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Interview with Struck / Down
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We are all really creative people who enjoy writing and performing music and we wanted to do that with other like-minded individuals. We love what we do and the feeling that creating music can give you and by extension the audience. If we hadn’t got into music? That’s almost impossible to answer as we couldn’t imagine doing anything else! If we had to be pinned down to an answer, we would be off indulging in our other hobbies outside music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
It varies for each of us. It could be anything from playing video games, to going to the gym or spending time with our families and friends. Because we all have such varied lives outside of the band, when we come together each member can bring something unique that stimulates the creative juices.
How long has your band been around?
Struck/Down was formed in 2014, but even before that our frontman Linden and our then lead guitarist Will Mason had been a duo acoustic act known as ‘Wookie and the Wizard’ for a couple of years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are all from the Canterbury area in Kent. There has been a thriving underground music scene in Kent for years and we always strive to stay up to date with what they are doing. There are so many local bands that have influenced us both in a song writing capacity and how to act as a band should.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
‘Struck/Down’ was conceived from a combination of two warning labels, and it means the world to us. It’s who we are. Our identity, our passion project and something we have worked hard on for many years.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Playing our Metal 2 The Masses final at Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend in July 2021. We hadn’t played a gig in 18 months since the beginning of the pandemic. We had practiced infrequently during that time. We went on to win the competition and played the New Blood stage at Bloodstock in August that year.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend is a particular favourite of ours. It is the home of the metal music community in Kent. Terry Lee the owner is an absolute legend for having one of the best independent venues in the country. We would love to play the Forum in Tunbridge Wells one day, as well as the Underworld in Camden. There’s so many, it’s hard to pick just one!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Being able to be on the same bill as Lamb of God and Malevolence would make one hell of a night. Both bands bring the riffs and the groove as well as both having a massive influence on Struck/Down’s sound and work ethic.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Networking and professionalism. It’s not exactly glamorous, but talking to people at your shows or any gig can yield valuable results in the future. Who knows what one conversation could do for you? And always be professional in everything you say and do when you’re out performing in front of the public. Even if you’re just starting out and it’s your first gig. It always pays to be polite.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Practice, practice and more practice. Take advantage of all the tools that social media has to offer you. Go out there and start conversations with people. Always bring a spare cable and batteries.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
We have what we call in the band ‘landmark songs’ – songs which came about at a very crucial time that laid out the direction of the band going forward. Our new single ‘The Enforcer’ is one of these songs. It’s the start of our new chapter, showcasing the best we currently have to offer. At least until we write something bigger and better!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
‘Sinking’, ‘Charisman’ and the previously mentioned ‘The Enforcer’ are all favourites of ours to play live. They are fun and riff filled, with plenty of groove to get heads banging and bodies moving. ‘Gone’ from our debut album of the same name gets requested a lot when we play local shows. So many people know it and its one of our ‘golden oldies’ now.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
All our songs usually start out as a riff, either as a rough demo or shown in the practice room. This sets the tone and groove. From there, we all collaboratively write the different musical sections whilst our vocalist Linden starts writing his vocal lines and hooks. Once we have a basic structure down, we’ll run it over and over until we are happy with it. When it comes to inspiration, in short we are always inspired to write. We all have our own ideas, there's never a shortage to work on. This goes for everything, from new songs, to music videos to new items of merch.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The messages in our songs can vary. Songs such as ‘Charisman’ are about those people who just won’t shut up and need putting in their place. Some of the older material addresses battling one's mental health. Our EP from 2021 ‘ From Demons…’ tells the tale of ‘Father Bernard’, a man out of time possessed by the spirit of a wicked witch. He is a character we created as a way of telling stories from his point of view. Our upcoming EP ‘To Witches…’ continues this theme.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
If we ever disagree with each other, it generally involves a vote and we’ll go with the majority. A lot of the time we are also willing to make compromises as well. There’s never any bad blood and we don’t fight. We all want the same thing at the end of the day and we’ll do what we have to in order to achieve it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are releasing our next EP ‘To Witches…’ on July 7th 2023. This will be the follow up to our 2021 EP ‘From Demons…’ and the rounding out of our 2 part EP saga. From that, we want to gig as much as possible across the country. Next year we intend to get on line ups for some medium sized festivals and starting making a name for ourselves. After playing Bloodstock in 2021, we want to return and play the Sophie Lancaster stage one year soon. Also, we’ll carry on writing new material. Apart from that, it’s all about enjoying every moment we’re on this journey together and making memories.