In mosh bet­ter spir­its

Bring Me the Hori­zon’s drum­mer Matt Ni­cholls talks mu­si­cal in­flu­ences, on-stage nerves and how he keeps it real, with Vicki An­der­son.

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - MUSIC FEATURE -

Matt Ni­cholls may have more than a mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, thanks to the suc­cess of his band, but he’s not in­ter­ested.

The drum­mer of Bri­tish band Bring Me the Hori­zon says he just isn’t ‘‘bovvered’’.

‘‘I’m not a big gos­siper on the in­ter­net,’’ he says, from Barcelona. ‘‘I think it’s just full of dick­heads. I don’t need any more friends. I like my own girl­friend, I have my own friends al­ready. I don’t have Twit­ter or Face­book. I have Instagram be­cause of the band. I go on the in­ter­net and look at things but I’m not into so­cial me­dia. I’m not both­ered about be­ing in­ter­net fa­mous, I just want to play my drums and get on with my life.’’

When he and his mates formed Bring Me the Hori­zon in Sh­effield, South York­shire, in 2004, they named the band af­ter the Pi­rates of the Caribbean movie and didn’t imag­ine they’d ever play to 500 peo­ple.

In­flu­enced by an eclec­tic mix of death metal and emo, Bring Me the Hori­zon is fronted by vo­cal­ist and sought-af­ter cloth­ing de­signer Oliver Sykes, bas­sist Matt Kean, guitarist Lee Malia, and key­boardist Jor­dan Fish.

The band’s first EP, This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For, re­leased through indie la­bel Vis­i­ble Noise, caught the eyes and ears of Bri­tish death­core fans and raced up the charts, and earned them the Best Bri­tish New­comer Award.

Al­though their first full al­bum, Count Your Bless­ings, re­leased in 2006 and which had more scream­ing than your av­er­age hor­ror movie, was death­core and emo, their sound has changed con­sid­er­ably in the past decade.

Sui­cide Sea­son, re­leased in 2008, was a crit­i­cal turn­ing point for the band and saw them take a sidestep away from death metal. Its fol­low-up, 2010’s There Is a Hell, Be­lieve Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Se­cret in­cor­po­rated el­e­ments of clas­si­cal, elec­tron­ica, and pop music.

But it was Sem­piter­nal’s ar­rival in 2013 that re­ally ex­panded the group’s hori­zons.

The lat­est re­lease, last year’s That’s the Spirit still has emo el­e­ments but it’s best de­scribed as alt-metal.

But Ni­cholls doesn’t want to pi­geon­hole the band’s music, or stamp it and put it in a box.

As he tells it they’re just a bunch of good mates from North­ern Eng­land who play their music fe­ro­ciously in front of tens of thou­sands of peo­ple at the Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val, Wem­b­ley Sta­dium, or on stages around the globe.

‘‘I get my mu­si­cal in­flu­ence from my dad,’’ says Ni­cholls. ‘‘He was singing in pub bands when I was grow­ing up. He brought me up on Mo­town, Al Green, rock music like Queen . . . not so much metal, just English rock bands. He’s a big fan of Slade.’’

When his par­ents di­vorced when he was 14, his dad sold the house and told him he could buy one thing he re­ally wanted.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Bring Me The Hori­zon front­man Oliver Sykes told NME mag that the band’s lat­est al­bum is about de­pres­sion and dark­ness, but with a hope­ful twist.

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