Exclusive Interview: Enquire Within talk “Rebirth”!
Combining elements of Thrash and Groove Metal with melodic leads, Enquire Within set sail on the seven seas of Metal in 2019 with the their debut album “Bloodlines” and never looked back. A couple of weeks ago they announced their return with a sophomore album in “Rebirth” which features not only a new bassist in Erim Ahmet and rhythm guitarist in Amelia P-White but also eleven new cuts to salivate over. So given just how good the new record is, it only seemed fair that we pulled a few strings and had a chat with them about everything that’s happened to them in the past 18 months…
You’ve been nothing short of prolific when it comes to releases since 2019’s “Bloodlines” and made the best possible use of the time when you couldn’t play shows by releasing a live in the studio album and a covers album. How did the ideas for those things come around and how have you found the reaction to those records? “Our Live at Hackney Road album came from a desire to give our fans the EnquireWithin live experience whilst being in the height of (one of the many) lockdowns. We’ve refined the tracks from Bloodlines over the course of our live shows, and Live at HRS really shows off how those songs have matured. We also wanted to introduce our new Guitarist and Bassist – Amelia and Erim. The idea for Under the Covers came from the positive reaction we had to HRS. We were in a time where a lot of bands (including us) were struggling from a lack of being able to play shows. We wanted to do something fun both for the band as well as for the people who continued to support us through that insane time. We each picked a song that we wanted to cover (plus the 2 covers we had played live) and ran with it. Recording those covers was a hugely rewarding and fun experience for us and people seemed to really love it”
Since “Bloodlines” there has been a line-up change with bassist Jon Cresswell and rhythm guitarist Phil White exiting stage left while rhythm guitarist Amelia P-White and bassist Erim Ahmet joined the band; how did you go about recruiting the new musicians and what do you feel they brought to the table on this new record?“It’s a bit of a sore spot for us honestly as it was really hard seeing Jon and Phil leave as we’d been together for the best part of 4 years. We had known Amelia (previously from Inferno Noir) for the better part of a year by that point. We were friends and knew she wanted to play guitar. We invited her to practice to see how well things would gel and it all just clicked. We think having her experience as a classical musician as well as her background in Thrash and more extreme subgenres has really widened our soundscape which we feel is a key part of the new record, ReBirth. Erim, on the other hand, was our producer throughout Bloodlines and knew the songs pretty well already having (often painstakingly) sat through our takes on some of those more complex tracks. We asked him to play bass and he, literally, jumped at the opportunity to help”
Having been a band with a reputation for playing everywhere from their Grandmothers Garage to Brixton Academy for the love of Metal, how challenging did you find not being able to play live during lockdown and how good did it feel to return to the stage? “We were lucky to play HRH Metal at the Birmingham 02 Academy in February 2020, so we were riding the high for about 5 minutes before the pandemic hit hard. We took a small break away from official band duty to make sure that we were all staying safe, looking after ourselves and the like during these unprecedented times. Coming back from that break we’d written 2 or 3 new tracks and upon realising that we weren’t going to be playing live any time soon we decided to start planning a live album. All of this is borne from a need to play live, when you’re up on stage it’s like being charged with electricity. Everything is heightened. Coming back to that in July was surreal, especially with it being at the Red Lion in Gravesend. It’s a venue we’ve played many times and it always feels like home, coming back there”
You plucked a trio of singles in “Get Out“, “Judgement” and “I Am Eternal” to release in advance of the album; all of which are stand out moments from the record; did you ever think that like an action movie you might be giving away too much in the commercial? What was the thinking behind those choices? “The three singles were chosen carefully. We wanted to give a good representation of the journey that we were taking fans on with ReBirth. We wanted to release Get Out first, it’s similar in tone to what we’ve done before so we wanted to reintroduce ourselves with something familiar. Judgement was a great track for us, it came together in such a way that when we heard it with the choirs, the dynamics and Amelia’s solo at the end we just had to share it. We weren’t too worried about spoiling the best parts of the record because we knew what was to come. Tracks like Annihilation March and the eponymous track ReBirth, there’s such a range there that we knew people would be just as excited as we were to hear the full album”
Lyrically there is something of an introspective thread running through the album with several mentions of inner demons across the record. Did you find putting those thoughts and feelings into “Rebirth” a cathartic experience? “Quite early on Jacob had the idea of where he wanted to go lyrically – a deep dive on the emotional spectrum of a tormented soul, and we started to write songs to fill in the gaps. We think that whilst that’s a very specific take on the lyrics, they were always focused on how trauma affects your health. We’ve all experienced bad days, and whilst this record goes to the extremes of how someone might react to that, there is something relatable in seeing the walls close in from time to time”
Now that you have career goals with a covers and live album nailed down as well as two of your own, what’s next for EnquireWithin? “Next for us is to hit the road and start the hard work all over again. We’ll be going on tour with the illustrious Helgrind for the first half of 2022, including some dates in Scotland and Wales, as well as working with Hard Rock Hell to play some of their festivals such as Hammerfest in Birmingham. A goal of ours is to play at Bloodstock, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that our stagecraft is on point so that people really get the most out of our shows. Since we’ve got the new record out now, we can start to layer those tracks into our setlists so we’re really looking forward to bringing the new and improved EnquireWithin to the metalheads of the UK”