Tiberius at RADAR Festival: Interview

Tiberius were in resplendent form at RADAR Festival. We caught up with the Scottish rockers at the festival.

Having been on the scene for close to a decade, Tiberius are really seeing the fruits of their graft come to fruition. A second appearance at RADAR and Euroblast to come, the band are feeling positive about the future. This after releasing an album during the pandemic and having all plans cancelled.

We chatted to the band about festivals, touring in Europe post-Brexit, safe circle pits, music, and much more.

ATB: How was the show for you guys at RADAR?

Chris: Really good. Great. Nice, packed, sweaty room. I like things busy and chaotic so that was good. We got to dive over the barrier have a dance with everyone. Everyone was up for it and everyone had a wee boogie!

Jahan: You orchestrated a very safe and gentle circle pit. So that was nice.

Chris: We got to hang around to watch the rest of the bands including Igorrr’s headlining set which was ridiculous so yeah, really good day.

Jahan: Going back to the circle pit; I’m actually going to try and find the footage to send to insurers or public liability because I want our premiums to go down!

ATB: Just just thinking about the circle pit there, there’s the sign up above the stage isn’t there?

Chris: Yeah, no wall of death. Wall of death = cancellation!

Jahan: if you look at look at the enormous concrete and steel pillars around that room, yeah, that would literally be a wall of death!

ATB: It was a lot of fun yesterday watching you, I’ve never seen you before. For those that haven’t seen you before, what should they expect at a Tiberius show?

Grant: Anything and everything.

Chris: Everything all at the same time! A lot of the reactions we see after shows on social media are just people posting what fun they had at a show. I think that’s the biggest thing is like, and we’re conscious a lot of bands, you know, present a different image take themselves quite seriously, whatever. I think our shows are just a bit of a party. People have a bit of a dance. So hopefully it’s a fun time for people. I think that’s the best thing. Like a little bit chaos. Like a little bit of a sweaty dungeon of a venue.

Grant: It’s a bit of a carnival. Or a circus. In a controlled manner, of course! But yeah, it’s anything and everything goes!

Jahan: Except walls of death!

ATB: I think fun is the key thing. You did it brilliantly.

Jahan: We’re used to playing in venues the size of our green room! I think we all grew up in that era of like, really small, hardcore venues, like when metal core was becoming back in late 2006 in Edinburgh and certain areas in Scotland. And then, you know, there was all floor shows was the stage. We got to grow up seeing these kind of hectic shows. I think we really enjoyed that. Yeah. And we are still trying to figure out how we translate our small cap venue shows to big larger venues. Yeah. People in the back have as much fun as people at the barrier. And it does help that we’re all pretty much all the six foot and the one that isn’t is on a chair! It’s a learning a learning process, but I think we’re getting better at everything.

ATB: We can’t wait to see you again in Manchester in September.

Chris: That’s good. That’s what we hope that at the end of every show, if there’s people out here that saw us for the first time, they’ll come back next time.

ATB: That’s the good thing about festivals like this, you come across bands that you don’t know, you’ve not seen or whatever. And that’s all good.

ATB: So you’ve played RADAR before?

Ryan: Yeah. Last year, was the was the first time for us, but RADAR’s first time was 2019.

ATB: How does it compare this year to last year?

Chris: It’s a bigger operation. Oh my god.

Jahan: Last year was had a much more DIY feel, but was still exceptionally well organised and they were super good to us compared to a lot of festivals going around the UK on a smaller scale, not like the main sort of Download type stuff. There are varying degrees of how they treat the bands and staff. RADAR are very well organised and exceptional to all the bands that play. From what I’ve heard from all the crew working here as well is that it’s just like a really nice weekend. A really good place to be.

Grant: You can tell that the the the organisers care about the crew and staff you see them all running around with like branded aluminium bottles for water and water points to be sure they’re all hydrated and like, I’ve ever really seen a festival that scale look after the staff so well you know, most of the things that this size size are all run by volunteers. There’s stories of like people like festivals charging deposits on crew for them to turn up and work the festival and get their money back at the end. I haven’t heard anything like that here. It’s a completely different operation and the treatment of people is first class.

Jahan: And there is the third stage with the with all the video games and the market! There’s the there’s a booth or soundproof booth where you can competitively scream against other people. We’ve all had to go out. Did you try it?

ATB: I did. I hit the top 10,

Jahan: What did you get

ATB: 115 decibels!

Ryan: I got 113. I made the leader board. And then I think literally, got beaten.

Chris: I was 111 on my throat still hurts. And that was two days ago.

ATB: Well, I’ve dropped to 12th today…(Sunday)

ATB: So you’ve played RADAR before. What other festivals do you like playing?

Jahan: Well, we’ve got our first European festival; we’re going to play Euroblast in Cologne. It’s our first foray into Europe and cannot wait. RADAR Festival feels like the sister festival to Euroblast. A lot the same sort of bands are on the bill and it clearly has a good relationship between the organisers and we just can’t wait to get over there. I think the German market is gonna be great for us…we hope. But yeah, I mean, we’ve played Techfest, we’ve played Power Metal Quest Fest. That was a great time, actually. It was a completely different crowd for us. A lot of people call us power metal so we decided to see if we are. I don’t think power metal thinks we’re power metal! That’s fine. We had a great time.

Chris: A man turned up in a full suit of armour with Tiberius across his chest, which was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

Ryan: And the first band on that day were a band completely dedicated to the music of the Shire and the hobbits, called Fellowship. Incredible.

ATB: There are some serious niche’s in metal aren’t there?

Jahan: Speaking of niches, we found our niche in Warhammer Tik Tok? Yeah, we’ve done really well there…we’ll take it!

ATB: Going back to what you’re saying about Germany the power metal sound? You’ve got so much in the mix and vocally, when you hear the music, you don’t expect the vocal because the music seems a bit harsher. I feel and I feel like vocally doing what you do is different. And I guess that’s where the Iron Maiden references come in.

Grant: I always say to the uninitiated, that we’re like a modern Iron Maiden.

Jahan: Yeah, I think it’s really good to way to sum us up on record.

ATB: I think that Germany will take you to their hearts to be honest. They’re so open minded, aren’t they? And you know, Wacken’s there…it’s like the mecca of heavy metal isn’t it? So it’s you know, Germany’s kind of made up for Tiberius.

Chris: We had a good time in Germany. Some of us went there to see Hans Zimmer a few years ago.

Ryan: We played a couple of shows with The Hirsch Effekt and we noticed that we played Techfest on the same bill. Some Hirsch Effektt fans came to check us out afterwards.

Chris: There’s some proof of concept with the with the German!

Ryan: People seem to be accepting us so far. So fingers crossed.

Chris: After we finished the Brexit paperwork!

ATB: I can imagine it is a nightmare.

Ryan: Years ago, I played in a different band in 2014. It seemed like being able to go out and play shows in Europe was as simple as get to the border control, stamp your passport, off you go. But what I’ve heard from other people is that there are so many other different hoops that you have to jump through because of Brexit.

ATB: So you don’t know what it will be like this time?

Ryan: Not 100%. But the general vibe that I’m getting in the lead up to go in is that you know, they’ve not made it easy.

Grant: We have a good idea from industry friends. Yeah, just based on what they are saying we will have to do it. So this

Jahan: The long and short I’ve discovered is don’t book a show on days that you’re travelling between borders.

Chris: Assume you’re gonna get held up at the border for some complicated paperwork. It’s more expensive than it used to be as well. So it’s slightly cost prohibitive for a lot of bands wanting to make the break over there.

Jahan: Particularly because we’re a Scottish band, we truly are paying the price.

ATB: So you played a new track yesterday.

Ryan: Yes. Tip Of The Spear.

ATB: So is that coming up on a new album? Have you got a new one in the works?

Chris: We do? Yeah, we’re pretty deep into tracking album two. That track is actually like back and produced and sounding great. So yeah, so that’ll be something to look forward to next year. Specific date wise we’re not there yet. But it’s coming together.

Jahan: It’s going to be some point next year for sure; early summer, that kind of thing. We’re taking our time with it because we want to get everything released right. We had our last album came out and they’re in the throes of a pandemic. We don’t want that to happen again. For a number of reasons! We’re going to get that right. We looked at trying to rush it out by the end of the year, but realistically, we’d already booked our shows for the entire year. So we were thought well let’s actually just use it as our as our main focus for next year and try and get some new festivals. To come to RADAR three times in a row that would be madness

ATB: What was it like releasing an album during the pandemic?

Ryan: It was a little bit upsetting! We we shot a music video for the first single back in December 2019 unbeknownst that COVID was already circulating in the UK. We had like two other planned video recordings that didn’t happen. They got canned. But, born out of that we had some nice little creative things that happened in terms of content and music wise for that album, which might not have happened.

Grant: They definitely wouldn’t have appened.

Ryan: So there were some positive things.

Chris: It would be nice for the next one if we could release it and then back it up with some shows and a tour. We did a lot of the streaming and online type stuff. It was frustrating to have all the support shows to backup that album moved forward a year. Then another year.

Grant: I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had a few moments recently where I’m like ‘God, we really are milking that first album in terms of shows’; but actually, we never had that first run. We never got to tour that first album. It’s been a while since A Peaceful Annihilation. That was 2020. And we’re now in 2023. Talking about next album in 2024, but two years got cancelled!

Ryan: Our first show post pandemic was in May 2022.

ATB: So you’re back in Manchester in September?

Jahan: We’re coming back on the 25th of September at The Peer Hat. We’ve got Manchester local prog legends Prognosis, Octopus Montage and Grace Hayhurst coming up from London for her debut live show. We’re really, really excited. So, obviously, if you’ve been at RADAR, and you thought we were fun. Why don’t you get to a very small venue and come see us.

Chris: If you’ve been at RADAR and you thought we weren’t fun, find someone you hate and buy them a ticket. If you weren’t at RADAR, you didn’t see us and you missed out. So we’re back.

Our thanks go to Tiberius for taking the time to chat with us. You can buy tickets for the Manchester show by clicking here. It promises to be a great night.

Check out Tiberius’ video for Of Sheep & Wolves below.

Tiberius: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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