Unknown Refuge: The bridge between NWOCR and metal?

Unknown Refuge are a hard rock/metal band from Bolton, England. Having been on the scene for a few years now, the guys have gained growing support and notoriety across the UK and played notable shows such as Manchester’s Band on the Wall and even the inaugural Stonedeaf festival. The band do not try to pigeonhole themselves into one particular sound and take inspiration from a range of influencers from ‘Iron maiden and Metallica to Volbeat, Alter bridge and Slash.’ We got the chance to sit down with the frontman of the band, Alex, and ask him a few questions about where the band is headed, the music world in general, and their newest album, ‘Into the Light.’

Alex shows a lot of love for the latter band of their influences, stating that it is Slash’s solo project with Myles Kennedy that got him into wanting to perform in the first place:

“I went to my first gig to see Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators with my mum and I remember just thinking wow that would be amazing. Ever since then I had been interested in being in bands and writing and performing my music. They’ve both been my influences ever since.”

‘Into the Light’ was released back in March last year to massive acclaim. Heck, I reviewed it very positively at my old place and it still remains up there with some of my favourite albums of the year so far. They even managed to work on the majority of it over the last year or so of lockdowns.

“Well luckily for us we had the album to promote and get in order so we were all still busy with it. Along with writing some new material and getting ourselves ready to release a new album, we’ve had plenty to do so I do feel for the bands though that haven’t quite had our luck and just been left for over a year.”

When speaking about the success of their debut and the potential follow-up, Alex said: 

“Well we’re already writing new material, whether or not that gets properly recorded soon or if we’ll wait to release a new album we are not quite so sure. The support we’ve had with the first album has been incredible and hopefully our second album will be even stronger.”

Having been a part of the music scene for a few years now, they have a pretty good understanding of how it all works. We asked them what their favourite and least favourite parts of it were: 

“I’d say personally I love performing songs which we have written ourselves, songs we have put our thoughts, emotions, feelings and skills into creating. But what makes this possible is the people at shows and fans and to see people enjoying it is what makes me love continuing to do so. 

“I’d say places like Spotify where people listen to music, however the artist receives a ridiculously small amount of money from this. I hope this changes because for small bands having that bit extra cash to help the band grow can mean the world.

“I miss being able to interact with people of the same mind and all the fans that we would usually go and have a pint with, that’s the part I’ve missed the most. Probably just because it means I’ve got to spend time with the other band members instead.”

It wouldn’t be an Overtone interview either if we didn’t ask about what song he would have wanted to have written, right?

“It would probably have to be something like Master Of Puppets or The Trooper – just 2 of the best metal anthems ever written in my opinion.”

Finally, we tried to get an inside scoop into anything they have coming up in the immediate future: 

“Well when venues open it will just be to do as many gigs as possible. We’ve missed being on the stage and amongst writing some new material I would love to just get out and gig again. Hopefully we’ll see gigs come back and with the lack of them over the last year they’ll come back better than before.”

Check out the up and coming hard rock band on their Instagram too from here.

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