Interview: MALEFICE “Some Guy Lost His Kneecap In Our Set. It’s Now An Ashtray”

Interview: MALEFICE “Some Guy Lost His Kneecap In Our Set. It’s Now An Ashtray”

Tech-heroes Malefice graced Sonisphere this year to a rapturous crowd, packed to the gills with technical ecstasy and raw, raucous power. Later, they met with Fox to discuss new material, festival incidents and why Babymetal are weird little c*nts…

The chat with vocalist Dale Butler, sticksman James Cook and guitarist Ben Symons, rapidly degenerated into a barrage of dry-humoured nonsense, so don’t take ‘everything’ you read too seriously. They take deadpan to a whole new level.

News regarding their “by far the heaviest thing” upcoming EP coming soon!

malefice sonisphere

Hey guys! I’m going to make this real easy for you. Pick a number, tell me why the number is special to you and then answer the question…
Dale Butler: What, all of us? And we have to tell you why the number is special?

Yes, and yes! I’m not just chatting to one member you know..wait, not just any number either. Don’t be throwing 9527 at me, a number between one and fifty.
DB: OK, I’m gonna pick number eleven …becauuuuse that’s the number of Didier Drogba, who won Chelsea the champion’s league.  So that’s a very special one.

Ok, one or the other – you can either play only a few festivals a year with a guaranteed huge attendance or constant touring with pot luck and possibly no-one showing up…
DB: Oh I can tell you that because we’ve done both! We’re currently doing the first one, and that’s like, cherry-picking and it’s much better, much better. Yeah, we’d only do festivals. Only festivals.

DB: Yeah, 100%.

Wouldn’t you miss touring though?
DB: Not really! (laughs) It’s an expensive hobby! It really is in this day and age. Kids think you get, uh, that you get paid loads for it… and you do get paid loads for it (laughs) but you’ve got bills and expenses as well… I prefer coming to something like this. We just played to like, 2-3000 people, kicked their arses off, and now we’re gonna get drunk!
JC: On the last tour we didn’t get to go much up north and now some of our fans from up north have come down for Sonisphere so they have a chance to see us. I think you get a better spread of people at the festivals as well. It’s a chance to get new fans as well, you get people who come to our gigs, but then you get people who are walking past the tent thinking “that sounds good! I’ll go and check that out!”
DB: What James is trying to say is, that we don’t want to travel to fans any more…(laughter) We expect them to travel to us.
JC: Haha, I was trying to put it nicely! Just cut through the bullshit, yeah. (laughs)

Haha, classic. OK, the next number?
JC: Eight! The day of my birth.

What would you have asked for on your rider if you thought you could get away with it?
JC: Oh I dunno, it’s sounds awful so I don’t wanna say it..
BS: Just say drugs, that’s fine.
DB: Say drugs. Say drugs!
JC: Well the obvious one is drugs! But.. Fresh underwear! FRESH UNDERWEAR! I’d say fresh underwear. As a drummer I go through quite a few socks on tour.
BS: He has problems.
JC: I’ve got problems, yeah. Drummer foot is a big problem…

Drummer foot? And you want underwear? Now I’m confused as to where you’re…
JC: Just general sweaty areas unfortunately!
DB: Big air conditioning unit?
ALL: Yeah
DB: Big stage fans everywhere too. Big ones. I’d like um, I’d just put, more money.
BS: More money.
DB: Yeah. Just loads of money. No specific amount: just loads. If I don’t think it’s enough?….. we ain’t playing.(all laugh)

‘It’s not loads enough’, haha, pick another number.
BS: I’m gonna copy Pearly, Twelve. Because it’s the day I was entering the world.
DB: Can I just say.. my number reasons have been so much better, and more original than you two.
BS: Football? I don’t think so…

malefice at sonisphere

At this point, the boys began talking about someone’s mum, which was almost indecipherable, but definitely unrepeatable banter..

So, curating a festival is becoming a lot more popular these days and a lot of bands are being asked. If you were curating a festival who would you pick?
DB: Er, us! Malefice would definitely be headlining..
BS: No! …Why??? No-one would come!
DB: Oh we’d get someone good to open for us
BS: Oh, yeah yeah.
DB: Yeah
JC: Every Time I Die?
DB: Like, Kiss or something.
BS: Extreme, maybe?
DB: Kiss, Every Time I Die… What about Drake? Or Eminem?
BS: But we couldn’t afford to pay anyone. (laughs)
DB: There are so many things you haven’t thought about. Like, how are we financing this festival?
BS: Yeah, How are we gonna finance this festival?
DB: Yeah, how are we financing it?
BS: Are you funding it?

Not sure I would bother with those fucking bands, no…
JC: Yeah, do we have the right contacts? Have we got the right networking? That’s the important question here.

That’s down to you guys…
(All laugh)

JC: Nah, nah, now that sounds like a lot of organisation and work. I’m out. I quit!
DB: You can keep your festival, love. It’s all yours.We want nothing to do with it.

It’s all of a sudden like a Malefice Dragon’s Den…
JC: I’ve been asked this quite a few times – who are your top three bands to headline a festival – too many bands to squeeze in! It’s so hard!

Well, Sabbath are gonna die…eventually..
DB: Yeah but I’ve already seen them so I ain’t bothered.
BS: They’re too close to death as well so…they’re […]
DB: Yeah, it’s the same as Metallica, it’s like watching a family member die on stage. You just want it to be quick.

I was thinking the best way for Iron Maiden to stop being Iron Maiden is for Bruce to crash the plane into the main stage as a fitting exit…
(Disgusted laughter)
DB: What time are they doing the flyover?

Six o’clock tonight… *rubs hands together* so it’s a good job you’ve played really, just in case…
DB: Yeah, we don’t wanna crash and burn. I don’t want them to die obviously, I just want them to stop making music and playing it..

I don’t actually want Iron Maiden to die too, obvs..just for the record
BS: Yeah we don’t want them to die.
DB: I hate that bands I grew up loving …fucking, doing themselves such an injustice like Metallica are doing….It’s… embarrassing! They cannot sit back and watch themselves playing and be like “this is great!” and if they do, that’s even fucking worse. I love that band, they’re the reason I am standing here right now – they’re the reason most of us are standing here but fucking call it a day or get better! You get paid to play your instruments, man. If we got up and played our set as shoddily as they did at Glastonbury we’d get boo’d off, we’d have all these shit reviews – we wouldn’t have all these journalists blowing wind up our arses going “OH! Thats was so FUCKING GREAT!”.

I wish I had a video of this now!
JC: We watched Glastonbury, and I was sitting there very happy as a drummer that they didn’t play ‘Battery’, because Lars could not play it for his life. The last time I enjoyed that song played by Metallica is when he wasn’t there. It was when Dave Lombardo was playing it. Easy song, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and he just sat there shitting himself on stage.

It was apparently out of time..
DB: Yeah we’d have been kicked out

Another number!
DB: I’m gonna go for… 26! John Terry.

What state is you tour bus in right now?
DB: Oh it’s a fucking mess! It’s got pants..
JC: and camping gear!
DB: Everywhere. We just got off stage, lobbed everything in, got changed, the stage gear is everywhere. Yeah, it’s a fucking bin.

You’re all messy bastards then, basically?
DB: Yeah yeah. We’re men! It’s the reason we all have partners, because they look after us.

(I raised my eyebrow, sarcastically)
DB: No, no no no.. Not that they do it for us – its that they keep us in check!
JC: Saved yourself there!
DB: I’ll get home from work and I’ll be like “Are you gonna wash that thing up tonight?”  and she’s “No I’m not”, “Is this your knife with peanut butter on it?” “No, it’s yours”

Another number?
BS: For no reason at all… 21.

Your first ever festival experience, good or bad?
BS: Playing it? 2007 or 2008, 2008 we opened up the second stage at Download the first time they had it as an open-air when it was on the concrete surface. Yeah, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
JC: Some guy lost his kneecap in our set.
BS: True story.

JC: Yeah, they found it clearing up afterwards!
BS: Yes and we’ve now got it as a little bowl. It’s now an ashtray. (all laugh)It’s where we put the shells of our pistachio nuts.

What happened? He went down on the concrete in the pit?
DB: Yeah yeah, and smashed his knee off.

Oh my god…
DB: Yeah, we don’t condone that – not a great idea to have it on concrete really. But if you’re listening mate, at least you get a good […] now, ay.

Not such a bad rep to have though, eh? Crippled by Malefice…
DB: Not intentionally
BS: It’s the worst rep to have! (all laugh).
DB: Yeah, ever!

malefice band

Pick another one..
JC: I’ll go for good ole’ lucky number 13.

Do you have any tracks you particularly worry about or dread playing live?
JC: Today was the new track – we’ve just released the first track from our new EP which is coming out very soon – Wednesday, it was out, I think. Through Rocksound. So that was interesting to see how people take to it. For me it had some furious drum parts.
BS: Yeah it was our first time playing it live.

Did it go down well?
BS: Yeah it was great!
JC: We haven’t had anyone cussing us on Facebook yet so it looks to be doing all right.

Yeah, if you’re out of time or something the first thing people will do is to flood it and whine.
DB: Then we cay say “Yeeeaaah, well we were on staaaaage, not you… and we got paid! Ah-Ha-Ha!”

I’ve actually heard the demo before the vocals were put on for this new track. I fucking loved it. I was like “oooooh it’s gone more tech-y!”
JC: We’ve tried to be techy but also where everyone was still able to enjoy themselves on stage and I’m not sat there going “what am I playing next?! I don’t know what I’m doing any more!”
BS: It’s intelligent adult music.

Intelligent adult music..

One more!
JC: Make it good, make it good!
DB: Ok – number nine, Fernando Torres. This one will be a flop!

Babymetal – yes or no?
DB: Get the fuck out of here. Who are ya. Why are you here. Why aren’t you in pantomime. You weird looking cunts. (all laugh)

Haha, that’s amazing..
JC: It’s a weird one because I can’t tell if people are serious or trolling or really up for it. For me it just seems like a novelty. A novelty that was put in front of other bands who have been working much harder for years.

Sorry, I still can’t stop laughing at “weird little cunts”
DB: You’re welcome. For me it sums up all that’s wrong with the fucking music industry and the press. If someone’s got a gimmick, it doesn’t matter about the music and doesn’t matter what they’ve done. It’s just something that will sell magazines so that’s it. That is everything that’s wrong with the music industry is playing on the main stage this weekend. So, Babymetal, fuck off.
JC: People are emphasising about the wrong part of it – like LetLive, all you hear about is the singer going nuts on front of the stage but actually they’re an amazing band. But you don’t hear about the band, you only hear what he’s doing.
DB: Yeah yeah. Totally.

I would be totally happy with three days of Gojira, personally. All stages, three days. Of course and Malefice…
DB: Of course, we’d be well up for that.

So what are you guys doing after this?
DB: Banging through some more press as quickly as we can.
JC: Then jump up and down to Limp Bizkit!
BS: Who doesn’t love Limp Bizkit though, come on?
JC: There’ll be a few here and there..
DB: Probably the same cunts that like Babymetal.

One of my fave bands is effectively opening for Babymetal, TesseracT. I have to see them..
JC: Oh yeah, gotta see Tesseract too, and Hang the Bastard.

Brilliant! So, is there a tour coming up?
JC: Got one lined up – September 18th – 21st on Light the Fuse tour with Maylene and He is Legend. A travelling festival essentially.
DB: You know everything!
JC: Yeah, I might be the new guy but I do my research. (reels off furth dates, venues, times, locations like a machine) That’s all I’ve got!
DB: And I go on holiday, that’s all I care about.

Brilliant. Thanks guys, you’ve been ace.

light the fuse road festival

Sonisphere Festival online:

“Five” out now via Transcend Music. Buy it here