Heriot: “We’re going to push boundaries with the new record”

HERIOT are one of the best new metal bands in the UK. With debut album ‘Profound Morality’ out now, the band are coming to 2000trees ahead of dates supporting Architects later this year.

Since releasing ‘Cleansed Existence’ back in 2020, Heriot has been one of the most exciting, hype-inducing metal bands in the UK. They more than matched the buzz with 2022’s ridiculously brilliant debut album ‘Profound Mortality’, and as they go into a very busy festival season, the expectations don’t seem to be going anywhere.

“There’s pressure, and it’s just not stopping,” admits drummer Julian Gage. “We figured we’d just ride the wave until people didn’t care anymore,” but more people are seemingly introduced to the vicious, beautiful world of Heriot at every gig. “It is weird,” grins Julian of the continued hype.

New single ‘Demure’ only poured fuel on the fire. The band wanted to get something out ahead of some European shows supporting Rolo Tomassi, so they booked a small rehearsal space and pulled it together in a few days. “We churned it out, but it’s probably one of my favourite songs we’ve ever made,” says Julian.

“We wanted to have a track that has a bit of everything that we do,” he continues, with the energetic song bounding between clean vocals and heavy breakdowns. “Everything that we did on the album is in that track. We didn’t intend for it to be five minutes long, but people don’t seem to mind,” he adds.

The band are feeling the pressure after the success of ‘Profound Mortality’, but they’re used to it. “There was a lot of pressure on us just making that album,” says Julian, with the band signing to Church Records with only a handful of singles to their name. “We quickly realised we actually had to make something.” So, over five gruelling days, they created ‘Profound Mortality’. “It was probably a little rushed, but I’m really proud of it. It got us here, after all.”

“I don’t think we’re going to be that lucky forever,” he adds of their rapid work ethic. “I’m sure we’ll hit a wall at some point, but it’s working okay so far.” As it stands, they’re not too worried about what comes next, either. “We’ve got so many ideas for new material just sitting in a folder, so we’re more excited than anything to start work on new music.”

“We’re going to push boundaries with the new record,” he continues. “We found our sound with ‘Profound Mortality’, but we want to push beyond that now. There’s a new song that doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s entirely clean vocals which isn’t something we’ve done before. It’s still crushingly heavy, though,” he adds. “It’d be boring if we just did the same thing over and over again.”

He goes on to explain how strong the UK heavy scene is at the moment, which inspires the band to keep following their gut and keep chasing excitement. Still, Julian isn’t sure why their music is connecting as fervently as it is. “We’re aware that we don’t make music for the masses. All our songs are either really long or really short, so it’s weird,” says Julian. “I just feel really lucky, there are not many bands that can play Slam Dunk and Damnation in the same year, but we do like a challenge,” he continues. “I try not to overthink it too much, though.”

With the continued excitement around Heriot, the band are “well aware” that they need new music. As always, though, “it’s just finding the time to finish it.” That probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon. 

The band are touring non-stop throughout June, while July sees them play festivals like 2000trees and Standon Calling ahead of a run of European shows with Architects. “It’s hard work, but it’s all worth it,” says Julian of their busy schedules. Heriot just want to get in front of as many people as possible.

“The live show is where we flourish,” says Julian. “We pride ourselves on the energy,” he continues while promising a “loud, abrasive” show that’s nothing but good vibes. “I think our music should be heard live,” he adds.

Heriot has existed in one form or another since Julian was a kid, and they’ve “always been ambitious with everything.” Before they put out ‘Profound Mortality’, they drew up a step-by-step plan on how to pitch to labels and play their favourite festivals. “It all went according to plan, which is wild,” grins Julian. “We always had that ambition, but I’m not sure we actually thought it would ever happen for us. To actually get to this point…” ■

Taken from the July 2023 edition of Upset.