In Conversation With… Bone Cult

Bone Cult

By Adam Humphreys

Everyone, meet Bone Cult, whose music can only be described as a fusion between Daft Punk and The Prodigy, and they come all the way from Nottingham. Now what is not so well known is that when they first started out there was a plan to become a four-piece which was then scrapped so they remained a duo instead.

Their musical creativity came out of a response to the current music scene with a view to making something altogether different. Bone Cult’s image came out of another creative output, that being something separate to what they are when they’re onstage. These two are a perfect fusion of guitar riffs, screamo energy, electronic music and metal. So much so that it could be argued that they’ve either refined or created a music genre, Death-Tronica. For your further listening pleasure check out Cold Tongue, Feed on You, Fever to Stay and Anu is King.

“When we’re performing, we’re not just our normal selves and is doesn’t
matter if you know anything about us or not “

So, you’ve been making music now for a good few years, what was your inspiration?
“We started making music in response to boredom with the live music scene. There were many times when we’d go to gigs and get very frustrated at seeing the same formulaic and bland acts. So, we wanted to start something that we would enjoy if we saw it ourselves.”

… and how did you both get together?
“While we were both living in Leicester, we originally started the band and put out an advert for 2 more to join us. Before we had even played a gig we decided to scrap that idea and keep going as a 2 piece. That started as a drums/guitar set up until that sort of format hit a trend i.e. Slaves, Royal Blood etc which bored us so we started to strive for a more electronic approach.”

From what many people have seen over the past decade or so is that Nottingham has become an ideal base for new music, what you reckon its secret is, if any?
“Considering it’s not a huge city there are so many venues and so many bands living here. Obviously, the biggest promoter DHP has helped loads with that through organizing festivals like Dot to Dot and Splendour so it’s easy for small bands to get in front of a good audience. Every night of the week, one of the DHP venues will have something on even if it’s an Open-Mic night which again, is another way for singer/ song writers can get out there. Independent promoters like DirtyFilthySexy do a great job of pushing electronic nights and more alternative nights.”

And are there any other artists from Nottingham whose music you like?
“There’s a very healthy scene of alternative/electronic acts Goteki, Baby Tap, A Hundred Crowns, Palm Reader, Crosslight, Haggard Cat, Eyre Llew, Nana, Arch Femmesis, Evil Scarecrow are all favourites. We’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside most of them and see what they’re like live.”

In the time you have been writing and producing your material have you ever shared the stage
with other Notts-based artists e.g. Evil Scarecrow, Earthtone 9, Sleaford Mods and Area 11?
“Yeah, we supported Sleaford Mods while they were on tour shortly after their Jools Holland appearance. It was sold out in Lincolnshire and one of the most packed out venues we’ve ever done. Really enjoyed the close intimacy of it and how energetic the crowd was for them so it was a crazy moment to open up for that crowd who were ready from the off.”

Now here’s a question I want to ask, your band name, Bone Cult, where did that come from?
“It doesn’t have a specific meaning, it seemed to fit with the raw sound and aggressive approach we
had towards making music. The visuals of the band always lean towards the metal/alternative style
so the name is a reflection of that.”

As a duo there’s numerous influences your sound comes from such as The Prodigy, Slipknot and
Daft Punk. What is it about their sound that impresses you?

“The rawness and energy of the music is something that resonates with us. The Prodigy and Daft Punk especially don’t try to conform to any particular trends, but are always forging their own path with is an ethic that we have in common.”

What were the ideas behind the band’s image as it is rather interesting?
“Masks are the most constant feature of our image. It’s about separating our own identity from the
band. When we’re performing, we’re not just our normal selves and is doesn’t matter if you know
anything about us or not. It’s all about the overall experience of the music, the visuals and the energy
of the performance.”

Going to the live performance now, out of all the venues you’ve played at both in and out of Nottingham which are your top 5?
“Piano Fight – San Francisco, USA
Bovine Sex Club – Toronto, Canada
Landbouwbelang – Maastricht, Netherlands
Nine Spices – Tokyo, Japan
Percy’s – Whitchurch, UK – our favourite UK independent venue”

Also, you’ve toured quite a bit in places such as North America, Asia and Europe. Is there anywhere else you’d like to tour?
“Australia! We had planned for it later this year but with Covid 19, that’s definitely going to be pushed back until next year or possibly 2022! After that, an entire tour of America would be incredible as we’d only just about got around California last year so there’s so much left we’d want to see there.”

Something that is of interest now is your involvement in a game called Avakin Life, how did that come about?

“The developer of Avakin Life has their offices in Nottingham and they’ve featured several bands from
the city including Eyre Llew. We met some of their team at a Goteki ‘Nerdgasm’ party and got talking
while playing some video games and it all spiralled out of that.”

Would you ever consider doing similar projects if the opportunity ever arose?
“We’d definitely do it again as it’s reached out internationally. Brazil, Israel and Russia – all over. The
Avakin fanbase are very dedicated and some of the most enthusiastic communities that really
engaged with us when we have released music.”

This year you’ve had an album come out, what can we expect from it?
“Mostly fast. Sometimes mellow. It’s probably not what a band called Bone Cult should sound like. Imagine breakbeats, synths that sound like guitars, and vocals that sound like synths.”

And where else can people expect to hear your music?
“With Covid 19 cancelling all live shows, just online for now! It’s across all streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, etc and we’ve plastered it all over YouTube too with a visual for each song to engage the audience more so.”

“Unfortunately, since March this year we’ve all been in lock-down, has this given you the freedom to work on further material?”
Yes, absolutely. Instead on concentrating on the lost gigs, we made the decision to just start work on the next project so we can give people something new while they’re stuck inside. It’s given us a focus to work on.

Lastly, what can we expect from you for the rest of this year and next year in 2021?
There will be more new music to follow up the album and we’re going to keep experimenting with new media. The visuals are just as important to the experience as the music for us so we’re going to keep pushing what we can do with our music videos. Hopefully when we can get back to going out on the road we’ll have a new and improved show with a live drummer and even bigger light show.

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/0EXXFRjeYlVy14heilkrwF
Album Stream:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZabKiGgYtk