James: Well we are called No Sin Evades His Gaze and I suppose we are kind of a groovy, metally type outfit… something along those lines! And we all live miles away from each other…
Ah, one of you is Scottish is that right?
Kev: Aye, I’m Scottish, but I actually live in Blackpool.
James: Yeah, we are split between Brighton, Essex and Blackpool.
Theo: Logistically it is difficult, but we manage. We managed to write an album, so something about it must work!
So how did the band get together seeing as you are all far apart?
James: My old band played a show in Islington with Moat’s old band and I guess me and Kev have written together in Blackpool for a while now and when our old bands ended, this kind of came about from that. Dan was friends with Moat as they used to play in a band together… I think the short story is probably that we have all played in bands together at some point and we all just kind of fell together into No Sin Evades His Gaze!
And how long have you played together in this lineup?
Theo: Not very long…
James: About eleven months?
Theo: We have been writing for about a year haven’t we? Publicly we have only been released for about two months…
James: Which is funny as there has been a lot going on behind the scenes but we’ve only really announced stuff in the last two months so people were really surprised when we said we were doing Bloodstock and Tech Fest.
Tell us about the album, what can we expect from it?
James: It’s called ‘Age of Sedation’, I guess it’s in the style of quite a lot of modern, tech bands such as Monument, Heart of a Coward…
Theo: There’s some Lamb of God and Pantera in there also.
James: Yeah some classic groove stuff. It’s got some symphonic stuff in there as well… Bit of french horns and strings… It’s just a bit of a mash up!
Sounds excellent. I’ll check it out! So we are currently into the third day here at Les-Fest. Has this been your first time playing Scotland?
James: It is actually.
Moat: It’s my first time actually being in Scotland… I love it here. If I get to write Black Metal in the woods I’m happy…
James: It’s very beautiful country. This is my third time in the country, but this is by far the most beautiful place I have been.
Theo: If we are being honest, this was actually our first show as a band. Not our first gig as musicians obviously, but our first gig as a collective band.
James: With this current outfit it was our first show and what a place to play it… I even got sun burn in Scotland!
What are your feelings on the site and Les-Fest as a festival?
Dan: It’s great. Really great.
James: It’s definitely got bigger from last year. My old band played in 2013 which was cool as I got to see it indoors and now it’s got the marquee thing going on and it’s cool to see it getting bigger. The line-up has got bigger and the bands who are playing are on the next level.
I think I like this site better…
James: Definitely. I think next year it will be even bigger again and in three years it will be one of the competing metal festivals. This has the potential to be one of the festivals which people name alongside Bloodstock and things like that.
Have you managed to catch any bands which you would recommend this weekend?
All in unison: Nexilva!
James: I saw Cyper 16 yesterday and although they got their set cut short, I thought they were really good.
Dan: Bleed From Within were really good on Friday as well.
James: They are always amazing.
Kev: Dog Tired as well. Incredible band.
James: I was so impressed with Dog Tired.
I annoyingly missed Dog Tired as I was still stuck in work, but they are playing Bloodstock as well so you can catch them again then! Just putting in a bit of PR for my fellow Scots!
James: We’ll definitely try to catch them then.
You guys are due to play the New Blood stage at Bloodstock. Can you tell us what day you will be playing?
Theo: We are playing on the Friday.
James: I’m really excited for that. Also very excited for Tech Fest. In fact we have quite a few festivals this year. It’s going to be a busy summer! We have Out of the Ashes, Head Bangers Ball, Mammoth Fest…
Moat: I’m very, very excited for Mammoth Fest.
James: It will be really fun, there’s a lot of great bands at that.
Are you getting chance to go to any festivals just to watch bands, or is there no time as you are playing most of them?
Moat: Don’t have a chance!
Theo: I’m going to try to go to Leeds but I don’t know if it will happen.
James: I missed Download this year, but I did manage to go last year. We were going to go to Sonisphere but now that’s not looking likely…
Moat: I really wanted to do Hellfest.
James: There’s just so many festivals nowadays and too little money!
So after the madness of the summer festivals is over, what’s next?
Theo: We are going to try and get a tour sorted.
Moat: More writing as well.
James: Touring and writing seems likely. The last album we kind of forced ourselves to have a deadline because we knew we would procrastinate otherwise and it would never come to fruition. With this album we want to take more time over the pre-production and really get everyone’s ideas down.
So when you are recording an album, who is the first one of you to go in a strop about how it’s going?
(The band break down into full on laughter complete with impressions while poor James stands looking mildly offended…)
James: As the producer… and I don’t sound like their impressions by the way… As the producer it is my job to overlook the whole process and that means it comes down on my head if it fucks up. Yeah… It is probably me. They are right. I have that diva singer thing going on though, so that’s alright! I don’t have to carry things either so that’s another plus about being a diva singer!
Theo: Yeah, that’s what you think! We are all setting up on stage and you are just stood at the side pretending to do vocal warm ups!
James: I think singers have certain rights you know and not carrying stuff is one of them!
Moat: No! They really don’t.
Theo: I sing as well! Why don’t I have these rights?
James: You are also a drummer! You choose to be the one with the most shit to carry!
How about when it is all going wrong… Who is the one picks you all back up again?
Moat: Dan! Dan is the first one to hit the bottom of the bit of despair and as we fall, he’s made blankets so it’s not as bad for us.
James: What a great metaphor. That was moving!
Theo: That’s the most beautiful thing you have ever said!
James: Dan’s the guy at practice who keeps us moving onto the next song. We are all reckless and erratic and he is focused and efficient.
Theo: I just throw the words “it will be fine” around, and it always is. Everything is character building!
Who’s the one most likely to do something stupid when drunk?
James: Just leave it as who is the most likely to be drunk and that’s definitely Kev as well!
Moat: If you just ask who is most likely to do something stupid, the answer changes drastically.
James: To you Moat!
So we have James who is stroppy, Dan who is efficient, Kev who is drunk, Moat who is stupid and what does that make Theo?
James: Erratic, reckless, hyper…
Theo: Overly enthusiastic?
James: Childlike! We have a set of tranquilizer darts in the van for Theo. It’s a good job he’s a drummer really so he can focus his energy on the kit! You can never tire him, you can merely slow him down though!
Moat: Leave some weights around and you will distract him for twenty minutes!
The thing about you guys which comes across so clearly is how much fun you have together as a band. What’s been the best memory in your short time together so far as No Sin Evades His Gaze?
James: My favourite is definitely when we recorded our first video. We filmed it in a quarry in Peterborough and it’s just this amazing crater which is like five miles wide. It was a boiling hot day and it just didn’t look like anywhere in the UK. We got driven in on these 1.2 million pound diggers and they cleared out this space for us and we stood in the middle of nowhere and played… It was very liberating!
Theo: And I got to drive a giant truck!
I was literally just about to ask if anyone got to drive the truck…
Theo: I did! Let me tell you about it!
James: Oh no…
Dan: Don’t start him off again…
Theo: At the end, there wasn’t enough room in the pick up truck so James said we should get a giant dump truck to come get up and the guy said he would do! I decided I wanted to go in the dump truck and James said it wasn’t a big deal so he would come with me…
James: I actually didn’t think it was going to happen! I thought we would be in one of the smaller ones, but no… it was the behemoth truck and it was hurtling around the corner with Theo’s happy child-like face peering out of the window.
Theo: When I got in we started driving off and we got halfway down and then the driver just asked me if I wanted to drive… Obviously I did! So I got into the drivers seat and just accelerated past them…
James: He was unbearable for a good week or so afterwards. Too much child-like excitement and gloating!
Theo: You would be the same if it had been you!
James: Probably! It’s a really cool place though. Doctor Who and Top Gear have been filmed there. I think that is definitely my favourite experience of this band so far.
So that’s a good experience. How about any embarrassing stories you have on someone in the band?
Moat: There are loads!
James: Oh no! This is dangerous…
Oh go on, I promise I won’t tell anyone…
Theo: Says the interviewer…
James: You are literally recording this conversation!
Theo: We can’t trust you!
But on Monday when I have the post festival blues and I am typing this up, I’d like something to cheer me up…
James: Well you probably have the worst stories Moat…
Dan: Oh no, this is going to be bad…
Moat: I’m just trying to pick one… I can’t really think. There’s too much!
Dan: Turn the filter on before it comes out please!
James: I don’t think there’s been anything that bad with this band… Probably something to do with a stage show going wrong? Yesterday was fairly embarrassing when our backing track cut out… I’ve also poured water all over a monitor before and then slipped while running about the stage… That’s quite bad as well.
I think you guys are holding out on me! I’m going to track you guys down again at Bloodstock and try to get a better answer to this question!
James: You are more than welcome to do so!
Well to finish us off for today, what’s the absolute dream for No Sin Evades His Gaze?
Kev: For me it would be playing with Nile.
James: I would like to play Download. I think that is the pipeline dream for any metal band.
Dan: We wouldn’t fit at all, but I would love to play with Tool.
Theo: I’d like to play with Lamb of God.
Moat: For me it would be Mastodon and then I would wait until Troy was asleep and I would cut off his beard and frame it!
James: I think the dream is just to play with bands that inspire you on a peer to peer basis. To meet the bands who you write down as your influences.
All good choices! Any closing thoughts for us?
James: Come see us at Bloodstock and Tech Fest. You will not regret it! Or go and listen to our new song on Metal Hammer! Or listen to us online! Or watch our video! For God’s sake… Just love me!
Moat: And whenever you see Kev, give him a hug.
Kev: I don’t like touching!