On the back of reviewing the new Erebus album ‘Time Out’ I had a number of questions only one man could answer and that man was Andrew Chick lead guitarist, one of the band’s founders, a main writer and the man behind the mixing desk. For those of you who don’t know Andrew is also lead guitar with Edge Of The Blade and studio collaborator with Alan Kelly on 7HY releases. This is what he had to tell me.
Rob Birtley: – I presume the name Erebus comes from Greek Mythology ‘Deep Darkness, Shadow a primordial deity’ is that correct?
Andrew Chick: – Yes. Our drummer Milo Miles came up with the name when we first got together and we all thought it sounded cool, his father was an art teacher and drew the original Erebus logo so we had the whole package before we even wrote our first song ha ha. The art work on the album was all based of that first draft.
Rob Birtley: – Although I did detect elements of early Sabbath the whole style of the album leans far more towards early Maiden and the likes of Diamond Head and The Tygers of Pan Tang and other elements of N.W.O.B.H.M which would be a good fit for the 1984 to 1990-time span of the band. Just what are your influences?
Andrew Chick: – We all loved Iron Maiden and I played them first 3 albums to death growing up, so I think that that was in my DNA. Robert Thomas our lead vocalist is a massive Deep Purple fan and loves writing songs that tell a story has did Purple on this album there are a few dark stories told.
Rob Birtley: – Could you give us just a bit more on the band’s back story, geographically and how you got together etc?
Andrew Chick: – All the band grew up within a 10-mile radius of each other in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales. I met the other members of the bands after being asked to replace the original Guitarist because he had sold his guitar to buy Pot. We used to rehearse in a pub spare room where they kept the guard dogs and the floor was always covered in shit. We played a few cover tunes back then like Iron Maiden, UFO, Ozzy and Dio but soon started writing our own material.
Then we played the local clubs with metal and rock covers dropping in an original track every now and then. The clubs where hard back then they didn’t take prisoners but there was always a huge group of young metal fans in the valleys so we quickly grew a following which made the gigs easier to play our own material and soon shows were 90% our stuff.
Nobody had any money in the band so the idea of paying to record demo tracks was just a dream and no record A & R was ever going to come down here so we sort of just burned ourselves out and it all came to an end.
Most of the band members ending up in cover bands or just stopped altogether. I got a job in a studio for a bit and that’s where I fell in love with the whole recording process and how the pats fit together like a giant jigsaw.
Rob Birtley: – Tell me how did you get back together and how did the recording process go after such a time gap.
Andrew Chick: – I am a keen mountain bike rider and the one thing we got here in South Wales is mountains and bike tracks. I was out ridding a few years back and just happened to meet Robert Thomas the vocalist in the middle of nowhere in a forest we started chatting about old times and the two of us thought it would be great to record the old song we had wrote back in the 80’s.
I hunted down the other members of the band and explain what my plan was to record a full album of Erebus songs and would they be interested in being a part of it. Erebus had a few members over the years we were together so deciding on who plays what need to be done and with that sorted going over the old songs was the next step. We all agreed on the songs that we thought would work with a few tweaks here and there and also brought new songs to the table.
The main body of the work was done here in my studio sending tracks out to the other members some of who were able to record their own parts and send them to me. Where would we be without the internet.
We have all grown up a bit since we first started and our musical taste have developed along with the time which I think you can here on this album each track has a music identity that shows the personality of each members taste from a classic rock shuffle to a Slipknot inspired groove.
Rob Birtley: – Just were does the writing credits lay is it truly a whole band work?
Andrew Chick: – All the writing was done by me and Robert with the rest of the band placing their ideas along the way that’s the way we did it back in the day and even the song from the 80’s were done that way too.
Rob Birtley: – I know you are a dab hand on recording and producing was Time Out your handiwork in these respects.
Andrew Chick: – Yes, I did all the recording, mixing, mastering and art work. I know that sounds a bit big headed but there was no budget for this album so I would work on the tracks while doing other projects e.g. Edge Of The Blade and the 7HY stuff.
Rob Birtley: – The name of your singer Robert Thomas is new to me yet he has a great set of pipes for this material what else is on his musical CV?
Andrew Chick: – After the Erebus thing panned out he did a few cover band things and then hung up his microphone, he’s got what I like to say a man’s voice, big and loud. I do believe I have brought the singing bug back into his life so I’m sure you’re going to hear a lot more from him in the future.
Rob Birtley: – Time Out is prominent for the use of a three-guitar attack and you make good use of it. Just how and where did you divide up the soloing?
Andrew Chick: – Originally Erebus was a two-guitar band myself and Steven Price, After Steve left he was replaced by Kevin Chambers and since everyone was keen to play on everything. I had plenty of guitar tracks to choose from the same is with the original Bass player Carl Ryall who stopped playing all together but came back to play on the old tracks. The new tracks are played by Lee Woodmass.
Rob Birtley: – Do you plan a follow up to this album and I’m guessing, knowing you, there is already have some material for a second album.
Andrew Chick: – Yes, we did write lots of new stuff for this album but we wanted to use the old tracks has much as we could. The music stayed true but a few of the lyrics changed it just didn’t seem right for us to be singing about drinking, smoking pot and shagging etc. So, more albums? Now the train is rolling, so to speak it, I think it would be a shame to stop.
Rob Birtley: – Do you have any plans to do Time Out live touring etc?
Andrew Chick: – We are talking about the logistics of this and yes it would be a blast to perform these tracks live who know what’s around the corner if there is an interest in this album and the demand is there who are we to say no.
Rob Birtley: – Andrew, thanks for giving up your time and giving us the low down on your new album. I’m sure the readers will find your insights as interesting I did.
Andrew Chick: – No Problem Rob, you’re welcome mate.