MASON HILL have recently signed with Frontiers and release their debut album early next year. Having recently supported fellow label mates Inglorious at their London show, GRTR! caught up with James Bird (Lead Guitar) and Scott Taylor (Vocalist)…
Congratulations on being signed recently to Frontiers guys. How did this come about and when can we expect your debut album?
JAMES: “Thank you very much Jason! We signed a management deal with Shock City and becoming signed was definitely one of our main goals. Together we reached out to Frontiers with our self-titled EP (originally released in late 2015), and they came back loving it. From there on we spent many months carefully talking over contracts and deals along with our lawyer, until we just recently finally put pen to paper.”
SCOTT: “Jason.. We really couldn’t be happier and are so excited that our debut album will be released by a label such as Frontiers, who have so many bands that we love! The album will be released in the first half of 2018.”
You’ve just recently supported fellow label mates Inglorious this month. What sort of set did you pick and is this your first show in London?
JAMES: “This was the debut show in London for Mason Hill. We’d been rehearsing relentlessly to ensure we gave a great performance, and it was a really great show.”
SCOTT: “Inglorious are certainly ‘THE’ band right now. For those that do not know us, our set is a rollercoaster of emotions, with a blend of heavy, hard hitting rock along with some powerful melodic rock. We really worked hard in rehearsals to try and iron out any weak points and I hope it worked. I’m sure there is room for improvement like anything, but we were really excited and happy with the support slot with them, and I hope people saw that!”
You have been building a good reputation with your live shows winning the HRH event and playing festivals, plus a recent sold out show in Edinburgh. How have you built your following up and does social media help a lot in getting the band and your music more known?
JAMES: “Yeah, many different kinds of shows can have massive impact on a bands profile, but without the use of internet and social media, a band can be forgotten easily! Social media has been a huge asset, which has allowed us to, in many cases, be discovered for the first time.”
“Whilst our online content is very weak at the moment, due to the fact we have no album (yet!), even when people get onto the likes of Facebook and give the page a like it, spreads through to their friends and acts like a ripple effect. To put it simply, we have just been gigging and making sure we make full use of networking, connecting with fans and people who enjoyed our set.”
SCOTT: “Yes, the response has really grown after every gig we do. It’s truly amazing and we are truly honoured that people are taking to the band. Winning ‘Highway To Hell’s’ competition was amazing; even though we valued being part of it and we were networking more so than 1st place, actually winning was awesome!
This led us to open up the main stage of HRH. We were on at 1:30pm in the afternoon; at the start there must have been about 50 people, but as we progressed through the set and the lights came on, it was just packed from front to back. We couldn’t believe our eyes: it would be fair to say chances like that has been increasing our following massively. Social media is a great tool for bands like us these days, and if used well can be a major asset to attracting an audience.”
Is the live scene picking up for newer bands like Mason Hill as Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris recently commented it is getting harder for newer bands to break through?
JAMES: “He is still in many ways correct; it has been far from easy for us. It can be difficult physically and emotionally, but when you reach moments like we have had; playing with Inglorious, recently being signed to Frontiers, etc, it makes everything worthwhile.
This is our passion at the end of the day, but seeing it becoming successful in various ways just enforces why we do it. I’m not sure if it’s getting ‘harder’ for people, but it certainly is difficult. I think the most important thing to do, before starting a band, is making sure the songs are good. People won’t be interested unless you peek their interest through the quality of music you provide.”
SCOTT: “I would say that if the determination is there then you can do well in the current scene for live music. We always hear stories about how it was better back in the day, and maybe that’s true, but we have to live with and focus on what’s available in the present day.
We are a proven example of five guys gigging relentlessly, talking to as many people as we can, and getting our music out to as many people as possible. Through doing that, we’ve reached a point where we are now being given a chance via the Frontiers Record label. The rewards will come through hard work and sensible decision making.”
What would the band like to have achieved by this time next year?
SCOTT: “We would have definitely liked to have made the best album we possibly can. From now until next year, that is where our main focus will be to ensure we provide a high quality debut album.”
JAMES: “A tour would be nice at some point too, but yeah, I agree with Scott, and think we speak on behalf of the whole band. Our main focus right now is making sure the album lives up to the hype that is steadily building around us.”
Message for your fans…
SCOTT: “Without fans there is no band, so we just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has followed us from the very beginning; and to those that have only just discovered us. The support is so vital for bands like us to exist, so as I say, I can’t express enough how grateful the rest of the guys and I are to all of you! Thank you!”
Gig review (London, 19 May 2017)
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Power Plays w/c 6 November
SALVATION JAYNE Juno (indie)
STRAWBS The Nails Of The Hands Of Christ (Esoteric Antenna)
7 MILES TO PITTSBURGH Same Sized Soul (indie)
ELECTRIC DUCKS Something In Your Eyes (Store For Music)
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12:00-13:00 VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS Mk II (Mascot)
14:00-16:00 SAMANTHA FISH Belle Of The West (Ruf Records)
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