Ladies and gents, we recently had the incredible opportunity to catch up with Frankie from She Must Burn, and we’re so excited to share it with you!
You have an incredibly unique blend of sounds, could you give a short description of your sound for potential new listeners?
We do, although we are generally described as Blackened Deathcore. We have deathcore elements, we have symphonic elements and Black metal elements too. We also have both male and female vocals. Really brings that beauty and the beast dynamic.
Looks like the last show you played was at the Black Heart in London, how was that?
A great show actually! It was our first with our new lineup. We sold the place out. The supports were amazing, the crowd was amazing. Can’t ask for any more than that!
Line-up changes are always scary! However, yours seems to have gone very smoothly and is being received very well! Anything you’d like to share from that experience?
It was scary in some ways but by the time the music was recorded and the video was made and we had put so much into it, it became more exciting as time went on. We are all really passionate about what we have created together and the journey has brought us together in ways I didn’t think were possible. It really solidifies that confidence me and James initially had when we decided to continue this on after personal matters took the time and passion for music away from the older members. But when that started to happen, me and James set out to reform the band to make it what it was supposed to be. As we found new members, Valis and Kyle and Jack, who has been writing the music for us since before he was even in the band officially, the idea of what the band was evolved and gained something that I really feel is special.
Jack Higgs is an amazing guitarist and musician, he really knows how to capture that element of the band that makes us who we are but has built on it so strongly, that this next album has taken on a life of its own as well. His composing of orchestration has also added a beautiful layer of depth that was never there before.
Kyle Lamb’s voice and vocal versatility opens up so many options when we are recording. I don’t know how we could have gotten this far without him being there since the beginning. He really has delivered something truly unique for this record. He is going to blow people’s minds when they hear him.
Valis Volkovas has a voice of an angel, but she could rip your heart out. And that’s exactly what we needed. To cut through the noise and stand out both on record and during live performances, we needed what we began to think didn’t exist. Power and elegance that can cut through even the most frantic and brutal of riffs. Valis brings that to the table and more.
The fans have loved the new lineup as well. We have had an incredible response. The whole experience has gone completely the opposite of what anyone could expect. But we knew as soon it started piecing together!
We’re so excited to hear the new album! Could you give us a hint when it’s coming?
That’s great, I can’t wait for you to hear it either. It’s supposed to be this summer but with the COVID situation it may fall back a little but that depends on factors outside of our control. we are doing what we can to keep this productivity up so hopefully everything else will remain unchanged too. Everyone will be hearing more soon. Very soon.
Music videos are clearly very important to She Must Burn, anything interesting to share from the making of ‘Of Blood & Bone’?
Yeah sure, we filmed it in an abandoned and supposedly haunted, asylum in Liverpool. Delightful place. We actually had to leave the set slightly earlier because the crew for most haunted, or something like that, turned up for filming. Hopefully, after 8 hours of that song on repeat, we really rattled the cages of the spirit world. He might have actually seen a ghost for change.
We really love filming videos. It gives you a chance to be creative or work with other creative people and put a piece of your music into the imagery of it, too. Growing up, back in 2002 up to about 2007, music videos helped develop my taste in music. Watching Scuzz and Kerrang every day. It was really my only access to music in those days, same for most people of that era I would assume. Videos are underestimated, I think. Plus it’s best to have as many forms of media as you can these days.
How would you describe the London scene right now, any unique challenges or advantages there?
It feels like we have been away from it forever. Our last tour was the US and our show after that was Download Fest. But judging by how the last London show went, it looks as though the scene is still as alive as ever. We will upgrade the venue next time and try and sell that out too! Being away for nearly 3 years really knocks you out of the loop.
I saw you hit 1 million streams on Spotify alone in December of last year, that’s amazing! Is there any advice you’d like to share for smaller artists trying to get their music heard?
Yeah just leave Spotify on repeat overnight, playing your own songs. I’m just kidding, I don’t know if that actually works. Might be a good idea? How we got so many plays is by getting on playlists, some cost money, not a lot but if you have a PR or manager then they might do that for you. If you manage yourself, then you can submit your songs yourself. Find out who runs the playlists and contact them. The more playlists you are on, the more playlists will add you to theirs and it snowballs from there.
The latest quote I saw for this sort of thing was 100 pounds, through a PR company. 3 weeks worth of submitting to playlists. 5 band members, 20 pounds each, cheapest investment ever. By the end of the month you could have 1000s of plays. In our case when we first started, I think it was about 30,000 and a record deal. Maximum reward if you want to be heard and you’re brand new. You don’t hear many bands talking about investing in the band for marketing and I think that’s what puts people off. It is almost seen as negative. But all businesses invest and if you want to play music as a career it has to be seen as a business. It depends on whether this is for fun or you want to tour the world. It is what you make it, I guess. All the biggest bands pay money for marketing, whether they say they do or don’t. Do not confuse this with ‘selling out’. You can love your music and still check 20 quid on a Facebook ad and play to 50 more people and make triple that money back at least. It’s not a choice between the two. If you are really really broke. There are free playlists, do that first, see how it goes! The first few weeks of a release can decide the success of a band, if it’s done right it can change your life. It did mine.
Who’s the favorite band to tour/play with?
Cradle of Filth, were amazing. So much fun. But the Carnifex tour in the states was crazy. We had 5 bands traveling together for 45 days. With about 30 people in total. It was absolute chaos. It was a 6-week party with no way of stopping until the end. We played 43 shows in 45 days. 2 days off of playing shows. Traveled from one side of the states to the other. It was our first huge tour. Maybe it was just us partying, I can’t remember, its all a bit fuzzy.
Merch is so important to bands these days, could you explain your approach towards it?
We take inspiration from popular merch designers at that time. Look at the style, it’s pretty much been that killstar/blackcraft vibe that whole time. Think about what music you play. Look at what other bands of your genre are selling. That will tell you what your fans will likely buy. Learn from the experience of other bands. Doing that has meant we’ve never had a bunch of stuff printed that didn’t sell.
There are talented people that can design for you too. Especially students, which was the case when we first started out. They don’t want loads of money so it’s affordable and you can also fund someones food whilst they study. Instagram is the place to look.
If someone in the band is good at photoshop or illustrator, even better. But if they ask for 50% of the money for each sale in return for the design, tell them to f*off.
Since social media is basically the only way of staying in touch with fans, especially right now, do you guys plan on doing any live streams or something similar while shows aren’t an option?
I wish I could say yes but as of yet, no plans. We have talked about it but we are focusing on remote recording sessions etc so we can get the album done as soon as we can and release more music! Maybe soon!
So other than the album, what can we look forward to from She Must Burn for 2020?
New singles at the very least. We are just finishing up 2 new songs that we plan to release very soon. They bring out the blackened elements of our previous album, Grimoire that people have been desperate to hear.
Hopefully, by the end of the year, we can play live again but we will see!
In a fantasy world where the world is open for business and money isn’t a problem, what would the ultimate She Must Burn show look like?
A Theatre show with theatrical set pieces and pyrotechnics that bring our music and lyrics to life. And props that will give even Cradle of Filth a run for their money haha! Their stage show is amazing!
Shameless self-promotion time! For someone looking to check out She Must Burn for the first time, where do you think they should start?
Start with our new song! It’s our new lineup, it gives a taste of things to come. Then give grimoire a listen. Amalgamate the two in your mind and you may start to imagine what the next album is going to sound like. We cannot wait for everyone to hear it. We have all put a piece of our souls into this and it definitely shows.
Thanks for your time! And the merch drop at the London show! We love the stickers and I stole the pick. Much appreciated.