Bringing a new twist to metal under the term 'zombiecore', the undead quartet Send More Paramedics are here to feast upon your brain. In a small upstairs room of The Charlotte in Leicester sits a slim figure in black, this is B'Hellmouth screaming vocalist and flesh eating zombie. So, how's the tour going? "Yeah, it's going great, I think this is the sixth gig, we've got about 10 more to go. It's been awesome, some have been busier than others but it's been cool."
You're currently on your own headlining tour, but you've also played support on arena tours, what's that like? "It's all good, it's good to be able to play places where you can easily just get in with your audience, that's the most fun really. We've only done a few big things like we did The Offspring for seven dates last year, then we did Download, I think that's really it. But that's amazing cos it's just huge." What's it like supporting The Offspring, The Misfits, bands like that? "Awesome, yeah, you get to infect more of your potential prey. There's more juicy young brains and access to as many as possible, that's what we're after." He replies straight-faced, "and the Misfits, they are the Godfathers of Horrorpunk, they invented it, we're just re-hashing what they did really. Apart from the fact that we're actually dead of course. That's the difference." They just weren't willing to take it to that level then? "No, no, hopeless..." What do zombies ask for on their rider? "We don't like to ruin our appetites too much, our rider and our audience are basically the same. Often we ask them to cancel the whole rider and just lock the doors of the venue. We're not fussy, we'll eat anything... and anyone."
Send More Paramedics' sound combines a love of thrash metal and 80's zombie movies. You're classed as a 'Zombiecore' band, who coined the phrase? "I think we did. Some kid actually came up to me a while ago and asked if we invented 'zombiecore'. Well yeah, we're zombies." The new album, 'The Awakening', is for the moment only available through the band's website but is to be unleashed on the public in late August. What's it like? "It's good, it's pretty ferocious. There's two CD's, one's 15 tracks of thrash and the other is 10 tracks of 80's style synth film soundtrack, plus our two music videos and some other bits and bobs. The artwork is by Stefan Kopinski. Basically, all in all it's a really good package and it's value for money. I think it's a step up as well, it's maturing and changing a bit, there's more grooves and better song structure. It's kind of a concept album, the theme is basically being in a world of zombie viral infection." Erm, ok... Is there a plot to go with this soundtrack? "The film doesn't exist, I guess the soundtrack part is the soundtrack is to this imaginary film, there's a scenario that's included in the artwork, which describes what's happening and all the songs relate to that."
You've got Jeff Walker and Ken Owen from Carcass guesting on the album, were they cool to work with? "It was awesome, I have met Jeff and tried to eat his brain a few times, cos I'm in 'This Is Menace', which is something he guests in as well, it's some guys from Pitchshifter doing a new band with all guest vocalists. He's a really cool guy, he came down for the day and we managed to restrain ourselves from killing him. He put down some awesome tracks which you can hear on the album, he did one called 'Flail Of God', 'I Am Every Dead Thing' and 'The Unclean'. We also got Ken to do a bit on some of the tracks as well. Our bassist, xUndeadx, is the most metal knowledgeable one in the band so he was over the moon, he was spinning in his grave."
Do you think it's important to have a strong visual side to the band as well as the music? "Yeah, well it's not something we really thought out deeply. The music is primarily a means of stunning our prey. We just really appear as we are, the visual side really comes into play when we're offstage and trying to pass in human society, and not be picked up by the authorities. So we have to cover ourselves in this flesh coloured make-up, I think we've got quite good at it over time and we've become quite adept at feigning reasonably normal human behaviour."
What are your plans for the rest of the year? "We've got Leeds and Reading festivals and we're doing a BBC Radio session next week, during the tour. We want to gig as much as we can while we've got a new album, just spreading the word about that. We're hoping to go to Holland for a weekend of gigging in December, that's about it. I'm not sure about next year, some gigs abroad would be awesome but we'll have to see, maybe the States." Do they like you in America? "I think there are about eight people in Chicago with Zombie Crew tattoos, there's a few people that are into it, but it's mainly the UK. It's because we're on an island, the infection hasn't spread yet." It's official: Send More Paramedics - infecting a venue near you soon!