Interview with Kallos

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A three-piece progressive instrumental band, based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Members are Vincent McDonald (Guitar), Joshua Marlow (Bass), and Adam Magennis (Drums). We

create powerful, eccentric and intricate metal.


What first got you into music and when was it?

My dad was a drummer, he was also in a few bands so naturally his percussive traits carried over to me. I grew up on the more traditional British prog bands like King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and since then I have followed how the genre of music had evolved over the decades. Alongside a handful of other genres I played to, it wasn’t long before I started wanting to write. Finding a like minded band who shared my ideals was the challenge.


Josh started back in school when he took music as a GCSE and discovered drumming, and a few metal bands which pushed his interest. Slipknot was actually his gate way! That’s right, our bassist is an ex-drummer!


Who inspired you to make music, who are you influenced by?

Metal, alternative and grunge rock bands like Iron Maiden, Machine Head, Incubus and Soundgarden made me excited to pick up the sticks and inspire my joy behind the drumkit. But it was progressive rock that inspired me to innovate with my instrument; These past few years I’ve been heavily influenced by Gavin Harrison, Matt Garstka, Danny Carey, and Justin Scott.


Our bassist came from a realm of metal, pop punk, and metalcore, as well as prog. Bands such as Slipknot, Dying Fetus, Trivium, and Tool. (Justin chancellor being one of his main influences).


Our guitarist, Vinnie, takes very strong influence from grungy, thrashy bands such as Pantera

and Metallica. But he’s now quite firmly embedded within the progressive genre - Animals as Leaders being a primary influence.



How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I would say our music is racket - avoid it at all costs. You should also definitely check it out.


We’ve been about for nearly three years now. We were originally a very prog-rock band; picture Rush/Tool, but instrumental. That was when we were under the name ‘Apex District’. Now, I feel like we’ve become comfortable enough to amp it up to a more modern paradigm; heavier, jazzier, weirder, but still - instrumental. I’d say each song in our upcoming EP calls upon different areas of the progressive genre. Shades of Dream Theater, Leprous, Animals as Leaders, and Periphery, and much more! I’d like to believe we maintain a signature sound as well, an ‘identity’ so people know what they’re in for.


Before the band formed, I played in a few pop-punk/alt rock bands, all very intermittent. Josh used to play in a Death metal band as a drummer for 5 years but, as the years went on his poor feet couldn’t keep up due to medical complications, so he transitioned to bass recently which has taught him to play a stringed instrument. Times change.


What is your creative process?

It usually starts with Josh settling into the sofa for about an hour. He always misses the bus so he’s exhausted from the walk to get to the practice room. We use Guitar Pro to exchange ideas. We never hold back from criticism so it’s a miracle we still have such high spirits. We’d always create and update drafts for our songs. It’s always been a process we’ve stuck to; it works. The only thing that’s really changed is that now we are more organised with drafting. We’re now creating our own demos in Logic!


Who would you like to collaborate with?

Vinnie chooses Alfa Mist for jazz and Misha Mansoor for metal. He sees both as icons in their respective genres, with huge success/experience that you could learn about and really dissect in person. It would be such a trip!

I would personally love to collaborate with the theatre/visual arts sector to create a fusion of theatre and music performance, the likes of which - no one has ever seen.

As for Josh, “Whoever is willing to take a washed up bassist?”


Who would you like to support,?

Vinnie would support The Chats - best gig he says he’s been to and a sick trio, it would be an honour to support them! 

Josh goes with Tool and Animals as Leaders, who wouldn't? I’d have to agree.


What is the one message you would give your audience and what message would you give the MU readers? 

Write or record your ideas, don’t lose sight of them! Don’t be a dick, and be prepared to DRILL your art constantly. If you know you have something, make it the best it can be.


What is the most useless talent you have?

I can name the year and director of pretty much any horror flick from the 70’s and 80’s. Josh can clap very fast. Vinnie can clear an entire room after coming out of the toilet. No amount of deodorant can cover up that abominable stench.


What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for music?

Vinnie and Josh would both be doing I.T.

I would be making a tit of myself in the name of theatre.


Where have you performed?

Cleakheaton beer festival was Vinnie’s fave - did it with a huge hangover and the adrenaline powered him through. Least fave was the same gig because he was SEVERELY hungover! Josh was most fond of supporting Novelists in the past with his band Rancidium. As for me, TOOL at Download festival. I have never experienced such a display that mesmerized me so much. I wasn’t even THAT high!


In terms of KALLOS, we have so far put our effort into establishing ourselves in the Sheffield circuit. We recently got through to the semi-finals of Metal to the Masses; sadly with the ongoing pandemic, who knows if that will ever come to life.


How do you feel the internet has impacted the music industry and you specifically?

Vinnie believes it provides endless marketing possibilities for your music, but you need to put the work in to learn how to capture and keep an audience given their short attention spans on the internet.


Josh thinks it has opened up new possibilities to keep you out there, both in a good and negative way.


I would say that it’s a blessing to have anything and everything out there with a click of a button; but it can be a curse in that there’s too much choice - because of this a lot of potentially revolutionary music goes unnoticed.


What is your favourite song to perform?

As far as our originals go, Vinnie loves playing ‘Cold Hands’ because it’s got a sick chuggy ending.

Josh and I choose ‘Disjointed’ as our favourite, it probably has my favourite flow of sections; everyone has their time to shine!


What is the most trouble you have gotten into? 

Vinnie got arrested for skateboarding in a hospital car park. Police were convinced they got those who damaged the hospital lights. It wasn’t until 6 hours later whilst being in a holding cell and one interview later that they realised they’d got the wrong bunch of skaters. He was 15 years old. Shit him right up.


If you could only listen to one album from now on what would it be? (Each member can provide separate answers)

Vinnie: Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory

Adam: Haken - The Mountain

Josh: Opeth - Deliverance


What is the best advice you have been given?

Vinnie: “don’t fucking quit man!” 

Adam: Just do it

Josh: Don't be a dick


If you could change anything what would it be?

If Josh learnt bass sooner, he wouldn’t have such a deep end to be thrown straight into! ;)


Which bands do you think are currently under-rated or that people should look out for?

Axiom, IL, Firegarden, Shattered Skies, Children of Nova, Ne Obliviscaris


What is next for you?

As mentioned earlier we did get through to the semi-finals of Metal to the Masses, but live shows are no-man’s land right now during this pandemic, and for good reason. But we have some demos currently underway and we can’t wait to show them to you! We gotta keep going!


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