ASCENSION 2019 - MEET PSYCHOBABYLON!
Making the long way down from Leeds to South Wales to hit the ASCENSION stage at The Patriot are PSYCHOBABYLON, who describe their sound as “a big cocktail of dirty melodic rock and roll with a metal cherry and a little punk umbrella; shaken not shit”. The band are looking forward to providing “sweat, good tunes; 40 minutes of aural delight!”, when the five-piece take to the stage. Priding themselves on baring their souls during their live shows, they hope people will like the songs and react positively, and relish the connection with the audience, whether that is positive or “seeing the horror on people’s faces! Ha ha! Just kidding!”.
The band have faced their share of challenges over the years, not least with forward momentum. Like most bands, when they first started they got themselves out to any gigs/shows that came up as they do love to play and said they will “happily expose ourselves on whatever stage will have us, but if you’re trying to write new material then you have to allow that time to do so. Otherwise we’re always concentrating on the set for the next show so we are ready and able to give the best half hour of the audience’s week”. As they all play in the band alongside working to pay the rent, bills etc, the time they can put in to writing, practise and gigs is limited. Despite various line-up changes over the years hampering the band moving forward somewhat, the band members say they are now in a position where they feel as though the momentum has been built up and that the band is evolving and moving forward. Apparently another big challenge is “getting to grips with how each band member makes a cup of tea. There have been some shocking revelations but we will leave that for the biography”. Despite these challenges, PSYCHOBABYLON are still doing what they love and believe they are better and it is more exciting than ever. They say their proudest achievement is “that we’re still doing it!! We have never given up. There has been a break once but it was needed. If we had carried on at that point the magic would have dissolved. We have done some great shows and have had various band related experiences though. We have met some great friends while doing it and that connection is what it’s about for me. Oh and being played on the DTF podcast, obviously”.
Given the issues highlighted with the line-up changes and momentum, we were interested in finding out how the band’s music has music evolved from a writing and live perspective. When we posed the question, this was the response, “Just thinking of this question makes me notice that the evolution of the band has been quite significant. At first it’s fun. Writing some songs and playing as many shows and places as possible. The more that happens the more it changes into ‘actually I want to say something with these tunes’ and a bit more thought goes into it. Over time we have developed our style, what works for us. You can try and imitate others or look at what is working for our peers but I think the most important thing for a band is to recognise what it is that is special about you and embrace it, not ignore it. The thing that will always attract a good fan base is honesty and being how you really are. So when it comes to writing, there are different styles of songs. Just one question should be asked, ‘Is this Babylon?’ If the answer to this question is yes then it’s in, whether it’s a rock and roll tune, a more metal song and so forth. Just by doing the above the live show has improved. We’re all relaxed about who we are so there’s that confidence onstage. We can go out and put all the energy into playing rather than worrying about how we are being viewed. That will come across hopefully. There will always be people who don’t get it, because we’re not just a token style band. I think it’s an evolution in our attitude and confidence that has had the most impact on who we are”. This band are obviously comfortable with who they are, which is evident when you listen to their music. Their live performance has been shaped by the bands they have been in, which they say has made them into the “Rock n’ roll titans they are today”!
We reviewed the band’s ‘Is This All There Is?’ EP and featured the tracks ‘All There Is’ on episode #99 of the Down the Front podcast and ‘Dead Time’ on episode #105, quickly realising that PSYCHOBABYLON would be a great fit for ASCENSION. The band say, “It’s going to be a great weekend. There has been so much hard work put into it and the bands all look shit hot! Can I say shit? I like that we are playing with bands we have never played with. A lot of the time we are on the bill with bands we play with often. I’m not knocking those bands and I think they will probably think the same about us. You have to change things around otherwise it gets stale though. So to play with loads of different bands and audiences is very exciting. Hopefully we can make loads of new friends, hang out and have loads of fun…it’s summit to do innit?!” I guess we had all better pin our ears back ready for the forty minutes of aural delight that PSYCHOBABYLON will bring when they burst onto that ASCENSION stage at 21:15 on Saturday 8th June!