NEW NOISE: To Kill Achilles
Who: To Kill Achilles
Where: Scotland, United Kingdom
What: Alternative rock/alternative metalcore
About: Scottish alt-rockers To Kill Achilles are a five-piece band, who are fearless when it comes to tackling tough lyrical topics. Taking inspiration from deeply personal life experiences, the post-hardcore-meets-alternative-rock-meets-alternative-metalcore band proudly wear their hearts on their sleeves, heavily displayed in their heart wrenching second studio album, Something To Remember Me By.
Hailing from Dundee in Scotland, To Kill Achilles reflect on the benefits of emerging from this part of the planet, breaking out as a band in 2013 and turning heads with extensive touring, support slots and the pivotal release of their debut record Existence. “Being Scottish has its advantages in the scene though, the UK has so many bands and of course due to population differences most of those bands tend to be English, so whenever we started playing shows with other up-and-coming bands, we’re always referred to as ‘those Scottish boys’, which we believe helped set us apart.”
Speaking of Scottish bands, To Kill Achilles state: “I think one cool thing about Scottish bands is when they kick off there’s a bit of a oh wow they’re Scottish, cool.” Homegrown heroes Biffy Clyro, Mogwai and Primal Scream are some of those “cool” bands who have paved the way, representing Scottish rock music to this day decades down the line. With a fresher insight into the Scottish music scene than their aforementioned counterparts, the group are able to reflect on how the scene has developed over the years. “The Scottish music scene is cool, it’s obviously a little smaller than the English scene but to be fair, we’ve got less people.” Despite having a smaller population in comparison to the rest of the UK, it has taken years of hard graft for To Kill Achilles to cut their teeth where there is less people to absorb their noise, developing their own artistic palette from a wide variety of genres, positioned between rock, metal, and post-hardcore.
It was this hard-hitting, heavy, melodic sound that pricked the ears of record label Arising Empire, who hit up the band “months prior to signing to them,” ahead of the release of their latest LP. A process that nearly passed through the band’s emails, To Kill Achilles recite the exact experience: “Arising Empire somehow managed to slip into our spam folder and it went unseen for ages, until our drummer was drunk on a holiday in Australia and replied with unfinished demos without any vocals on them. Luckily for us they saw something early on in these rough tracks and offered us a deal we couldn’t refuse.” It certainly was an offer they couldn’t turn down, as To Kill Achilles’ name is now on the roster of one of the industry’s most renowned alternative labels, who have allowed total creative freedom throughout their journey: “They have allowed us to really express ourselves throughout all aspects of the band without any judgement which is something we’ve been looking for in a label for quite some time.”
To Kill Achilles’ most recent release with Arising Empire comes in the form of album number two, Something To Remember Me By, a straight up concept record that represents a year in the life of a 25 year old man, who experiences such dark times to the point where he feels the need to take his own life. When asked about the album’s lyrical narrative, given that men’s suicide rates are so unfortunately staggering, the all-male band share the importance of translating it into their record. “That’s the entire point of the record, we as a group have known three people in the last year to lose their lives to suicide and it’s a horrendous thing. We’re trying to shine some light on the fact that these feelings are normal to experience and that help is out there if you need it. Unfortunately, you’re entirely correct about male suicide being very high right now, but this record is not just based on a male experience – we wrote it from the perception of a male character because that’s what we know and how we’ve felt, but these issues are just as prominent in women and our whole thing is that anyone who feels like this from time to time.” Ultimately, Something To Remember Me By is a heartfelt, honest and heavy record that delivers an urgently stark statement.
Aside from successfully breaking out of the Scottish music scene and releasing two well-received records, one message has always remained true for To Kill Achilles, from their humble beginnings to signing a record deal: “We only exist when we exist together” is the band’s message, their motto, the mantra they live and die by, but what does it truly mean? “So let’s say you close yourself off from everyone around you, you don’t take the time to ask others how they’re feeling, you don’t check in on anyone, you make no effort for anyone, do you think others will make the effort for you? Then in that situation you’ve isolated yourself and left a bad impression on anyone you’ve spent time with. Let’s say you pass away, how long will you be remembered? How long will your memory last on this earth? You and your memory will completely disappear from this world, did you ever exist? But let’s say the opposite, you’re a good person, you make the effort and thus people make the effort for you – there’s love. Then when you pass away, everyone who cared about you will keep your spirit alive with stories and photographs and jokes for years. That’s existing, that’s living, life is other people. We only exist when we exist together.” Wise words indeed, from a band rising up the ranks in alternative music.
Verdict: To Kill Achilles‘ sound is punchy and powerful and their songwriting is poignant and pertinent. On Something To Remember Me By, the band takes inspiration from deeply harrowing and often relatable times.
What’s Next? Having extensively toured across the UK, Europe and Russia with bands such as Counterparts, We Came As Romans and While She Sleeps, To Kill Achilles will have a touring schedule to follow on from the release of their new album – stay tuned for more details.
For Fans Of: LANDMVRKS, Polar, Savior
Something To Remember Me By is out now via Arising Empire, available to stream or purchase HERE.