Spotlight on Lords of the Land metal festival
- Henry Northmore
- 22 March 2017
One day extreme metal festival features Autopsy, Mayhem, Primordial, Marduk, Venom Inc, Dragged into Sunlight, Acid Reign and more
If you like the extreme sounds of doom, thrash or black metal, Lords of the Land is offering an impressive hardcore bill of Autopsy, Mayhem (playing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in full), Primordial, Marduk, Venom Inc, Dragged into Sunlight, Acid Reign, Memoriam and Rotten Sound. It started back in 2014, showcasing only the heaviest, blackest metal over one day (with a hangover / recovery session headlined by Akercocke the next day at Audio). Organiser Mark Miller tells us more:
Can you explain what Lords of the Land is all about?
In short, a one-day festival of the best extreme metal acts from around the world in Scotland's best music venue, Barrowlands. The aim was always to create the strongest lineups we've ever seen in Scotland, giving fans a unique day out, bringing people from around the world to enjoy the Scottish venues and put Scotland on the map.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing on the bill?
Autopsy! It will be the band's first Scottish show in 27 years and the first UK show in some time. They are planning a special set and it's going to be a highlight of the metal calendar in the UK this year, I feel. I think I've succeeded in giving the fans nine bands they'll want to see from start to finish, no fillers, and for an exceptional ticket price.
Is it important to you to run an independent festival?
One hundred per cent. From the early days to running Audio to running Lords of the Land, we don't have any sponsors or investment coming from anywhere at all. I don't think I've ever met my bank manager (yet!). We are in total control of everything and it gives you lots of opportunities to move quickly in a crowded market and splash money on a huge lineup others may stay back from. Other festivals have to keep investors happy, justify why they are flying 50 metal band members from the other side of the world who have never played here before, and then have sponsorship plastered over the event. Sure, the money would be good, but the event and the brand may suffer for that, I've been around promoting just over 15 years, and I think people like how things are run, I don't want to sell out for a few quid. I think the fans appreciate it and I prefer to run it that way.
In general how healthy do you think the metal scene is in Scotland?
Very healthy. The big guns are pulling in huge lineups filling venues up and down Scotland at the top level, The coffin dodgers are lining their pockets with Hydro shows. From the top to the bottom ticket sales are very healthy and compare well to other parts of the UK. You notice bands who ten years ago would never dream of touring here, adding Scotland to the route. I've never seen lineups so strong on tours these days, and it's pulling in the numbers at all levels. Earlier in the year our Sabaton and Accept show was a testament to that. It's pushing those bands to huge venues you'd never imagine, from first putting them on in a tiny venue to 50 people, to now selling out 2000-plus capacity venues. It's great to see and it's great for Scotland's music scene.
And more specifically the extreme metal scene?
The package lineups are becoming stronger and stronger on the extreme metal tours and the numbers are rising tour on tour. Vader for example are coming back next month with Immolation (Thu 13 Apr), a great package. It's on course to sell out too. Other events, such as our friends at North of the Wall, are promoting really obscure extreme metal bands and it's due to sell out in advance this year. It all just goes to show the demand from fans from ten years ago has dramatically grown. The only problem with such great touring lineups is that it gives us a hard job to make a festival special when so many bands who never toured before are on the road every year.
What would you like to see improve?
I'd like to see the fans who attend the big metal shows, Black Sabbath at Hydro-type fans, giving smaller bands a chance, coming to check out bands on the smaller shows, supporting the promoters taking a chance and bringing bands to Scotland who would normally miss it out. You see the same faces all the time supporting those bands, many whom I've become friends with. Its just the nature of the beast, but tomorrow's Hydro bands have to come from somewhere.
Do you have plans for Lords of the Land in 2018?
We have plans in place for next year, but at the minute it's full steam ahead with this year's event. The date is booked but we are currently toying with a venue move next year to add additional facilities for both bands and fans and an additional stage to tide over the change overs, but we're still sticking to the 'no clashes and one day' event. We've secured our headliner and it's another exclusive fly-in show which will be revealed soon, another band who has never played Scotland.
Lords of the Land, Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 1 Apr.