Our next band of the month, is a band that should be familiar to everyone in the Kent and London metal scene. Back in 2011, I saw them a couple of times and every time, I was amazed by the vocal talent I was hearing. It was a good year for Training Icarus as they won the Kent finals of the Metal to the Masses competition and got to play the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock.
The official band Bio says "Fronted by the staggering female vocal talents of Leigh Turner and taking influences from a range of music from Nightwish and Iron Maiden through to Jean Michel Jarre and Rammstein, TI’s unique, captivating sound has steadily led them to where they are today – huge melodic vocals, the soaring guitars of Martin Eldon with synth backing along with the crunching bass of Leigh’s brother Jayson and oldschool rock drums of Michael Bates."
After a few more years hard work touring, the band grew quite a reputation for their live shows (including opening slots for the likes of Blaze Bayley and Tesseract) and a solid fan base, which ultimately led to the band being signed to Ravenheart Music earlier this year. Ravenheart Music specialise in female-fronted hard-rock and heavy metal and include bands such as Apparition, Akoma, Curvature, Embassy of Silence, Weeping Silence and many more.
Whilst I was at Beermageddon this summer, I ran into Leigh and Martin who I hadn’t seen for a while and we got to have a chat about what was being planned for the band and I also got to find out about some of the bands past.
Q) How did the band form?
A) I guess the starting point of the band was when Michael (TI Drummer) heard that myself and my brother Richard were learning to play guitar and asked if we fancied getting together for a jam. We all trained together at our Taekwondo club. Jayson also trained there and when he heard that we was looking for a bassist, said that he was up for it. He also introduced us to his sister, Leigh who apparently could sing.
Q) Who chose the name?
A) The name Training Icarus came about one night when we decided we didn't like our current band name 'Broken'. I suggested we come up with a band name that didn't give any initial impression of us and our music. I said we should find something blank and meaningless so that we could give it our own identity. The word Icarus had a nice ring to it but there were already other bands out there using it. I can't remember exactly how, but we ended up typing Icarus into a 'band name generator' we found online. One of the suggestions was Training Icarus.
Q) What line-up changes have occurred?
A) The initial line up was Leigh (Vocals), Martin (Guitar), Richard (Guitar), Jayson (Bass) and Michael (Drums). A few years back Michael left the band and Richard actually took up the drums. Late last year however, Richard decided to leave and, having filled in for Richard a couple of times before Richard actually quit, Michael said that he was up for rejoining TI.
Q) Who would you like to thank for the support that they have given you over the years?
A) Our parents, (I think Leigh would agree?) for coming to gig after gig and telling everyone they talk to about us and for helping us out financially many, many times. Second to that, anyone at all who has ever helped to support and promote us.
Q) You have an album launch on the 19th October, what can we know about the album beforehand?
A) It has 9 tracks and was mixed by James Scott. It was Co-produced by myself and James Scott. It was recorded in a variety of places. I have a studio at home where I recorded a lot of the vocals and guitars. We also did some recording at our rehearsal studios whenever we needed to do things loudly.
Q) How has your signing to Ravenheart music impacted upon your album?
A) Good, a lot of support regarding the album launch from Dave and the team there.
Q) What has been your biggest gig to date?
A) Biggest gig to date I guess was 2011 Bloodstock. I don't think we've topped that yet.
Q) Who would you like to open for??
A) Martin - I guess we'd like to open for the biggest band we knew of (and really liked of course) who would also compliment our style. So I guess it would have to be Nightwish.
Leigh - For me opening to Nightwish would be awesome but also a band like Iron Maiden too - that would be really cool!
Q) If you could have 1 of your songs inserted into a film soundtrack, what song and what film?
This is a difficult one. My personal favourite films all have soundtracks that I love and wouldn't have any other way. I can't think of a particular film that would improve upon inserting our music into it. My honest answer is that I'd like the film to be made around the song rather than trying to insert a song into a pre-existing film. I think the song of ours that lends itself best to a self-contained cinematic sequence is Judgement Day because of the variety in the tempo of the track. That could make quite an interesting short film.
To find out a little more about the band, to listen to some tracks and to keep up to date with what is happening in the Training Icarus world have a look at:
If Training Icarus sound like the type of band that you want to see, then get along to The Red Lion in Gravesend on the 19th October for the Album launch show, along with fellow 2011 New Blood Stage act Inner Fire and our previous Band of the month Zocalo.
Get them while you can, tickets now available online for the 'Stand Aside' Album Launch gig:
Having seen these three bands several times before this gig is looking to be fantastic!
Article written by Pandemonium Tom, October 2013
Band of The Month - July - Zocalo.