Metal band Malefice prepare for Download festival
If 2008's Download performance is anything to go by, Malefice's return to the rock and metal festival this year will be monumental.
The ferocious heavy metal band from Reading owe their current success to the festival, held at Donington Park from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 June 2011.
"That performance in 2008 pretty much kick-started our career," said frontman Dale Butler.
"We went from kids to men in the blink of an eye.
"When you're thrown to the lions you've got no choice but to fight your way out and be noticed."
Scouts from Metal Blade Records were in the 12,000-strong crowd who signed the band and released their second album Dawn of Reprisal, which Malefice were part way through recording.
Now, the five-piece have just finished recording their third album Awaken The Tides, out in the UK on Monday 18 July, and are busy rehearsing their new set.
"We haven't gone live with this album yet so we're all cooped up in our rehearsal space making sure everything's tight and we can play it with our eyes closed," said Dale.
He added: "Donington is the birth place of rock and metal for the UK if not the world, and to be a part of that history is huge for anyone involved in this industry.
"Lots of people get the opportunity to play it but to get asked back means you're really doing something right."
Home town gig
They have enough festival experience under their belts, playing festivals all round Europe, the US and India.
But as a special warm-up for Download, Malefice are playing a home town gig at Sub89 on Wednesday 8 June.
It was in a pub near Sub89 in Reading that I interviewed the then fledgling band some six years ago, just after they'd finished recording their debut album The End Of All To Come.
Since that interview Dale said it has been tough getting noticed in the music industry.
"Anyone that wants to make waves in this industry needs to get a credit card, a van, and be prepared to bleed for your music," he said.
"I suppose it's always down to being the last man standing, or at least one of the last men standing.
"There's always 100 bands out there that are just as good as you in the beginning and it's about going nose to nose with those guys and taking your opportunities, and delivering every single night you're on tour.
"We've never had a leg up in the music industry, we've done everything ourselves and earned every slot on every tour and festival we've ever done.
"We're proud of that more than anything else."
Malefice play Sub89 in Reading on Wednesday 8 June and the Second Stage at Download festival on Sunday 12 June.