Get your double-bass face on, Vancouver’s Unleash the Archers is coming to Calgary, where a wroth-cauldron of frenetic frothing shred-broth will be thrust into your loin-cloth. Unleash the Archers drops into Calgary on May 27th at The Distillery in the early leg of their tour across Canada, which includes 35+ stops and wraps up in July. We just happen to have a tell-all phone interview with the devilishly scintillating lead vocalist Brittney Hayes.
Who you need to know:
Brittney Hayes – Lead Vocals, from White Rock, B.C.
Brayden Dyczkowski – Guitar, Vocals, from McKenzie, B.C.
Zahk Hedstrom – The Bass Man, from Victoria, B.C.
Scotty Buchanan – Drums, from Salmon Arm, B.C.
Cu: Here’s an easy question, how did Unleash the Archers meet each other?
Brittney: Scott and I met at University of Victoria and started dating. Scott was in a band with Brayden, their band broke up, I called up Brayden and asked him if he wanted to start a new project. We found Zahk on Livevictoria.com, a local musician’s site. We started out jamming in the living room of our ex-guitar player Mike’s house. About three sessions in, the landlord shut it down and we had to find some rehearsal space.
Cu: What brought you to the metal genre?
Brittney: Oh MAN. When I was 16, I heard Iron Maiden for the first time and I knew it was what I’d been looking for in music. In the years before I had listened to Megadeth, Tool, Rob Zombie, and White Zombie. I remember I used to play Nintendo to White Zombie with all of the lights off when I was a kid – it was wicked…but Maiden changed everything.
Cu: What band is agreed on to be an influence on the entire group?
Brittney: Iron Maiden ABSOLUTELY. Steve Harris is so talented. All those guys are AWESOME. I mean, who invented the gallop? They did. For me, I’ve been singing my whole life, things like chamber and classical. I love singing in a metal band, and it’s bands like Maiden that inspire me to exceed my own expectations every day.
Cu: Here’s another easy question, how did you come up with the name?
Brittney: This was horrendous. Sooo, after a month of practicing together, we knew we were meshing, and we finally got down to picking a name. It took three months of discussion. We all had a different idea of what the name should embody. I wanted super epic without being too cheesy, Scott wanted a refined literary reference, and so on. We had about 16 pages of names for this band and one day someone said “Unleash the Archers”, and it took.
Cu: Do you have a record label?
Brittney: No, but we’re always looking.
Cu: Any stalkers?
Brittney: Uhhh…no, not really. We have fans that come to every show though..?
Cu: Okay, just wondering. Want one?
Cu: If you could play anywhere, or open for anyone, who would it be?
Brittney: Main Stage at Wacken in Germany with Iron Maiden. They played such an integral part in the history of metal (in my opinion), and to be able to step on the same stage they perform on would be an honour.
Cu: Do you have a favorite music store?
Brittney: Larsen Music in Victoria. They’ve really looked after us well. If you’re in Victoria, check them out!
Cu: Where are the best crowds to play in front of?
Brittney: Edmonton is really fun. They have a wicked crowd. North Bay Ontario. It’s a small town that absolutely loves their shows. Prince George B.C. has an awesome metal scene too. I’d have to give it to Victoria though. They’ve got probably the closest tight-knit metal crowd I’ve ever seen.
Cu: Hardcore/HXC dancing, love it or hate it? (Mosh-pitters who punch downwards at the air beneath them)
Brittney: I like to mosh, but people swinging fists; there’s always that guy in the pit who irritates everyone. I don’t agree with ruining a good mosh pit just to look cool. Dance away, but seriously, be aware of the people around you. I’m the kind of person who will stand off to the side and bang my head, but if you wanna giv’er, I’m not gonna stop you.
Cu: After the show, where does everybody eat?
Brittney: McDonalds. We have half price cards hahaha.
Cu: Sausages or bacon? (Band consensus)
Brittney: Sausages primarily, but Brayden eats enough bacon for all of us.
Cu: What do you think happened to Metallica?
Brittney: They probably didn’t know how to communicate. If the band talks with each other, things get worked out way better. Letting rage build up doesn’t work; they couldn’t talk about their gripes like grown ups, and now it may have cost them respect in the music scene. I think Kill ‘Em All inspired a lot of people and got them away from the glam rock that was prevalent during that time and then Re-Load, well, killed it all.
Cu: What contributing factors allowed you and the crew to go on tour?
Brittney: So many bands helped us; Order of Chaos booked the Edmonton and Calgary leg, they got us in the door for a few other shows on the way back. Derelict helped us out in Quebec. Assassinate the Following and Crimson Shadows in Ontario and Lavagoat in Saskatchewan – they all hooked us up hard. The metal scene in Canada is awesome. Bands aren’t going through booking agencies to get shows, and with that, more unsigned bands are able to infiltrate the scene and make it more about music instead of a label, money and prestige. At the end of the day, it’s about the fans in the small towns and cities.
Cu: Shout-out time!
Brittney: There’s so many! Eric Burnett from Ricburn Media; he’s been doing a ton of promotion work for the tour and the album release, cant thank him enough; Order of Chaos for setting us up with these CD release shows and the organizing of them; Mayo from the Invisible Orange for helping us with our Vancouver show; Josh from Diminished Fifth Records, he’s looking after booking a lot of our east coast shows. If I’ve forgotten anyone here, we’ll do it in person. Thanks to all of you.
Cu: Every good female lead has a crush on a drummer. Do you like drummers?
Brittney: Funny you should ask; I do. It’s just something about drummers. I think the drummer from All Shall Perish is pretty amazing. He has a crazy owl tattoo on his neck that I love. Also Nicko McBrain from Maiden, heck yeah! Of course Scotty is my number one.
Cu: Any war stories from the tour vehicle?
Brittney: Seriously! We were in Amherst, Nova Scotia; middle of nowhere, and we lost our engine and had to wait 5 days for it to be rebuilt. That was heart breaking. We’ve gone through a fuel pump, we’ve blown 3 head gaskets, and cracked a couple of alternator brackets, so yeah, the whole engine is brand new and we hope it won’t let us down this time around!