Today sees the release of Bring Me The Horizon’s new album ‘That’s The Spirit’. You’ll not hear a bigger sounding record in 2015 – promise.
The band are on the cover of October’s new issue of Upset, on the streets from next Friday (18th September). But with the afore-mentioned full length now out, we’re not going to keep you waiting that long. We’re bringing you an extract from that cover feature right now. This time next week, you’ll be able to read the full thing. Enjoy.
About a mile north of Sheffield centre lies Neepsend, a suburb of the city whitewashed by early twentieth century industrialisation and its subsequent post-Thatcher destruction. As with most such places, it’s largely derelict now, boarded up windows and copious graffiti replacing what was once a bustling hum of industry. Sadly, these streets are perhaps now more famous for their problems with prostitution, as immortalised in early Arctic Monkeys single ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ – but amongst the wreckage, at least one legal local business is booming.
The former site of Samuel Osborn & Co steelmakers is now home to the Drop Dead warehouse – the hub and flagship store of its impossibly popular namesake clothing line, and a second abode for each of the members of Bring Me The Horizon. Sheffield’s Steel City nickname may be long-since made redundant, but with Bring Me’s new album ‘That’s The Spirit’ looming large, it seems metal will always have a place within these walls.
Indeed, while the warehouse below churns out clothing orders from across the globe, the upper corridors are shaking as pre-production for the band’s massive Reading and Leeds sub-headlining slot hits full swing, each of newest member Jordan Fish’s sub-drops and samples echoing around the building. “He’s the last piece of the puzzle,” smiles the band’s iconic frontman Oli Sykes.
“He just unlocks so many possibilities for us, that weren’t possible before,” Oli continues. “I think it’s been apparent really since our second album that electronica is stuff that we’re into and wanted to mix in, but we’ve had to rely on other people to interpret what we want. It weren’t ever someone who could bring something to it, just like another band member who can bring it as an instrument and be like, ‘this is what I’m gonna do’. It just used to be more saying, ‘right, this is what we want; can you do it?’ So we’ve been limited in what we could do.”
‘That’s The Spirit’ is the sound of Bring Me The Horizon finally becoming limitless. Recorded and produced entirely by the band themselves, it’s a bold, melodic new step for a band who started out swathed in nails-on-blackboard deathcore extremity.
“I think it’s every record label and management’s worst nightmare when a band turn around and go, ‘We’re gonna self-produce!’ because it’s always shit,” jokes Oli, “but we were confident that we knew what we were doing and we knew what we wanted”
While the band might have hired mega-producer Terry Date – who boasts Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Deftones as past clients on his packed CV – for ‘Sempiternal’’s knob-twiddling, it quickly proved to be nothing more but another barrier to what Bring Me really wanted – to take the whole thing on themselves. “It’s kind of something we’ve done for every album,” he divulges, “but we never got credited for it. I think that’s ultimately something we got fed up with: with ‘Sempiternal’, there were still people going, ‘Oh, Terry Date really sorted them out and made them good!’ It’s like ‘Nooooo! We did this on our own!’
“Even with ‘There Is A Hell…’ and ‘Suicide Season’, I feel like I produced it – I probably over-produced it to be honest,” he laughs, “’cause I was sat there going, ‘Do this, do that, do that’. It’s still always been in our control. So it came to the point where, if someone comes in – a big name or whatever – it’s just gonna be a compromise for what we really want. You have to plan your battles; like, ‘I’m not happy with that, I’m not happy with that; but I’ve gotta pick one’. Rather than just being like, ‘This is how I want it. Can’t I just have it like that?’
“Even mixing and everything, it goes through a hundred times, and when it’s someone else doing it it’s still not exactly how you want it. With ‘Sempiternal’ it was like, ‘yeah, we really know what we want and we don’t wanna fight for it.’ So yeah, it just felt like the natural thing to do.”
Every step Bring Me have taken has been underpinned by that desire for natural progression. While ‘That’s The Spirit’ might see them at their most overtly melodic to date, the band’s evolution is easily traceable, each release sharpening their assault and introducing those electronic flourishes. ‘That’s The Spirit’ is like nothing that’s come before, though. The earliest indicators of its gargantuan leap forward came late last year with ‘Drown’ – a track written with the band’s year-ending Wembley Arena headliner at the forefront of their minds.
“It wasn’t a conscious thing to do,” explains Oli of Bring Me’s melodic new dressing, “like, write ‘Drown’ and see how it goes because it’s so different – but at the same time I think the overall positive reaction to it and response just gave us that confidence to go, ‘Right, we won’t make any compromises with this album, we’ll do exactly what we want and not worry’. I mean, there was still a doubt here and there, but in the end we did exactly [what we wanted]. Even ‘Sempiternal’, we compromised slightly. Just like, we still kept it heavy because we didn’t want to transition too quick. There’s nothing on that album we don’t like, but at the same time, we would’ve been too scared to do a record like this then.
“Luckily it’s never happened to us, where we’ve had a complete backlash on an album, but I know even if we did we’d never be like, ‘Right, let’s go back and write ‘Sempiternal Part 2’’, because as soon as you do that, you just put final nail in t’coffin. You’ve admitted defeat, and you’ve gone back to something that you’ve obviously wanted to step away from.”
“We’ve been through a lot and I think this is the first time that we’re all good,” he ponders. “Everything’s good and everything’s a lot clearer, I guess, off the back of ‘Sempiternal’. That was our first campaign where it just felt overall positive – there weren’t really any big downs. I guess we’re all in good spaces and good places, and we’re a lot more of a unit that can do everything on its own now.”
This is an excerpt from the October issue of Upset. Read the full thing in the magazine, on the streets from Friday 18th September – pre-order a copy here, or subscribe here. Bring Me The Horizon’s new album ‘That’s The Spirit’ is out now. Order here.