We were blown away by the album Equilibrium from Allerjen, so when they announced they were playing the upcoming Download Festival, I can't say we were surprised! However, seeing as they're about to play, I figured we should catch up with them before they go and play, just to see what's going on and how they're feeling!
1). What are the names of your members?
John Dower - Vocals / Bass
Paul Wilkinson – Guitars
Paul Tarbuck – Drums
Audie Harrison - Guitars
2). When did you all get together?
John - Allerjen started in 2003 as a 3-piece with original members John, Wilko and T. After hundreds of gigs, an album and some sweet supports slot we realized it was time for a change in 2010. To be honest, Audie had been bugging us for years to come and have a jam with us, we thought “why not” and as they say the rest is history!
T - John and Wilko are founding members of Sphere and Allerjen, I joined in August 2003 and Audie joined around late 2010
3). How did you all meet?
John – Wilko and myself met as far back as primary school and have stuck like glue ever since. Even as far back as 2001, we met up with T and Audie through Audie’s first band, even before T had joined Allerjen. Who knew 9 years later we’d eventually end up in a solid line up together?
T - I met John and Wilko just as Allerjen had formed (2001/2002), whilst following the band that Audie was previously with (weird!) at various gigs. Allerjen needed a drummer in 2003 and I reluctantly joined as at the time I wasn't gigged at all or skilled in any way. I'm a bit better now ha ha ha :)
4). How would you describe your music?
John – When anyone asks me, I generally say it’s just metal. It’s got so many variables in the sound, especially the new 4-piece sound, it’s like the original Allerjen sound but more mature and evolved. The best advice I can give people is listen for yourself as so many reviewers find it hard to pigeon hole us into a certain category, which we think is a good thing.
Wilko - It's evolved over time, we used to be content with simply bludgeoning peoples faces. Now we try to right songs from a more technical perspective, but without compromising on the face bludgeoning.
T - We're very hard to pigeon-hole and I find we seem to be stumping a lot of reviewers for the album. I guess we've always classed ourselves as Metal, but never aimed to sound like any other band out there. We have our influences of course but we write music that we all enjoy to play and not because we can jump on bandwagons to please anyone else.
Audie - it's really hard to categorize specifically due to the varied influences we all have and bring to the table. I think really the simplest way to describe it is metal but there's melodic, progressive, death, and other elements that make up our sound
5). Who are your major influences?
John – My influences have changed over the years, vocally and bass wise. When I first started playing guitar and bass I was listening to Green Day, Offspring and the likes, so would have to admit it was players like Mike Dirnt and Flea. As I grew into a more metal sound, it opened my eyes to some truly brilliant playing styles, especially in the underground - Profane bassist Darryll Clarkson, Fourwaykill vocalist Chris Neighbour and Man Must Die vocalist Joe McGlynn, amazing! Though as true influences go, without sounding cheesier than cheddar, it’s the guys in the band who now influence me more than anything, pushing me to do my best and perform.
Wilko - I personally find inspiration from the musicians and bands that we come into contact with. I've been influenced and inspired by those around me.
T - We all have our individual influences, but not really a band influence as mentioned in the last question. Mine would probably be Roger Taylor, Alex Van Halen, Dave McClain, Vinnie Paul, Cozy Powell to name a few.
Audie - mine vary quite a lot and i don't tend to think in terms of influences so much as "artists I'm currently listening to most." right now the major ones in the "metal" category are Animals as Leaders, Textures, Opeth, Soilwork, Red seas Fire, and Sentenced.
6). Complete the sentence: One day as a band we hope to…
John – play some of the worlds greatest festivals.
Wilko - Continue. So many great bands we have played with over the years have quit or disbanded, we want to take this thing as far as we can.
T - Play Download...oh...wait
Audie - eat 400 eggs consecutively without being sick ;-)
7). Why should people listen to your music?
John – What’s the worst that can happen? Not like it? Just give it a go, T will hug you (straight after playing a show)
Wilko - We just make honest music, we're mot riding any bandwagons, the band has been a major part of our lives for a long time, we just want to make heavy music.
T - It's something a bit different to the norm, we don't sound like Down or Mastodon or Black Label Society, etc., etc., it's an original sound which is sometimes bordering on death metal, prog, classic rock, thrash but is always heavy as hell. It's up to you, buy the album (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and make up your own minds.
Audie - because its something a bit different mainly. its not too formulaic or generic, and there's something in there for most fans of metal music to enjoy. Plus it would make us really really happy if you do =-)
8). What are your plans for the upcoming year?
John – We’re absolutely over the moon that we’re playing Download this year! Really a big thing for the new line up and good platform for everyone to hear the new Allerjen sound and lose any pre-conceptions they had about us from the older sound.
Wilko - We have recently shot a video for 'Achieving Equilibrium' for our new album. Then just over a week later we start the summer with a bang, we will be playing the takeover stage at download! Not sure anythings gonna top that for a while.
T - More gigs up and down the country, hopefully more festivals, and at some point we'd like to head out to Europe.
Audie - well were playing download on the boardie takeover stage this june and after that were playing up and down the country trying to get the name Allerjen into as many ears as possible.
9). What albums/EP’s have you released so far and where can people get hold of them?
2008 – No Guts, No Glory - http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Guts-Glory-Allerjen/dp/B00168ZI3Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337500316&sr=8-2
2012 – Equilibrium - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Equilibrium-Allerjen/dp/B006JZ5L90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337500316&sr=8-1
The amazing Loud Stuff review of Equilibrium - http://www.loud-stuff.com/allerjen.html
10). Finally – say something profound that will make everyone think:
John – Why are fish fingers called fish fingers? When fish don’t have any fingers……..
Wilko - Mankind reached it's innovative, intellectual and evolutionary peak with the invention of curly fries! It's all downhill from here!!
T - If you choke a smurf, what colour will it turn? (yeah, it's an oldie but a goodie!)
Audie - eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines..
Thanks very much for reading
John, Wilko, T and Aud
Website - http://www.allerjen.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/allerjen
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/allerjen
iPhone app - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/allerjen/id493108274?mt=8