Triaxis are a 5-piece heavy metal band from South Wales. They formed in 2006. They recently released their second album, ‘Rage and Retribution’ on Rocksector Records. The album was engineered by Chris Fielding (Primordial/Winterfylleth.) Triaxis were a big hit at their appearance at Bloodstock in 2009 and also in 2012. They have previously played Hammerfest, in 2011.
At this year’s Hammerfest – Episode V “In Fear of the Dragon” in Pwllheli, RAMzine chatted with Krissie (vocals) and CJ (Rhythm guitar) from the band, about performing to the crowd, being nominated for awards, and their plans for the future.
RAMzine: How important is it for you to represent Wales here at Hammerfest?
“Well, although we’re a Welsh-based band, not all of us are Welsh… So we don’t actually represent Wales. But we do love gigging in Wales, and we really love doing the South Wales scene. We’ve had some great shows in North Wales as well …”
RAMzine: You played Bloodstock Open Air 2012? What memories have you got?
“Yeah. We played an acoustic set. Acoustic is not our natural environment… You know, we’re about stage distortion, full pelt – and all that. But it was nice to be asked to do something a little bit different, so we spent some time re-working some of our songs – because some songs just work if you play them acoustically and others, you know – don’t. [Laughs.] You know, some solos, technical drumming, all that. But it meant that we could do some nice harmonies together … So, really we just some stripped back songs.’
RAMzine: We were really impressed with the acoustic guitar in your earlier acoustic set. There seemed (for us) to be more focus on the guitar. And the harmonies sounded excellent.
“Ah cool. Yeah, we have noticed that the focus seems to return to the guitar. And, yeah, it was the same at Bloodstock. Bloodstock’s really a lovely festival. You kinda know [when your are playing] about what it stands for, and what the people go there for. It was just a fantastic atmosphere, you know, right up there with our favourite festivals.”
“Yeah, we think they’re the most energetic crowd we’ve seen so far! They were just really brilliant. There was a group of boys to the right of the stage, from our perspective, and they were just giving it everything they had. They were … Fist punching … Shouting and … And all three of them were singing all the words. There were so many faces – that I didn’t recognise – singing all the words – and singing all of them so passionately as well – you know, it’s not just like, oh I know this one. You know …
And there was this lady going off … a blonde lady. Oh, she was just singing along, arms out, and just really in the moment. It’s really encouraging and it makes us all grin, we’re grinning right now, even … It makes us have a great time on stage, because we feed off their energy and them seeing us having a good time …”
RAMzine: Exactly. Most musicians agree that it’s important to have a good audience – but we say that sometimes the audience needs a good audience!
“Yeah. Sometimes the people at the back say to themselves, “Oh! Obviously this is quite good” – (but they don’t know why.) But when they see everyone coming forwards and getting involved, then it starts to infect the whole crowd. There are always people who kinda lurk near the back (especially in long narrow venues) and it takes the enthusiasm from the whole crowd, to really get the whole room moving. We normally try to coax them to come forward, but it is the audience that pushes it all along.”
RAMzine: We heard that Krissie was short-listed for front person of the year award. So what happened?
Both: “Yeah, Ginger Wildheart won it!”
Krissie: “So, he was on stage in Paris at the time, and so he couldn’t accept the award. I did say, you know, I’ll take it for him [Laughing] … But no, em, I knew as soon as I saw Ginger’s name on the short-list [I knew that he would get it.] But it was just a real honour to be short-listed anyway …”
CJ: “We were really pleased and really proud. You know, it meant a lot to our fans – ‘cos it means that people are taking notice of us a bit more”
RAMzine: Krissie, were you ready to win it?
Krissie: “Yeah! I’d even prepared my acceptance speech. [Laughing] As you do, just in case … Who’m I gonna thank? Mum… The usual thing. But the one thing I really wanted to say – most of all – is that to be a front person you’ve got to have something to front. So, if you haven’t got a band you’re just a singer … You’re just a person. So if I had won that award… then it wasn’t just for me – it was for the guys as well because …”
Krissie: “I can’t be a front person without them and they give me so much. They give me great music to put lyrics to, and great songs to sing so …”
CJ: “She’s gonna make me cry … Ah, I love this girl.”
RAMzine: Tell us about your song-writing process.
“There’s a couple of different ways … It varies how we write really. Everyone’s kinda of got their own little preference. On ‘Rage and Retribution’ every song had a bit of everyone in it … in some way.
For example, Owen, our bassist, prefers (it’s just the way he ends up writing) to come to the table with pretty much a full, final, song. He has everything from lyrics and bass, right through to drums, guitars, and melodies. Then we go, right, okay, what do we think of this bit and we might re-work, or tweak a few of the lyrics …
… But on the whole that’ll be the way it is. And then, you know, I kinda work a bit more. I like this riff, what can we do with it, or I’ve got an idea for a song, you know, like a theme or some lyrics or melody… and then work together and em, so it kinda varies. But everyone wrote lyrics on this album …
And it was really nice because, when we sat down, we had the ideas together. Like when we wrote ‘Point’, CJ came up with an idea, she wanted to do a song that embraced the atmosphere of the Peninsula – of the Sker Point in South Wales – and she wanted a song that could embrace that, because there’s so many good stories about that peninsula …
Tramps and tragedies … And she said Oh! I want a bit of this, I want a bit of that and I thought well there was a shipwreck there in ‘47 right, so we just started writing. And then we just kinda got the lyrics … And we switched it round and we played with it for about three weeks – coming back and forth with ideas to each other … I think we work quite well together.
The boys worked really hard as well, you know, Glyn and Owen especially. They were very passionate about song writing. We were pleased with how the songs came out.”
RAMzine: What else have you got planned for your year then?
“We’ve been doing a sort of mini-tour. We had a bunch of dates, didn’t we? Then this sort of leg is a bit more hap-hazard, a couple of dates here, and a couple of dates there. We’ve got some big ones coming up though. We’ve got Wizzfest next weekend, in Belgium. Then we’re going to do something called ‘Summer Rock’ back in Belgium, em, more towards Brussels-way in August.
But the really big gig – the one that we’re all really looking forward to – is coming up in April – when we open for Queensrÿche in Manchester …”
RAMzine: How does that feel?
“Ohhhhhh … Fantastic. [To be honest] We may be a little bit in fan-girl territory here [Both laugh]
No, we were chuffed, really chuffed, to be chosen. And it’s gonna be great. We always have a good gig in Manchester as well. We love the guys up there, so we’re looking forward to that. It’s not very long, it’s not very far away.
And then, after that, we’re going back to Scotland, playing LesFest … That’s a great line up. There’s quite a few bands [up there] that we know, so it’s gonna be a real party atmosphere.”
Fantastic. Thank you, Triaxis.