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Interview: Caution! Bring Me The Horizon.

Interview: Caution! Bring Me The Horizon.

When Captain Jack Sparrow ordered, "Now... bring me that horizon" in 'Pirates Of The Caribbean', all typical plot-thickeners were present. Unsurprisingly, the phrase's urban dictionary definition consorts with road trips to Mexico... and fraternises with that nectar of eternal youth; beer. Likewise, Bring Me The Horizon in band-form... are high-spirited mavericks, à la 'Rebel Without A Cause', with work ethics of "party til you pass out, drink 'til you're dead / dance all night til you can't feel your legs..."

Brace yourselves. There will be no sleep, while loving and living, on this band's watch. This is the season to drink/dance/shout/scream/cry/breathe... like it's going out of style.

Five years in, on pirating affection from the likes of Kerrang ("Britain's most explosive new band"), AP magazine ("Bring Me The Horizon have the potential to be the next British outfit to conquer America") and Metal Hammer ("Super heavy, super talented, super charismatic", BMTH are destined for noisy greatness"), Bring Me The Horizon have polarised the sentiments of fans, critics and gossipmongers alike. Matt Nicholls (drums) recounts the bands simple origins in 2004, "Me and Oli were friends, just from hanging out. I went to college in Rotherham and I met Lee and our now defunct guitarist, C. Ward. I met Lee and Curtis at college and asked them if they'd like to start a band. They were like, 'Yeah.' I was like, 'Alright, let's do it.'"

Bring Me The Horizon may not be men of many words, but when they do speak, there's definitive insight involved. Presently dabbling in writing a new record and gigging concurrently, it's this self-assured confidence that leaves no doubt as to when the time comes, Bring Me The Horizon will score a third album for their victory list. It's this oh-so cavalier attitude coupled with earnest sincerity, that makes it impossible for you not to be won over. In a comeback typical of their quip-ish humour, the band deadpan that they are "just big fans of the Caribbean", rather than pirates. Incorporate a love for dinosaurs, comics and fancy gadgets... But! None of this sparkly vampire nonsense, please.

OLI SYKES: 'Twilight' is the worst film I've ever seen.
MATT NICHOLLS: We went to see 'Twilight' all together actually and we can't believe how bad it was.
OLI SYKES: I hate my girlfriend for liking it.

"...when there's us four people putting everything we've got into making this band a success and everything... and there's one person who doesn't seem like he's bothered and holding it all back... You've got to sort it out or we're gonna fall on our arse..."

COUP DE MAIN: The words 'metal' and 'core' are endlessly thrown around by the press, in trying to describe Bring Me The Horizon. Personally, how would you describe your sound?
MATT NICHOLLS:
Metal.
OLI SYKES: Core.
MATT NICHOLLS: We're just a metal band. Whenever people ask me what kind of music we play, I always say metal. That's what it is.
OLI SYKES: Also, when you define bands by words like that... It really doesn't do anyone much justice. Unless you're a shit band, there's usually a lot more to you than just metal and hardcore.
CDM: So you should just listen and decide for yourself?
OLI SYKES:
That's exactly what you should do.

CDM: In your song 'The Comedown', you state that; "I'd rather live, than live forever"... Why do you think people hold themselves back from really living?
OLI SYKES:
A lot of people are scared. It's the way you're raised. The way you've been told your whole life, that you've got to do this and that. Get a job, go to school. So, a lot of people are scared to just do what they really want. They're worried about what people will think and stuff like that. It's just fear.
LEE MALIA: There's no reason why everyone, can't just do what you want. Like travel, or whatever. You're held back by what you're told as a kid.
MATT KEAN: I think a lot of people are just worried about failing as well. It's all to do with fear.

CDM: Are your surrounding friends and family, supportive of the band?
MATT KEAN:
My family are always supportive.
MATT NICHOLLS: We've got the best kind of parents for us, in this situation. My parents are super supportive of me and really into our band. They get just as excited as we do, about stuff that we do. So, it's pretty cool. At first, my Mum was a bit apprehensive. She wanted me to get a day-job. But I wasn't keen. I just told her to chill out and to let me do what I wanted to do... and she did... and it worked out alright.

CDM: How did you come up with the concept for 'The Comedown' music video?
OLI SYKES:
We all did really.
MATT NICHOLLS: We were sitting in practice one day when we were writing 'Suicide Season' and for some reason, someone got this silly idea and really wanted to do it.
LEE MALIA: Me and M. Kean were like; that's a bit stupid. Then we were like; why don't we actually do it?
OLI SYKES: I think we were just a bit stoned or something... and carried on talking about it.
MATT NICHOLLS: Then we e-mailed Adam (Powell) who directed it and he seemed keen on it. Said, 'Yeah it sounds amazing'... And for some reason, it actually happened.
LEE MALIA: It turned out a bit worse than we thought it would be.
MATT NICHOLLS: We thought it was going to be better than it was. It was still pretty fun though.
MATT KEAN: We spent most of the money on the mask.

CDM: I noticed that Luis of The Secret Handshake, features on 'Chelsea Smile'... How did that came about?
OLI SYKES:
I've been good friends with him for quite a while, 'cuz my clothing company sponsors him. So I used to talk to him just because of that and I've always been a fan of his music. We have always talked and we wanted to bring (synth samples) into it and asked him, if he wanted to contribute to it. He was down for it. He played some stuff and then sent it over.

CDM: What are the 'Chelsea Smile' lines, "I may look happy, but honestly dear, the only way I'll really smile is if you cut me ear to ear", in reference to?
OLI SYKES:
It was referring to a point in my life when I wasn't really happy. I could look and see fine, like a lot of people can. But it's hard to. You can't always tell when someone's keeping something inside and not really happy.

CDM: Why did you decide to name your latest album, 'Suicide Season'?
OLI SYKES:
Before the album came out, I went through a lot of stuff. Something in particular happened to me, that made me think about suicide. Not like, [that] I wanted to do it. But just something really bad happened. Something that I thought was going to end the band and kinda ruin my life. It was just weird, 'cuz I've always just smirked at people and thought it was stupid. So to actually have feelings about it, it was kinda daunting. I guess I just never really thought there could be something worse than death. And then when I realised that there is stuff that's worse than death, it just made me think about it all.

CDM: You write about numbing pain with "alcohol and pills" in 'The Sadness Will Never End'... How does it feel to know that your fans use Bring Me The Horizon songs, to numb their pain?
OLI SYKES:
It's cool, when people tell us that. That our music inspires them...
MATT NICHOLLS: ...and has gotten them through hard times.
LEE MALIA: With this new CD, we've had loads of people bring us letters and stuff. Saying that they've gotten through hard times. You don't think that'll happen...
MATT NICHOLLS: In America, we met this guy who'd been in the army. He'd been over in the Iraq war. He said that our CD helped him get through a hard time in the Iraq war. It's amazing to know that we helped him in some way. It's definitely cool.

CDM: Was the departure of Curtis Ward a mutual decision within the band?
MATT NICHOLLS:
Pretty much. It basically came down to us four, our heads being in a different place to Curtis. It kinda seemed to us like, Curtis felt like he didn't want to be in the band anymore. It didn't feel like he was a member of this band. When we put it to him first; that we weren't happy with him, he acted like he took it in. But he didn't actually take it in, 'cuz two weeks later, we fell out again. So we decided, that it would be best for the band if he weren't in it anymore. We needed to do it, because when there's us four people putting everything we've got into making this band a success and everything... and there's one person who doesn't seem like he's bothered and holding it all back... You've got to sort it out. Or we're gonna fall on our arse. So, I think it's a good thing that he's not in the band anymore.

CDM: In 2007, Oli appeared in court for alleged-assault charges... Do you think that you were judged unfairly by critics, just because your band likes to party?
OLI SYKES:
It wasn't really what people thought. Because when you hear something like that, you're gonna think stuff like that. Really, the only person to blame is the person making up the bullshit.
MATT NICHOLLS: People can believe what they want to believe. At the end of the day, you could say that he didn't do it and kids are still going to believe that he did, do it. No matter what he said, they're going to believe what they want.

CDM: From first-hand experience of being signed at seventeen, what advice do you have for young bands in regards to recording contracts?
MATT NICHOLLS:
Don't do what we did. Make sure it's right and make sure it's what you wanna do. Make sure it's actually a good deal, that you're not going to lose out too much on it.
MATT KEAN: We can't really complain because... We didn't get the best record deal, but if it weren't for that record deal, we wouldn't be where we are today. So, we don't regret anything. For a lot of bands like us, if we didn't have that label, we couldn't afford to write, record a CD. We wouldn't have any recorded songs. We wouldn't know what to do. Nowadays, it's a lot more in the kids hands. You don't really need a record label. You can get the money together yourselves. You can just do it through Myspace. There are bands that are huge, without record labels today. Now, I think it's a lot more in kids' hands.

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