The members of English metal band Johnny Truant would have thought that meeting Canadians Alexisonfire would be their saving grace.
After going through a very difficult recording process where everything seemed to be going wrong, they hit the road with the Canadian five-piece, a move which they will always remember.
Thanks to meeting Alexisonfire, Johnny Truant will be making their first trip to Canada next week to play a series of concerts for the Listen Harder tour. The band’s singer Olly Mitchell could hardly hide his enthusiasm when reached on the phone back in the UK last week. “We’re really excited to be one of the few new English metal bands to be going over there. It’s going to be a great experience,” he said.
The band, which has been around for five years now, went through a particularly hard time when recording their second effort entitled In The Library Of Horrific Events, produced by Adam D., who also worked with Killswitch Engage. During that period of time, the band lost one of their close friends.
Dealing with the loss, in addition to the pressure put on them to produce the record, almost ended the band.
“I think the morale of the band was so low before I went in to do vocals that I didn’t even know if the record was going to see the light of day,” admits Mitchell.
But the record did come out in the UK in mid-October and is scheduled to be released in Canada this spring, something which the singer says that also came as a result of touring with Alexisonfire.
“It was a real blessing for us; kind of our karma. Meeting those guys has opened up so many doors for us in other territories around the world. We now also signed a new management contract and we’ve had a huge amount of label interest around the world off the back’s of meeting Alexisonfire,” says Mitchell.
In addition, the band recently added a fifth member after searching for the past couple of years. “We’ve always known in the back of our minds that there were so many more opportunities and pathways we could go down if we had that extra guitar player,” says Mitchell. “The biggest problem for us was not so much finding somebody who could play the guitar, but finding somebody but had the right bond and connection for the four of us,” adds the singer. But they found it in Al, who is now a full member of the band.
Though the metal scene in the UK has been picking up lately, Mitchell says it is still in no way comparable to the one present in North America and more specifically in the U.S.
“I think that heavy music is just starting to get popular over here but it’s not so popular, in the sense that there aren’t that many UK bands doing it,” he said.
According to him, the biggest problem is that as soon bands from overseas arrive, they are the ones who get all the coverage and in turn get all the record sales. “If you’re an English band over here you have to work twice as hard,” adds Mitchell.
And working hard is what they’ve been doing throughout their career, and it now seems to be paying off. The band has received really good coverage in the UK and is continuing to build their fanbase by continually touring.
“We’re ready to advance to the next level and that’s why were branching over Canada and America now,” concluded Mitchell.
You can catch Johnny Truant along with the Cancer Bats, Mikoto and Rosesdead on the Distort/Dine Alone Listen Harder Tour which will be coming to Montreal on Sunday, March 5 at El Salon, Montreal. Tickets are $10.