Lotus Eater: five reasons to love Oli Sykes’ favourite new heavy band

Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes had to eat his words during their headline set at All Points East. “A few months ago I said rock was a load of shite. This festival has shown me I was wrong. I don’t know what I was fucking talking about. Rock is alive.”

He’d claimed that heavy music had stagnated and that “rock hasn’t produced a legend in decades.” Now, we’re sure that seeing a festival full of people lose their minds to the likes of Architects, Employed To Serve and While She Sleeps helped change his opinion a little bit, but we reckon Lotus Eater deserve much of the credit.

“A band making heavy music like it should be done,” according to Oli, Bring Me The Horizon’s performance of ‘Antivist’ with Lotus Eater’s Jamie McLees was not only a highlight of the day and the most vicious that song has ever sounded, but it felt like the start of something new. And that’s what heavy music has been lacking lately.

But Lotus Eater are much more than a guest spot. Here’s vocalist Jamie McLees to give you five reasons why you should fall in love with his band.

They’re the first British heavy band to be signed to Hopeless Records in their 25-year history

“I was absolutely ecstatic, it felt like the biggest thing in the world but now it feels a bit more normal. We’re different, we’ve got something to say for ourselves and we’re basically a big middle finger to everyone who really doesn’t think much of us. Hopeless saw that and they see the direction we want to go in so they picked us up. It has changed things a lot for us. When we headline, I’m not too scared of people not showing up.”

They’re fearless

“The main part of ‘Antivist’ is “middle fingers up” and a lot of my stage presence is middle fingers up to the crowd. I don’t really get nervous before many things and luckily, being onstage with Bring Me The Horizon was one thing that I didn’t get nervous about. If I was nervous, I would have made a dogs dinner of it probably. I wasn’t too bothered about the crowd not knowing me because by the end of it, they did know me. It just felt like another stage. The only thing was the fire that was constantly coming up, I was just trying to avoid that.”

“I feel like I’ve got so much to prove. In school. all I did was listen to music in class and I didn’t pay attention to anything else. I got told I wasn’t going to achieve anything. Most of the time I couldn’t eat on tour because I didn’t have a job, because I don’t have great qualifications because I spent most of my time focusing on my music. I feel like if I make this thing work, it’s a big middle finger up to everyone who never supported me to achieve this band as my dream. If I make this, that’s me happy.”

They build worlds with their music

“On ‘Social Hazard’ (their latest EP) each song is written by one of the members of the band about one thing we went through growing up that we hated, or something that’s going on now that we really dislike and is causing someone to become a social hazard.

“I want people to take fear from it. I want them to feel intimidated, but I also want them to feel satisfied. I want them to know that the things that we are singing about actually go on. I don’t want them to think we’re just writing a song, I want them to know that it exists.

“Gloom is our home. It’s our own world and we want you to be in it. It’s a place where you can come and just be yourself, enjoy the music and not worry about anything else that’s going on. It’s a space that’s the worst place imaginable, but it’s where you feel at home. That’s what we mean by it.

They’re the start of a new wave of heavy bands

“I feel like there’s a scene. Obviously with us and Loathe, we’re friends. And Modern Error, Holding Absence and God Complex, we’re in a scene together. It feels like one big family, which is quite lovely.  Now we’re getting more attention, I’ve started thinking about it more. Now we’re bigger, I can almost compare us to Slipknot. I’m not too scared to think about a future with Slipknot. Even though it’s probably so far off, I’m not scared of the idea of it anymore.

“I just think something’s happened to everyone’s minds. Something a little more creative has just happened. Creative juices have just appeared out of nowhere and people have started to make different things and it’s starting to get interesting again.”

They might be the future of heavy music

“I would love to say we are the future of heavy metal. I would love to have that label for ourselves. We are hopefully going to try and carve that for us. We’re going to try and create that future. Right now, we’re playing as much as we can. We’re not writing for anything specific, but we just keep on writing anyway. We’re just playing around but it sounds fucking mental.

“We’ve got a song called ‘Freak’ and it’s about being a freak. It’s about not being normal. It’s saying, don’t be scared to do something different. Don’t just follow in everyone else’s footsteps. Don’t do what the normal thing is, change it. Do something different, and that’s what we try to do. I would love for everyone to go home and have the idea that they need to do something different imprinted in their head.

“I want to be one of those bands that are known for doing something. I don’t know exactly what that could be, but we could be the band that done something different. It definitely feels exciting right now. It’s all paying off. I don’t think there is a place to take it, we’ll just keep going and they’ll be no stopping.”