’re an absolutely amazing band. They haven’t been going for very long, and they’ve had a bit of a line-up change, but I think they have so much potential that it’s unreal.

Elliott:

They’ve got something a little bit different than everyone else. They’ve got two singers; they’ve got a guy singing, and he’s screaming and clean singing, and they’ve got a girl singing these amazing harmonies.

Alan:

Ok. So you want to promote Metaprism to the mainstage. But now you have to take one band off the mainstage to make room for them. Who are you going to demote?

Marc:

Whatever band were on the mainstage at the same time we were playing! [laughs]

Frank:

I don’t know. I think any band that gets offered the mainstage at Bloodstock fully deserves it. But I think if we were ever to get swapped with one band, it would have to be Megadeth, wouldn’t it? [laughs]

Alan:

Any of your influences playing this weekend that you want to catch?

Elliot:

Yes. Bloodshot Dawn played right before we played.

Frank:

They’ve been very big on the underground music scene for a number of years. We’ve played shows with them in the past. We were actually gutted that we didn’t see them, because they were playing right before us while we were setting up. But we bumped into them earlier and they said their set was good.

Elliott:

Down are playing! Anselmo!

Alan:

You must be happy to have played on Friday? Now you can relax and chill out! Are you here for the whole weekend?

Marc:

Yeah, there was such anticipation and build-up to one half hour; for most of the year actually. And just doing it was great. Now we can start drinking beer, knowing that we did our best.

Alan:

One final question… If you could bring one artist back from the grave, who would it be?

All:

Dio!

Marc:

It’d be Dio or Dimebag for me.

Frank:

I’d say John Bonham. The drummer from Zep. I love his drumming style. He’s completely unique. And at the time, no other drummer was doing what he was doing, so he was a pioneer. I think if John Bonham didn’t exist then a lot of drumming styles now wouldn’t exist. They were one of the heaviest bands around at the time, and it’s obviously evolved since then.

Jonny:

There’s so many… Hendrix!

Frank:

Steve Vai! He’s not dead yet, but I might kill him and bring him back! [laughs]

Alan:

And what’s your drink of choice for the festival? What will you all be getting drunk on tonight?

Jonny:

Cider

Elliott:

Stella

Marc:

Fosters

Frank:

Cider

Alan:

I won’t take up any more of your time. Thanks for the chat. See you next year on the mainstage!!

Marc:

Thanks! We can dream!

 

http://www.cambionofficial.co.uk

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