Holy State do Beelzebub's bidding on stage, but I must say, I have never met a set of more fresh faced, polite young men in the flesh.
I meet them just before their set at 2010's Live at Leeds. Though originally from Norwich, Holy State now call Leeds their home and, like so many other bands before them, they are now the city's firmly adopted sons.
They have become involved with the ubiquitous Dance to the Radio, whose new roster of bands, Holy State included, seem to suggest a welcomed creative revival about the place. They are chatty, very funny and empassioned about their music, and happy to share their views on wider issues, including National Express coaches, and their beers. Nice one!
So how long have you been together now?
Rob: Properly about two years?
Max: I was involved from then, we recorded our demo and rehearsed but we didn't play our first live show for a while.
Victor: Basically it was roughly a year and a half ago.
Where did you form?
M: Well, we formed in Leeds but we struggled to find someone good enough to play drums.
R: We're all from Norwich originally. Very glamourous place.
We're based in Leeds but Max drives back and forth.
M: Norwich is lovely but quite isolated, most band tours seem to just skip off that bit of the country.
R: It's 'the breast of England.'
Dan: We were all in bands together in Norwich, at one time or another.
R: Dan was in a band called 'Paradox'! (Laughs)
D: It was a high school band! We don't have to touch on that, thanks. It's not that interesting.
You can see many of your hardcore influences. Fugazi, for example.
V: I think they were one of a few bands that we aspired to make similar music to. The first night I came to Leeds, Rob and I got talking, and we agreed that there just weren't that many bands doing that at the moment.
R: Fugazi have influenced many bands, for us it's their ethics and DIY approach, as well as their music. But there are so many other bands that have influenced us also. When Max and I were 14, 15 we were in his tiny room, practicing Smell Like Teen Spirit.
M: It was the first song I ever played! I'd just got my first drum kit and my dad bought me In Utero and said 'right, learn that.' Oh, and we tried to play some Limp Biskit as well.
R: What song was that? Was it 'Break Stuff'?
M: I dunno, probably!
Tell me about your time at Holy Roar, how have you progressed?
M: They did so much stuff for us. They got us so many shows and were always there to support us.
R: It was a great label for us to work with because they were so diverse at the time, the shows with other bands were always interesting.
V: We were really happy to tour with Brontide, and do the split EP with them.
R: And of course, our split with Pulled Apart By Horses came out on Holy Roar as well.
Is it important to you that your music should progress naturally?
V: It's really important for us never to become something that we're not.
R: Well we have done it! I'm sure everyone has tried to force out a song, but for us, it never works. There might be a good riff or two in it, but nothing else.
What releases have you got coming up?
M: The biggest thing is going to be with Dance to the Radio. It's our first proper EP, really. Our first release with Holy Roar was more like a demo.
R: It was specifically for getting us gigs, something to hand out.
M: It went so much further than expected, really!
You are part of a newer, fresher roster of bands at Dance to the Radio, how are things with the label?
M: They've helped us out loads, put us on the stage at Leeds Festival, which was amazing. Several thousand people watching you, kids putting up devil horns. We felt like Aerosmith!
V: We've got the release date for the 12" as the 12th July, which is going to be great for us.
R: Their ethos is very similar to ours, the way they want to work with their bands - It's relaxed. We never feel pressured to do anything.
D: They're just people who love music and are enthusiastic about what we do, which is the best thing of all.
Have you ever fallen out? How has it been together so far?
M: Well we all have jobs now, the dole isn't glamorous as it seems!
D: It's been funny sometimes, sprinting to get the last train out of London with equipment.
R: Getting National Express everywhere, we were the kings of National Express.
V: It got to the point at one time where we were so poor we were forging coach tickets on our mobile phones!
R: One night Dan and I had the worst journey of our lives, because we had to get about 10 different buses, London to Birmingham, Birmingham to Manchester. Manchester to Sheffield. We got back at 6 in the morning, it was horrific.
And finally, any musical skeletons in the closet?
M: I'm quite a big fan of Method Man and Liquid Swords -
D: I like A Day to Remember! I mean, I know it's shit but. y know, this is what makes music better, knowing the difference!
R: We all know you're listening to it on the coach home, anyway, because we ask you what you're listening to and you're really secretive! 'Oh Nothing!' And have a little peek over and it's like, oh yeah, Bright Eyes!