Ex People: "We make doom songs about catcalling”

Ex People: set to take flight with the release of their debut album, Bird
Ex People: set to take flight with the release of their debut album, Bird

“Having more diversity in metal is definitely a cause we’d like to get behind,” enthuses Ex People vocalist Laura. No, we’re not doing the whole ‘WOMEN IN A ROCK BAND!’ thing, but thanks to their background in the London punk and riot grrrl scenes, this doom crew are a truly unique proposition. Though they admit those communities were more inclusive and diverse, Laura and drummer Vicki are also eager to stress the acceptance they’ve since seen in the British metal underground, especially from labelmates Throne and Black Moth on New Heavy Sounds, through which their captivating debut Bird has just been released.

The four members’ experiences in less heavy outfits has certainly imbued Bird with a range of flavours and, above all, melodic sensibilities and traditional structures. While Laura is also keen to include her love of none-more-doom dystopian and apocalyptic scenarios in her lyrics, the vocalist found room to stick to her roots and talk about more socially conscious subjects, given conclusive weight when backed by the guttural riffs and ugly bass of bandmates Calum and Ed.

“Without was inspired by people who talk over you and don’t let you say what you’re thinking. It was basically a call for people to think before they speak. You Creep was about men catcalling women on the street and taking a stand against that,” she explains. “I draw on things that make me angry and I want to change, so a lot of it is positive and about taking a stand despite the music being dark. I’m also obsessed with dystopian fiction, so I take inspiration from reality and fiction in equal doses.”

Whether it’s the provoked dirge of Without, the punchy croon of Surekill or the infectious rumble of Not A Drill, the album is a remarkably diverse opus from a band who are still learning how to flex their creative muscles. Despite only forming two years ago, Vicki explains that the evolution the band have made since their first noisy forays is simply down to a desire for a traditional approach.

“When we started off, we tried a few different things and aimed for a more noisy, droney and abrasive sound. We just ended up moving towards the shorter structures and catchier stuff.”

“We’ve gradually almost given into our urges to write more traditional, accessible vocals and structures, which I think we were repressing a bit at the beginning,” says Laura in agreement. “Having been in riot grrrl bands and even pop acts, I just really enjoy writing good, catchy melodies. Even over our heavier, slower guitars and riffs I can’t help myself.”

As both fan and band take enjoyment from Bird, it’s certainly a good thing they succumbed.

Sounds Like: Soulful vocals colliding with dirty, groovy slabs of doom

For fans of: Black Moth, Electric Wizard, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard

Listen to: Surekill

Bird is out now via New Heavy Sounds

Ex People - Bird album review

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Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.