As well as being lucky enough to review Manchester quintet The Human Veil‘s debut EP, we were able to have a chat with Matt, Sam and Jack from the band about it amongst other things – get to know one of the UK’s most polished upcoming metal acts below!
Introduce yourselves to our readers please!
Matt: I’m Matt, vocalist of the band.
Sam: I’m Sam, I’m the drummer in THV.
Jack: My name is Jack. I am one of the guitarists in THV.
Could you tell our readers the meaning behind the name ‘The Human Veil’?
Matt: The meaning itself is inspired by the character Hannibal Lecter and derives from the concept of when a person hides their true self behind a persona they feel they have to put on.
Jack & Sam: For us, THV’s meaning comes from a state of mind where we put on a ‘social mask’ so that we can fit in and be accepted by the societies we all live in.
How does it feel to finally be releasing an EP after five singles?
Matt: From the word go the support has been incredible, the patience and commitment from our fans is just unreal. They’ve all stuck by us throughout the COVID pandemic and it’s truly humbling.
Sam: It’s a giant relief to finally get these tracks out. The response has been unreal and despite the current climate with the world almost on pause, this has worked out way better than we thought. We’re ever so thankful to everyone involved throughout the whole process of this EP.
Jack: It feels incredible having released only a few songs prior and holding our cards close to our chest with where we go or what we release next has been frustrating to say the least. We’ve been playing these songs live for a while so it’s nice to finally give these songs to those who’ve seen them live and enjoyed them.
What’s the next step from here?
Sam: Working on future material in between hoping we get to play this EP live and give it it’s day in the sun.
Matt: Well, we wanna get out of lockdown first, put things in order so we can start playing shows again, it’ll give us the chance to finally showcase the EP properly. We also want to get back to working on the heaps of material we’re sat on.
Jack: Finding ways to step up our live show. Being able to play live shows again would be nice! (laughs). Writing and recording as much as we possibly can is always a priority for us.
How has it been releasing new music during lockdown and not being able to play shows immediately after?
Matt: It’s been hard. It feels like I’m lost without being able to showcase the new material properly. Luckily we DIY a lot of the things that contribute to a release. It limits our outsourcing to other businesses which would leave us being dependent on their timetables etc.
Sam: The industry itself is unstable at the moment but we are fortunate enough to have had material ready to go in time. We aren’t limited to the availability of another producer as we record all of our material in house as we have the resources available to do so. Sadly a lot of other artists will not have been as lucky. This lockdown will have set back a lot of other bands a long time.
Jack: Not being able to play shows has been a bit deflating for us. We’re used to throwing these tracks at people and hoping they ‘like us’ in hopes they buy our merchandise or check us out after. The success of the new releases so far have been great as everyone is either at home or in a position where they’re open to new things to cure their lockdown boredom. When both ‘8612’ and ‘Fractures’ dropped, everyone loved it. Everyone got their dosage of both ‘heavy’ and ‘melodic’. To top it off, we’ve had no end of praises for the video quality (shout out Joey Aitchison, JWA Creations!).
How would you describe your music among the many sub-genres that exist today?
Matt: The age old question! Look, we aren’t trying to reinvent a genre by any means, we just want to make music that we enjoy and that is connectable in a positive way and if that helps someone or is enjoyed in some way, great! I tend not to be too literal with the way in which I approach writing lyrics. ‘Dark Planet’ is the only song I took a literal stance with but I try to represent the five of us as a collective when putting pen to paper.
Sam: Our sound is built on our own contributions. It’s a collective expression. I’ve always avoided labelling genres to bands as I think that when you put an artist into a box-like genre, people tend to have a pre-determined opinion of them and may avoid giving them a listen. Just go into listening to us with an open mind.
Jack: I’d just call it a fresh, modern take on what we all grew up listening to. I try not to buy into creating a genre name, just feels like you’re trying to be pretentious and that’s just not us in the slightest.
Who have been your biggest influences in the early part of your musical career?
Matt: For me as a songwriter, I have always been influenced by bands like As I Lay Dying, Linkin Park and Slipknot. I used to just enjoy playing along to that style when I was younger. Bring Me The Horizon are a great band that I grew up listening to as well, I’ve always appreciated their songwriting and to see them still kill it with any release is just incredible.
Sam: A big influence of mine would be Deftones. Their use of rhythm and ambience is almost trademarked to them. It’s one of my favourite elements that we reference in our sound here at THV. Sikth are another definite for me. Hearing them for the first time was a shock to the system which resulted in me delving into the more complicated side of metal music. The structural insight that Tool demonstrate gave me an insight into how to make mad things possible as a drummer when approaching songs.
Jack: In my early days, I was definitely heavily influenced by the heavy ‘scene-core’, ‘MySpace’ kind of bands. Combine that with bands like Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and Metallica and you pretty much have my entire MP3 player from back in the day.
You’ve played a fair few shows with big artists now, particularly at home, Make Them Suffer and Silent Planet to mention a couple. Which has been your favourite Manchester show to date?
Matt: The Novelists and LANDMVRKS show was incredible and of course Techabilitation but the first day of tour with Borders might stand as my favourite. The turn out was staggering and a lot of people knew the lyrics to songs off the EP. Bear in mind this is a year before we thought about releasing these songs which was confusing to all of us as you could imagine.
Sam: I’ll have to agree with Matt. The crowd reaction that night was just next level.
Jack: Oh, 100% Techabilitation. By far our craziest show to date. Both Adam [the band’s other guitarist] and I jumped on either side of the PA during the middle of ‘Bury Your Head’ and there was just chaos. There was one giant mosh pit in the middle of the room and apparently there were more in the back that I couldn’t even see! It was all good fun. I will forever love the Tech-Fam for putting us on that show.
We know that you made your festival debut last year at Tech-Fest. Do you prefer club shows or playing a festival and why?
Matt: Oh, I don’t know! The advantages of festivals is that the stages are bigger but the intimacy of club shows never fails to make us feel good!
Sam: See, we’ve only played one festival. If it wasn’t so hot when we played Tech-Fest, I’d say festivals. More room away from Jord [bassist] and that dangerous headstock!
(I can confirm that Tech-Fest was BOILING! It was something like 40c on stage. And yes, I’ve nearly lost my head to Jord’s wild swinging headstock a couple of times when shooting the band!)
Jack: Oh, that’s a hard one because festivals for me are a place where you showcase yourself to a wider crowd. I love throwing ourselves into those waters of people who haven’t heard us before because its great seeing their heads blown off as soon as we start. On the other hand I’ll always love the intimate shows in a dark, dirty club, going mad with all the people in there.
All: We can’t really decide yet. Let’s just keep it at that until we can decide.
It’s been just over a year since your debut tour with Borders, a show from which we covered here at MNN. Are there plans for anything currently in the pipeline?
Matt: We have a lot booked. With everything being postponed this year, a lot of the shows have been moved to next year. That mixed with the ones we’ve recently booked, we will be busy!
Sam: Oh yes, it’s a very large pipe!
Jack: So our calendar is looking pretty sweet for the next year. I can’t say much more than that I’m afraid.
Are there any bands you’d really like to play a show with some day?
Matt: If we were to play with bands that are on our own turf in the UK I’d say bands like From Sorrow To Serenity, VEXED, While She Sleeps and Architects would be insane. Other bands from overseas would be ones like Polaris, Currents, FEVER 333, Crystal Lake and Stray From The Path. I’d happily open every night for those bands.
Sam: Currents would be a fitting band for us to play with. To be honest, we just want to play shows with bands that want to have a good time and get along. We haven’t got time for drama, let’s all just work together!
Jack: If I could open for a dream lineup, I’d love to play a show with While She Sleeps, Counterparts and Fit For A King. Having grown up listening to Slipknot, I’d love to play a show for them. I’d die happy then.
What’s your favourite venue that you’ve played whether it be in Manchester or further afield?
Matt: Rebellion, Manchester. Hands down.
Sam: Rebellion. Live sound is a big thing for us, so for me I definitely have to say there.
Jack: I’ve got loads of venues that I love but my all-time favourite has to be between Rebellion and Star and Garter in Manchester. Those places just hit different for us.
Have you got a funniest moment from tour that you could share with our readers?
Matt: Oh, God, we’ll have to keep it family friendly with this one!
Sam: Yeah, let’s not upset anyone!
Jack: Oh, God, there’s been some stuff that’s happened on tour that’s killed us off. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus but I think one of the funniest moments was when our photographer, Kaine, with us on his first tour as well, got sh*t on by a seagull the size of a BMX in Brighton and was then laughed at by a bunch of Australian tourists! He had no choice but to take it like a champ because we were all written off belly laughing at his expense when the Australians said he got ‘buggered by a bird’. Sorry mate!
(Yep, that actually happened! Actually thought Brighton was pretty nice up to that point haha!)
For any of our readers that may be new to the band, could you tell them which song of yours they should check out first and why?
Matt: ‘Fractures’ definitely represents us best.
Sam: Yeah, it’s just an all out representation of us and definitely nods to what we have coming in the future.
Jack: I’d say check out ‘Fractures’. I think that song has every element of our sound thrown together into one killer track.
And finally, do you have a favourite track from new EP Fractures?
Matt: For me, ‘Fractures’ is definitely one of my favourites. Lyrically, it’s my proudest song to date.
Sam: Oh, God, that’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! Uh, it’s definitely got to be ‘Fractures’.
Jack: All of the tracks on our EP hold a special place for me but I do love listening to ‘Lone Wolf’. It’s one of our oldest tracks and to hear it finally in context after being mixed and mastered just feels incredible.
Thank you for giving us your time! Hopefully we’ll get to see you in action at some point in the near-ish future! Best of luck with the release.
Debut EP ‘Fractures’ is released independently on August 14th 2020
The Human Veil are: Matt Wall – vocals; Jack Bailes – guitar; Adam Welch – guitar; Jordon Lambourne – bass; Sam Hughes – drums
Photography and words by Kaine Crilley
Promotional image by Jacob McAllister