Blog Post 1: 24/11/2023
To Hiatus or not to Hiatus
We have been back and forth over whether to write and share this blog post as it seems a little pretentious and self-aggrandising to assume anyone cares about our little band, so if you don’t read all of this or don’t really care it’s ok, we get it!!! But if you do want to know what’s been going on with us please read on……..
Around the start of 2020 we were all starting to feel pretty burned out. We had been gigging relentlessly since 2010 and got to the decade milestone. In those 10 years we had all pumped every spare bit of time and all of our money/savings etc into the band and sacrificed personal lives, families, jobs, buying homes and everything else that comes with being in a full time band in the pursuit of “making it”. So the following events are what led us to make the difficult decision to step back for a bit (sounds familiar right. We know you’ve heard this similar spiel from countless bands but this is our story for those that care to know it)
At the beginning of 2020 we had just finished and released our third record Obscura and were starting to make plans to tour in support of the album…. Then we had our first setback….our band Van got written off and the insurance pay out was less than 1/3 of what we paid for the van. Bummer!!! Every band’s worst nightmare. We tried to carry on booking shows all over the UK but it became obvious very quickly that the guarantees we were able to demand as a band, based on our ability to draw an audience and shift tickets were not going to cover van rental and the petrol costs of shows. We were constantly having to turn down shows from our booking agent and we were at that awkward stage of playing similar size shows to the shows we had been playing for the last 10 years, but now we were headlining those shows, meaning we were often supplying backline, which meant having to rent a van for shows (which is fucking expensive) and it was making our ability to just break even on further a field gigs impossible.
In addition to this our amazing sound engineer Mez was still doing shows for us between his touring schedule, whenever he was free, for basically nothing and that left a bad taste in our mouth. If we want to demand fair money for playing shows but we aren’t paying our crew fairly then we have no leg to stand on and aren’t practising what we preach.
Beyond the logistical issues, I think it’s safe to say that Obscura was a big departure for us musically as a band and whilst we knew some of our die hard Thrash fans might decide to jump off the Eradikator train at this point we hoped we would attract some new fans and broaden our horizons. Plus we had all been writing, listening to and living all things Thrash metal for the best part of 15 years and had reached our creative limit with that genre. It’s safe to say that our hopes and dreams for that album did not pan out and whilst we had some really lovely and positive reviews of the album it was mostly received negatively by fans and critics. That’s said we had some label offers that were very flattering but just not financially viable for us. We begged, borrowed and stole to make that album, between working with Russ again (coz he’s our musical spirit animal) working with James at HoldTight PR again, and completely restocking a huge range of Obscura branded merch, and Vinyl, it was a costly endeavour.
Now don’t get it twisted, we have no illusions of grandeur and understand that nobody has an obligation to like our band or follow anything we do and that’s totally fine by us, but still when you pour your heart and creative soul into something for 4+ years and it doesn’t land, if anything feeling like it’s pushed you a step back, it’s tough to come back from, especially given the mental state we were in as a band already feeling somewhat burned out.
Around the start of 2020 one of us had recently had a child, two of us were now homeowners with mortgages and real adult responsibilities, some of us were struggling with Mental Health, some of us were struggling to find and hold down steady work and it’s safe to say it was a difficult time for us as individuals and as a band. We don’t say this because we want your sympathy, it’s just the truth of the way things were at that time. On top of that we had all been playing gigs to not many people, for very little money for over a decade and we were starting to question whether it was worth the effort and the hassle and the time and personal sacrifice. This is something many bands don’t talk about because it sounds a bit ‘boo hoo’ but it is the unfortunate reality for a lot of bands who don’t make it into the bigger leagues.
We are not suggesting for one minute that just because we had been doing this for 10+ years we deserved to be in that position, but the reality of being a smaller band all with lives, families and day jobs is that it makes things very hard. It affects your personal relationships (god bless any partner to a band member) and your professional life because you never really go all in on your job or the thing that earns you money because your still just hoping and praying that this “band thing” will pay off one day and so you sabotage many areas of your life to save you making those tough decisions should the opportunities for your band come along. It’s a head fuck to say the least!!
Then Covid happened!! We were devastated for our scene and our friends in bands who had tours cancelled. We were also crushed by the idea of not being able to tour In support of our latest album, especially as we had just forked out a fortune on merch with the aim to sell it whilst out playing shows, but inside I think we were also secretly a bit relieved. We were getting fed up of turning down shows for the reasons mentioned previously and being totally honest there was actually some relief. We were struggling to stay active as a band, but now nobody was active as a band. The universe had gifted us, albeit through a horrible global pandemic, some time off to recharge without falling behind. But being the obsessed musicians we are, we decided to commit to recording a new cover song each week whilst in lockdown, whilst some of us were still working our jobs from home due to being key workers, and that became probably more stressful than anything we’ve ever done as a band. Recording a full song each from home, sharing the files, trying to get the thing mixed and mastered, and creating a full playthrough video to go along with it was a way bigger undertaking than any of us realised and it just burnt us out even more.
With all those challenges and setbacks never once did anyone in the band ever even hint at the idea of stopping or packing it in. This gave us all hope that with some time to recharge and more importantly, all of us kind of accepting that we’re not going to be the next Metallica or Slipknot and that the industry has changed in so many ways and we have to just do the best we can and have fun doing it, that we could keep making music together and just do it around our lives and all the other things that make us happy. That was a truly big moment for us and lifted a big weight off all our shoulders that we HAD to be a huge band and we HAD to be successful and make our livings from the band.
So with all that doom and gloom out the way we can say that we are now all in a really good place and the few years we have taken off (by taken off I mean not pursuing shows. We have still been band practicing every week and working hard to write new material) have done absolute wonders for our shared mental state and reignited our hunger and passion for the band.
We came to a realisation that we LOVE playing and writing music together. Even if it’s just for us and even if nobody cares we love this band. We have been the same 4 members since we started and still to this day have never had a proper band argument, which is rarer than unicorn shit in this industry and we recognise and now appreciate that more than ever.
We have been writing the fourth Eradikator album for the last couple of years. We have over 20 new songs in the works and have all been reignited with inspiration to make the coolest, heaviest, most diverse, melodic and crushing music we have ever made. To those of you that still care about our band or have sent a message asking how we’re doing or have shown an Interest or desire for us to return to being active again we truly appreciate you and we are filled with gratitude and love for your support. If you have read this far we love you even more.
Keep your eyes peeled as we will be returning soon for our comeback and we just hope the scene welcomes us back and we look forward to playing heavy metal in a dark dingy venue to all of you again. Music is more than numbers, streams, metrics and money. It is why we all exist and it is the one thing that gives all our lives creative purpose.
We love you all.
Andy, Liam, Pat and Jon.