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

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Picture the scene: you’ve gone to see your favourite local metal band and the support act has just stepped on stage, but there are no guitars in sight, no drums, no instruments at all – just two skinny guys with their tops off holding mics and one other dude hidden behind a laptop. No, they’re not lost, they’re just RoninClan.

Vocalists Jak Francis and Leyum Pattinson, and producer Thomas Elsender have made a reputation for themselves over the last 12 months as the craziest live act around; their genre-bending hip-hop-meets-metal sound acting as a soundtrack for the madness. “It’s hard to find the words to describe the genre we’re in really,” explains Pattinson. “It’s just sort of experimental, radge as fuck sort of music – that’s what we aim for.”

“I’ve heard a lot of people compare us to $uicide Boy$, but I think that’s just down to Jak and Leyum’s image more than anything,” adds Elsender.

Despite not being a metal band, or arguably a band at all, RoninClan have cut their teeth on Newcastle’s metal and hardcore circuit. Their aggressive sound and no-fucks-given live shows are similar to the experience of seeing a rock band, so it’s not too crazy to see how they’ve ended up in that crowd. “I’m not influenced by musicians as such, but by the live experience of metal and heavy shows,” continues Pattinson. “That mentality sort of puts me in a mind frame to write what I write and coming from a metal background I’m more influenced by bands like that; so people like The Acacia Strain and Annihilator – because they’re disgusting and heavy, and just quite controversial.”

We’re paving the way for our own scene

The high-energy trio aren’t always welcomed with open arms by metalheads, as Elsender reflects, “We’ve been at certain rock venues where we’ve had people who work behind the bar shouting ‘who are these dickheads’, ‘get these off stage, they’re fucking shit’ and once we finish and the headliners come on there’s like five people left in the crowd. I do think it’s kind of ran its course playing all the hardcore shows, it got us to where we are now but I don’t think it’s our scene anymore. We want to headline some more shows and if people are actually coming to see us, rather than us supporting, then we want more people on with a similar sound.”

“We’re paving the way for our own scene,” adds Pattinson. “I’m excited to see what we can do with the people we’re working with at the minute within the local scene, acts like Scapegoat Avarice and KV$HNOODLE. We’re working on pulling together a collective and basically turning Newcastle into the next best thing in the world of trap.”

Before taking over the world with their supergroup, RoninClan will be playing their biggest support slot to date this month, taking to the O2 Academy with Hip-Hop Hooray on Friday 21st December. Despite this being a strange crossover on paper, the lads are confident they will “fucking destroy the place” – after all, they’re no strangers to performing in front of audiences that haven’t heard anything like them before. In fact, that’s what they do best.


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