Two Minutes with Cold Years: “There are so many new bands coming through and mixing it up.”

With the Heavy Music Awards 2018 Launch Event fast approaching at Manchester’s Gorilla on 25 April, we grabbed a moment with our opening act, Aberdeen’s Cold Years.

How’s things with Cold Years right now?
Great. Really happy with how the record is being received. Going back to Europe for a headline tour and festivals. Kind of overwhelmed by the support we’ve had. Really grateful.

Your new EP ‘Northern Blue’ came out recently – how has the reaction been so far?
It’s been great, people have been digging it and it’s made me really happy.

The line-up for the HMA18 Launch Show is pretty eclectic, does that change your approach?
It’s awesome. I think it’s such an awesome opportunity to see bands from all sorts of different backgrounds come together to just celebrate music.

The finalists for HMA18 will be announced at this show – what’s your pick for Best Album?
Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights.



What’s the Aberdeen scene like right now?
It’s changing. I feel like music is coming back. We never lost our scene completely but it definitely scaled itself back. There are so many new bands coming through and mixing it up.

What bands are you most excited about?
At the moment i have this huge obsession with Catfish & The Bottlemen. I really can’t wait for the next record. Van McCann is probably the coolest person that’s ever lived. I mean that guy is a frontman. That whole band screams talent and it’s so exciting to see a band like that conquer the world.

What’s next for Cold Years?
Touring, festivals, and writing another record.

Get tickets for the HMA18 Launch Event

You can get in the draw for free tickets to the HMA18 Launch Event at Gorilla, Manchester on 25 April by clicking here.

Milestones, Loathe and Cold Years Set For HMA18 Launch Event at Gorilla, Manchester

Three of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming bands will take the stage at the Heavy Music Awards 2018 Launch Event at Gorilla, Manchester on Wednesday 25 April.

Milestones, Loathe and Cold Years will perform on the night alongside the live announcement of the HMA18 finalists, which will signal the opening of the public vote following nominations from several hundred individuals from right across the heavy music spectrum.

Manchester’s very own Milestones recently released their debut album ‘Red Lights’ on Fearless Records to critical acclaim, while enigmatic Liverpool metallers Loathe have been lighting up the underground on tour with Holding Absence, with whom they released the ‘As One’ split EP in February. Aberdeen’s Cold Years will open up the night following a headline tour of Germany in support of their brand new EP ‘Northern Blue’.

Tickets and Accreditation

Tickets for the event are free – but only available via a prize draw. To be in with a chance of picking up a pair, sign up here. For press accreditation, register here.

For any press or sponsorship enquiries, contact team@heavymusicawards.com





HMA18 Launch Poster

War Child UK Partners With Heavy Music Awards 2018

War Child UK, the charity for children affected by conflict, has been appointed an Official Charity Partner of the Heavy Music Awards 2018.

Since it launched in 1993, War Child UK has been harnessing the power of music to change lives for children forced to live with the brutality of war.

In 1995, the cream of the British music industry – including Paul McCartney, Oasis, Blur and Radiohead – got together to record the ‘Help’ album, which shot straight to the top of the charts raising £1.25 million to aid children caught up in war.

Today, 25 years on, War Child UK has worked with some of the biggest names in music including Biffy Clyro, Bring Me The Horizon, Amy Winehouse, Laura Marling, Jessie Ware, Royal Blood and Deaf Havana to produce festivals, film events and live gigs such as its famous BRITs Week together with O2 gigs.


War Child Live Show


In 2016, the charity reached 109,000 children and aims to reach 260,000 children affected by conflict in 2019.

As an Official Charity Partner of the Awards, War Child UK will receive exposure before and at the HMA18 events in Manchester in April and London in August.

Rich Clarke, Music & Entertainment Manager at War Child UK said: “We are honoured to be the Official Charity Partner of the Heavy Music Awards 2018.

“Every day, we see the devastating impacts of war. More children than ever are displaced, many are robbed of their childhoods and are at constant risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Music has helped us change the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, and partnerships like this enable us to raise awareness and bring hope to children whose lives have been torn apart by war.”

Iain Johnson, Co-Founder of the HMAs, said: “It is a privilege to offer our support to War Child UK, a charity that does amazing work to support vulnerable young people affected by the horrors of war.

“The heavy music scene cares, it cares deeply about vulnerable and disadvantaged people and we are proud to play our part in showing that.”

War Child UK works with some of the world’s most vulnerable children, providing protection, education and longer time livelihood solutions to equip them with skills for the future.

It also campaigns for the rights of children and lobbies governments for protect their welfare and improve life chances.

It is estimated that, right now, over 30 million children have been forced to leave their homes or separated from their families because of military conflict.

The average time a person is displaced is 17 years, which can account for a whole childhood.

War Child UK works with its partners in 15 countries, from supporting Syrian children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and promoting justice for young people in detention in Afghanistan.

For more information or to make a donation visit Warchild.org.uk

About War Child UK

War Child is striving for a world where children’s lives are no longer torn apart by war.

We protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children caught up in conflict. We aim to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out, and stay to support them through their recovery – helping to keep them safe, give them an education, and equip them with skills for the future.

We understand children’s needs, respect their rights, and put them at the centre of the solution – from supporting Syrian children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and promoting justice for young people in detention in Afghanistan. Together with our partners we work in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and Latin America.

We also work with children and young people to change systems and practices that affect them – campaigning on the root causes of conflict and demanding that children are at the centre of humanitarian response.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Charity number: 1071659

Jackson Guitars Sponsors HMAs for Second Year

Jackson Guitars is backing the Heavy Music Awards for a second year.

The legendary guitar maker – which counts Christian Andreu from HMA17 Best International Band winner Gojira among its portfolio of artists – has given its name to the Best Live Band award this year.

Members of Slipknot, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Machine Head, Limp Bizkit, Trivium and Periphery also play Jackson models.

Jackson Guitars was founded in the 1970s in California, and manufactures a range of custom and production instruments.

Iconic Jackson models include the one that started it all the Randy Rhoads (RR), the Soloist (SL), the King V (KV), the Kelly (KE), the Warrior (WR) and the not so aptly named Dinky (DK). Plus of course the Concert Bass!

HMA18 will officially launch on April 25 at Gorilla in Manchester where the finalists will be unveiled on the same night that public voting opens.

The main event will take place at KOKO, London, on August 23.



Helen Varley, EMEA Head of Marketing for Jackson said: “Following the success of last year’s Heavy Music Awards we are very pleased and proud to be involved again.

“The HMAs is an inclusive and exciting platform which promotes the diverse range of heavy music and is for Jackson is a great opportunity to connect further with fans, artists and the wider music industry.”

Andy Pritchard, co-founder of the HMAs, said: “We’re stoked to welcome Jackson back for HMA18.

“Anyone who knows metal knows Jackson is synonymous with heaviness – without question some of the most revered riffs in history were penned on Jackson guitars. The presence of Jackson’s instruments at HMA17 was hugely popular, so we’re excited to take things up a notch this year.”

Click here to explore the Jackson Guitars range.

Allianz Musical Insurance Announced as Official Insurance Partner for HMA18

Allianz Musical Insurance, part of Allianz Group, the biggest insurance group in the world, is supporting the Heavy Musical Awards 2018.

Allianz Musical Insurance offers cover to musicians for all types of instruments and equipment, and takes the role of Official Insurance Partner at HMA18.

Founded in 1960, Allianz Musical Insurance is the UK’s leading specialist insurer of musical instruments, covering over 70,000 musicians from students to internationally renowned artists.

Allianz Musical Insurance’s specialist claims team works with organisations across the world to help reunite musicians with their lost and stolen instruments, reflecting the company’s dedication to providing excellent service.

Clarice Goff, Senior Marketing Executive, said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Heavy Music Awards to support and recognise the best talent in heavy music.

“We strongly believe in the importance of supporting the next generation of musicians and hope that our partnership ensures more musicians can follow their passion and focus on making awesome music.”

Co-Founder of the Heavy Music Awards, Iain Johnson, said: “The involvement of Allianz Musical Insurance underlines the HMAs’ commitment to focusing behind the scenes as well as on stage and we are delighted to have them on-board.”

Find out more about Allianz Musical Insurance at allianzmusic.co.uk or call 0330 100 9903.

HMA18 Voting Panel Unveiled

To mark the beginning of the Heavy Music Awards’ second year, we are proud to reveal the first wave of names for the HMA18 voting panel.

The initial list includes in excess of 300 figures from diverse roles across the heavy music spectrum, with roles at the likes of (in no particular order) Universal, Warner, Sony, PPL, Island, Music Week, BBC Radio 1, AIM, Roadrunner, Gibson, UTA, Punktastic, DHP, Believe, Nuclear Blast, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Live Nation UK / France / Denmark, YouTube, Eagle Rock, Ents24, MTV, Shazam, Cooking Vinyl, Orange, The O2, Unified, Killing Moon, Holy Roar, Northern Music, Incendia, ITB, Sumerian, Rise, DawBell, KMGMT, MJR, Scuzz, Bauer, Devil PR, BIMM, TotalRock, Ticketmaster, Official Charts Company, Noisey / VICE, BBC Music Introducing, Caroline, Face Down, LD Communications, Public City PR, Russells, Hassle, Kinda, ADA, Eccentric Gent, Rocket Music, Overdrive, All Things Loud, Inception Press, The Metal Tris, Discovered, Already Heard, Wacken, Raw Power, K2, Moshhh, Generation Entertainment, Atlantic Records, X-Ray Touring, Artery Global, Venn Records, Earache, Eleven Seven, Impericon, Music For Nations, Imperial Music, AC Promotions, the European Space Agency and many, many more.

View the panel here.

HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said, “The Heavy Music Awards is firmly built around the involvement of our panel – their backgrounds and tastes are wonderfully eclectic, but they are all united by their passion for heavy music and the desire to see these incredibly talented people given the recognition they deserve. Every single person on this panel lives and breathes heavy music.

“We’re still welcoming names to the panel, but we’re proud that the goals we set ourselves after 2017 are already being hit – for example an increased percentage of women on the panel, further representation from further afield geographically, and a conscious effort to welcome more talented individuals who are invested twenty-four-seven within the live circuit around the entire UK, the beating heart of the heavy music ecosystem.”

Matt Taylor of the European Space Agency – famed for both his work on the Rosetta mission and his love of metal – joins the panel for the first time in 2018. He said, “I am honoured and slightly nervous to be honest, this isn’t my normal day to day activity. However, I listen to metal while doing my normal day to day activity. So, for the HMAs, It’s not rocket science. I hope.”

Once again offering a democratic cross-section which forms the basis of the Heavy Music Awards voting process, before the public has their say on the overall winners. The panel’s selections form the HMA18 shortlists for each category, which will be announced publicly at the HMA18 launch event at Gorilla, Manchester on 25 April. To register for the ticket ballot for Gorilla, click here.

Winners will be announced at the Heavy Music Awards 2018 at KOKO, London on 23 August.

If you work professionally or semi-professionally in the music industry and would like to apply to be on the HMA18 panel, please click here.

HMAs Celebrate Birthday by Welcoming Jägermeister as Drinks Partner

The Heavy Music Awards has celebrated its first birthday by announcing the appointment of Jägermeister as Drinks Partner for 2018.

The iconic German herbal liqueur – synonymous with the heavy music scene – will be served to guests at the HMA18 launch in Manchester and the main event at Koko, London in August.

Renowned for its masterful blend of 56 botanicals, the “unique elixir” was developed by Curt Mast from a secret recipe and launched in Germany 82 years ago.

On March 1, 2017, the Heavy Music Awards was launched.

In its first year, almost 100,000 votes were cast with Architects, Enter Shikari, Black Sabbath, Download Festival, Gojira, Ghost and I Prevail among the winners.

Also shining a light off stage, HMAs were presented to photographer Ben Gibson, producers Henrik Udd and Fredrik Nordström and O2 Academy Brixton.

Tom Carson, from Jägermeister, revealed why the iconic brand chose to back the HMAs.

“We are really pleased to align ourselves with the Heavy Music Awards, an event that was created to celebrate talent, achievement and diversity in heavy music,” he revealed.

“The fact that the winners are chosen by the public is important to us, we cherish the relationship that we have with our consumers and Jägermeister is all about passion, truth and quality.”

Heavy Music Awards Co-Founder, Andy Pritchard, said: “Jägermeister has become a part of the heavy music zeitgeist – not only does the brand’s philosophy fit perfectly with that of the HMAs, their commitment to supporting this scene to such exacting standards sets a wonderful benchmark.

“Jäger is also a great way to kick off a massive party, which is something we can all get behind.”

You can find out more about Jägermeister at their website here. Please enjoy responsibly.

BIMM Returns in Expanded Education Partner Role for HMA18

The British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM), Europe’s largest provider of contemporary music education, has returned to the HMAs for a second year as Education Partner.

The partnership has been expanded for 2018, with four BIMM students being given the chance to fully immerse themselves in the awards programme – from event production through to front of house sound engineering.

Leo Nicholas, Head of Careers & Industry, BIMM London said, “Having been the Education Partner for the inaugural HMAs in 2017, we wanted to continue our support for the scheme and give our students the opportunity to be even more involved in this year’s events.

“BIMM has played host to some of the biggest and brightest in rock and metal including Matt Tuck (Bullet For My Valentine), Josh Homme (QOTSA), Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses), Andrew W.K., Lower Than Atlantis, Halestorm & Arcane Roots.”

50 Years’ Experience

BIMM has colleges in seven cities – London, Berlin, Dublin, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and Birmingham – and boasts more than 50 years’ experience in helping students launch successful careers in the music industry, while also getting the chance to enjoy direct access to regular collaborative experiences, including masterclasses hosted by internationally renowned guest artists, end-of-term gigs, A&R panels, the annual BIMM album, and ongoing engagement with the industry, including work placements and internships.

Their high standard of educational provision has been commended by the Quality Assurance Agency – the independent body entrusted with monitoring standards in Higher Education – in their Higher Education Review (HER).

Former students of BIMM include members of Architects, Periphery, The Xcerts and As Lions.

Speaking about the organisation, Roger Daltrey of The Who, remarked “Every facet is taken care of, you’ll always be able to survive in this business if you’ve been through a course like this.”



“BIMM fits perfectly with the HMA ethos”

HMAs co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “The Heavy Music Awards exists to celebrate those who are working hard to build a more positive community around heavy music. Continuing the partnership with BIMM fits perfectly with that ethos and we are delighted that we can offer even more value to the students, who will pick up some invaluable experience through their involvement with the HMAs.”

The HMAs will be working with four students from different BIMM courses – Music Journalism, Music Business, Music Event Management and Production – and following their journey through to the second Heavy Music Awards at London’s KOKO on 23 August.

Lower Than Atlantis at BIMM


BIMM offers a broad range of Higher and Further Education music courses – including BA Honours Degrees, nationally accredited Diplomas and Postgraduate Teaching Certificates.

Their professional highly vocational and real-world courses include studies in guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting, music production, live sound, music business, music journalism and event management.

The first BIMM college opened in 2001 in Brighton and today more than 6,500 students have access to a range of amazing opportunities as part of their aligned network of colleges.

Between them, BIMM alumni boast BRIT, MOBO and Ivor Novello awards, and have scored countless UK Top 10 albums and more than 30 UK Top 40 singles.

You can find out more about BIMM here.

Producer Henrik Udd Discusses Recording Architects’ ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’

Henrik Udd – alongside Fredrik Nordström – forms one half of the production team behind a number of bona fide classics in modern heavy music. In additon to Architects’ ‘Lost Forever / Lost Together’ and ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ – winner of Best Album at HMA17, at which Udd and Nordström jointly picked up the Best Producer award – Udd has also set an incredibly high bar with production work on LPs from Bring Me The Horizon, At The Gates, Delain, Powerwolf, I Killed The Prom Queen, Hammerfall and many more.


Heavy Music Awards 2017 - Photo by Niki Jones


Hi Henrik. Could you tell us about your path to becoming a producer? Was it always your ambition?
It wasn’t really my plan to become one in the first place and I don’t always consider myself as a 100% producer! I just love everything about music production, from mixing, mastering, dialling in tones etc and in metal music it’s pretty typical that the guy who does all these things is the producer.

How did you come to be working together with Fredrik?
While going to audio school I started interning in the studio, back in 2003. My first gig was moving kick drums on Dimmu Borgir’s legendary ‘Death Cult Armageddon’ album that Fredrik was working on during my first 5 weeks of internship. After finishing audio education I got really fed up with my current job so I decided to quit one day and went straight to the studio asking Fredrik if I could do some more internship. That later led to me getting full-time employment when the previous guy working there decided to leave.

Could you describe your role in the studio when you are working together?
In January 2017 I started up my own company so I’m no longer employed by Studio Fredman. Working together with Fredrik has been great and it lasted for over 10 years. We’ve been able to complement each other in many ways and it’s a huge advantage to have another colleague around at all times and be able to get each other’s opinions on something on the spot. Or, if someone is mixing, the other one can come in with fresh ears and point out what could be better etc.


Architects with Henrik Udd and Fredrik Nordström


Photo: Andrew Hayball


Could you give us a quick description of the studio set-up for ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’?

We started by recording the drums for all songs to the pre-recorded guide guitars. Dan played on his SJC Custom kit.

  • Snare drum top and bottom were mic’d with a Sanken CU 31 (Japanese small condenser mic)
  • Kick drum were mic’d with a Shure SM91 inside the kick drum and a U67 mic outside
  • Toms were mic’d with a Shure Beta 56
  • Main overheads were mic’d with Neumann KM 184
  • There’s some support mics for ride, splash and china which is Shure KSM141
  • The pre-amps for the mics are SSL Xlogic SuperAnalogue Channelstrip and Vintech x473

After the drums where finished we did the rhythm guitars and also started off bass guitar.

  • The guitars were Mayones
  • The amps we used were an EVH III, Peavey 5150, Diezel Herbert and a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
  • We used cabs from ENGL, Marshall and Mesa Boogie
  • All the rhythm guitars were quad tracked, i.e. recorded 4 times

The bass guitars were from Dingwall for the lowest tuned songs and from Sandberg for the rest. Bass guitar was a  straight line signal into Pro Tools Sansamp plugin.

We also started to do vocals as early as possible since it’s good for the vocalist not have to rush it all out in the end when everyone else has finished recording.

Sam sang into a CM47 Advanced Audio Microphone. The pre-amp is an SSL XLogic Superanalogue Channelstrip with some moderate compression.

Before ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’, you first worked with Architects on ‘Lost Forever / Lost Together’, which was viewed by many people as the band’s finest album to that point. How did your approach change for the ‘All Our Gods…’? Was there any pressure?
I felt some pressure during the mixing process cause I knew it would get really hard to top the previous album. But the songs and source material that this band deliver is always top quality which helps tremendously to make things a lot easier for the mixer. I could tell straight away from the demos that this had some kind of dark themed shadow over it all and it almost made me feel uneasy but in a beautiful way. For me, it’s all about trying to capture this and trying to make it as good as it can possibly get.

Your relationship with Architects seems to have become almost like family now – how would you describe that relationship? And how does that differ to working with other artists?
If the chemistry is right, this kind of family member relationship as you say, is something that will happen in many cases when working intensely and close to each other with a common goal. What’s a little bit unusual with Architects as a band is the warm hearted chemistry within the band towards each other. In many bands there’s this strong hierarchy and a competitive feeling which doesn’t really open up the group to anyone on the outside. There’s probably a hierarchy in Architects to but they’re all just genuinely nice guys!

Obviously ‘All Our Gods…’ has become an even more significant album as it was Tom Searle’s swansong. Clearly this had a huge influence on the songs and lyrics – how would you say it impacted the recording process?
I don’t think I really understood the state that Tom was in. He kept the spirits and mood so high and enjoyed recording so much. Such a funny guy, it was a joy being around him in the studio. There was one time in the middle of Tom’s guitar recording where he had to fly back to England to do some unplanned extensive surgery. I thought that the recording would be paused and pushed forward from there on – or maybe never finished – but he came back the very next day ready to get back on it again. Such a trooper!


Heavy Music Awards 2017 - Photo by Niki Jones


Why do you think fans and industry have connected with ‘All Our Gods…’ in such a positive way?
I think the songwriting, performance and production on this album is great and it has some real weight to the lyrics. Sam’s ways of expressing those words together with the heavy rhythms and beautiful ambient soundscape speaks to a lot of people I guess.

What projects are you working on now?
Right now I’m mixing a really cool band called Myrath. It’s a progressive oriental metal band from Tunisia.

Heavy Music Awards 2018 to be Televised on Scuzz

The Heavy Music Awards is to be televised on Scuzz for a second year, following the channel’s appointment as Broadcast Partner for 2018.

Marking its 15th anniversary this year, the Sony-owned TV station will air the second HMAs on August 23, at KOKO, London and will once again build up to the event with a series of one-hour finalists shows.

Alex Herron, Senior Channel Manager at Sony Pictures Entertainment, who manages Scuzz on Sky 367 and Freesat 502, said: “It was a privilege to be on the HMAs maiden voyage and we’re stoked to return as Broadcast Partner this year.

“I look forward to seeing just how much this project can grow this time around – particularly in terms of the panel, the talent pool, and how we are upping the ante with the main event coverage on Scuzz TV.”



HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said: “We are so pleased to have secured a new deal with Scuzz to air our second show.

“Last year fans tuned in in their droves to see the likes of Architects and Enter Shikari pick up awards on what was a memorable night for this great scene. We have some really exciting plans for the HMAs in 2018 and we’re thrilled that Scuzz are continuing with us on our journey to recognise the best that heavy music has to offer.”

You can keep up to date with Scuzz via their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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