Interviews: Neanderthal

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Neanderthal, the Modern Metal band from the UK. Join us as we delve into their creative process, the history, and the future plans of the band. And for more updates and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow Neanderthal on their Facebook page.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

When I moved to Southend and began looking around for a new band to join, one of the first adverts I came across was for a band called Neanderthal. They had already found someone by the time I reached out but I liked the name. Fast forward a few months and their guitarist came down to jam with me and a drummer I had been knocking around with. I mentioned to him about my seeing their advert he said they had changed their name to Dark Horse instead. As soon as I heard that I asked “Well if you’re not using the name anymore do you mind if I do? I think it’s a cool name!” He said “no problem” so from then on my band has been called Neanderthal, throughout its many iterations. So yeah, basically I nicked it!

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

If we’re talking metal in general it’s because nothing beats playing heavy, fast aggressive music to me. I’ve played in classic rock cover bands and it’s fun but it doesn’t give me the visceral satisfaction of playing metal. If we’re talking thrash I suppose it’s because it seems the least partisan and elitist of all metals subgenres. It has it’s gatekeepers like they all do, but it just seems to have fewer strings attached, and less of a stringent blueprint that bands have to follow. But then I don’t know if we’re strictly considered a thrash band or not, I leave that up to the listener.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

Funnily enough Neanderthal is the only band I’ve been in where I didn’t know any of the members, past or present before they joined. They’ve all been complete strangers that have replied to my advert or me to theirs. But they all ended up as my friends. 

4. Each band member's favorite band?

I will probably get this horribly wrong! Spewy’s is Motorhead (if it ain’t he bought the wrong bass!), Tom, I’d say possibly Daath (he talks about them often enough!) Jay – I’ll go with Devildriver because I know he’s a big fan of their drummer. Mine I don’t think I can commit to one band sorry! I’ll just end up listing dozens of bands. 

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

As I’ve gotten older I try not to let my anger be the sole driving force for my music, but it’s still a big part of it as a lot of things make me angry! However, we’re working on having specific themes to tie our next few releases together so that has made me go in some different directions lyrically. Not that I want to let the cat out of the bag on all that just yet ;)

6. Where was your last gig?

At the Moonraker Club in Westcliff for the inaugural Within the pits night, a new promotion company helping out grassroots venues and new metal bands. Something we’re obviously keen on doing too.

7. Where would you like to act?

If you mean where would I like to play, the Underworld in Camden has always been a venue I remember seeing a lot of great bands in. It’s not too unrealistic for us! I didn’t want to put the 02 but you never know...

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Testament springs to mind as I’m typing this because I remember seeing them there.

9. Whom not? 

I don’t care, I’ll play with anyone! Maybe if it was someone that had said or done something I found repellent then I’d be uncomfortable, but you can always use the opportunity to call them out for it in public.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

No, never. I’m not saying that as someone who has this unshakeable confidence or something, but I’ve always made sure I know everything I need to to perform so I know I won’t embarrass myself in that way. Also, I only ever play music that I’m 100% into myself and can do the best representation of, not necessarian song for song, but the band itself, especially original material. In my opinion, if you’re not you’re own favorite band then you are always going to have those niggling anxieties over your performance. I know Neanderthal is the perfect distillation of what I want to achieve musically so I don’t have any stage fright when I play with it.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

I don’t know that I can give an answer that isn’t 10 pages long to this question! Slayer, I suppose if you put a gun to my head. They were just such a mainstay for so long and they finished on top before they became a parody or did something illegal to tarnish their reputation. So far, they’ve stuck to retirement as well, which no one seems to be able to do. There’s nothing wrong with closing the chapter on a body of work and saying “That’s it!” I wish some other bands would do the same if I’m honest!

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

I can’t think of anything weird, all our fans seem pretty cool and don’t overstep any boundaries or anything like that. I will probably get someone asking me to cut off one of my fingers at the next gig now.

13. What do you think of your fans? 

The reaction to our album and our shows this year has been incredible. It was only at this time last year that we actually decided to push on as a band at all, we were very nearly in the bin! So everything that’s happening now is just great and the support we’re getting is so heart-warming. It’s from so many parts of the world too which is even more insane!

14. What do you think of our site?

Very cool, it’s such a treat to be asked to do things like this interview, having websites like this that offer this to underground bands is so important, it really is the whole essence of the underground.

15. Something to add?

No, I’m done! Thanks

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