Backstage with Irritant

With their debut single due for release on Monday 25 June, we talk gigs at the Guildhall, touring the UK and sharing a studio with the Sugababes with Gloucester rockers Irritant.

Who are Irritant?
We are a progressive metal / rock band from Gloucester, which includes Niall Thomas on bass and lead vocals, Will J Rees on guitar, Jack Williams on guitars and backing vocals and Pete Bright on drums.

How did you decide on the name?
We’re not sure how it came about – it was probably due to how we felt about the type of music playing around us when the band came together.

How did you get together?
We’ve been established for four years now, although there have been many forms of Irritant with members from some great local bands like Colid, Twisted Wings and Simon Says. Will and Niall are ‘original’ shall we say, but we’re now at a point where the line-up is at its strongest.

What stage is the band at?
We’re releasing our debut single ‘Voice of the Siren’ on Monday 25 June, and the rest of the year will see us on the nationwide Ed Stone Rockwear Tour. We’re really excited about the tour and hopefully it will prepare us for an album release towards the end of the year.

Latest material?
Good Evening from the Machine is our latest EP and we have a brand new single ‘Voice of the Siren’, which was produced by legendary producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven who worked with The Jam and Black Sabbath. The single was recorded at Mayfair Studios in London (same place as many great artists including Pink Floyd and Jeff Beck). Want to hear something funny? The Sugababes were recording in the studio at the same time as us!

Main influences?
We listen to so many types of music it’s hard to tie it down. But classic rock and progressive rock are major players – bands like Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and Rush. We have really varied tastes and playing styles in the band though.

Who do you get compared to?
Greats like Wishbone Ash, Iron Maiden (most people pick up on the dual guitar) and even UFO.

Who goes to your gigs?
We like to think we have a really varied fan base. We’re playing a type of music a lot of younger people won’t be familiar with, and hope they find a liking for. We also have those kids’ parents as fans too.

What’s your favourite venue in Gloucestershire?
The Guildhall will always be our favourite. The place holds a lot of memories for us and our fans who turn up to every show to make it worthwhile!

Where would you most like to play in the county?
We would love to get into the larger venues like Cheltenham Racecourse and GL1, but we’re still firm believers that smaller venues like the Guildhall have a great atmosphere.

Who would you most like to support?
There are so many we would give our right arms to support – although that wouldn’t really do our playing much good! Basically any of the bands that people can hear in our music, we would love to support.

Have you ever… thrown a TV out of a hotel window?
No, but we would like to.

Recommend one album that you don’t think SoGlos.com readers will have discovered.
Porcupine Tree’s Fear of a Blank Planet

Number one ambition?
Grace the main stage at Donington Park’s Download Festival!

Where can SoGlos.com readers expect to see you in a year’s time?
On tour nationwide!

Catch Irritant live during a special acoustic show at Fopp in Gloucester on Friday 29 June, and at the Two Thousand Trees Festival near Cheltenham on Saturday 14 July.

© SoGlos
Tuesday 19 June 2007

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