Aggressive yet euphoric, empowering yet simultaneously enslaving, The Five Hundred are renowned for overcoming adversities and laying siege to every stage they play. From struggling with tourettes, OCD, gambling and drug addiction, to perfecting their art and proving that together they are a force of nature, now is the band’s time to share with the world how they’ve battled through their vices and come out on top.
In light of the band’s UK Tech Metal Fest performance next week, The Five Hundred have released a compelling narrative music video for another new album track called ‘Oblivion’
Mark Byrne, guitarist and lyricist, says about the track “Each song on the album represents a different facet of the psyche, persona or essence of addiction – from hedonism and oblivion, all the way through to seduction, narcissism, psychosis and ultimate self-destruction. The track “Oblivion” describes the drug as a “virus without a home” and a “cruel mistress” that “lures you with a caress”.
Inspiration for the song comes Byrne’s own personal struggles with substance abuse. “My teens and 20s were a cycle of hedonism, self-loathing and depression. It all started with me enjoying partying way too much, never realising that it was just a crutch to drown out my inner demons. Before I knew it, it became a destructive sequence of events, predictable to everybody but myself, it seemed.
This album could have been written 10 years earlier. I basically lost the best part of a decade to that depressing mess.”
The Nottingham by way of Gibraltar based metal quintet The Five Hundred have just announced they have signed a recording deal with Long Branch Records. Long Branch Records are a European label specialising in developing alternative rock and metal acts from around the world, already boasting a roster featuring Shields, Black Orchid Empire, Agent Fresco, Uneven Structure and more, and the label are making their mark in promoting exciting raw rock and metal talent from across the globe.
1. Bleed Red
2. Smoke and Mirrors
5. The Noose
7. Seduced by Shadows
8. The Narcissist
9. I Am The Undead
‘Bleed Red’ is the debut album by British metal band The Five Hundred. Produced by Justin Hill (SiKth, Heart Of A Coward, Betraying The Martyrs) ‘Bleed Red’ is due for release on August 17th 2018.
Each song represents a different facet of the psyche, persona, or essence of addiction – from hedonism and oblivion all the way through to seduction, narcissism, psychosis and ultimate self-destruction.
The music is influenced by bands such as Meshuggah, After The Burial & Heart Of A Coward, whilst Woods-Eley’s vocals grieve like a 90s’ era grunge drug addict, strongly influenced by Layne Staley (Alice In Chains) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden).
Whilst the album concept is not entirely autobiographical, it does have roots in the personal experiences of at least 2 of the band members, who have struggled with their own demons, be they personal or of those close to them. Byrne (guitarist) tells of the “cycle of hedonism, self-loathing and depression” that became the norm during his teens and 20’s. “This album could’ve been written 10 years ago if I wasn’t such a fuck up. I basically lost 10 years of my life to that.”
He is not alone in his personal struggles. Paul Doughty (guitarist), suffers from Tourette’s, and whilst that has undeniably taken its toll on his mental state, he has channelled those frustrations into his music and strived for perfection in his craft.
“From a young age I’ve suffered with Gilles de Tourette’s syndrome; uncontrollable tics which have manifested in different ways over the years from strange eye movements and head turns to tensing leg muscles whilst walking to the point I almost fell over and shoulder movements which has caused significant pain.
Paired with Tourette’s I used to suffer with OCD (they often come together) and not only would I have to repeat or touch things several times, but it also used to make me obsess over playing guitar. When I was younger, I’d often spend many unbroken hours learning and playing the same 30 seconds of a ridiculous John Petrucci lead (The Dance of Eternity, The Glass Prison) over and over or complex rhythmic masterpieces by Meshuggah (Dancers to a Discordant System, Bleed) until I nailed them.
OCD was something I could use as an advantage in playing guitar, but also my Tourette’s tics completely ceased when playing guitar. The OCD made me a better guitarist and playing guitar stopped my Tourette’s tics. The two conditions played a part together in getting me to the level I’m at today, plus the influences of John Petrucci and Meshuggah of course!”
Andy Crawford (bassist) managed to keep his substance abuse under relative control during the same period, although his struggles in his earlier years came in another form, gambling.
“For years I was a degenerate gambler, and would steal from friends and family to keep throwing all that money away. It was pretty destructive for me personally and for my relationships with those close to me”
The lyrics were co-written by Woods-Eley (vocalist) and Byrne (guitarist), with the music being a collaborative effort of all members, however mostly written by Andy in just a month with Paul picking up most of the remaining songs & parts.
“We booked ourselves into the studio a few months in advance, well before a single song, riff or lyric was written. We essentially wanted to put ourselves under pressure to write an entire concept that was coherent and consistent with the personal torment that a few of us were feeling at the time, and the only way to do that was to lock ourselves away from the very things that were haunting us.”
It’s been a long time coming, but the band are now ready to unleash their 10 track opus to the world in the hope they can share their experiences both on and off stage.
4/7 Nexilva / The Dali Thundering Concept / The Five Hundred Derby, The Hairy Dog
5-9/7 UK Tech Fest Newark Showground
1/9 Macmillan Festival Nottingham, Rock City Basement
5-7/10 Eat You Alive Festival Leeds, Santiagos
2/12 Facebarmageddon Reading, Facebar
The Five Hundred is:
John Eley – Vocals
Mark Byrne – Guitars
Paul Doughty – Guitars
Andy Crawford – Bass
Kelsey James – Drums
You can pre-order ‘Bleed Red’, available on August 17th, HERE!