Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
I’ve written a bunch of bios in the past for this band, so I’ll try to keep this one as informal as possible. Scott and I have been writing for and maintaining this band since 2011, which is actually kind of insane to think about. We worked under the name Hellborn Death Engines from 2011-mid-2015.
After releasing one album, puttering around under a slow pace, and losing our rhthym section, Scott and I decided to find two new guys and try and give this thing a serious shot. Enter Jeff and Darren, who were not only superior musicians, but superior people on all fronts. They brought in a new level of musicianship to us, kickstarted what ended up being the re-branding to Illyrian, and got our asses in gear in a way that we hadn’t had before. It’s been an excellent year and a half since those two have come aboard.
Full disclosure: I hate this question! When I was a music journalist, we had to decide for ourselves as to what the band we were talking to sounded like and make those decisions to craft the story. But I digress. People love genre-fying things.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
I guess the closest sub-genre to associate us with would be thrash. Most of Scott and I’s common influences are with those kind of bands, weither that be the old school (Megadeth, Death Angel, Exodus, Testament, Slayer) or the new school (Revocation, Havok, Lazarus AD, Battlecross, Ghoul)… But the cool thing about this band is that we all listen to such different stuff most of the time, that I don’t ever see us painting ourselves into one of those stale corners. For instance, Jeff and Darren are very into the progressive side of things (Mastodon, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me, Baroness), while Scott listens to a lot of instrumental shred and I am very much a punk rocker at heart.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Metalheads and geeks alike should buy our merchandise because we are exactly what happens when those two worlds cross over, much like the Netherealm merging with Earthrealm, and create one, defining metal band for the masses. Also, we’re starving artists and starving artists need money. Lots and lots of YOUR money.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
We’ve one full length under the Hellborn name and one upcoming album under the Illyrian name. I suspect that everyone is going to love the new one more…not that the first one didn’t get people stoked, but I think we’ve far and away outdone the last one. I am fairly confident that will continue with every following album afterwards as well. Look, I sound like a cliché musician! When did that happen, I wonder?
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We do shows, not as many as we probably should, but that will change when Round 2: Fight! drops and live action becomes the priority again. We plan to spend all winter taking bookings and getting out there, so look for us in your local town or demand that your local promoter bring us there! I honestly feel like most of 2017 will be dedicated to shows as well, but we’ll see how that goes.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
We’re really laid back and easy to work with. That’s probably our best quality on all fronts. We’re not like some of the super serious kvlt metal guys out there who run with the gimmick in their daily lives or anything like that. We tend to be silly, laugh a lot and make sure everyone involved with us, inside or outside of the band, is having a good and easy time when the Illyrian train is rolling. It’s a nice contrast to how seriously we take the music itself, and creates a nice working and creative environment for everything to come together.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Touring, touring, touring! That’s been the talk so far. We’re trying to make our way out to the Canadian west coast in October, and then spend the ret of 2016 trying to book some weekend warrior dates in this country. After that, we wanted to try heading out East towards Montreal, and then after that, try and book something in Europe (our drummer is British, you know!). There may even be talk of an EP late next year. All big and good things though, I promise.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Follow this link to listen to and purchase our music: http://illyrian.bandcamp.com/album/round-2-fight
Also hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @illyrianband for questions, comments, concerns and bookings. Thanks!