How was your Christmas? Quiet? For Brutality Will Prevail the festive period was anything but…
On December 30 Brutality Will Prevail announced that vocalist Ajay Jones was leaving the band as he was unable to balance personal commitments and his interests outside of the band with the group's increasing tour schedule. Soon after this statement Jones took to the band's Tumblr account, calling the band "a money making scam" which prompted another response from the remaining members of BWP. So far so dramatic.
A few days into 2013 and the band have already posted another lengthy message apologising to fans who are have outstanding merch orders (Jones ran that side of the band's operation and apparently still manages their current webstores). This chaotic series of events made Rock Sound ask one simple question, just what is going on with Brutality Will Prevail right now?
To shed some light on the situation we got on the phone with guitarist Ash Gray and new vocalist Louis Gauthier earlier this week, here's the conversation we had...
Had you felt the line-up change coming for a while?
Ash:"To be honest we've been talking about it for a while now, when the four of us decided we wanted to tour full time Ajay admitted that he didn't want to carry on in the band. I can absolutely respect that, he's got a life outside the band and to me that's a big deal."
Have you spoken to Ajay since Christmas?
Ash: "Bits and bobs, but nothing massive at the moment, I've not hung out with him properly."
Louis: "When it got announced I was joining the band I made sure I called him up to make sure we were cool, personally I hold no animosity towards him. He told me there was no problem, he just didn't want to be a part of the band anymore. I haven't seen him in person yet, but I'll do that at Dead Swans' final show, guess we'll see how that goes."
How did you feel abou the response posted online that called the band, amongst other things, a money making scam?
Ash: "This is a difficult one to be honest as I didn't expect it at all. I did not see that statement coming and I definitely don't agree with some of the things he put it in. Everyone in this band is my best mate and when I saw that statement I thought it both was harsh and wrong at the same time. The money making bit was a big point of disagreement, that's definitely not true. I'm broke and I have no money right now, if that statement was true I wouldn't be sat in my bedroom with nothing to do. That was one of the parts I thought was inaccurate, but I guess he's not going to be completely over the moon with us going off to do all these shows around the world."
What does this mean for your future with Purgatory Records? Are you an unsigned band?
Ash: "I'm not entirely sure to be honest. Purgatory was always a group of friends that hung out at home and came to shows with us, I kept in contact with everyone through that. As for us being on the label it's not been spoken about, but it was always more than just a record label."
Were you a band under contract?
Ash: "No, it was completely DIY, there is no contract no nothing. It was friends and records, nothing more."
Do you hope you can salvage something and stay on it or is it a time for something new?
Ash: "I'm not too sure with stuff like that, we'll have to take it as it comes.".
Louis, is Breaking Point still a band?
Louis: "Yeah we will keep going, we've never really been that active a band so everyone is comfortable with the band being something I can do whenever I can. That band is my baby and I'll keep doing that for as long as I can."
Where were you when you got the call asking you to join the band?
Louis: "I got the call from Ash a few days before Christmas, I was at home about to have dinner with my housemates and friends. He called and asked if I wanted to do it, I said sure immediately, I love those guys and I love the band, I'm psyched to be the first person they thought of."
Any fears coming into the band?
Louis: "I don't feel too concerned, there is a fair bit of pressure that comes with singing for a band their size but I'm just taking it as it comes. I'm confident though."
Has the new line-up played together yet?
Ash: "Not officially but we've actually played live together before. When we toured with Terror last year Ajay couldn't make some of the gigs so Louis filled in for us, we're not new to each other, we've known each other for a long time."
When is the first official show for BWP 2.0?
Ash: "We might have some European shows but the Cancer Bats tour will be the first big shows, they start in March. It's going to feel new for us but I think it's going to work out good, I've got a really good feeling about the future."
Despite the recent online madness it looks like you are still staring down the biggest year ever for Brutality Will Prevail, how does that feel?
Ash: "I never ever expected this to happen. We played shows and fests when we could, wrote songs with our friends and I never thought we could get even this far. When we got shown what we would be doing in 2013 it was such a shock, literally a dream come true for us. We're part of a UK tour in big venues, we're going to headline dates in Europe and we get to play shows in Japan and Australia, the whole year will be full of totally new experiences, I'm excited for every bit of it."
Louis: "This will be the busiest year of touring I've ever done. I think the plan is work fucking hard and see what happens."
Finally, how long before the band starts writing together?
Louis: "The plan is to start that process sooner rather than later, we'll be writing pretty soon I bet, I'm really looking forward to that too."
Brutality Will Prevail will be supporting Cancer Bats on their forthcoming UK dates, go see the new line-up at any of the following shows and hit up facebook.com/brutalitywillprevail for all the band's latest news.
08 - PLYMOUTH White Rabbit
09 - CARDIFF Great Hall II
10 - BIRMINGHAM Library
11 - NEWCASTLE Academy II
12 - GLASGOW King Tuts
13 - MANCHESTER Academy III
14 - LEEDS Cockpit
15 - LONDON Koko
16 - SOUTHAMPTON The Cube
17 - MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms
18 - NORWICH Waterfront
19 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
20 - READING Sub 89
21 - BRISTOL The Fleece
22 - BRIGHTON The Haunt