Interview: Armed for Apocalypse

Before they took to the stage in London at The Boston Music Room, we spoke to Armed for Apocalypse about coming to the UK, the tour experience, playing with Hundred Year Old Man, the response to latest album ‘Ritual Violence’ nine months on since release, and so much more. They also took part in our ‘Are You a Londoner’ quiz and you read the transcript of the interview below.

Read our review of the live show here and our review of Ritual Violence here.

Hello Armed for Apocalypse. It’s wonderful to speak to you again. Last time we spoke it was about 9 months ago.

Yeah, we pulled over in a layby to do that interview as we were on tour!

It was a pleasure, and this is even more of a pleasure. To be sitting here in London with you. Simple thing first, how are you all doing?

We’re all doing really well. Feeling good and excited for this show.

I noticed that you’ve been touring solidly, without a day off on this run.

Days off are the devil. You spend money, there’s no chance of making money and you just find yourself too much free time. We’d much rather be playing.

Do you not find you ever get the opportunity to just kind of enjoy where you are? Like do the tourist stuff, wander around London, Manchester, Birmingham etc.

I think it’s nice if you have the time to be able to do that kind of thing, but we’re not here for a vacation. We’re all here to play music.

I think playing clubs here, you get kind of like what we love to do anyway, which is hang out. This is where I would want to hang out even if I wasn’t on the tour. This would be the area. All around shows and music anyway, so getting to enjoy and get to know people around here is pretty awesome.

Describe to me then, what’s a day in the life of Armed for Apocalypse on tour at the moment. What does it consist of?

Different for everyone. Yeah. I mean, wake up. Brady (from Conjurer) will make fun of us a little bit and then from there, literally, it’s like, hit the road, get the van, try to find some sort of food.

There’s a difference between touring here and touring in the US. Like daily routines, I think, but lately it’s been kind of just get up and start driving.

Get some coffee or food.

This weekend it’s pretty standard, I guess. I don’t know. Today is a little different because we ended up sleeping in the venue last night, like, upstairs in a little loft. We had a little party, so people are up late and then it’s just kind of pulling it together slowly, but it’s all good. The pre-show ritual is all the same. We listen to Andrew W.K. as loudly as possible, a little bit of Every Time I Die as loudly as possible, get stretched out, take our beer, blasters, our boost free blasters, and then rock this.

Andrew W.K. incredibly underrated, particularly when it comes to ‘pick me up’ music. What are we listening to here specifically? An album or a selection of tracks?

It’s usually something off ‘I Get Wet’ but we change it up every night. Yeah. Interestingly enough, I feel like we’re done because I think we’ve been hitting Party Hard a couple of times on this tour.

A couple of times, a couple of repeats. Like last night, we didn’t have much time, so it was ‘It’s Time to Party’. It’s like two and a half minutes long.

Amazing. It’s a great way to pump you up. How’s the tour overall been so far? Do you think the UK has delivered on your expectations?

I think it’s been great.

Edinburgh there were, like, way more pre-sales than we expected, so we were kind of like, oh, cool, this is going to be one of those where we’re not on like a huge package tour, but we’re able to fill some rooms. Playing smaller places has been great because they’re packed, and people are going nuts.

The energy has been up.

What was it about Edinburgh?

Well, it was the first show with Hundred Year Old Man. We were getting our bearings a little bit too. A bunch of people came out to Bannermans.

The last time we played in Edinburgh was like, 2017. We played in Glasgow with Conjurer. We hadn’t been there for a while, so there are people there from that show. It was great because we played, like, right down the street.

And how about Tech Fest? How was that?

It was chaotic for us because we had landed the day before and then we had to get the gear sorted, get the band sorted and catch up on sleep a little bit. Then we were pretty much at the festival. It was a bit chaotic, but the crew over there were a huge help.

We had to use Brady’s guitar pedal board, but it was unfamiliar, so we didn’t even know where to plug it in.

We’re trying to sound check; I’m trying to adjust the settings and try to get my tone in and then figure out how to use it. because, I don’t know, I’m very much like an old school. Just like using a tube amp, plug in and play. But the thing’s cool. I forget what it’s called, but it was just like, okay, how do I use this thing?

Like, 20 minutes before we went on, though? So, it’s adjusting to that kind of stuff and then just not letting it get the best of us. Just going with it.

Did you try getting to any of our other festivals this year in the UK?

Until recently we didn’t really have anyone to help with that sort of thing. Tech Fest was a bit of a lucky situation as we know one of the organisers, Simon. That’s changed now.

Perfect! Plenty of room for next year.

We’re hoping that this run will help with that kind of stuff. To be fresh in people’s minds.

What’s been the highlight of the tour so far? Let’s presume it will be tonight, but up to this point, the highlight, which city has brought it?

I think the energy last night in Bournemouth, the energy was really high there.

They were ready for the rock show for sure.

Sheffield was pretty cool, and of course, back to Scotland, man.

Yeah. Edinburgh pretty amazing.

I love that you’re pulling out every date of the tour. London to go. Manchester tomorrow as well.

They are going to be bangers.

@gbhbl

A bit of Armed for Apocalypse last night at the Boston Music Room in London! #gbhbl

♬ original sound – GBHBL

How about your experience with Hundred Year Old Man pre this tour? Did you know anything about them beforehand?

I didn’t.

Yeah, I did. I play in another band back home that’s more like post metal. And we were huge fans of them. And then, yeah, a bunch of people from Portland actually were like, bring them back with you. There’s been calls for that.

Been fun to get to know them, though.

They’re great.

Definitely.

There just good people. Our van broke down two nights ago, whatever it was. So, we limped home, got towed home to Brady’s mom’s house, and then the Hundred Year Old Man crew came and picked us up, packed all our gear into their van and they just took care of us. It’s really cool.

Helen (Hundred Year Old Man bassist) also helped with Tech Fest and I was like, Simon, who should we, like, try to pair up with for the tour? He was like Hundred Year Old Man. It has all worked out incredibly well.

Regarding Ritual Violence. Are you satisfied with what you accomplished here?

The record itself, we’re very proud of it. However, we want to do more. We got into music to play it, so we want to go out and tour the record more. It’s been hard for us to not be able to tour as much as we’d like to, but it is what it is and we’re doing the best we can with it. So as far as what it’s doing, we’re proud of it. As far as what we want to be doing, we want to work more.

Agreed.

Is there a particular track that you love playing live from it more than any other either, because of how it makes you feel, or perhaps how an audience reacts to it.

Right now, I’m really enjoying playing Flesh and Blood. It’s just a pretty fast, chaotic song.

I like Hourglass right now.

That one gets a good response to it. It’s like a bang heads with us kind of song and so the whole room seems to be on the same page on that track, especially right now.

When you wrap up tomorrow, Manchester and you’re heading back home, what do you hope to be your biggest takeaway from your time of the UK?

Making new friends. Making new friends is always wonderful. Ultimately, we want to leave an impression with people and I want people to be like, fuck, I want that band to come back. That’s it. Ultimately, we just want to leave a good impression with people. And, you know, at the end of the shows, we all love shaking hands and kissing babies and making friends with people, but at the same time, it’s like I want the music to speak for itself, and our live performance is just the icing on the cake of it.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Ok, this section is our silly ‘are you a Londoner’ quiz. Anyone can be a Londoner, it’s a state of mind. It doesn’t matter where you’re from in the world, you can be a Londoner. So, let’s see how much of a Londoner you guys are!
So, number one, name me one of the lines on the London Underground. The Tube. Any one of them.

Acton! Oh wait, that’s a station, isn’t it?

It is a station. There is one across the road.

That’s a station!

Yes, but the colour.

Northern!

There it is! Number two. What is the Millennium Dome now known as?

Millennium Dome?
Just The Dome!

I’ll give you a clue. It’s a mobile phone network. Big company.

(silence and confused looks)

The O2 arena. What is Big Ben?

Big Ben is the big clock tower by the water!

Sorry, guys, it’s a trick question. It’s commonly thought to be the clock, but it’s not. Big Ben is a bell inside.

We’re taking these with us, by the way.

What is the London Eye?

It’s the big Ferris wheel.

Yeah. Banging! Ok, something historic. What major destructive event occurred in London in 1666 caused by a bakery in Pudding Lane?

A big fire.

(It should be noted here that the sudden increase in Armed for Apocalypse’s knowledge may have had something to do with Conjurer’s Brady feeding answers behind my back – no complaints though, Londoner’s help each other out in times of crisis!)
That’s it. The Great Fire of London. Okay. All right, here we go. The . A pub and live venue over near Stratford is known to be the birthplace of which famous heavy metal band from the UK.

(The guys were giving this a lot of thought)

Two words in the band name.

(Still thinking hard)

I did mention them earlier on as they are playing in London tonight.

Iron Maiden!

Okay. How good are you at Cockney rhyming slang? What is Butcher’s hook?

What is that? Coffee?

Having a look.

Having a look. How about Dog and bone?

Dog and bone. Cockney rhyming slang. What’s dog and bone? Making phone calls?

Absolutely. Man, you are truly Londoners. There are two more. If you were Lords, what sport would you be watching?

Lords? Cricket! Cricket?

Well, it couldn’t be football, because I feel like that would be obvious.

Yeah, it’s cricket. Okay, lastly, this has multiple answers. Just give me one. What is the one thing you should never do as a Londoner when using public transport? We’ve got a lot of unwritten rules.

Oh my God.

Don’t mind the gap.

If you’re alone, don’t sit on the outside seat.

You know what? It doesn’t even matter. That’s the thing about being a Londoner. We love everybody, but we hate everybody too.




Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!