The Spectre Beneath
Guitarist Pete Worrall Answering:
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
The Spectre Beneath come from the North-West of England, not too far from Manchester. Back in January 2019,I’d just finished an album with my other project, Plague and the Decay in which drummer Consta plays. When I started writing the follow up, the music seemed to be more melodic and a little less thrashy but with just the same amount of turbo charged riffs. It was a slight shift in tone and I thought it would be a good idea to add a female vocal to bring out the melodic side even more. Consta was onboard and then long-time collaborator, Katy, helped write and add nuance to the vocal melodies so they would suit a female voice. I then found L Lockser from an online demo she’d posted and we managed to put our debut album, The Downfall of Judith King, in September of that year. We were coined Power/Prog metal in the first ever review for our debut album and it’s probably a fair summing up. Our biggest influences are band such as Savatage, Queensryche, Megadeth, Kobra Paige and Cellar Darling. I’m a big thrash fan as well, so there’s always a little more aggression in the riffs.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
Everywhere really. I try and consume as much as I can whether it is music, film, theatre, stories etc… That’s why most of our songs are either flash fiction type of stories or a collection of songs with a narrative. Musically, it can be a nugget of an idea that sparks inspiration, for example, I went to see the musical, ‘Into The Woods’ last week and, while most of it was no really my cup of tea, the way three different vocal top lines with different narratives interwove was very clever and gave me food for thought for future songs.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song ?
There are two I think. As The Crows Peck At Your Bones from our debut. It was the first song we recorded and it started off very ropey but then after having a break and coming back to it, something clicked into place. I still don’t know what that moment was, it was just a feeling. I try not to analyse it too much, instead, just accept it. Our latest single, Time Dilation, is also our favourite because as soon as we demoed it, we knew we had something emotional, powerful and a little different without it being alienating.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2023
Nothing. We’ve only just got over a vocalist change and we’re short on a bass player at the moment so, at present, we’re still regrouping. We’re still writing but touring is not something we’re in a position to do at present.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
Cellar Darling because I think they’re extremely talented and I’d love to write some tunes with them. Also, Savatage because the world needs more of the band, and, probably Overkill. I would never tire watching them.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
There have been many because I go to a lot of gigs, but the one that always sticks out is when Devin Townsend was just starting out as a solo artist. The only albums he had out were the first two SYL albums and his solo albums Ocean Machine and Infinity. I was obsessed with them and I and a couple of hundred people went to see him at Manchester Academy 3 for about £10 a ticket. It is perhaps the only gig I’ve every been to where the artist played ALL of my favourite songs of theirs because he played a mash up of ALL his material up to that point. That gig still affects me today.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with The Spectre Beneath.
The feedback we received for our debut is definitely up there because we did the best we could with the resources we had and had no expectations, but I think, for me personally, it was using the pandemic and lockdown to write and record the follow up album which then got picked up by the epically named WormHoleDeath Records. It was an affirmation we were doing something right. We weren’t looking to get signed, it just sort of happened. A guy who runs a French radio station sent me an email suggesting I email his friend who has a record company. It was as simple as that. It just goes to show, you never know who’s listening.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
It’s a toss up between Iron Maiden’s Somewhere in Time, Overkill’s The Years of Decay, Megadeth’s Rust in Peace and Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime but I’ll commit and say Somewhere in Time. I just love the vibe of that album. No other album sounds like it, there’s not a weak moment, I like the variety in the music, it’s not just one style of song repeated eight times, it is Iron Maiden on top of their game and it, arguably, has the greatest cover art in all of musical history. Secondly, I’ll go with Rust in Peace. The pace, energy, song writing, musicianship is genius.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
For myself, it was at our town’s largest venue, 1000+ seater, there were four bands on and my band were on first, we had thirty minutes. Suffice to say, the build up outweighed the actual event as there were only about 50 people watching and a good thing too as we were terrible. Due to the lights, you can’t really see anyone watching you, plus, I was concentrating so much on not messing up, which I succeeded in doing. But the lack of response was deflating. Still, everyone has to start somewhere, right?
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
For years it was Iron Maiden, Van Halen and AC/DC, although, Iron Maiden did win most of the battles for wall space. There were three of us in school who were metal heads and we used to borrow each other’s records. Then, Helloween and Megadeth began to creep in and I went in a more heavier direction.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
Because I’m heavily biased, I will say Ronnie James Dio. One of the genre’s greatest vocalists, a great role model, he was in the some of the genre’s biggest bands and he continues to make waves in the reaction genre youtube as people start to retrospectively discover his talents. He was a force for good in Heavy Metal.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Writing more music as we’ve been quiet for too long. We have a mini-LP out later this year with 6 songs on it. We have the next album planned out and we would say 70% of it is written. After two and a half years without releasing anything, we are keen to get more music out there. After releasing the mini-LP hopefully around July/August time, we’d like to finish writing the new full-length and get it recorded before the Easter of next year…that’s if luck is on our side this time.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
Interesting you should ask that because I am not a fan of covers. However, if I was pushed to cover a metal song, it’d be one that I would reckon could do with a new interpretation or sound. I’d probably go with Hyde by Savatage. I can’t stand the production on that album. I’d love to hear a fresh take on it.
If we’re talking non metal, then probably Inner London Violence by Bad Manners, although I’d probably speed it up a touch. There’s lots of energy in that track and a cool guitar lick. I do like the energy and attitude of Ska, it’s a shame it never really came back.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
The Spectre Beneath blends heavy, fast, sometimes thrashy riffing with melodic, sassy female vocals. We realise this is nothing new in the realms of metal, but we try not to compromise on, for example, length of intros, harmony solos, pace, the quirkiness of the lyrics and themes and the use of sound FX. All of that, we feel, enables us to carve our own little corner in the metal genre. As one reviewer said, “The Spectre Beneath is one of the most valuable discoveries on the world metal scene.”
MM: Four words to describe The Spectre Beneath
Heavy, Fast, Dramatic, Melodic
Final Words for your fans and our readers
We have new music coming in the next couple of weeks and more being written. So, in the meantime, stay happy, safe and healthy.