Æther Feature — Birthrite

Every Thursday, the Archives will feature artists, musicians, and makers of all variety, entered for your approval here in the Archives. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community of steam and cog, or perhaps remind you of one artisan’s successful efforts to bring the past that never was to the here and now.

This week’s Æther Feature for November 29th, 2012, submitted for your pleasure:

Birthrite is a British Black Country Steampunk bank.  No harpsichords, but highly strung.

Birthrite are based in the heart of the UK, the now post-industrial Black Country. Named for being formerly the iron and steel forging centre of Britain, when the air rang with the impact of drop hammers and presses, and the sky was blackened with the smoke of a thousand chimneys, now it’s a pale shadow of its manufacturing past, but still the ghosts of a thousand trades linger on.

The disposable 21st Century does not inspire us with much hope, wonder or inspiration, making us feel that a side step to a more hand crafted, artistic and moralistic world would be a definite improvement, this results in a strong affinity with the Steampunk genre, which offers diversity and an openness to individuality not found elsewhere and the expression of what some would see as outlandish ideas and styles. In saying that, we are unlike just about every Steampunk band you could hope to see. Birthrite are not a cabaret type band, we are unfortunately still possessed with the vitriol of the Furies and as a result we are a full force, electrically powered rock band to the core. We like it hard, and we like it dirty, but we do also like it elegant too on occasion, elegantly filthy.

Birthrite were originally formed in 2008 by Erazamus Voss (Songster) and Johnny Zygen (Guitar), who had previously worked together on several collaborations prior to this. This first incarnation of the band came to an end a couple of years later, the time was not quite right for what they were trying to do achieve, and consequently both took separate paths and musical directions.

However in the summer of the same year, there was a surge of interest in the original work of Birthrite, and repeated requests for the band to reform and perform. The line-up has finally been refreshed and invigorated with the addition of two new fellow conspirators, Dek La Plombier (Percussionist) and Mark Thinsliced (Bass), elevating the band to even greater heights, and putting on track the original vision of the founder members.

Our musical compositions are a raucous melange of our diverse musical tastes, backgrounds and life experiences, which are many, varied, usually noisy and in some cases illegal, we are indeed a chimera of many heads. Our catalogue covers a range of topics, death, love, hate, war, apocalypse, as in our extensive experience life is not at all about fun, or games so you are best learning to like it dark…  The art comes from varied sources, but we always aim to present a show that is visual, bristling with latent energy, and our aim is to embody the energy we create and so inspire others to tackle and maybe release their latent inner demons, experiment with music and art themselves, and so create new ideas and ultimately new artists. There’s nothing so uninspiring as the present day fad for musicians to embark on an inward journey at the expense of the listening audience.

The band presents a very visual and rather energetic live performance, which is accidentally  retro, harping back to the days when bands didn’t just turn up in jeans and T shirts, this is still show business, and we like to put on a show.

Birthrite’s area of influence has been expanding rapidly at a rate of knots, coinciding with our wide variety of live performances up and down the country, from Zombie festivals in Cornwall to Steampunk nights in Manchester, we are also now in receipt of a slew of radio airplay from the underground and alternative stations across the UK.  The band is also now picking up international interest from around the world, particularly in the US where we are booked for radio appearances and potentially some conventions in the near future.

We have had the good fortune to work with some excellent people in the UK in this business of entertainment, Professor Elemental, BB BlackDog, Gladstone, TMWWNBBFN, Ghostfire, to name but a few, and also some utter tossers, who will remain nameless. Such is the nature of the business, we have no illusions about the duplicity of the industry, it’s an ego strewn minefield, and no place for self-delusion.

We have new plans to enter the studio in January and commit our latest tunes to digital, and already have many intriguing gigs lined up for 2013, including a book release for Rae Gee, a historical four-masted schooner party on HMS Trincomalee and a really heavy rock show (in a Derbyshire stone quarry). The future never looked so exciting, and we look forward to presenting new material to our growing support base in the form of live performances and recorded material as fast as we can generate it.


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