‘The whole tagline with Beholder is honesty.’ Frontman Simon Hall tells it like it is.

Behold! ‘Genuine, hard working, British metal’.

Shaven headed, tattooed and built like a concrete water closet, Simon Hall is every inch the heavy metal star he should be. His gruff, English midlands accent as pronounced as the Viking-like beard that hangs proudly from his chin; like most facets of Simon’s appearance, his facial foliage looks like it came for a fight. This is not a man I want to argue with.

As lead vocalist of brash British heavy metal beast Beholder, violence is not at the top of his agenda. After the relative success of debut album The Awakening, Simon Hall and his Beholder bandmates have hit paydirt with it’s follow-up, The Order Of Chaos. The only thing to feel his sizable wrath is this fucked up world. ‘I think the whole tagline with Beholder is honesty,’ Simon says, his deep voice crackling thanks to the years of growling into a microphone. The twenty cigarettes and can of beer he has with him probably help in that respect too. ‘Ever since we did the Never Take Us Down track which was dedicated to Sophie Lancaster [a young woman who was killed in Lancashire, England in 2007 because of her Goth clothing] when you actually see people affected in the audience by what you’re singing about, we realised that that had to be one of the main cruxes of what Beholder was about. To just be as honest as we possibly can be. Don’t get me wrong, my views on certain issues in the world might rub people up the wrong way. But having said that if I was not true to myself then it wouldn’t work.’

By the time you read this, Beholder’s second release, an immense album by the name of The Order Of Chaos, will be available in all formats. Full of power and aggression mixed with huge choruses that get ‘people in by the scruff of their neck and say, This is the chorus, you cannot fucking forget this!’ and proudly calling out the Beholder melodic hooks. Originally titled Black Flag, after the first track, the album was slated for a 2012 release. But the recording was undertaken by Simon who admits, ‘I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing if I’m honest’ and so the whole process started again when Simon “Gymli” Cliffe was brought in to start from scratch. ‘It’s been a labour of love this one,’ he says. ‘This was in many ways the re-birth of Beholder because we have a new line up with Scott Taylor coming in on guitar and he’s changed the dynamic of the band.’

Admitting the band didn’t really know what their sound was after The Awakening, they set about finding it. The next year was spent playing and honing the true Beholder sound and while The Order Of Chaos is not a massive step away from where they started, it is a refinement in key areas that makes it feel like the start of something big. ‘If you take tracks like Snake Eyes and Heretic and Worm off the first album they really do sit with what we’ve got on this album...this album is the Beholder sound: it’s the Beholder feel; it’s the Beholder crunch. Plus it’s got the melody behind it which was something we were really keen on keeping. I think a lot of bands have lost that melodic touch in hard metal nowadays.’

Simon owes a debt of gratitude ‘to all the politicians worldwide for giving me plenty of fucking ammunition,’ he says with his tongue in his cheek, but also on Simon’s lyrical agenda are more touching subjects like the triumphant uprising by the people of Egypt. A strong theme of human solidarity and hope runs through the entire album. ‘It’s essential,’ Simon says firmly. ‘You’ve got to give kids hope, you’ve got to say, Look this is what we’re dealing with, let’s fucking rise against it and keep the fucking flag flying...there doesn’t have to be a driving empathy or reasoning behind your lyrical content just so long as it’s honest to yourself. When you see some of these grindcore bands and these emo crossover bands that are singing about having a fucking shit paper round, at the end of the day, shut up you still live with your mam. It’s just rubbish!’ What was he saying about rubbing people up the wrong way?

Next month Beholder will embark on a run of dates around the UK as the main support act to Scar Symmetry, taking in the larger o2 Academy owned venues. Following this the band will be unleashed on the British people on a headlining tour with old friends Bull Riff Stampede: a monstrously heavy line up and no mistake. ‘We don’t want to be one of those bands that plays the main cities and then leave it at that. Fuck that. At the end of the day we’d much rather spread ourselves right out there and go and visit regions that we may not have been to before. That’s quite important.’

Simon appears to be an organised man, he’s got his head firmly screwed on. So, being the one on whose broad shoulders the responsibility falls, Beholder tours must be a smooth operation, right Simon? He laughs. Loudly. ‘Erm, sometimes! They do nine times out of ten because I do quite a lot of pre production.’ But that one time makes for a crazy event: ‘2010. We did a tour and we hired this enormous, great big fucking coach and when we saw it our chins hit the floor. It was such a dump. We picked it up and I drove it back up the motorway from London at forty miles an hour with my foot to the floor. So I went and picked up all the lads, put all the gear in. The first show was in Manchester...the clutch broke so we missed that gig. We managed to get that fixed and we’re driving down the motorway to get to Glasgow, got pulled over by VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) who looked at the van and started laughing at us! Then as soon as we’d left them we were tearing down the motorway at a massive sixty miles an hour and I swear to you on everything I own and everything I cherish, the fucking gear stick came off in my hand! I was shouting out to the back while they’re all sat in the hospitality lounge as we called it, sat there drinking and smoking and having a great time and I’m fucking brandishing this fucking gear stick in my hand saying, Fucking get up here will you and put this fucking thing back in! So in answer to your question, not always, but we always make light of it.’ And on this tour? ‘Somebody’s driving us, put it like that,’ he laughs.

Although it's barely on the shelves and servers, Beholder are already looking past this album and thinking about the next. ‘We’ve learnt an awful lot from this recording process and we just want to take what we’ve learned back into doing the next recording. So I have a feeling that the end of next year is when the next album’s going to be looked at; sooner rather than later.’ He finished his thought with a sentence that underlines why their fans have so much loyalty to them: ‘We owe it to the fans to get one out there pretty quick after this.’ Not a man who dabbles in any bullshit or false modesty, Simon appears genuine when he continues. ‘We owe them everything,’ he says matter of factly. ‘We owe everything to every kid that’s ever bought a t-shirt or a CD or downloaded a track legally – anyone that’s downloaded one illegally is a complete twat in my books. We do owe it to the fans, definitely. Seeing kids’ faces at the shows is primarily what it’s all about so if we can give them more reason to come and see us time and again then great.’

For now things in the Beholder camp are good and Simon sums it up in his own distinctive style. ‘We’re loving every minute of it. It’s good that the media and press have picked up on the fact that there’s a genuine, hard working, British metal act out there that isn’t covered in glitter and acting like some bunch of fucking weirdos. At the end of the day we sing about real stuff and we offer a real honest to goodness fucking metal show, end of story.’ And who am I to argue?