A dynamic power trio that draws from the glory days of the NWOBHM and drags it kicking and screaming into the twenty first century, Fury UK are continuing their climb into the upper echelons of contemporary metal. Formed in the North West of England back in 2002 the bands three albums to date have evidenced their progress both as songwriters and musicians. Buzzsaw riffs, blistering solos and thunderous rhythms are topped off by some accomplished vocals. With the imminent release of the bands first DVD, Death by Lightning, SoT's Dean Pedley catches up with bassist Luke Appleton to discuss the bands plans for 2012 and beyond.
The Fury UK story starts a decade ago with guitarist and vocalist Chris Appleton, then in his early teenage years, forming the band and going through various line-up changes before releasing debut album Face of Adversity in 2007. Early the following year Chris and drummer Martin McNee were joined by Luke with this settled line-up playing shows with veterans Diamond Head and Blaze Bayley amongst others. "Blaze advised about connecting with audiences, set lists, stuff like that" explains Luke. "Being around experienced people does you a lot of good and as a young band you take it all in. We toured Europe with Iced Earth last year on a level we hadn't done before and they helped us a lot with the practical side of life on the road, very cool guys to be around. We've been lucky to have become good friends with most people we've toured with."
2008 saw the release of second album VR with its futuristic cover artwork that complemented the album title and some of the recurring themes of the lyrics such as those in the title track, "Game Over" and "Playing with Violence". This was followed in 2010 with the hugely impressive A Way of Life, the band further developing their material and included longer songs such as "Run Away From No One" and "The Remainder". "We enjoyed that side of VR but a fully blown concept album isn't in our immediate plans" says Luke. "When you get into the studio it is different sometimes to the way you originally planned it. Before we started most of the writing for A Way of Life we had in mind that the progressive side of the band would come through more. Although it didn't in the end we were totally happy with the result and the progress it showed within the band. We are preparing for the next album and there are a lot of songs written to demo stage, then we'll work on them a lot together in rehearsal. Then there may be some additional material that comes completely from rehearsal - "Run Away From No-One" happened like that with the last album. We just try to do everything the best we can and hope other people see it the same as we do."
"We've started with a new project which is the DVD for release 6th April, play Hammerfest in March then hit the road throughout April and May in both UK and Europe. We'll take some kind of break from the road in the summer and getting ready to record in August. We would expect to then release a new album in October touring around the UK and Europe in October and November." The DVD is entitled Death by Lightning, named after the traditional set closer. And with their ever increasing fan base the band are becoming aware of the demands of choosing a set list. "Yes, it is very hard to think of closing our set with any other song than "Death by Lightning". Probably "I See Red" also has a fixed place in the set too and so choosing the set list in 2012 is becoming quite difficult."
The content across the DVD varies from the usual direct live formats and instead offers a comprehensive look at the band. "Although there's live stuff on there it's definitely not a live release" says Luke. "It's mainly a video tour diary, with behind the scenes stuff, some video set to live tracks, some video set to studio tracks, studio footage from the VR album recordings, plus three brand new acoustic versions. It's a compilation really, like a video scrapbook. It covers big moments for us at some shows but also silliness behind the scenes on the road and in the studio when we're killing time. It shows the serious side and the fun side too. We're hoping people will be interested to see a bit of everything."
The trio were also keen to make sure the package offered that little bit extra. "We wanted to make this something special so as well as cramming the DVD full of content we offered two fan packs during a period where fans were able to get their name on the DVD, a free wristband, a free signed photo and the new "Death by Lightning" T-shirt. These fan pack offers expired at the end of February to allow time to finalise the DVD including the fans' names and get into production ready for release by 6th April which is the start of the tour. As it stands the DVD will be available exclusively from the www.furyuk.com website and direct from the band at shows."
Attracting critical acclaim for their incendiary live performances their profile has been helped by festival appearances and treks to mainland Europe. "We found that last time we played Hammerfest it helped a lot, along with some good press in Metal Hammer, all on the back of the UK tour with Michael Schenker in late 2009. Bloodstock was good for us both times we have played there and of course we'd like to play Download or Sonisphere too. Because we played 18 different countries on the tour with Iced Earth we've been lucky to get known in many places and there wasn't one bad show but I think Greece, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Denmark have shown the most interest in what we are doing". So far Fury UK have worked with rising independent label Rocksector, but does Luke foresee a time when their popularity may outgrow the label? "It's not really in our plans but we have talked sometimes about it and I know we wouldn't rule it out if the right opportunity came along. It would need to be very good though."
Finally Luke is subjected to the quick-fire round…. So, Rush or Dream Theater? "Rush - nobody does it better." Priest or Maiden? "Maiden; they define the classic metal genre." Zeppelin or Sabbath? "Has to be Sabbath as they pretty much created metal". Megadeth or Metallica? "Megadeth; because their albums for several years have been better". Saxon or Diamond Head? "Saxon; they have stayed near the top for longer and they mainly continue to improve".
And where does Luke see the road ahead for Fury UK? "We hope to keep improving our albums and performances and continue gaining fans, so basically keep doing what we love. Most of all we want to stay on the road - it's all concentrated on that."
For more on Fury UK visit www.furyuk.com. Death by Lightning is released in April and will be available both from the website and at the bands gigs.