SHARD: Thrash Metal with a Twist
SHARD was formed by two ACM students, Owen Tomlinson and David Everard, who wished to create thrash metal with a twist. After a long period of turmoil involving several line-up changes, George O’Connor, Charlie Allerton and Charlie Syzmanski were permanently added to the fold. During this time, David, Owen and Charlie S had plenty of time to write many songs together with elements of jazz, funk and atmospheric black metal, each one with a tale to tell about how the dire machinations of the elite few can spell doom for the many. In November of 2016, Charlie Allerton decided to leave the band altogether. Since then, George, and occasionally David, have decided to take on vocal duties. George’s maddened delivery and ability to switch quickly between vocal styles proved to be the final spark that SHARD needed to kick start the current, stable line-up that has been waiting to unleash its full potential on the masses to this day.
I spoke with guitarist Owen to get more of an insight into the life of SHARD.
Hi Owen! What is SHARD about?
Our main motive is to challenge the establishment and express how angry we are at the ignorant, the bigoted and the morally corrupt. We’re never afraid to take risks and let everyone know what believe is right for our society. Our sound and inspiration:
We are a progressive thrash metal 4-piece from Guildford. Our main influences are Megadeth, Slayer, Tool, Pantera, Dream Theatre and System of a Down.
Who are your members and what do you play for SHARD?
George O’Connor — Vocalist, Bassist
Owen Tomlinson — Guitarist
Charlie Szymanski — Guitarist
David Everard — Drummer, Vocalist
What made you want to start a band and how did you start up?
Our love for playing and listening to music, entertaining people and our dreams for wanting to make it big are what motivated us. Owen and David first met in the ACM. They talked about the instruments they played, the music they liked and their ambitions, and that’s when they decided to form SHARD and the rest is history.
If you could bring back any music inspirations, who would it be and why?
David Bowie — For his amazing songwriting and his love for the outrageous
Lemmy Kilmister — For his no nonsense attitude and for keeping Rock ’n’ Roll alive
John Lennon — For his strong and powerful messages of peace, love and justice in his songs
Prince — For his prolific songwriting and outstanding musicianship
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to do more gigs in other towns, record albums and get a record deal. We also dream to play at big venues and festivals, and the places we would love play at are Download and Bloodstock.
What has been challenging about setting up this band and starting from the very beginning of your career?
The first time we started, we went through a lot of line-up changes and had problems trying to find musicians who were committed and were into the music that we liked. We spent nearly a year looking for new members and we were nearly on the verge of giving up, but we didn’t. We kept our heads held high and we always hoped for the best, despite the turmoil we went through.
Can you give some advice for people starting out in a band?
Forming a band isn’t easy, but you must never give up. And if there are times where you feel like the band isn’t going anywhere, find other opportunities that involve music, such as writing and recording songs with other people, join a function band or teaching music class. You can still be in a band and make the music you want to make, but you must never shy away from all the other music related opportunities that come your way.
Any events or exciting plans coming up?
Aside from recording a 4 track EP and a few more gigs we’ve got coming up soon, we’ve signed up to play at the ACM Summer Live.
Cheers for having me on, I love having the opportunity to talk about SHARD.