With hindsight it’s hardly surprising that in the last couple of years, their music has stirred up such an enthusiastic following. Although the roots of their music seem connected with Metal in its widely defined sense, their own take is distinctive and indicative of the musical passion harboured within each fifth of the band.
I’m talking about Triaxis, a band from Cardiff in South Wales who are indeed making strides ahead in their career despite being yet unsigned. With the intention of getting their own view on the situation, I met the whole band under a flickering lamppost in the middle of a dark, cold and otherwise deserted street, somewhere in the South of England. All that was missing was the lone howl of a wolf and you’d have had the ultimate scene of eeriness. (More on ‘wolves’ later on…..)
The guys and gals around me are: lead vocalist Krissie, guitarists Glyn and C.J., bass player Owen and Giles, the drummer.
Giles: We formed in 2006 – initially we were a covers band, as most bands are. With our first line-up, however, we started writing original material. Band members then came and went until Krissie joined us in late 2007.
C.J.: We played Bloodstock Open Air in 2009 on the unsigned stage, which was fantastic. Also in 2009, we released our debut album [“Key To The Kingdom”]. We played Hammerfest earlier on this year and we’re currently writing our second album, which we’re going to record in September.
What is the Metal scene like in Wales? Do Welsh bands feel part of the wider UK scene?
Glyn: Wales is very……well…..it’s a place where people are trying to fit in with what they think is popular. So you get a lot of bands of the same genre, playing the same kind of stuff. And that’s really all that they’re doing at the moment.
Are they adequate facilities for Welsh Metal bands….such as venues?
C.J.: There was a wider variety of venues in the South of Wales. Unfortunately a few have closed over the years, but there are still strong local scenes in some parts of South Wales. We recently played a venue in Ebbw Vale [pronounced ‘Ebvale’] which was fantastic and there were so many locals that came down. It was a really good show. Generally speaking it does vary but we’ve had lots of good gigs in Wales.
Earlier on you referred to your debut album “Key To The Kingdom”…..did the general reaction to it meet your expectations?
Giles: I think it exceeded it really because we weren’t expecting much. On the back of that album we played Bloodstock and made a bigger name for ourselves.
C.J.: It was all self-recorded and self-produced…..
Giles: Yeah, so the reaction was much better than we expected.
C.J.: And we had a lot of positive press in the UK – both print and online – which kind of helped us move on to where we are now. So we’re looking forward to the next one. [smiles]
In a way it’s unusual for British bands to get press support from home – often they’re virtually ignored by the UK press despite gaining wide acceptance in mainland Europe……
C.J.: Well, we’re looking forward to venture across the Channel and gain success there too [laughs].
Krissie: The other thing is that we’ve established a good network base by using social networking. A lot of bands will use such tools now and again just to promote a gig or promote their latest release whereas we’ve actually built a good network of friends and fans by interacting with them. And I think that helps as well.
You mention the use of technological tools…but how important are live gigs in carving out the reputation of Triaxis?
Krissie: Very. The live gigs are what we’re all about. You can record your album but if you can’t produce to at least 99% of what you play on the album live, a lot of people will be disappointed.
C.J.: We hear it the other way round, which is good. We hear a lot of people which go ‘Wow! You’re so much better than your album.’ That’s great to hear.
Today most female Metal vocalists either use a brutal style of singing (such as Angela Gossow or Cadaveria) or are at the other end of the scale of aggression. Krissie, with your powerful yet melodic voice you lie somewhere in between. What are your views on all this?
Krissie: [wearing an Arch Enemy shirt] Probably. You’ve got Angela Gossow’s growl and then at the other end you’ve got Tarja Turunen who’s on the operatic side of it. Even Within Temptation, who are quite symphonic and soft, fall into that area. There are very few women in the middle of all that who just do clean ‘out-vocals’ and who don’t try and put themselves into one of the aforementioned categories. It’s a shame. So yeah, I’d say I lie somewhere in the middle.
C.J.: A lot of people presume how Krissie’s voice is going to be before even heard her open her mouth. They’ll assume that we’re symphonic or operatic just by looking at a photo of us – which is disappointing that people can’t be a bit more open-minded about what we might sound like.
By the way, where did the band moniker come from?
Giles: I can’t actually remember. We had come up with a load of names – Triaxis was one of them. We thought it was chantable, it had the right number of syllables, it sounded catchy and we literally went with that. There was no deeper meaning to the name.
C.J.: We had loads of different ones [to choose from] but we had needed a name for a gig – they wanted to put a name on the gig’s poster. We used ‘Triaxis’ for that gig and the name stuck.
You mentioned that you’re working on a new album….can you tell me more about that?
Owen: It’s a mixture of songs along the same lines as “Key To The Kingdom”……and, well……I don’t want to give too much away for now but it’s also different from the first album. It’s just a natural progression, really. A lot of the [new] songs are more technical – we’ve all come on as musicians so there’s a lot more technicality to it. But it’s a natural progression from the first album.
C.J.: We’ve been gigging a lot of the songs that are going to go on the new album and the response has been really positive.
Will you be polishing the new songs according to the feedback you’ve been getting at your gigs?
C.J.: Well, we did take some of the new songs and changed then after having played them live…removing parts and adding others…but now we’re really looking forward to recording them. We’ll be recording at Foel Studios and the album will be produced by Chris Fielding [Napalm Death, Primordial, Power Quest, Electric Wizard, Paul Rogers……].
What did he think on the music of Triaxis?
C.J.: I think he’s looking forward to working with us. [laughs] But we’ll find out more on that in approximately 4 weeks’ time.
To conclude, can you each recommend an album to the readers of this interview giving reasons for your submission? (Triaxis recordings not allowed!)
Owen: My favourite album of last year was probably the Sabaton album, called “Coat Of Arms”, which is really really good.
Is it because you have a particular liking for that genre of Power Metal?
Owen: I do like Power Metal, yes……Sonata Arctica, Sabaton, that type of stuff.
Glyn: I’d recommend Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell”, which I’ve been listening a lot to recently.
It’s usually drummers, in particular, who like Pantera…..
Glyn: I’m a guitarist and you’ve got a good guitarist as well in Pantera. I think it was one of the first really ballsy Heavy albums which sort of defined how Metal was going to progress through the rest of the 1990s.
So you’re not the type of guitarist who likes listening to instrumental guitar album, such as those from Vinnie Moore, Steve Morse, and others?
Glyn: No, I don’t listen to any of that stuff really. I prefer guitars in a band situation. I think a guitar on its own gets boring really. For me, anyway!
Krissie: I can’t think of any one in particular because I’ve got so many going through my head right now. [pauses] I’ll probably go for Wolf’s “Legion Of Bastards” which is their new album and which came out this year. They just have so much fun and it all comes across in their music. Also, if anyone gets a chance to see them live, I’d recommend that too because they’re just brilliant.
Giles: Whoever knows me knows that I’m into a modern band called Sylosis from Reading [central England]. They do a modern type of Thrash but they’re very talented and by the sounds of it they’re going to be pretty big. Sylosis have just released an album called “Edge Of The Earth” and it’s just amazing…very technical Thrash.
Do you listen to a lot of Thrash?
Giles: Yes. In fact I grew up being a Thrash Metal fan and that’s from where I get my drumming influences.
C.J.: I’m going to suggest another Thrash album and another British band because I want to promote British Metal and I recommend Evile’s “Infected Nations”. They’ve got a new album coming out this year, too. They’re just straight-out old-school Thrash but for today’s fans.
Evile have gained a significant amount of success in recent years…..
C.J.: Yes. I think it’s because it’s what people want. There are a lot of bands from the 1980s that everyone adores but obviously at some time in the future they’ll stop playing. Their music will live on of course but I think it’s great that there are bands out there which are trying to….not ‘replicate it’…..but keeping that music alive. Evile are one such band.
And I think that’s also part of what we do as Triaxis – a lot of our influences come from that era, besides a lot of other modern stuff that we throw in. We’ve all grown up on that style of Metal.
I can certainly relate to that. Well, that’s the interview done.
C.J.: Thank you very much.
Glyn: Keep it Metaaal!
© 2011 Chris Galea
Interviewed by Chris Galea