DISCOVER | Any Given Reason – Shropshire, UK.1st December 2023
Today on DISCOVER I have with me Damian and Michael from Any Given Reason. Any Given Reason are a five membered metalcore band hailing from Shropshire, UK – current members are Damian, Michael, Smiffy, Cal and Moose.
Will start now then so we’ll start with a boring question just to open the chat up. Tell me a bit about where the band name came from and who decided on the name?
Damian: It was a group decision. If I remember correctly we all chose an idea and then voted for our favorite -who came up with what I can’t remember.
Sounds like a group effort all round on the decision of the naming. What artists or bands do you draw inspiration from? And who would you compare yourself to or sounding like?
Michael: We all have various different flavours of inspiration but as a general rule we all generally have some love of metalcore really – each member has a different back catalogue of musical heroes really but we generally think we might sound something somewhere in the direction of 00s metalcore like Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine etc
Bullet for My Valentine used to be one of my favorite bands back in the day. I can see the inspiration reflected in the music of these bands. Would you say these bands have a major impact on your writing style when it comes to lyrical inspiration for songs how do you find yourself taking a more personal approach when being creative with songwriting?
Damian: I suppose we aren’t the correct people to talk about how the lyrics are written. That belongs to Moose and Smiffy but their style is definitely to write about real experiences rather than create something that feels fake. They definitely put it all out there when we perform too and you can really see they mean what they’re saying. In regards to the music there is definitely a lot of inspiration from early 2000’s music. Personally I think it was one of the best era for metalcore and it was the soundtrack to my growing up as a group we try to make our own stamp on that sound too. It would be nice if one day people know its us just from our sound.
It’s always a positive thing when you can tell a band can relate to the songs, so it’s great hearing about that. With the mention of other band members who are currently not here in the interview with us can you tell me a little bit about each member of the band and their role within the group?
Michael: So I’m Mike, I do lead guitar and backing vocals, the other maniac with us today is Damian who does rhythm guitar, Cal on drums then Moose and Smiffy do lead/dual vocals between them. The song writing process involves everyone’s individual input and we generally write our own parts following a given structure or skeleton of a song. But we try and share as much of the responsibility out between all of us to get the most and best out of everyone.
That’s quite a big band than that. Only a couple of players short of a football team! I noticed that you guys are actively touring it’s great to see. Could you tell me what one of your best shows or tour has been so far and why was it so special to you?
Damian: Well we have just completed our first year as a band and managed to get a fair few shows under our belt. We haven’t done a tour yet but we are hoping we can get something together for 2024 with a band or two that we have made friends with over the last 12 months. I think one of the best ones for me was playing at The Salty Dog in Northwich. The show was amazing and each band turned up and killed it. We were well received and we’ve had a few things come out of that show that have really helped us progress.
Michael: Yeah we’re always on the lookout for gigs! We love playing anywhere so if you have any suggestions we’ll drop our manager a line and he’ll put some feelers out to them! I think my favourite show so far is maybe the Salty Dog in Northwich with making blind eyes see, really interactive crowd, quite a small intimate venue so it meant it was busy and a great atmosphere and proper in your face (I think I ran into Damian twice mid-set haha), probably the only gig I’ve had where we had no technical malfunctions too, and all the other bands were awesome, with special nod to MBES who absolutely destroyed the place
Seems like you can both agree that the Salty Dog gig was a huge hit. We’ve had the positives, so let’s go with a negative spill of the tea … What would be the worst show you’ve ever played, and what made it so bad?
Michael: Man it’s probably the shows we do in hometown Stoke! My favourite bar in the world is the rigger and we’ve played there 3-4 times and every time something terrible has happened, I snapped a piece of my headstock off once, Damian’s wireless blew up mid-set, one time the bass cabs blew in the PA so there was no bass, just every time we go with destroy something – hopefully we’ll get some more shows back there soon where we can play and none of us will die on sept!
Damian: It’s hard to say any were actually bad. We always turn up to put on the best show possible. But as we are still learning the ropes of all our equipment we do have our fair share of technical difficulties. Not with what’s coming out at the front but rather what’s going on between us and each time it does get to you but each time most people seem to enjoy it regardless. I also have to agree about the time at the rigger.
Well, you know what they say… Technology will surpass us. Skynet is coming. As you’ve mentioned yourself, you guys are fairly new to the scene. How long have you guys been a band for where did all begin, and what difficulties have you faced first so far?
Michael: The other guys know a lot more about how all our show fits together technology-wise really, it’s all cleverly hooked up backing tracks and click tracks and bass drops and stuff I don’t really understand, I just go where they point me and run around in a circle, but we do struggle with the tech side sometimes, BUT hopefully we’ve found some new solutions in the last couple of weeks to really help us pull out all the stops on stage. We’ve been going just over a year or so now, our first gig was 20th Nov last year, I think I joined sometime around aug/sept last year so we had a couple months of writing and learning then got out on the road! Finding new gig opportunities can be difficult too, so our main aim now is to play as many places as we can, as best as we can and make as many friends as we can
Sounds like a really simple fix though so hopefully going forward. Sneaky tech issues will not be an issue. Since starting performing and as a band, are there any mantras quotes that you live by? Anything that inspires you.
Damian: probably the one thing we do say a lot is “lets fucking do it” 😂we always go into everything head on and just give it our best
Michael: Yeah man balls to the wall let’s fucking go. Just bang up for everything! We played a show in Shrewsbury HMV once in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, that was right mad but it was good fun! The power of saying yes
Damian: that was an awesome day too. we managed to get a crowd formed in there too
Too true there through – if you don’t take chances you don’t gain advances. Are you working on any new music or have you got any new releases coming soon that we can be excited for?
Damian: Exactly that. You don’t know until you do something whether its good or bad. So we managed to put together our debut EP ‘ALPHA’ which came out in June this year which we are super proud of. We did every aspect of it ourselves from writing, recording, producing, artwork and getting the CD’s printed. It was a huge effort from all the lads and we are still trying to get it out into the ether and into peoples ears as much as possible. We have had really good support from a few radio stations and podcasts who have played our songs on their shows which is incredible. As for new music we are currently writing new music and we have already been playing 2 new songs in our live shows and they get awesome reactions. We are still keeping the same vibe but now that we’ve been together for over a year our song writing has improved massively and we will be playing more new stuff in 2024 when we get back out playing shows.
That’s great news. Having given Alpha a listen I can give feedback that it’s one to listen too. It’s been great chatting to you guys and thank you for your time this evening. Before I conclude the interview I have one last question to ask, leaving the interview on a high note. It’s a really important question to ask and I’m sure people reading this would love to know – would you rather have arms as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your arms, and why?
Damian: That’s a hard question to ask 2 guitarists – either would render us useless but I would have to say fingers as long as my arms. no other reason than being able to poke people in the eye from across the room.
Michael: Man fingers the size of your arms would be absolutely horrifying that’s some sci-fi nuclear radiation shit. I would have to vote finger sized arm.
Damian: You’re mad, think of all the chaos.
Michael: Having fingers that are a metre long, That’s REYT horrible. Fuck long fingers all the way off.
Artist: Any Given Reason / Location: Shropshire, UK / Label: Unsigned / Genre: Metalcore
For Fans Of: Bad Omens, Bullet for My Valentine, Caliban, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, Shadowfalls, Soilwork, Trivium, Unearth
Next Upcoming Shows:
Keep an eye out for 2024 dates to be announced
Can be found on the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube – Click here for all links.