NEPHILIM – Interview

UK Newcomers, NEPHILIM, take from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Asking Alexandria. The emerging fivesome have just released their stunning debut album, Demonic Society. With this in mind, we asked the band for a little background detail:


What is the full band line-up, who sings and who plays which instrument?

Cal (Callum Herring) – Vocals
Saint James (James Addison) – Lead Guitar

Frankie Abbadon (Conor Oakley) – Rhythm Guitar
Ace Vendetta (Jake Targar) – Bass Guitar

The Jester (Tyler Williams) – Drums


How and when did the band form?


Cal – The band formed in 2016, originally Cal, Saint James and The Jester. Cal and Saint James had just left their previous band. They met the Jester at a gig whilst playing in their old band.


Saint – Cal and James left ‘Singapore Safehouse’ in late 2016 and formed Nephilim with Tyler and Chris (their first bassist). Cal originally sang and played rhythm guitar. Their first rehearsal was December 18th 2016 and first show was 6th January 2017 at Musiclounge, Stockton.


Jester – The band formed in the back end of 2016. James and Callum were playing a gig in their previous band and Tyler just happened to go into that pub. After their set Tyler asked James if they could jam some time. They did and from there they decided to create Nephilim.


Tell us anything interesting about your hometown.


Frankie – Their hometown is where the first railways were laid, the first steam train was created and the friction match was created.


Cal – They have met loads of great bands that have they really enjoy gigging with.


Saint – The music scene is pretty decent although the focus is mainly around indie artists. That’s what is popular and sells at the moment and metal seems to be a bit ‘underground’. Aside from the music scene, there are quite a few festivals and celebrations that go on in Stockton such as SIRF and the big firework show on bonfire night. In terms of architecture, the globe is a fascinating music venue that has been shut for years but is being renovated. Huge bands such as The Beatles played there back in the day, and by renovating it, more of the big modern day artists may be keen to play in Stockton.


Jester – Ingleby is the largest housing estate in Europe.


Ace – The first steam locomotive set off from a train station in their town.


When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?


Frankie – The band has always gelled. Since being together they have always felt like best friends. They all had the same mindset, goals and influences so have always worked together really well. Conor and James are both good at different aspects of the guitar so when they get together to write, everything fits together perfectly. They’ve cycled through a few bassists but since Jake joined, the band has never felt so close and complete.


Cal – After writing their first song, ‘No Place To Hide’, because then they were just addicted to creating more and more songs. Then when Frankie joined and added a new faster paced side to things the band grew even more and became even better.


Saint – From the very start, like literally the first jamming session, James really gelled with Tyler when it came to writing music. They would jam just guitar and drums, bouncing ideas off of one another. For instance the song ‘Remember Me’, that full song came out of one jamming session between them and then Cal put his lyrics to it. Sometimes the raw ideas that come to fruition in a jamming session don’t need to be adjusted or thought about in depth. Prior to Nephilim, Cal and James were in another band called ‘Singapore Safehouse’ so they already had experience working together. The two of them wrote the music and lyrics for ‘No Place to Hide’ which is the first Nephilim song. After about 8 months of Nephilim, James jammed with Conor who is a very good guitarist. James felt like they gelled rather quickly and they even wore the exact same pair of jeans the first time they met each other. Conor taking the spot as the rhythm guitarist meant that Cal could become a frontman which adds so much more to what Nephilim can offer when performing on stage. He now moves about much more whilst on stage and interacts better with the audience. Conor is also able to pull off some more advanced guitarwork, allowing him to write some ridiculous riffs and James to write more developed dual guitar within the guitar solos. Working together, if one of them has writers block, the other can usually come up with a cool idea. Unfortunately, the band has been through two bass player changes but now they have Jake. He’s still learning some of the ropes when it comes to bass guitar, but his performance puts him miles ahead of the others. The band had never witnessed anyone have the balls to go off stage, climb onto a table full of drinks and then jump off the table into the crowd, nevermind the old bassists! With their first album finished and recorded, Nephilim are the most solid they have ever been. Not only in a musical band sense, but James genuinely feels like they will be a group of best friends for life.


Jester – Callum, James, Conor and Tyler have had a good relationship from just a couple weeks after Conor joined but had some trouble for a while finding a bass player. That was until they found Jake a few months ago.


Ace – The band jumped up a notch when their new bassist Ace Vendetta joined. He brought a ‘don’t give a damn’ attitude to the band.


Who are your musical influences?


Frankie – Their influences include bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Asking Alexandria.


Cal – Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Ghost, Thy Art Is Murder, Erra, Ramstein, Killswitch Engage, The Eagles, Striking Back.


Saint – As a whole, James would say Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria and Ghost are the main influences. Since the formation in late 2016, we have listened to many different bands, and with the member changes and additions, different influences have been brought to the table. This is what gives our debut album such a wide variation of styles. For James personally, his main guitar influences are Synyster Gates and Slash. Others include Zakk Wylde, Bumblefoot and Jesse Cash.


Ace – Ace likes a whole load of different music from Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.


Jester – As a band, their biggest influence has to be Avenged Sevenfold but for Tyler personally he’d probably go with Asking Alexandria or Slipknot.


Where did the name of the band come from?


Cal – They originally wanted to be called The Fallen but that name was already taken by another big band so Saint James’ mam (Momma Nephilim) looked up some spooky stuff and found the name Nephilim.


Saint – (Basically what Cal said…) Nephilim is a term used for the offspring of a demon and a human woman. The Nephilim were supposedly giants who ruled over humanity and destroyed anything in their path. The term can meet slightly different things in different languages / religions.


Jester – I’ll let St. James take this one…


How far back does your history with each other (the band members) extend?

Are you friends from school or any family relations?


Frankie – Conor and James started talking after both attending the same Avenged Sevenfold show. After Conor caught one of Synyster Gates’ guitar picks, James asked to buy the pick. Conor refused but this lead to conversations about music and guitar and finally a jamming session. Then, after meeting Cal, the band agreed that Nephilim would benefit from bringing in a 5th member to play rhythm guitar.


Cal – Cal and Saint James met at school when they we were 13, but didn’t speak until they were 15 in music class. What both of them didn’t know was that they actually hated each other for the early part of their secondary school years for no reason… then they had the same scooter. (Not cool.) However, when they finally got chatting in music they decided to jam together and their friendship grew from there to what it is today where they are best friends. Cal and Tyler first met when he showed up to a gig in Stockton and was wearing an Avenged Sevenfold T-shirt. From then Cal knew they would be great friends. Furthermore, when they started college Tyler ended up being on Cal’s college course. They both didn’t understand how this had happened but the hand of fate stepped in and moulded them together. Cal and Conor met when James told him he was jamming with another guitarist and arranged a meeting. (At the time Cal was still playing rhythm guitar in the band so he was like “Who the fuck is this?”) Once Cal saw him shred and do the solo for Second Heartbeat, he was like “Yep get him in and I’ll just sing”. Cal had met Jake a few years before he joined the band but they were never really close friends. Once they found out he was interested in joining, Cal and Jake hit it off straight away. (So much so, they slap each other at almost every gig.)


Saint – The only person James knew before the band properly was Cal. They went to the same secondary school but didn’t get on at all until they both took music as one of our GCSE options. There were only six boys in the class and four of them formed the band ‘Singapore Safehouse’. Conor actually went to their secondary school too but he was two years older and seemed scary (due to his long black hair) when James was younger. Cal and James first met Tyler when he came to see a band we were supporting. Tyler was wearing an Avenged Sevenfold T-shirt and ‘Singapore Safehouse’ played some Avenged Sevenfold covers at that show, so they had a good chat about them! A few months later James saw that Tyler had posted a drum cover video of 115 which blew him away. He decided to contact Tyler to arrange a jamming session which resulted in the two of them forming a band. James decided to leave ‘Singapore Safehouse’ due to feeling like the band was becoming stagnant. Cal decided to leave with him and so he took the part of singing and rhythm guitar in Nephilim. Two and a half years after the initial formation, Jake joins the band as the bassist. Conor and him go way back but the first time James actually spoke to him was at his audition. He’s one messed up dude!


Ty – Tyler met:

Callum at a college taster day in 2016.

James a couple days later at their gig at The Sun Inn.

Conor at a trial / practice for the band.

Jake at a party that Conor invited him to at Jake’s house.


Where have you played or toured?

Please name all countries / regions and recognised bands that you have played with.


Frankie – Nephilim have only played in the UK, furthest away being a small town in Scotland. They are invited up to Berwick every year to play Rock the Point festival. The band also play Trillians in Newcastle quite often. The biggest stages they have played are the O2 Academy in Newcastle (mainstage) and The Sage in Gateshead.


Cal – They haven’t toured yet but they have played in Scotland, headlined a festival in Berwick, played on the O2 Academy mainstage in Newcastle and the Sage in Gateshead supporting Twister. They have also played a gig at Eiger Studios in Leeds with Break the Silence. Nephilim have played all over the north east with great bands like Kilonova, Desolation, Collapse of Colour, Rituals, The Colour Clear, A Dying Reign and Tomorrow is Lost.


Saint – We haven’t toured but we’re trying our best to line one up after our album launch show. We have only played in the UK so far, both England and Scotland.



In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?


Frankie – I believe we differ from all the other bands out there as most metal bands seem to stick to one genre for their album, whereas our debut album includes a few. We write music we enjoy and even though you can hear all of our vast influences, we pull it off well.


Cal – Nephilim is a band that has such a vast number of influences and we have moulded all of them together to create a sound that no one has heard moulded before from one second being thrash to the next section being death metal or even metal core, but we blend them so well it is an amazing sound.


Saint – As mentioned earlier, ‘Since the formation in late 2016, we have listened to many different bands, and with the member changes and additions, different influences have been brought to the table. I think this is what gives our debut album such a wide variation of styles.’ We also do our best to put on a show, not just play our songs. We want to entertain people and get them on board and involved with our music!


Ace – We take influence from a lot of different musicians but mix our own flavour into it. We also go harder than most local bands.


If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?


Frankie – Punky, classic, heavy, metalcore with some soft ballad style songs occasionally.


Cal – Intense but melodic. We have our heavy sections in which a mosh pit will start but then we can switch to having a calm section with clean vocals.


Saint – I think the artwork for the music is the best place to start. We sat down with artist Paul Smith, and talked in depth about themes and objects that would best represent our songs in a visual form.


Jester – Depending on the song it could be described heavy, energetic, and in your face or slow melodic and calm.


Jake – We’re probably the reason that they are deaf.



Where can we find your social media sites?


Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify / YouTube / SoundCloud / iTunes / Bandcamp


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