Originally from the North coast of Ireland, this week we’re introducing Belfast-based Axis Of. They’re currently tearing it up around the UK with hardcore heavyweights The Bronx, and we spoke to Bassist/Vocalist Ewen Friers to get the low down on why you should be be listening to them.
Influenced by Converge, Propaghandi and At The Drive-In, Ewen says they play “a devastatingly heavy brand of pop music.” They’ve been playing music together in various bands since school, but 3 years ago they made the decision “to take things a bit more seriously and really make a go of it.” Axis Of started as a band who wanted to play “fast technical punk” like Propaghandi, but they found that it wasn’t quite them.
“We never really had the ability or stamina to pull it off, so we made an effort to carve out our own sound.” It’s a great sound too, approachable but brilliantly heavy.
Ewen enjoys the eclectic scene in Northern Ireland. “It’s not that big a place, all the bands know each other so it’s not restricted to bands of a certain genre playing together.” On the other hand, it does make overseas touring expensive. But nothing that a little hard work can’t cure…
“It can be tough as it’s always going to be more expensive for Irish bands to tour mainland UK and Europe, but if you keep plugging away then eventually you’ll get the support – be it from a fanbase or management of some sort. Plus, there’s a lot of charm in being Irish.”
They’re just about to release their debut album, ‘Finding St. Kilda’ and we’ve got it streaming below for you so go ahead and have a listen.
The album was put together with Rocky O’Reilly and Barrat Lahey in Start Together Studios, in Belfast. “We had worked with both briefly on previous occasions and they approached us about working together on the album project.” The band liked the idea of working with somebody who was a real fan of the band and had seen them live before.
“They were very creative and pushed us hard, but we’re so glad we chose them as we feel the outcome was a great representation of the band and our live show.” Anything they’d change? “Now that we have the [Smalltown America] label, this time around we will have more of a plan.”
This last time was a case of booking the studio and hoping for the best. “Next time we’re hoping for a more smooth transition between recording and release,” he says, adding that “we’re also hoping to double the quantity of pinched harmonics with every release.” Go for it.
Axis Of are most obviously influenced by Converge, and they describe the first time they saw them live as a real eye-opened. “They were so aggressive and abrasive yet emotive and powerful. It definitely changed the way we looked at being a live band.”
“Watching The Bronx on this tour has been really interesting, even after all the years they’ve been on tour they still have a passion for it thats really admirable and they still work as hard as any band we’ve ever toured with.”
Axis Of are a band who are just standing on the exciting edge of brilliance in the hardcore scene. They’ve already gained a steady following and their stock is on the up – with a great debut album just around the corner, prepare to hear a lot more from these three boys from Northern Ireland.