Hailing from south Wales Triaxis are a traditional five piece heavy metal band that don’t pretend to be anything else just to follow a trend. They’ve built a reputation for producing the sort of undiluted horn throwing metal that has never really gone out of fashion.
Their brand new album Zero Hour is once again a purists dream. Gary Trueman picked up the phone and had a chat with guitarist CJ about the new record, her recent wedding and what playing Bloodstock festival means to the band.
How do you think your new album differs from your earlier records?
“I think it’s quite a natural progression from Rage And Retribution. It’s most like that album in the style of the songs in that there are some some heavy songs in there that are quite technical but there are one or two that are catchier like those that featured on the first album. ‘Liberty’, ‘Stand Your Ground’ and ‘Terraform’ are all quite uplifting, they’re traditional heavy metal. The track ‘Zero Hour’ is like nothing we’ve done before.”
You’ve got a new band member on bass, Becky Baldwin. What was it like recording with her for the first time and how has she changed the dynamic of the band?
“I’ve got nothing but good stuff to say about Becky, she’s a star. When we had a line-up change last May we were in the midst of writing Zero Hour, we had a handful of songs but we didn’t have a vision of what the whole album was going to be. When we were looking for a new bassist we had a lot of luck with Becky joining, there was an opportunity for her to put in a lot of her flavour in terms of the bass lines. We had a deadline and Becky was heavily involved in bringing some of the songs together. She was more involved with Zero Hour than we originally anticipated. It improved the album with her involvement. We didn’t know that when we were looking for a new bass player whether we were going to get someone who would come in and just learn the new album and it was fantastic that Becky was a very likeminded musician in terms of our vision and was keen and full of ideas.”
How do you think that traditional metal sound sits these days with all the various sub genres that are crowding the scene?
“There’s not as many bands that just do metal. Sometimes people love to put labels on bands, they want to put a label on us. We’re heavy metal. We’re a heavy metal band. Don’t get distracted by the fact that Krissie is female, don’t get distracted by the fact there are other girls in the band or that we have a traditional set up. With heavy metal bands there are influences from different genres, sometimes having that niche be it electronic or djent can create a hype that they’re new or different. Perhaps it’s a little harder for us, we’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just enjoying playing traditional heavy metal with our own little twist. We just write what we enjoy.”
The girls outnumber the boys in the band now by three to two. Has that changed the ownership of the tour bus in any way?
“Originally I was the only female in Triaxis being one of the founders, then we had a female singer and then Krissie replaced her. So it was me and Krissie and the guys and there has always been a great dynamic between the five of us. Sometimes you get bands where it’s always about the female singer or the virtuoso guitarist and we’re Triaxis, we’re a five piece, it’s about all of us. When we advertised for a new bass player the last thing we expected was to walk away with a female musician. Becky was the only female bass player that applied and when she came down and auditioned it suddenly clicked, the songs sounded sweet, we liked the bass tone and she got on with everybody. We’d found our bassist, it was an easy decision. She kicked the guys asses to be fair. The only difference is that the girls are in the triple room now instead of the guys when we stay at a travel lodge. It’s not like Glyn has lost a drinking buddy because Becky can out drink anyone on the bus. Being a West Country girl she can handle her cider”
With it going from three to two and now the same the other way round you could say you’re the perfect advert for gender equality and that it’s the music that counts and not the gender.
“It was quite a nice thing to happen that it’s worked out this way. Becky can rock out just as hard as any guy on stage. She and Glyn interact really well. We’ve just got a really good bass player that happens to be female.”
You got married recently to Triaxis drummer Giles. Did the band feature at all in the big day?
“I’ve always had this thing, I’ve had visions of me playing my guitar in my wedding dress and how cool that would be. On my wedding day I had my flying V. Music has been such a massive part of mine and Giles relationship. We founded Triaxis together all those years ago and with our close relationship with our band members it was always going to be somewhere on our wedding day. There were hints of it really then the big thing at the end. One of our wedding favours were plectrums which had our wedding date on them so our guests could have them. The tables at the reception were festivals, each one had a little memory of a festival written on them. In the evening Krissie and Glyn performed our first dance for us, an acoustic cover. Then Krissie did a couple of songs because she can sing anything really. Then we actually didn’t play any Triaxis I don’t think but we played a Bon Jovi song and we did an Abba cover. Then we played ‘Wasted Years’ by Iron Maiden because you’ve got to play a Maiden song and that was about the heaviest thing that was played.”
Are you touring the new album and have you got any festivals lined up?
“We do indeed. We’ve been touring the album since March before it was officially released. We did some dates out in Belgium and Holland and then some UK shows. We’ve got some fantastic festivals booked. We’ve got SOS coming up in July, we’re headlining the Friday and then we’re thrilled to be returning to Bloodstock this summer. This year we’re on the SOPHIE stage which we’re so excited about.”
You’re part of Rocksector Records which is a small independent label. Do you find it’s more of an extended family there rather than a big corporate machine like you might find at the big labels?
“Yeah they’re an independent UK based label, however they’ve helped us to get across to mainland Europe. I think independent labels are a good step for bands for sure.”
In the band you all seem to be fitness fanatics for some reason. Is there an odd one out?
“Yeah you might say so. We all like a laugh and do push ups in our hotel room. Krissie’s day job is as a personal trainer, she runs a fitness company. Giles and I are in to our fitness, we do Olympic lifting and Giles is really in to his mountain biking. Becky and Glyn not so much. Glyn has so much natural strength I don’t think he needs to work out. I think the strength must come from his hair.”
If you could pick any band for Triaxis to play with who would it be and why?
“It would be supporting a band like Iron Maiden or Iced Earth, Judas Priest, we all love those bands and they’re idols to us. That would be the ultimate goal, to have shared a stage with those guys.”
What has been the biggest achievement for the band so far?
“I think the biggest thing so far will have been playing the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock. Playing at Bloodstock has been an honour, we’ve got a lot of love for that festival”
You mentioned the SOPHIE stage. Do you think that the tragic loss of Sophie Lancaster and her mother Sylvia starting the foundation in her memory has in some ways worked to unify what some people call the alternative sub culture, the punks, metallers, goths etc?
“We’re big supporters of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, we’re thrilled with all the work that they do so it’s an honour to be on that stage and to be doing our bit I guess. That heavy metal and rock and punk family, we’re not alone, we all love this music and that’s what I love about festivals like Bloodstock. At Bloodstock you can walk around and feel like you’re not being judged because of how your hair is or what t-shirt you’ve got on. It’s a feeling that you can be at ease with other people. We’re really pleased that we can be a part of it this year.”
Triaxis Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Triaxis
Zero Hour is out now and can be ordered from Triaxis.BigCartel.Com