We know what you’re thinking. ‘Why would 9C call a band I’ve never heard of a juggernaut and particularly why in the world of extreme sludge metal.’ For several reasons but mainly because the music contained on London based Beggar‘s upcoming debut full length, Compelled To Repeat, is some of the sickest, angriest, most down-trodden sludge by way of extreme metal we’ve heard in a mighty long time. Their sludge lives, breathes, and frolics amongst the heavy burdens of society and their extreme side is akin to hacking skin from flesh then swallowing the blade with a smile. And, they’re not afraid to pull off a dirty solo or throw in some breakneck thrash for good measure. So, juggernaut it is. For now, we’re here to right the wrong of you never hearing them or knowing anything about them since guitarist Jake Leyland and vocalist/bassist Charlie Davis were gracious enough to offer insight via our set of Profile questions. Check it out below and be first in line on APF Records’ site to get your copy, links contained within.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Jake Leyland (guitar/backup vocals): I started playing the saxophone when I was about eight, but couldn’t shred on it, so transitioned to the guitar – still grappling with the shredding thing though… ‘Success’ was just to release an album and play live shows that people would come to, so I’ve nailed it.
Charlie Davis (vocals/bass): I was also playing other instruments when I was younger but didn’t graduate to guitar until I was about 12. Bass didn’t become a thing until I was about 18. Success with Beggar for me is just to have my best mates together playing music in spite of the obstacles that life puts in the way.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
CD: We have ingratiated, hobnobbed and shmultzed with all sorts in our 8-year-ish time together, mainly to no avail. Failing miserably at a battle of the bands competition sometime around December 2012, combating the flu with an ill-advised amount of Jack Daniels, while all potential supporters were snowed in at home, was a particular low-light.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
JL: I love the seemingly endless recent permutations of contemporary ‘post-metal’ as pioneered by the likes of Ihsahn / Sumac / Lingua Ignota etc. Phil Anselmo, in 2016, topped the shit things list, and his actions on that infamous night are representative of a wider rot that, sadly, is still in the heavy music scene.
CD: Aside from the music, the best thing – and this might be localized to the bubble of gigs I go to in London – might be that you can see a more diverse range of faces watching and playing this kind of music. More women, more non-white people. I suppose the worst thing could be that those people are still a pretty tiny minority in the metal scene in general.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
CD: The most important issues that I try to put into this music are the big social ones: the impact that the working world and its accompanying inequalities and demands has on the individual, the way lives change and buckle under material pressures and monotony – but we don’t offer any answers, we just paint a portrait of it in all its misery.
JL: I work for an emergency medical organization (I’m not a doc though), often outside of the UK, and I feel unbelievably lucky to go to places that no one I know would ever have the chance to go. The oppression of everyday life that Charlie talks about is something that I see other people experience in quite harrowing ways through this work, but I take a lot of inspiration from the way that those same people deal with their bleak lot in life. It is humbling to the extreme. I’ve tried to translate some of the harder moments of the work into the music.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
CD: I had no siblings who were into this so I had to make my own way into it. That means I came via all the embarrassing trends of that era with run-ins with nu-metal and emo along the way. Then as a teenager I heard Lamb of God’s first album, and shortly afterward I heard Cannibal Corpse’s Tomb of the Mutilated, and that was that. My family didn’t take it well and I’m not sure they have adjusted to this day.
JL: It was my older sister when I was 11 years old.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
CD: Writing on the internet is free, so anyone can cobble something together and put it out there. What’s important is that you’ve really spent time trying to understand a record and that you’ve put together an engaging piece of writing. A review or whatever, even if it’s about some niche genre of music, should be able to say something to someone who has never even heard of the subject matter.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
CD: We would like to colonize the solar system in the name of heavy metal.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
JL: Lingua Ignota – Caligula, The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangrem.
CD: Thou – The Archer and the Owle, Venetian Snares – Winter in the Belly of a Snake.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
JL: Our debut album Compelled to Repeat will be released April 3, 2020, accompanied by a mini UK tour, a few great UK festivals already booked like Riffolution and Stonebaked, we’re hoping to book some mainland Europe shows for the summer, maybe with an exciting festival announcement or two…
CD: Other than releasing our debut album, one thing we’re insanely excited about is an invitation to go to the Czech Republic to play Obscene Extreme Festival. Curby, the OEF founder, is a big supporter of the organization that Jake works for – Doctors Without Borders – so while we’re there Jake is going to do some discussions of the work he does.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Jake, Charlie, and Beggar for their time!