- interview -

Notts Music Probe – Shadow of Acolyte

Meet Andre, Aaron, Mark and Dan, Nottingham’s answer to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon all things heavy metal. Formed 10 years ago to this year Shadow of Acolyte are an infusion of metal, powerful guitar riffs and melodic vocals courtesy of front-man Andre. They released their first EP ‘Nicene Creed’ 6 years ago and their brand new one, ‘Holy Ground’, currently in the works. Take a few minutes to listen to songs such as Holy Ground, Breathing Murder and Live for Death and let’s see what you think.

Who are you (band members)?

André Saint – Vocals
Aaron Gidney – Guitars
Mark Berry – Bass/Keys/Backing Vocals
Dan Egan – Drums

How did you get together?

I (Aaron) formed the band in 2008 as a studio project with our former drummer. We eventually recruited everyone one by one via joinmyband.co.uk which has been great as we live fairly spread out across Nottingham and the rest of the East Midlands.

What influences your style of music?

Our influences are a mixture of Classic Heavy Metal and Progressive Rock bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Marillion, Threshold, Savatage, Iona.

Our emphasis is melodic songs and choruses with classic Metal riffs and progressive song structures occasionally utilizing odd time signatures like 9/8, 7/4 to keep it interesting.

Describe Shadow of Acolyte in five words

Melodic, Thinking Man’s Classic Metal.

On a scale of 1-10, how rock are you?

In true Spinal Tap fashion…11!

Story behind band’s name?

An Acolyte is a follower in a religious ceremony who carries a thurible (one of those incense burners with chains) …we wanted something that evoked gothic imagery that could capture the imagination and conjure a visual and thematic concept for the listener. We thought that using the Acolyte was also a good theme to use for artwork being easily identifiable and gives us scope to use it in different settings e.g. the war zone on our Holy Ground EP cover.

Describe a Shadow of Acolyte gig to the NMNM readers?

Sweaty! We work hard to give the audience a great experience…

We normally open with an atmospheric instrumental opener and build the set from there, taking people on a bit of melodic journey through some of our harder hitting, up-beat songs.

We try and recreate our recorded songs as accurately as possible when we play live so it means we have to be a bit creative when it comes to playing the parts whether it’s keyboards, samples or harmonized guitars but we manage to do it well. Our aim is convey a much bigger, fuller, sound than the four of us should be able to and give our audience an exciting experience where they feel engaged and emotionally invested in the band as well as the music we are playing for them.

Have you played in Nottingham/Nottinghamshire before?

Yes – we’ve played Rock City, The Diamond (Sutton-in-Ashfield), The Maze a couple of times, Tap N Tumbler…

Any venue you particularly enjoyed playing at?

We love all the venues we play as it gives us an opportunity to share our music, but The Diamond is such a fantastic venue ran by some amazing people and I suppose it holds a special place in our collective hearts as it was the first venue we played as a band. Outside of Nottingham, The Vic in Coalville is one of favourites – again, great venue ran by some wonderful people keeping Hard Rock and Metal alive.

Have you played further afield yet?

Yes, we’ve played The Victoria Biker’s Pub in Coalville three times, The Arches (Coventry), The Hairy Dog (Derby), Mama Liz’s Voodoo Lounge (Stamford) and The Red Lion (Northamptonshire). We’ll be playing The King Billy (Northampton) on June 8th and then back at The Vic on 7th September and The Rock Den (Hatfield) on 24th November.

Has your music been played on The Beat or any other radio station yet?

Not on The Beat yet, but we’ve had airplay of our new EP on Gravity FM and most of the tracks from our first album have been played many times on the 365 Radio Network in the USA.

Lastly where can fans listen to your music?

Our website, www.shadowofacolyte.co.uk has all the links to various music outlets but we are on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon Digital to name a few…

Interviewer: Adam Humphreys
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