Amidst the chaos backstage at The O2 Academy in Islington, Sylosis frontman and shred extraordinaire, Josh Middleton is braving an onslaught of press types and a barrage of questions. When it was Scribes’ turn to interrogate him, he had this to say…
Josh Middleton (Sylosis) Interview
You’ve just finished another tour across the US, and this time with groove giants, Lamb of God. Do you feel that was a success, or would you go as far to say that you’ve broken America?
I wouldn’t say we’ve broken America, but it was definitely a big success for us. We do so much better over there than we realise, because this was only our second time touring there. We still didn’t really know what to expect, even though we had toured previously, and there was exactly a year’s gap between them. We didn’t really capitalise on going back sooner. But yeah, it seems to be really good. It’s some of the biggest indoor shows we’ve ever done. We’ve sold more merch than we had planned, and we’ve sold so many more albums out there than we realised. There definitely seems to be a big market for what we do, but we’re still far from breaking it.
Was it quite daunting opening up for a band as highly respected as Lamb of God?
We’ve supported them a couple of times in Europe and Ireland before, and that’s how we got the tour, as Chris (Adler, drummer) is really into us. He was emailing me about how he was going to get us on the tour. I just thought to myself ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’. We have done big shows before and I think that we have toured enough to not find it too daunting, but obviously it’s an honour to be a part of that tour.
You are quite often seen as front runners of the British metal scene, do you feel a lot of pressure bearing that tag?
I don’t but it doesn’t really feel like we are because we are still not that big and we don’t make much money. It’s hard to judge how your band is doing when you are in the band. People tell us that we are growing but it is still hard to tell.
What do you think of the state of British metal at the minute and the current crop of bands coming thought?
England is a small place and the amount of bands that cater to my taste is quite small, really, the amount of music coming out of anywhere these days that I like is quite slim. But there are some great bands out there like Xerath, Hang the Bastard and Chapters. So it is definitely strong.
2012 was another brilliant year for heavy music and saw you release ‘Monolith’. What were some of your favourite albums from last year?
Black Breath – ‘Sentenced to Life’ was one of my favourites, Baroness with ‘Yellow & Green’, The Sword and the new Neurosis album.
You have quite a difficult job juggling lead guitar and vocal duties. How do you feel you have settled into the role as the frontman?
I don’t know really because I’m not a natural frontman, I don’t really practise it in front of a mirror. I never really wanted to be a frontman, as such, but its not like I don’t enjoy it, I just didn’t want to be in the public eye or anything. I am adapting slowly but surely, I’ve never been a ‘wassup muthafuckers!’ kind of guy and maybe people are waiting for me to come out of my shell but I’m not that sort of person.
Your previous albums were based loosely around concepts; do you find that helps you to write songs?
Not the music because that is always written way before the lyrics but it definitely helps give you a direction for lyrics.
How have you gone about picking your setlist for a headline tour?
Well, this will be the UK’s first time seeing ‘Monolith’ live, so we had to cram in the new stuff, I think we have about five songs of the new album on the setlist tonight. We have been playing the same songs live for ages, we don’t tend to mix our sets up too much, but we plan to bring out a few tracks that we haven’t played in a while. This tour will see us leaning toward the new songs.
What's next for Sylosis? Can we expect to see another album this year?
Definitely not! It is way too soon. The gap between ‘Edge of the Earth’ and ‘Monolith’ was just too short but we were still so happy with the way the music came out. We will probably do two years touring on this one, so not for a while.
Got your eye on any festivals yet?
We did Download last year, so I doubt we will do that again. We’ll just play it as it comes. We are off to Australia and Japan next!