Metalcore has always been a place of comfort for young metal fans. A safe haven comprised of syncopated breakdowns and mosh pits. Here we are in 2020 and the need for that escape is as relevant and positive as it’s ever been.
About 4 years ago I hopped on a ferry to attend university just outside of London and was introduced by an old friend to an amazing collective of up and coming bands. Bands like Behind Blue Eyes, Centuries and many more.
The community and bonds built between these bands were refreshing. It’s easy to see other bands as a threat (and as we’ll learn, some still do) but this mentality is not often seen, or at least steered away from, within the Greater London Metalcore scene.
To further understand what makes its community so thriving, I’ve reached out to some of the musicians involved to ask about their experiences, who they love playing with and who you should have a look out for in the upcoming metalcore scene.
Your new favourite band may be listed below!
How has the sense of community developed since you first became involved?
CENTURIES; Nathan Smart (Guitarist)
“When we first started, I think there was quite a lot of competition between bands, like, some shows you’d go to and it almost felt like, y’know, people didn’t really wanna make friends.
“This has definitely changed to some extent. Overall, I’d say that’s gone out the window. Every show that you play, everyone is on the same page as you. Everyone is trying to have a good time, branch out to new people, to new fans and get their music out.”
Behind Blue Eyes; Stone Behzadi (Vocalist)
“I’ve never really wanted to tie our band too much into the scene as such.
“You’ll find some amazing characters, some lovely people who’ve become our best friends. [But also] going hand in hand with that, you’ll find your fair share of people who are trying to steal from you, run your name through the dirt, which we’ve had both of.
“At the end of the day, you can meet nice people absolutely everywhere and we’ve been so lucky that we’ve been able to make some great friends along the way but we also know who we’re steering clear from in the scene.”
It’s great to see that bands can still remain optimistic and supportive of their peers despite the undertones of jealousy and spite that some musicians in the scene are holding dear. Regardless, it’s important to sing the praise of those who are worthy and supportive of their fellow underground artists.
With that in mind, this community is building fast and it’s because of hard work and the level of inclusion these bands give their fans. I decided to ask Nathan and Stone to shout out some of the bands that they felt had the whole package.
Who in the scene do you think has a perfect mix of work ethic and respect for the bands they perform with?
CENTURIES; Nathan Smart
“We’ve played with quite a lot of bands that are really respective and want everyone to have the best show possible. One of them is Behind Blue Eyes.
“They’ve got us to support twice now on their release shows, they’re great guys. They obviously work very hard and I’m sure they’ll succeed as each release progresses and the music progresses.
“Another band that I think are great is Graphic Nature (Formerly Cove). They’re great guys and they work really hard.
“(and definitely) Loathe. Those guys are super sound and have got the smaller bands to support their release shows. They always look after their friend’s bands and upcoming bands.
“Black Coast, they’re super hard-working guys and their new stuff sounds amazing. First time we met Charlie (Black Coast Vocalist) he walked into the venue in new cross, was super nice and we started a nice relationship with that band as well.”
BEHIND BLUE EYES; Stone Behzadi
“There are absolutely too many bands to name that are so deserving of every success that could possibly be thrown to them. We’ve met some bands who are the loveliest people, who are the hardest workers and they just kind of have the whole package.
“Lotus Eater, who were playing small shows when we were first coming about and now they’re playing shows with Bring Me The Horizon.
“Lastelle, some amazing friends and the sweetest dudes, incredibly talented all of them.
“THECITYISOURS as well, absolutely amazing dudes, always helped us out. They’ve helped us in more ways than anyone could ever imagine and so we’re super grateful to have been able to meet those guys and let them be a part of our careers.”
As mentioned by Nathan, Behind Blue Eyes are a great example of building an inclusive fanbase and it’s refreshing to see the respect they have for their peers despite some of their experiences in the past.
Behind Blue Eyes are the first band I’ve seen in the scene to have their own Facebook fan group. It’s a great way for them to communicate directly with their fans and show’s a ton of respect for the people that allow them to continue following their dreams.
I’ve been lucky enough to be at both their release shows and on both occasions the crowd went absolutely ballistic to their set (me included!).
The great bands in this scene know that without the interactions, the respect and the five minute “hello, how are you”s, they can’t fill that room over and over.
There’s a sense of acceptance, a bond that these shows allow fans to be a part of. One minute you’re in the smoking area chatting to a complete stranger, the next you’re talking to members of the support band.
There’s no “them and us”. Building that community of support and having the bands grow together is what is going to make the next local band explode and when that happens we can all stand back and smile because we know we were part of that.
Comments taken from interviews with Nathan Smart and Stone Behzadi. Full interviews coming soon.
Words: Billy Keen // Main Image: Oli Duncanson