Ulcerate & Bell Witch Begin UK Tour This Thursday

By on 5 October 2015


New Zealand tech-death trio Ulcerate begin their UK tour with funeral doom duo Bell Witch and UK death metallers Ageless Oblivion in London this Thursday, before calling at Brighton, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Bristol over the following two weeks.

Despite hailing from opposite ends of the extreme metal spectrum, we have a feeling Ulcerate and Bell Witch are going to make fine touring partners. Bell Witch’s crushing, mournful ‘Four Phantoms’ is undoubtedly one of the best doom records of the year, and Ulcerate are still riding high after 2013’s ‘Vermis’, a dense, harrowing blast of abrasive, Gorguts-esque death metal. We got in touch with Ulcerate’s Jamie Saint Merat and Bell Witch’s Dylan Desmond to find out more about this unlikely union…

You’re both undoubtedly heavy bands, but creating music that’s very different to each other; What drew you to choosing to tour with each other? Have you met/played together before?
Jamie Saint Merat (Ulcerate, drums): “We’re just huge fans of intense, sincere extreme music, regardless of genre niche. So when given the opportunity to pick bands to tour with us, we will always go with our gut and pick bands that we know will be great tour partners, both on a musical and personal level. Mostly it’s about putting together incredible shows with like-minded individuals, we all share tastes and influences so it’s a no-brainer really. The two of our bands haven’t played together yet, but we met on Ulcerate‘s last North American tour in Seattle when we played Dylan’s venue Highline. Hit it off instantly and vowed to tour together at some point in the near future.”

Dylan Desmond (Bell Witch, bass/vocals): “We met in Seattle when Ulcerate played at Highline a year or so back and had a lot of fun. At some point in the night, a life sized-cardboard cutout of a male stripper with Luke Perry’s face glued onto it made it’s way into the room, to a bit of surprise from the New Zealanders. From there, we kept in touch as pictures of Mr. Perry were sent back to us from all over the US and Europe, which followed their arrival in Seattle. He seemed to age fast with all the bending and folding into suitcases, but I’m hoping at least his head or an arm might make it for this tour. While our styles are dynamically different, I think there is a similar direction or even feeling behind everything albeit with a different approach. I think both bands have “progressive” elements. Further, while both bands fit into an established genre, both are equally unique in said genre.

If you had to sum up what gig-goers can expect from you on this tour in just a few words, what would you go with?
Dylan: “I expect each show will be quite dynamic with the amount of notes that come out during an Ulcerate set as compared to the amount of space laid during a Bell Witch set. In my opinion, shows with variety such as these will surely be are always my personal favourites.”

Jamie: “Full-spectrum audio annihilation.”

And if you had to do the same for your tour mates, how would you pitch them to our readers?
Dylan: “Ulcerate is transcendental while being clutching and aggressive, also chaotic while being perfectly calculated and direct.”

Jamie: “Earthy, expansive and crushingly sombre doom.”

Are there any particular cities on the tour that you’re looking forward to visiting? Have you had a chance previously to sample the delights that the UK tourist industry has to offer?
Jamie: “Returning to the cities that we’ve played before (London, Birmingham, Edinburgh) will be great obviously, and to properly branch out to the other cities is going to be killer. This time we have a little more time on our hands, so it’s going to be great to experience the UK properly. We’ll definitely be trying to squeeze in some site-seeing for sure.”

Dylan: “I’ve spent too much time during tours sitting in a van with my nose in a book or my eyes in my phone. This time I want to do touristy things like take pictures of Stone Henge, every body of water or interesting thing that I wouldn’t see in the US. I’m going to embrace my inner tourist. I’m especially excited to see Scotland, as I’ve never been that far North.”

Post-tour, what does the rest of the year have in store for you?
Jamie: “We’re straight into hibernation mode for the next few months as we look to finish work on the next album. We’re almost 6 tracks in writing-wise and we’ve been pre-producing here and there so the next few months will be tightly focused for sure.”

Dylan: “We’re continuing on after the UK dates with Ulcerate to Spain/Portugal with Monarch! and into Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland,, and Czech w/ Ortega until early November, when we fly into Brooklyn and play Martyrdoom. In early December we depart with Wrekmeister Harmonies (we’ll be performing as their rhythm section as well as Bell Witch) down the US West Coast and Midwest. We’re honoured to be part of all these great tours/runs with so many great bands.”

The full list of tour dates is as follows:

08.10.2015 London – Nambucca (Facebook event page)
09.10.2015 Brighton – Green Door Store (Facebook event page)
10.10.2015 Leeds – Temple of Boom (Facebook event page)
11.10.2015 Nottingham – Chameleon Arts Cafe (Facebook event page)
12.10.2015 Birmingham – Asylum 2 (Facebook event page)
13.10.2015 Manchester – Star & Garter (Facebook event page)
14.10.2015 Edinburgh – Bannermans (Facebook event page)
15.10.2015 Glasgow – Audio (Facebook event page)
16.10.2015 Newcastle – Northumberland Arms (Facebook event page)
17.10.2015 Bournemouth – The Anvil (Facebook event page)
18.10.2015 Bristol – The Exchange (Facebook event page)

Advance tickets for each of these shows are available here

You can find Ulcerate and Bell Witch on Facebook

About Kez Whelan

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