An Interview With : Josh Middleton (Sylosis)
23rd March 2016, 18:00
Posted by Tristan
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Fast becoming the premier league in the arena of British Metal, Sylosis are by and large one of the best acts going. Combining excellent song writing, hook laden choruses whilst retaining integrity the band are an example to all others. It would seem with their last release, Dormant Heart that the band have finished cutting teeth and are now prepared to unveil their true plan. Enlisting Bleed From Within drummer Ali Richardson the band have just released a single with the drummer on board and shall soon be entering the writing process for the follow up to last years record. Shortly before their set at Camden’s Electric Ballroom we were able to speak to Josh Middleton surrounding Dormant Heart, the up coming release and David Ike of all things!

Listen to the full interview below or read our chat underneath the Soundcloud link!

Hello today we have Josh Middleton from Sylosis…

Yes hello! That’s me! Hows it going?

Very well, how are you?

Yeah good thanks!

The last time we saw you was when you opened up for Megadeth in November, how was that?

It was amazing, yeah it was one of those things where you hype it up like this because you’re playing Wembley Arena, it’s gonna be massive and then normally when we play shows like this something goes wrong… Haha but you get excited and then you think I bet something is going to go or I’m going to break four guitar strings but yeah it went great. Really great show, no technical issues just really great! Nice bucket list thing ticked off.

Megadeth are a big influence to you guys?

Yeah! And obviously Lamb of God, we’ve toured with them a lot which is nice. It was amazing, great to be able to tour with Megadeth, just to play in front of their crowd.

What was it like to play arenas?

I think we might have done like one or two more before that but that was like the most people that we had had in an arena. It seemed to go ok for us I think our music is quite fast and maybe a bit intricate. You wonder if you might get a bit lost in such a big, huge arena.

What have Sylosis been up to since?

Since that tour?

Yeah!

Christmas and not much else! Not really, been chipping away at writing some new stuff, not too much. We recorded a single that came out the other day, just a one off, no album, no EP just a one off single and just getting ready for this tour really!

What about the single, can you tell us what themes are behind it?

Yeah! I don’t want to come across like I am crazy but I watch a seven hour David Icke lecture, he’s got some crazy theories… I don’t know if you’re familiar with him.

The lizard man haha!

Yeah that’s how everyone knows him haha! Basically everyone in power according to him is a descendant of the amanaki. It’s not really about that, its just about the title, “Different Masks On The Same Face” was a quote that he said. It seemed more not like conspiracy theory, you know who you vote for, whoever gets into power they are still going to be ruled by the corporations and just another front for the same thing. Its slightly politically charged I guess and I borrowed some quotes from him. I’m not saying I fully subscribe to all of it, I just find it interesting!

Maybe not a hobby,

I’m not saying I believe that the world is ruled by lizards but I will listen to everything that he says with an open mind, its just interesting.

Its especially pertinent with Trump at the moment…

Oh yeah! It’s just keeping my eyes open!

What was it like recording the track? It’s the first track recorded with Ali.

Yes, it was really cool! Just boshed it out really quick, only had two days to mix it which wasn’t great for me because I recorded everything this time. it’s great having Ali in the studio, he hits so hard as well which makes my job easy mixing. Everything sounds great when you smack the crap out of it. It was really cool, really quick, there wasn’t much time to think about it so we just did it. It’s a very short song as well so it took no time at all.

Yeah, its a quick one! Is it hard for you to take your producer hat off and kind of look at it from the bands perspective?

I think its more the other way around and always see it from the bands perspective and how the song was written and maybe better if we had an outside producer to say, you don’t need that bit or maybe you should do that bit again. Its just really easy when you do both, you know exactly what you’re going for when you’re writing and recording it. It just saves a lot of time and effort when you do it yourself.

Cuts out the middle man?

Yeah completely! But it is nice working with a producer but I think you just save so much money doing it yourself and I’m quite confident now with recording that I think I will probably be doing most of our stuff myself from now on. At least the production, maybe we might get someone to mix it.

What about Dormant Heart, could you tell us the overarching theme in the album?

Its not quite David Icke… Its really hard to say it without sort of seeming that I am being judgemental about other people but I think that a lot of people including myself go through life just going through the motions. It sounds a bit cliche but not really looking at the bigger picture or just being very trapped in your own little bubble in your own world and you’re not really thinking of the world outside of your own little world. Not really paying attention to what is going on polotically or environmentally people are just sort of like zombies, not really thinking. Just peple thinking for themselves and not others. So the title sort of relates to people waking up I guess.

From their own selfishness?

Sort of…

A diplomatic way of saying it haha! Have you written any new material at all?

Yeah, yeah we have! Instead of doing much more touring for this album, I think we are just going to start writing more, I mean we have a certain amount but I think that we will need a lot more to make up an album and yeah do that just as soon as possible!

Do you write on the road?

A riff here and there but not really, its quite hard you really need to sit down and hash it out properly.

What was it like incorporating Ali into the band? He’s from Bleed From Within…

It wasn’t too bad, we had a tour in 2014, two years ago with Devildriver.

Two years ago…

It’s gone quick hasn’t it! Bleed From Within were on first, we were main support and then Devildriver. Our drummer just said that two days before this tour, oh I can’t do this tour so we got Ali to fill in and he learnt the set in no time. It felt so natural with him and then when our old drummer Rob sort of said after that I am going to leave and we said Ok well lets ask Ali! And it was really easy, like the easiest transition ever. He’s really enthusiastic and an amazing drummer not to take anything away from Rob. Ali just hits so hard!

Do you think that he will bring a new dynamic, in the way that Sylosis is?

Yeah he’s got his own style drum wise. We do a lot of writing away from the rehearsal space but he definitely puts his stamp on things. He has a unique way of playing and he is super into Gojira, so I guess more of that, some more groove might come out on the next one. 

I know that, I’m probably going to say this wrong “Quiescence”

I don’t even know how to pronounce it myself! 

Thats kind of moving towards a Progressive sort of thing, is that a foreshadowing of what might be?

Maybe, maybe not? We love Progressive stuff huge fans of bands like Tool or Mastodon’s Crack The Skye and I love all the sort of seventies stuff like Rush but I think live we’re sort of just playing really heavy stuff. I don’t think we will go more progressive lets just say that. 

As you were originally only a guitarist in the band, what was it like having that transition from playing guitar and doing vocals at the same time? 

It was pretty tough, took me a while to find my feet. How to be a frontman as well as a vocalist, I’m a huge Mastodon fan and they don’t speak so I just thought I’ll just do that! I don’t care about people speaking in between songs calling people, can I swear? 

Of course you can! 

Whats up you crazy motherfuckers! All that sort of stuff, thats just cringe, I’m not going that. After a while I realised you can’t be silent so I just started, that side was trickier than having to play guitar and sing it was more about growing into being a frontman. 

As major players in the UK Metal scene what do you think currently of the UK Metal scene?

It’s tough really! We’re really really good friends with Architects, they’re just amazing but there is a slight difference in them that you wouldn’t call them a Metal Metal, traditionalist Metal band but we are more of that. 

Metal Metal haha! I say the exact same thing! 

We’re definitely not revivalists, theres a difference there. If you take out bands like Architects and While She Sleeps and we’re friends with all of those guys if you take them out of the equation. If you’re being purist about it there’s not really much that I’m aware of going on at least on any level that is breaking through, getting press coverage and that sort of thing, which is a shame! The more that you tour, at our level, not that we are massive the less you have local bands playing. So I don’t hear about any new Metal bands, I don’t really have my ear to the ground. There might be local bands that have an EP or a demo out but I don’t really get to hear it or it doesn;t come my way. From where I am at and I’m not saying there aren’t great bands out there it just looks like there is a lack of them. Maybe thats my fault but I don’t think there are any breaking through, its tough, it’s definitely harder for our sort of bands. 

I’ve heard that you are quite the Death fan as well, so what’s your favourite album?

Symbolic.

Hands down?

Yeah, easy! I like the melodic stuff, the techincal aspects, the riffs and the production is the best for them. Out of their catalogue!

You can’t really beat “Empty Words”!

I just love the whole album! 

What’s 2016 after this got in store?

Writing. Doing the new album, maybe touring at the very end of the year. I think we will try and get a new album done, if we can if not I don’t know. 

As you mentioned that you don’t really have your ear to the ground that much, is there a record over the last six months that you’ve really kind of gotten?

Oh yeah the new Black Breath album! 

Ah yes, Slaves Beyond Death? The one with the big hand on it.

I love it, I love that band. Vogg just told me from Decapitated that they have just split up so that sucks, don’t know if they have, maybe they have I don’t know if its official. I could be wrong! That and the last Baroness! Thats it for the albums that I have had recently but on the other side of things I’m really excited for the new Architects thing I think that a lot of people, our sort of fans might not be into it but I just love those guys as friends and they definitely stand apart in the more sort of Hardcore-y genre. 

Excellent well thank you ever so much for speaking with us Josh! 

No problem!

Sylosis’ brand new single is out now along with 2015’s stellar effort Dormant Heart.