Every band dreams of stardom, constantly seeking the next step towards success. Starting out in Hertfordshire can be a difficult journey to embark on, but there is hope on the horizon.
Efferus are one such band who are heading in the right direction, following in the footsteps of other local success stories like the Gallows, Enter Shikari and Floods. Starting out in Stevenage in 2008, the metal prowess of Efferus caught the attention of a management label, and they have been on the rise since.
Efferus are Alex Tasker (voccals), Niall Crisp (bass), Matt Briars (guitar), and drummer James Allen. They have earned a reputation for their tight, powerful live performances, having supported the likes of Sacred Mother Tongue, Romeo Must Die, and Spirytus.
Bringing together a melodic mash-up of hard-core sounds and rhythmic metal, Efferus have been taking the local circuit by storm since forming in September 2008. James Allen revealed how the band were originally female fronted, and went by the name Angeni, he said: “We had to break apart from the other singer and auditioned Alex. He fitted in well, and we’ve not moved apart since”.
In the beginning, Efferus did not consider themselves to be as serious as they are now, as they were still in school, with a fan base consisting mainly of their friends. Breaking away from this familiar story, and into the professional music industry, can be a challenge in areas such as Hertfordshire, which lacks an established grounding for musicians. “The music scene in the area isn’t very big at all, with only two close venues, one being a youth venue for under 19’s” said James.
The road to success has to begin somewhere, and putting the time and dedication into these smaller venues can pay off. Efferus joined the impressive artist roster of Possessive Management in 2012, alongside artists such as My Extraordinary, Saint the Sinner, and Seethe.
Possessive Management boasts 16 years’ experience working with internet solutions, user testing, digital marketing and social media. Their role is to help emerging artists to “take possession of their digital footprint and assisting promotion in today’s and tomorrow’s digital world”. Their passion for music and unique specialist services help rock and metal bands with everything from online promotion, brand positioning, tour management, PR and digital strategies.
“We didn’t search for management or record labels ourselves, mostly due to money, as a majority of them charge for their services,” admitted James. “Before being taken on by Possessive, we didn’t believe we were at the level where we needed or would benefit from a label of any sort.”
In the search for stardom, Efferus signed up for a showcase event in London, which they went on to win. The showcase included a free year of management with another company, which unfortunately shut down not long after the signing due to unforeseen circumstances. It was at this stage that Efferus were approached by Possessive Management, who “kindly took us under their wing”.
Joining the management roster has allowed Efferus to take a more professional approach within the band. They now have a commercially available EP, banners for live performances, and T-shirts. “These contacts were mostly acquired through Possessive,” said James, “We also had a free photoshoot, which allowed us to portray our image a lot easier to the public.” Previously, Efferus had self-shot their own shoots, which while a relatively cost effective start-up for most bands, struggles to compete with a professional image.
Efferus have also now shot a video for their single ‘Katfish’, James felt that this was a big step for the band, as it was done to a professional level, and “had a good concept to it, relating to the lyrics and background of the song.” They have also released their EP ‘Born to Be’ which can be purchased on iTunes.
Although Efferus have been fortunate enough to be signed to the Possessive Management roster, this is not always achievable for every new band. “Without trying to sound pessimistic, don’t believe that you will get big, spend all your time doing what you enjoy most,” advised James, “Treat it more as a hobby, and not as a job or chore.”
Being part of Efferus and forming his own band has been a great experience for James, who especially enjoyed their tour with Spirytus. “Although we didn’t do it in the usual way, in a van roughing it every night, we did it in two cars and stayed in travel lodges,” he said, “It was a great time spent together and was definitely an experience I would like again.”
As touring and gigs form a major part of any bands experience, James revealed that his favourite gig from the tour was the Soundhouse in Leicester, which was the last date of their tour with Spirytus. He said, “We had spent time getting to know them and I’m sure we will gig together again in the future.” Efferus also played in Great Yarmouth with another band from Possessive Management’s roster, which was where they felt they received the best reception.
A previous review on Yuppee praised Efferus as: “Strong, tight, with all the pieces coming together well. The final result is pure power, reminiscent of the old-school feels of Korn, but still offering something fresh. They’ve got the power to get a crowd moving and could do wonders with a big venue packed to the brim with metal-heads ready to mosh.”
Efferus are intending to continue with Possessive Management, and make the most of whatever time they have left together, as the band and its members never know if their lives and careers may send them in different directions. “We hope to carry on going, keep gigging, and getting our music out to more and more people.”
For any new band, the experience of gigging and practicing together can be the most valuable part of their journey, and James advises, “If you then get a break, then it becomes a bonus, if not then you would have had a good time along the way.”