Symphonic deathcore is coming from the UK and it has some strength to it, kicking the tires and lighting the fires, so gather around.
Joseph Sinclair (vocals), Aimy Miller (keys), James Threadwell (guitar), Jonny Davies (guitar), Frankie Keating (bass), and Daniel Ristic (drums) make up the freshly signed Artery Recordings artists, She Must Burn. We managed to wear down Daniel enough to where we got a few minutes before the tea and crumpets got cold, ole boy. We forgot to ask about one lump or two, but the interview was still worth the wait. As Austin Powers says, “Yeah, baby,” in your head, let’s get to the meat of the piece.
NRR: Thanks for taking some time out to answer some questions for National Rock Review. What’s been going on with the band, She Must Burn, so far in 2016?
Daniel Ristic: The year has been productive for us. We’re now finding our feet creatively with the new line up and we’re going to begin tracking for our next release in a couple of weeks.
NRR: Your debut album was a self-titled EP. With a trend in the music world being bands producing more of their own projects, was that the route the band took or was it a more traditional path for the first album i.e. label support?
Daniel Ristic: The EP was recorded off of our own backs and Artery came in later. The EP was recorded in a home studio. Naturally, it was the EP that caught Artery’s attention. The label is now supporting us for our debut album which will be released later this year.
NRR: Talk to me about your vibe or sonic signature, what makes it unique to new listeners in the band’s own opinion?
Daniel Ristic: We draw influence from a lot of places. This largely comes down to difference in taste amongst the group and wanting to tap into the strongest elements of various different styles. Most importantly we all have something that is distinctly ours that isn’t borrowed from anywhere else. Everyone brings what’s theirs and we find ways to make that whole. That’s the only way to have a meaningful signature I think.
NRR: How did the group come together and what’s the skinny on the group’s moniker if there is a good story behind it?
Daniel Ristic: I think the original line up was amalgamated as sporadic call to arms put together by the guitarist. I don’t know really to be honest. I think it was just a case of the guitar players having an idea in mind for a project and the pieces all just started to fit. As for the name, without meaning to be trite, it’s one of those things that is going to mean different things to different people. To us it’s a reference to witch burning. Apart from the imagery that evokes it’s also a calling to anyone who’s ever been ostracized, alienated, persecuted by the collective for their interests. Something that is likely to resonate with anyone who identifies with an alternative subculture. Also, I quite like the idea of a crowd of people fervently chanting â€œshe must burn!â€ at a show. It’s something that probably hasn’t happened in quite a while and you have to admit, it would be quite cool.
NRR: We’ve recently lost a few big names in music starting with Scott Weiland and Lemmy to Bowie and Fry passing as well. Is longevity the dividing line between being a rock legend and a guy that lived way too fast? Did any of those very talented artists have any influence in your own careers or shared the stage with you at some point?
Daniel Ristic: For me personally the individuals lost recently from the arts haven’t been much of an influence stylistically and the band can’t claim to have shared a stage with them, although I think there’s a lot could be said for their personalities and their overall approach to the arts that is worthy of a lot of respect and remembrance, particularly now. There are ideas inherent in that kind of artistic eccentricity that exhibit something exciting, daring and compelling which anyone would do well to learn from.
NRR: Being from London, is there a big difference playing in Europe versus playing in the States? Is there a sense, after the Paris attack, that one is a safer place to play then the other now?
Daniel Ristic: The way we see it, there is always going to be someone that’s crazy enough to want to inflict harm on other people, be it hating them for their beliefs, their way of life, or just because some people are mentally ill. Anything can happen at any time, to anyone, anywhere, for any reason, and we aren’t going to let people like that affect our choices. We will go where we want to go and play for the people we care about. The common denominator in any of these situations is people and we are not going to let people scare us out of anything.
NRR: For a new fan listening to the debut record for the first time, is there one or two things that you’re really proud of on how it/they turned out and hope they hear it that way as well?
Daniel Ristic: Yeah of course. It’s quite hard for me to imagine what it would be like listening to that record for the first time now but there’s bits that hit me the first time and bits that grew on me, either through playing them live or just stepping back and seeing them from a different perspective. The most we could ask for is for people to interpret our music in their own way.
NRR: Tell me about the Artery signing, how did it go down and why that label?
Daniel Ristic: They heard us and they got in contact with our manager. We then had a meeting with them and we signed the contract. We have a good relationship with Artery. We chose them because of how they went about choosing us, they really liked our music and we want to be with a label that have our best interests at heart too. We are on the same level and have the same goals and the same passions when it comes to music, its more than what we could have ever hoped for. They understand us and we understand them.
NRR: Is there a moment, that thinking back on it now, in the your career, either with prior stops or with the band now, that you can’t help but still feel a tad bit embarrassed about, makes you laugh about despite yourself, or just still makes you shake your head in disbelief? A Spinal Tap moment if you will, that you’d be willing to share with me?
Daniel Ristic: Yeah. I think every band has a few. There’s been technical malfunctions, unnecessary altercations, contractions of third world illnesses etc… There was one instance at a show that was already running less than smoothly where James was being fumigated by a hyperactive smoke machine and as a result, stacked it (fell over) twice within about 5 minutes. We can only hope that his clambering to find his feet was veiled by the overbearing miasma of dry ice which the resident stage engineer must have believed made us look less ugly.
NRR: Do the big US festivals like the Carolina Rebellion and say Rock on the Range hold a different feel to then that just makes them a bit more special for a band like you guys if you were to play them or any of the Loudest Month In Music shows? Or is there a different festival that you think would be a better fit for the band?
Daniel Ristic: I can’t really comment on the tenor of either of those festivals as we’ve never had the pleasure of attending one. Being from the UK there’s a special place in our hearts for the metal festivals we attended here in our teens like Donnington or Leeds.
NRR: How does the group go through the writing process, is it all one person doing the lion’s share with help or is it a group effort from start to finish?
Daniel Ristic: We’re just establishing our grounding creatively now. Every day we do this we learn a little bit more about the nuances of what it is we’re creating. Everyone is going to contribute what is uniquely theirs, otherwise we aren’t going to sound like us. Also, we’re going to be working with the same producer from the first record which is great for us. He’s an immensely talented guy who knows us well and is great at getting the best out of us.
NRR: Would you rather have a new possible fan hear your music for the first time live for the experience or off the album to be able to hear the music in the best possible quality the CD provides?
Daniel Ristic: I think that’s largely down to the individual in question. That being said, there’s an element of theatrics in our live show that you’re not going to be able to pick up on from listening to a CD. You’re never going to get the full picture of what we do without watching us do it in the flesh.
NRR: When you are out on the road playing the bigger lineup shows, are you able to be music fans still and if so who would you be excited or interested in catching live?
Daniel Ristic: Of course. It’s a huge part of what makes touring a fun thing to do. I think everyone in the band would have a different answer to who they’d really love to tour with or be able to see live every night for a month but for me personally, getting to tour with Ne Obliviscaris last year was a transformative experience. They blew me away. Night after night.
NRR: Are there any stereotypes you have to deal with being a UK based band? Asking if you need cricket on in the greenroom or getting Meantime Brewing Company bottles sent to you mid set, (laughing)?
Daniel Ristic: (Laughing), we are yet to find out, we haven’t popped over to America unfortunately. I am looking forward to hearing some of these stereotypes for myself and comparing some that we have of you, I am sure almost none of them are true for us! Anyway, I have to shoot, the tea and crumpets are getting cold. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for having me and we hope to see you all soon.