“We’re sweaty little music nerds” – an interview with Conjurer, Britain’s greatest new metal band

Conjurer are the hottest new band in British metal right now. Hailing from Rugby – because metal bands don’t ‘come’ from places, they ‘hail’ from them – they count among their fans heavy music titans like Will Haven, Trivium, even Slipknot. Stars of the NME 100 – our top tips for 2019 – the quartets fusion of death metal, stoner rock, doom and sludge is best showcased on last years debut album, ‘Mire’, but like all the best bands, there are many strings to their bow; new release ‘Curse These Metal Hands’, a collaboration with the bands friends, post-rock types Pijn, reveals a deft touch to their songwriting. It suggests there’s more places for the band to go than just hard and heavy.

Before the band hit the UK in October, NME thought it was about time we found out more. Here’s singer and guitarist Brady Deepthrose…

Hello Brady. Can you tell us how Conjurer came to be – only in a way that’s not totally boring like most band origin stories are? 

“Okay, well after admiring Dan [Nightingale, vocalist/guitar] from afar for a few years, we came together via Facebook and started eating shit food and writing good riffs. Jan [Krause, drums] was the only drummer we knew that could play blast beats. We forced Conor [Marshall, bass] to join a few years ago.”

That was pretty good. Brief. Currently – and for a while now – Conjurer have been the hyped new British metal band. It’s probably because you’re really good, but why do you think that is?

“Honestly, I’ve not given it much thought, but it kinda feels like a right time, right place scenario. We’re trying to be creative and honest at a time when people are crying out for those things, and embracing, that, especially in metal. I think we resonate with people. We’re making the music we want to hear and we’re just sweaty little music nerds, like everyone else.”

What’s that hype actually like to deal with?

“It’s pretty easy if you don’t think about it. There’s always a certain amount of pressure that comes along with it, but we have a really cool label [London-based noise label, Holy Roar], PR team and crew around us, and they don’t put any of that pressure on us. Here I am sat, unwashed, in a basement of a venue, very hungry and tired, trying to talk to you while a band is playing very loudly above me, thousands of miles from home, knowing we have a long drive tonight and nowhere to sleep when we get there – and we’re losing money doing it all! That makes it easy to be humble.”

Conjurer come from Rugby. Looking at it on Google maps, it looks really nice. But it invented rugby so we’re not convinced it is actually nice. What’s Rugby like?

“It’s an irredeemable shithole. No, that’s not true actually. Geographically, it’s so central that, being a band, we can tour super easily and drive home every night. Manchester on a work day? No problem! That has actually been a massive factor in being able to do the sheer amount of shows we’ve done over the last four years. It’s not all doom and gloom.” 

You pretty much have the best merch in all of metal right now. Who designs your t-shirts?

“We have a few different artists we work with. Our friends in [French graphic design troupe] Førtifem have done a few bits for us and are incredible people to work with. [Indonesian based artist] Ibayarifin has also done a couple of shirts for us. We were one of the earlier bands he worked with and he’s now done stuff for Gojira and Year Of No Light, proving that Conjurer are a gateway drug. All of our merch so far has been based on themes behind our songs, so we’ll send an artist a track, the lyrics and the meaning behind the riffs and they’ll typically come back with something we can’t all agree on. We’ll then argue ourselves to a horrible compromise that none of us are fully happy with but none of us fully hate.”

Your songs are melodic, but heavy as hell too. What’s more important? The song, or heaviness. Discuss…

“Always the song. 100%. If you’re thinking about anything else, or trying to make your music heavy, then it clearly shows. We write what sounds good to us, at the time, regardless of what comes out. The next record may all be clean guitar-based ballads, but if that’s how the songs end up then so be it. You can always tell when someone has gone out of their way to write a song a certain way because all they have for reference is other songs that sound like that which they end up emulating. You’ve got to try and satisfy your own musical itch and never aim for anything else.” 

Okay, that’s the music done, let’s talk about the really important things. Who out of the band has the hardest dad?

“Definitely not Conor. I’d love to see the rest of our dad’s fight. Mine is definitely hard. Jan’s dad is too nice to be threatening. Dan’s dad has said, like, three words to me ever so he may be a bit of a dark horse. I’ll set it up and get back to you.”

If an evil magician came to one of your shows and turned you all into slugs, how would you deal with this situation?

“We are a serious heavy metal band and I don’t appreciate the tone of your question. However, this reminds me of a thing Dan asked the other day. If someone gave you one million pounds but set an evil invincible slug on you that, if it touched you, would instantly kill you, would you accept that deal and if so how would you deal with it. I guess we’re assuming the slug is un-squishable and won’t ever stop and that its regular slug size, shape and consistency and also that you can choose the starting position of you and the slug – but you have to start at the same place. There’s a few options really. The main worry would be spunking your cool mil on avoiding the slug, then you’re not getting the benefit. You’d have to work out opposite points on the earth. Like Portugal and mainland New Zealand, then buy a house on each. Then the distance between the two – which I believe is roughly 12157 miles – and how long it would take a slug to travel that distance – roughly sixty-two years at the high estimate of a slug’s speed. Dan’s solution was to just get a mate to pick the slug up for you. Remember, to them, it’s just a regular invincible slug, and then put it in a high quality safe, write, ‘Don’t open! Evil slug inside!’ on it and then have it dropped into the Marianas Trench.”

Finally, you recently collaborated with [post-rock’s great new hope, from Manchester] Pijn on a sick record called ‘Curse These Metal Hands’. That’s a quote from an episode of Peep Show, but what I think NME readers really want to know is this; if push came to shove, would you rather have a metal willy or a metal bottom? 

“Oh, I’d have a metal bum because then I could sit anywhere with few to no consequences. I feel like my lack of versatility in the seating department is holding me back. I’ve always felt that. Seriously, if we could sort that, I’d be golden.”

‘Mire’ is out now on Holy Roar records. Conjurer tour the UK in October