You have to be a tremendous band to stand out or have your own sound in this day and age. Everything has been done, redone and watered down or oversimplified to the point that virtually no band commands your attention. Furyon is a band that you should hear from, a band you NEED to hear from, as their frantic, hooky music is the antidote to the same-ish lemming rock currently being peddled on mainstream radio. The funny thing is that it’s not that far off from some of those bands dominating our rock charts in that it is catchy (Shinedown, Three Days Grace) and is heavy. However, there’s still something a bit more intricate and developed about FURYON. It could simply be that they have a different vantage point being from the U.K. where they have already won over both fans and the adulation of press like Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine. Listen to the first couple songs from their new album “Gravitas” and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about; it’s an ambitious mix of progressive, yet incredibly accessible rock. I had to talk to vocalist Matt Mitchell to see exactly what the fuss was about. Read on…
Legendary Rock Interviews: You guys have a new album out called GRAVITAS and have made considerable noise over in your native U.K. but the album was actually recorded here in America right?
Matt: Yeah, we’re from Brighton but it was recorded at Stone Mountain, Georgia but previous to that we spent a lot of time in preproduction there in Chicago. You’re nearby Chicago right? We LOVE that place. Our guitarist Chris Green loved it so much he lives there now (laughs). I loved it there too, we had a lot of fun and captured quite a bit of our Chicago fun in our making of video on youtube.
LRI: Yeah, we saw you guys charming the local female population as well, it looked like you had fun before going to Georgia. Who did you record with down there?
Matt: Rick Beato who produced Vince Neil, Fozzy and Shinedown was the producer in Stone Mountain who did the album. He’s a great producer. He tends to do like the heavy rock stuff or American sounding stuff, that’s what he tends to do.
Watch the clip for Furyon’s amazing song “Disappear Again” right here:
LRI: Furyon is a little different from some of those bands in that there’s a real balance between radio ready rock and a more progressive sound, I mean there’s some songs on here which clock in at 8 minutes long but they’re very catchy. It’s a bit like you’re playing outside the rules, bands like Queen used to take chances like that.
Matt: We’re a live band and the guitar parts and some of that progressive nature just comes naturally to us. There’s nothing on the album that isn’t something we’ve done and still do live. Sometimes recording can be a difficult process but we had a pretty easy time for the most part. Chris Green, our guitarist and I wrote 90% of the album and we have a definite sense for pop melodies but we wanted the entire album to also be very heavy and progressive. We wanted it to be an album where people could instantly find something melodic about it while still having avenues of our progressive nature.
LRI: You’re still something of a new band but are getting major accolades at home in England. Who is your fanbase mostly composed of, general heavy metal fans or pop fans?
Matt: We have gotten a lot of love from Metal Hammer magazine and Classic Rock magazine over here and our crowd has kind of taken on a bit of both of those genres. We definitely have some people who are very into the band who are avid fans of the classic stuff and have noticed more and more that we’re also appealing to the younger fans of the heavy, heavy stuff as well. It seems to be sort of across the board and hasn’t really stuck in one area which is great.
LRI: What’s the plan now? Headline clubs or try to do the festival circuit in Europe?
Matt: Both. We are headlining clubs and of course looking for any of those big gig opportunities where we can sort of gain a great deal of fans by playing a bigger stage. We’re hoping now that the album is out in the states and Europe that we can play all over. We go up and down the country here and play all over the U. K. so now we really want to get in front of the rest of the world. The cool thing about the headline gigs is that we are getting to play the full album of course but you always wanna be seen by new audiences.
LRI: It’s got to be somewhat challenging having your guitarist over here and the rest of you over there. Have you guys given thought to just moving here to the States once and for all?
Matt: Yeah, it can be tricky sometimes but right now we do seem to be pulling it off. Actually, that was the plan at one time, that was the actual original plan, we were going to move to America. If the album were to really take off there and it looked like the place to be then I think everyone would probably be very happy about coming over and making the move. If the right promoter or the right situation presents itself we would be all for it. Right now, the majority of the festivals and gigs are here in Europe. There’s also been a bit of talk in regards to Japan but really America is where we want to be.
LRI: FURYON is strange to me because you have a very American sounding delivery but musically you are quite a bit more complicated than what’s going on with some of our popular radio bands. The musical interludes are well developed as is the songwriting in general. Is this material something you’ve been building towards your whole life or is this just recently worked up stuff?
Matt: Chris and I have been writing partners for a long time yes. That’s the old saying, “You’ve got your whole life to write your first album”. I write a lot of songs, he writes a lot of songs and we write a lot of songs. We’re always writing, right now we have the release of the record so we are playing the GRAVITAS album and promoting it of course but we are already writing new songs. As far as the American sounding thing goes we have noticed a lot of people have wanted to compare us to bands like Alice In Chains and bands like that.
LRI: That sort of comes with the territory as a new band. You’re always going being compared to other bands which can be strange. Would you prefer that people just click the youtube link or iTunes preview and simply listen to the music?
Matt: Yeah, I would to be honest with you. I would love that. Just listen to it and see it with open eyes and ears. That would be fantastic if they could do that, I mean I understand the need to make comparison, especially with newer bands and especially in this day and age but it’s definitely its own thing. I mean, I am a fan of Chris Cornell and if you told me something sounded like that I would probably be the same way so I understand but you never really know until you actually listen
LRI: You guys have some pretty amazing videos with excellent production as well. Is that whole process fun to you?
Matt: Yeah, it is actually. I mean, it can make for a long day but it’s very fun and very much a creative thing.