MM: How is the "Asylum" today
Psychoberrie Cold, damp and festering but familiar
Doktor Von Stottenstein- Fair to middling- just getting prepared for the tour and keeping the inmates ‘behaved’
Wolfy Very chill! The guards are having a day off today due to good behavior! Little do they know this is what we need to escape so we can do band practice!
Bam Bam-Excited! UK tour is looming and it’s going to be great!
Rico Its wonderful! My cell get re-padded, Doctor von Stottenstein hasn't yelled 'Will someone shut Rico up!?' yet, and the rats have stopped chanting "Die Rico, Die" at me, so I call that a good day!
Mother Everyone's getting a bit twitchy getting ready for the show.
MM: Can you tell us about Ward XVI and who’s your biggest influences
Ward XVI; We’re A theatric avant-garde rock band from the north west of England.
We’ve a brand new album out called ‘Metamorphosis’ which is the second of a trilogy of story albums telling the story of Psychoberrie-an infamous female psychopath who manipulates her victims to kill for her pleasure.
Live-wise we incorporate actors and props on stage to tell this story and allow the experience to be as interactive as possible, and we’ve been fortunate enough to take the show to Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell in addition to supporting the likes of Cradle of Filth and Doyle (Misfits) and we’re just about to embark on a UK tour for the new album.
Our influences range from Alice Cooper, GNR, Iron Maiden, Tool, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Avatar, etc..
Psychoberrie: So Ward XVI is the ward which Psychoberrie finds herself on after (spoiler alert) murdering her abusive mother. It's intended as a form of rehabilitation but the conditions there are dire and the staff there willingly turn a blind eye to the horrific abuse and experimentation that goes on at the hands of the Doktor.
That's a small part of Psychoberrie’s world, throughout the trilogy (the third of which is yet to be released) we follow her life from birth, to her metamorphosising into a killer and finally to her manipulating someone else to kill on her behalf.
My influences are Alice cooper, Guns n Roses, skindred, Halestorm, Alter Bridge.
Doktor Von Stottenstein influences are Iron Maiden, pink Floyd, extreme, Marillion, the butterfly effect, Jason Becker, Creed, Alter Bridge, early Dream Theater (scenes from a memory in particular) and Pink Floyd.
Wolfy Alice Cooper, igorrr, tool and muse... From a bass players point of view of course
Bam Bam- My influences come from Alice Cooper, whom I’ve been a massive fan of since I was a young lad growing up in a boring seaside town. Rob Zombie, the master of the dirty synth metal sound, and some classic old school punk rock bands like the clash, Pistols and the toy dolls.
Rico Ward XVI are a theatrical smorgasbord of chaotic hard rock, metal and sheer mayhem. We're inspired by the greatest theatrical minds in music: Arthur Brown, King Diamond, Your Mum, Stephen Sondheim, Alice Cooper, Professor Brian Cox, and the elephant who lives in my pillowcase. I call him Wilbur.
Mother My biggest influences would be Avatar and Alice Cooper.
MM: What would you say is your Band's favorite song and why?
Psychoberrie: I'm honestly not sure because all of our songs are so different and we appeal to many different tastes so everyone we ask has a different favourite. It makes it hard to choose singles. It's meant to be listened to as a whole story so if you listen to songs by themselves they don't have the same impact.
Doktor Von Stottenstein Cry of the Siren (the first song i ever wrote in full), Shadows… just immense to play live… has a great build up of tension or Burn the Witch which is my favourite song I’ve written.
Wolfy my favorite song would possibly be Shadows Because of the raw emotion put into it...
From the perspective of friends and fans (same thing) I'd say Toy Box as it's different and people love a good jig!
Bam Bam- I can’t really speak for the other inmates, but I love to play Burn the witch. It’s in my humble opinion a masterpiece. I can say this because I had nothing to do with the writing of the song, if I had, I would never be so pretentious.
Rico It's a toss up between Ward XVI off our first album or Imago off newest album 'Metamorphosis'. Both are big chunky headbangers, but the doctors have said I'm not allowed to headbang any more since "The Incident"
Mother I think Toy Box as it's the most crowd interactive song. But I love Burn the Witch as it was when I joined the band.
MM: You are playing Hammerfest soon! How excited are you guys and what can we expect from Ward XVI
Psychoberrie: We're getting comfortable with the show now, we've only performed it a handful of times but it's becoming second nature which means we can throw more into the performance aspect. It's quite hard to let go when you've always got to remember your next move and this new show is ridiculously ambitious. There's monsters, giant puppets, I don't want to give too much away but it's a full blown horror show with so many props. I'm excited to be playing a stage which they all actually fit on, we're made for a big stage, it's much harder for us to try and scale it down on the smaller stages so it's always exciting for me when we have the room to do everything we want to do.
Doktor Von Stottenstein It’s always good to play there and the Birmingham academy is epic. Looking forward to exploiting the huge stage with our set design and characters.
Wolfy We are playing amongst some legends... So no pressure!!... But as always we are going all out. The biggest and best show we can possibly do.
Bam Bam- Very, very excited! The thought of sharing the stage with some of the legends that are appearing is a real special thing for me! I remember seeing napalm death in the late 80’s in my home town and fell in love with them instantly. Expect the unexpected from Ward XVI.
Rico Incredibly excited. Anyone who's seen us before can expect the same controlled chaos you're used to, and any first timers...brace yourself. It's going to get rather wild.
Mother Extremely excited. And as long as we can miss nurses meds round ... total insanity
MM: Any bands you are particularly looking forward to catching at Hammerfest
Doktor Von Stottenstein Blaze, and our friends at red rum, absolva and ashen crown.
Napalm Death too.. they’re legends.. proper genre defying avant-garde legends who pushed the boundaries of extreme music. They were the band whose shirts everyone wore when I was in secondary school in the late 90s.
I remember watching metal programs that covered the song ‘scum’ and how fkn historic that was at the time.
There’s been a couple of festivals that we’ve been on the same line up as them on and it never gets less surreal.
Wolfy Two off the top of my head are red rum and napalm death but the lineup is absolutely amazing so I bet I'll be running around like a headless inmate!
Bam Bam- Napalm death of course! Also looking forward to redrum, Master charger and venom inc.
Rico I'm so excited to see Venom INC again, been a huge fan for years and they always put on a good show. Also I've somehow always managed to miss Blaze Bayley whenever he's played, so getting that chance will be amazing. It'll be lovely to meet up with our friends from Red Rum, Ashen Crown and Enquire Within again and rock that stage hard.
Mother Looking forward to seeing Venom Inc, Absolva, Unleashed, Stormbringer, Red Rum and many more. Also looking forward to listening to as many of the bands I've not seen before, so I can add to that list.
MM: You then have a tour organized for later on, so tell us what do you like best and worst about touring?
Psychoberrie Best is the performing, seeing people sing along to our songs and just generally being entertained by us, but also the travelling and seeing new places and meeting new people.
Worst is definitely the preparation, we have young children so it's a case of up at the crack of dawn, go pick the van up, get the kids ready, drop them off, pack the van (which is literally like packing up to move house with the amount of stuff we have) and then drive for hours. I'm breastfeeding so I have to pump every few hours and find a way of storing the milk, it's just stress, stress, stress, stress put costumes on, man the merch table, load on all of the props/ stage show, sound check then we go on stage and have the best 45 minutes and then as we pack it all down again before the venue shuts, leg it to the merch table, take makeup off, drive ourselves home which can sometimes be a 4/5 hour drive, unpack the van at around 4am we then go and pick up the kids mid morning after taking the van back for 8am.
We don't have any crew and we have so much stuff to set up and organise that we really burn ourselves out as we start at 6am and more or less get to bed at 6am the next day.. all for one gig.
So then when people moan to us that we're not playing their precise town I want to stab them.
Doktor Von Stottenstein It’s great to play to crowds who are new to what we do.. meeting new people and networking is ace, although this time around our show is much bigger and ambitious so there’s a lot more working parts to it than last time to get right.
Worst- the travel/ time consumption and expense of it. We aren’t a band that just turns up in jeans and one car ready to play.
We can’t just go in cars anymore .. we have to rent vans to take the stage show and props and now every city has a clean air tax so that’s another expense. Trying to find accommodation that’s cheap is a challenge too. It’s a lot when we aren’t bringing much in.. we’ll probably take a loss or at best break even…
Wolfy Best: touring. New people. New places. Good vibes.
Worst: expensive. Long drives.
Bam Bam- Cant wait to take the show and impregnate it into the eyes and ears of potential new inmates. Making new friends and generally having a great time! Not figured out what the worst bit is yet, although, I’m sure I’ll have no issues moaning on and on about it when I do…..
Rico Best part of touring? Being the best DJ EVER in the van. The rest on the inmates really appreciate my music. Whatever they told you is a lie. They love it.
Worst part is loading and unloading that van. Most bands have their instruments and that's it. We're loading in beds, burning bins, corpses and an quite frankly ungodly amount of Teddy bears. It can be a logistics nightmare.
Mother Going to new towns and venues and meeting new fans (inmates). Worst will be all the driving.
MM: it's an extensive tour anywhere you are particularly psyched about?
Psychoberrie: Sheffield is always a good night and Bannermans in Edinburgh is one of my favourite venues to play but I think on this tour I'm most excited about playing Electrowerkz in London as it's a venue I've always wanted to play.
Doktor Von Stottenstein We love going to Scotland, it’s always a great night with greater people. We’re also going to Nottingham for the first ever time which will be great. Many of these shows are in venues we’ve not played before which is exciting and scary as we don’t know sizes of the place compared to our show, but we were also determined to go to some places like bannermans, ivory jacks and trillions that we love to play.
Wolfy Sheffield corporation as that's an amazing place
Bannerman's in Edinburgh and Elektrowerks in London
Bam Bam- Totally psyched about every stop. Will decide who’s best by the volume of cheering and award a special prize to the venue at the end!
Rico Playing Wigan is going to be really special, we're playing what was my local pub and music venue for many years so it'll be a great feeling. Can't wait. Also you can't beat a good Wigan Kebab.
Mother I dont know, this will all be a new experience for me. I'm from a different area to the rest of the band, so I'm hoping all my friends will come and support us in Nottingham.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
Doktor Von Stottenstein Maiden, avatar, the butterfly effect
Wolfy Alice Cooper, Igorrr, Caravan palace
Bam Bam Anyone I can find to watch Emmerdale with me in the evening. Haha.
Rico Ghost, Avatar and Tardigrade Inferno.
All awesome bands, very different styles but also linked by that air for the theatrical, strange, and proper singalong songs. It'd be great. I imagine it would be the best kind of bedlam.
Mother Oo just 3? To get a tour with Avatar or Alice Cooper or In this Moment would awesome!
MM: The most memorable concert you've played to date and why?
Psychoberrie: Bloodstock on the Sophie stage last year. Not only was it the biggest crowd we've played to but it was the first night of the festival, the first night everybody was allowed to meet up and be in a crowd together after the most grim time in our lives. It was really emotional. I'd also just had my Son 3 weeks prior, the kids came with us to the fest and it was so stressful but it was special too. I wasn't emotionally ready to be around anyone at that time, certainly not 80,000 people but I did it, we stayed the whole fest, at some points I just wanted to go home and at some points I felt I was home, it was a weird and wonderful, a complete whirlwind of emotions and it will stick with me forever.
Doktor Von Stottenstein Bloodstock 2021. Sophie stage- we’d not played our new songs live, not played a live gig in 18 months, and our singer had a baby 3 weeks before.. add the anxiety about covid and it was just pure adrenaline. Huge huge responsive crowd, we had pyro, bigger sets than any we had built before etc.it was a real make or break deal for us not to tarnish the good memories that people had about us from our first appearance in 2017 and this time we were invited on the basis of the things we had done over the last 4 years and not winning a competition… the ball was in our court and there was a tonne of pressure on us.
The album launch too. Man… so much was on us to arrange, promote and design and then carry the show. The biggest gig on our own right… 450 capacity and we were relying on a sell out to more or less break even based on what we’d invested in to the show and the other bands etc… it had been cancelled twice and have designed the show/ build the stage set/ props over an 18 month period.. and there were times we almost gave up but it was such a magic night where the inmates came from all over the UK.. for a small band like us.. absolutely insane.
Wolfy Bloodstock. Having been in the scene for a number of years now, bloodstock was my first festival. It hold so much significance in every metal heads heart, me included that is was an honor to play it.
Bam Bam We opened for Cradle of filth at the legendary roundhouse in London. Thousands of happy cradle fans seemed to really enjoy our show. We’re quite different to them, so was pleasantly surprised at the reception we got. Beautiful filthlings!!!
Rico Opening for Cradle of Filth on their Halloween show in the Roundhouse in London. I've been a huge Cradle fan for years, and getting asked to open for them was such an honour, and even though many in the crowd had no idea who we were they were so supportive and we welcomed many new inmates to the asylum. It was wild.
Mother Our album launch. As it had been postponed for so long, the excitement was intense.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Psychoberrie: Supporting Cradle of Filth at the Roundhouse. It was an amazing experience to watch their whole setup. It's so much less stressful than playing festivals. They're an amazing, hard working band. Dani made the time to come and say hello to us despite being knee deep in the organisation of the whole show. It was ace and a snippet of where I want us to be.
Doktor Von Stottenstein The response to the second album and all from there. We were worried about how much we had evolved and obv. Our concept had grown significantly. We worried that the first album was luck and just a sign of that time, but the response to the new album has been amazing. We’re self managed and all we do is mainly done in-house by the band (inc art and set/ prop building) so lots rest on us.
The turn out and success of the album launch was a significant night in our history.
Wolfy Making a second album that is so we'll received. Many bands fall at that hurdle and it's heart warming to know that our friends stayed with us!
Bam Bam Finding a drummer who’s happy to hang around.
Rico I once went a full day without Doktor von Stottenstein trying to kill me. Very proud of that.
Mother To be made a part of this band. When Kerrie asked me to play Mother in the Burn the Witch video I was completely blown away, and now to be part of the crew is just incredible.
MM: Which are your Two favorite Albums of all time
Psychoberrie Appetite for destruction - GNR and welcome to my nightmare-Alice Cooper
Doktor Von Stottenstein Seventh son- maiden
Begins here- butterfly effect.
Wolfy At the moment it's lateralus by tool and spirituality and distortion by igorrr
Bam Bam From the inside Alice cooper
London calling by the Clash
Rico Very different to our style, but Cradle of Filth's 'V Empire' is incredible start to finish. And even more out of left field, Blind Guardian's 'A Night at the Opera'. Its big, its bombastic, its begging to be sung along to.
Mother Only 2? Has to be Hail the Apocalypse by Avatar, and Ire by Parkway Drive.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
Psychoberrie: It was terrifying but also invigorating. I'd never sang in front of anyone, not even my parents so nobody had a clue what to expect and I think they were gearing up to appear supportive of a new fad that would last a few months. I think it was a shock to them when I could actually sing. For me it was like stepping off a cliff, I could've easily bottled it but I had to force myself into it.
Doktor Von Stottenstein I remember the first time I stood in front of a stage i had stage fright and froze throughout the song. I didn’t sing Kayleigh but the music continued to play and I just stood their like an idiot. Very embarrassing and motivating not to do that again. I was only 15 at the time.
First gig for ward was in a tiny pub to about 10 people in preston. I don’t necessarily get nervous At performance but I get stressed as I tend to do the majority of promoting/ arranging and networking and managing the night so I don’t really get to relax and enjoy the night.
Wolfy Haha so funny thing about that is the first time I ever played live was day 1 of the Doyle tour with ward XVI... that was my audition for the band... Was I crapping myself.... More than you'd think. Would I change it for any other band? Absolutely not.
Bam Bam Fear and panic springs to mind. I actually used to throw up before every gig! I remember seeing a bucket next to my floor tom once as a joke. Luckily, it didn’t get used! Now, the nerves are still there, but I always find that as soon as I hit a drum I’m in the zone and enjoying every minute.
Rico In a strange way, I didn't really notice. I have a background in theatre so i'm used to the chaos and I'm usually so focused it doesn't register. It's after I've been offstage for a wee while that my brain goes 'ooh there were a lot of people there' and I need to go sit down under a desk for a bit until they put me back in my cell.
Mother My first time was Bloodstock. Quite a huge incorporation into the band I must say! I thought I would be ridiculously nervous, but I was concentrating on what I was supposed to be doing so much, the nerves didn't happen luckily.
MM: You are stuck in a padded room for a week and can have one famous person with you..who would you choose?
Psychoberrie: Alice Cooper
Doktor Von Stottenstein Psychoberrie -she’s fkn amazing and it would be a rare thing to have time with her without the kids..or the Hulk as he would break the door down
Wolfy I would go with Tash sultana. Because her music has something different... She plays with nothing but FEEL. so relaxed and chill vibes. Talking with her would be awesome and I think I would learn a lot.
Bam Bam Jenna Jameson
Rico BRIAN BLESSED! HE'D TELL ME ALL SORTS OF INTERESTING ANECDOTES! LOUDLY!
Mother Oh crikey, who would I like to send even more insane with my incessant babbling? I think it'd have to be Ozzy Osborne.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Psychoberrie: Finding balance so that we don't completely burn out haha. My perspective has had to change. We can't play 80 gigs a year anymore, we have kids to think about and I don't want to be a bad mother, but I want to push this band as far as it can go. It's just very difficult when we also have to work full time. So we've gotta make sure each show is a good show, we're doing consolidated tours and bigger festivals and that's it, whereas we used to accept every gig offer.
Doktor Von Stottenstein Just building on the successes and to go and have a good tour. It’s been hard to release an album during covid as we’ve not been able to really capitalise on it. Building a wider community by meeting new people is the most important thing. Then writing album 3 later in the year.
Wolfy The tour. People turning us and keeping the music scene alive.
Bam Bam The band……………
Rico People supporting smaller bands and local music. Far too many times you see people going to watch the legends and spending all their money on that, but won't go to watch their friend down the road play their gigs. When the legends are gone, you need people to fill that slot. And if you don't watch local bands, there won't be anyone. Your favourite band was a small band once. So get out there and watch stuff! You may discover something you like. And then you can be that pretentious git who loudly tells everyone around you that you 'saw them before they became famous'. And everyone loves that guy. Everyone thinks they're really cool.
Mother Getting out on the tour and playing to old and new fans.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
Psychoberrie: I don't really want to do any covers but if we did it would have to be vastly different to the original. I would not want to do a rock or metal song and it would have to also fit the story. I thought about Eminem's 3am the other day and how different I could make it, but I've since reviewed the lyrics and it mentions McDonald's so now I'm gonna have to research when McDonald's became popular in the UK to see if it fits the timeline. I bloody hate McDonald's though so the idea is probably gonna have to be shelved for that reason anyway.
Doktor Von Stottenstein not sure tbh. Not a massive fan of covers-that’s not who we are.
Wolfy I'd enjoy taking a children of bodom approach and doing something silly like backstreets boys or something.
Bam Bam Would love to metal up some funky disco! Maybe a bit of Earth Wind and Fire
Rico "Every Time We Touch" by Cascada. Look me dead in the eye and tell me the mosh pits to that wouldn't be wild. Go on. Lie to me.
Mother As I love Avatar, it has to be one of theirs. I think Kerrie could do a beautiful version of Tower.
MM: Tell us why we should listen to your Ward XVI
Doktor Von Stottenstein We’re a band who strive to be different and immersive, we love having a strong community around us to build this world we are in and passionate in the music we write and play. You definitely won’t forget the show and won’t want to leave once you’re here.
Bam Bam Because we all want to stay on the right side of Psychoberrie. She knows who’s listening and who isn’t. And if you’re not, you’d better run!
Rico We're like nothing you've heard before, but in a good way. Every song is linked to an overarching story, but is such a departure from the rest you're bound to find something you'll like. Big headbangy anthems? We got them. Synth infused songs you could almost rave to? We got them. Ballads? Got you covered. Circus tinged songs about toys? Mate, we got loads of them.
Mother Because they are bloody fantastic obviously!
MM: Four words to describe your Band
Psychoberrie: It is fuckin banging
Doktor Von Stottenstein Sexy talented genius liars
Wolfy Circus prog shock horror
Bam Bam Unmissable, Unstoppable, incomparable and YES
Rico 'We' re all mad here'
Mother Theatrical, unique, deep and insane.
Quick Fire Rnd.
1. Festival or Small Intimate gig-Festival
2. strait jacket or injection-Jacket
3.Saint or Sinner-I'm clearly a saint
4. Insanity or Sanity-Sanity, I've always wanted to know what that would be like
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson
Psychoberrie: I'll go with Boris as he's probably fractionally less likely to rape me especially as his sort prefer virgins.
Doktor Von Stottenstein
1. Festival or Small Intimate- both have strengths and weaknesses. Small means we can get more up close and personal to current inmates , festival means we can be more ambitious and reach new people.
2. strait jacket or injection-depends what injection
3.Saint or Sinner-saint
4. Insanity or Sanity - can’t have one without the other and I tread that line daily
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson- lock them both in a room and let them share the cheese and wine.
1. Festival or Small Intimate gig-Festival
2. strait jacket or injection-Injection
3.Saint or Sinner-Sinner
4. Insanity or Sanity-What's sanity?
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson-Neither. Or both. Depends on what context.
1. Festival or Small Intimate gig-Festival
2. strait jacket or injection-Injection
3.Saint or Sinner-Sinner
4. Insanity or Sanity-Insanity
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson-Neither
1. Festival or Small Intimate gig-Small intimate gig
2. strait jacket or injection-Strait jacket. They're cosy.
3.Saint or Sinner-Sinner. They're the fun ones.
4. Insanity or Sanity-Aren't we all a little insane?
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson-Neither. You can't make me choose. I don't want to. I'm going on strike. Down with this sort of thing!
1. Festival or Small Intimate gig-Festival
2. strait jacket or injection-Strait jacket
3.Saint or Sinner- Sinner
4. Insanity or Sanity-Insanity
5. Boris Johnson or Marilyn Manson- Lesser of 2 evils, Marilyn I guess
MM:Final Words for your fans and our readers
Doktor Von Stottenstein Please come and see us, hearing our music is only 50% of the overall concept of the song so come and join the inmates.
Follow us on all platforms, share/ like/ follow and invite your friends as that’s the only way grass roots bands like ours survive and grow.
Wolfy THANK YOU SO MUCH! you are the reason live music is a thing. Buying the merch. Going to the shows. Without you we are nothing.
Bam Bam SEE YA SOON!!! XX
Rico Be good, Stay crazy, Stay hydrated, don't talk to any toys you don't know. And we'll see you on the road. There's plenty of cells in the asylum.
Mother Come and watch our show and be admitted as an Inmate of Ward XVI! You'll never look back!