BAND MEMBERS: Alex Mumford – Vocals, Rich Pew & Matty Holder – Guitars, Chris Smith – Bass, Matt Haycock – Drums
CURRENT ALBUM RELEASE: The Face Of Ruin – Self Titled EP
Introduce the band in your own words…
“The Face Of Ruin is melodic death metal band from little old Warwick made up of 5 very handsome and intelligent young men. We’re all about catchy riffs and having fun. “
Tell our readers about your current album / ep / demo release
“We released our self titled EP in November last year containing 3 tracks which we think perfectly sums up our current sound. The menu is as follows:
Starter – Murderer’s Lair: Hot and spicy with thrashy riffs and dark melodic chorus.
Main – Beyond Life: A wholesome and filling crowd pleaser with groove and character.
Dessert – Return To Her: Decadent and indulgent; sexy horror with Gothenburg riffs and brutal breakdown. All of our influences in one course.”
Who would you say you sound most like?
“We flatter ourselves by thinking) A more accessible Black Dahlia Murder .”
Who or what are your biggest influences?
“Unsurprisingly, The Black Dahlia Murder are a HUGE influence! The band started as a melodic death metal/metalcore hybrid with bands like In Flames, At The Gates and Killswitch Engage providing a lot of the inspiration. In reality, our sound is born out of celebration for a number of bands but Swedish Melodic Death would still be at the heart.”
Describe your band members and what each person brings to the table
“Alex Mumford (Vocals) – Frontman in every sense. Loud, confident, bonkers, disgusting, hilarious.
Rich Pew (Guitars) – Lead guitarist. Writes the riffs and makes sure his hair looks great while doing it.
Matty Holder (Guitars) – He’s an airline pilot, what more can we say??
Chris Smith (Bass) – A beautiful bearded beast of a boy who beats that bass like a boss.
Matt Haycock (Drums) – Goblin Boy, so called because of the horrific gurn he’s able to pull. Pretty damn good at drums though.”
Do you argue over what music gets played on the way to a gig? Who wins and what’s the most popular choice?
“It’s rare that anybody will put something on and one of us not enjoy it. At the end of the day we all just love music, it’s the one thing we can all talk about for hours on end and are tastes are very similar. So whether it’s Matt playing Infant Annihilator or Alex playing Wham! chances are we’re gonna have a good time on the road.”
If you were marooned on a desert island which band member would be eaten first and why?
“We’d probably say Alex because he has the most meat on him. Those indigenous creatures just couldn’t resist. They’d be set for weeks.”
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were on stage?
“Our bass player Chris has made a name for himself by falling into or off things. He fell off the front of the stage at the very end of one of our sets in Leamington Spa once, right onto his back. But he kept on playing til the end! That was a funny moment.”
You’re asked to select a band to tour with you as support. Who would you choose and why?
“We’d choose pretty much any of our influences. Black Dahlia Murder, At the Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. They shaped us into the band we are today so it goes without saying we’d want to support these Melodeath giants!”
If you could name any one item that would be delivered no questions on the band rider what would you choose and why?
“Sausages! We like sausage!”
You’re stuck on a night off mid tour with just a games console and a handful of games for company. Do you choose Call Of Duty, Zelda, Need For Speed or do you just raid the mini bar?
“Each of us would choose something different here. Haycock and Rich would probably play Call of Duty whilst Alex, Smith and Matty would smash the mini bar!”
If the band got offered an amazing major label deal but it meant a change of image to something you are uncomfortable with and censorship of lyrics would you take the deal or walk?
“The deal would have to be completely life changing for us to even think about it!”
In the event of the end of the world what’s the first song on your post-apocalypse playlist?
“Toto – Africa.”
Who has the worst habits on tour?
“None of us really have bad habits… Alex eats a lot! But that’s about it.”
Describe the local music scene of your hometown and how you fit into that as a band?
“So the majority of us hail from Warwick, a historic little town in the Midlands. To our knowledge, there is no music scene here…. But we fit pretty well into the Birmingham scene which, understandably, is a great place for rock and metal. Most of our shows are played in Birmingham and we won Bloodstock’s Metal to the Masses competition in Birmingham in 2016. The city has a bunch of awesome venues and metal is most definitely alive here!”
When writing new music is it a collaborative effort or is there a main song writer?
“Rich, one of our guitarists, will write the guitar parts and main structure of each song. Once recorded, that’ll be sent round the rest of the band for each member to write their respective parts. The songs are born from an individual but the finished product is very much a collaborative effort.”
Some bands have goals for albums, the UK Subs for example recorded an album for every letter of the alphabet. Do you have any goals for future albums?
“We honestly haven’t thought that far ahead! What we do know is that we’d like out first album to be a true embodiment of The Face of Ruin at that moment in time. A collection of tracks that really show off what we’ve learned and become during our time together.”
In the modern on-demand music scene is the concept album dead or do you feel there’s still room for them?
“We’re all massive progressive rock and metal fans so it would be blasphemy for us to shun the concept album. We completely believe there’s a place for them, especially with the resurgence and popularity of vinyl records. What better way to enjoy Mastodon’s Crack The Skye than to sit down with it on vinyl and listen to it uninterrupted with a glass of red wine and a bean bag chair? Do people still do bean bag chairs…?”
The hardest step for any band today is going full time, is this something you envisage being able to do in the future?
“You know, without shooting ourselves in the foot here, we’ve never collectively pushed to go full time. We all have our own lives and interests outside of music which are really important to us. I think the small successes that we enjoy feel special because we really don’t have any expectations from the music. We’re very lucky because everybody in the band agrees on that.”
How important is the local music scene to you as a band?
“Incredibly important. It’s not a cliché, without it we just wouldn’t have been able to play our music. The Birmingham rock and metal scene has been kind to us and we’ve been able to play a lot of shows in the city. Not only is our local scene the perfect way to connect with our audience, it’s a great way of networking and making new friends in the community.”
What are the band goals for 2018? Anything important or any milestones to be reached?
“Our main goal is to write and record new material, we’d like to have an album’s worth of music to record this year.”
If you could choose to play any UK festival – which one would it be and why?
“So we’ve already played the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock after winning the Birmingham region’s Metal to the Masses competition. But honestly, we’d love to play that festival again, on a bigger stage! Bloodstock will always be important to us after that competition but that aside, it’s just a really well organised festival with awesome bands and a lovely atmosphere.”
If you could be endorsed by any companies who would they be and why?
“There are tonnes of great endorsers out there, so many to choose from. We are currently endorsed by Vocalzone. The guitar lads both use Ibanez, it would be cool to be endorsed by those guys.”
If you could play God for a day – who would you make an angel and who would you send to hell? And why?
“I think we can all agree that Phillip Schofield has already earned his place in Heaven for being an all-round top lad. He’d receive angel status immediately upon death (we can’t remove him from this world just yet). Donald Trump would go to hell for reasons I’m sure don’t need explaining.”
Do you have a message for fans of your music?
“To all 3 of you: sausages.”
Here is your opportunity to end the interview with some final words on a subject of your choice….
“Fans of music…any music. Get down to as many local shows as you can. Music venues are closing all over the country. Not only do the bands need your support, but so do the venues. Also, you might end up loving a local band. Show your support! Believe me it’s needed!”