The Raven Age have recently embarked on their first headlining tour across Europe. After supporting metal giants Iron Maiden and Anthrax this is their first time headlining a tour which will see them hit venues from Glasgow to Copenhagen with plenty in between. After releasing their debut album ” Darkness Will Rise ” earlier this year, brandishing their mix of old school rock/metal and metalcore influence with clean vocals, the band are ready for bigger and better things. Tonight they are in London for their sold out hometown show at the Boston Music Room and we got to catch up with drummer Jai Patel to ask him a few questions…
After supporting bands such as Iron Maiden and Anthrax how does it feel to be doing your first headlining tour?
It’s a strange but pretty incredible feeling to be honest! We’ve supported so many bands over the last 4 years and that’s what we’re used to, so being the last band on stage and playing a longer set in front of our own fans is something that we’ve been excited to do for a quite a while now.
You released your new album not long ago what has the response to the album been like?
The response has been great! We’ve seen some awesome reviews come in and speaking to our fans, they all seem to love it. All of them seem to have different favourite songs too which is always a good sign!
What is your favourite song off the album?
My favourite song changes all the time… I’m enjoying The Dying Embers Of Life the most at the moment as it’s so powerful and got some really nice sounding vocal harmonies. We’ve just started playing it live on this headline tour too. Fortunately for everyone, I’m not singing any of those harmonies!
You recently took on a new guitarist Tony Maue how did you find him and what was the decision for taking him on?
George knew of Tony from the local music scene in Harlow and he actually recorded a few scream vocals on one of the album tracks called ‘My Revenge’. It was Dan’s decision to step away from the performing side of the band when he felt it was the right time and has since moved into a management position so he’s still heavily involved. Tony was always on the radar when looking for Dan’s replacement because he’s a great guitarist and vocalist too, so after doing a couple of tours with him this year he became an official member of the band!
You are on tour at the moment which show are you most looking forward to?
We just played London last night which was our hometown show and it was sold out so that was definitely top of the list for everyone before it started. It was such an incredible gig, but so were the others too because every crowd has been mental so far, let’s hope it continues! Out of the shows that are left, I’m really looking forward to playing in Tilburg, Netherlands as we’ve played the same venue before with Tremonti and it was so much fun and such a nice venue.
If you could play any venue in the world where would you play?
We’ve been so lucky have played so many cool places around the world but for me it would have to be Brixton Academy in London. It’s where I went to my first proper gig and it’s such an iconic venue, hopefully we get to play there soon…
What is your number one essential item to take on tour that you can’t live without?
Probably my PS4! I bring it on the bus and we have about 4 controllers so everyone has something to do while we’re stuck on the bus travelling. We play lots of Fifa, Tekken, Call of Duty and we’ve now got a Wii on board so we can play Mario Kart, we are all very competitive!
What has been your favourite album of the year so far?
I like so many different kinds of music and there are so many albums to choose from so it makes this difficult but I’d probably choose Linkin Park’s ‘One More Light’. It has an amazing mix of songs on it and there’s a lot of emotion in Chester’s voice and lyrics. Hearing him sing definitely hits you in the feels, after what has happened.
Where do you draw inspiration from and what inspires the music you write?
Our guitarist George writes the lyrics, and he gets lots of his ideas from his favourite books and films. But in terms of the actual music, it comes from listening to and learning songs from our favourite bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Parkway Drive and Killswitch Engage. We love the mix of heavy and melodic as you can probably tell from listening to us!
If you could support any band on a tour who would it be?
It has to be Avenged Sevenfold. They’re my favourite band of all time and they consistently make great music that differs in style on every album but still has the A7X sound. Plus they’re pretty much perfect live.
What would your advice be to upcoming bands wanting to follow in your footsteps be?
Practise lots, both individually and as band, and just keep enjoying yourself! That’s the main thing is that you enjoy what you do but also, play as many gigs as possible! Never mind how big the venue or crowd is, playing live is invaluable.
Having played shows in many different countries what so far has been your most memorable experience whilst on tour?
Playing Sao Paulo in Brazil is probably my favourite gigging memory. We played in a football stadium that was absolutely rammed when we went on and when I walked out there were hundreds of camera flashes and all sorts. Looking at the footage still blows me away now outside of gigging though, the time we spent in Cape Town was probably the most memorable touring experience. We took helicopters to a safari park, had a football match, a crew party and loads more. It’s such a beautiful place so I need to go back there on holiday!
What has been your least favourite experience on tour?
The only downside to touring for me is being away from my family and friends. It’s great when they take holidays to wherever you’re playing though, you get to catch up with them and hear about everything you’ve missed back home!
What are the future plans for The Raven Age?
We’re going to keep making music, touring and enjoying ourselves! We want to keep growing and see where it takes us, we all dream of a stadium world tour someday but short term, we’ll be off until the new year and then get touring again as soon as possible in 2018.