Oli Sykes: Bring Me The Horizon Will Never Be ‘The Band We Used to Be’

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Oli Sykes: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bring_me_the_Horizon_-_2019159205442_2019-06-08_Rock_am_Ring_-_2106_-_AK8I0006.jpg, Sven Mandel, sven.mandel@wikipedia.de, all rights reserved., Wikimedia Commons
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Bring Me the Horizon in 2023 sounds a hell of a lot different compared to what the band sounded like in 2004. With more electronic and pop elements appearing in their music nowadays, the band’s metalcore sound is a thing of the past. While reflecting on the band’s past sound in a new chat with KFMA, frontman Oli Sykes talks about how Bring Me the Horizon has grown and how “To a certain degree, we can’t be the band that we used to be.”

In this conversation, Sykes talks about those among the band’s fanbase who feel Bring Me the Horizon’s newer material greatly veers away from what they used to sound like from back in the day. Sykes understands why some fans have such an attachment to that old sound, but also adds, “We can’t write music for the fans; it’s impossible.”

Regarding the band’s growth and those among their fanbase who feel Bring Me the Horizon has greatly shifted away from what they once sounded like, Sykes says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“I think I’ve managed over recent years to soften my approach to what those… It’s very easy for them people to piss you off and you’re just, like, ‘Fuck off.’ But at the end of the day they just love your band and something you did meant so much to them that they just want you to do it again. And you’ve just gotta realize that even though it might annoy you, it comes from a place of love. And rather than fighting back, you’ve just gotta appreciate that and appreciate the fact that… and sometimes maybe it even makes you question yourself as well.”

Sykes goes on to add:

“To a certain degree, we can’t be the band that we used to be. We wouldn’t know how to do it, and we wouldn’t know how to do it with any authenticity or integrity. Because we grow and we age and we mature and our tastes change, the same like the way your taste buds change; it just does, and there’s nothing you can do about that. But sometimes those people can remind you, like, ‘Wait. Are we losing what makes us special?’ And that’s what I’ve asked myself over the years. It’s, like, some people that are sad because we’re not as heavy anymore or whatever, do they have a point?

“There’s not many bands like Bring Me the Horizon anymore that are in the kind of mainstream stuff. And sometimes you almost wanna con… not conform, but sometimes, like our band, 10 years ago [I never would have thought] that anyone would’ve ever said our band are gonna headline festivals one day or that could be the biggest rock band in the world. And then, all of a sudden, those kind of ideas started formulating and people saying them. And that can go to your head, and then you can start going, ‘Oh, maybe we can.’ And sometimes you get so preoccupied whether you could that you don’t stop to think whether you should. And I definitely feel like I’ve listened to some of the fans over the years and, like, you know what? They’re right. We shouldn’t water our shit down. Because we’re like one of the last bands that still do heavy music right. So all that stuff just keeps you in line, and you’ve just gotta realize it all comes from a place of love and don’t let it piss you off. And at the same time stay true to yourself. We can’t write music for the fans; it’s impossible. But we can let what they say resonate with us and not just automatically, like, knee-jerk reaction of like, ‘Fuck you. We’ll do what we want.'”

If you have been a longtime fan of Bring Me the Horizon, what do you think of the band’s modern sound?

Oli Sykes interview