ROSKILDE FESTIVAL INTERVIEW WITH IAIN WILLOWS
This is Ava Leigh, of Bang! Magazine, talking live to Iain Willows at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.
Hello, Iain. Thank you so much for granting us this exclusive interview. You’ve only recently joined Black Halo. What’s it like being the newbie in such an established band?
Fantastic. We’re all getting on really well, and the guys are thrilled to have some fresh blood and new input into the music and direction of the band. They’d be the first to admit that things had become a little stale and dated for them, so they were really thrilled to bring in someone new that could challenge the status quo and shake the music up a bit.
And you’re the man for that job.
Absolutely, without question.
What do you feel you bring to Black Halo that former drummer, Steve Matlock didn’t?
Awesomeness. <Said with a straight face.>
No, all joking aside, I’ve a tremendous amount to offer these guys. I’m not saying that Steve Matlock wasn’t a competent drummer, but he wasn’t much of a presence in the band. He was content to fade into the background and let Xane and Ash hog the spotlight. For a band to really thrive everyone has to be prepared to put themselves out there.
Also, I play a kicking drum solo.
Why would you want to perform with a band that you have stated numerous times in interviews that you can’t stand?
I’ve never said that. I think if you review my statements that my remarks related to Xane Geist only, not to Black Halo as a band. Obviously, they’re a good band, and are destined for even greater things now they have such a rock solid drummer. Sure, I’ll admit that Xane and I have a few differences of opinion, but we get on really well. The notion of a feud is ridiculous, it’s just banter… A bit of controversy boosts sales, you know that Ava. I’m sure he’s said some pretty f**king vile stuff about me too, in the name of ratings.
Do you think your style of music fits in well with Black Halo’s sound?
They do tend to be a bit overly dramatic. I’d like to see them bring in some heavier, thrashy sounds, and do a little less of the melodic, fanciful, ballad-y stuff. Overall, though I think we’re a good fit.
Is there anyone in the band that you don’t really get on with?
Elspeth’s a bit queer, and the guys let her get away with far too much, but I’m not saying we don’t get on. We had a great time together only last night. Sorry—I probably still smell of her perfume.
How ambitious are you?
Nothing but the top will do.
Clothes or hair when short of time?
Hair, totally. Otherwise, I look like punk wannabe. I don’t think the fans are too worried about the clothes. Most days I’m happy with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. I don’t hold with this being styled thing that a lot of bands go in for. I don’t need an extra truck when we’re touring to house my wardrobe.
Elspeth: Just one to house his hairspray collection (and another for his ego.)
Ah, fantastic. We now also joined by Black Halo’s keyboard player, Elspeth Shriik. How are you doing, Elspeth?
We just been hearing from Iain about how much things have improved internally since he joined Black Halo. Is that your experience too?
Elspeth: There’s definitely been an increasing sense of solidarity. I can’t argue with that.
How soon are we going to see a new Black Halo album?
Elspeth: Probably not until next year. We have started work on a few new tracks, but as we’re busy touring until December there won’t be a chance to get into the studio until next spring.
Iain: Ash and I have a side-project we’re working on that will have a release before then.
Elspeth: Since when?
Iain: Since forever.
Elspeth: Then how come it’s never been mentioned?
Iain: It has, tons of times. Obviously you just haven’t been listening.
Elspeth: Well, it is hard not to tune out when there’s constantly so much background drivel being uttered.
Iain, your new project sounds fascinating. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Iain: It’s all very hush-hush at the moment while we hash out the details, but I promise you it will be totally awesome, and you’ll be the first to know when we’re ready to announce the first release.
Just a few quick fire questions for you both to finish off. Socks v mismatched socks v going without?
Elspeth: I prefer stockings myself. No socks at all would definitely make the tour bus more habitable.
Iain: Mismatched and brightly coloured. It makes finding them easier. Everything else on the tour bus is black.
Any tattoos or piercings?
Elspeth: None I’m prepared to talk about. They’re personal.
Have you ever had a long term relationship?
Elspeth: Only with his fist.
Iain: I’ve not really met the right woman yet.
Elspeth: I’m recently widowed. The relationship didn’t last nearly as long as I’d hoped.
Favourite member of Black Halo?
Iain: Me <grinning> No, actually it’s Ash. We’ve been friends for ages, did I mention that?
Least favourite member of the band?
Elspeth: Are you trying to start a punch up?
Iain: I admire them all in equal measures.
And finally, if you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Elspeth: Raising the dead, and I think you can probably figure out why.
Iain: Eternal youth. Who wouldn’t want to stay young, hot and awesome forever?
Thank you, Iain and Elspeth for joining us and good luck with the rest of the tour.
Iain: Thank you Bang! Magazine.