You played the Femme Fatales stage at Bloodstock this year and now you're touring with some of the bands that played the same stage; is playing a festival with these bands much different to playing a normal show, and which do you prefer (festival or regular show)?
Becki Clark (vocals): Playing a festival is such a different atmosphere to playing a gig with just one or two other bands. There's a real buzz to it as everyone is there for more than a couple of hours. Also, you tend to get a big portion of the crowd who've not seen you before, so...
Dave Smith (synths): I think we all agree on festivals being better in most ways - simply the massive number of people watching make it a thrilling experience. We're already booked for the main stage of Bloodstock 2005 - besides releasing another album it's certainly the event Season's End are currently looking forward to the most in the near future.
Apparently you'd like to tour with Nightwish, are you big fans of theirs and would you say they've opened a door for female fronted metal bands?
Becki: Nightwish are one of the biggest bands in a similar genre to us, so obviously we'd love to tour with them.
Tom Nicholls (bass): Female fronted bands have been around long before Nightwish but they have set trends in the modern metal scene and have made this type of band more widely accepted. We would love to tour with them to gain experience and reach more people who would enjoy our music.
Have you written any new material over the last few months touring that might feature on a second album from you?
Dave: We don't generally write music whilst touring (or rehearsing for shows). The songs on "The Failing Light" are relatively old to us now - we have been playing a couple of new songs, "Into The Flames" and "Forevermore", live for a while now and we have another six or so songs on the way. The new material shows the same variation of hard and soft from before but with and occasional prog metal touch. I think in general the next album will be more "straight to the point" than before.
What would you say to narrow-minded people that hold the opinion that female singers are only around because sex sells?
Dave: I think you have already answered this question with the words "narrow-minded", although the term "ignorant" would be more suitable. I can't imagine too many people still think that though - at least I hope they don't!
Tom: Female vocals sit very well with the genre, generally because of the higher pitch which gives instruments such as the keys and the guitars plenty of room to play with.
The current metal scene seems to be thriving, usually when this happens several bands are considered to be copycats of others, do you ever worry that you'll unjustifiably get compared to bands like Nightwish?
Becki: I think comparison is quite useful to get people interested in new bands, but it's kind of stupid to make sweeping generalisations about bands just because they have female singers. You wouldn't say Metallica sounded the same as Children of Bodom just because they are metal bands with male singers! However, if people who like Nightwish like us, we can only see that as a good thing!
Do you meet and greet fans after shows? What's it like to have teenage kids singing your songs back to you during shows?
Becki: It's great to have anyone singing our lyrics back to us during the show. It's an awesome feeling to know something you've written means something to people and its great to get that feedback in person after shows.
Tom: Yeah I agree, it shows that what we are doing is worth all the freezing days in the practice room. I think I can say for all of us that we love meeting people after gigs, I really like connecting with the crowd - being on stage can be a bit impersonal sometimes so talking with fans is great fun.
Where did the sigil symbol come from?
Becki: David Stanton's Brain.
Dave: Unfortunately that's about it - no long interesting stories, he just thought of the design and drew it - we've used it ever since and hope that people will recognise it as the Season's End logo or emblem.
You've been getting some good coverage and album reviews from magazines like Kerrang! and Metal Hammer, has your fan-base noticeably flourished and grown over the last few months?
Dave: Things are beginning to "take off" for Season's End - the 'zine articles and reviews have obviously helped a lot, as has the Bloodstock 2004 appearance. The website's getting busier and we're getting more mails and sales - so yeah, it's looking like the fan-base has grown, but I guess we'll find out after a few more gigs! We have some exciting plans for 2005, all will hopefully be revealed soon.
Your band thrives in it's live performances, do you spend a lot of time rehearsing so you can achieve the perfect sound live?
Dave: I wouldn't say more time than average - although we do practice regularly even if we have no shows booked. We don't want to sound like "posers" but we think a massive part of pulling off an impressive live performance is how a band looks and acts on stage. We take care in planning our shows - member movements and arrangements on stage, extra lighting and effects, thinking about the songs that come off best live, in whatever particular order and links between those songs. Our material is always written with the live environment in mind - I personally don't ever want to have to rely on a backing track for major parts of the music like I have seen other bands do.
Where do you hope to be at this time next year?
Becki: It'll be about 5.30, and I'll be having a cup-of tea just after band practice.
Dave: Hmmmm! Hopefully we'll have another CD out that we'll have been promoting throughout the summer. Hopefully we'll be preparing for a certain European metal festival. Hopefully we'll have a record company desperate to release our next album and European (and more!) tours booked. I think we all just want to keep playing shows and spread our music to more people across the world.
Alison Aird of Room Thirteen