Ravenface – Interview

British rock band Ravenface are all set to release their new album Breathe Again, and we can’t wait to hear it. We decided to have a bit of a chat with the band ahead of the release, and we’re now even more hyped about it than we were before!

By Jane Howkins

You’re about to release a new album titled Breathe Again. Are you excited for that? There’s been quite a bit of hype around the release, we’re looking forward to hearing it!

Ever since the writing process started we’ve been excited for its release. With a new line up and new ideas/skills being brought to the table we all genuinely love what we have produced.

What can you tell us about the album? How is it different from your previous work, and do you feel your songwriting has changed over the years? We imagine the writing and recording process has changed somewhat as well?

I think the main word for the album is that it’s dynamic! Ultimately, it is a progression. Like any band they must write what they think is right at that point in their lives. The new album I think for us has been a breath of fresh air, allowing ourselves to explore a different side to our musical abilities. As stated previously, with new members new musical angles will be brought to light and in all honesty the production of the record became much more linear and was a very exciting process overall, especially with the distance in which all of us live.

It’s been five years since your last release proper. Did you even think you would get back together when you split, and what made you want to get back together again? How have things changed for you guys since then, both in musical terms and in your own lives? We hear you have a new guitarist called Leah – how is she fitting in?

Coming back together was fairly fluid and natural. James and Jack are the only original members currently. Leah Woodward is our ‘latest’ addition and has brought an excellent work ethic, talent and ideas to the grouping. Both live and in the writing process Leah has an excellent balanced approach to song writing, music consumption and the music industry as a whole. But in terms of her ‘fitting in’, James and Jack had to have the same process with drummer Cameron Spence [Novena] and bassist Adam Dowd [The Colour Line]. The rhythm section were effectively hand-picked as the best of the best from the tech-metal scene in the UK from witnessing their skills with their other/previous bands.

During your hiatus, some of you worked in different bands. How did that go for you, and how different was that from being in Ravenface? Do any of you still work with those other acts, or hve any side projects? If so, how do you balance them with Ravenface?

James: No Sin Evades His Gaze were a big part of my life and I have no strong plans on writing for that project at this stage but again, never say never.

Leah Woodward: With members busy doing other things it means that aliases has been put on hold, however it doesn’t mean there’ll be no new music in the future. Also balancing isn’t an issue, everyone is in the same boat as they balance life with the band by putting Ravenface first.

Cameron Spence: Novena are currently sat on an album and will be releasing it and gigging next year.

Jack Ormond-Prout: During the hiatus I played with Jagwar who have also now disbanded.

Adam Dowd: I was with The Colour Line, who disbanded in 2017. I mean; I personally will never say never but I think at this time doing that again is looking unlikely. I am trying to get a couple of projects off the ground however but priorities have been with Ravenface and the build up to the album release.

The debut single from the album was called Tyrants and Kings. What can you tell us about the track and the title, and do you have any more singles planned for release? Have you released anymore since then?

We’ve dropped 3 singles from the new album, the other two being Fighters and Breathe Again, and we have a 4th video in the works for a track called Colder which is set to drop after the album comes out on November 30th.
The track title Tyrants and Kings essentially relates back to the songs lyrics. Most Tyrants start of as well intentioned Kings and over time become more corrupt, moving further and further from their original vision. It’s the same with relationships, they can degrade over time and it’s sometimes hard to see the forest through the trees. That’s what the song is about.

You’ve also played a few festivals this year, including the UK Tech Metal Fest. How were those for you, and did you catch any of the other bands playing there? Who did you see and how were they?

UK Tech-fest is always amazing! The best people in the world all in one field for a couple of days every year, who could ask for more? Tech-fest really is best-fest! We have also played at prog-metal madness this year as they are awesome dudes there. Highlights for us as always are Dividium, Valis Ablaze, Sikth, Employed to Serve, and Neshima. We are also playing Hammerfest next year and are happy to play there.

How do you find a festival show differs from a normal gig, and which do you prefer? What are your favourite festivals, both to play or go to as punters? We actually camped next to James at a festival this year and had a great time with him!

For us I don’t think there is a preference as such. Festivals from our view are important to reach new potential fans while other shows are to usually existing fans where you might grab a few new faces as they’ve been dragged there by a mate. Touring generally is what we love. The camaraderie when you get another band that you really get on with and get to play shows together every night is simply awesome!

What sort of music influences you as a band, and what have you been listening to recently? When speaking to James we learned he had quite a varied music taste – is the same true of the rest of the band?

All of us have a hugely differing taste in music.

James: I listen to and absorb so much music during the process of writing and producing an album it’s almost impossible to write out. I’ll borrow string/ambient ideas from film soundtrack composers, song structure and hooks from pop music, production tricks from dubstep and electronic music etc. There’s very little music out there I can’t appreciate at least some element of.

Adam: The weirder the better for me. Jamie Lenman, Mike Patton & Frank Zappa I would say are my regular go to artists in whatever incarnation they have released music. But as a bassist I adore trip-hop, neo-soul, disco, funk etc. Thundercat is amazing, Victor Wooten & Marcus Miller. But at the same time I’m a huge fan of Black Peaks, The Dillinger Escape Plan & Three Trapped Tigers. I’m influenced by everyone mentioned above; right through to the local bands like Dividum & 99% Cobra to name two. Ultimately I’m looking for passion in performance, along with exceptional song-writing skills and musicianship.

Cameron: The Night Game, Bruno Mars, Chvrches, Toto,  Prince (the self titled album is amazing!), Bruce Hornsby, Madeon, Zedd, Starset, etc.

Jack: I love tonnes of stuff but top of the list are Coheed & Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold and all the cheesiest 80’s pop a human can consume on a daily basis. Michael Bolton is a time lord.

Leah: Cher, Justin Bieber, Devin Townsend, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Extreme, Kanye West, Status Quo, Death, Nile, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Cryptopsy, Aqua, Infant Annihilator, Bach, A Perfect Circle, Eiffel 65, Kittie, Scatman, Faith No More, Fleetwood Mac, Dillinger... I’d say they’re my top influences.

You originated in Blackpool. What is the music scene like there and are there any local bands or venues you can recommend? It’s quite famous for the punk festival Rebellion.

The Blackpool music scene has definitely been through a renaissance the past few years. It was thriving when we started back in 2009/2010 the first time, then it died down a bit. The guys at Bootleg Club have really done a great job of bringing underground music shows back to Blackpool and these days they’re pretty thriving. We have some rad bands here too, guys like Strange Bones and Ska Face pack out shows here.

Any last words for the fans?

Yes. Thank you for your enduring patience waiting for this album to materialise. I’m happy to finally be able to have a date to mark on the calendar, that being November 30th, and I hope it both meets and exceeds everyone’s expectations.