AKARUSA YAMI – Opposite of Darkness, Opposite of Light
AKARUSA YAMI, a british metal band with an odd name. After seeing them live at Trondheim Metalfest last March and being in touch with vocalist Tom Brumpton for a long time, it was time to find out what Akarusa Yami really is about.
Let’s start with a little bit of history. Where, when, with who and why did you start Akarusa Yami?
The band formed in 2010, with just myself and our guitarist Tom Clarke. We were wanting to work on a project that gave us a little more musical freedom than our previous outfits.
The short version of what you have achieved so far with Akarusa Yami?
We’ve been quite lucky. We have two EP’s to our name, and a new record "Heavy Climb" due out later this year. We’ve played some sizeable festivals in Norway and the UK, shared stages with some amazing bands like The Ocean and Textures, and our records have been covered on over a dozen national stations across Europe and we’ve been featured in some incredible magazines and webzines around the world. I consider us to be very fortunate.
How did you come up with the idea of mixing technical brilliant guitars with angry grindcore-ish metal/hardcore?
We enjoy mixing things up, and one of the biggest influences, at least for me, is Anaal Nathrakh. That combination of industrial rage, black metal starkness and melodic anguish has always had a strong effect on me. Tom and Adam (Jones-Drums) are incredibly accomplished players and mashing that technical prowess with industrial elements and stabs of extreme metal has been very interesting and musically rewarding.
Where do you pick up most of your inspirations?
We love a lot of different styles; jazz, industrial music, electronica. It makes things a lot more interesting, both for us as the players and for the listeners. To give you an idea, our bassist Jake (Bennett) is a huge funk fan and I listen to a lot of classical music.
What about influences?
Really, it’s a huge combination of things. Everything from technical death metal, to hardcore punk, ambient music, funk, soul & jazz. As an example, the last five records I bought were the new Skindred and Elbow records, "Slaughter Of The Soul" by At The Gates, "We Should Break Up" by Nerina Pallot and "Pocket Symphony" by Air. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s doubly so when you’re a musician.
You have a band name not quite like most others. Where does Akarusa Yami come from and why that name?
Our guitarist came up with it, it means "Opposite of Darkness, Opposite of Light" which we took to mean balance. We felt it fitted us quite nicely.
You recently played at Trondheim Metalfest in Norway. How was it for you to come up here to Trondheim and play for the kids?
It was amazing, we had a brilliant time and the response from the audience was incredible. Absolutely fantastic. The kids were very enthusiastic. We took the city in as much as we could, and it was beautiful. The architecture, the people, the local sights; all of it was awesome.
Normally it’s winter and snow in early March here in middle parts of Norway, but not this year. Did you expect snow and what are your thoughts on what’s happening to the world with extreme weather, higher temperatures in the winter and the ice melting on the poles?
Oh, we were very much expecting snow! We’ve been to Norway before and it was freezing cold and we were ankle deep in snow, so it was odd coming back to Norway around the same time of year and not seeing it.
As for climate change, I’m glad the UK have submitted their recent report urging governments to do away with dirtier fossil fuels in exchange for renewable energy options. There have been advances in, largely in transport and wind and solar power, but our heavy dependence on fossil fuels and fracking do nothing to put my, or any other concerned persons mind at ease. A recent report showed that 13 of the hottest years in the last 100 have taken place since 2000. We’ve seen an increase in geological incidents; be it the mud slide in Washington, the tsunami’s in Japan or the floods in the UK. It’s distressing and if anything it highlights a terrifying reality that most don’t want to consider.
The venue you played in is built for sound and visual perfection and of course it was a non-alcoholic venue during the festival. How was your experience with the venue, Rockheim?
I don’t drink, so playing a show where the venue smelled of coffee was heaven for me! (Laughs) As far as the show and the venue, it was like nothing else. The FOH were incredible, the sound was crystal clear and it was such a great experience. Easily the best show we’ve ever played.
Did you get the chance to check out Rockheim, the rock museum?
We did, it was beautiful! The interactive elements were very cool, the staff were very knowledgeable and it was a wonderful homage to Norwegian music. And yes, we did venture into the black metal room, and yes we loved it (Laughs).
So far, British extreme metal have for us non-British citizens been a well hidden secret. I’m not thinking of the well-known bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh, Benediction, Bolt Thrower and Akercocke, but the underground and the up and coming bands. How do you see the scene? Which bands are worth checking out?
I’d say the UK scene is pretty healthy, we’ve had some great bands appearing in the last few years and it’s always good to see eager young talent surfacing. Name dropping, I’d say Metastasis, Cacodaemonic & Twice The Trauma. Other bands worth checking out are the recently reformed Raging Speedhorn and SiKTh. Both are legends in the British underground.
Anything else worth mentioned from the Akarusa Yami camp?
We have a new record coming out later this year, "Heavy Climb". Other than that, we’re looking to do a few more shows in Norway later this year, probably in Trondheim and Oslo. We’ll be back in July, so if you’re around come on over!