METAPRISM have come a long way since they were founded in November 2012 by guitarist/composer Ollie Roberts and vocalist Theresa Smith. Hailing for Bournemouth, their unique spin on the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ sound landed them the chance to play at Bloodstock Open Air last year, their most ambitious achievement yet! They may have released a self-titled EP back in 2013 but their debut album release is definitely something to get excited about. The mastermind behind it all, Ollie Roberts chats to our Music Editor.
“The EP was just a taster of what was to come really; it was more to do with just getting stuff out there and get heard”, Ollie Roberts admits, “The album differs, other than having more tracks of course. It shows more of a full picture of the bands sound and how we have progressed since the release of the EP. It’s going to be bigger, heavier and have more elements included – hopefully something for most metal fans to enjoy.”
Taking inspiration from a variety of rock and metal bands, it’s clear that there are different elements that pervade their music. “I like to think of our stuff as ‘prog metal in a simpler, small song package’ (laughs). I like a lot of genres and probably too many influences to name but a few would be Symphony X, Pagan’s Mind, Firewind, Evergrey, Circus Maximus, Dream Theater, Scar Symmetry, Threat Signal and Amaranthe. Whether any of these influences show through in our tracks, I’d have to leave that up to the listeners.”
The lead guitarist had been writing material that he wanted to develop but felt that it didn’t fit the style of his band at the time. This led to the creation of Metaprism. Since Ollie had worked with vocalist Theresa Smith in previous band Silent Prophecy, he asked her to record vocals for the tracks. Wanting to move away from their former band’s initial sound, they asked Furyborn vocalist, Jut Tabor, if he would also be part of the project.
“I had also been in a band with Jut and knew he was the man for the job so he jumped on board too.” Ollie continues, “We recorded the EP with our original drummer, but unfortunately it didn’t work out and we had a buddy of ours, Jof [Walsh] from Mask of Judas, to stand in on occasions live. After the recording, we got Mike [West] who we knew and had played in a local band on bass.” To complete the line-up, the group enlisted Jimmy Alford on rhythm guitar. The two guitarists became friends when their previous bands played together. James Clarke, the most recent member to join Metaprism, became the band’s permanent drummer not long before they took to the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2014.
After winning the final of three Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses Bournemouth rounds at The Anvil, the band was confirmed as the next unsigned artist to play the UK’s biggest metal festival. “We were honoured to have had the opportunity to play there! [B.O.A.]. There’s definitely an effort to give up-and-coming bands the opportunity to help promote themselves, which is rare. It also keeps new blood coming through the metal ranks each year and we had a great reception when we played! We really weren’t expecting such a good crowd turn-out so that made it even better than we had hoped.”
When talking about writing the upcoming album, Ollie reveals that there have definitely been some challenges.
“Sometimes it’s the constant tweaking, other times the songs just come straight away. Like with any creative process, there’s always the challenge of piecing it all together, then maybe coming back to it later to find that you don’t like something or you think what you’ve done could be better.”
“I love the creative process of writing the songs and recording it all. It’s great to hear the final product back and reflect on what you’ve achieved. If all goes well, we hope to have the album out by summer. Then of course there is the live aspect – the buzz of playing tracks you’ve created for people and see them react positively (hopefully!) to them is great (laughs). One of the best things about being in a band is that you get to just hang out with friends which is a bonus.”
This year promises to be a big one for Metaprism with the release of their debut album and an official music video to promote it. “We are looking to play some festivals and sort some tours out, not only in the UK but in Europe also. There will be plenty of news coming up on our social media platforms and website for sure!”
The band have already announced their summer billing at Wacken Open Air (DE) and said: “We’re beyond thrilled to announce that we’ve been given the HUGE honour of representing the UK at Wacken Open Air. This opportunity has been made possible by the massively important Metal 2 The Masses competition, as well as the UK’s greatest festival, Bloodstock Open Air.”