Since their formation in 2014, This Be The Verse have been refining their dynamic blend of chaotic industrial bluster and electronica, whilst honing their anarchic live show with a variety of slots supporting some of the most exciting bands in the world, including Black Peaks, Heck, Palm Reader, Wild Throne and Hawk Eyes. Now, they’re finally ready to unleash their debut self-titled album, which is available to stream 3 days before official release exclusively on The Independent.
Harnessing the power of their frenetic live show and distilling those elements into a strikingly varied debut album, This Be The Verse have finessed their sound into an 11-track odyssey that showcases the scope of enigmatic visionary Cyrus King. Often taking a direct, guttural route, the self-titled record is merely the beginning of what he hopes to achieve with the band. ‘For me this album is all about laying the foundations of what This Be The Verse is about,’ he says. ‘I’m determined to have the highest level of artistic integrity and quality, from the song content, to the album artwork to the press shots and videos. It's about saying things which need to be said and to keep people guessing on what's going to come next.’
Infused with a broad range of influences from some of the best contemporary rock bands of the modern era, This Be The Verse draw from a broad palette of styles. ‘Musically, the first acts that come to my mind are Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan’ says Cyrus, ‘but if I was to expand upon that I'd include Tool, Mastodon, Queens of The Stone Age, System Of A Down, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Aphex Twin and Converge; the list goes on. I listen to new music every day. I am a complete an utter music addict.’
But it’s not just music that Cyrus draws from for inspiration, involving himself heavily in practically every artistic decision the band makes. ‘In terms of the visual influences, it could be an amazing film I have seen, a great book I have read or some inspiring photography. I love the surreal work of people such as David Lynch and Storm Thorgerson. The most important thing for me is it that it connects with me, whatever the medium. It could be a moment in the middle of a rave, watching a film by Jonathan Glazer or reading a poem by Phillip Larkin. I thought Mica Levi’s soundtrack for Under The Skin was incredible, it's dark and twisted but still very beautiful. If something resonates with me I'll make a note of it. Quite often I'll be watching a film and will make a note to record a bit of sound design I have heard and come back to that later to build on.’
This ability to take the best ideas from as broad a palette as possible and finesse them from your own unique perspective is what has distinguished musicians from artists; the David Bowies, Mike Pattons and Trent Reznors of this world and Cyrus has ambitions to follow in these hallowed footsteps. This desire not to be boxed in is immediately apparent when Cyrus talks about individual songs on the record. ‘Alone is entirely electronic, Consequences is tear-out scream in-your-face anthem, whilst How Can You Sleep has quite a pop orientated chorus. Moving forward musically, I am pretty open and not tied down to just being a standard bass, drums and guitar band. With this record I feel I have a place for me to build from and also come back to if needed. I might make a completely electronic album next or it could be half an hour of total guitar thrash chaos.’
The record explores a wide variety of lyrical themes, including the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks and the religious indoctrination that causes people to harm others. ‘One side of my family is Muslim but I was christened and went to a few Catholic schools. As a child, I was made to believe there is a god just as there is a Father Christmas. When you are young, you are easily impressionable but I think it's totally wrong to tell a child that there is a god. If you connect with religious values as an adult through your own discovery, that's fine. I Am Charlie is named after the terrorist attacks in France. I was watching all of that unfold on the TV and I just got so angry that people are able to use religion as an excuse to do the most horrific things to one another. If we were to get rid of religion, would these attacks stop? In my opinion, no because it's in our human nature (particularly men) to cause blood-shed and I think a lot of religions are used as an excuse to act over something which is actually political.
Unveil is not exclusively aimed at religion but more at a country and the way they oppress some of their people. No one should be forced to wear a head scarf if they don't want to, but likewise no one should be forced to remove a headscarf on a beach in France if they want to wear it. Religion just creates too much division and does nothing to help us progress as a society; it's an interesting part of world history but that's as far as it goes. We have no need at all for it in the modern world.’
This debut has been in the works for a long time for Cyrus, who has always dreamed of having an album as a canvas to express his ideas. As an art form, he still sees value in the album as a form of expression, and plans to continue making them. ‘I feel relieved to finally be letting go of this record,’ he says. ‘I spent so long trying to make it as good as possible and I've learnt so much making it that I just want to get stuck into the next record now. I've got loads of ideas cooking up in my head and I feel like I am just scratching the surface with this record. The best is definitely yet to come.’
This Be The Verse, the self-titled debut album, is released on Friday 21st October and is availiable to pre order now. The band play a show supporting Reigning Days at Old Blue Last in London on 9th November.
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- This Be The Verse
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- Nine Inch Nails
- Queens of the Stone Age
- System of a Down
- The Dillinger Escape Plan
- Massive Attack
- Aphex Twin
- Black Peaks
- Wild Throne
- Hawk Eyes
- Talking points