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3rd November 2009
METAL DISCOVERY: I think they generally don’t book the same bands for Bloodstock over two consecutive years, but are you after the main stage next, maybe in 2011?
TIM NEALE: Well, we had a chat with the guy about getting us back next year.
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(Tim Neale speculating on how it would be were Pythia interviewed on Bruce Dickinson's BBC Radio 6 Rock Show alongside Brian Blessed)
"I don’t think we’d get a word in edgeways! With Bruce Dickinson and Brian Blessed in the room, what more is there to say?! Two of the greatest men, in my opinion, in the world. I think I’d be too star struck to actually say anything!"
Pythia - promo shot, 2009
Photograph by Hayley Madden - copyright © 2009 Pythia/Golden Axe
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official Pythia Website:
Official Pythia MySpace:
Thanks to Claire Lim at Peculiar Management for offering and arranging the interview
Beneath the Veiled Embrace (2009)
MD: That would be great if that comes off.
TN: Well, we were a bit of an unknown quantity last year and it was only Paul hearing us and he was sort of “yeah, I really love you”. Emily said she’s going to try anyway, but the rule of thumb is that you don’t play twice in a row. So we will be on the main stage next time we go back. The other cool thing was seeing all my other pals and seeing Abgott doing an acoustic set was quite a thing to behold! That was one of the highlights of my weekend. I thought they did really, really well as black metal acoustic is a very hard thing to pull off.
MD: So they still did all the tremolo picking on acoustic guitars?
TN: Yep.
MD: So they just played it straight without distortion and whatever?
TN: Yep, and for Achilles to pull off those amazing arpeggios on a six string with only twenty two frets was quite something because he’s an amazing guitarist.
MD: I’m gonna hunt those clips on YouTube in a minute!
TN: Yeah, it’s all up there.
MD: I’d like to hear that! I read something on your forum suggesting you’ve been booked to play the Metal Female Voices Fest next year in Belgium?
TN: Yep.
MD: Has that been confirmed now?
TN: As far as I’m aware, yes. I’ll have to get the girls at Peculiar to double confirm it but, as far as I know, we’re on for…well, it’s a year away now isn’t it, but we’re on for that.
MD: Yeah, it’s usually October, this year’s one has just happened last month.
TN: That’ll be cool but, on the same token, as much as we are part of the femme metal thing, we just see it as metal. We’re always gonna have that sort of thing. The same with a power metal band, I’m sure they say “we’re just playing heavy metal”. So, it’s an honour to play it, and we’ll gladly do any other festival as well but, yeah, to get that with the same sort of lineup they had this year with your Doros and things like that…cool! We’ve actually just confirmed for a power metal festival in Belgium in April as well. That’s in the middle of the tour we’ve got with Pagan’s Mind.
MD: Is that like an off day on the tour then?
TN: Yeah, I think it’s like two days with ‘em, then the festival, and two days…and originally we were like “we’ve got this day where we’re with you; we’re a power metal band”…so we got on that as well which was cool.
MD: So you’re playing with Threshold next week, did you say?
TN: This Sunday coming.
MD: You’ve mentioned Pagan’s Mind too, so that’s two prog-metal bands…well, I guess Pagan’s mind are more power-prog, but do you think your music reaches out to the progressive crowd as well?
TN: Oh definitely, definitely. We have been called prog because we have got an off-time signature on the album, and we change keys in strange places which I guess is what a lot of metallers will call prog…not necessarily what I would personally, but I think the fans of that genre are, again, the same sort of fans of the more sort of cerebral, fantasy based metal, so I think it works quite well. And also, I think the worst thing in the world is when you go to see a band and the support band is exactly the same genre because you’re not experiencing anything different. I always prefer it when you go and see…I can’t think of an example now, but you go and see a band and there’s someone on who has a link but it’s a slightly different sort of music.
MD: Ah, now, this is why you should play with Mediaeval Baebes!
TN: Yeah! [laughs]
MD: What a billing that would be!
TN: Well I’ve always said that we should do some metal tracks with Mediaeval Baebes and get them all to sing on it.
MD: Yeah, what a collaboration, that would be brilliant! I think one of the least diverse festivals I ever went to was the Neurotic Deathfest in Holland last year. It was two days of death metal…like lots of Floridian style death metal. Napalm Death were there, and Cephalic Carnage, and Blood Red Throne, so a few different styles, but it was too much death metal after two days!
TN: It’s like a weekend on the piss drinking the same beer all weekend! You know, there’s no variety! [laughs] It eventually gets a bit frothy and horrible and ohhh, just give me something else!
MD: Absolutely! You mentioned Bruce Dickinson who’s played you on his show - I think I read on your MySpace you were interviewed on his Radio 6 show?
TN: Not yet.
MD: Ah, that’s coming up is it?
TN: We’re plumping for that because Bruce is a huge Blessed fan as well.
MD: That’s a good in then isn’t it?!
TN: I think there might be a few of us in the studio with the big man. The only thing is, I don’t think we’d get a word in edgeways! With Bruce Dickinson and Brian Blessed in the room, what more is there to say?! Two of the greatest men, in my opinion, in the world. I think I’d be too star struck to actually say anything!
MD: That would be such a surreal experience being in the same room as Bruce Dickinson and Brian Blessed on BBC Radio 6!
TN: My girlfriend’s actually said "if it only cost you that much for the album, then why don’t we get Brian Blessed to marry us and Brucie to fly us to the honeymoon!" [laughs] Obviously we’ve gone down well with Bruce because he gave us a play in quite a good slot - I think it was about quarter to ten in the evening - and he spoke about us afterwards, like I say. And then he played us again the next week; he played a different track, maybe of his own accord, without our management plugging it or anything.
MD: So he’s definitely got into it.
TN: Yeah, so…why wouldn’t he?! [laughs] He’s a local to us as well. He’s only up the road. I think he realised it was Southwest London metal boys, and no matter how old or what part of the metal strata you’re in, you’re all part of the same clan really.
MD: So there’s still a feeling of affinity towards the local boys kinda thing.
TN: Well, here’s hoping, anyway! [laughs]
MD: Finally, what plans lie ahead for Pythia in the coming months and have you already started composing for a second album?
TN: Yes, the second album’s already started. We’re not ones to sit on our laurels, hence the Golden Axe thing. We’re not gonna sit back and wait and see what goes on. We’re just gonna plough straight ahead into the next one and carry on. I’m not sure how official things are or anything but there’s talk of another single around February. We’re not sure which one it’s gong to be or whether it’ll have a video or anything, but there’s definitely gonna be another release in the early part of next year. There’s the tour coming up which we’re gonna hope to expand on because, obviously, I think we’re a bit of an unknown quantity with some people; with some booking agents as it were. We’re gonna be testing the water…or they’re gonna be testing the water with us a little bit to start off with. So basically, with the festivals and everything next year looking onwards and upwards, the girls at Peculiar are working their butts off at the minute, getting it out there to every promoter. You see it a lot with power metal bands because it’s quite a small, hard genre to be in…they release an album, get a fan base, and you have to wait ages to see ‘em. There’s a lot of bands that I love who I’m still waiting to come over from two albums ago. We’re not gonna do that. Everywhere someone on the forum has said “come and play here”, we’re gonna try and hit, be it Spain, or South America, Northern Europe. Whether the big American thing happens is in the lap of the gods because they’re their own entity over there really, aren’t they. But, we’re not really gonna stop, effectively, be it writing, be it coming up with new ideas, and just basically keep moving on. We can’t not! We’re all too hyperactive! [laughs]
MD: You seem to have the momentum going, like storming from the off.
TN: Yeah, and the momentum can only be lost really by complacence. That’s the last thing we want to do is get complacent and think yeah, we had a really great start, some really great gigs, now everyone come to us.
MD: Complacency and beer maybe!
TN: [laughs] Luckily, for us, the two don’t go hand in hand! If anything, it makes us more tenacious! I’ve seen so many great bands fail because they’ve sort of thought, right, we’ve got an amazing product, we’ve done all our work, now you come to us. It doesn’t work like that anymore. It might have worked in the eighties and early nineties, but it’s very much a hardworking market, and you’ve got to keep going at it and, basically, be your own entity, and just keep going on. We realise that, and that’s exactly what we plan to do.
MD: Yeah, brilliant. Right, well, bloody good luck with the album.
TN: Cool, thanks.
MD: And everything else. It’s been really nice speaking to you.
TN: And you mate.
MD: Hopefully catch you out there at a gig sometime.
TN: Yeah, definitely, definitely. As soon as we’re up there, we’ll let you know.
MD: Great, cheers mate.
TN: Cheers, speak to you later.