Glastonbury is home to one of the world’s biggest music festivals. It is also home to alternative heavy metal band Mithra. I don’t use the word ‘alternative’ to mean someone who’s a bit quirky with tattoos and piercings. You’d probably spot this type of person walking down Camden high street. They’re ‘alternative’. I don’t mean it in the sense of music that isn’t mainstream. Whilst Mithra certainly fit these definitions, I am using the term ‘alternative’ in a more conventional sense. I literally mean ‘different’ or ‘irregular’ metal. Their sound is unique and that becomes apparent when you discover their influences include Mudvayne, System of a Down and SikTh. A track may begin in one style, but you can be certain that it will change. That’s what I love about this band. They are not afraid to push boundaries and break rules. That is ultimately what the music industry needs right now.
I caught up with the guys in Mithra to find out more about where their songs have come from. Members include: Joshua Longworth on lead vocals, Ali Fewell on vocals and rhythm guitar, Henry Stone on bass, Samuel Martin on lead guitar and vocals and Curt Walker on the drums.
How does the material get written in Mithra?
The music we write is often very guitar driven. We usually start writing our songs with guitar riffs, phrases or choruses which are written by various members of the band. We then adjust or adapt these parts to the playing and taste of each member. Then we drop and add beats into these riffs to create the transforming and progressive style within our music. Then lastly, we’ll think of harmonies and lead lines, add bass and drums to the mix and then finally the lyrics.
What is the song ‘Altar of the Sun’ talking about?
Altar of the Sun follows a story of extremism in religion and politics. It shows how people can be mentally affected and attacked by religion and politics. It talks of the feuds between beliefs and the resulting destruction. The song itself has verse sections about malicious acts taken by religious fanatics and the chorus lyrics describe the scene that unfolds after such conflicts and violence occurs. Sometimes these fanatics become apostates. It also talks about the relentless devotion to the version of faith that some of these fanatics have.
Where did the inspiration for the video come from?
The inspiration for the music video came from our experiences with politics, culture, religion and local landmarks of war. We also got inspiration from the lyrics written by Ali and Josh. We had the initial ideas for the video, but they were fine-tuned and made possible by James Barber.
What song do you feel goes down best live?
The heaviest hitter live is Survival as it’s the track that most people already know and has a “wow” factor in its big finale and gripping chorus.
What’s your favourite venue to play?
Our favourite venue to play would be our most regular local venue The Cobblestones, Bridgwater. The venue has gained a great name for itself and has a loyal following that come down week in, week out to enjoy the huge variety of bands and artists that the team book in.
If you got the chance to pick one band to support who would it be and why?
We would love to support Bleed From Within, a metal band from Glasgow. A band that continue to surprise us. They are idols of ours and are proving to be a relentless force in the metal world.
What’s coming up in the future of Mithra?
As a band we are trying to create a large catalogue of music for our friends and fans. We also hope to book more shows this year so that we can continue to introduce new people to our music.