Welsh prog heavyweights KARMEN FIELD have just unveiled their superb new video for the track, Benighted – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l37cTb5Nmk . The song is taken from their killer debut album, Black Star Emperor . With the band on the rise, we spoke to them to find out more:
What is the full band line-up, who sings and who plays which instrument?
Molly McBreen is our lead singer, Will Bird plays lead guitar and backing vocals, Lewis Goold on bass, and Joe Roper on drums.
How and when did the band form?
The band formed in the months after Joe and Lewis’ previous metal band ‘inferno ortum’ disbanded in 2018, when they started jamming with Will and Molly, at first for fun, then the music gradually developed into the heavier, grungey sound we’re known for today. We were all very keen to be in a band that wrote and performed their own music, after lots of separate experiences playing in cover bands. We started out by playing local pubs and friends house parties. Our hometown of Penarth is famous for its beautiful coastline, architecture and for being the hometown of acts such as Shaking Stevens and Demented are Go.
When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?
In 2020 obviously the pandemic happened, and luckily we had solidified a social bubble, so we could keep writing and practicing together. Having each other and a creative outlet during that unpredictable time saved us all individually. Our day to day lives changed so much, we just piled all the anxiety and uncertainty into the music.
Who are your musical influences?
Tool, Alice in Chains, Audioslave, Perfect Circle, Foo Fighters, Muse. We have a very eclectic, long list of influences, from the grooves of Meshuggah, to the lyrics of Bob Dylan.
Where did the name of the band come from?
Our bass player Lewis loves looking up random scientific facts. One day he told us he’d discovered that all the layers in the earths ozone have a name, and that the very last layer, the one that touches space, was called the Karmen Field. For years we didn’t even realise that he had mis spelled the real name, but that gave us an obscure, unique and fantastical name that we all thought was cool.
How far back does your history with each other (the band members) extend? Are you friends from school or any family relations?
Joe and Lewis have known each other since primary school, best friends after being told off for constantly fighting with each other. They were in a metal band together in their teenage years.
Molly and Joe were childhood frenemies, and went on many a family holiday together.
Will followed us home from the pub one day, and the rest is history.
Where have you played or toured?
The Railway, Penarth. The Albion, Penarth. The Ex-serviceman’s club, Penarth. Belle Vue Music in the Park, Penarth. Penarth lawn tennis club summer festival. Little man Coffe company, Cardiff. Gw di Huw, Cardiff. Nosda, Cardiff. Club Ifor Bach, Cardiff. The Moon, Cardiff. Fuel, Cardiff. Misfits, Cardiff. Dragonffli, Pontypool. The Bunkhouse, Swansea. Hangar 18, Swansea. The Gryphon, Bristol. The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, London.
Supported: Torchbearer, Sodomised Cadaver. Pulverise. Mother Vulture. Five the Hierophant. Haxan. Blind Divide. Pearler. King Kraken. Lacertilia. Cancel the Transmission. Nigel. I am Drug.
In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?
We have a rebellious energy at our core. A group of angry misfits and misunderstood underdogs, we wanted to create a sound that other underdogs could relate to. Naturally having a femme lead singer and a band of boys playing heavy riffs, we have always challenged the expectations of others. It wasn’t the reaction we expected, but it has come to define us as a band. Especially when we realised how important a confident female representation is on stage. It’s something that people want but also need to see. We channel so many influences from all our music backgrounds into our songs, that we appeal to all kinds of music fanatics. With metal influences at our core, we somehow don’t fit into any particular metal sub genre, which makes us hard to define, but enticing to any rock fan.
If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?
Rambunctious, energised, anger fuelled, provocative and seductive power.
Where can we find your social media sites? Please include the URL for your Spotify artist page.
Smart link to our album, “Black Star Emperor”, via Spotify etc.