At Their Mercy, H8teball, & Salt River Shakedown – Smashed Fest II (interviews)

We’ve had interviews with Fury, Centrilia, and a double-header with Aphotic and We Make Mammoths. Now it’s time to complete the conversations with the rest of the Smashed Fest II bands, in a triple-hit from At Their Mercy, Salt River Shakedown, and H8teball. It’s quite the range of styles, with some strong identities, possibly best defined by the bands themselves.

Alek McMillan (SRS): We definitely pool from the 70s rock side of things, but we’re always sure to add that modern hard rock edge and high energy that is needed at metal shows! Even though we’re not a metal band we find we work in metal lineups as a lot of early influences that metal bands derive from are the kind of influences that we pull from too, it’s all rock n roll so everything is connected in some way!

Scott Duff (H8teball): I’d say if you can figure out what the hell this is, genre wise, let us know! Realistically, I’d say if you like masked bands without the pop songs, and something with a simple, straight-forward, heavy riff, with brutal vocals you’ll possibly like us.

Ian Kerr Barron (At Their Mercy): We are a classic Crossover HxC band, taking our influences primarily from 3 bands – Cromags, Slayer, and Discharge.

It shouldn’t be long before we all have a good idea of what they sound like, anyway, as each of them have been working on recordings, although they all have a different message to bring to the table.

AM: With this record the main thing we were aiming for is timelessness, we wanted to capture that spirit that bands like led zeppelin and humble pie had in the 70s, but with our own special twist that makes it fit in the modern era. I think with a lot of hard work, and a few songs binned in the process, we’ve landed where we want to be musically with this record, and we feel that we’re now ready to show everyone what Salt River Shakedown are all about. We couldn’t be happier with the results! Labels these days have in a way lost their relevance in the industry. Everyone can make an album in their bedroom, and release it themselves, thanks to the digital revolution, but the need for great management like Reaction will always be there. There’s nothing more valuable than having someone in the industry, that isn’t in your band, on your side, fighting the good fight, and working with Reaction, we feel, has propelled us to another level.


SD: At the time of recording, we had been listening to a lot of Hellyeah in the car going back and forth for sessions, and our drummer Jason (at the time) liked the sound from Sangre Por Sangre, so it got flung into the drum mix. I wouldn’t say we have a particular influence we put in to the band. We like doing our own thing. Maybe Rammstein, in the sense that we wanted to have simple solid riffs!

IKB: At Their Mercy have close links to the (Gracenote) studio, as our drummer and bass player are both Directors in the company. Our Drummer, Dom, is the chief engineer, and is producing the new EP for us as we speak. We have just got the vocals to finish then it will be ready for mixing/mastering. It should be released by the end of August. We will be looking for suitable labels to release it. Gracenote takes a HxC philosophy to recording and production, with no hidden costs and provides a complete production package, and a wallet friendly price.


As you can expect, though, this early in proceedings, it’s all about live! All three groups have their own stage style, and are bringing something unique to the Smashed Fest II stage. In their own words, they tell us a little about what to expect on the night, and beyond.

IKB: We have played loads of shows over the past couple of years, and are starting to get support slots with more established bands. We recently played with Warwound in both Edinburgh and Sunderland, and supported Intense Degree at the end of March in Edinburgh. (Smashed Fest will involve) nothing out of the norm apart from intensity. That’s what we always bring. Total intensity.  We will be supporting the Varukers in October, and playing a whole bunch of shows between now and the end of the year.

AM: We may have one or two special things planned (for Smashed Fest), but for that you’ll just have to come and see. The main thing we are definitely bringing with us is a good time, and some good old fashioned Rock n Roll, and you can be sure of that. We are delighted to be playing this year, and we can’t thank you enough for having us on! As for what’s to be expected from us in the future? Well, a hell of a lot of tours, global domination, and more new releases of Rock n Roll!!!

SD: Most of the members are big fans of bands like Mushroomhead, Slipknot, Ghost. We love horror stuff, too, so it (masks) was something we’d all wanted to do at some point. We aren’t like super serious with it though. We do it mainly because it’s fun, and we enjoy it! (This is) only our 2nd gig with our new vocalist, and the majority of our friends and family haven’t seen or heard this dude yet, so that’ll be something we are excited about. Visually the band will look pretty different from what we’ve been doing this far. It’s going to be interesting for sure! We can’t wait to play Perth and the Twa Tams. Both are firsts for us! It’s gonna be killer!

So there we go! The final words from the artists before this shindig kicks off on Saturday night! We hope to see a whole bunch of faces, old and new, as a lot of effort has been put into preparing for what is possibly Perth’s biggest and best heavy show of 2019 – not just from us, but the venue and the bands as well!

Let’s put the fear in the Fair City!!!

Smashed Fest II event details:

The Twa Tams, Scott Street, Perth, Scotland

Saturday July 27th 2019

Start: 6pm

Ages 18+

Fury, Centrilia, Aphotic, H8teball, Salt River Shakedown, At Their Mercy, and We Make Mammoths

Freebies up for grab, plus “tossers competition”

Sponsored by; Zero Tolerance Magazine, Distorted, Inkredible Kreations, Black Metal Brewery, and Strait Up Studios

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