DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: ILSER | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview where we learn more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time Scott from goth rock trio ILSER tells us more about the band.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

We are ILSER – a three piece band based in Newcastle though individually all from Northumberland. One Amble walla’ (Rachael: guitar and vocals) and two Berwick wallas (Scott: drums and Jakko: bass), we have territorial pride-fights all the time as a result of this proximity but we feel it feeds the music.

What inspired you to first start making music?

You know when you’re at that age where you just absorb and analyse absolutely everything? Right before you hit that age where you ignore and criticise everything? Say 12/13? Well, it would seem we all discovered guitar rock at this most ideal time in life to do so.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

That’s a pretty hard question to answer. I feel like there’s one thousand ways to answer it, and one thousand more bands and artists we could list as being direct influences! That would be time consuming and boring for your readers! We listen to all kinds of stuff, from doom metal to electro. At the moment we’re digging a lot of grass-roots and about-to-break bands from all over, local, national and international. The UK is home to some really exciting new music and always has been. We’re very lucky. We bang on about the ones we like quite a lot on Twitter and stuff.

How would you describe your sound?

We’ve been described as brooding, dark, riff-driven, loud, crunchy and drum-heavy. We’d agree to all of those. We’re always looking for more adjectives to add to the list so feel free to hit us up with some.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

We’ve just got through the turmoil of our first year gigging locally. It’s a traumatic time in a band’s life as nobody knows quite where you should fit, like who you would sit well on a bill with. Our first ever gig we opened for an Australian band called The Red Paintings, who are this wildly left-field art rock concept band. That was fun. Our second we opened for a thrash metal band. That wasn’t as much fun, but still worth doing. More recently the billing has become a bit more suitable as people have become more aware of our sound and what we do.

“The UK is home to some really exciting new music and always has been. We’re very lucky”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by ILSER?

We’ve been playing as a three-piece for less than a year, so our live show is still developing. On a good day we’ll be intense, captivating, in tune, harmonised and loud. On a bad day we’ll be loud.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

All of the gigs we currently have booked are in Newcastle. We have one on Sunday 26th April at Bar Loco with RETRIEVER, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind and Cave Suns. Then in May, we have the Saturday 9th at Nerd Hutch (Travelling Man comics) with Massa Confusa and The Tanners for Evolution Emerging on the 23rd, which is also with Massa Confusa as well as Skull Puppies and Bi:Lingual.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

Racking up performances at the region’s two premiere festivals for up-and-coming artists, Stockton Calling and Evolution Emerging, has been pretty special for us. Being asked by Clue Records to play their stage at Stockton was an absolute privilege. Seeing their bands (NARCS, Forever Cult, Allusondrugs) as well as all of the other talent tear the roof of the place was not only brilliant fun, but a real lesson. We’re proud to be among their ranks. The same will be said about Evo come the night of May 23rd!

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Having to undergo a line-up change so early on sucked a little bit, especially considering we had two gigs on one night the following week, but I think we managed.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We shall be putting our next single out at some point over the next couple of months, we’re in the studio to do that this month. Aside from that it’s all about continuing to beat back our work-lives and keep the band an absolute priority. We’ll definitely be getting out of the north east to play a gig or two before the years out… so that’ll be fun! We’d also like to do our first Newcastle headline show at some point.

ILSER play on Saturday 9th May with Knots and Massa Confusa at the Nerd Hutch in Newcastle.

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