It’s no great secret that Scotland’s music scene is a thing to be proud of. So we here at TSA have teamed up with Scotland’s very own New Hellfire Club to bring you a monthly pick of who we think are doing epically well right now. Keep your eyes out for these up and coming bands. This is TSA and New Hellfire Club’s ‘Pick of the Month’.
Splintered Halo! How are you? Glad to get you on as our POTM with TSA, considering the spooky nature of this Halloween Issue, you guys seemed the perfect choice for it! So please do start us off by telling the readers a bit about the band then, who are Splintered Halo?
Evilyn – Hey there! The boys don’t talk to strangers so you just have me… haha. And yeah, Halloween is pretty much an all year round event for us! So who are Splintered Halo? Well, we’re what we refer to as a “character metal” band. We take a character and build a song from the ground up to fit them, so not just writing lyrics about them, actually creating the music, and vocal performance specifically for them. We blend various musical genres like baroque, rockabilly, musical theatre; whatever is really needed to tell the tale of the character. We like to put on a bit of a show too; if you come to see us, that’s exactly what you’ll get. We’re based in Glasgow, but we get our brand of weirdness around the UK.
You seem to be somewhat of a whole package deal as far as bands go. You guys have themes thought out, stagecraft pretty much nailed down, and the songs are some of the best we have heard, so tell us, is this a much harder thing to put together, especially with each track having its own specific horror theme? Would you have it any other way?
Evilyn – Thank you so much, I’m glad you like the songs! Each song is definitely a labour of love. With a regular song, when you come up with a riff, or melody, or lyrics, all you have to decide is whether it’s good enough to make the cut. All you have to ask yourself is, is it a good song? With the character themed metal that we do, I have to start by deciding how that character should sound, how to convey their personality through the music, voice, and lyrics. I’ve scrapped so many riffs and ideas, sometimes full songs because, in the end, they just didn’t fit with the character. For example, with our song, ‘I Bathe in Blood’, it’s about the Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory who lived in the 1600s. Before writing the song, I did a lot of research into what sort of music was around then, what fit that era; the answer was baroque and renaissance, but I also had to make the musical vibe dark and heavy to suit her. I looked into the full story behind her murderous tendencies before writing the lyrics, and I also watched hours and hours of footage of Hungarian people learning to speak English so that I could get her accent right haha! But no, I wouldn’t have it any other way; I love what we do. Character metal lets us dabble in different genres and styles of music, each song is an adventure on its own. As a vocalist, it doesn’t get more interesting than this; I get to really try to emulate the character, so a lot of it is actually voice acting. I never get bored.
What is your own favourite track to perform on stage, and do you think the specific track is a shared favourite of your fans?
Evilyn – For me I have the most fun performing ‘Diabolus’, which is about The Exorcist. The chorus is a lot of fun to sing, and I really get to do a lot vocally in that song, acting out Regan as a little girl, and then transitioning to the demon, then to the priest. It really grabs the audience attention too, because I come on stage wearing a nightdress, and it’s very childlike and all very creepy, and it builds up to this evil and heavy chorus where I become the demon and fake masturbate with a crucifix. It’s a lot of fun. I think that the fans probably enjoy ‘Dark Side of Oz’ most though because it’s so catchy and accessible.
Keeping on the horror theme, we usually ask bands who their own favourite bands are, but let’s buck the trend today. Instead tell us what your favourite horror film (or series) is, and why?
Evilyn – Oh, it’s got to be The Exorcist! That’s my favourite film of all time, not just my favourite horror movie. I’ve yet to find something that does demonic possession quite so well, and it has this oppressive feel to it throughout the movie. The movie that scared me the most as a child was the original IT though; I was terrified to be alone in school shower room because of that scene from that movie haha!
You put a lot of time and work into your music videos too, with my particular favourite being the Wizard of Oz themed one! I mean, that’s a pretty fantastic video for a band not yet signed to a huge label, so how much work actually goes into putting together such an epic looking music video then?
You know, you don’t actually need a huge budget to make a solid music video, you just need to have some good ideas and someone who understands the vision you’re trying to achieve. We absolutely found that in our director Andrew Marshall. He was the perfect choice because he’s a huge horror movie fan and he understood what it was that we were trying to do. The whole thing took a day to film, but there was a lot of conversations leading up to that to plot out what scenes we wanted and how they would work in practice with the limited budget we had.
So the floor is now yours, anything big coming up for the rest of the year that you can share with us? You working on new tracks to hit us with? New videos perhaps?
Yes, we do actually! We have a crowdfund campaign running at the moment to fund a video for our upcoming single, ‘Fearleader!’ We’ll be working with Andrew again for this one, but he’ll have a full team behind it, and a special effects crew to make it bigger and better. The song is about Jennifer Check from Jennifer’s Body. For those who haven’t seen it, she’s a bitchy demonic cheerleader who feasts on boys. She’s a hell of a lot of fun to act out vocally; just this vacuous, self absorbed American girl who finds herself possessed by a demon. The whole song was fun to write because parts of it are like a cheerleading anthem, but it also has this horror pop vibe underpinning it, with splashes of djent and real brutality. So yeah, we have a lot of merch and exclusive packages on our crowdfund site that people can buy to help make this one a reality! For those who still want their fix of Halloween festivities after October, we’re also closing an awesome horror themed festival on the 5th of November at the Classic Grand in Glasgow run by Popcorn Horror; It’s the perfect setting to check us out if you have or haven’t already!