Damnation Festival Preview : Interview with Conjurer

5 Conjurer BOAIt’s not too long ago that we spoke to Conjurer, but 2016 is proving rather fruitful for this band. After winning their heat of M2TM and recently hitting Bloodstock, they now have a few new tours lined up and an appearance at the mighty DAMNATION FESTIVAL!

So we had to bend Andy’s ear again and catch up with the goings on in Conjurer…

Thanks for talking to CB. That was a great show at Bloodstock for us. How was it for you?

It was really good fun, if a bit nerve-wracking. It’s one of the biggest stages we’ve played, and certainly the biggest crowd. Bands have to be backstage 90 minutes before stage time – that’s 90 minutes for the nerves to build up! I get a little of stage fright at the best of times and I will freely admit to being a little nervous getting onstage and seeing the tent fill up, but it went really well. The crowd were fantastic, really got into it and I had a great big stage to run around on. Plus the stage crew were great… it was just a fantastic experience all round, we’re really grateful for the opportunity to play.

Your record ‘I’ came out a couple of months ago too, so you’re having quite a year?

Yes we are, and we’re grabbing it with both hands, and running with it! This instance is so far along the spectrum of ‘best case scenario’ it’s unbelievable. Holy Roar were the label that we all agreed we’d like to work with and they’ve been amazing to work with throughout, it’s been a really positive experience. Getting a copy of the EP on vinyl is a tick off of my bucket list too, seeing my name printed on a record is a really big deal for me personally. The whole year has been fantastic though, we’ve played some great gigs, including Bloodstock, Riff Fest and Uprising at De Montford Hall, the EP has come out and people seem to like it, and we got to make a music video, which was a great experience. It’s all coming up Millhouse, really.

You’ve been getting praise from many parts of the media, are you surprised by the reception you’ve been getting or did you know you were shit-hot from the start?

We’re constantly surprised! I mean, obviously we knew we were shit hot, but really didn’t think anyone else would agree with us… and it’s just occurred to me that sarcasm probably doesn’t translate well in print media… Seriously, we write music that makes us happy and that we enjoy playing, especially big riffs. We knew that we enjoyed it, but it’s been a continuous surprise that other people seem to be into it. We draw a lot of comment about our live sets, which makes me especially happy, we put everything we have into our live show and I think it comes across. We’re really grateful for the support that we’ve had from the press, it’s inspiring to see the passion for music in the magazines and blogs out there, and humbling to have our band supported in that way.

We’re racking up the Conjurer gigs ourselves this year. Next up is Damnation… Pumped for that?

Definitely! Got some awesome stuff to do first – not least a fantastic bill for Mammothfest in Brighton and a short tour with Weedeater in October, but Damnation looks absolutely stunning this year. We’re so proud to have been asked to play; it’s been on our wish-list for festivals for a while.

damn-2016The line-up never fails to be cracking for Damnation. Will you be sticking around to catch anyone else on the bill?

Hell yes. The bill is insane this year. The full bill got announced yesterday, and I’m still reeling from some of the new additions. There’s a huge number of bands I want to see – Cult of Luna have to be a must, same with Electric Wizard, but I’m also going to try and catch Ufomammut, Bossk, Hark, The Infernal Sea, our awesome label mates Employed to Serve and Svalbard, Erlen Meyer, Attan, Dialects and Gets Worse. The crowning glory has to be the last show for our good friends in Hang The Bastard, which will definitely be an emotional show. There’s so many great bands though, it’s going to be a great day.

What can we expect from your Damnation performance?

Sweat, catharsis, motion, emotion and riffs – big meaty riffs. I don’t know what set we’ll play, we tend to decide on the day what songs to include depending on our mood, but there’ll be at least a couple from the EP on the set list. I can guarantee we’ll give everything we can give on-stage; we don’t really know any other way.

Will this be your first trip to Damnation or are you seasoned regulars?

It will be my first time, personally, but I know Brady is a regular, and Dan went last year. They had nothing but good things to say and Leeds is always a great city to play and see shows, so I’m really looking forward to it. I used to be in a band up in Leeds, so for a while it was practically my second home, I love that city. I’m gutted I couldn’t get to Damnation last year; I had a ticket and everything! I missed Amenra, I still struggle to sleep at night because of the loss.

Can we expect any new material from Conjurer any time soon or is that just greedy of us?

Hahaha – greedy! The short answer is, er, no. But the long answer is probably more fun, so let’s go with that instead. We’re writing away with a view to get into the studio as early as we can in the new year. We’ve got 80% of an album written, and we’re sprinkling these songs into live sets at the moment so we can work out what works and what doesn’t. The new material is a bit more varied than the EP but still has a fundamental ‘Conjurer-y-ness’, and I’m really looking forward to hearing it all recorded.

And where can we catch you live after Damnation? Any tours/fests coming up?

We’ve got a reasonably busy couple of months coming up – as mentioned earlier we’ll be out for Mammothfest and have four dates with Weedeater in October, we have a short run of shows with our fantastic Damnation buddies Attan in the days around Damnation, the inaugural Slomatic fest in Wakefield and we’re back in Manchester for Sophie Fest in November. December brings a short run with the absolutely awesome Regarde Les Hommes Tomber from France; that is going to be something really special, we’re all huge fans of that band. Looking at it, it’s pretty ridiculous actually, the awesome opportunities that we have been given this year. As I said earlier, we’ll keep holding on with both hands and going with this just as hard as we can.


Get your Damnation tickets here: http://www.damnationfestival.co.uk/tickets