Thrashers Die No More hit the stage for one final bow

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"WHEN I put our three CDs next to each other, you can see all the hard work we've put in over the last five years."

Die No More guitarist and frontman Marc Farquhar has seen his band achieve more in a half a decade than many manage in a lifetime.

And while their star appeared to be on the rise - owing to last autumn's well-received Destruction Complete EP - the North Cumbrians have decided to bow out when their current festival cycle comes to an end next month.

"It just felt like the right time to do this," says Marc.

"We've been playing about 30 or 40 gigs a year, and it's been full-on. We just want some time to ourselves and to live life a bit."

The Carlisle and Penrith outfit have established themselves right at the very forefront of Cumbrian metal.

The four-piece - completed by lead guitarist Kev Smith, bassist Martyn Simpson and drummer Steve Orchiton - had been heralded as flag bearers for British thrash in the music press, releasing two full-length albums and playing festivals across the UK and Europe.

The announcement that they would be laying down their instruments - for now at least - came out of the blue, but Marc is sure they're doing the right thing in calling an 'indefinite hiatus'.

"At the moment I'm feeling quite relaxed about it all, but I don't really know what will happen with Die No More," he says.

"We're all still mates and the others may do something musically at some point, but for me, if I do anything with a band again, it will be this one.

"I've not had a chance to go to many shows lately, and maybe if I'm there watching a band I might start to miss it all - it's hard to say as we've not even stopped playing yet. But who knows if or when we'll be back - never say never."

Shows in Europe supporting Absolva and festival appearances as far afield as Belgium are milestone achievements that a lot of bands can only dream of - certainly far beyond their expectations when they started out, as Dynamo, back in 2012.

Marc continues: "I never thought about being in a band as a way of making money - and that just got confirmed as soon as we played our first gig.

"All I wanted was to go on tour and play gigs, and write songs that people enjoy, so we've achieved everything I wanted from a band.

"We've made so many fantastic memories and a lot of good friends in Cumbria, which is more than I could have hoped for.

"Actually having people ringing you up and asking you to play their festival is a great feeling, and totally the opposite of what I expected. I thought we'd have to beg anyone to put us on the bill.

 Marc Farquhar (photo by David J Morgan)

Marc Farquhar (photo by David J Morgan)

"It's been cool to see people reaching out to us and telling us how much they're going to miss having us around."

A number of the Cumbrian bands that started out around the same time have had similar breakthrough successes, fostering a strong local rock music community - with Die No More an important pillar of it all.

Having started up the Behind The Noise podcast around the turn of the year, Marc is keeping himself occupied as things begin to winds down, and keeping his eye in with the local scene.

"There are so many great bands up here, who we've played with and that have helped us along the way. Falling Red have always been great with us, and Colt 45 too when we were starting out.

"There's also Massive Wagons who we've played with a lot, and are probably one of the best bands around right now.

"At least with the podcast, it will keep me involved with the music world, and whatever happens in the future, I know there's a lot of contacts we've built up that will help if we started playing shows again."

Since the hiatus was announced in April they have had a couple of successful festival gigs, with the final bow on July 15 at the SOS Festival near Manchester.

There won't be a huge amount of pomp and ceremony around their departure, no big Carlisle farewell, but Marc is content that they've done it all on their own terms and for the right reasons.

"The shows have been a bit strange because we know they are our last ones.

"We've had people coming to the merch table and buying our whole back catalogue and a T-shirt, or people who have seen us for the first time and told us they're new fans - and now we're going on hiatus.

"We didn't plan to have a big hometown show to say goodbye, or anything like that. After the EP came out and we had a great reaction, we just got a good few festivals lined up, so we wanted to honour those bookings. It feels like a fitting end to the chapter though."

For tickets for the SOS Festival in Manchester, visit www.ticketline.co.uk

To listen to Behind The Noise, visit behindthenoisepodcast.libsyn.com

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