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Meet Mason Hill, the UK Rock Band That’s About to Break Out


Bear in mind the identify Mason Hill, probably the subsequent huge rock band to interrupt and with good purpose. U.Ok. audiences are already clued in because the band’s In opposition to the Wall album not too long ago turned the primary rock debut album to crack the High 20 of the U.Ok. charts since Greta Van Fleet arrived on the scene in 2018. They’re additionally the primary U.Ok. rock act to have debuted contained in the High 20 since Royal Blood did so again in 2014.

So who’re Mason Hill, how did they get right here, why ought to they be in your radar and why are they right here to remain? The roots of the band date again to their teen years when vocalist Scott Taylor and guitarist James Chicken met at school in Scotland. By 2013, they began their band, including drummer Craig McFetridge, bassist Matthew Ward and guitarist Marc Montgomery alongside the best way.

Their story is considered one of dedication and ingenuity, constructing a following with relentless touring of their homeland and using an aggressive social media presence through the pandemic-stricken yr of 2020 to garner a swell of help and curiosity as soon as their album lastly arrived.

Their newest observe to floor is a canopy of the Foo Fighters basic “Better of You,” and we begin there in introducing you to Mason Hill, the subsequent U.Ok. rock band you have to know. Take a look at our chat with singer Scott Taylor and guitarist James Chicken beneath.

We’ll begin present along with your Foo Fighters cowl “Better of You.” May you inform me why that tune and what the Foo Fighters imply to you?

Scott Taylor: We went into lockdown clearly fairly all of a sudden like the entire world did and we have been a bit misplaced on what to do. We love the Foo Fighters and we tried the tune possibly three weeks earlier than lockdown and have been simply messing about, like, do you need to give this a strive? Do you need to see? I do not know if we are able to pull it off. We have been doing these homestyle recordings, very, very simply naked, naked, naked and we ordered all of the video tools to get it working after which simply tried it.

One thing simply clicked with us and the tune. It simply made it magical as a result of we love the Foo Fighters a lot and we felt prefer it suited us. A band can cowl a tune and generally it would not really feel proper. We felt like that one felt proper. That is why we needed to carry it out and pay tribute to this one wonderful tune. Even after 15 years, I am nonetheless falling in love with it at this stage.

Mason Hill, “Better of You” (Foo Fighters Cowl)

This band began with each of you and you then added items alongside the best way. What have been you searching for when it comes to what you needed to place collectively in your band when this primary began?

James Chicken: I believe again after we began out, we have been simply desirous to be Black Stone Cherry on the time. I believe we simply needed to play heavy music in entrance of hundreds of individuals and we did not actually know the way we have been going to attain that, however yeah, we have been identical to correct full-blown teenage music followers that simply needed to go onstage and play actually. So we simply did what we may to do this.

After each time we did it, even when it was simply to, say, two folks, 5 folks or simply the bands themselves, we might come away like, “Proper. Okay. What about that? That wasn’t unhealthy? How can we get from this venue with 5 folks to a offered out present?” So we simply saved at it. We have been simply relentless to be sincere. We simply had a large, large drive and nonetheless do. That is what I believe acquired us to the place we at the moment are.

Given your respective ages, I imagine you have been rising up at a time when guitar music was fading a bit in Europe and the U.Ok. So what was it that made you gravitate to laborious rock?

Scott Taylor: Effectively, music’s a bizarre factor. It is virtually like you may’t select. The rock selected us in a manner. We have been proven all forms of music as children and do not get me fallacious, James and the opposite guys, all of us have a broad vary of pursuits, however you realize, solely that rockness, no matter that’s, simply sort of caught me and caught James. James was straight in when he was a child. It caught me a bit later in life.

If you wish to go and make hundreds of thousands and billions of {dollars}, this isn’t the sector to be sincere. We’re right here as a result of it is an inside ardour to only need to rock out like we did after we have been children and placing on tapes. I bear in mind I had the tapes of Jimi Hendrix, in order that was my first love and ever since I have been obsessive about a guitar.

James Chicken: It is an dependancy, man. It has the very best highs and the bottom lows. There isn’t any in between however the highs are so good although. While you get to this stage and also you get to play the songs in entrance of individuals and also you get the reactions on the finish of the day … So that you’re onstage normally for what?  An hour, an hour and 10 max? It is a very quick period of time so that you can take that in you then go away journey or no matter, keep within the van, keep in a lodge. A lot time passes earlier than you get that hour and 10 minutes again. You rapidly overlook in order that the dependancy comes again and you then need to simply maintain doing it. I believe it is what we have at all times strived to do. It is what we take pleasure in doing and what we have been working laborious at, so it is addictive.

James, you had an opportunity to share a stage with Zakk Wylde, a hero of yours, in your early teenagers. What affect did which have on you?

James Chicken: Once I talk about it I at all times describe it because the potential pinnacle second that made me. One thing simply switched, and I may by no means cease enjoying guitar due to that second. As a child, I used to be into a variety of completely different bands, a variety of completely different guitar gamers, however Zakk, for some purpose was the individual I used to be actually in love with. Actually, I had a shrine on my wall. I had posters of him, it was bizarre. I had his guitars and every little thing. So yeah, it was a bit obsessive. I attempted to appear to be him as a child, too, with blonde hair and a leather-based waistcoat. It was cool. Like this child’s all trotting about wanting like Zakk. However due to the obsession after which due to really getting to fulfill that individual, it simply did one thing.

So the second I met him, I used to be identical to, that is like Jesus coming in to my life. After which once I acquired to play onstage with him, it was simply essentially the most motivational factor that would have occurred to me at such a younger age. I believe I went residence after that, and as this child I used to be already training like mad, however due to that, it simply made me notice that is what I need to do. I need to try this once more. It simply, it simply compelled me to by no means cease enjoying guitar actually.

Not too lengthy after that, my dad and mom cut up up and that is once I moved to Scotland and met Scott and that is the remainder of that. However that have was nothing that would ever have been forgotten. It has been the very purpose I believe I have been enjoying guitar this lengthy.

Scott, at an early age you had desires to be an Olympic swimmer as nicely that you just gave as much as pursue music. Did the dedication you set towards pursuing swimming at an early age switch over to beginning a profession in rock?

Scott Taylor: I assume the drive is identical. I by no means felt, even at a younger age — swimming wasn’t the best factor for me. I am very glad I had that have in my life, and appear to be okay at it. We have been all younger and no matter would have transpired or not sooner or later, I am unsure.

I simply really feel from a younger age and James would be the identical, I simply needed to do one thing. I needed to strive my finest to face out. Lots of people develop up in life and are ultimately sad with their jobs. However from a younger age, I simply needed to be motivated to have the possibility to do one thing that I genuinely cherished as a result of I really feel prefer it’s uncommon on this planet, and I noticed swimming wasn’t that for me.

There was an excessive amount of strain and clearly in my coronary heart it wasn’t proper, as a result of music has much more strain however right here I’m loving it. It is about having that drive and is in regards to the fixed insecurities, however simply attempting to maintain pushing by way of it the place in years you hope to see that audiences like your album when it comes out.

It is a variety of stress being within the band, however it’s so value it once you’ve acquired one another and also you’re simply in a room enjoying these songs. There’s one thing magical about that.

Mason Hill, “D.N.A.”

There are not any throwaway songs on this album. And with a purpose to have the success that you just’re having, you have to have the songs and also you guys positively do. So I am going to ask with this being the primary report, do you might have any songwriting idols or folks that you have taken and discovered from when it got here time to begin writing?

James Chicken: I had numerous levels of the best way I might play guitar. It went from the Zakk period of shredding, shredding, shredding to being huge on metallic. So I preferred Lamb of God, Machine Head these huge kind of metallic bands, which I nonetheless do like and that led me into studying the best way to make actually complicated riffs, troublesome issues that are not that sensible to play dwell. After which by way of that, it acquired me into looking for a steadiness. We nonetheless have heavy parts. We’ll in all probability have extra heavy parts going ahead. However I used to be simply looking for a steadiness between being a rock band that has heavy moments, but in addition the melody.

I believe for me Alter Bridge have been a giant second for me. I used to be at all times a Creed fan. I do know that may be sort of like bizarre for some folks. Not everybody’s a Creed fan, however Mark Tremonti, I believe is a improbable songwriter. I believe he manages to mix heavy with melody, leaving sufficient room for guitar and beats. After which in fact, I believe Myles Kennedy nailed that when it comes to bringing in such voice so as to add to the rock music and making it catchy and attention-grabbing. And I believe that is sort of like what we have tried to do.

Scott can in all probability take over as nicely. Shinedown is one other that simply has the power to be a catchy however heavy band that even have an amazing vocal and nice melody.

Scott Taylor: We pattern in so many alternative genres. Once we’re writing, it appears to be roughly like a sort of customary rock, possibly metallic and sort of pop and the pop facet brings extra melodies. I’ve been impressed by so many alternative folks from half the bands that James mentioned, and particularly, Alter Bridge and Myles Kennedy. I actually have taken affect from through the years from Chris Cornell, who’s an insane singer. Chris Cornell, the best way you are able to do sort of that roughness along with his voice, I attempt to emulate some issues with that. Myles Kennedy can carry some with actually lengthy, lovely notes.

I am at all times saying it, and I am going to take warmth for it, however I at all times look again to the ’80s. Phil Collins and stuff like that as a result of there’s some actually amazingly developing stuff from again then that I wasn’t alive for. And I would not find out about it until I researched.

So it adjustments on a regular basis. We adopted Convey Me the Horizon not too long ago who’ve been on a large breakthrough and taking a look at bringing in some extra digital parts into the guitar pushed sound. We’re simply so excited. Now we have a lot data and so many sorts of individuals to look as much as that it is a pleasure to try to pattern a little bit of that expertise.

James Chicken: We have a lot stuff in our heads now from issues we preferred and issues we do not like. There was a time the place I used to be like, if it isn’t acquired a giant guitar solo then it is crap. That was my true verdict on music once I was a 10-year-old, so it adjustments. However I nonetheless like a guitar solo, however I do not assume a tune’s crap if it would not occur anymore.

The truth that these bands we talked about — Alter Bridge, they began off a sure manner. They now sound possibly a bit bit completely different to what they did and Convey Me the Horizon, being one other large band for us that has really developed and turned one thing in our heads. Nothing Extra as nicely. These bands have simply given us this new kind of outlook of what possibly we may do.

Mason Hill, “Damaged Son”

Favourite tune so that you can play dwell and why — and I do know with the final yr, possibly you have not had an opportunity to get out and play, so in that case, the tune you are most wanting ahead to enjoying dwell.

Scott Taylor: I need to say, I really feel prefer it’s altering each week proper now. My, the tune I can’t wait to play is “Damaged Son,” one of many singles that got here out. Oh God, that is controversial to say within the rock business. I should not even say the identify, however I simply get such like a Nickelback kind of vibe, simply one thing that basically could be cool. It is such the pleasure to sing over.

It was considered one of our earliest songs that we wrote after we have been youngsters at my first ever home on this actually bizarre and like garbage sofa. I believe I had a quilt on the ground and no mattress and a garbage TV. And we’re simply sitting right here on a Friday night time and we wrote “Damaged Son.” It is simply acquired such an extended historical past that I can’t wait to play that when folks lastly know that tune.

James Chicken: That was one as a result of we modified {that a} bit and other people do not fairly understand it. Whereas we’re a band that is been kicking about for a few years getting expertise enjoying dwell, we have not had the album to indicate but. So we have been getting by with folks hopefully liking the sound they see at gigs. So yeah, “Damaged Son” might be tune for that purpose.

I believe I’ll say “Out of Attain.” I loved enjoying it dwell, however I believe I am going to take pleasure in it extra now due to the truth that this can be a tune we have had some time, as nicely. There’s a variety of adjustments. These adjustments have solely been heard since this album has been launched. Most individuals assume it is now manner, manner higher than it ever was. So I am now wanting ahead to seeing them hear it on this manner. And the truth that there’s a complete a great deal of house in that tune to do issues dwell, like you will get the gang singing bits and whatnot. We are able to sluggish it down. So I look ahead to enjoying that in the meanwhile, however ask me tomorrow. I am going to in all probability change my thoughts.

Mason Hill, “Out of Attain”

In a yr like 2020 with out touring, as a brand new band how do you attain and construct your viewers? What challenges have you ever confronted alongside the best way?

Scott Taylor: It has been an odd one releasing an album with no prior play, however in our protection we additionally had no prior preconceptions for it. So I actually really feel prefer it’s helped us. When administration got here in all of us sat down and actually began having these correct conversations about how will we need to make the band greater in a very digital yr. No exhibits, no leaflets, nothing. It is simply digital.

We appeared into that and I really feel like I am actually proud to say that the crew behind us was like virtually revolutionary. They’re like a social media WAZE. They usually’ve been capable of actually, actually get into the algorithms of tendencies and assist us to advertise this. If COVID wasn’t right here that will haven’t been potential and will have been lots tougher for us to interrupt in there.

It is actually been a brand new atmosphere, however the social media crew, the administration and us, our content material at one level was every day. We have been simply doing this stuff, something to get on the market and it actually, actually, actually helped. It is one thing to regulate sooner or later as nicely, the ability of social media and connections with actual folks.

This was a seven yr look forward to folks, and I really feel like there was a silent Mason Hill crew that we did not find out about. We have went up and down this nation extra occasions than we are able to bear in mind and performed our butts off and performed our greatest to present 100% each single present, all 5 guys. I preferred to hope that when the time got here for folks to find the album, they’d come. Effectively they got here and it was unbelievable to see and we’re really humbled.

The bullet factors sort of write themselves right here. First rock band since Greta Van Fleet to debut contained in the U.Ok. High 20 on their debut album and first U.Ok. rock band to take action since Royal Blood. How does it really feel to see these sort of early returns and what are your ideas on the place you’d prefer to see your profession go and being one of many subsequent era to hold the torch for rock?

James Chicken: It is actually cool. Once we heard that we have been like, “Oh, that is actually superior.” As thrilling as it’s although, firstly, it has made me really feel slight strain a bit bit, as a result of so far as we’re involved, we have launched this debut album in a pandemic, no gigs. So we’re, we’re nonetheless sort of a kind of bands that like, okay, this is this album, however we nonetheless must get on the market and begin enjoying gigs. So it is a  look forward to us sort of factor, you realize?

However I am glad to see a band like us, a grassroots got here from nothing group enjoying collectively in rehearsal rooms at gigs in entrance of nobody managed to return by way of with this loyal fan base, actual folks, actual followers and with music that went into the charts as a result of it simply ignites us with pleasure to surprise what could possibly be subsequent. On the identical time, as I discussed, simply that a bit little bit of strain simply because I do really feel like there’s a variety of eyes on us on the minute. So I settle for the problem clearly, however positively I really like so as to add strain simply to make it possible for we dwell as much as this new discovered expectation that the band has in all probability discovered itself in.

Mason Hill, In opposition to the Wall Album Art work

You talked about enjoying up and down the coast many occasions in your native nation, however in taking the band to the subsequent stage and touring around the globe, what issues are you wanting ahead to? What locations do you need to hit that you have by no means seen?

Scott Taylor: I may sit right here and record off each nation on this planet I need to see, however realistically talking, I do know me and the blokes we’re excited for Europe and hopefully America, that is what we wish. We have been caught in these islands for many of our profession.

We won’t wait to recover from and simply see, like from the surface perspective of America, this nation we all know because the land of alternative. Is that this the place issues will occur? You do not overlook that. Even at our stage, that is been like a dream of ours to go and get to America in some unspecified time in the future. However let’s take residence, simply take London, after which let’s get to America. We’ll maintain attempting and we’ll see you quickly in Los Angeles.

James Chicken: We now know that there is all these folks into the band in all these locations. We have primarily been U.Ok.-based as Scott mentioned, however there’s a few little moments the place you hear about folks in Germany which have heard the band or France and whatnot. However now due to this album, it is simply proven us that, wait, really individuals are beginning to discover us. Folks clearly like this band. So we need to get to these locations that we have been advised the place folks like us. We have this newfound burst of power and motivation and drive to get as many locations as potential and that is our purpose now’s to take this band from the U.Ok. debut and simply fly with it so far as we probably can.

I notice it is sort of laborious to plan issues at this level, however what do the subsequent six months appear to be for you guys? What what’s on the horizon?

Scott Taylor: Effectively, fingers crossed nothing adjustments as of this minute, we will probably be going and doing our biggest U.K. tour yet as a headline band. We’re doing like 25, 26 huge exhibits, which we’re extraordinarily wanting ahead to. That is a brand new problem that we will not wait to hit on. And we’re trying to sustain this momentum. We’re taking a look at probably releasing new music and earlier than the top of the yr to maintain everybody a bit extra engaged. Then Mason Hill shifting into 2022, we glance to get out to a variety of these international locations as, fingers crossed, 2022 is the primary correct yr again to as near normality as we are able to hope for.

Our due to Mason Hill’s Scott Taylor and James Chicken for the interview. Need to study extra? You’ll want to observe the band through their website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts and you’ll at present decide up the band’s debut album, In opposition to the Wall, proper here.

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