When we look back over the five years we’ve been around, there are few bands that still exist to this day that are still making waves throughout Northern Ireland and indeed the rest of the United Kingdom.
They’ve done their fair share of supporting the bigger names, they are known by practically everyone involved in the local music scene and they’ve got a collection of songs that will make you dance then make you suddenly uncontrollable headbang. We give you Axis Of.
On 31st December 2014, more famously known as New Year’s Eve, Axis Of will launch their album ‘The Mid Brae Inn’ in the capital’s Empire Music Hall with support from More than Conquerors, Bee Mick See, Team RKT and ASIWYFA DJs. We chatted with Ewen Friers ahead of their show.
You’re launching your brand new album The Mid Brae Inn early 2015. What can everyone expect from it?
“‘The Mid Brae Inn’ is Axis of exploring a few new directions that we might have hinted at with ‘Finding St Kilda”. I really feel like this time it’s a more fully formed and realised album. Its our most interesting output musically and lyrically and It’s an album we’re very proud of.”
You’re releasing the album through Smalltown America. Since signing, what have been the advantages for Axis Of?
“For an independent band the obvious advantages of working with a record label are often purely logistical or business related, we find that in addition to this the biggest advantage of working with STA is the guidance and creatively collaborative nature of our relationship. We have a lot of respect for their opinions and really try to work closely with them. They have an incredible new space in Derry, where their offices and recording studio are based. This is where we recorded ‘The Mid Brae Inn’ and it was joy to be in their environment and work together on the album from the beginning of the process.”
Would you say it has changed to your approach to anything or opened your eyes to different things?
“I think since the beginnings of Axis of, we managed our releases and our touring in a very similar way to how Smalltown work. I think Smalltown signed us on the strength of our ethic and attitude and I think they’ve really nurtured this element of the band. This is perhaps why it’s such a healthy partnership. “
In the past you’ve had the pleasure of supporting some great bands. What has been the best piece of advice/experience you’ve had?
“Probably in 2008 when various bands told us to use tuners and get new amps.”
I’m guessing you’ve got some festival plans for next Summer. Any exclusive news you can reveal?!
“Only that we’ll definitely be doing a North Coast DIY party festival at some point next year, as we sorely missed the insanity this year.”
Your official album launch is on New Year’s Eve at the Empire Hall in Belfast. What can everyone expect of the night?
“First off one of the strongest list of support acts we’ve ever been blessed with ; The smile inducing Team RKT, Ryhme wizard BeeMickSee and his band and the unstoppable More Than Conquerors. Not to mention And So I Watch You From Afar DJ sets. We’ll have tones of new merch available and there’s presale tickets on sale now at the extreme discount rate of £6. It’s Belfast on New Years Eve, in the beautiful Empire Music hall, what more could you want!”
And currently who are your favourite NI artists?
“As well as the bands playing on New Year’s Eve, we’re into – Empty Lungs, Small Hawk Orchestral, Amidships, Girls Names, ASIWYFA, Skymas, Gascan Ruckus and O’Hanlans Horsebox, New Ancestors, A Bad Cavalier, Pigs As People, Hornets, Rupture Dogs, Slomatics, Jetplane Landing. The list goes on and on, so many great bands come from here. “
And finally who’s your pick for success in 2015?
“My only prediction is that ‘Instant Death’ will be the 2nd most successful proto-grind duo to come out of Portstewart in winter 2015. “
Axis Of launch ‘The Mid Brae Inn’ on 31st Dec in the Empire Hall.