Interview with Exile The Traitor

1012724_730823310279925_745424367_nExile The Traitor are a band we at stumbled upon by accident back in September when they were placed in a support slot for the mighty Achren. It was obvious from the first listen that there is something a little bit special about these boys. Not only are they insanely talented but their manner as a band both on stage and off is one of professionalism and pure banter between best mates. Big things are predicted for these down to earth lads, but before they get too big… we decided to have a chat with them and find out exactly who Exile The Traitor are.

You are making quite a name for yourself here in Glasgow, but for the people who haven’t come across Exile the Traitor until now, can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Will:     We are Exile the Traitor, from Glasgow and Sweden. We mix melodic death metal and Killswitch-y type music.

Ian:      Yeah we take elements from all different genres of metal and put it all into one big load of ‘metally goodness’! We don’t label ourselves. We aren’t one specific genre. Metal is metal.

Will:     We seem to get labeled a lot under death metal but we are actually so far from that.

Of course… You’re ‘metally goodness’ right?

Ian:       An assorted blend of ‘metally goodness’.

Will:      That’s a t-shirt! That is a t-shirt right there! … Or a condom? Exile the Traitor…

Kerr:     … The taste of steel. Metally goodness… oh yeah!

Lots of laughter then ensues before we continue several moments later…

You guys were given the opportunity to play Bloodstock last year after you won the Glasgow heats of ‘Metal to the Masses’. How did you find the whole experience?

Anton:  I don’t really know what happened there…

Will:       It was our third gig and we just went in for it for a laugh. We thought, “fuck it, let’s give it a go”… and then we kind of won!

Anton:  It was kind of unexpected!

Will:       We had only been a band for eight months. We were so unprepared for it to be honest, it was a very overwhelming experience. It was crazy. It was really, really good.

What was it like playing Bloodstock itself – Did you get a good crowd?

Will:       It was actually quite good considering we were clashing with Iced Earth.

Kerr:      The eight people that were there when we first started playing enjoyed it and then it started to fill up pretty quick…

Will:        Besides the first Dundee gig we played, it was the sweatiest gig ever. My bass strings were sweating. For Glasgow, people who had traveled all the way down there and people who had never heard of us, we got a good response considering we had only been a band for a few months.

Anton:   It was a good experience, we were just far too under prepared.

Obviously not that unprepared as you won?

Will:       Nah, if it had been now it would have been much better for us.

Ian:        It would have been better for me, because I would have fucking been there!

Well that brings me onto my next point nicely. Ian has just very recently joined the band on guitar. How’s it working out?

Will:       He had six songs or something to learn and he learned them rapid! Seriously, he just was in, he’d done it, no bullshit. He’s still  got a wee bit of nerves on stage but that’s honestly it. He’s played two gigs with us so far. One at Audio supporting Ancient Ascendant and one at the Cat House supporting Havok. He’s been wicked. Seriously. His attitude, his drive… he’s everything we needed in another guitarist. We’ve known him for ages as well and that’s definitely a plus.

Kerr:     Aye that’s it… now we’re stuck with him!

And how are you enjoying playing with them and being the new member?

Ian:       We’ve been pals for pure ages so that was never going to be an issue.

Will:       He’s come in and been exactly what we needed.

Anton:  He is the perfect addition.

Ian:        ….The fact that I am really handsome helps as well.

Will:      It does… I mean we are all dripping like fucked fridges… just look at him. Look at him!!

They all burst into laughter again for several minutes before we can continue….

So, you’re still a relatively new band. What do you find are the biggest challenges to get yourselves out there?

Will:       In Glasgow there’s a lot of death metal. No offense to some bands because they do what they do and they’re good at it. But because of the style we play, we are too melodic for the death metal crowds but we are too heavy and fast for the metal core crowds. It’s kind of difficult for us to find a niche for ourselves. We either get lumped with the slammy death metal bands where the crowd are thinking, “That’s a bit gay ain’t it?” or we play with people who just find us far too heavy.

Ian:        When we played with Havok we were too heavy for that crowd. Their drummer told us we sounded so angry… which was a plus for me because I am quite angry, you know what I mean?

Will:       It’s all about getting our name out there to crowds who will be into the stuff we do!

You have some tracks recorded, any plans for these? 

Kerr:      We have recordings, but they aren’t getting released as an EP. We have a couple of promo tracks.

Will:        We are going into the studio in February with Goonzi from Bleed From Within to record two songs that we have only just recently added to our set and two brand new songs that no one has heard yet…

Kerr:       Even us…

Will:         The death metal aspects on these are kind of reduced and we are working on our own sound. We are hopefully going to try and really just be a metal band, rather than a death metal band. None of this melodic, deathcore, black and fucking stupid genre.

Ian:          I don’t get all these mad metal genre names man, it’s nonsense. You are either a metal band or you’re fucking no a metal band!

2014 is just around the corner. What can we expect from Exile the Traitor in the next 12 months?

Kerr:        Gig! Gig! Gig! Gig! He continues to shout this for the next minute or so….

Ian:          Just everything!

Will:         We have preliminary stuff booked for next year. We’ve got Ireland, a whole load of things going on in England… We’re playing in York on a co-headline tour in January with Maelstrom; who are a black metal band from Glasgow. They are utterly beast. Aye, so essentially we just want to travel everywhere and just play!

Kerr:       Whore it!

There seems to be a lot of talent on the Scottish scene right now. Is there anyone other than Maelstrom you reckon we should check out?

Will:         Kill the Hydra! Definitely!

Ian:          We have just witnessed their first gig and it was fucking outstanding!

Will:         They were unbelievable! Apart from them… Excellent Cadaver, Man Made Origin, Co Exist, Man Must Die… The list could  really go on and on. Glasgow seems to be quite overlooked…

Ian:          There is so many good bands here. Not even just in Glasgow, in Scotland in general.

Final question. If you book your absolute dream gig to play – who would you play with?

Anton:    For me it would be At the Gates. Probably The Haunted as well now they are back together.

Ian:          Black Dahlia Murder… Killswitch… us!

Kerr:       Pink Floyd and Bob Marley and us! (He breaks down into laughter again) Or At the Gates and Dahlia Murder.

Will:         Chaka Khan and M People!

This then again makes the whole band giggle for several moments as we at feel we are missing out on some kind of strange inside joke!

Will:         Nah, probably At The Gates and Killswitch Engage.

Ian:          Lost Prophets!

It’s at this point that we think it might possibly be a good time to wrap up the interview, but massive thanks goes to the Exile The Traitor boys for taking time out to talk to us on a cold Dundee night. Check out the guys and keep up to date with their future gigs at