Have You Heard? Sanity Check
Meet Sanity Check, a hardcore band hailing from the north east of England. The band formed in late 2014 from the ashes of multiple Hardcore, Beatdown and Metalcore bands from their local area with only a few goals in mind; playing as many shows as possible and having a laugh. If they could put some music out in the mean time that people dig, then that was purely a bonus for the lads.
Recently the band unveiled their second release, ‘Slaves to the System’, after having several hiccups along the way. We spoke to Mackenzie “Kenzie” Ord, the founding guitarist about how Sanity Check formed and how after encountering several member changes they have managed to strive on and continue to make music.
“Sol (Daley, drummer) and I were in a band together and when shit went south we wanted to carry on playing music. We used the money from our old band and recorded a demo straight away with the help of our mate Timothy Barnes on bass. Shortly after recording the demo, Tim left for uni so we had a demo with no vocals over it and no bassist to play with.”
This is where Mark Ward and Thomas Armstrong came into the band to fill that gap; Ward as a Vocalist and Armstrong as the bassist. Shortly after recording and securing some new members, Sanity Check had gigs booked out of town. This gave the band the opportunity to play with some of the bands that inspired them.
“I’d say we did alright bearing in mind we only had a two track demo out. We were fortunate enough to get to play with some bands we’ve been listening to for years, some that I never thought I’d even get to see, never mind play with. We shared stages with bands such as Lionheart, Merauder, Providence and No Second Chance to name a few.”
Sanity Check had spent a good chunk of money on recording their first release, before deciding they wanted a change in direction. Shortly after this decision Ward left the band, so the hunt was back on for a new frontman. The band took to Facebook and wrote a status on their page to see if they could attract some interest.
“We were absolutely blown away from the response we received from people up and down the country who wanted to try out, but then Jack messaged the page. I’d known jack for quite some time due to playing shows with his old band Hellbound. I knew what he was capable of and we instantly agreed he’d be the perfect addition. So we started getting prepared for recording our latest release ‘Slaves To A System’. We took a different approach to writing and spent quite a bit of money in the process but we are all really happy with the finished product.”
Shortly after recording, Armstrong decided to leave the band to focus on his last year of university. Yet again, Sanity Check had a release, with no bassist to play with. Though the timing was everything as a solution soon followed in turning the band into a five piece.
“Thomas was a great kid and we were sad to see him leave, I’d just like to thank him for all the time and money he invested into this release even though he probably knew he was going to leave afterwards, we really appreciate it.
Two of my best mates are in a band called Guardian from Northumberland and they had just recently taken a hiatus. From there, things just kind of fell perfectly into place. I was basically chilling with Zac and Matthew on a daily basis as they only live round the corner and we all knew what was happening with each other’s bands. I think we were all highly intoxicated and it just kind of happened. But, to be honest, we’ve been best mates for years and all actively involved in different bands so it’s been a very long time coming and we’ve never sounded better.”
Looking to the future, while the band have been busy getting prepared to drop new release, ‘Slaves To A System’, they have also been getting used to playing as a five-piece as well as thinking about where they are heading next.
“We’re already looking forward to our next release. Our next release is going to be a full-length album and we have already started writing songs for it. One track will feature in our live set for all upcoming shows.”
Matthew and Zac appear to have given Sanity Check a new lease of life and the band are constantly striving to improve and define their sound.
“Everyone in the band has individual music tastes, some appreciate bands others may not like but that’s just the way of the world and I think that makes us stronger as a band in terms of writing. We are all heavily influenced by Thrash Metal and Hardcore which I think is the key influences in our sound. From future material Expect faster, thrashier songs with loads of dual solos.”
“Looking forward, we’ve all just decided we want to have a fun laid back approach and play a fuck load of show’s all over the world If we get the opportunity. We’ve all been in bands where we’ve taken it way too seriously and if I’m honest it just sucks the fun out of being in a band, it turns your passion into a burden and that’s the last thing me and the boys want from this band.”
You can check out the video for ‘Worlds Apart’, taken from the ‘Slaves To A System’ EP below
‘Slaves To A System’ is out now for free download on Sanity Check‘s Bandcamp account here.
You can check out our review of the EP here.
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