Formed in 2013, Confessions Of A Traitor have come a long way from practicing in a tiny rented studio. This five-piece metal/hardcore group (formed by Stephen MacConville – vocals/Jack Darnell – guitar/Chris Wallace – guitar and vocals/Tony Nagle – bass/Jay Ellis – drums) have toured up and down Essex, all over London, and are about to battle it out in the final of Bloodstock’s Metal 2 The Masses competition, which – if they win – will see them appear at the cult festival.
Nelipott sat down with two members of the band to discuss all things music, from biggest influences to greatest moments (so far).
When the band first started did you have any expectations of where you wanted it to go?
Jack Darnell: I mainly wanted to play around London and possibly Download one day.
Jay Ellis: Download was definitely our goal and still is [the band were recently entered into the Download Red Bull Unsigned Competition, placing in the top 50 out of over 250 bands]. I just want to tour everywhere, I just want to get our music out there and for people to enjoy it as much as we do.
Had you had any previous band experience?
JE: Jack and I were in bands since 2008. They were terrible, but we’ve learnt a lot and that’s why I reckon we’ve done alright with this band so far. We were in Heartsick Hades…we played four gigs and didn’t get out of Essex. Me and Jack started writing and then we contacted Tony who was the bassist of Heartsick Hades. We just asked him if he wanted to come down and jam and write new stuff. We were going in a completely different direction; we’ve always been into metal but we were determined to have a band that was just metal, no clean vocals, just bands that we love mixed into one, the bands we’d been listening to at the time like Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon, all the really heavy metal. That’s what we were aiming for, really.
How did you bring in Stephen and Chris?
JD: We went to see While She Sleeps, and I put an ad up on Join My Band. The day after that Stephen – who was at that gig – messaged me. Two weeks after he tried out and just, instantly, we formed. He had a mate (Chris) who was in his old band and he thought he’d be good for it, and he came down and tried out.
You’ve been described as ‘Killswitch Engage on speed’ (Simon Hall – Metal Mouth). What do you think the band’s trademark style is?
JD: It’s like metalcore with punk energy.
JE: The thing we get comments on the most is our live performance. We just go mental. Jack’s smashing my cymbals up with his guitar, Tony’s smashing his head against the cymbals, Steve’s climbing everything. We all just go mental and we don’t ever quit. What we think is different about us is that we’ve got a lot of groove. A lot of metal bands these days just have the ‘metal’ influences, as well as lots of screamo bands, whereas we don’t. Jack’s biggest influence is Avenged Sevenfold, stuff like that…just a lot of softer bands than just metal. A lot of softer metal and rock, we’re influenced by that as well.
What did it feel like to land in the top 50 of the Download Red Bull Unsigned competition?
JE: To be honest it’s made us feel like we want to do it off of our own backs now. We would’ve loved to have got through, of course we would, we’d be lying if we didn’t. Now I feel like it’s pushed us to be like ‘Right, let’s get on it ourselves and not do a competition’.
JD: Plus, we’ve got the final to Bloodstock coming up!
JE: Our good friends Vanity Draws Blood got through, so good luck to them, hopefully they’ll get to play Download!
You’ve toured up and down London and Essex. Any highlights?
JE: Night Of Brutality. It was an all-day thing. It was really dead at the beginning and we were like ‘Oh God’. It was getting close to our set and it was just getting packed. We just went on, didn’t know what to expect, and it was mental. People didn’t stop moshing throughout our whole set. They really enjoyed us, it was amazing. Then we got to chill out and watch some great bands afterwards.
What’s your favourite song to cover?
JE: Our favourite – and we still play it every now and then if we have extra time or an encore or whatever – One Step Closer by Linkin Park. We do our own version of it and people just go mental. People just go nuts for it because everyone knows the words and we just get everyone on stage.
What do you hope to happen in the next year? Any big plans?
JE: We’re going to release our new EP, which is our original three tracks – one’s been altered slightly – and three new tracks. We’re going to put that everywhere, hopefully get it reviewed. We’re going to get some merch done, we’re going to be playing as many gigs as we have been, hopefully more. First music video coming up, lyric videos. This time next year I hope to be more ‘known’.
JD: I hope to be more known in central London; we’re more outside at the moment.
JE: To play Underworld! That’d be amazing. I want to be doing tours left, right and centre.