Exclusive Interview: 20 Questions with David Pope from Siderian!

Christmas Day saw us introduce a new interview style and a bit of get to know you fun with Weaponry frontman Al Bristow that went down an absolute storm. So we’ve thrown some fuel onto the already raging inferno with a second along similar lines that this time sees Siderian frontman David Pope in the Mastermind chair. Two pints of lager and a packet of Ready Salted and he’s game for an interview or an arm wrestle with their 2019 full length “Origins” produced, mixed and mastered by Neil Hudson (Krysthla, Gutworm, From Eden To Exile) remaining very much a thought provolking groove laden Metal monster…

1. What are you drinking to bring in the New Year? “The remaining pints of the 36 pint pin of Stahlstadt blonde ale that my awesome wife bought me for Christmas from our local brewery, Weldon Brewery”

2. What’s your hangover remedy of choice? “Bacon. Much Bacon and Pepsi Max Cherry and four Ibuprofen. I don’t care what the packet says, four Ibuprofen is the future”

3. As a band what was your highlight of 2021? “Any other year the answer would have been the excellent Rabidfest, however, we had a proper weird show in September that confounded all our expectations and left us open-mouthed. We were invited to play the New Boots Stage at Northampton Music Festival, so sort of a hometown show. The festival itself was across the spectrum of music; opera, brass bands, indie rock, acoustic, you name it and we were the only metal band of the festival (indeed the only vaguely heavy band at all), and we were sandwiched between a rapper and an indie band. The stage was the courtyard to Northampton Guildhall which was a mad place to play in itself, and we were convinced that virtually no-one would be there to see us. When we walked out to play there was a healthy crowd mostly consisting of “norms”, with a decent turnout of fans and pals, but we still expected the majority to leave the moment we started playing. So we kicked off with ‘Oleum’ and not only did the crowd all stay, but more and more people kept pouring in to watch and when we finished the song it was to rapturous applause and cheering. This continued for the rest of the set and we sold a ton of merch at its conclusion. All our kids and wives/girlfriends were there in the gorgeous sunshine to see it too, perfect day really and totally unexpected”

4. What are you looking forward to most in 2022? “Trying to reinvigorate the writing process and finally finishing some new material for the first time in three years”

5. If you could go back to the early days of the band and give the younger you one piece of advice, what would it be? “Absolutely don’t take every set-back as though it’s the end of the band. I took things so seriously at the start, having no real frame of reference after so long out of band life, every member departure or canned gig or piece of negative feedback felt like it was THE END. Now, I’m much more sanguine about these things, I’m lucky to still have the opportunity to scream my nonsense at people”

6. How much Christmas food do you have left in the house? Still hanging onto some mince pies and chocolate? “I’m writing this on Boxing Day sat at the kitchen table while my wife, kids and in-laws are piling into the leftovers. We had turkey and beef for Christmas lunch yesterday and there’s the traditional Christmas Eve ham and if I don’t hurry up and finish this answer, there’ll be bugger all left for me!”

7. What’s your new year’s resolution? “None, what’s the point? I’d only break it by about 13th January”

8. What has been your anthem of 2021? “There’s been some excellent albums released this year, Devil Sold His Soul, Tomahawk, Quicksand, Gary Numan, Syncolima to name but a few, but I reckon my anthem would have to be anything off “Push” by Sons of Alpha Centauri. Absolutely phenomenal ode to late 90’s post-hardcore and featuring one of my favourite vocalists Jonah Mantranga up top. Total departure from their previous riff-based instrumental stoner/post-rock but it’s no mere flattery, it’s just as authentic as the original influences”

9. What is the most Metal Christmas present you received this year? “A keyring from my wife in our DIY crackers in the form of a Shure SM58 microphone, my weapon of choice”

10. Playing devil’s advocate, you get asked to play the Jonathan Ross show but you can only play a Metalised pop song cover, so what are you picking to do inflict the most damage to our ear drums? “We nearly split up every time we discuss doing a cover, genuinely. We can never agree on a song. I’m the archetypal nu-metal kid, that’s what got me into metal and I used to love nu-metal bands covering 80’s tunes I loved as a little kid, that was a real thing for a bit. I would love to beast “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, it’s an absolute banger anyway and I’d love to obliterate it”

11. Who can forget the Steel Panther “Pussy Melter” guitar pedal? Bands put their names on Gear and Beer all too often these days so if you could put the Siderian name on something that was neither of those, what would you choose? “Cider, obviously. It’d be called “Cider, Ian?” and would only be available to purchase by people named Ian. And the label will have a photo of our guitarist, Ian. Boom”

12. What has been the strangest moment Siderian have experienced? “For an unsigned band, any level of interest from outside normal local circles I find weird. Spotify telling me people are listening to us in Panama. People getting our logo as a tattoo. Fans buying us beer vouchers…”

13. Band bonding exercise. Are you going Go Karting or Paint Balling followed by a long stint in the nearest Pub? “I refuse to go Paintballing on the grounds that our drummer was formerly in the army and is probably a bit handy with a gun. We nearly had a band day out playing golf when we discovered that we all secretly played, but everyone was too ashamed to admit it”

14. You’re binge watching a series on Netflix and as the lead character is driving a Dodge Charger down the strip you realise that one of your songs is playing on the dudes car radio. How do you react? “I’d leap off the sofa, have a little dance and then do some digging regarding royalties. Then rewind, film it badly on my mobile and slap it on the band Instagram”

15. Pizza and beer is a sensational award winning combination so what are you favourites? “My favourite beer changes often as a result of erm… testing a lot of beers. Right now, Leffe Brune and a 14” Smoky Joe (chorizo, red onion, chili beef, BBQ base) “make your own” pizza from ASDA on a stonebaked base. With a drizzle of garlic oil. Boss”

16. What are your pre-gig rituals? “I used to get nervous on the early days, then it was plenty of water and avoiding social contact for about half hour before, just wandering around in my own little world. Now, I don’t really have one, trying to avoid loading the drummer’s gear onstage I guess!”

17. As a band who knows the underground scene and has played with a lot of other bands in all genres of Metal, who would you predict a bright future for? “​Disinherit. Absolutely, I was their vocalist (and named them) until just before they were ready to go, but decided to step back to prevent scheduling clashes with Siderian, so they could go their own way with a totally 100% dedicated vocalist. They’ve got a whole album of incredible material ready to go and they’re top lads to boot, keep an eye (and ear) out for them in 2022”

18. What’s your favourite venue to play? “I’d kill to play Camden Underworld as that’s one of my favourite live venues, but probably Dubrek Studios, Derby, just because of the people we see when we play there, always full of friends and a great night”

19. What would mean more to you as a band, a huge one off festival appearance at Slam Dunk (United Kingdom), Wacken (Germany) or Hellfest (France) or a 20 date European tour supporting opening for a band like Nekrogoblikon? “Hellfest 100%. The line-ups are beyond incredible and I can never get a tickets, it’s always sold out. So Hellfest, just so I could actually go”

20. Who would you thank in your Grammy Award winning speech? “My wife, my kids, my bandmates and then the true stars, bacon and beer”

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