The heavy metal landscape is getting wider and despite the difficulties faced by every band and artist over the past year, many have strived to ensure they still stand up and shout, some louder than ever.
Metal Rocka Recordings stars Enquire Within are fast developing a reputation for being one of the hardest working bands in the business. Their innovative and creative projects during lockdown have demonstrated a hunger to produce quality music that has kept fans happy and eager to find out what is next in store from the London band.
The band showed their resilience and determination to succeed by insisting the pandemic would not prevent them from achieving their dream of working within the music industry when they drove up the M1 in-between lockdowns to sign their recording contract at a service station! The band spoke to me about their various projects in this exclusive interview.
Much has happened over the last 18 months and many artist’s plans have changed, where were Enquire Within before the global pandemic changed everything and how did you tackle the days ahead?
Our last gig before the lockdown was at HRH Metal at the O2 Birmingham over a year ago. In the absence of live gigs, we wanted to put on a show that our fans could watch and came up with the idea of a Live Session at Hackney Road Studios. We decided to perform our album Bloodlines but in a live setting which was recorded by producer Nic Baker and captured on video by his team. We had two new members of the band, Amelia Pellegrino-White playing guitar and Erim Ahmet playing bass. They brought a new energy and dynamic to our performance which meant the tracks evolved from the way we initially wrote them and produced the new Enquire Within sound. We wanted to share this evolution, this new sound and look with our fans, so we formed a new partnership with HRH TV with weekly videos that reached a wider audience. It’s more than a live album, it’s a live experience during the lockdown, and the reaction has been fantastic. We can’t wait to perform some of these tracks, with the new line-up, when we get back on the road later this year.
The 10 videos you produced for the Live Sessions at Hackney Road Studios were very well received and really do showcase a band not content to rest on their laurels in the face of adversity, but you didn’t stop there. What inspired you to follow on with the Under The Covers series?
We were determined not to sit idly by and wait for the lockdown to pass. We wanted to build on the momentum of the experience with HRH TV, so we decided to perform some of our favourite tracks from bands that inspired us. We have always performed live versions of Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare and Trivium’s In Waves, so these were very familiar songs. Our fans may have been surprised by our other choices from System Of A Down to Cancer Bats. We didn’t just want to do ‘ok’ cover versions, we wanted them to reflect how we were evolving as a band. Amelia’s musical influences and preferences are much further away from metalcore towards death and black metal and we were happy to experiment with this. Jacob has always described our music as a bit of pick and mix metal, particularly as we love thrash metal and these cover songs reflect this perfectly. Amelia has a personal connection with Power Trip having broken her ankle in the pit watching them at Download and wanted to pay tribute to their lead singer Riley Gale who died last year. She didn’t know she had broken her ankle until she got home from the gig – that’s dedication! Our version of Executioner’s Tax has been the surprise track as it’s the most viewed of all within the Under The Covers series – we love it so much and we can’t wait to bring it to you live.
What challenges did you face when recording the Under The Covers series?
We started recording the tracks and making the videos whilst in Tier 2 and it was reasonably straightforward, particularly as Erim was going to record and mix the tracks for us in his studio. We then jumped into Tier 4 within days which made life a lot harder as we couldn’t really meet up. Fortunately, Henry and Jacob live together and this meant they could get their part of the videos done safely and send it to Dan for editing and final production. We don’t think you can tell that the videos were all filmed separately and then put together by Dan in the editing suite, although I suppose we’ve let the cat out of the bag now!
How did this affect the bands working dynamic? Did it alter how you would traditionally write and record new material?
Although previously Dan and Henry would write the music separately, they could always get together to discuss, and agree or disagree, on the way forward for new tracks and get a good idea on which riffs worked. That process has been conducted almost exclusively online which has added a different dynamic to their writing. It’s also made it easier to share new ideas online to the whole band rather than just present a final product for Jacob to then write the lyrics.
Once an idea has been agreed and sketched out Dan now records a demo version and sends it to the other band members so they can get a good feel for the track. Jacob works his magic by adding lyrics and passes it to Dan to plan harmonies over the track. You will hopefully notice the difference in the way that we’ve matured and evolved when you hear the new material coming soon. There is definitely a fresh approach to how we have worked during the lockdown and it makes a difference with Amelia writing some of the music-making the final version a bit edgier with her musical influences. It also makes life a lot easier when Erim is not only recording and mixing the new tracks but also playing bass as this adds another dynamic to the final sound.
What can you tell us about the new single?
The new single is called Get Out and is available to download now on all major retailers. Performing Under The Covers was a lot of fun but we wanted to bring out our own new material and this single is the first part of that. We have a lot more coming soon in 2021 and this single reflects how we have evolved as a band taking influences from other bands we love and some we would love to play with in the future. We think we will surprise our fans with the new material and can tease that the next single after Get Out is completely different. We can’t wait for you to hear the new songs and to get together in a rehearsal room to prepare to get back into performing live.
We gave you a taste of what we liked with the Live Sessions at Hackney Road Studios and Under The Covers but this new single is a step up for us and shows how we’ve been influenced musically and the next direction of travel.
Enquire Within have also recorded a video for ‘Get Out’ – which you can find HRH TV on YouTube.