To say that Sheffield's While She Sleeps have caused a stir in the world of British metal would be a massive understatement. The quintet's bone-crushing while strikingly innovative sound has turned heads everywhere they've been, demolishing the smallest of clubs to behemoths like last year's Sonisphere Festival. 2010's mini-album The North Stands For Nothing was an eclectic mix of ferocious roars, guitars that could reduce you to dust and massive hooks, and on the eve of its August release, its successor, debut album This Is The Six promises to elevate those qualities to even greater heights.

Upon the release of the album's second single and title-track we caught up with guitarist Mat Welsh to find out all that's going on within the band in these exciting and pivotal times.

R13: With the completion of This Is The Six what's life like in the While She Sleeps camp and how different is it to this time a year ago?
MW: It feels the same but everything around us is different, I mean it's not like we're living in mansions or anything (laughs). We're a positive group of lads and everyone was really stoked about where we were at this point last year, we were stoked to sign to Small Town Records and then this year we signed to fucking Sony, we're just constantly getting news that shocks us so it's like we've had to get used to hearing things that we've always wanted to happen! My mum gets really stoked when she hears us on the radio and of course so do I but she was saying that I was getting very blase about it and I was just like I can't really help it! (laughs)

R13: Do you feel This Is The Six is going to take you to that next level?
MW: Yeah I hope so, I mean I want it to be a staple album, I don't want it to be another little record, I want it to be like a proper staple record that has a place in your upbringing. That's what I had with bands like Slipknot and Linkin Park, albums that from the age of about thirteen to eighteen just ruled my life and brought me up in a way. I want it to be a new wave of heavy music.

R13: The North Stands For Nothing has been extremely well received.
MW: Yeah I can't put a finger on it, I think it's because you can't really put us in one particular genre. For us, we just do whatever we want, especially with the new record where if something sounded cool we'd just put it in, we didn't go into the studio with any specific genre in mind and I hope that's why we do well because we're honest about it.

R13: Something that's very striking about your sound is your ability to be head-crushingly heavy while still being very accessible.
MW: Yeah exactly, I want it to be heavy music that anyone can like, so they can just get into the tune of it or the bounce or the melody, anything, but regardless of whether you're a heavy music fan or not. We're such a weird band, we write for months and months and don't like anything we've done, we went into the studio to record the album with six songs written and then wrote like five pretty much in the studio the night before tracking them, we just work better under pressure and it brings out a more natural feel in us. I don't know man we're a funny band (laughs). We don't bullshit ourselves and say anything that we don't actually think.

R13: What are some of your favourite tracks on the album?
MW: I love 'Dead Behind The Eyes' because a natural progression for bands is to get softer and we're not there yet, we're not at that age in our life where we'd like to slow down and soften up, and I love having that track as the opener because people are like 'what's the new While She Sleeps like?' and then that just kicks your head in (laughs) I want people to be like 'yes!' The record's got a lot of melody and definitely has a softer side but I don't think it's lacking heaviness. 'Love At War' is a really meaningful song to me because it's about all the grandads who fought for the country we live in and the lack of respect that there is for that today and the way things have changed in regard to the attitude towards it. In the 1940s you'd lie about your age to go and fight in the war and now everyone's detached from that, it relates to our own grandparents so it's a very personal song too. 'Our Courage Our Cancer' is another favourite, it's hard to pick though because I like every song on it! It's my favourite album and all I listen to at the moment (laughs) but that's good, that's what it's supposed to be isn't it? What I've found with it is that it takes a few listens too, the more I listen to it the more flesh and textures come out.

R13: Like you mentioned, there's a real revival of British rock and metal happening at the moment, do you guys feel a part of that or do you feel you're on a different track altogether?
MW: I mean we've had a lot of people say that we're the leading metal band in Britain which is mental, I mean I'd never say that about myself! But it's interesting, America's got a completely different style of doing this sort of music and I don't like it, I think the way it's happening over here feels better so I hope so, I want to be a part of the change and this wave of music, I don't want it to just be this whole metalcore thing either, I want it to be nu-metal again, 'nu' spelt 'new' (laughs).

R13: And 'This Is The Six' is certainly an album that could do that because you can't really pigeonhole it. It reminds of the first [self-titled 1999 released] Slipknot album which even now you still can't pigeonhole, it was something, as you say, completely new.
MW: Yeah I just want people to be like 'fuck I just like it!' and that's a very good way of putting it man, that's very flattering for me too, I was a [Slipknot fan] maggot when I was a kid and made every single mask (laughs) and queued five hours to meet them!

R13: To wrap up what's the plan for the summer, you've got the likes of Download, Slam Dunk and a show at the London Islington Academy supporting [Bullet For My Valentine side-project] Axewound, are you looking forward to all those? What's the plan?
MW: Really looking forward to the summer, looking forward to festivals and playing new tunes and people knowing them too, there's definitely a difference between bringing out a song and then playing it at a festival a few months later. When you play a new track live and no-one's heard it before the crowd completely doesn't know what to do (laughs) and I think with us there's a proper sing-a-long vibe like when you know the songs you're in the gig properly, so we're playing Dead Behind The Eyes and This Is The Six throughout the summer and I can't wait to see the reactions. We're just going to go mental and have a good summer, the Axewound show'll be fun, then we've got the Kerrang! Awards the day after and then Download the day after that and then we're off to Austria so it's going to be busy! After the album's release we're going to be doing a headline tour hopefully in the Autumn which I can't wait for and then it's just going to be the usual for us which is to get out there as much as we can and to play to as many people as we can.

And they will play to many people, many more people and many of whom are going to become fans of a band who are set to make a real mark. 'This Is The Six' has all the makings of a winner and will rip off the ears of anyone who pays it attention, in short it's an absolute stormer that's going to take an already killer band to the next plane. Hard work pays off and While She Sleeps are set to be the British metal success story of 2012, get your head ready to bang because your neck's going to be very sore come the end of the year.

A huge thanks to Mat for a great chat, pick up 'This Is The Six' on August 6th and in the meantime grab a copy of the title-track and get ready to mosh!