The following interview is done with Rhodri...

Let's begin with a history of Solace Denied taking us up to the present.
I'll keep this as brief as possible cos its pretty boring! Me and Adam started things off jamming up stuff in each others houses, and came up with the 3 tracks that we put on the CD. We then took it a step further to actually make it into a band and brought in Andy Myers (we'd played in a silly little band called Immemorial previously) on drums. Then came in Joel on bass and we quickly recorded that CD. To us that CD sounds pretty rushed now; it isn't an accurate representation of what Solace Denied is, but at the time we just wanted to get our ideas down and recorded properly. Since then we've had various people come in & out of the band, but now we have a stable solid line up (me - guitar, Adam - vox, Joel - bass, Andy M - drums, Andy W - guitar)...want the rest of the bio go to our website!!

I don't see too many new death/black acts coming out of your country these days, at least ones worthy of note. Can you illuminate us on the situation there, possible name a few good bands that have been overlooked?
With regards to BM you are quite right - there isn't much at all. The best are Meads Of Asphodel & Antigone (recently split), who are the more original of the bands over here. There are other bands playing far more extreme BM than us, but I don't think they have really captured an original sound - it sounds more like rehashed COF & Emperor. Meads Of Asphodel are probably the most interesting BM in the UK at present. It seems that many of the UK BM bands follow the COF sound and take their inspiration from that, but that's not really us so we do things the way we want to. We're far more into metal tunes as opposed to horror & vampire themes. There are a fair few acts playing black metal, but a large percentage of those don't play live so go largely unnoticed by the media.
I'm not greatly interested by death metal so I can't really comment accurately on that scene - Akercocke are certainly worth a mention (more black death) - fukking fantastic band!! They have really captured something special in their sound - it's very darkly erotic, yet punishingly heavy music. I love em! Acolytes Ruin are pretty ok too, if a little similar to Emperor for their own good. I'm very conscious of NOT sounding Norwegian; part of BM is embracing your surroundings & culture….which certainly ain't Norway. I prefer some of the other bands on the UK underground such as The Enchanted & Unsilence, who are on the more doomy side of the scene.

I understand you are working on a five song follow up to your four song demo. Will you be releasing this yourself again? Hopefully the style will stay the same?
We intend to record 5 trax by the end of this summer - again, released by ourselves. I honestly don't think we are big enough to attract label attention yet. We are possibly going to go into the Academy studio in Bradford, reason being that Mags really knows how to capture the feel of British Metal, without detracting from atmosphere. Check out My Dying Bride's 'Angel & The Dark River' to see what I mean. We want the emphasis to be on guitar driven Black METAL. The style is still in keeping with the first CD, however, I feel that the songwriting has improved greatly. Myself & Adam have taken much more time over how the songs fit together in terms of dynamics and atmosphere this time - I think before we had a rather naive attitude; just shove a guitar break in where we couldn't make it flow smoothly!! I'd say our newer material is somewhat more metal than the other CD, but the essence of the material is still the same - that dark yet traditional metal feeling...

On your demo you did a death metal sounding cover of Iron Maiden's 'Flight of Icarus.' What are your thoughts on the reformation of Iron Maiden and the new material? What about the possible impact this band has had on modern metal? I'd have to say in my opinion, based upon what I've heard of the new material compared to their old, their days of inspiring other musicians are nearly over...
I'd have to disagree! Maiden reforming was the best news in metal I'd heard in ages! And 'Brave New World' was fantastic. I wasn't expecting much from them (I wasn't over keen on the Wicker Man), but they absolutely blew me away. And seeing them live in London was pretty fukking special too! I think they've had more of an impact on current underground music as opposed to mainstream metal (apart from that damn Teenage Dirtbag song). I mean, they had a tremendous impact on me as a player - the use of melody & harmony like they utilise it is incredible. Hazard a guess at saying they've had a slight influence upon In Flames..... I think maybe they've had less effect on the American current scene, but over hear people always seem to enjoy it when we play the Maiden song.

Today's world lacks much of the imagination and inspiration of the past. Where do you find inspiration when writing/recording music?
Too damn true! That's the thing these days isn't it? I find it very rare that a band actually excites me as much as it used to. Funnily enough, I've found that different music other than metal has excited me more recently - stuff like hard trance, dark drum & bass (Adam is heavily into that)and atmospherics stuff like the Future Sound Of London. Inspiration for Solace Denied? Just the way I interpret the events in my life. It may sound cheesy & cliched, but I find it very hard to open up my feelings, so I find the best way is to convey how I feel in music. Obviously, I've taken much inspiration from the bands I listen to - Carcass, Paradise Lost, Emperor, Dissection, Immortal, Metallica etc. All the music I listen to certainly helps me develop ideas. We're not trying to be the most original metal band around - we just wanna play what comes naturally to ourselves. It's important for me not to compromise my musical integrity for sake of 'originality', when hardly anything is original these days anyway!

What sort of topics do you tend to deal with in your lyrics? Are there specific feelings you try to set in your listener through your music?
Most of the topics I wrote about on the first CD were regarding a really messed up point in my life. I was going through a lot of pain regarding certain events which I'd kinda brought upon myself to a degree. It was important for me to express myself, as the people I wanted to talk to didn't want to listen to me! That's why my lyrics on that CD (Black Tower & Of Foul Blood) are both sad & regretful, and hateful & frustrated. Much of my other stuff regards frustrated and stifled feelings - I sometimes feel extremely limited in being stuck in this body; so much I really want to experience yet I feel that having a mortal anchor is holding me back. I find that a lot of music has the feeling of looking back, reflecting. Also both myself & Adam are extremely interested in weird beliefs and the concept of Infinity & the spirit, so you'll probably see some far more crazy lyrics soon! Probably been smoking too much I think ;)

Have you sent your demo to labels to possibly get signed? Reactions?
Well, when we first recorded we sent our CD out to many of the most obvious European Extreme metal labels. As you might expect none were interested!! We'll probably send our new CD out too when we record it - it'll help as we've built up much more of a foundation for ourselves now. To be totally honest, I'm sceptical about the idea of being signed to a label anyway - I fear that it may take away the enjoyment aspect of doing this kind of thing, by totally revolving around money.
We had really positive reactions to the first CD (& all of our gigs) - people really seemed to enjoy it, and as a result of which we have had some really great reviews (MTA being one of the best international ones). All in all, I'm really pleased & surprised that so many people actually quite like what we do!!

To a deeper end of the conversation... explain your thoughts on modern religion. Do you also find it as dull and hypocritical as many others?
Oh definitely going deeper now, eh? Like many black metallers, I'm most certainly not a fan of any modern organised religions, as I feel they utterly suppress individual thought & creativity. I do feel quite strongly about it, yet I'm not gonna go on about the so called downfall of the church etc.etc.. It doesn't matter that much to me - if people are fool enough to follow the cross, then what do I care? It's certainly no skin off my nose. I feel pity towards these people who live utterly suppressed existence's just because of a book -an inaccurate book at that. I keep my beliefs to myself, and expect others to respect that - after that's all belief is - individual thoughts & ideas. I have strong feelings about my afterlife and the like, which yeah, I do sometimes convey in my lyrics, but I want people to understand that this isn't preaching; it's just my freedom to express myself. The last thing I want to do is shove my beliefs down peoples throats - that'd make me as bad as those that I scorn!!

What are your thoughts on the pagan religions? The old deities of your region? Could you tell us what you know about these in particular?
I most certainly respect the old ways of my Britain - it's a subject I have been well interested in for a long time, besides I think it's good to know the history of one's birthland. I feel far more affinity towards the ancient ways, than modern belief systems - at least they were mostly practical beliefs (holding utter respect for the land etc.), and yet savage; it's inside all of us, only modern beliefs suppress all base instincts that are deemed socially undesirable. I'm always very conscious of my spiritual link to where I came from, and although it sounds cheesy, I really respect and am protective of Britain. It's not a racist or nationalist view - it's far more important than that to me.

Tell us your interpretations of death... do you believe in any sort of afterlife, and if so, what do you envision?
I could go on about this for hours! I'll try to summarise…… My belief is in absolute infinity - that my spirit has always been and always will continue to exist. I feel that life her on earth is one experience of many, an experience which shall continue on once we have departed from this place. I feel there is too much unexplained for this to be the be all & end all. I try to envision the afterlife, but to be honest I couldn't possibly comprehend even a part of what it could be. How can we? Our lives are governed by essentially 5 senses, and occasionally gambling on 'gut feelings'. We are extremely base creatures - how the hell could we possibly comprehend it!! The most important thing for me while I am alive is to make the most of this experience and to do as much as possible - to not suppress anything. I don't want to reach old age and have a lifetime of regrets, I want to have achieved & fulfilled all of my ambitions.

Man has lost his faith in not only 'God' but also government, society and mankind in general. It's no surprise why many feel so hopeless and isolated either. We need only look out our windows to see the filth and lies forged and encouraged by the powers that be. People do not wish to look into the uncertain future beyond the weekend and their paychecks. But, let us be brave and go against that trend, let's look into that ever-darkening future. What do you see for the future of mankind and this planet?
Um, paycheques & the weekend? Only joking……I must admit, I too have lost most of my hope in the people of this world - people are totally governed by business & money these days. I believe mankind will not last too much longer because as a whole it doesn't care about anything else at all. Most people are disillusioned by what they see every day outside their windows & on T.V., and have given up hope in actually improving the world in which they live.

What would you say are some of the pros and cons of your country?
Pros - Definitely the history and past cultures of Britain - the Celtic people especially. Being half welsh, I really impassioned by the celtic ways of life. It may sound shallow, but I love the British sense of humour - its really sarcastic to the point of witty! Totally me….. Also beer & food - enough said I think… British metal - home of Iron Maiden & Carcass - what more can I say?

Cons - the weak political stance this country has on immigration laws. To many this will sound racist, but this country just keeps on letting in more & more immigrants (most illegal) each year. I absolutely believe in helping people, but to make Britain their sanctuary is just ruining our country as well. I don't hate immigrants - I have a problem with our government for the way they deal with other country's problems. Uk Garage - arguably one of the worst genres of music ever to pass my ears….

Your thoughts on political correctness and censorship?
Bollox - fukk it. People make their own choices for themselves & their families. Thats all I have to say about that.

If you could know one answer to any question... what would the question be?
What came first -Chicken or egg? Haha or maybe the predictable 'What's next after this life?' It's the obvious one, but it really would change the world and the face of religion as we know it. Well, if I could prove it anyway…..

What would you say is the most important thing in this life? And if life has a goal, what would it be?
I always think this a hard question to answer - to pinpoint one thing as being the most important! I think probably self fulfilment is one of the most important things in life; to be absolutely everything you can & want to be. A goal? For me it's to do everything I want to in my life and to have as few regrets as possible before I die.

How can those interested obtain material from Solace Denied? Is the demo CD still available? Will it be repressed?
We actually sold out of the original CD now, and we don't have any plans to print any more off. You can get official tape copies from the band for £2 + p&p - email me ( I believe that you can actually get the CD from, as we have a page on there. It hasn't got Flight Of Icarus on it though, cos it ain't our song and that'd be kinda naughty! Also, as I mentioned earlier, we'll be recording new material by the end of the summer period, so when that's due out I'll be sure to let y'all know….

Do you play any live shows? What are your experiences? Any memories you'd care to share?
Yeah, we play whenever possible! That's really where we shine I think - Solace Denied are definitely a live band. That's where we've managed to gain a few followers, as we really put into our live show. It's really metal! For me that's definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of being in a band - I get such a great feeling from live shows its unbelievable. When we first started playing live we were well stage shy, but after a year of playing gigs we all love it. We've playing both good & bad shows, but I reflect on it all as constructive experience which improves our live act. One of the best gigs we played was at the London RedEye with Hecate Enthroned & Heathen Deity. We really played well that night and pulled off a great gig. I was so overwhelmed by the response form that gig, and it gained us our first live review in Terrorizer (English underground mag)

Lastly, your final thoughts and words of wisdom to the world?
Big cheers to Mourning The Ancient - fantastic site & fantastic concepts - keep it up! Thanks for the interview - it's taking me bloody ages to write out, but it's been one of the most interesting ones yet! Hails to the other Solly D. boyz & all the other bands that we know & play with! Cheerz!

Solace Denied website

Back to Interviews