Conjurer: “We’ve been so f**ked off with the state of everything”

(Image credit: Nuclear Blast)

At the beginning of 2018, Conjurer were just another of the UK’s many promising metal bands. That situation changed almost overnight after the release of their full-length debut, Mire; suddenly the band were catapulted to a position where they were considered the great white hopes for our scene. Now, having signed to Nuclear Blast, there are far more eyes on them, and they find themselves having to follow up one of the great debuts of the last decade. As we discovered, it’s not all been plain sailing for them.

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How are things going in the studio?

Brady Deeprose (guitar/vocals): “Not gonna lie, it’s been really hard, man. We had been playing the songs on the last record for years and we felt like we knew them, now we’re going in with ideas, rather than rigid songs that we know inside out. We’ve been working on them in here and they’re changing all the time, and that’s something that I find really hard. Connor [Marshall, bass] did all his tracks in two days, he’s a monster, but I’m not like that. This year, this recording process… it’s just been hard!”

Are you feeling the pressure to follow Mire at all?

“I don’t think so, no. We do feel really good about the songs, but it is a truly miserable, hopeless record. It really mirrors the mood of the year I think – you know I love playing live, that’s where I’m happiest, and we haven’t been able to do that for ages. Also, I’m moving to a different country and getting married and trying to do that in a pandemic is incredibly stressful, so there’s a lot of frustration in these songs.”

How has it been recording during a lockdown?

“Again, it’s made it a bit stop-start. We are recording in Northampton, so right round the corner from where we all live, and we go home at the end of the day and it’s made it feel more like a ‘job’. We wanted to do it where we come and live in the studio – us and the producer just setting up camp and working when we feel compelled to do that. But now I get up and have breakfast, come in and work for a set period and then go home and have dinner. I started a band to get out of the nine-to-five, but it’s the situation we’re in, isn’t it… god, I sound so miserable!”

What can you tell us about the sound of the record?

“I know every band will tell you ‘It’s the heaviest thing we’ve ever done!’, but we’ve been so fucked off with the state of everything that it has just made us write these really vile and disgusting songs. I think we’ve got a bit better at knowing exactly what we want to achieve as songwriters, so I think there’s less fat on them and they do everything we want them to do in a much more condensed way. But, they’re hopeless, nasty, miserable songs, even more so than the last record. It’s really quite extreme. There’s some obvious Converge worship on the record, too. That’s kind of the vibe we’re going for: super-heavy, technically wild, super-bleak.”

This is your first album on Nuclear Blast as well, which is a pretty significant step up in profile.

“It is, and they’ve been amazing. I mean, we’re used to having things be a certain way coming from a much more DIY, independent background, and I know some people have worried that maybe going to a bigger label would have meant less control. But it’s been pretty much exactly the same; they haven’t asked to hear anything in advance, they haven’t told us what to write, they just let us get on with it, and they trust us. It’s the same except our budget is bigger. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about Nuclear Blast.” 

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.