Written By: Mark Armstrong
(Thanks to Chuff Media for arranging this interview.)
One of the fastest-rising bands in the UK are the Astroid Boys. Formed back in 2012, they have made strides and built their fanbase year-on-year, whilst gaining exposure through gigs and festivals around the country. Perhaps their biggest project is on the horizon, as they will be the support for Enter Shikari for a major nationwide tour which begins in Liverpool on Thursday November 16. We caught up with the group – consisting of Benjamin Kendall, Phillip Davies and Elliot Brussalis – to learn more about their formation, their rise up the ranks and other tidbits which fans may not know about one of the UK’s brightest up-and-coming bands!
Astroid Boys will be performing at the Liverpool Echo Arena on November 16, providing support for Enter Shikari. Though the band has toured the UK before, this upcoming arena tour will be arguably the biggest opportunity that the group has had to date. How much are the band looking forward to touring some of the UK’s biggest venues alongside Enter Shikari?
We are massively looking forward to it. We like playing shows, and we get to do it on big stages with a bunch of mates for a month!
As noted, the tour will begin in Liverpool. What experiences have the band previously had of performing in the city?
We have played a few metal festivals there, a few headline shows; it’s always been pleasant.
This comes on the heels of Broke, the debut album for Astroid Boys which was recently released. What has the feedback been like to your first album, and how does this shape how the group will approach future albums?
To be honest, the feedback has been amazing. We aren’t commercial sounding, so it’s always not going to be the easiest music to digest. But yeah, the response has been great. It just shows that you can get by doing what you want to do and not necessarily conforming to what is hot at the moment.
Tell us about how the band originally formed back in 2012; it’s a fascinating back-story from what I have heard.
In short, Traxx and Benji (Cardiff) wanted to get out of their trouble-filled lives and focus on music, and it was a similar thing for our producer Dellux (Newport) and DJ Comfort (Cardiff). We all grouped together after meeting either in youth centres or at music events in South Wales, and we started making music. Once we had a bit of traction, we got our drummer Big H (Cardiff) involved, and we started touring. There are obviously a lot more stories to the band, but we haven’t got all day right!
The group quickly gained traction, and appeared at the Freeze Festival in London in October 2012. Was this a daunting gig to play so soon after forming, or do you feel that the band were ready for it?
We really enjoyed this actually; it was a good show! We played to a load of people, which we hadn’t really done before, and yeah it went really well to be fair. We’re not really a nervous bunch of guys, so once you go out there, you just get the job done innit.
Bacon Dream was released in 2013, followed by CF10 in 2015. How did these songs help to increase the profile of the band, and which of these two hits did the group prefer?
They were completely integral in where we are now. Looking back, I wish we had released more music, but Bacon Dream especially was pivotal in us touring, people getting into us and understanding what kinds of music we bring to the table, and generally our DIY ethos reverberated through those two EP’s.
The style of the band has been described as a mix of grime, punk rock and hardcore punk. Does the diverse nature of the group’s music allow Astroid Boys to cater to different target audiences?
Yeah, it allows us to do what we want, to a bigger variety of people. It’s fun playing all different kinds of shows; it tests us constantly, and it makes us better in all circumstances. We are what we are at the end of the day though, and if you are into it then great; if not, that’s cool too.
The band are particularly well-known for pulling out all the stops at major festivals. Tell us about your favourite festival experiences, particularly in recent years.
For me, the first time playing Reading festival last year was such a vibe. Loads of people came with us and loads of people came to watch us. It was carnage in that tent at 12 midday on the Sunday. Just a proper moment, you know.
Your song Dusted was used as the title track for the WWE United Kingdom Tournament, which was held in Blackpool at the beginning of the year. How did it come about that you worked with WWE on this?
To be honest, it was Julie Weir, the lovely woman who signed us. She had the contact; she has all the bloody contacts! But yeah she got that one for us, legend!
What are the future ambitions for Astroid Boys?
Just to keep doing what we want to do, and for people be into us authentically, not just because of hype. Real recognise real.
Finally, tell us something about Astroid Boys which your fans reading this interview may not know?
Urmmmmm, well Harry the drummer, his uncle is Patrick Stewart, and they play lacrosse together most weekends!
To find out more about Astroid Boys, you can visit www.astroid-boys.com.
To purchase tickets for the Liverpool leg of the upcoming Astroid Boys/Enter Shikari tour, you can visit www.echoarena.com/whats-on/enter-shikari.