All The Above are a group that jumped out to me immediately as soon as we got into contact with them. When they sent me their single (Better Days) I was almost gob-smacked that these guys weren’t pulling in the hundreds of thousands yet to view their content. With a sound like a fusion of Killswitch Engage, Red Fang and Black Stone Cherry (all three of which are some of my favourite groups) they left me in awe at the professionalism of their act.
The production quality of their music is near rock perfection too with the guitar tones being next to mouth watering and the vocals being aggressive and gritty. The drums and bass were like thunder in my headphones leaving my heart racing and knuckles clenched; the way rock music should be. With stoner rock and riff rock beginning to find it’s legs again after the strummy garbage of the last 5 years, these guys have the potential to front that movement once it hits the mainstream audience attention. All this combined gives us a great sense of pride to present to you our interview with All The Above! The Q&A went as below:
Q. What would you say your particular music style/repertoire is; how would you describe your music?
A. We would say Post Grunge/ Alt Metal. It’s a bit like Rage Against The Machine jamming with Deftones on songs written by Soundgarden. We like to try and include lots of elements of our influences in our songs.
Q. Who are your biggest influences when making music and do you feel you take any aspects from their style and add it to your own?
A. Bruce (Guitar): Influences to me are many, probably the best way to some it up, I like the free & unfussy nature of players like Kurt Cobain & Neil Young, but I also admire the precise & attacking playing of dudes like James Hetfield & Dimebag Darrell. I try to aim for somewhere in between.
Paul (Drums): Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam), Dave Abbruzzese (Pearl Jam), Chad smith (RHCP) and Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins). Growing up listening to these drummers I would definitely say they have help mould my playing and you can hear their influences in my playing.
Taylor (Vocal): I find it really hard to put down a list of who has influenced me music wise, as I have probably taken, or learned, or been influenced by multitudes of bands, musicians, vocalists and lyricists, even ones i didn’t like, as they at least show me how I don’t want to do things! I spose the most obvious influences are visible in my lyrics and or subject matter, As you probably could say that there is a definite insular inward looking nineties kind of influence the kind typified by Andy Cairns (Therapy), Art Alexakis (Everclear), and such like. It was the music I grew up with and learned to figure out who I was at that time, and I guess it’s stayed with me.
Simon (Guitar): Pearl jam Beastie boys and Rage against the machine, I always try to bring their groove into our music.
James (Bass Guitar): Rage Against The Machine would be the single biggest influence on my playing and a lot of the writing I do for All The Above. I also like the straightforward heavy grooves of bands like Helmet and early Deftones. I also try to blend in the more melodic influences such as Alice In Chains and Tool.
Q. What album/albums would you put up there as your favourite of all time?
A. Taylor: A short list of favourites is really hard to do as music taste evolves of time, so what may have been a favourite a one time, will fall behind or be superseded at others. but here’s (by no means exhaustive) a list of some past faves.
Baby Chaos – Love your self abuse,
Deftones – White pony
Everclear – So Much for the afterglow
Food Fighters – Colour and the Shape
The Wild hearts – Earth Vs./ Phuq
Therapy – Troublegum
Incubus – Make yourself
MCR – Three Cheers for sweet revenge
Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
Paul: Ten by Pearl Jam
James: Vs by Pearl Jam has a song for every occasion, I really like Korn by Korn (SIC)
$3 bills by Limp Bizkit. All Rage Against The Machines Albums.
Simon: Pearl jam Vs, Rage against the machine (self titled), Incubus Science.
Bruce: What a tricky question, there are so many to chose from! Off the top of my head, without pondering on it for too long… Possible top 10 in no particular order Master of Puppets – Metallica Badmotorfinger – Soundgarden River Runs Red – Life of Agony Grave Dancers Union – Soul Asylum Astro Creep 2000 – White Zombie Paranoid – Black Sabbath Royal Blood – Royal Blood 10 – Pearl Jam Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer
Q. Have you got any big plans for the near future in the recording process or touring?
A. We have just finished our 2nd EP due to be released this spring (2016) through Battle Royal Records; we are just finishing the videos now and the new Web site. We will be doing a lot of shows through out the year to promote it.
It is called ‘Last Ones Standing’.
Q. Where did you get the name ‘All The Above’ from?
A. We had been struggling for a name for some time when we 1st formed the band, for awhile we were called Acid Beef and from time to time we get that shouted at us while we play home town shows. We came up with a long list of band names, none of them really standing out so James just wrote at the bottom of the list ‘All The Above’, so that’s what we are called.
Q. Where did you all first meet?
A. James (Bass) and Paul (Drums) went to school together and played in a band called Fray in the early 00s Taylor was the lead singer in that. Taylor had played in a band with Simon in the late 90s called Snatch. And Bruce was recommended to us by a guy in the local music shop and had been in local bands before. We used some of the old Fray songs as a starting point but soon had enough songs of our own
Q. What is your favourite gig off all time both performing and watching?
A. Paul: Pearl jam Milton Keynes 2014
Simon: Best gig I’ve been to was The prodigy at Reading Festival 1996, I was blown away by their stage presence and performance!
Best gig we’ve played would be either the Sussex arms Basement in Tunbridge wells for “Unfest” or when we played with “Seething akira” at the Lady Luck in Canterbury
Bruce: Fav gig we played is probably the 2014 Halloween gig at The Forum. Was a lot of fun. Best gig I’ve seen is 1995 Donnington, was such a great line up of bands.
James: Best gig that we have played for me was our 1st one; we were supporting a much bigger local band at their album launch and have been told by them and the crowd that we were a very hard act to follow.
I love watching Rage against the machine at reading festival 96, although I wasn’t there, watching the footage during Know your enemy gives me goose bumps. The whole crowd moves as one during the break down. It’s amazing to watch.
Taylor: My Favourite gigs to play are either those ones that grab you unexpectedly, gigs that you think will be quiet or hard work, and then suddenly just go off big time! The rush is unlike any other, its great! As far as gigs to watch, I loved the Wildhearts Christmas shows at the Astoria in the Mid/Late 90s, more recently I really enjoyed the Frank Turner “positive Songs for negative people” album launch show at the Garage last year.
Q. What was the last song you listened to and would you recommend it?
A. James: Wolf Moon by Type O Negative
Yes, It’s a great song, not my normal jam but well worth a listen.
Simon: Arguing with thermometers by Enter Shikari. Definitely recommend, full of everything I like, heavy riffs, bass drops and clever lyrics! Love it!
Bruce: Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden,
Goes with out saying, give it a listen.
Taylor: While answering this question I’m listening to “Ignoramus” by Baby Chaos, and yes I would recommend it highly, along with the rest of the album
Paul: Creep stone temple pilots – err yes!!
And that’s all she wrote! This segment has some of the best answers we’ve seen and been given in a long time and we really hope you appreciate (like we do) the amount of time the group put into answering these questions whole-fully! They are a brilliant group with a massive sound who will only keep going up and up in the pecking order of rock as the days go by. So as always we implore you to send some love these guys way and check out their social media as well as add their tunes to your daily playlist, you won’t be disappointed!
All The Above – Better Days (Official Music Video):
All The Above Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AllTheAboveUK/
All The Above Bandcamp Page: http://alltheaboveuk.bandcamp.com/
All The Above YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEXx4ex_8UADg4haIrM2bGg