Since their inception in 2009 the heavyweight metal quintet, Heart Of A Coward have already come a long way on the never ending journey to ultimate mastery. Two studio albums later and tours across the UK and Europe with Thy Art Is Murder, After The Burial, Aversions Crown, Malevolence, Suicide Silence and Sikth, Heart Of A Coward are now due to release their third studio album later this year. We had a chat to guitarists Steve Haycock and Carl Ayers following their incredible set opening the main stage at Download Festival.
Broken Arrow: How are you guys today and how has Download Festival been for you?
Steve: Wet, but very good.
Broken Arrow: How was your set?
Steve: It was awesome, yeah, opening the main stage was definitely a big old tick for us.
Broken Arrow: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, for those who aren’t familiar with Heart Of A Coward can you tell us a little bit about the band and how it all started?
Steve: I’ll let Carl tell you that…
Carl: We formed in 2009 and had various line-up changes – we’ve just been touring relentlessly really, across the UK and then as it’s got bigger, Europe and Russia. The last, maybe couple of years, since we released our last album, it’s just grown and grown and grown so to be on the main stage is just unreal.
Broken Arrow: How do you find it being on tour all the time?
Carl: I don’t think we tour as much as other bands. We all work outside the band anyway, this is like a part-time thing. We manage with it quite well, it can be tiring.
Broken Arrow: You guys are pretty successful for just a “part-time” band then?
Carl: Thank you. Yeah it’s cool, it’s cool. I think being in a confined space with five guys all the time can be a little bit intense but we deal with it. It’s all good.
Broken Arrow: You just released a new music video for ‘Hollow’, can you tell us about the meaning behind the song?
Steve: Well it is normally Jamie’s thing (vocals) but I’m pretty sure he mentioned to me before that it is to do with people having religion forced on them from birth and not having a choice about life. I don’t know if it’s just religion or if it’s like a whole overall kind of thing but it’s where views are forced upon people rather than allowing them to form their own opinions. That’s what he explained to me whilst we were in the studio anyway.
Broken Arrow: So does Jamie deal with all the lyrics when you’re writing music? How does song writing work for you guys?
Steve: It usually starts with me and Carl writing just riffs and then from those riffs developing songs and then everybody else comes in and adds their bit and changes the drums and the arrangements of it.
Carl: This time we didn’t really do any vocals work until we were in the studio, so Jamie came in and he had a few ideas and we sat down with our producer and we all kind of bounced ideas around and everything and then put it all together.
Broken Arrow: Do you think it worked well doing things that way?
Carl: Definitely, yeah!
Broken Arrow: You’re due to release your third full length album. What can we expect from the record? Anything new?
Steve: It’s still Heart Of A Coward, but it’s a lot more – it’s a bit quicker and it’s a lot more straight up metal. It’s still got all the melody there but yeah, we are really really happy with it. We just can’t wait to get it out there.
Broken Arrow: Can you tell us the release date yet?
Steve: We don’t actually have a release date just yet, but it should be around September or October time.
Broken Arrow: You have played with some awesome bands such as Atilla and Thy Art Is Murder. Who would you like to support next?
Carl: I would love to tour with Killswitch.
Steve: Yeah, that’d be awesome!
Carl: I’d love to!
Steve: Killswitch or Gojira, that’d be incredible. Gojira and us.
Broken Arrow: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Steve: I have a few but they are all weird, from different genres. Like Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd is like my favourite guitarist ever but I have like no influence from him in our music. Loads of stuff like really good songwriters like Neil Young. But heavier stuff like Decapitator and Gojira.
Carl: I think we take quite an influence from stuff like Deftones as well on our melodic side of music. For me personally I like, probably looking back over my life when I first got in to metal, Metallica. I remember Download in 2004, I sat on my Dad’s shoulders watching Metallica.
Broken Arrow: Have you guys got any upcoming tours or shows announced?
Steve: No tours at the moment, but we are headlining Tech-Fest on the Saturday this year. There is other stuff but I’m not sure we’re allowed to talk about it just yet. It’ll be for around when the album is out. Just check our Facebook page and website.
Broken Arrow: Any last words for your fans before you go?
Carl: Thank you for checking us out in the rain at 11am. Thanks for supporting us as always, it’s amazing!
Steve: Thanks for getting us on the main stage, it’s awesome.
Watch the video for ‘Hollow’ below: