TO look at the heavily-inked Oli Sykes you maybe wouldn’t think of him as a company boss.
But the singer with Stocksbridge metallers Bring Me The Horizon has long juggled sending venues into a frenzy with overseeing his Dropdead! clothing firm.
Thankfully both are thriving, but Oli does admit to feeling the pressure, not least because the label employs many friends and family members
“It does get stressful, mainly with the lack of time because we’re so busy with the band,” he says ahead of BMTH headlining their hometown O2 Academy on Wednesday.
“The main thing that stresses me out is I always want to do my best and everything to get better.
“The band always comes first, the label second – at the same time I love that part of my life.
“I want to make sure it’s getting better, not necessarily bigger.
“I’m happy with where the company is now, progressing, the quality and garments.
“The same with the band. I don’t like to feel anything is losing out because of time. All we can do is what we do at the end of the day.
“All my friends have got jobs from Drop-dead!
“They’ve got a cool steady job so if this all ended it would be a lot of people out of work.
“But I never think of that because we’re all doing our best. If it ends it ends.
“I guess I tend not to think of the future too much. I just get on with it.”
And that goes for BMTH. Three albums in they’ve evolved into one of the UK’s brightest acts.
The most recent album – There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret – was number one in Australia and charted well in the US, Japan and here.
With a return to June’s Download festival also in their sights, they continue to polarise opinion.
“Ever since we started it’s been like that. There are people that really like us and people that don’t get us.
“We were pretty young when we started and played with a lot of older bands.
“It felt like people looked down on us because we were kids who didn’t know what we were doing, which we probably didn’t.
“At the same time there were a lot of people digging it. It p****d some people off that other people liked it.”
There Is A Hell was a gambled leap on from Suicide Season and début Count Your Blessings.
It retained much of the brutality but blended brave ideas and a sense of drama to set them apart from other metalcore candidates.
“When we were younger we were a bit scared to show influences just because when you’re in this kind of band not many tend to go out of the boundaries.
“Writing it is like a trial and error thing.
“Let’s try everything, bring everything into it, and not worry. If it sounds crap we won’t use it, if it sounds good we will.”
So they’ve lost the fear of making errors?
“We know what sounds good and bad, it’s just about trying it out.
“You’ve got to do it in a way where it’s not going to sound like it’s changed the band because that’s not what we want to do. We want to put it into our music and make it our sound so you can tell the influences but it doesn’t sound out of place. That’s the biggest challenge.
“People who may not even like metal that much could be open to this where we’re using influences from what could be their favourite kind of music.
“At the same time there is a one-minded side to a lot of metal fans; they like metal and that’s it.
“We’re maybe opening younger listeners’ minds and showing them different styles.”
Reminding us BMTH played the smaller Academy venue last time around, drummer Matt Nichols says There Is A Hell is the sound of a band ticking more boxes.
“With Suicide Season there were parts when we finished recording where we were ‘it’ll do’,” he admits.
“On this everyone was happy with every part.
“It was good to come out super pleased.”
As for the flack...
“We’ve had it since day one and if we’d let people talking s*** get to us back then we’d have probably given up five years ago,” says Matt.
“If someone doesn’t like it we’re not that bothered. There’s plenty of people do.”
Win tickets to their O2 Academy show: See The Star tomorrow.