Golden Gods 2016: the winners in full - part 4

Dave Mustaine and Phil Campbell pose with an award at the Golden Gods 2016

BEST NEW BAND

Creeper

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. And as Creeper rise, their family is growing

Fusing horror-punk with bouncy melodies and heartfelt lyrics, Creeper are standing up for outsiders everywhere, recruiting legions of fans they call The Callous Heart. They’ve worked tirelessly over the past two years, releasing EPs and touring with the likes of the Misfits and Andy Biersack. “Misfits were one of those bands we grew up with, and they were so nice to us,” grins singer Will Gould. When we ask him and keys player Hannah Greenwood if that run of shows was the highlight of their year, they smile and shake their heads. “No, this is!” they chorus, as Will proudly clutches their Best New Band award.

“The metal community is our home,” says Will. “Ian [Miles, guitar] grew up listening to metal, and when we’re writing we’re influenced by metal. It’s our home here, and the reception of the crowd was great.”

“I grew up with a completely different background, in classical music,” adds Hannah. “I feel like I’ve been really embraced. I started getting into metal when I was about 15 or 16. I remember going to Give It A Name festival. I met a few people there and was like, ‘Yeah, this is fun!’”

As well as their hard work earning them a Golden God, they’ve also been picked alongside Letlive to support Pierce The Veil, meaning they’ll be schooling fans of the headliners at the legendary Brixton Academy in November. “We’re a bit nervous, but excited,” says Will. “We’re also doing our first headline tour of America next month, and we’re playing Reading & Leeds.”

Motörhead’s influence has also played its part in shaping Creeper. “Ian loves Motörhead,” says Will. “I’m a massive wrestling fan, so every time I watch professional wrestling and hear Triple H’s theme tune [The Game], I feel like Lemmy will live on through that. It’s awesome.”

Creeper: best new band

Creeper: best new band

BEST UNDERGROUND BAND

Sponsored by Music For Nations

Enslaved

After 25 years, the Viking obsessives have reached legendary status

“You guys love Vikings!” laughs vocalist and bassist Grutle Kjellson. He’s right, but without Enslaved keeping Norse mythology alive through their music, Viking metal might not have become the subgenre it is today. They’ve slowly been rising from the underground, and guitarist/backing vocalist Ivar Bjørnson hopes tonight’s victory will help advance their cause. “It’s a great honour to win this award,” he says. “There are a lot of connotations that come with being a band from Norway in the early 90s; quite a lot of people are surprised by how we sound when they first hear us. I think this award will help us get to more people.”

As well as being recognised for their services to Viking metal at the Golden Gods, Enslaved played three shows at London By Norse back in March, unleashing a career-spanning setlist to celebrate their 25th birthday.

“Because it was our anniversary, we had to play all the old shit!” Grutle laughs, while Ivar stresses they’re proud of their back catalogue. “Many of those songs ended up being on the setlist for future gigs,” he says. “It was a reinvention; we discovered ourselves all over again. We have what a therapist would call ‘a good relationship’ with our younger selves. We’re not embarrassed by older material. Having 13 albums to pick from is a privilege.” He also says that writing about Norse legends helps him and Grutle channel their personal feelings. “Mythology is a pretty endless source of inspiration. It means something to us on a personal level,” he explains. “We work on the lyrics and the concepts, and we’re actually dealing with what’s at the forefront of our own minds. Enslaved is what we do for fun and leisure, but at the same time it’s life and death.”

Enslaved receiving their Golden God

Enslaved receiving their Golden God

BEST UK BAND

Sponsored by Fireball

Asking Alexandria

The expats sang that they wouldn’t give in, and the departure of their singer only strengthened them

They might live Stateside now, but Asking Alexandria haven’t forgotten their roots. “It doesn’t matter where we live, this band is from the UK,” asserts drummer James Cassells. “The band’s from York, but is Ben from York? No, he isn’t. Is Denis [Stoff, Ukrainian singer] from York? Definitely not!”

Guitarist Cameron Liddell agrees. “We are so fucking proud to be British, more than people who live here,” he insists. “We always remember where we’re from.”

Both admit that they worried about losing fans when former vocalist Danny Worsnop took off in January 2015. “That year was a worry,” says Cameron. “Would our fans be faithful to us, or would they be faithful to Danny? We’re all still in the band, and we’re loyal. We traded our frontman, but we’re here to stay forever.”

Denis has been unanimously accepted as Asking Alexandria’s new frontman, taking to the role with admirable confidence. Their first album with him, The Black, was released back in March. It heralded a step away from the hair-metal influences Danny had been trying to shoehorn in, and unleashed a polished yet experimental metalcore sound that proved their versatility. James says it’s just the beginning. “We want to be that band at the forefront,” he says. “We want to bring alternative music to the mainstream, and be the poster boys for that. Regardless of what genre you’re into – metal, hardcore, punk – you want this scene, you love this scene, and you want it to be something the everyday listener likes.”

That ambition shouldn’t be hard to fulfil. In June, Asking performed as part of Radio 1’s Rock All Dayer, the purpose of which was to bring some of the best modern alternative music to a wider audience. Next stop, world domination? Don’t rule it out.

Asking Alexandria: officially the best band in the UK

Asking Alexandria: officially the best band in the UK

BEST INDEPENDENT LABEL

Prosthetic Records

Bringing metal to the masses

Daubed in black and clad in his illustrious embroidered robe, Schammasch’s leader, C.S.R, accepts the Golden God on behalf of his label, Prosthetic. They recently released the band’s third acclaimed album, Triangle, which comes as three concept LPs. “It’s a great thing that they’re helping underground music get recognised,” he says. “Everything that takes us one step further is good for us, and the label, of course. This is an honour.”

LA-based Prosthetic has seen some heavy- weights pass through its ranks since it was founded in 1998. It released Lamb Of God’s first two albums, and was previously Gojira’s US label before they signed to Roadrunner. As well as experimental blackened metal outfits like Schammasch, it’s home to hardcore and punk bands such as Polar and The Hell. “I hope we can work together for a long time into the future,” smiles C.S.R.

C.S.R. accepts Prosthetic's award and manages to freak us out simultaneously

C.S.R. accepts Prosthetic's award and manages to freak us out simultaneously

RIFF LORD

Sponsored by Century Media

Phil Campbell

With more than 30 years’ service in Motörhead, the guitarist is responsible for some of the greatest songs ever

This year’s Golden Gods were a celebration of the giant, jagged and very, very loud hole that Lemmy kicked in the door of heavy metal. At the ceremony, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee joined forces with Saxon to play three of Lemmy’s favourite Motörhead tracks – Ace Of Spades, Born To Raise Hell and Overkill. Saxon had been set to tour with Motörhead earlier this year for the latter’s 40th anniversary, so it’s only fitting that the two bands teamed up for the tribute.

“Which riff was that for, then?” laughs Saxon frontman Biff Byford, when we ask Phil how he feels about his Riff Lord award. He tells us it’s impossible to pick one riff he’s most proud of. “All of them?” he shrugs. “I don’t know. I like all the Motörhead songs that made people clap at the end!”

Phil admits that Lemmy’s death is still difficult to deal with, six months on. “It’s getting harder,” he says. “It feels great to do a tribute tonight, but I’m still in shock. I did a thousand shows with him over 32 years.”

When we ask Phil and Biff for some of their favourite Lemmy memories, their faces light up as they start reminiscing. Biff remembers a strange moment of mistaken identity: “I nearly met his mum and dad once,” he tells us. “I got off the tourbus and there was a couple stood on the pavement. A guy shouted, ‘Lemmy! Say hello to your mother!’ I was like, ‘That’s not my mother, and I’m not Lemmy!’ I don’t know if he did meet them in the end.”

“A guy came up to him in a bar in ’92 and said he was Lemmy’s brother,” adds Phil. “But he could have been making it up!”

Watching Biff and Phil – and Dave Mustaine, who wanders over to join in the conversation – swap stories about Lemmy is another reminder that although Mr Kilmister is gone, he’s impossible to forget.