interview with UK metal band THE END OF MANKIND
The Last Days Of Mankind
Interview with Justin and Tom of THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND
By: Katie Tullett
Date Published: Mar, 2013
Starting the New Year nice and loud, as I am sure we all want! I had the fantastic opportunity to meet up with starting out, London based progressive metal duo (looking for members) The Last Days Of Mankind, while they recorded vocals for their upcoming single release. Guitarist, Tom and Vocalist, Justin, were kind enough to take a break from their intense recording to answer a few questions about their plans for the New Year.
Justin: Vocally, it’s more or less just about the mistakes mankind have made over the centuries and how it’s all lead up to the inevitable shit storm that will befall us at some point in the future. Most of the lyrics are written from the view of a protagonist. I like to write from someone’s point of view.
Tom: Musically, I try to blend an ambient and mellow feeling with the more aggressive stuff so that it’s not just angry music, because the theme is fairly angry and I wanted to bring some dynamic to it really.
Tom: Monuments, a fairly obvious one for anyone who knows me. I’d say The Haarp machine were an influence, but not in a “I’ve written a riff that sounds like The Haarp Machine”, but they are definitely inspiring. Those would be the biggest two but there’s all manner of inspirations out there, for me.
Justin: Vocally, I’d definitely have to go for bands like Whitechapel and all the fairly obvious ‘death-core-y’ sort of bands, because recently I’ve had to listen to quite a lot of progressive metal bands due to being in Tradjectory, and that’s not exactly my comfort zone. Yeah, in this project Whitechapel are definitely a bit influence for my vocally and with lyrics too.
Tom: Um… genre… -laughs- Metal is an obvious one.
Justin: Definitely progressive, but…
Tom: Not deliberately… Anger. Is that a genre? -both laugh- It should be a genre! Slightly progressive, lazy metal. I suppose…
Justin: It’s more mellow, compared to what we were doing in Tradjectory in terms of what you (Tom) are writing.
Tom: Yeah… I was writing some weird stuff…
Tom: Uh, no. -laughs- No.
Justin: We really want to try and move away, in this project at least, move away from…
Tom: … any pre-conceived styles or previous works.
Justin: We really want to be taken seriously with this project. We don’t want to be treated like a re-hash or a side project! It’s far from it.
Tom: I use an Agile 727, not too sure if it’s the pro or the regular although I think it’s the regular. There’s a Dimarzio crunch lab pick up in it and I use a Line 6 Pod HD 500, straight into my computer with Superior and Amplitube for bass.
Justin: In the studio I use a Shure SM7B, which is a pretty ace microphone” Should be for the amount it cost (£370-odd… Just over)! Obviously when we get to play live, just any microphone I can get my hand on really.
Tom: Yeah, don’t want to be taking that out of the house!
Justin: We love working with each other despite me being really shit at timing in the studio, but we really enjoy working with each other, we did while we were in Tradjectory and nothing’s changed.
Tom: Not at all! We’ve been in numerous little two/three song projects with each other for about the last year and a half. There was one we had, where Immolation, the song we are releasing, was originally written. It has since been altered. There was a post rock project… I briefly joined Justin’s long standing project; The Paper Plane Trial. Heimskringla was another one… Was that just you (Justin)? I joined but I didn’t get to write anything, I think! The Untold Tale Of Hauskarl was where Immolation first started… That’s still on my current Soundcloud actually.
Justin: Through all of those, this was originally meant to be, just a ridiculously stupid band, but we’ve saved it now! We’re hoping to make something serious out of it.
Tom: It’s a song and it comes with another song! -Both laugh- As I said before, Immolation was written just over a year ago…
Justin: Yeah, it’s gone through quite a few transitions… The music’s been re-written dozens of times, the lyrics have been re-written about 5 or 6 times. It started out with that really childish Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse) sort of style vocals, going into really gore-y things but it just doesn’t really fit this sort of music so I had to take the time to rewrite it and make sure we get what we want from it.
Tom: The b-side, With Open Eyes, is something I wrote that I actually didn’t want to use originally, but I sent it over to Justin and he liked it so we’re using it.
Justin: What I personally wanted out of it was 2 tracks that will really stand out and hopefully get people to want to continue listening to us.
Tom: There’s quite a big contrast between the 2, I think… With Open Eyes is a fairly melodic one and Immolation is just really… angry…
Tom: We haven’t set a date really, but as soon as I am done with it… I think we will do a thing where we reach a certain amount of ‘likes’ and we’ll ‘leak’ something tasty out.
Tom: Go up 20 fans on Facebook probably -laughs-
Justin: Even if we go up 10 fans, that would make me happy, to be honest. So at least we’ll know that people are actually interested.
Tom: We’ll spread it around… Hope to get put on some radios here and there. Try and get it out to them, try and get on some pre show playlists for gigs as we can’t gig ourselves as we don’t currently have a full line up.
Justin: We do intend to get a few guest vocalists… SO, when we start to record the album…
Tom: Some interesting guests actually! -Giggles-
Justin: We’re not going to name any names right now…
Tom: There’s one confirmed one… Absolutely 100% confirmed… One kind of ‘maybe’ one, and then two that we’re about 60% sure of. It’ll be good!
Tom: I want to gig, definitely!
Justin: Yeah, I’d love to gig with this band as it’ll be a pleasant change to playing with Tradjectory, obviously it’s still metal. But it’s not the same.
Tom: It’s all been done totally differently to Tradjectory really. There’s one guitarist from the start, there’s no set lead sections, I only put solos or leads in when I feel it needs it as a pose to it being a compulsion to create a song. The general construction of it is not something I have done before so I would like to road test it.
Justin: I think he (Tom) pretty much said it all really! That’s everything I am thinking… I am sure that’s what everyone else is going to think when we get a full line up… it really would be great to start gigging with this band… The music’s great; what we’ve been writing we certainly enjoy and we’ll enjoy it more when we play it live.
Tom: Well, we’re obviously planning on releasing the single with the b-side and then we’re moving on to a…
Justin: Self titled mini album.
Tom: Mini album or a ‘bulging’ EP. Too big for an EP but too small to be called an album. We decided on about 8 tracks.
Tom: There’s no a set concept throughout the album but there will be songs with concepts to them.
Justin: We’ve got a demo of one of the songs that’s hopefully going to be on the album; Istari – it means wise ones.
Tom: It’s the names given to the wizards in The Lord Of The Rings… because we’re sad like that…
Justin: We love The Lord Of The rings…
Tom: Finding members is my prime target! We don’t really need to write any new material for upcoming releases… We have a backlog of about 19 – 20 songs that we can use that are finished and only need some refining
Tom: If you’re interested give us a shout, it’s not hard stuff to play… if you’re decent at what you do… -laughs-
Justin: I suppose one of the things that might get you a notch above the rest is… Well, if we want to gig, nether of us can drive… So if you can drive that’s a bonus! We’re not straight up asking you to be able to drive but it would be an advantage to us as a band.
Tom: Just the typical, please go and check us out, give us a listen and we hope you like us.
Justin: Yeah, as I said earlier, even if we only climb a few likes on Facebook now and again, that would make me happy!
Editor’s note: Since this interview was done, the ‘Immolation’ single has been released. Check it out below: