INTERVIEW: “SWORN AMONGST” ON NEW LABEL FAMINED RECORDS, NEW EP “RECLAMATION”, SHOWS AND MORE.
SICK AND SOUND presents to its readers an interview we had with DARRYL JONES of SWORN AMONGST metalcore quintet hailing from Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom and established in 2004.
Sworn Amongst have a massive fan base as due to their extensive live experience. They have been touring relentlessly across UK, Europe and beyond supporting with their pummeling live shows numerous acts such as Annihilator and playing with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Meshuggah, Bleed From Within, While She Sleeps, Dark Tranquility, Asking Alexandria, Our Hollow, our Home and many more.
Sworn Amongst have just signed to Famined Records and released their new EP RECLAMATION on 12th April 2019, following up their previous Under A Titan Sky dating back to 2016 and Evolution EP released in 2011.
Our editor-in-chief Alex is catching up with the band of Darryl Jones, Ashley Currie, James Cooper, Kieran Agnew and Jonny Harper on the band’s journey, influences and sound. In this interview we also explored their new EP, talked about their new label as well as best on-stage moments and live experience.
- Hello Darryl, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Sworn Amongst have 15 years of metal fury under their belt. So how has your sound actually progressed along your journey and what are its staples?
The bands roots and origins lie in thrash, but the sound has evolved over time to incorporate metal core. The change has been fairly natural for the band as influences change over the years. Ultimately, we are a metal band and as long as we keep heads banging, we’re happy.
- CONGRATULATIONS for signing to Famined Records and entering their amazing roster. What feelings and expectations are behind this achievement?
Thank you! It has been fantastic to align with Famined Records. We started discussions at the very beginning of the year and everything just felt right. We know now that it was definitely the right decision. The roster is brilliant and full of diversity. There is a real multi-cultural feel to the label, with bands from across the globe. Signing with Famined is giving us the opportunity to raise our profile over in the States and be part of a wider family with our distribution being handled by Victory Merch. Our experience so far with the team has been fantastic and lucky to be part of their family.
- Your new effort RECLAMATION EP was released on 12th April 2019 and is following up your previous Under A Titan Sky and Evolution records. So what’s remarkably different or crucial in terms of songwriting for this album as opposed to your previous materials and sets this record apart from its metalcore contemporaries?
The new record is a real mark of evolution for the band and this is partly down to the band having some new blood within the ranks. In the early days of Sworn Amongst all the members were located in the same town, but now the band is based across the UK, so our songwriting has had to adapt. We used a lot of home demoing, individual writing and studio time to complete the writing for the new record.
We feel that each song has a little something different to give the listener, but as a record it sounds complete as a collective of work. It’s both fierce and melodic. We verge on the heavier end of metalcore and we see ‘Reclamation’ as the stepping stone for our future releases. We are already full of ideas…
- What lyrical themes were discussed in your new EP?
We are lucky that for many of us we don’t suffer from the same threats as previous generations. In some respects, we have never had it better. However, there are new risks to us all. Each song is about being human. Each song is about not only acknowledging those threats, but dealing with them.
- Let’s talk about lead single ENSLAVED.
We are in a constant stream of information and sometimes it can feel like we are being suffocated in negativity. We speak of the things that hold us down, but rarely is the same energy and emphasis put into how we can overcome challenge.
Enslaved is about getting your head up. It’s about building resilience. It’s about standing up and being counted.
- What were some of the challenges or concerns you faced, if any, when writing and recording the EP?
Reclamation was a long time in the making. I joined the band exactly 2 years ago and the original idea was to just record a new single. That soon started to evolve as we started writing more together. Reclamation became a year of preparation. We wrote the record and got all the other pieces in place ready for release. I always say that the reality of being in a band is that about 5% of time is actually the playing instruments; the graft is everything in between.
When you are sat on music, you can become frustrated that it isn’t out there quick enough, but you have to be patient and wait for the right time. It was important for us to relaunch ourselves and build up some steam before we hit the release button.
- You took part to Camden Rocks Festival in London this June and are planning more shows and festivals such as Hop Fest, Badger Fest and Castle Fest. So how do you prepare for the live promotion of this record and what gets you amped up?
Music is my life and being in a band consumes everything you do. If it doesn’t, you’re in the wrong game. There is no secret formula – put the hours into the hustle and you will reap the rewards.
It’s about keeping busy on the road and making sure you get your music in front of as many people as possible.
Nothing gets me amped more than playing a good show, regardless of size, where I know the work has been put in to make it is good. It isn’t down to luck.
- You have an extensive live experience having shared the stage with icons such as Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Meshuggah, Bleed From Within, While She Sleeps, Dark Tranquility, Asking Alexandria, Our Hollow, our Home and many more. Tell us about a couple of your favorite ever on-stage moments.
I have only been involved in the Sworn Amongst machine for a relatively short time compared to the 15 year legacy. That being said, I’ve had some fantastic moments with this band that will stick with me forever. We recently toured Eastern Europe and having people so far from home singing our songs was unreal. That hit me hard.
- What’s in store for Sworn Amongst in 2019?
We have a few festival appearances as well as heading over to Ireland for a few dates. We are also planning on touring in November. We are already planning for our next release, so I can see some recording happening towards the end of the year. The wheels have to keep moving!
Thank you for your time and all the best for the promotion of your record. We are looking forward to new music by Sworn Amongst and will keep you on our radar!
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