London-based Hardcore/Death Metal band Dripback are a relatively new band on the UK scene but in a short space of time have become one of the UK’s most exciting and intense extreme metal crews.
Dripback is the brainchild of former guitarist of death metal/drum ‘n’ bass villans Ted Maul, Luca Grandi. The sole reason behind putting the band together was nothing more than an excuse to spend more time with some of his mates whilst playing the music they all love, a savage mash-up of Hardcore, Crust, Death Metal, D-Beat and Thrash. The rest of the band is made up of other former members of Ted Maul and Labrat, and current members of River Freshney. It soon became clear to them that the music they were playing deserved a wider audience and plans were made to take it out of the rehersal room.
A full Uk tour in May 2011 as main support to Soilent Green was undertaken and Dripback became a fully-fledged live band. The word spread and before long, high profile shows at Download and Bloodstock festivals were played.
The band also struck lucky by getting some studio time with legendary producer Russ Russell, who found a gap in his schedule to record Dripbacks debut release, the 6 track ep “Inhaling The Ashes”. This was released in june 2011 on the Seige of Amida record label to much crittical acclaim in the metal press. Shortly after this, the band filmed their debut video for the track “Kick Out Time”. The location used for the video shoot was an Anarchist squat in South London.
Another short UK tour happened in december 2011, this time with long time mates and Grindcore superstars, Lock Up and The Rotted.
Not hanging about, Dripback began 2012 with a support slot on the Biohazard tour (the “Shitfaced by 8” tour as they nicknamed it) and it was at the Manchester date that I caught up with them.
Going onstage 5 minutes after the doors open is a far from ideal situation, by the time I had got down the stairs into the Club Academy venue, they were already tearing into the set with a degree of savagery that few bands can compete with. Vocalist Wez4 rampages around the stage in a way that reminds me of prime-time Rollins and the rest of the band are equally manic. The intensity generated is truly thrilling. Massive riffs, blastbeats and the brutal vocals from Wez combine into a visceral, heavy as fuck experience.
All too soon the 25 minute set time is over, and the 3 bands that follow (including headliners Biohazard) seem a little tame in comparison. I then head off into the depths of the venue with Luca, Wez4 (vocals) and Lee4 (guitars) for a bit of a chat
It’s clear that these lads are having a blast and are still sticking by the original plan of not having a plan and seeing where it all takes them, a stolen bottle of Jagermeister is produced and I ask what the future has instore for Dripback
Lee4 answers “Album and touring. We were booked to record the album in march and that all went to shit so now we’re recording it in august. It’ll be out next year and we’re recording it with Russ ‘Rusty’ Russell, hopefully after that, a couple of decent support slots”
As playing festivals seem to be in a bands job description these days, I ask if there’s any on the agenda.
Luca. “Yeah, we’re playing Hammerfest in march at Pontins and have been told we’re welcome back at Bloodstock. I don’t know if that means we’re welcome to play but apparently we’re welcome back! I wanna get to the more obscure European festivals and play them in summer”
All the Dripback boys have the number ‘444’ tattooed on them and as Wez4 works as a tattoo artist at a studio in Sweden, I ask about the significance of this. “It’s our thing man, it’s our crew innit?” Wez is clearly commited to this as he has the 444 tattooed under his eye and on the inside of his mouth!
The band are fiercely anti-racism as I find out when Luca notices the Burzum t shirt that I’m wearing. I get it with both barrels and after explaining that I totally disagree with Varg’s politial views and I only have interest in his music, a truce is struck.
So it would seem the future is looking good for Dripback, it’s blatantly obvious they are having a great time playing together and the ‘take it one day at a time’ attitude they have about the direction of the band and the music business is a refreshing change. They are also (contrary to their apperance, they look like a right bunch of ‘Wrong ‘Uns!) genuinely friendly lads and the way they bounce off each other frequently borders on comic genius.
As a final thought, who would have guessed that such an agressively, brutal hardcore bands main influence would be Lionel Richie?