After two years away, live shows are finally getting underway. This also means face to face interviews with bands after two years of speaking to them over Zoom and Skype. Before BATTLE BORN took to the stage on the first night of their tour, Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham caught a chat with lead vocalist Jack Reynolds and vocalist/guitarist Tom O’Dell. They spoke about their latest remastered EP, mental health and which video game universe they would thrive in.
So first off, how awesome is it now live shows are coming back into full swing?
Jack: It is very awesome indeed, this is our first show of the year. When was our last one November?
Tom: December, December 4th at HRH Vikings.
I caught you guys at that show. That was my first time watching you live, it was worth the wait.
Tom: That was a great show, a great one to end the year on. Because we have had these dates in the calendar for a really long time and we were hoping Covid wouldn’t come along and destroy them like it has for so many others.
So you’ve released a remastered version of your debut EP. Can you tell us more about that?
Jack: It’s had a shiny new remaster and it’s also got a bonus track. Brand new song out today.
Tom: Well you say brand new, we wrote it about the same time we wrote the EP. When Prosthetic Records our label wanted to re-issue it, they said about adding a bonus track on there and we thought that would be a nice thing to do. We pulled a song back that didn’t make it originally and gave it a lick of paint.
Jack: Bump up the tempo a few BPM.
Tom: We did do that yes. Re-wrote most of the lyrics too, it’s a completely new song.
Was there a reason it didn’t make it to the EP first time around?
Tom: We were just aiming for five songs. The ones we originally picked had a nice flow to them, this one didn’t quite cut it. In fairness; when we reviewed the whole EP process, we thought it could have gone on there and this was a great opportunity to show it.
Jack: It was the best of the ones that didn’t make it but it’s very much like a two minute punch in the face. Basically it’s kind of hard to build that into an EP and not mess up the momentum of the whole thing but as a bonus track stuck on the end, it’s brilliant.
As well as that, a brand new video for Bring The Metal Back. Where was that filmed?
Tom: A secret location, deep in the heart of Skyrim. Commonly known as Eastleigh Sixth Form College Drama Studio.
Jack: Wasn’t in East Marsh?
Tom: I get confused.
You’re working on your debut album as well.
Jack: Well, worked.
Tom: At this point it’s with Seeb [Levermann] from Orden Ogan to do the mixing and mastering. So we have done all we can, he’s now going to fix it for us. We’ve listened to a lot of his previous work and it sounds huge, which is exactly what we want for this.
Is there anywhere on your tour you are looking forward to playing?
Jack: Most of the places we haven’t been before.
Tom: It will be very cool to play Glasgow because that will be technically out of the country in manner of speaking. So that will be very exciting.
Jack: It will be my first time in Scotland.
Tom: Same for me as well, I hear the venue is meant to be quite good.
For those who haven’t seen you live before, what can they expect?
Jack: If you like metal, then you will have a very good time during our set.
Tom: Heavy Metal.
Jack: Heavy Metal is more or less what we play.
Tom: It’s fun for all the family, it’s a good time. We aim to make you have fun.
Jack: It’s strong and powerful but also wholesome.
You may well know Rock Out Stand Out’s mission is to spread awareness around Mental Health. I would say your music is great for lifting spirits.
Jack: I really would hope so.
Tom: It touches upon everyone is strong, anyone can do whatever they want within the law.
What do you think we can do more of so people feel more comfortable to talk about when they are struggling with their mental health?
Tom: I think it’s encouraging people that no matter how silly it sounds in their head, they should feel comfortable to say anything to a friend because talking is so good. Even when you feel you have coherently babbled to someone, you will come away feeling happier and they’ll want to help you. Just trying to encourage everyone to not be afraid to speak. If they think “oh I’ve got a mental health issue but it’s a silly thing, I don’t need to speak about it” No. Speak about it, who cares if it’s silly, we want to listen. Tell us.
Jack: I think it helps to picture if you’re not feeling comfortable speaking about it, imagine it’s the other way round and it’s your friend that came to you to tell you about something. Would you just tell them to shut up and turn away? You wouldn’t.
Is there anything you like to do to calm down, keep grounded or get things off your chest?
Tom: The classics; slaying dragons, reclaiming Skyrim from the Empire.
Jack: That is nice, I do enjoy that. Speed metal helps.
Tom: If a song is less than 300 BPM, it’s definitely nice and chill.
With your EP being about Skyrim, I am curious to know what gaming universe do you think you will thrive in the best?
Tom: Jack, I think would you thrive in The Lands Between.
Jack: Tom, that is the rudest thing anyone has said to me. [laughs]
Tom: I think I would thrive in the Mass Effect universe. I would have a good time being in space. It’s also a bit cleaner than The Witcher or Skyrim, I would have sanitation.
Jack: I think I would do alright in Pong, nice and simple, not too much worry about.
Do you have a message for you fans and readers?
Jack: Hope to see you on the road. Whether we see you or not, whether you listen to our music or not; I hope you can tap into the power within you and this mental health awareness month. Learn to love yourself.
Tom: Metal is made of steel.
Thank you Jack and Tom for joining Rock Out Stand Out today and best of luck with the rest of the tour.