Unleash The Archers: Metal Dreams and Inspiration
Vancouver BC Canadians Unleash The Archers formed in 2007 and since have gathered their thoughts down in musical form with the release of their debut “Defy The Skies”. With this they went on to shoot and release a single entitled “General Of The Dark Army” that keeps that power metal vibe intense but fun. Frontwoman Brittney Slayes caught up with me to discuss the band’s ways with music and what inspires them to do what they do best!
Where are you guys from originally?
Brittney: The band began in late 2007 in Victoria BC, Canada.
How did you come together?
Brittney: Scott, Brayden and I all met at university, and we found the other two original members Zahk and Mike through a website for local musicians called ‘LiveVic’. We stayed in Vic for a while, but eventually decided we needed to move to the mainland in order to avoid the ever-rising ferry fees that separated us from the rest of the country. We moved to Vancouver without Mike in 2010, and found Grant (our current second guitar player) shortly after. Zahk moved back to the island in 2011; I can’t blame him, its seriously awesome there, so relaxed and beautiful… Alas the band continued, and we got Brad for Christmas in 2011.
What is the origin of the band’s name?
Brittney: Deciding on the band name was a three month ordeal that dominated our emails throughout the early stages of the band. We all wanted something different, but finally we were all able to agree on Unleash The Archers after it was tossed out rather nonchalantly during jam one night. We didn’t hate it right away, and we decided we should keep it, so the ridiculous charade could finally come to an end.
What type of band are you?
Brittney: Metal!!!! A little bit of this, a little bit of that; we’ve been called many things… I recently decided I don’t like the genre game, but Brad calls us progressive metal – pleasantly generic. Hahaha
Who are your musical influences?
Brittney: There are so many… Iron Maiden, Lost Horizon, Iced Earth, All Shall Perish, Tyr, Danzig, As Blood Runs Black, Judas Priest, Edguy, and 3 Inches Of Blood.
What are your dreams and goals?
Brittney: To play Europe, Japan and South America… Australia, Indonesia, India… To tour the world I guess!
Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Brittney: I write the majority of the lyrics; Brayden writes most of his and Grant’s scream parts though. I love to tell a story… I write each song in hopes it will transport you into another world; I try and use concrete descriptors in combination with all-encompassing ideologies so that the song is interesting and yet anyone can relate to it in their own way.
What was the inspiration for the album name Defy The Skies?
Brittney: We actually received the album art before we had named the record, so it was the wonderful work of JP Fournier that inspired the title We had the song ‘Upon Ashen Wings’ all ready to go and we knew it was going to be one of the two tracks on the actual vinyl, so we wanted the art to reflect an ethereal quality. When we saw how wicked the art was the name just came so easy!
Can you tell me about the video you shot for the song “General Of The Dark Army”?
Brittney: We petitioned financial help from our fans through IndieGoGO so that we could afford the RED cam and the cinematographic powerhouse team of the Talbot Brothers… Paired with the vision of our close friend and director Richard Olak (Brotherhood) we were able to make the story of the song come to life. Filmed over three brutal days of rain in Squamish and Langley, BC, the video became a huge undertaking, but it turned out well beyond expectations. I had written that song with the image of the General in my head so vivid, and the video did a great job of portraying him as closely to my vision as possible. The real inspiration can be found in General Kael from Willow.
Why did you pick General Of The Dark Army as your single?
Brittney: We actually posted it on Facebook, asking our fans which song from the ‘Demons’ album they wanted to see as our next video, and the General won it by a landslide.
What are your plans for new music?
Brittney: We are actually writing a new full length this winter, with a tentative release date of Fall 2012. We’re super stoked on this because we’ll finally get to sit down with the new lineup and write with each of our tastes combined; it’s gonna be a killer record.
What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Brittney: Tour! Get off your butts and hit the road! It’s the best time on the planet, and you meet so many rad people and have new parties at new venues in new cities every night. Don’t be content with sitting around your home town, there is no room for apathy in metal!
What inspires you to do what you do?
Brittney: Our fans, our love of music, the metal bands we look up to, and each other; if we didn’t have such dedicated people in this band we would never have left Victoria!
By Natalie Perez