An interview with To Kill Achilles


With their stunning new album, Something To Remember Me ByTo Kill Achilles document the year leading up to their protaganist’s suicide. They weave this concept with extraordinary songwriting that could rival bands like Touché Amoré and Hotel Books – at times dipping into the same stripped back vulnerability of sing speak – whilst also crafting melodies across the album that will entice While She Sleeps or fans of the heavier era of Bring Me The Horizon. Having created an intensely honest and relatable album that’s a serious contender for album of the year, we wanted to chat to the Scottish metalcore band about writing and recording this record and more.

Words: Renette van der Merwe

Images: Grant Anderson


Firstly, congratulations on releasing your new album, Something To Remember Me By. How does it feel having it out in the world?

Thank you! It feels great, it’s something we’ve worked towards for a number of years now and to see it out in the world for everyone to be a part of is a wicked feeling. On the other side of the coin, it’s a bit nerve wracking. There’s stories and feelings on there we as people have never shared before and we knew putting this out was never going to be an easy thing to do, but it’s something we needed to do and we’re very proud of it.

It’s an incredibly moving album with a really honest take on the effects depression can have. How did the idea to tell this story, that takes place over the course of a year, come about?

I’ve always liked concept albums, the idea that a full record can be listened to in the same way a book can be read, a beginning, middle and end. Unfortunately, over the three years we wrote this album, we all as people dealt with moments of depression and some darker thoughts. In that time, we lost a few friends to suicide and I got to a point where I wanted to try and write a story that might help people going through the same stuff. In a way I wrote the lyrics to help myself through my own battles and hope that my friends could find something in them too.

To Kill Achilles

“In a way I wrote the lyrics to help myself through my own battles and hope that my friends could find something in them too.”

But it isn’t just a concept album, it’s a portrayal of how members of the band actually felt at some point or another. Did it become difficult to write and record this album because it’s so personal?

Yeah, absolutely, when you throw yourself into these stories and try to convey them with conviction you truly are living the words. When you get these things in your head you almost convince yourself that it’s exactly how you feel in that moment and with the record being a journey to taking your life, that got quite intense at times.

The final song is a really succinct summary of the story told throughout the album. Did you intend for it to serve as a sense of closure?

Not really, if I’m being honest, the last song to me is the character leaving his note behind before he walks into the ocean never to be seen again. I, personally, don’t view it as closure but more of a definitive end to the story – the worst definitive end I could think of.

A lot of bands tend to tackle mental health issues by putting a positive spin on it. Why do you think it’s important to also represent people who are losing their battles?

I love this question. I think it’s important to tell the negative stories because sometimes someone saying “it’s gonna be ok” doesn’t mean anything in that moment. I find having conversations with people where they bare their soul and tell you the gods honest truth without fear of judgement tends to lead to more clarity. We’re all firm believers that if you can look inside and find that courage to talk it out with a loved one, first, they’ll understand, and sometimes someone just understanding how you feel helps. Secondly, a problem can seem so much bigger when you keep it inside, sometimes just saying it out loud lets you grab a hold of the situation. We were as true and honest as we could be and if we can do it, so can anyone.

Essential Albums 

We often get asked these types of questions and it leads to so much debate between the five of us because we’re all stubborn and all have different tastes, so we decided to nominate a member to answer their version and in this case, you’ve got Baz our drummer. So don’t judge all of us on his answers cause I can promise there’s four other answers to every one of these haha.

What’s the first album you owned?
Deftones – White Pony

What’s the last album you purchased / streamed?
Teenage Wrist – Earth Is A Black Hole

An album that never gets old
Justin Timberlake – Justified

Is there a record that has extreme sentimental value to you?
Anything by Shania Twain because it reminds me of being in the car with my mum when I was a kid

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Nickelback – so many people hate on them for whatever reason they may have, but they’re actually amazing and you can’t change my mind

Settle the argument

Vinyl or Spotify?

Ok, this is a really hard one because I’m a firm believer in both. I’m gonna go Spotify, but I’m gonna explain why and vinyl lovers should hopefully not hate me for it. Spotify is great for having access to all the music wherever and whenever you want. It’s also amazing for finding new bands, it’s great with friends – building a playlist or a solid queue is an art form in itself and can make or break a party. In saying that, the experience of physically picking up a record, placing it in the record player and listening to an album start to finish as it was intended is a better experience. Being so locked in, having that hour of your life just be about listening to that record – that’s something I don’t think you can replicate with Spotify, but I’m not putting vinyl on at a party, trust me, I’ve tried it, the silence is DEAFENING.

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