DISCOVER | Neo Cryptid – Bradford, UK.

DISCOVER | Neo Cryptid – Bradford, UK.

22nd November 2023 0 By Quinccy

Today on DISCOVER I’m here with Rick Walker talking about his solo artist project Neo Cryptid. Neo Cryptid is a Metal, Industrial, EDM one man force from Bradford, United Kingdom. Today we talk about drunk skiing, vaping theatrics and stunning light shows.

Good afternoon, I usually start with my interviews with a boring generic question but today I’m going to spice it up and start with a fun one. What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?

Rick: Oh that is a good one! I would say depending on how evil you were feeling, it would be either skiing or archery.

That would be evil. Skiing is hard at the best of time (may or may not have tried it) but after a few Jägermeister‘s could imagine that being a death trap, funny but dangerous. I’m here to talk to you today about your solo project Neo Cryptid. What’s the story behind your band’s name and what prompted you to start making music?

Rick: So those elements very much tie into each other. In the middle of lockdown I was very creatively frustrated; no gigs, no jamming with other people, nothing to really drive any music forward. I decided to challenge myself to write music a bit outside of my comfort zone, incorporating heavier synth elements, in mind to put together a show that I could feasibly perform live by myself when the time came and I guess it worked! Fusing the more electronic elements into the music changed the entire feel, so ‘Neo cryptid’ felt particularly suited to this new, monstrous sound I had managed to concoct. The first couple of tracks I came up with as well played into this; the intro of my EP ‘Animator’ is basically some strange creature attacking an indie radio station…so it left room for some fun in there as well. I think that’s important.

Interesting! Have you always been a solo artist or have you previously participated as a group whilst creating music?

Rick: I’ve been a member of bands before (and play guitar for eclectic punk/metal/grime outfit ‘Felicia’ alongside this) and had a fantastic time performing alongside some really great musicians. I’d written solo music before but very much just designed to be a studio thing, whereas Neo Cryptid from the very start was written so I could perform the guitar parts and vocal parts live at the same time.

I can imagine! Plus I’m thinking being a solo artist gives you a lot more creative control when it comes to the direction of music you choose to play. Do you have any unusual or impossible-to-reproduce sounds live on your recordings? If so, how do you go about creating these when you are playing a show.

Rick: Yeah, it has really opened up avenues that I don’t think would have been followed in a committee- like structure!

Oh god yes. When I’m playing live, I perform guitar and vocal live, and the drums and synth are on a backing track synced with an entire beam-and-laser light show, as well as a sample pedal I can operate so the possibilities for strange sections and sounds are endless. There’s a part in my live show currently where I have a conversation with the ‘Voice of Elitism’ which breaks down into a full on EDM rave. Another part where the breakdown in ‘rbbt.exe’ transitions into an almost calliope-esque circus rhythm as beams spin out over the audience and I play the solo over it. It’s a very tech-heavy show!

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Sounds like it would be a great atmosphere that. Does this mean you approach recordings differently than you do for live performances – or is it all the same for you?

Rick: There are definitely sections of the live show that will only ever really be live – they work in almost a musical theatre aspect, rather than as a song someone would put on to listen to. But in general I think the main songs I approach in a similar way regardless. The two main restrictions placed on the music when I’m writing and recording are 1. Can I comfortably play this guitar part live, WHILST doing vocals (which is always a nightmare!) And 2. Does it bounce, does it groove and feel like it will get people moving? Once I’ve laid down a frame for a track I’ll then flesh it out, see what synths work and how to work it from a skeleton into a full piece. But that framework of one-guitar-one-vocal is the same throughout recording and live performance

Multi-tasking is a hard chore at the best of times, so could imagine that being hard whilst having to fill the role of potentially 3-5 people, sounds like a challenge. What can people expect when they see you live – are there any surprises or anything that sets your show apart from others solo artists in your genre?

Rick: I think the big thing is the light rig. I’m quietly confident that I have the most ridiculously over-the top light rig for a small production in the UK. It’s very fun to walk on stage and have people expect an almost singer-songwriter vibe and then suddenly the air is filled with smoke and laser light. It’s hard not to have fun and get involved when your local venue has suddenly turned into a scene from Bladerunner.

Bladerunner is a great film, sound like it would defiantly be interesting to see. Do you have any funny or interesting stories from shows that you can share with us?

Rick: The best one yet was a great gig in Leeds, at The Packhorse – at that point they had smoke restrictions but not vape restrictions. The show does work without smoke, but not as well, so I rounded up all the people in the crowd with vapes and ordered them to stand at the front vaping and it worked! We had beams and lasers in a technically smoke free venue. I nearly messed up a song or two laughing there, it was such a fun gig. One guy was puffing on 2 vapes at once and had to have a sit down. What an effort.

You have recently released your “Animator” EP. For someone who has never heard your music before, could you describe what someone would be to expect and why they should listen to this EP?

Rick: So “Animator” is very much a mission statement. I’ve been into metal and into electronic music for as long as I can remember, as likely to put on Infected Mushroom as I am Lamb of God or Machine Head. I’ve set out to create music that is heavy but danceable; uncompromising and fresh but with big hooks and massive soundscapes. People will have to listen to it to judge if I’ve succeeded! But I think at the very least I’ve given it a damn good go, and I’m having a wonderful time performing it.

That’s the main thing I feel a lot of people forget also, music should be fun! You should enjoy what you’re doing – if you don’t, why are you doing it! So we’re coming to the end of the interview I have two more questions – the first question – Do you have any upcoming shows or tours where people can come toke on a vape or just enjoy show?

Rick: Absolutely correct! Music is a wonderful, beautiful connective thing, and fun is so important.

I am in fact returning to the Scene of the Vape next month, playing the Packhorse in Leeds with the excellent Pulverise and Stray Weather on December 15th! And on December 23rd I’ll be doing a set in Shipley at Groove Pad’s metal clubnight, so that will be a BOUNCY one. Gigs are starting to come in for the new year but none announced as of yet so stay tuned – also I think packhorse has full smoke allowed now so people can save their lungs

Amazing, I’ll have to try and take some time out to see one of your shows, it sounds phenomenal! My final question to you – we’ll follow the good old saying “we leave this world as we enter naked and afraid” only we’re not naked, and not afraid or leaving the world so this is not really relevant, but we’ll end on a fun question! If you were arrested without explanation, what would your friends and family think you’ve done?

Rick: Oh god, I think probably something involving copious amounts of booze, and probably a festival or gig of some sorts. Stealing Devin Townsend and hiding him in a tent, probably something like that.


Artist: Neo Cryptid /  Label: Self-released / Genre: Metal, Industrial, EDM
For fans of: Combichrist, Lamb of God, Celldweller, Electric Callboy, Devin Townsend
Next upcoming shows:
15.12.2023 – The Packhorse Leeds w/ Stray Weather & Pulverise
23.12.2023 -Groove Pad Shipley (club night show)

Can be found on the following platforms:
Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

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