By Eric Mackinnon
Rewind 13-years and had you asked Black Sabbath superfans and aspiring musician Scott Middleton if he would be blasting out riffs on the main stage of the Download Festival he wouldn't have believed you.
But that's the journey for Scott Middleton who has helped lead the charge of Cancer Bats from a band he admits wasn't super serious to an ass kicking, ear infecting metal band who have toured the globe, headlined arenas on both sides of the Atlantic and even presented an award to their metal heroes from Black Sabbath.
Cancer Bats have enjoyed a well deserved rise to fame and such has been their success the hardcore metallers have been able to have some fun with their fame and love of Sabbath to create a side project - covering their Sabbath heroes.
Bat Sabbath were born at a live event in the UK and from their the popularity exploded with requests flooding in for Bat Sabbath exclusive shows as well as those from Cancer Bats.
You don't have to scratch Cancer Bats very deep to find the fun and love of music flowing through their veins and guitarist Scott Middleton admits the past 14-years have whirled by.
"Cancer Bats wasn’t started to be an ultra-serious band. It was pure honest fun at the beginning. But, people liked us right away, and we seized our opportunities. Once things got rolling then I could see it having longevity, because the band became the best thing I’d ever been a part of, and it was always my intent to be in a real band and make that my life.
"But, that being said, the last 14 years have flown by, and I’m so proud we’ve lasted this long."
The band have ticked off a number of music bucket list goals but playing the main stage of Download is one of their greatest accomplishments admits Middleton.
"Touring with Danzig and also Gwar was huge for me," continued Middleton. "Both are bands I have loved since before I could play guitar. Getting invited to sing the chorus of ‘Davidian’ by the guys in Machine Head at Grasspop festival.
"And of course, presenting an award to Black Sabbath at the Kerrang awards was ridiculous and special. We’ve had so many great times over the years and I’m so grateful for it."
Cancer Bats have been booked to plug in and unleash their metal magic all over the Avalanche Stage this year and they have vowed those Donington-bound are in for a treat.
Joining them on the Avalanche Stage this summer are the likes of Bad Religion, Neck Deep and The Hives, and for some it will be the stage to set up home for the weekend.
Catch Cancer Bats this summer at the Download Festival where they will cock and load both barrels full of their southern-flavoured, hardcore punk riffage over a crowd who will beg for more.