HELLFIRE II: Fury UK interview
A Pure Rawk favourite and an underground metal gem, Fury UK have been treading the boards of stages big and small to spread the word of their monster riff laden music. Sexy Dave catches up with the guys to speak to them about playing the Hellfire II Festival, touring with Blaze Bayley, their brand new album ‘VR’ and plots of world domination. Looking forward to playing today?
Chris: Definitely, yeah!
Anyone you’re particularly looking forward to catching yourselves today?
Chris: and Blaze Bayley of course! In fact we just bumped into Rob Reiner coming out of the bogs. He was grabbing a couple of butties when I saw him!
You did the Bulldog Bash amongst others this summer – how was that?
Chris: Fantastic, yeah really good. We did the previous year, and this year had a lot more heavy rock, because Motorhead were headlining, it was a really good buzz. Enjoyed it both times we played!
Any particularly memorable moments?
Martin: A lot of drunken blurry moments!
Luke: They tied me up at one point!
They tied you up? Is this what happens when bassists do wrong?
Luke: I don’t have an option really…
So you put out the second album, VR, in the summer, how’s that been received?
Chris: Really well, yeah. We put a lot of work into it, with the recording and everything, the reception from the fans and everything has been really cool, all the press seem to like it. As a package we’re really proud of it and so it’s good that everyone’s received it that well.
There’s a bit of a theme to that album isn’t there? Not a concept album obviously, but there’s a theme running through it.
Chris: There was a danger of it becoming a concept album at one point, but we decided against it. There’s a running theme that we try and keep with a lot of the material, your futuristic sort of Blade Runner-esque stuff, a storyline.
That was reflected in the artwork, where did you get that?
Chris: Mark Wilkinson, he’s invented stuff for Marillion, and he’s done some work with Iron Maiden and Megadeth before, he worked on the artwork. We just gave him a general brief and he came up with this cool looking face for the album cover.
Given that it’s got this theme running through (nearly said concept there!), do you think that’s been a significant progression on the first album?
Chris: Yes, I think the songwriting’s matured. Originally, I wrote most of the stuff, but this album has been more of a collection of thoughts. Not just on the theme and stuff, but on the playing side and the general song writing. The music’s definitely matured.
You did a big tour promoting the VR album release, it was about twenty dates or something wasn’t it? For a smaller band that’s a hell of a commitment isn’t it?
Chris: Without sounding pretentious, it is within our stride now, we’re so used to being on the road. When we have a week off now, we start getting twitches, like ‘aren’t we meant to be doing something?’. Generally what I usually do when we have a week off is I go and see a couple of bands at the weekend to make myself feel better!
You also toured as support for Blaze Bayley, how did that come about?
Chris: He asked us! We did a few dates with him the year before as local supports in Manchester, Leeds, Stoke and a festival in Manchester. We kept in touch with him, he liked how we did our stuff, the no-nonsense sort of thing, and then we just got an email.
You must get on pretty well to have survived the tour?
Chris: Yeah! Larry and Martin are drum buddies…
Martin: I love Larry’s style and love his attitude; he’s just a brilliant bloke, really friendly and a really nice guy. He’s helped me out loads. A few tips, let me use his kit being main support, and stuff like that. Real good bloke!
You’ve got another Blaze Bayley tour coming up soon as well haven’t you?
Chris: Not in the UK, Greece, so we’ve got a nice holiday! Going over there in a couple of weeks, and then shortly after that we’re going over to Switzerland to do the Z7. It’s quite a big venue, it’s got a really big light show. A lot of the prog-rock bands go over there because of the extensive light show with lasers and everything I think Asia and Yes have done quite a lot of stuff there in the past.
Judging by the amount of shows you guys play, you must really value the live setting…
Chris: It’s been said before really, its making that connection with the fans ultimately, we put out CD’s, but it’s the live show that it revolves around. Seeing the fans, talking to the fans, getting their emails, staying in touch with them, keeping that solid connection with them.
It may be a bit early to ask, but any ideas for the next album yet?
Luke: We’ve got a few ideas, we’re in the middle of making some new songs, we’ve got two or three new songs ready and finished. It’s going to be released sometime next year, not decided when just yet. We just want to get it out there, get more music out there.
As well as out-and-out rockers, there are some tracks on the new record that definitely have a ‘message’. Is it a conscious decision to write some tracks that are political or issue-based, or is it just a case of what inspire you?
Chris: It’s hard to explain really…
Luke: It’s about time someone noticed!
Chris: We don’t get asked that question a lot really. There are a lot of messages in the songs, most of our songs do have a message or a theme or something like that, which we try and do rather than ‘this one’s about blood, fire and spandex!’ We do try and get it around a story, or an actual thing that’s happened, just a general message to put across.
So what’s next for Fury UK?
Chris: More touring! We were going to release some big news this weekend but we’re not allowed, because its not been confirmed. There’s going to be another tour in December, to be announced very soon. Then there’s Greece, Switzerland and lots of gigs in the UK still to come, and then still working on this new album. Hail on next year!
Foreword: Nicola Crichton / Interview: Sexy Dave