THE SCENE ISN’T DEAD, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG – RAGE SADLER (BLOG POST)

KaineKast CodPast Podcast Episode 4 – Promotion Commotion (25/3/22)

The challenges we face as bands, musicians, venues, and promoters are numerous right now, but as proven in recent weeks, many are still doing well. The question is, how?

Before we can get to that, we need to understand how the climate has changed and adapt.

What we have to remember is that for the underground Rock and Metal scene in the UK to continue to thrive and grow is that we have to create a culture of encouraging people to come out to live music events on Friday and Saturday nights again.

That means we as bands have to not only promote ourselves effectively, both online and offline but also be good enough live, and engaging enough to draw people out and continue to draw people out. The challenge for venues/promoters is to adequately communicate to their natural audience what type of events they are running and to be engaged and understanding to their audience and to tailor their bookings to meet their taste.

So what are we competing with in 2022?

Up until the early 2000’s, there was a culture in this country of going out Friday and Saturday nights, which meant many venues didn’t have to work as hard to draw people out, especially for live music, as they had a natural audience who came out of habit to their venue or events because that was what they did in their leisure time. A bit like how football fans will watch their team’s home games every other Saturday. It’s a habit, they turn out, and thus the games have a natural audience. We in Rock/Metal have failed to achieve that same mentality with our core audience.

Since the old days, the world has changed, and now we are competing with Netflix, YouTube, PlayStation, and cheap store-bought alcohol. The natural behavior for people, especially in the under 30’s demographic, is to stay inside rather than go out to a venue for a drink, let alone live music. People don’t go out to meet a potential partner in the same way as before either, most dating is done online rather than out in bars and pubs like generations past. The current audience habit is many who do love Rock and Metal will prefer to save up for say a Bloodstock/Download style event once or twice a year and see a handful of bigger bands when they play their hometown. It’s more cost-effective to do it that way, especially with major festivals, because you get a lot of bang for your buck and can see a ton of bands over 3 days.

The question you need to ask is, why would people come out to see my band/event over what they can do at home for free?

Some certain promoters and venues are presently unable to understand these challenges and frankly have fallen so far behind the times it is damaging the efforts of those trying to buck the trend. They don’t even use a mailing list to communicate the events to their audience.

The scene needs to move away from using Facebook events and poorly designed, and often pixelated gig posters as a cover photo-only style promotion. We need to invest in the promotion, using mediums such as Google Ads, Meta (Facebook/Instagram), TikTok promotion, and so on as well as posters in the venue and flyers if you are able. We need to target our campaigns to those people who actually will most likely attend the events and continue to remind them the event is happening. We need to use tools like Bandcamp, and Postcodes to target those people who have already bought from us as bands to alter them of the events happening in their area.

We can not rely on any free promotion on social media as the algorithms are designed to hide the posts and push forward those who are paying for them. Posting events in a 1000 Facebook groups with no paid promotion will result in poor attendance as nobody will see it.

Moving away from Facebook is important, most people under 40 aren’t using Facebook and have moved over to TikTok and Instagram, even for messages, they use WhatsApp and not Facebook. By all means, keep up with Facebook but use the other tools as well. If people aren’t responding, do some research, learn how to use the new tools, it’s simple enough and be ready to spend some money to push your events.

We as a scene need to have professionally designed posters, and promotion that communicates the event in simple terms, and to survive we have to engage with the younger audience by matching the level of quality they are used to from their favorite bands, YouTubers, podcasters and so on. If you fail to do that, and your promotion looks cheap, dated, and lazy by comparison you will not get this group out. If the promotional material looks poor quality, people will assume the event will be of low quality also.

Four band logos on a black background with a date and time doesn’t tell the audience anything. 99% of people won’t know who the bands are, so won’t turn out, however, if you are running a Black Metal night, you can promote that first and foremost and target Black Metal fans in the local area and that is the draw, rather than the bands who won’t be known to the audience. Bands themselves are also naïve in thinking that people know who they are. Sticking your name and a date/time on a Facebook event is not enough information.

Speaking of bands, many are just as guilty of failing to adapt to the times and sometimes fall into the trap of repeating the same mistakes and then complaining it’s not working when nobody attends. The question bands need to ask when a gig fails is, did you do enough to let everyone who might be interested in that area that the gig was on?

It’s hard work being a band in 2022, you not only have to write the music, rehearse, pay for the recording, self-release, and so on, you have to be a promoter as well and you have to keep up with the times. You may feel that you don’t want to do the promotional side of things, and that’s fair enough, but understand if you leave it to others, the results could well be poor.

Bands have to understand that a gig isn’t just a place to perform, it’s a market, it’s your market stall, your performance is an advertisement to encourage people to buy your CDs, vinyl, shirts, and so on from the merch stand. If you are going to quibble about spending a few quid on promotion then why are you printing merch? Would you rather lose a little money on the promotion in the short term and play to a packed venue and potentially sell a ton of merch, or keep that £20 and play to a handful and sell next to nothing? If you are aiming to “go-pro” then you should treat all of this as a business anyway. Advertising is essential for any business and it costs money and takes time to do.

The price of gigs is important as well, especially with a cost of living/fuel crisis squeezing UK residents harder than ever post-pandemic. People’s money for living is not going as far, and thus if you charge over a fiver for events you may restrict your audience further. If you are a bit more established you may get away with charging a bit more, but that depends where you are a lot of the time too. Especially when staying home is free, and people have so many other options now. As stated previously, many people’s habit is to save and go to a bigger festival, so you need to figure out how to draw that audience to your event as well.

Think of it this way, if you were to pay to download a game, would you pay over a fiver for something you had never heard of? Would you pay upwards of £10 to go see a film when you didn’t know what it was or even who the cast was? Would you pay over £20 to see a football match where you didn’t know which either team was or who was even playing? You probably wouldn’t. You need to apply this logic to promoting your music and events.

As well as advertising and pricing, the timing of the event is also important. If you are an unknown band (or are promoting unknown bands) then you need to choose a night of the week the most natural audience will be available to see it, you need to communicate and stick to the start time and it needs to be days/times most people are comfortable coming out. If you have a more popular band on, you can get away with a different day of the week as they will naturally draw people out. If not Friday/Saturday nights are your safest bet.

The quality of the sound is another big issue. Venues need to pay for a good PA and maintain it with a sound person who knows how to operate it. If you do all the work to promote the show, get a good turnout and people pay a fiver to get in and it sounds awful, that audience will not come back and you will have lost all that hard work. That also goes for the quality of bands you book, if they aren’t up to the audience’s taste or expected standard those people you worked so hard to get out won’t likely come back.

Consistently poor sound will result in a dwindling audience. People are used to a higher standard of audio quality these days, and your sound/stage setup needs to meet their expectations if they are going to continue to pay to get into your venue and thus continue to buy drinks. Gigs that have no audible vocals, too much bass, and a ton of feedback are all too common and it drives people away. Also, offer earplugs for loud events, it is cheap, and your audience will appreciate it! Also, hire a good soundperson, not just rely on a mate.

A clean venue also helps, if your toilets look terrible, are broken, and stink that will put people off going. A messy, dirty, old venue won’t encourage a new audience out, keep it clean looking, keep it modern, if it’s a music venue, make it the focus of the venue, not a side attraction, especially if you are booking originals bands.

Also understand while there is some crossover, original bands and covers/tributes have different audiences and tastes. Covers bands can be quite happy to be paid to be just the live music for that night in the pub or venue, however original bands want an engaging audience, potential new fans, and people who will buy the merch. While being paid is good, to be background music for a nights drinking with a disengaged and disinterested audience in a pub isn’t worth it for the originals band. Of course originals bands can avoid this by trying to draw that audience out themselves, but it is something to bear in mind.

So what can be done to improve event turnouts?

You need to target the correct demographics for the events you are running. Use keywords and targets that relate to the bands/events you have booked. Target the local area, don’t be so broad brush, keep it as defined as possible. Use Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, and TikTok promotions to target your audience on social media. Be as clear as day with the communication. Tell people EXACTLY what the event is and what the bands may sound like. You can target an audience’s taste right down to the genre and the bands they like, and even directly to the postcode areas where the venue is.

In terms of free promotion, have a well-designed professional poster/s to be sent to the venues ahead of the gig, design flyers for handing out in that town, or use a mailing list to send them to those in that area who you know might like the event. You need good branding and good image quality. Do not ever use jpegs for images as the quality is atrocious, and if you are doing anything with audio, NEVER use mp3’s as they sound terrible.

Use an emailing tool like MailChimp to send email reminders promoting the show and encourage as many pre-sales as possible. Bandcamp allows bands to export all their sales and Excel can separate the sales right down to the postcode area. Be good at data management and it will pay off.

As for Facebook, you can still run Facebook events, but remember to invite the people who might actually attend the event, sometimes people either invite no one, or blanket invite people 100’s of miles away from the venue which is just lazy.

It takes a combination of tools to make an event a success.

Understanding your audience is also important. Trying to promote an NWOBHM event to the under 40’s that isn’t say Iron Maiden won’t be as successful, in the same way promoting a Metalcore gig to people over 40 isn’t likely to be successful. Know your audience, know who might like the music, and work to get those people out. Don’t waste your time and money on people who will never attend the show. Don’t believe everyone is going to like your music/event just because you do. Some people do like everything, but they are a minority.

Ultimately if you are not spending to advertise, aren’t communicating to anyone directly what your event is when it is, and doing the bare minimum promotional wise then you will not get a good turnout. The scene isn’t dead, many are doing very well right now, but they have adapted to the times, they know their audience and they working hard to get a good turnout.

I realise I have written a lot of thoughts down here, so I will stop but I hope my blog post has been useful to you!

Love,

Rage

A Crisis of Faith Live Sells Out on CD – Becomes Members Only Release

A Crisis of Faith Live has finally sold out on CD. The band will not be reprinting any more of these and the digital version of the album will become a members only release on Bandcamp which can be accessed here. The album was recorded live at the Asylum Chelmsford by Short Stack studios and features the A Crisis of Faith album in full and includes two tracks from The Waystone that features founding members of the band Dan Mailer and Josh Moreton.

Liam Etheridge – 2 Years in Kaine

Liam Etheridge has now been the drummer in Kaine for 2 years, originally replacing Chris MacKinnon in what was essentially the Crisis of Faith line-up before the band was reformed a month later. He played his first gig with Kaine at The Dev on the 20th of April 2018 and would only play 1 more gig with that line-up (May 4th 2018 at Voodoo Lounge, Stamford) before one final transitional gig with Toby Woods on lead guitar and Stephen Ellis on bass at The Smokehouse, Ipswich on May 19th.

Liam has since recorded and released the Reforge The Steel album with the band, as well as appearing on the Kaine X Live album and DVD. He has also performed drums on the delayed Waystone EP and Reforge The Steel live album. Both projects are on hold due to corona virus and the UK lock down measures.

Liam recently took part in a feature for this website which can be read here – https://kaine-metal.com/2020/04/07/feature-with-liam-etheridge-kaine-drums-backing-vocals/

Feature on Isaac Healy – [KAINE – BASS]

Today’s feature is Kaine bassist Isaac Healy, the last person to join the new line-up as the four members finally came together in May 2018. Isaac jumped in right away with the band gigging the A Crisis of Faith material while writing and rehearsing for the new album, Reforge The Steel.  

How long have you been playing bass? 

I’ve been playing for around 7 or 8 years 

You are a multi-instrumentalist, you play drums, what made you switch to bass as your main instrument and what other instruments can you play? 

I switched to bass as my main instrument mainly out of convenience of being able to practice easier and at any time. 

I actually started out learning classical guitar at primary school and started learning the drums shortly after. Over the years, I never really practiced the guitar as much as I should have but have recently been re-teaching myself.

At The Firehouse, Southampton

You have several basses in your collection, what do you own and what are your current set ups? 

Listing all 17 would take a while so my top 5 in no particular order are: 

  • Atelier Z M265+ custom (the white 5 string jazz bass that I play at most gigs) 
  • Atelier Z Beta 6/32 (Red 6 string jazz bass that I played at my first Kaine gig and sporadically since) 
  • ESP PPJ (’84 signature bass of Masayoshi Yamashita from Loudness) 
  • 1970s Ovation Magnum 1 
  • 2010 Fender Mexican Jazz (my first “real” bass. It was originally black but I had it re-finished in yellow. I promise it isn’t as nasty as it sounds) 
Live in Bury St Edmund’s

What amps and pedals are you currently using? 

I use 3 main amps depending on situation but will mostly have 2 with me. The first is the Trace Elliot ELF which lives in my gig bag as a backup amp or as the main amp if a normal amp is impractical logistics wise. Second is an Ashdown CTM 100 tube amp. My third and most recent amp is an ENGL Ironbass amp which is the most powerful amp I own by far at 800w. 

My pedal board is too large, and I plan on downsizing by getting rid of the multi effect that takes up 1/2 of my board. 

My pedals are actually mostly really boring. Line 6 G30 wireless, Boss TU-3 tuner, AMT bass wah, Electro Harmonix Bass Preacher compressor, Ashdown Nate Mendel NM2 dual overdrive. 

Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, the man who helped invent music… everything before Sabbath was merely tuning up…

Who are your biggest influences as a bass player?  

Probably Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, etc.), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power) and Bohte Daisuke (Kari Band). 

At the Bassment, Chelmsford

What were your musical endeavours before Kaine? 

I had only really been in one gigging band before Kaine which was called Cannon. I was in another band in secondary school, but we never did any real gigs. 

The now closed Asylum venue in Chelmsford

You played with Toby in a band called Cannon, how long have you known and played with Toby, what did you release and what venues did you play with that band? 

I’ve known Toby for about 5 years as we were on the same music course and we actually met in Cannon which somebody else on our course put together. In Cannon we played a few venues that you would maybe heard of if you’re from Essex such as Chinnery’s in Southend, the Asylum and Three Wise Monkeys.

Earlier this year at Colchester Arts Centre

Toby recommended you to Kaine to join the band, how was it to be in a new band and gigging so quickly? 

I hadn’t actually heard of Kaine until Toby asked if I wanted to join. At the time Cannon was winding down due to constant lineup changes so it was good to be in a band that already had gigs on the books. 

Rocking out at The Dome, London

How did you find adapting the A Crisis of Faith songs to your style?  

As I had learnt most of the songs by ear, something that I am definitely not the best at, and the fact that I didn’t already know the songs meant that I was sort of just winging it for most of the parts that were very Stevo. Most of which I just omitted or changed. (nothing against Stevo, I think he’s a much more melodic player than I and we have pretty different styles). 

From the Reforge The Steel photoshoot

You put together the Reforge The Steel album very quickly, how was the process of rehearsing and recording that album for you?  

The recording of that album was pretty easy for me, I managed to do all of my tracking in about half a day. 

Tracking the EP earlier this year

You also recently tracked your parts for The Waystone EP, how did you find that? 

I found that The Waystone songs were quite a bit different to the Reforge tracks, especially the title track The Waystone. That track was much unlike the other tracks we had done, mainly due to how it was almost prog like in structure when compared to the rest of the material.

At Burr Fest 2020

You played both the 10-year show with Kaine at Colchester Arts Centre, and Burr Fest at The Dome recently, what was it like doing those big gigs with the band? 

Doing these two gigs was a great experience and not just because they were in the minority of gigs where I could hear what I was playing. These two gigs were two of the biggest crowds I have played for and two of the most engaged crowds to boot. That just made it even more fun to play in front of them. 

Isaac at Kaine X

Your currently writing material for a new Kaine album, how would you describe the new material so far and the process? 

So far, this album seems to be shaping up to be quite a bit different to the previous albums sound wise. The process so far has mainly been just jamming a riff or two and seeing how it evolves. 

From Kaine X Live

How are you managing your time during the lock down?  

Either practicing bass or just playing video games. 

Isaac ranks the A27M “Cromwell” as the best tank fielded in the Second World War

Favourite World War 2 Tank? 

Fielded: A27M “Cromwell” Prototype: A39 “Tortoise” 

You are also releasing a new live album coming up, which was recorded at the B2 Norwich, are you looking forward to putting out a live version of the Reforge The Steel album?  

Yes.  

Reforge The Steel!

Finally, what is your thought of the day? 

Can animals have the equivalent of an accent? 

You can hear Isaac’s contributions to Kaine on Reforge The Steel by clicking here – there are still a number of CD’s available to order through Bandcamp. Isaac also performed at Kaine X which can be ordered both on CD and DVD by clicking here as well as the forthcoming Waystone EP which can be preordered here.  

Feature with Liam Etheridge (KAINE – DRUMS/BACKING VOCALS)

Liam has been the drummer of Kaine for the past two years

We’ll be doing a number of features on the members of the bands, their music origins and how they became a part of Kaine over the coming week. We’re starting off with the man behind the kit…. Liam Etheridge!

At The Firehouse, Southampton

When did you first take an interest in music, when did you decide to start playing drums? 

I’ve really always been interested in music, I can’t think of a time in my life where my life didn’t revolve around it, obviously not just in a playing aspect but a listening aspect. I got a lot of my music taste from my grandparents, who not only listened to older bands I grew to love over the years, but also had a lot of underground taste in the Manchester music scene in the mid-2000s, and there were a few bands from that scene that they befriended and ended up becoming a massive influence for my playing. Funnily enough it was from one of those bands that I got my first drum kit, back in 2008!

Classic AC/DC

What would you say your biggest influences were in the beginning? 

In the beginning, my biggest influences were two bands in particular, the first of which was a band that my grandparents knew called The Words, who were a part of the Manchester music scene from 2006 to 2011, and made some excellent music in the time they were around. It was from them that I got my first kit, but the band that first made me realise that I wanted to be a musician was Wishbone Ash, who still remain my all time favourite band to this day, and are without a doubt the most important band I ever listened to. Their iconic 1972 album “Argus” still remains my favourite album of all time, and I was lucky enough to meet founding member Martin Turner when I went and saw his version of the band in Hertford in 2019 to thank him for what the band had done for me. It was these 2 bands I would start playing along to as a kid, prior to my first proper drum kit, with one single tom (which actually belonged to my small cousin!), and a kit made up of 2 board game boxes, one of which I distinctly remember being a Cluedo box! 

In terms of getting into heavy metal, a lot of the music I discovered on my own, or through my best friend at the time in primary school/early senior school, but the first heavier bands I listened to were AC/DC and Iron Maiden, which were shown to me by my stepfather. One of my earliest memories of heavier music was my family being on a holiday in Florida in 2008, the soundtrack being AC/DC’s Black Ice album. Maiden have remained as my second favourite band, and are another one of my biggest influences.

Liam with Martyn Turner, ex Wishbone Ash

So, you started out in a band called Asylum, when did that start and how did that progress?  

Asylum started as an original band in 2014, but the origin of the band goes back to around 2012, before I joined in late 2013, when they were a part of Harlow Rockschool, named Bacon Bandits. They started off performing covers, and then when we changed the name it was me and our guitarist Brad Burtenshaw who started to write originals together. At the time I was really happy with what he was putting out, as we were having the same kind of influences, i.e a lot of 80s thrash metal, and also Pantera in particular, as well as bands like Avenged Sevenfold on my end. We started to get some momentum and we could’ve started doing some pretty cool stuff! But unfortunately after Brad and our singer Rylan did their GCSE’s in 2015, the band just fizzled out, which I think was a shame. 

As Asylum you supported Kaine at several shows back in 2014 and 2015, how did you first discover the band?

I first discovered Kaine in the beginning of 2014, through an ad on Facebook. I saw that it was for fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica, so therefore I had to check it out. The first song I heard was Iron Lady, and when I first put that on I was blown away. It was fun supporting the band at that time, as a fan of the band. It was pretty cool to befriend the other members aswell. My favourite gig of ours together was when we played the Asylum in Chelmsford, in October 2014. That was our first gig as an original band, and it was also generally a really fun night.  

At the Hunters Bar, Bury St Edmund’s

You were surprised that they were playing the Speakeasy in Epping for their Waystone album launch what do you remember about that gig?

I remember when it was first announced I was confused because I had no clue it had been booked! We played that gig when we were still called Bacon Bandits, sadly no originals at the time. It was still a great gig, and we had a great time and seemed to be well received. At the time Kaine were becoming quite a big deal for me, and I was a real fan of their music, having had the Falling Through Freedom album on rotation for the previous couple of months. That day was amazing not just for that gig, but I also was introduced to the band themselves, aswell as our good friends in Osmium Guillotine. 

*Entropy were originally meant to play the same night, a band which featured Saxon Davids who would go on to join Kaine a few months later.

Liam working hard in the studio

You have played a number of the songs from The Waystone both in the studio and live, what’s it like to be playing those songs now as the drummer in Kaine, have you put your own stamp on them on the upcoming EP?  

It’s exciting! I was a big fan of the original album when it came out, although looking back as a member of the band I could sit back and assess how I would’ve approached the process of the album. Chris has a very different playing style to me. He has much more of a funk influence, whereas I’m much more of a straightforward thrash metal drummer, so it’s been really cool to go through the process of this EP, a chance to revisit the tracks and be able to put my own stamp on them, to play them how I think they should’ve been played. I can’t wait for people to hear it! 

So, after Asylum, what have you done musically since? 

After Asylum, I was a part of another covers band called Ultimatum throughout 2015. I was in that band with the bassist and singer of Asylum, and another guitarist called Aidan. We spent that time basically just playing a load of covers, ranging as far as Green Day to Slipknot, essentially just playing gigs with material that we enjoyed playing together. I left that at the beginning of 2016, and was largely inactive for the rest of that year, and for most of 2017 too. I then got back into the scene by joining a Basildon based band called Scarred By Name, whom I found on an advert. After I got the call to be in Kaine I found that the band never really did anything. It was not just because of that, but also the band had their own families, and our guitarist was suffering from bad back problems too. I then got the call to join Kaine in around March 2018.

You attended the Kaine gig at The Green Room in Welwyn Garden City in February 2018 not long after the release of the A Crisis of Faith album and you were in the band a little over a month later, what was that like? 

That was a cool night actually. It was the first time I’d ventured outside by myself with none of my usual mates. Just jumped on the bus from Harlow to Welwyn and had a great night. A Crisis of Faith is an absolutely fantastic album, so I was glad to see that lineup arguably at their peak, firing on all cylinders. It was good to see Rage, Chris and Saxon again aswell, as I had not seen any of them since around 2014/2015, and hadn’t met Stephen before. I had a great time, banged my head, and got very drunk, can’t complain at all! I had no idea that the following month I’d get the news from Rage that Chris had left the band, and that I’d been asked to join. That whole month was quite a rollercoaster, but it was a great experience.

You jumped in during immediately after the release of A Crisis of Faith and not long after Saxon Davids and Stephen Ellis departed the band, how did that feel, did you think it was the end of Kaine?  

I played a couple of gigs with Saxon and Stephen, and they were really enjoyable, even though my first gig with the band was less than a week after my first rehearsal! Thank god I was a fan and knew the songs anyway! I was really excited for what could’ve been, so I was absolutely gutted when Saxon and Stephen said that they were going to leave. I was genuinely scared for what would come next, I thought it could well be the end. I remember speaking on the phone with Rage that night and I’d never known him to be so unsure of anything. He didn’t know if he could keep the band together, although we both agreed that no matter what we would try. I felt it was the end, but then we were saved when Toby was introduced to us, and Isaac was introduced through him. They truly did save the band.

Kaine…. as serious as ever after playing The Bassment, Chelmsford

The new lineup of yourself, Rage Sadler, Toby Woods and Isaac Healy was formed in a fortnight, was it strange to have joined a band to be playing in an entirely new band almost immediately?

The prospect of playing in a new band wasn’t as strange as the speed with which it was put together. I didn’t even know it was possible to do that, I can’t think of anyone else who has pulled that off, so full credit to Rage for being able to make that happen! I never thought in a million years that the band would be reformed as quickly as that, as we then played our first gig with this lineup much less than a month after Saxon and Stephen announced they would leave. It really was quite a surreal experience, but it worked out so much better than I could have ever imagined, and I am having more fun than I’ve ever had playing music. I cannot wait for what the future brings this lineup, after the release of Reforge The Steel. 

Reforge The Steel was written and rehearsed very quickly during that period, how was the process for you as a new member of the band? 

It was a brilliant experience, my first experience of really writing an album. I had obviously been a part of writing a few originals before, but never really had the pressure of writing an entire album. I was really excited with the material that Rage had written for the album, and I genuinely believed we could be better than any other lineup of the band. The chemistry between all four members throughout the writing process was great, and it felt good for everyone to have a common goal for how the album should sound, something which I feel we will have way into the future. I couldn’t have been happier with the way the album came together, with such quality material in such a short space of time. So again, full credit to Rage for that.

Liam with Kaine fan Wally in 2019

You released the album back in October 2019, just a year after A Crisis of Faith how did it feel to release of the album? What are your favourite songs from the new record?  

It was cool to finally have something properly released with my name in the credits. It felt really good to see the amount of people that listened to it, and the amount of praise the album received, even with comments commending my drumming on the album. I love all the tracks on the album, but I would say my favourite tracks are Black, To All My Love, The Dragon Reborn, and the title track. The album has a lot of twin lead influence, so being a big fan of bands like Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy I found it really cool to see the band take that direction with the music.

Reforge The Steel on NWOTHM Playlist
At Kaine X, Colchester Arts Centre

You have played a few big shows with Kaine already, how did it feel to play a packed out Colchester Arts Centre for the Kaine 10 year show, and how did it feel to support ex Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley recently at Burr Fest?

The Kaine 10 year show was just something else. None of us expected it to turn out the way it did, and it was my biggest gig to date ever. I remember prior to the show sales had been pretty good, but I did not expect the event to be nearly sold out by the time the night arrived. My best memory was coming out of the backstage area not long after the doors opened, peeking out from behind the stage, and seeing the amount of people that had already arrived. It was rammed before any bands even came on, it was amazing! I didn’t think we could top that until we played Burr Fest this year, which really was a special experience! For me that was this bands best ever performance, and to do it alongside ex-Iron Maiden members, in particular Doug Sampson and Blaze Bayley, was amazing. I had a brief conversation with Doug at the bar not long before Blaze went onstage, and he really is a top bloke! I also managed to get my poster signed by Blaze, which was really cool. The whole experience was just incredible, and I feel so honoured to have been a part of it, and it was an honour to be so well received by the Burr Fest crowd. I hope one day we can be asked back!

Liam playing the Dome, London for Burr Fest 2020

You also play guitar, how long have you been playing? 

I have been playing guitar by myself since early 2014. I have never played guitar in any bands, but I have obviously written my fair share of originals with it, a few of which you may hear on the next Kaine album!

You have written a number of tracks for the new album, do you like having the freedom to write in Kaine?  

I love that I still have creative freedom in this band. I was obviously more than content with my role during the Reforge the Steel cycle, but it’s been really cool to finally bring my ideas to the table. I have three tracks ready for the new album so far, so it’s been cool to record them and send them to the band. It’s also a relief because I have been sat on one particular song since April 2018! The feedback from the guys on my songs has been good as well so that’s exciting.

From the Reforge The Steel photo shoot

All the rehearsal and recording activity has been suspended due to the Corona virus outbreak, are the band still writing and communicating while everything is suspended? 

We are still communicating every day, bouncing ideas back and forth and making sure we check in on each other regularly. I myself have been very busy during the time indoors. I have been furloughed by my day job, so I now have a lot of spare time to put my tracks together properly. It’s definitely kept me sane, because otherwise I feel I’d be bored to death! 

Black from Kaine X

There is a new live album coming soon from the B2 Norwich last year from the Reforge The Steel album, how was that night for you and are you looking forward to releasing another live album? 

That was a fun night actually, and another night that I didn’t expect to be as good as it was turnout wise. It was mired by some technical difficulty, and also tainted when we found out in the car that a close friend of the band had unexpectedly passed away that morning. But we managed to get through it, and both us and Osmium Guillotine played blistering sets, despite the horrible news. I feel we really made a great night of it, despite the circumstances. I’m looking forward to releasing this live album, as it really does sound excellent! 

What can you say about the new record your working on right now with Kaine? 

You thought Reforge the Steel was the best this band has done? Well just wait because this is gonna be the best album ever! It’s heavier, it’s faster, it’s amazing! 

West Ham celebrating earlier this season…

You’re a big fan of West Ham United, how long have you supported the team and what are the highs and lows of following the Hammers? Which was the last game you attended and do you think they will stay up? Favourite players?  

I am indeed a big Hammers fan, born and bred! However there are definitely more lows than highs right now. I feel the last real high was our last season at Upton Park. We played some of the best football I’d seen from a West Ham side, and finished well at the end of the season aswell! Since then however, it has all been downhill! The last game I attended was in November 2019, we lost 3-2 to Newcastle. Although the scoreline was flattering, we were 3-0 down for the longest time and it was easily the worst West Ham performance I had seen to date. Although since then we have definitely played worse, it’s been embarrassing! The only player I can think of that is any good at the moment is Michail Antonio, just because he’s the only one who seems to put any effort in! If this season finishes, I cannot see us staying up! 

To order Reforge the Steel on CD please click here. There are also a limited number of CD’s and DVD’s from Liam’s performance at Kaine X which can be ordered here. You can also pre-order The Waystone EP here. You can also hear the album by clicking the Spotify tab at the top of this page.

The X Files – When former members have re-joined Kaine for one off appearances

The new live album available from our Bandcamp

December 29th, 2012 – Hole in the Wall, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals
Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: The band were offered a slot as a last-minute support for Coronach at the Hole in the Wall. Chris MacKinnon who had recently joined the band was unavailable for the gig so original drummer Josh Moreton filled in for the night where the band played its debut album Falling Through Freedom in its entirety for the first and only time.

May 16th, 2014 – The Barfly, Camden, London

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals
Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars
James Balcombe: Drums

Background: James joined the band on the final show of the Renegades Tour with Monument when Chris had to perform for his university exams finals in Colchester on the same day. James joined the band for what was the most intense nights in the history of Kaine, as they dropped their association with MGR for management and as a record label that day due to incidents that occurred on that tour.

February 5th, 2016 – The Soundhouse, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer, who was at that time playing in Ipswich based Death Metal band Daemona joined the band onstage as guest vocalist for Solidarity during the bands set, a song which Rage broke a string and had to perform the final song of the night Quality of Madness as purely a vocalist. It was also the first gig the band played with the new four pieces line-up after Anthony Murch left making it the start of the Crisis of Faith era.

February 24th, 2017 – The Asylum, Chelmsford

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: This was the night A Crisis of Faith live was recorded the band played a large number of the new album songs before they were even recorded at this show and were joined by Dan Mailer on vocals for Iron Lady and Solidarity and Josh Moreton on drums for the Iron Lady, a song he had never played with the band before. Chris joined Dan Mailer in joint lead vocals for Iron Lady.

April 15th, 2017 – Hope & Anchor, Islington, London

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
James Balcombe: Drums

Background: Chris was unable to do the show, so long time band friend James Balcombe of Osmium Guillotine stepped in to perform on the night for the second time. The set was recorded and is available to bandcamp members here.

May 20th, 2017 – The Smokehouse, Ipswich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: Kaine were originally due to play with AJ Kemp of Dismanibus fame on Lead Guitar alongside Josh Moreton and Dan Mailer on bass as a special one of show playing songs from the original album. However, Dan was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome (he and Josh were playing with Elimination at that time and on the same night for the bands 10-year celebrations) so had to drop out. Stephen Ellis was then drafted in to play bass, alongside Anthony Murch to play a set comprising of material from the first three albums. It was the first time Josh had performed with the band since 2012 and Anthony, which was 2015.

May 4th, 2018 – Voodoo Lounge, Stamford

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Chris MacKinnon: Vocals

Background: Chris joined the band on stage for Frailty of the Blade on vocals, the second time he had performed solo as a vocalist for the band the first being when he joined Dan Mailer to sing Iron Lady at the Asylum for A Crisis of Faith live. This would also be the last show played with Saxon and Stephen as official members of the band.

May 26th, 2018 – B2, Norwich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer joined the band on stage, coincidently for another new line-up debut at the B2 Norwich for Iron Lady during his tenure as the lead singer of lone time Kaine friends and collaborators Osmium Guillotine.

July 7th, 2018 – B2, Norwich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals

Background: Ant Murch joined Kaine on stage to play an encore of songs from The Waystone and A Crisis of Faith eras including a solo trade off with Toby Woods.

August 11th, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer again joined the band on stage for a rendition of Iron Lady with the Reforge The Steel line-up.

September 14th, 2018 – The Cavern CM7, Braintree

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Dan Mailer: Vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass

Background: Liam Etheridge was unable to perform at this show (which was Osmium Guillotine’s album launch) so Chris MacKinnon covered on the drums, Saxon Davids joined as an additional guitarist for a set which was a mixture of Crisis of Faith and The Waystone material which also featured Dan Mailer again on guest vocals for the Iron Lady and Stephen Ellis joined the band for the encore which was The Mind is Willing, the penultimate time that song would be played and that line-up would play together.

December 22nd, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals

Background: Saxon Davids joined Kaine on stage for several songs from the A Crisis of Faith album.

April 27th, 2019 – Arts Centre, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass

Background: After the Reforge The Steel line-up performed, the A Crisis of Faith line up closed the night as that line-ups final gig to celebrate the first 10 years of the band. A double album was recorded and released featuring both sets.

A Crisis of Faith Live – Now on Sale!

A Crisis of Faith Live is now available for a limited time on CD and Digital. Kaine members and Elite album buyers get the album for free – to order your copy please click here.

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A Crisis of Faith – Live [Releases tomorrow]

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Kaine are to release new live album tomorrow on CD and digital. The album will be available for a limited time only and much like the Ghost version of A Crisis of Faith, once it’s sold out there will be no more made available after.

A Crisis of Faith Live is the final release from the A Crisis of Faith line-up, recorded at the now closed Asylum venue in Chelmsford during 2017, featuring early versions of the songs on the then yet to be recorded A Crisis of Faith, including two additional tracks from The Waystone featuring the bands founding members in guest appearances.

To get 10% off the CD order, and the entire back catalogue for free on digital you can join as a Kaine member here in advance of the release. The 10% off will apply to all future orders and you will receive all albums for free digitally in the future. Elite buyers of A Crisis of Faith will receive the album on CD for free. Membership also includes items no longer for sale such as the original Kaine EP, Breaking the Surface Live, Killotine, Rock The Castle, Live at the Soundhouse, the Ghost tracks and more.

Scotland trip and additional dates cancelled

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Kaine have sadly had to cancel their Scotland dates for 2018 due to a combination of issues starting the lack of availability of the Vauxhall van for the trip, work schedules (due to cancelled holiday which was out of our hands) and support bands having to unfortunately also pull out of the shows themselves. We never take such a decision lightly however, we decided given everything it would be best to leave it at this stage and look to hopefully return in future.

In addition to the cancelled Scotland dates, our upcoming dates in Coventry and Chelmsford have been cancelled by the promoters/venues.

KAINE 2017: A YEAR IN REVIEW

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2017 started off greatly optimistic, the band in the new format had been together a year and we were planning to release an album later in the year, and while the big time hadn’t come calling in 2016 we were hopeful with the new line-up and album we could make huge strides forward in 2017.

Our first show of the year was at the B2 in Norwich, which was quickly followed by an intimate show at Sound Academy in Braintree. For those who do not know what Sound Academy is, it’s free music lessons and workshops for young people held at Braintree Foyer and it was really good to play there and meet with them there after our set.

We re-released Falling Through Freedom in a remastered format. It’s since nearly gone on to sell out again on CD. It will remain to be seen if we have another run of these CD’s done but it was fun to revisit that album, and we played some of it with both Josh Moreton and Anthony Murch who appeared on the original album in 2012 at a special show in support of Elimination’s 10 year anniversary at The Smokehouse, Ipswich in May.

Throughout the year we played bimonthly Metal shows at the Asylum in Chelmsford. The idea behind these shows would be ourselves headlining but the bands underneath us would change every show, and these would be a mixture of genres, a successful system we had promoted before out of the Soundhouse in Colchester before the new owners there came in and ended the shows. We were primarily running the shows, which were free entry, to help support the Asylum venue and keep it open in Chelmsford. The shows there were a success and every night we had was well attended, but sadly we were unable to keep the venue going with these shows alone and they closed before our final show there in December.

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Other notable shows through the year were headlining a show with V1, which features Dennis Wilcock and Terry Wapram both formerly of Iron Maiden which James Balcombe joined us on drums for, Breaking Bands where we played the outside tent to an enthusiastic audience, many of which also saw us at Mearfest later that year as part of The Rock Den travelling group, who not only support those events in Hatfield but travel all over supporting gigs up and down the country.

In addition to having the honour of playing a show with ex-Maiden members, we also did a number of gigs at the Cart & Horses in Stratford throughout the year.

We recorded a live album at the Asylum earlier last year which will also be released later this year, which features the new album played in its entirety and two additional tracks featuring Dan Mailer on Vocals and a one-off appearance for Josh Moreton on drums which will be a very special release.

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In March we parted ways with our management, Distilled Entertainment in America. This was a mutual decision as we simply couldn’t afford to progress the band in the way they wanted, which was essentially to buy onto a bigger bands tour, which would have both cost us a large amount of money in terms of the buy on but the addition costs of renting vehicles, fuel, food and board while on the road, with even in some cases just a doors slot for our trouble. We would have had to have taken time off of work to have done it, and possibly take unpaid leave and having toured in the past we knew the payback from the tour itself wouldn’t have amounted to the losses we would have made on the road.

We had also hoped to return to Scotland for the fourth year running but sadly we couldn’t find any festival or promoter who would book us up there this time, so we have made sure that in 2018 we will return and have booked two shows in August which will feature Scotland’s very own Midnight Force and special guests on the Glasgow date will be our very good friends, and one of England’s leading progressive rock outfits Twisted Illusion.

So while we didn’t get picked up (again..) by any of the medium and major festivals in the U.K. or Europe we did play 33 shows total right across England.

On the album, we first entered into the studio in June and finished recording in September. We decided to use Pointy Halo Productions (Carl Brewer and Sheldon James) based at Red Wall Studios in Bury, Greater Manchester after Stephen Ellis had worked with them while recording bass for Twisted Illusion’s Insight to the Mind of a Million Faces. We liked how the record sounded and Stephen believed that Carl could get our next record sounding the way we wanted with the new direction of the band.

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The album is still being mixed and mastered, the delay coming due to the studio being very busy towards the end of the year and the Christmas/New Year period. However significant progress has been made in the last few weeks and we expect a release very soon.

One highlight from the studio wasn’t even music related. Chris, who is somewhat bothered by the paranormal decided that while in the studio rather than face the ghost sober he would get blind drunk. The end result was he ended up sleepwalking all over the studio, and at one point decided to take a piss all over one of the sofas, which is amusing enough but it was caught on CCTV for everyone in the studio to enjoy later that day.

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We also ended up staying in a low budget hotel and we’d brought some video cameras along to film our studio progress and the people the hotel in Salford assumed we where there for “the usual”. When we saw the room, it was odd to begin with, one of the beds was sunk in one side and the shower head was covered in pubic hair. After returning from the studio for the second night, the room was still in a state so we decided to ask for housekeeping. We were then informed that it’s only ever a request to have the room cleaned and they assumed we were there to make pornography. That being the usual. This is why we don’t have a DVD.

Working with Carl and Sheldon was fantastic, they were very patient, and all the guys (Dean and other Carl) at Red Wall were very supportive given the time we spent knocking about the studio hearing our mostly nonsensical East Anglian chatter. Also Chris’s desecration.

Another landmark in 2017 was The Waystone turned a profit. Now we got a lot of hate from some of the local music scene for this as we decided to post the costs related to the album online. Although there was a lot of abuse aimed at us we didn’t get too upset by this as the people commenting weren’t really aware of the whole facts although some of them decided to go one further and post abuse on our band page on Facebook, probably not seeing the irony of their very own Love Trumps Hate Facebook posts ….

The reason the costs with the album were so high was simply due to the fact it was what MGR Records had outlined (as well as the sound) for us all the way back in 2013, as they managed the recording before we had a falling out and we had to self-release. Another reason for high costs is we don’t have a whole lot of money to bulk buy CD’s and press vinyl’s, so generally smaller runs of CD’s and vinyl’s are more expensive to produce. Having said that, to achieve a profit and sell as many copies as we have was a huge success and something our detractors can never really take away from us. It’s an album that continues to sell well even to this day.

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To finish off, while 2017 wasn’t a major leap forward for the band in terms of playing bigger shows, festivals or being signed etc. It was a success in terms of the band becoming an incredibly tight live unit and for the new line-up to finally get into the studio and record the new album. What does 2018 hold for us? I expect much of the same, but we will get this new record out and continue to play shows as and where we can, and we are most grateful for everyone who supported us up unto this point. The pre-orders helped pay for the album recording, and having so many of your turn out for show after show up and down the country is always incredibly humbling. So while we may not be the next Iron Maiden or Metallica, we will continue to work hard on the underground and bring old school Heavy Metal to you!

As I said, we won’t be appearing on tour, at any big festivals, so if you want to see us in 2018 check out our dates and come along to one of our shows!

Love, Rage