Ritual Festival Preview : Interview with Groak

GroakWe are gearing up for Ritual Festival here at CackBlabbath. We love a day out in Leeds and throw in a few bands such as Conjurer, Bossk and Ihsahn and well… you’ve got a blinding day out.

There is a great mix of bands on the poster for this heavy one-dayer. Some bands we’re more than familiar with, others we’re looking forward to seeing for the first time. You can bet we’ll fall in love with at least one new band that we’ve never seen before, as always happens at festivals.

Speaking of bands we have never seen live before, Groak will be one of the first bands of the day and we caught up with Steve from the band to see what we can expect from our first time at Ritual Festival:

Thanks for talking to CB today, we hope you are fit and well!

(Steve Myles) All good thanks! And of course no worries, cheers for having a word with us.

Straight to the point, Ritual Festival is getting close now! Silly question.. but are you looking forward to this one?

Aye it should be a good do, we were down at the last one which was a giggle and Ritual Dreadfest was top the other weekend.

It’s a hefty bill, you are in some good company on that line-up don’t you think?

For sure, there’s some mint bands on the bill, Canal Mills is a sweet spot too, haven’t gone to to so much down there but the vibe last year was spot on.

We’ve yet to witness Groak in live action here at cackblabbath.online, what can we expect from your show?

Hah hah good question, we’re fairly loud and miserable to be honest, definitely from the “turn it up and hope for the best” school of playing. Folks that are into Dystopia, Grief, Thou and Meth Drinker should get a kick out it.

Who will you be looking forward to catching after you’ve done your business on stage?

Proper looking forward to seeing our boys in The Afternoon Gentlemen again, always a good laugh. Also interested to see the reformation of Canvas, it’s been a long time coming. Will most likely be trying to catch everyone though, seems daft not to.

You are local lads to the festival. Do you think it is important to showcase local talent at gigs like this rather than just shipping bands in from all over the place?

Have always been a big believer in keeping local bands in the loop with stuff like this, a good swathe of folks who go to this kind of festival will be in bands themselves so it helps to keep the world turning and that. It was dead good of the Ritual lot to invite us along for a spin.

Leeds has a really strong Doom scene from what we can see. More and more of the eye-catching gigs that get our attention seem to be in and around Leeds lately. Is there something in the water up there? 

I don’t know really, there’s a llot of music here for sure, plenty of people who are into slower sludgy stuff, maybe not so many bands that play that kind of thing but the “heavy” scene is pretty open minded. The grind scene in particular is going from strength to strength and there’s a surprising amount of cross over. I guess we’re just lucky to have so many sweet DIY spots that host top shows i.e Temple of Boom, Wharf Chambers, Chunk and bigger spots like the Brudenell keep us on our toes.

What are the main factors in getting a scene to flourish from your side of things? What’s happening in Leeds that works so well?

I suppose the main thing is for everyone to leave any competitive aspect at the door, it only really works if everyone helps each other out and puts each other’s squads on. A good wedge of the decent gigs up here are promoted by the bands themselves so I guess that builds a decent community spirit. As time goes on there are a lot more mixed bills happening which helps bring new people into crews they wouldn’t normally associate with. I suppose less people are only into one kind of music these days which keeps things interesting.

So, Ritual Festival is obviously a big one, but what else have you got on the horizon to look forward to in Groak?

We’ve got a few bangers coming up, we’ll be playing with Sickmark, Human Cull and Ohhms over the next couple of months. Will be putting on a second edition of the Hearth Life alldayer at some point this year too which we’ll most likely play at. Mainly hoping to get a bunch of new stuff written as we had a proper gig heavy year in 2016, there’s a bunch of splits in the pipeline and I suppose we should probably write an album before too long hah hah.

And finally, can you recommend a good pub for lunch close by to Ritual Fest please?

Ah right yeah I mean Canal Mills is kind of off the beaten path so I’m not sure about decent pubs around that neck of the woods. If the food that’s down at the venue is anything like last year then you’re in for a treat anyway, they had some ace food van style stuff down there last time. If you find yourself going through town then there’s always good scran on down at Global Tribe and Little Tokyo, if you’ve a bit more money to burn then there’s Bundobust and The Reliance which are both dead tasty!


Beer, food and some blistering heavy metal! Get your Ritual Festival tickets here: http://ritualfestival.bigcartel.com/

Ritual takes place at Leeds Canal Mills on April 8th… Check out the POSTER!

A3 Poster Jan 2017 Update Small