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Interview with The Raven Age

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Last Updated on 10:13 PM by Lilliana Tseka

It’s officialy the Rockwave Festival week, that we are going to see the legendary Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Metal Invader took the chance to have a few words with George Harris, guitarist of the band The Raven Age and son of the titan Steve Harris.

Greetings guys! Since the band is newly introduced to the Greek audience, I think it’s essential that you present yourselves with a small bio.

We’re a metal band from London UK, initially formed in 2009 by myself and Dan Wright who is now our band’s manager. Last year Tony Maue took Dan’s place on guitar and we also have a new singer, Matt James who recently joined the band earlier this year.

From your formation year (2009) to your first release in 2014, the self-titled E.P., there’s a big time gap. Why did it get you so long to get your debut out?

Well, we say it was formed in 2009 but really it was just the idea of The Raven Age that was born back then. Dan and I spent a good few years writing and coming up with all sorts of ideas from artwork to big production plans for future haha. When we decided to go for it and create a full band it took us a long time to find the other guys. We weren’t interested in rushing the process just for the sake of gigging we wanted it to be right for us.

“Darkness Will Rise” was released more than a year ago. Tell me more about the idea behind it. How important are the lyrics for you and what inspires you? 

The title Darkness Will Rise is related to the story behind our band name. The Raven Age is derived from the ravens of the Tower of London. The legend is that they are the guardians of the tower and if they ever leave or fly away, the British empire will fall. Darkness Will Rise is the ideology of the ravens rising and taking over. Lyrically the songs are quite dark, although that wasn’t really planned, I just enjoy writing in this style. I get inspiration from stories, films, history and all sorts. You sometimes just need one or two words to get you excited and spark you off. Eg our song The Death March was written after I read the autobiography by Denis Avey “The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz”.

How would you describe your sound? Do you find labels important, I mean there are so many sub-genres in metal.

We call ourselves melodic metal but I’m not particularly interested in sub genres and labels to be honest. It’s all just metal, but we don’t use scream vocals much at all so we feel melodic metal best describes our sound to someone who hasn’t heard us before. We’re inspired by a lot of modern metal bands, but we blend that with a more classic vocal style to create something slightly different.

What were your goals when you firstly formed the band? Do you think you’ve achieved a few of them?

Definitely, our main goal originally was to just  to create a band to bring the songs we were writing to life. There’s no better feeling than when everything comes together from a small idea or demo and the whole band is feeling excited about new material. We wanted to release a full length album which we’ve done so that’s definitely a tick off the list. But already we’ve exceeded a lot of dreams we had back then. Purely by playing some of the shows we have, for me personally I’ve just supported my favourite band in Killswitch Engage, never in a million years did I think we’d be doing that!

I can’t but mention the fact that George’s father is the iconic Steve Harris. Has this fact helped you or was it the other way around, people being skeptical? How does it feel like knowing you’re going to share the stage at the Rockwave Festival? What should we expect from your performance? 

I suppose it works both ways, with what we do obviously he’s been through it all and can help with advice etc even though it’s a totally different era some of the main principles stay the same like work hard and stay true to your own ideas. The down side is that some people create a negative idea of us in their heads before listening to the band, all we can do is carry on doing what we love doing and hope they change their minds one day. From us, expect a very energetic set with lots of dynamic. We love being on stage and throwing ourselves around, that way even if the crowd don’t enjoy it at least we still do haha.

You are touring non-stop until August. How is being on the road for so long?

It’s great! It’s what we love to do, the sole purpose we are a band is because we enjoy playing our instruments, so touring and gigging 4 time’s a week or so is amazing. It’s obviously always tough being away from family, friends and loved ones, although we recently had a few days off to catch up with everyone so it’s always nice to break it up where you can. Also, playing festivals is great fun as you get to meet up with all the other bands you might have previously played with and hang out.

How do you feel about visiting Greece for the first time, as a part of the Rockwave festival along with so many great bands? Which is the band you are looking forward seeing?

I’m especially looking forward to Rockwave festival as I’ve never been to Greece, I’ve spoken to some other bands since being on tour who’ve played in Greece and I hear only good things. I’m hoping we get time for some sightseeing, I’d love to visit the Acropolis and check out some of the ancient buildings! I’d quite like to check out the Sabaton set, I’ve not seen it this year and they always put on a cool show!

What does the future hold for The Raven Age? Is there any new material cooking as we speak?

Yes there is, we’ve been working hard on our second album, on the run up to this tour and we’re heading straight back into the studio when we get home, no rest for us! We’re really excited about the second album and we’re really hoping we’ll be able to get it out later this year.

The epilogue is yours and I’ll be seeing you in Athens!

Thanks for having us, we’re extremely excited to come and play in Greece for the first time at Rockwave festival, not only for the music but the Greek food! Haha. If you’re interested in checking out the band we have a new video out for ‘Surrogate’. We’ll see you very soon everyone.

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