The UK quartet Borders are in the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band. They just released their debut album Purify. Vocalist Jordan “JJ” Olifent, guitarist Gavin Burton, bassist Tom Britton and drummer Daniel Hodson introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Borders.
Tom, Gav and Dan met through university. We all bonded over a love of heavy music and decided to start a project together. We joined forces with JJ soon after putting an advert out for a vocalist.
Describe the songwriting process for Purify.
Initially we discussed the musical and lyrical direction we wanted to take for our debut album. We wanted to make music that was more catchy, heavy and thoughtful than we ever had before. After laying the conceptual groundwork we met every week to show our ideas and start getting down demo takes. After then it’s a gradual process of writing, recording, listening, rewriting and re-recording until we feel the track is the best it can be.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
It would be the moment we got the first rough mixes back! When you hear the music that’s you’ve been creating for so long finally realized, it’s an incredible feeling.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
We like to blend our favorite parts of different genres to make music we love, so that makes it a bit hard to categorize for us. Purify is a smart, groovy assault on the senses!
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Purify describes a timeline of human corruption. JJ talks about historical issues in tracks like “731,” which is about the Japanese experimental camp of the same name. Tracks like “War” are about modern political corruption and how we are becoming increasingly divided and betrayed by our systems of government. He even likes to dive into future theories in tracks like “Wake Up,” which muses on the state of our world if we continue down our current path. He touches on more personal issues with the healthcare system and his mother’s battle with cancer on the album, too. Most of all, it’s things we think are important, observations on the world around us and the way things are going. We feel it adds another layer to the enjoyment of our music if we have lyrical content that makes you think as well as feel.
How did you come to sign with Long Branch Records?
We were looking for a way to get our music to a wider audience, and with a label that understands our genre and respects our musical direction. LBR watched us play in Germany on our EU tour. They liked our set so much they got in contact. They have been fantastic so far and everything we wanted!
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We want to get as many people to hear Purify as possible! Every time we see or hear about someone listening to our music it amazes us and keeps us going. It’s hard to have expectations when its our debut album, so any response at all is incredible. We just want to keep making music!
What has been your most memorable Borders live show?
Probably Martyr Defiled’s farewell show in Camden last year. It was an honor to support them on their final tour, and the crowd response and love on that show was incredible.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have our upcoming album release tour around the UK to the 11th May, and more touring to be announced for EU/UK later this year. We are also playing Tech-Fest 4th-8th July this year. We have plenty more shows this year, you can follow us at Bandsintown.
How did you get started in music?
We all started playing musical instruments in high school. It was around the time of nu-metal and we all were heavily influenced by that. We all wanted to play heavy guitar music and went through various bands in high school/college before arriving where we are now!
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Generally our music influences meet in nu-metal and early metalcore. We are all fans of bands like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Korn and Slipknot. It’s what we grew up with and it’s still some of the best heavy music around! In terms of more modern influences we all agree on bands like Periphery and Northlane, they heavily influenced some of the riffs and progressions we have on Purify. Obviously we all have our own influences that collide, and we like to bring our own tastes into the songwriting mix. Dan is very into the heavier side of the spectrum, Tom is more into his math/post rock, JJ loves his grime and Gav is a pop music nut. This gives us plenty of influence to draw on!
What was the first rock/metal concert you attended?
Lamb of God!
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
We aren’t huge film buffs, but we’ve all been on the Game of Thrones hype train. Podrick for the Iron Throne.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Recently there has been a lot of Black Tongues new album, which is a masterpiece! Lotus Eater, Loathe, Dealer, Polaris are all killing it, and we are heavily into the classics as usual. Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit never leave the playlist.
(interview published May 11, 2019)