After listening to Koshiro’s split EP with Syren City (which you can read about here), I caught up with Ben Errington (vocals). He talks about their newest work, and what they’ve got coming up.
You’ve had quite a lot going on recently, from a new music video to a split EP with Syren City. Very recently though, you did a special Halloween show – tell me about that.
It’s kind of been a Koshiro tradition to do a hometown Halloween show and in the past they’ve always been some of the most fun gigs we’ve played, there’s something about having everybody in costume that makes it be that much more chaotic. This year it was a dream come true of sorts, as we performed as Slipknot in the full gear – masks, boiler suits, the lot. As massive fans of Slipknot, to be able to play the songs of our idols while dressed as them was a bizarre and daunting experience, but luckily for us it went down a storm. We had loads of people up on stage with us for a real Band Aid style rendition of ‘Duality’ – members of Bristol bands Heaven Asunder, Syren City, The Summa In Verse and more. It was quite possibly the most fun we’ve ever had at a show to date!
You’ve recently dropped a new track, Guts Guilt Greed, with an accompanying video. How did that come about?
It’s our first ever music video so a lot of thought and preparation went into it to make sure it was the absolute best it could be, and we’re over the moon with how it turned out. We wanted to do something fun and over-the-top at first but after a while we decided to make something a bit more hard-hitting. We have Rataplan Films to thank for their efforts in bringing our vision to life – it represents the song in exactly the way we wanted it to. The script was adapted from a graphic novel short I put together a few years ago and in the early stages of the concept I was watching a lot of the BBC series ‘Luther’. I loved the way the cinematography in that show makes a place like London look so dark and gothic, otherworldly even. The song embraces that darkness, explores the faults of the human condition, accepting them rather than condemning them. The titular character is incredibly disturbed while trying to lead a normal life with a high-pressure job where he sees a lot of terrible things, I wanted there to be some similarities between him and the main character in the video. He’s a normal guy, but every once in the while he let’s the darkness in. It’s with that acceptance that he can get better, and hopefully that comes across in the video, although it’s open to interpretation on a lot of levels.
Recently you’ve released a split EP with Syren City – how did you first find out about those guys, what made you want to work with them?
We’ve played a fair few shows in Bristol and Birmingham with them and become really close. They’re the nicest guys and it helps that they play some kick-ass music that we really enjoy, so teaming up with them for the split EP was a no brainer really. There are real distinct differences in our sounds, which means there’s a great dynamic on the EP, hopefully making the whole release appeal to fans of both bands. A lot of love went into it; it’s a real bromance EP!
You released EPs in 2010 and 2012, too. How do you think you’ve changed as a band since then, any drastic changes or have you just got better?
It’s changed drastically as we’ve learned a lot about what kind of band we want to be. Our influences have grown and come across a lot better in the music, plus our vision is much clearer now than it had been in the past. With Kevin Peters at Anemic Studios producing our last two singles, ‘Malevolent’ and ‘Guts Guilt Greed’, we’ve really been given that edge that we’ve desired for so long in our recordings. He’s managed to capture the energy of our live sound so well, and now we have the addition of synths, pianos, subdrops and samples – lots of things that have taken our sound to new heights. That’s given us the drive to push our live show to new levels of chaos.
What first got you into music, and what made you want to form as a band?
We all come from different musical backgrounds but most of us have been in bands (or at least attempted to be) before.
We’re all huge music fans first, so it was a case of a few similarly minded people with a positive attitude and good intentions to make a decent go of it. Luckily we all have a comparable outlook on how to approach this band, which helps us grow and adapt.
You’ve played a lot of gigs over your time – any personal favourites?
Our gigs have been getting better and better, particularly in terms of response from the crowd. A few recently have really blown us away as we had big support slots that introduced us to new crowds, almost all of which hadn’t seen us before. We opened for Canada’s Liferuiner in Bath and that was crazy, managed to get on the bill when one of our current favourites The Safety Fire came to Bristol – that was overwhelming really. We recently opened for US heavyweights Blessthefall and we were amazed by the response – the venue was almost full of people who hadn’t seen us before – everybody seemed to really enjoy themselves, it was insane. It also always a pleasure to play local shows with bands we really admire – Heaven Asunder, Syren City, Backhand Saloon, Failure to Follow, Valis Ablaze, to name just a few.
And finally, what plans have you got for the future, now?
We want to play as many shows around the UK as possible and keep producing music.
We will hopefully return to the studio in early 2014 to record some new tracks, but for now we have a couple of exciting shows to take us through the rest of the year – we support Doomed From Day One at The Cavern in Exeter on Monday 25th November and then play the Heaven Asunder Album Launch at The Exchange in Bristol on Thursday 28th November.