Terra: Band Of The Day

By on 1 April 2015


With UK black metal going from strength to strength at the moment, you’ll probably be hearing a lot more about Cambridge’s Terra in the coming months if their astonishingly well realised debut album is anything to go by. The three lengthy tracks on offer here (all untitled, because names are for posers) are highly reminiscent of bands like Wolves In The Throne Room or Ash Borer, not just because of their epic scope but also the earthy, organic quality that just pores out of the speakers. It’s pretty fucking savage at times too, with the piercing shrieks and devastating blasts often pushing this into Weakling levels of intensity, producing a stellar effort that’s just as worthy as Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, et al.

We caught up with drummer Luke Braddick (also of death metallers Obscene Entity) to find out more about the band’s writing process and, erm, the perils of go-karting…

WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Cambridgeshire
FOR FANS OF: Ash Borer, Winterfylleth, Weakling
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Untitled’ (2015)
WEBSITE: Facebook & Bandcamp

Could you tell us briefly how you all met and formed Terra?
Luke (Braddick, drums): “A mutual friend practically played cupid, Ryan and Olly have known each other and played together in various ways for years. I got asked on their behalf if I’d like to try out drumming for them and I declined at first. After being asked a second time, I thought ‘why not’. We had a month of rehearsals before our first show. It was a baptism of fire.”

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?
Luke: “A bit of both, Ryan (our guitarist) had material prepared, but once I had written drums and we physically made sense of it all together it kind of took it’s own form. Nothing was hugely premeditated; we all have our preferences and basically followed our instincts until it gelled.”

What kind of stuff are you and the rest of the band into? Who would you cite as influences?
Luke: “That’s a hard question to answer because our individual influences are all diverse and pretty eclectic so it wouldn’t be fair to pin it down to anything in particular. I’m not sure how much of those influences have subconsciously crept into what we have written either. There’s a lot of admiration for a lot of music, of course black metal bands both old and new are in there, but generally it extends pretty far away from it too.”

How does your writing process normally work out? Will you meet up with song ideas pretty much fully formed beforehand, or do you tend to jam stuff out a bit more?
Luke: “It usually begins with a segment of music with little overall context sent to me from Olly and Ryan. I try to capture the feel of it drum-wise as best I can, then we sort of build from that by listening to it and trying out ideas together at rehearsals. Some stuff sticks, some doesn’t. If it’s right, it snowballs pretty fast and ideas and changes get thrown in there right up until it’s committed to recording.”

Your debut album is sounding fantastic, what can you tell us about the record?
Luke: “Thank you. Matt Crawford of Numbskull Audio worked hard to find a sound that reflected our intent to shift between something raw and stripped-down to intricate and layered. We wanted to have something that established an identity we could grow and develop on and everybody involved worked hard to achieve that.”

Do you have any plans to tour in support of the album?
Luke: “Ideally we would, all focus has been directed towards getting the album out there, but that is certainly all part of it. If it’s doable, it will be done.”

What’s been your best moment as a band? And on the flipside, what’s been the worst thing to happen to you in music?
Luke: “The best moment so far was supporting Sonance and Torpor In London last year. Everything about the whole evening was spot-on, every band sounded huge and played amazing sets, the crowd was totally locked into it all too. The worst was probably when we supported Moss in Cambridge. Ryan had busted his ribs in a go-karting accident a few days beforehand so had to do the show completely out of it on medication in order to even physically cope doing vocals. Bad for him, hard not to be slightly hilarious for the rest of us, he was on another planet.”

What does the future have in store for Terra?
Luke: “In terms of what we can control, as much as possible, we are busy writing more material, refining our live performance and generally trying to push forward. The main thing with Terra is we ultimately aim to continue reaching into the core of ourselves to create something of some substance. Everything else is up to fate.”

About Kez Whelan

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