30th August 2017

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland


English melodic hard rockers The Darker My Horizon have hit the road in the UK in conjunction with veteran US Metallers Leatherwolf. MetalTalk caught up with singer/guitarist Paul Stead before they took the stage at the first gig in Edinburgh.

How did this tour with US veterans Leatherwolf come about?

"I saw that they were playing the Hair Metal Heaven festival in Hull and contacted Leatherwolf frontman Michael Olivieri and asked him if he was coming all that way for just one show? He replied 'At the moment, yes' so I said 'that's a long way to come for one show, let's try to sort you out some dates'. It then spiralled from a couple of dates to a week's tour."

All your idea then!

"Yes indeed."

As a band you guys have a foot in two camps, influenced by the old guard like Leatherwolf and also much newer bands like Alter Bridge. Do you think you lean one way or the other?

"We've found that we tend to work with quite a wide spectrum of bands; we can play with classic rock bands, we can play with nu-Metal bands and we can play with your more modern sounding hard rock bands. I'd say we have a foot in a few different camps.

"The one thing we really focus on is melody and I don't think any style of rock or Metal doesn't appreciate a bit of melody. We're heavy enough to work with the Metal bands, we're soft enough to work with the more modern bands. It's quite a nice position to be in.

"I consider us a rock band as opposed to a Metal band, a hair Metal band, a hard rock band or whatever."


Looking at your recent activity I found it interesting that after the release of your second album, 'No Superhero', you made your debut album, 'Acquiesce', available as a free download. What was the thinking behind that?

"We're very lucky because we've got studio facilities available to us. They are by no means free but we have recouped the outlay on 'Acquiesce' and we had so many nice reviews and it led to so many nice opportunities with bands we were fans of that at that point we thought, 'well we've made our money back'.

"We're not in it for the money so we made it free to download and all we asked for was that people would share it around. Then we'd turn up at gigs and people would tell us they've been listening to the album for months and we love it and it certainly has opened a few doors for us."

So do you think that making it available for free has worked for you?

"I would say it hasn't hurt. I would say a lot of people still want something for nothing so a lot of people have downloaded it and not told the world about it. At the very least you'd think that they'd try and spread the word in the interest of what we're doing.

"We want opportunities rather than money and the more people that are talking about us the more opportunities we get. So that's essentially our game plan, get it heard and people will hopefully enjoy what we're doing. The more people chatting about us hopefully the more opportunities come our way."

The problem these days with so many bands out there is getting yourself heard.

"It's funny you should say that as because we don't fit into any particular genre, we don't aim for one particular genre we want to be considered as so we can market to those people and become a big fish in a small pond. It's a small pond so that's exactly right; that is the problem.

"So we're between a rock and a hard place to be quite frank. We can try getting pigeonholed which is what we don't want or we have the really hard slog to reach all of the people we can. But we're not afraid of hard work."

You have a third album coming out soon. What's the title?

"'Seize The Day'"

When will that be coming out?

"We don't know. We're actually talking to a few record labels so we don't know the best way to release it yet or who is the best person to release it. We have a very single minded game plan as I said earlier.

"No matter of big names, no matter of money that is thrown at us, no matter of anything that is offered to us, we'll say that if one out of ten like it, it's got to be heard by a million people. It's as simple as that. If five out of ten like it we just got five hundred thousand fans.

"The aim is simply to get heard and we'll go down the route of releasing the new album in the way that we think is best for us. We haven't ruled out releasing it ourselves."

Are you playing some songs from 'Seize The Day' in your set on this tour?

"We're playing one song, 'Sleaze', which is the opening track on the album."

What can TDMH fans expect on this tour?

"Well as you can imagine, with Leatherwolf being an old school Metal band, we've gone for a slightly less poppy set. We're doing the more hard rock numbers but still full of melodic stuff which is what we do.

"We've got fast ones, we've got slow ones, we've got big chorus ones and we've got some heavy riffing ones. I think that the Leatherwolf fans will appreciate what we're doing; well, I hope so."

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