Can you tell us a bit about the experience of writing/recording your latest single “The Other Side of the Mirror” and how you became involved with From Tyranny?

This was our first track released since we dropped our ‘Reprise’ EP and we knew we had to come back strong, so the goal was simple – just make this track absolutely silly. Banger riffs, a huge chorus, eerie synths and FX, capped off with a machine-gun breakdown at the end for good measure. For me it’s all about writing with an intention in mind and questioning what you’re trying to accomplish with the song- are you trying to make people mosh, make them cry, have them sing along? For this track I knew I wanted something groovy, dark and heavy, and for people to go absolutely crazy in the pit. I also wanted a riff that was the focal point of the track, and that’s the one you hear during the intro and chorus!

In terms of the recording process we took a bit more of an unconventional approach. Instead of doing the entire recording and mix/master process with a local producer like we’ve done previously, we opted to entirely self-produce and record everything ourselves. We then sent it off to Australian producer Lance Prenc (Alpha Wolf, Polaris, Thornhill) for mixing and mastering, and it sounds absolutely nuts. Lance delivered an absolutely world class mix that’s so aggressive and matches the energy of the song perfectly. I really feel the mix gave From Tyranny a spot at the table in terms of the current sphere of Metal.

In terms of how I got started in From Tyranny, I initially joined the band as a joke! I had been best pals with our other guitarist Danny for many years and when the previous lead guitarist left the band, I said as a laugh that’d I join. Well several songs written and a lot of shows in the bag it doesn’t seem so funny now! However it’s been an incredible journey and one that I’m unbelievably thankful for.

Can you tell us a bit about your musical background and influences?

I actually started playing guitar super late by most people’s standards, beginning at 5th year in high school after my friend convinced me to take what was back then called Intermediate 2 Music, so I attribute my musical journey and any success to my best pal Iain! And my entire music taste can be solely traced back to Need For Speed: Most Wanted for the PS2. It was there I first heard bands like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed, and although I didn’t get into music properly until a few years after that, the seed was definitely planted.

However my first real love and what probably defined my music taste to this day was early Enter Shikari. Their album Take To The Skies had the perfect blend of heavy guitars, massive choruses with incredible vocals, ethereal soundscapes and unconventional structures: it just tickled my young brain in all the right ways. All of these characteristics can definitely be heard on our debut EP ‘Reprise’, so its influence on me is undeniable!

In terms of influences these days, I just love super heavy, aggressive music. Bands like Thrown, Alpha Wolf, Half Me – really anything that forces me to take heed and steals my attention, and just makes me go “what the **** is that??”

‘The Other Side of the Mirror’ managed to place on the Kerrang Charts and you’ve played a series of shows across the UK in support of the single, how was this experience been for you and the band?

It’s honestly been surreal. I remember back in the day I used to cycle between Sky channels 368 and 374 for Kerrang and Scuzz, so I very much grew up with Kerrang. I think younger me would be so unbelievably stoked to know that his future band would one day be on their radar! It’s taken a long time to get to this point, so it’s really gratifying to get a win like that. It literally feels like yesterday we were in the trenches rebuilding the band and it’s sound, fiddling with amp modeller patch changes and in-ear rigs, and now things are starting to pop off. It’s so cool to see these daft wee songs and riffs that we write in bedrooms and practice spaces have gone beyond us to become something that people resonate with. We’re all so unbelievably stoked on the impact we’ve been making and long may it continue!

Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?

What attracted me to Riverside was the fact that it’s a real world studio led by people who actually know what they’re talking about. No disrespect to other establishments, but you can imagine there’s a huge disparity with a college that’s trying its best to simulate the studio and music experience, versus being an actual studio that also happens to have a college course.

Your lecturers are also industry professionals who either are out there still doing it, or have been and done it already (my lecturer at the time Finlay MacDonald played with Jay-Z and P Diddy for goodness sake hahaha). Having these accomplished and unbelievably qualified people teaching you and being readily available for advice is something I don’t think you’d get anywhere else.

How has the Music Performance Course helped you – which skills/knowledge/classes have been the most useful for you?

What I loved most about my time on the Performance course was that it gave you permission to be vulnerable and make mistakes. As someone who comes from a very small rural area in the West Coast and had previously never been in a band, let alone played outside of my bedroom, Riverside provided a safe space for me to collaborate with other likeminded musicians in a safe environment.

As part of my Performance Skills classes I was matched up in a band with 4 other musicians where would we collaborate, song write and ultimately perform together as a band. It was in these sessions that I learned vital collaboration and interpersonal skills, and how to articulately position ideas to 4 other people in a room. Later in the term all the bands then went onto perform in Stereo in Glasgow, which was an absolutely incredible experience where I learned so much about what it really means to be a musician. I thought it was so cool how the college would hire a venue and put on a actual show- I’d never played a show before and although it felt daunting, knowing I was in a controlled environment where it didn’t matter if I messed up my parts really helped get over my fears of performing live in front of a crowd.

I also got a TONNE of value from the DAW and Studio classes. My main role in the band is recording as well as writing and composing the songs inside Logic, and there’s many of the practices I learned in these classes I use to this day!

What’s next in store for yourself and From Tyranny?

More gigs, more music later this year, world domination, yaknow, the usual stuff. We’re also currently in the middle of our headline tour across the UK, catch us playing Audio in Glasgow on July 20th!

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