All the best new bands are rock fans first and foremost. It means they’re here for the sheer love of it, with no ulterior motive, just like the rest of us. James Power, frontman for St Albans post-hardcore band Floods, still hasn’t quite got over the shock of last year’s festival season, which saw him tracking down his heroes (Brent Hinds from Mastodon, Jason Butler from LetLive, Chris Jericho from Fozzy, and er, Steve-O from Jackass) like the world’s biggest fanboy. But it was hitting the Sonisphere stage that made him realise his own band may soon be inspiring similar devotion.
“It was an amazing feeling to be able to play in front of that kind of crowd,” he remembers. “We got to play Download too, so that’s a life goal ticked off the sheet. The only thing now is to go up a stage each time.”
Not bad for a band that were only ever supposed to be a bedroom project. When they formed, the plan was just to make music for themselves. Members came and went with dizzying regularity. Everyone got on with day jobs and other projects. But then, people started to notice the music – melodic but tough post-hardcore that reveals a love of turn-of-the-century British bands like Hundred Reasons and Million Dead, with a fat dose of metalcore thrown in for good measure. But they find their own groove on their self-titled new album thanks, oddly enough, to the upheaval in personnel. Co-frontman Jason Houlihan quit earlier in the year, leaving James – a screamer, not a singer – to step into the breach alone.
“It was a massive jump for me to go from being the second guy to doing the main vocals for the whole band,” he admits. “But I’m a complete attention seeker even if I’m not on the stage. I have no problem with making myself look like a dick. If that’s what it takes, so be it. It’s an outer manifestation of what I actually am – a bit of a freak.”
Now the plan is to strike while the iron is hot – after getting a taste for big crowds, there’s ambitious talk of weightier tours and European festivals, of reaching more people and carving a gloriously noisy trail across the UK. And most of all, having seen the local St Albans scene dwindle in the last few years, they want to inspire the next wave of British metal fans to pick up a guitar and make things happen for themselves.
“Anyone can be in a band,” says James. “I don’t really have any massive musical talent. I can scream, which is pretty abstract, that someone can do that in a band. Metal is very nonjudgmental, isn’t it? Anyone can do it, anyone can go in and be in a metal band with their friends and have fun. And they will!”
What are you waiting for? The floodgates have opened.
Floods is out now via SmallTown
Download 98 for free from http://www.wearefloods.com