There is no singer in Yugen.
But it is easy to forget when watching the three-piece progressive metal band from Greenhead College, who have released their debut album, Into the Void.
Wesley Burton, guitarist, talked to the Examiner about the arrangement that would make some bands understandably sweat, alongside home studio recording and playing marathon-like sets.
Yugen (which also includes Will Rowe on guitar and Sam Lucas on drums) have been around a few years now but a big change took place last year, tell us more.
Wesley: “We used to be a five-piece but two went to university last September, including our singer.
“The rest of us stayed because we wanted to focus on the band.
“But we didn’t get another singer so decided that instead we’d have to change our style.
“It wasn’t the easiest – we spent a few months writing songs that weren’t right.
“Before, we could just write a big open chord section where the singer does all the nice licks.
“Now we’ve got to fill it with interesting instrumentation.
“It’s about showing people what we can do with our music to create interesting pieces.
“It seems a bit pretentious but we’re more like a jazz band in style that play progressive metal.”
You have just released your first album, Into the Void...
Wesley: “On our gap year we built a home studio in my garage.
“It took us only up to three months to write the entire album then we recorded it there.
“We mixed and produced it in-house – producing is something that I want to do.
“It’s been a massive learning curve for me.
“There have been some frustrating times when I’ve realised a part’s just not been good enough so we have to re-record it.
“But now we’re really happy with what we’ve come up with.”
Have you released any singles from it?
Wesley: “Our first single Kosm is now available on Sound Cloud.
“It’s free to listen to so people know what to expect.
“What matters is getting our music out to as many people as possible to show them that we have been doing something over the last year.
“Also, it’s not music that everyone would pick up and listen to unless they were interested in our genre to begin with.
“So by giving it out for free we hope that more people will give us a listen.”
How does the album work played live?
Wesley: “We’ve spent a lot of nights listening to it in a dark room so it has been great to play.
“Our set is 55 minutes long and it feels like we’ve done a marathon after it because it’s really intense.
“We’ve each got to practice our own parts at home as well as have band practices to get everything right.”
Have you got any more gigs planned?
Wesley: “We hope to do some more but both Will and Sam have now gone to university.
“But we're still writing so that next year we can put out another album.
“And we’ll gig during the university holidays.
“I’m hoping to go to college in London the year after but will be staying here until then to concentrate on creating a commercial studio and record as much as possible.
“If anyone wants me to record them, get in touch.”
Do you think you’ll ever have a singer again?
Wesley: “We’d really like a singer.
“It’s hard to say exactly what we want – a mix of a really light and emotional vocalist but one who also can push themselves to be harder. We’re not looking for an aggressive singer though.”