RXPTRS (Pronounced 'RAPTORS') is a five-piece unique band from Bristol, UK who blend Rock, Metal, Punk and Hardcore. Consisting of front man and vocalist Simon Roach, Guitarists Harley Watson and Ian Chadderton, bassist Sam Leworthy and drummer Mat Capper. Formed in 2018 they have been going from strength to strength recently getting signed to Metal Blade Records in partnership with Black Light Media. This energetic quintet of long-time friends pushes boundaries and go beyond limiting themselves to a specific sub-genre of the rock and metal world and have created a raw ferocious grit sound that is unmistakably their own.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Simon and discuss all things RXPTRS. He gave me the low down from where it all started to the recently dropped single ‘Rock Bottom (Is A Steppingstone)’. I asked him where the band name comes from, he explained, “I had a book, and we were trying to come up with meaningful names that were sentences such as ‘panic at the disco’ and ‘while she sleeps’ but the names would only work if we stuck to one specific style. So, I was like fuck it what do we all love? Dinosaurs; let’s call ourselves raptors”. At this point they had only two songs and were going to be playing a house party which then went on to be the official music video for ‘Bound’.
The band announced in November that they signed to Metal Blade Records, but Simon adds, “We had to sit on this for almost a year and couldn’t tell anyone, not even friends or family as there were no dates set (for the announcement to be officially made)”. They have been dropping banger after banger which are all completely different styles, but definitely all have the RXPTRS stamp on them. ‘Gutterflies’, which is done in a metalcore style, dropped on November 9th. This was followed by ‘Collapse’ in January, which is more of a melodic sounding track, then they dropped ‘Demons In My Headphones’ in February which has a thrash vibe to it. By this point I am wondering to myself if there is anything this band cannot do. I can tell you now that question was answered with a big, "NO!", when they dropped the latest single ‘Rock Bottom (Is A Steppingstone)’ on April 6th completing the four song EP of the same title.
During my talk with Simon, he gave me some great insight into ‘Rock Bottom’ and the meaning behind it. He stated, “It’s about people exploiting the vulnerable, specifically through TV, and then them coming to realisation that it was all a scam”.
Simon goes on to say, “I saw someone around the time America was just getting Covid-19 claiming they could cure the symptoms through the TV, this made me angry and knew I had to write a song about it”. We discussed how this song has more of a punk feel to it, he mentioned that, “It actually started out as a more pop punk track that was a bit more bouncy but, because of the meaning behind it we had to make it a lot darker to fit and I knew instantly that this song needed a video before we even knew it was going to be a single purely because of the narrative it has”. It was said that the guys could not find the right fit for places to film the video, so they had to build all the sets in their studio. The video was shot by videographer Nathan Roach (no relation to Simon) of Coal Poet Media who Simon says, “Even though we are not related we are like brothers and always on the same wavelength with ideas for the videos, we are always going back and forth with concepts even for future videos for songs”.
There is definitely more to come from this band in the future as they have just announced an album dropping June 24th called ‘Living Without Deaths Permission’ which is available for pre-order now.
Simon mentioned, “We recorded the whole album in the first lockdown of covid,
and we had to adapt, as we are usually a ‘jam band’ who go into the studio and come out with a track. But having to send files to the various band members was a new way of doing things for us but it is nice to see a clear path of how songs start and the numerous changes to end up with the final product. It is a beautiful journey”.
They have some killer shows at festivals that have been announced, the next one as the headliner of Vice Fest in Swindon, Wales. Keep an eye on their socials for updates on what is coming next for this exclusive band and follow them on this fantastic journey to the top. In my opinion they are one of the greatest things to come out of the rock/metal scene for a very long time and I foresee in years to come, future up and coming bands will be saying that their influence is RXPTRS.
Huge thanks to Simon for taking time out his busy schedule to give me the low down on the exciting things that are happening for the band.