Amplifier were one of the first bands announced this year and, as such, have watched the line up grow to include massively respected and eclectic bands. A lot of pressure you’d assume, but this Manchester three piece are walking into Damnation with three excellent genre bending albums under their belts and a huge amount of acclaim for their live shows. Catching up with bassist Neil Mahoney he exudes everything you’d expect from a band that have never been afraid to do things their own way.
Having been honing their trade for close on 14 years, and been through the majority of the good and bad that can befall a band, they’re now completely independent, something which makes sense considering they’ve never let the pressure of a record label affect them anyway. “We put pressure on ourselves to create and perform on a level that we are happy with; never to please anyone else.” Obviously, with this, there must be a massive dedication to the band from its respective members, something Neil is all too away of: “We are the only ones who will always be here; fans come and go, so we just please ourselves. It’s kind of a vindication that the more we suit ourselves, the better received we seem to become.”
Latest album The Octopus is just another example of the band striving to do something different. Spread over two CD’s and two hours of music and yet despite how well the album fits together both musically and in the concept of the album itself it was never meant to be the double album it became. “We were working on two albums at the same time and a few of the songs seemed to cross over; instead of fighting this we just let it happen and suddenly The Octopus had doubled in size.”
With just an hour on the Zero Tolerance stage, and over two hours of conceptual material on their last album alone, it must be difficult to come up with a set list that fully shows off the band’s capabilities; or so you’d think. “I hate this new trend for playing whole “classic” albums and all the money making bullshit that goes with it. The fact is that a rock show has very different needs to an album – running a live show to fit with the running order of an album seldom works.”
Moving on and Neil is clearly excited about Damnation and Amplifier’s place on the line up. “How many festivals are there championing such a wide array of acts?” Neil points out, “The amount of genres and sub genres just within the metal cannon is staggering and for fans to be able to go to one place and find so many bands from so many backgrounds is to be lauded.”
Noting that they were one of the first to be announced Neil has nothing but praise for the bands that have followed. “It’s great. There are some very big names and it’s always great to share a line up with guys like that…I’m personally looking forward to see God is an Astronaut again and Talons will be really good. Obviously Devin will be awesome but I’m looking forward to checking out some bands that I’ve not heard of.”
So between their massive sounds and massive ideas Amplifier will be bringing an exciting set to Damnation and will be more than able to match the bigger names that have come through the doors since their announcement; and if you need any more reason to go check them out there’s always the fact that:
“We’re the only sexy band on the bill! Groove, groove and more groove!”