Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Conjurer – ‘Yeah, so I’ve got this little party trick…’ – Bloodstock 2021

Bloodstock saw many great things, our first major, full on festival, bands new and old rocking like Covid wasn’t ever an issue, and catch up with bands to talk about returning to the stage, life at home without shows, injuries, and in this case, the odd famous comedian as a fan! Saturday at Bloodstock had us blast away hangovers early on with bands like Conjurer who we were lucky enough to collar and have a chat with post-set. As a must-see band so early, we couldn’t miss such a chance and spoke with bassist Conor about all things Conjurer.

Ramzine: Well, I guess the first question…How?!

Conor: How…Are we referring to the giant bump on my head?

Ramzine: …It’s only a slight golf ball!

Conor: Haha! Yeah, so I’ve got this little party trick, just a little, little stupid showpiece in the last riff of our last song with Conjurer where I’ll jump off and go play bass in the crowd. Umm, this particular time as I hopped the barrier, my bass strap pinged off and there was basically an awkward struggle of trying to play the bit holding my bass and whatnot. So I ended up kinda kneeling on the ground with the focus on the playing still for some reason headbanging, and yeah, for some reason headbanging right into my bass. One good whack and yeah, I’ve been marked!

Ramzine: You are feeling alright though? It is a size!

Conor: A slight headache, but I feel like that’s expected, uhh, not concussed as far as I’m aware…so I’ll take it!

Ramzine: That’s always good! So other than the mishap, how did you enjoy your set? I could see from the start of the set when you were all just looking at your name on the backdrop that you liked that very much didn’t you!

Conor: Yeah! It was good!! As soon as we found out it was an LED screen and not our normal drop, the other guys decided it would be funny and said they wanted to do comic sans, which I was wholeheartedly against! And so I spent some time yesterday and last night putting together that backdrop so yeah, I was the proud dad looking up when our name came up and thought ‘yeah, I smashed that! That looks great!’ and then the set that followed afterward was just as great as well!

Ramzine: It sound really heavy from right down in front and just as good as the work in the studio for what it’s worth, talking of which, is there anything in the works? It’s been a while since Mire came out.

Conor: Yeah, it’s done, it’s all mixed, mastered and we’ve got it, but it’s just like the whole release side of it, with all the vinyl shortage, we’re with nuclear blast now which we are very fortunate and lucky to have, but they can’t put a date to it essentially until they’ve got some idea of what is going on either with the vinyl thing, or they want assets in terms of final artwork, music videos…so we are in the very boring business stage of it, it’s done, we’re so proud of it and want to share it with everyone but we just can’t. So as far as the studio was concerned, we did it over the pandemic, but just had no idea when we could get it out which is always the most frustrating part anyway, even when you’ve got a release date and say it’s like four months away, it’s the worst four months of life! Whereas now it is indefinite until we can put a stamp on it.

Ramzine: Wow, that must effectively feel like being stuck in a lockdown again surely?

Conor: Exactly! Pretty much yeah! With the whole vinyl thing as well, we don’t really see it getting much better, so we need to get in quick, but that’s not possible until we get the other bits, and then trying to organize all four of us for when we’ve all got days off work and all available is like its own battle, but that is the boring side of it that no one sees.

Ramzine: Talking of that, how did you all cope through lockdowns and everything that it brought?

Conor: Touchwood, we all did okay, with our jobs we are all very fortunate where none of us got furlough or anything like that, uhh, Dan the guitar player works for his family business and they had to close, but they were able to see it through as they’re established enough and that is all fine. So compared to how it’s been for some people, we’ve nothing to complain about. Obviously not ideal for anyone either, but we’re all fine, just really wanting to get out and do gigs really! But yeah, touch wood, everyone is happy, healthy, and making it out the other side relatively unscathed (other than the forehead), just a year and a half behind on where we would have been otherwise. But that’s the same for everyone so it is in no way a boohoo us type thing, I think some people would have had it so much harder, we can’t even begin to complain to be honest.

Ramzine: I can relate to that, the whole not being able to shoot shows is the same thing, it got depressing but not as bad as it has been for some!

Conor: Yeah it was like a 50/50, on one hand, I missed this more than anything, on the other hand, it was kind of nice, limited as it was through lockdowns and stuff, to have a “normal life” for a bit, but no, that pretty quickly wears off and like you say, it’s just stressful right? Not being able to do what you really want to do, but I’m glad you stuck it out man! Hopefully, things get rolling again and it definitely becomes worth it in the long run.

Ramzine: It did have a weird limbo situation, it was an option of I could jack it in and never do it again, or just see how it goes, if it isn’t there then it isn’t there.

Conor: Yeah, we can always decide to stop later, but for now we are all seeing it through, and if you happen to stop for your own reasons later, fine. Rather than having it taken away from you that way.

Ramzine: How has that time off gone with everyone what with the families having you at home and not on the road?

Conor: Yeah, we obviously tour but it isn’t like we are away eight months of the year or anything like that, again partly because of having day jobs and that sort of thing, so the only other real difference other than being home all the time, was so, we were on tour when it all kicked off like properly, and the world came to a standstill, we were on tour supporting Carbomb in Germany, and it was already showing before the tour started, certain dates would drop off in Italy with them being one of the first to have it, but yeah we played something like four shows in Germany, woke up the next morning ready to go to Prague and basically got told no! I think it was when America had basically started to shut the borders and obviously Carbomb being American, they were definitely very much needing to go home as they can’t take the risk. Which we completely understand and support them in doing, so we drive home all the way from Germany, my girlfriend had come to visit, and in that time, one of her family members fell ill, but it was very early on, so they suspected that they probably had it, but at the time, they were just ill and didn’t know, so she ended up staying at mine to stay away from them and stay safe. Then lockdown happened. So the only difference has been I’ve ended up living in my small home in a single bedroom at my parents for a year and a half, but I think my parents prefer her to me so the family is fine with it haha!

Ramzine: Well it definitely is going to make or break a relationship!

Conor: Well this is it! So we’ve been a proper couple together for maybe three months before we were thrust into that, so very much if we can get through lockdown, then we’ll probably be alright, and touch wood, not to be cheesy, but we’re stronger than ever! Love birds, yeah!

Ramzine: Haha, glad to hear it! So slight tangent, did Ed Gamble make it out to see you?

Conor: Umm, I don’t know if he’s here actually.

Ramzine: Well, would he even hang around for the whole set if he was? I mean Clutch aren’t playing, so?

Conor: True! I would like to think, and I don’t know, but I would like to think, if he didn’t have any other interests, then yeah he would see our full set but yeah, you’re absolutely right. He did flake us off halfway for Clutch at download.

Ramzine: Haha, I wasn’t going to let that slide! Although, it was Clutch…

Conor: I understand! However! My mother was in the exact same position, she likes Clutch a lot as well and was annoyed that of course, they clashed with us, because that was the first time we played download, so a huge thing for us and for her to see her son and all that. Her and my dad happened to end up stood next to Ed Gamble, and recognized him from the television and she turned to my dad asking if that was Ed Gamble. So when she saw him leave, she grassed him up immediately to us!

Ramzine: As mums do…

Conor: Yeah of course! And so she should, rightfully so! And so we then tweeted him saying about it, and they met at a show in Nottingham which my mum was also at, and they exchanged words, but no, I would like to think he would have stuck around, I don’t know if he is here, probably not, probably too big and famous.

Ramzine: Well, you’d like to think he would have let you know if he was!

Conor: Well exactly, yeah, yeah, yeah. As far as I’m aware, not here, would he stick around? Honestly? 50/50, you’re right, it depends what’s on.

Ramzine: Hahaha! Talking of what’s on, have you guys been about all weekend or made any plans to hang about?

Conor: Some of us but not all of us, Brady our guitarist, he came yesterday, so not got the full event but yeah he caught yesterday to see a few bands, that sort of thing. The rest of us have just turned up for the day, as for tomorrow, I’m currently undecided! I got some friends playing tomorrow in Bleed From Within, obviously, I’m in a band with Ali (Drummer) Sylosis who were meant to be here…

Ramzine: Yeah I’m gutted about that!

Conor: Yeah, same! Umm, I might pop down just to see him and a few other of the great bands that are on, but I’ve no idea! A bare minimum, I’m here for all of today and then maybe some extra, but none of us have been here for the full slog.

Ramzine: Well I guess lastly then, how have you actually taken in the whole experience of Bloodstock?

Conor: Yeah! It’s weird! It’s odd, we were lucky enough to play that download pilot and so kind of got a sense of it there, where it was absolutely weird being back, but everybody slots right into it like nothing ever happened, so it is kind of like that, it’s weird to be at a festival and to be around this many people but it also feels like nothing ever changed, so yeah, you take the rough with the smooth, but ultimately it’s a positive thing and everybody is happy to be back here, we’re happy to be back playing and getting to see friends we haven’t seen for years because of the pandemic. So a positive experience for Bloodstock 2021, and I hope everybody else is having the same thing.

Ramzine: Yeah! Touch wood!

Conor: Haha! Yeah, I’m sorry if anyone has had a rough time haha!

Ramzine: Well, it’s a festival, like you say, rough with the smooth!

Conor: Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s never going to be perfect, but it’s pretty great considering we’ve not had it right?

Ash Crowsonhttp://www.acrowsonphotography.co.uk
RAMzine Senior Contributor - Guitarist, photographer, geek, gamer, full on metalhead and allround barfly, if i'm not at work, a gig or studying for my degree, you'll find me at the bar! A fascination with second world war history and military aviation. All with a very dry humour to round me off!

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