The One Hundred: An Introduction
Who are The One Hundred, you ask? Cor blimey, we’ll tell you. These Londoners have just been snagged by Aussie hardcore super label UNFD for their debut EP Subculture, an eclectic genre-jumping head-turner if ever there was one. We got on the phone to Jacob Field – a vocal “triple-threat” of sorts who sings, screams and raps at the front of the quartet – to introduce you to this intriguing new export from across the pond.
Can you describe The One Hundred for those who haven’t had a chance to hear you yet?
I think for like 99% of bands that’s probably an easy question, but for us it’s pretty much one of the hardest things to answer because it’s basically like a mix of so many sounds and styles, it’s not just one particular genre! We kind of fuse hip hop and UK grime elements with rap and metal, there are singing bits and screaming sections, I think it’s got something for everyone!
What does a live show for The One Hundred look like?
Energetic! All about the energy, it’s gotta be big, bold and in-your-face, so regardless of whether you like us or not you can’t walk away and say it was total rubbish, at least you can go away with something!
Can you give us a bit of background about how the band came together?
We were in an old band together, which naturally kind of came to an end, and then me and our guitarist Tim [Hider] continued to write, but we weren’t looking to start a new band, we were kind of just writing as producers. And then we had a sort of lightbulb moment when we started laughing and realised the songs felt too good to just sit there on our Mac, so that was when we decided it was time to call the lads back and bring in our drummer Joe [Balchin] and kind of kick it off again from there. So it was kind of a natural progression from our old band into what we were becoming, cos we were young and naïve when the first band started, and we progressed as musicians and matured and we’re here now!
Signing to UNFD is a huge achievement for a debut EP! Were you surprised to have an Australian label take interest so quickly?
Yeah, that’s crazy! I mean when we started out we knew we were going to stand out a bit because our style was so different, but when we released it and UNFD approached us we couldn’t believe it. In our genre of music, UNFD is right up there, so to have them approach us was insane. We’re all huge fans of In Hearts Wake and Northlane, so we already knew what the label was all about and it made the decision quick and easy for us! We’ve gained a lot of new fans from it too.
You’ve had some other huge things happen to your band early on too, like playing the Sonisphere Festival this year! What was that like?
[Laughs] I mean, I think that was something like our 15th show together as a band, so the nerves were running high, but Sonisphere is such a huge iconic festival, so the chance to play it is just nuts, and just walking around backstage and seeing all these legendary bands like Slayer and Anthrax was absolutely mad.
How does that compare to the kind of venues you typically play?
Well they kind of vary, to be honest. The majority of the venues we’ve played have either looked absolutely huge, with only about 20 kids standing there watching, or the complete opposite: some little shack that’s rammed full of people. It really depends on the kind of scene and what other bands we’re playing with and how interested people are in our band. It seems like in the UK nowadays a lot of people are more bothered about what shoes they want to buy than about coming out and seeing a band, but we play any kind of show and always give it 100 percent regardless.
You guys have your first major UK tour coming up in December supporting Hacktivist, who are also on UNFD and have become very popular in Australia too. How are you feeling about those shows?
We’ve kind of been tour virgins for this whole time – we’ve done little tours here and there, but this one is like a solid 24 days, I think we’ve got about three days off in the whole tour! I think there’s always a bit of nerves when you have a run like that, there’s always the worry of how your voice will play out, will you have energy, you’re gonna be sleeping rough and eating rough… but we knew that from day one, so it’s just putting it into reality now. It’s gonna be a really good experience. Hacktivist are a huge influence on us as well, so the fact that we can do our first proper tour with a band that play a slightly similar genre to us and have also set themselves apart from most other bands is great. It should be good to travel the UK and get some experience.
Speaking of Hacktivist, do you feel like there could be a rap-metal movement taking off in Britain at the moment?
Yeah, I think to a certain extent. I think a lot of bands kind of want to escape the generic specific genre they’ve been placed in so they’re trying to do something slightly different. We write what we write because we enjoy it, we just happen to make heads turn in the process of doing it. We don’t sit there writing something with the intention of causing controversy – it’s just that our style is so different that it intrigues people. But Hacktivist are another one of those bands, and even when you look elsewhere there’s bands like Falling In Reverse who make people stop and need to listen regardless of whether they like it or not. I’d rather people have an opinion on it than just not care at all.
A lot of people online seem to point to Enter Shikari as a band whose sound is quite close to yours – do you feel that’s an accurate comparison? Are they an influence?
Yeah, definitely, but I think it’s probably a subconscious influence. Enter Shikari were one of the first heavier bands that I ever heard growing up. With our old band we had synth in it anyway so it made sense as a progression to make that element of our music into a bigger part than it already was, and then the rap side of things was another thing from when we were younger. I was always into hip hop and it made sense to use it as something to springboard off rather than just doing metalcore. We kind of knew what we wanted to be when we started out.
When it comes to the hip hop aspects of your music, what specific rappers do you look to for influence?
When I was younger I think the first tape I ever bought was Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP; I had that on tape! But it was the one that had all the swearing bleeped out so it was pretty pointless, cos half of the album was swearing. But being eight years old and having that was the coolest thing ever. Eminem was definitely a huge influence on me. From there I went on to listen to a lot of R’n’B and hip hop and it ended up being a big range of artists that influenced me to put rap into my music, but it all started with Eminem.
Do you have any favourite British rappers we should know about?
It’s more like, we have UK grime which is kind of the equivalent of hip hop in America, but it’s a bit more hard-hitting; there are a lot of elements in there of the culture surrounding it. There are some really talented guys in that. There’s a guy called JME who is a UK rapper, very hard-hitting, a bit underground, but he’s one of the biggest influences on me.
What’s planned after the Hacktivist tour?
I think it’s gonna be literally just more tours, more shows, and I know we’ve just released the EP but for us they’re kind of old tracks so we’re going to be going back into recording mode for the next release whether it’s an EP or an album. And if we can ever get a chance to come to Australia, we’ll grab it by the horns!