(((o))): So, first and foremost, who are Envoys and what are your musical backgrounds?
We are a post-metal band from Leeds. We’ve been involved in various heavy bands in the city, mostly metal bands of some description. Now we’re doing something a bit different, so “post-metal” seems to fit as a tag most of the time.
(((o))): How did the band come together?
Chris (drums) and I (Stephen, guitar) went to school together and, like all the best musicians of our generation, we bonded over a shared love for nu metal. We played together in Cotheria for about five years, and then we formed Envoys in early 2011 with Tom (guitar), who I had known for years, and Dan (bass), who appeared out of the ether like some mysterious, moustachioed gift from the gods.
(((o))): Please describe your sound in poetic form. (Haiku, rhyming couplets, acrostic, etc - take your pick)
At first it’s too loud
Your ears recoil, then slowly
Pain ends: riffs emerge.
(((o))): How has your local scene impacted you as a band?
Leeds has been really good to us. We haven’t had a duff gig here, and that’s in no small part thanks to good promoters like Paulie P and Stew at Bad Owl. Some of my favourite bands of all time have come out of Leeds, so that has been big for me, and we are friends with a lot of talented producers, sound engineers, artists, luthiers – so many people who make this a great place to make music.
(((o))): You’ve just had your new album out. What can you tell us about that? How is it a progression from your previous work?
Before Violescent, all we had put out was a three-track demo. The album is a much richer, denser piece of work, bringing in a lot of new elements and sounds. Recording it ourselves allowed us to experiment tonally, and we also roped in friends to play cello, trumpet, and multiple drum ensembles!
(((o))): What would you say you are envoys of? Darkness? Doom? The forthcoming return of the saviour...?
We talk about ethical food shopping a lot. We are all particularly about not buying asparagus out of season. Perhaps that’s our key message for the world. We are Envoys of ethical asparagus.
(((o))): What do you think is the most difficult challenge facing new bands starting out in the music industry today?
We’ve all got pretty busy lives, so finding time for networking and “admin” seems to be a challenge for us. However, more important has got to be finding your own sound and not churning out something utterly derivative of other bands. Writing honestly and working hard at your music is always the most important, and most difficult, thing.
(((o))): Every band has different aims. What would have to happen for Envoys to make you feel that you’d “made it”, so to speak?
Playing the festivals I have always attended as a punter, every summer.
(((o))): You’re given the opportunity to create your own All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival. What would be the first five bands on your list?
Pelican, Radiohead, Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Sunn O)))
(((o))): Are there any upcoming bands you’d like us to feature soon?
Magnapinna have been around in Leeds for a while but don’t get talked about enough considering how good they are. The same goes for Himself. Also, False Flags are about to make a bit of a comeback and they’re well worth your time.
(((o))): What are the band’s plans for the near future?
Gigs around the UK over the next couple of months, then back out to mainland Europe in the New Year. We also got treated like royalty by our mates Eye of Daw in Belgium recently, so we’re planning a reet Yorkshire do for them when they come over in the spring!