Music Notes: Kerrang! sound of success for Norfolk band

A band that has its origins on the Norfolk-Suffolk borders is dreaming of international fame and playing large stadium gigs after Kerrang! labelled them the band of their dreams.

Kier Kemp, Laurence Beveridge, Shane Sumner and Drew Woolnough have known each other most of their lives having been through middle school and high school together.

But after uniting as a band in London, they are dreaming of a big future after the high profile music magazine took a shine to them.

The magazine, which is the country's biggest selling rock magazine, has reviewed their band Fearless Vampire Killers, held photo shoots with them and sent them on the red carpet at Leicester Square in the past few months as their profile has shot up.

The magazine even ran a competition to see them at the O2 Academy in Islington, which 1,000 people entered.

Laurence said they have been 'blown away' by it all, but have tried to take it in their stride, despite featuring in a magazine he's read religiously.

He said: 'We did not celebrate, we are constantly looking at the next thing. We just can't believe it. It's crazy to look in Kerrang! see your face.'

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The band, which is described as gothic, aggressive and melodic, comprises Kier, 22, Laurence, 22, and Drew, 23, who all hail from Beccles, Shane, 23, from Weston, and drummer Luke Illingworth, 25, from Hemel Hempstead.

Kier, Laurence, Drew and Shane went to Sir John Leman after either going to Beccles Middle or Worlingham Middle, but when their friends went to university they moved to London in September 2007.

Laurence and Drew were in a band called Self-titled, while Kier and Shane were in Korze 4 Concern, but while living in Finsbury Park they decided to join together to form Fearless Vampire Killers.

The name comes from the 1967 comedy horror film directed by Roman Polanski. 'We wanted it to be a name that carried a load of baggage, like a badge of honour but also something that we'd need to prove. It came from a film we'd grown up watching, and it fit with everything we stood for; fighting back against oppressors of any sort and making something of yourself.'

However, it was not an easy start for them as they carted amps and guitars on the tube to perform small shows.

Laurence said: 'We got so much rubbish for being farmer boys and we were playing to one man and his dog, but he didn't even have a dog.'

In 2010 they employed a manager and last year the band — who also make and direct their own music videos — signed up a PR firm.

In August a Kerrang! reviewer was at their first headline slot at the well-known Barfly venue in Camden, and suddenly they were regular features in the magazine with photo shoots, an interview, a CD review, and Kier and Drew were even invited to go to the premier of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn to review it on the magazine's behalf.

Having received good reviews for their EP Blood Never Dries, the next stage for the band is to release their album, Militia of the Lost, later this year, which they will do having set up their own record label Goremount.

Looking to the future, Laurence said: 'We want to take it as far as we can take it. We definitely want to do something to get more British music in America.

'We want to inspire people, change people's lives. It sounds arrogant but not in that way, I really just want to do something that people can get involved with and inspire them.'

The Blood Never Dries is out now.

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