Wednesday, October 31, 2012

... featuring bigoudened zombies, New Video of STANGALA "Bigoudened an Diaoul" !!!



Stangala proudly present their new video for the track "Bigoudened an Diaoul", featuring some vintage zombies and stuff !!!






https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stangala/117154354982445

.... SLOMATICS "A Hocht" -album review-

The sheer weight and magnitude of Slomatics’ third full-length, ‘A Hocht’, easily crushes and surpasses the band’s previous works by increasing not only the overall heaviness of their sound, but also by including and exploring darker textures and atmospherics. Tony Roberts’ “Flaming Octopus” album cover encapsulates the unadulterated visceral offensive launched by the Belfast trio—it’s a massive, fiery slab of impending doom that is awash in moments of beauty and calm. Without the presence of a bass player, the low-end thrum created by guitarists David and Chris and singer/drummer Marty is nothing short of amazing. Slomatics are able to plunder the depths of suffocatingly heavy music without sacrificing catchiness or momentum.

“Inner Space”, the ominous introduction to ‘A Hocht’, is an exercise in ambient intensity. A depth-charged, low-end rumble is accompanied with washes of feedback that ultimately concludes with a cymbal roll crescendo that ebbs into nothingness. Like a down-tuned air raid siren, “Flame On”pierces the silence with a thunderous roar. This second track is the accompaniment to martial law as Marty’s bellows have a dictatorially quality that rises authoritatively above the din. “Flame On” simply crushes. “Beyond Acid Canyon”slows things down to a doom crawl with sluggish, heavy riffs and the tolling of a bell. Over the next six minutes Slomatics manage to exert the equivalent pressure of being submerged 18,000 ft. below the surface of the ocean with only a brief respite as “Beyond Acid Canyon”momentarily drifts through more dreamy, tranquil waters. “Return to Kraken” amps things up with a tumultuous, driving riff that sounds as if David and Chris have exchanged their guitars for a couple of impossibly distorted basses. The song is a continuous wave of distorted fury until it breaks down into a slower section layered with memorable leads.


 The glorious “Tramontane” ushers forward the second half of the album with an anticipatory slow burn. The mood is established through intense, sporadic drumming, and steady, sloth-like riffing which is glazed over with a mesmerizing hum before erupting into an all-out assault of doomed-out proportions. At just over seven minutes in length “Tramontane” is the longest track on ‘A Hocht’ and not a single second is wasted or unnecessary. The oppressive, sludge-suffused doom of “Tramontane” ultimately yields to the delicate placidity of “Blackwood” which offers the listener a haven of ambient textures and alluring, siren-like vocals before Slomatics resume their mission of crafting megalithic tunes of the utmost density. The instrumental “Theme From Remora”relies almost exclusively on repetition for its entrancing effect which is accented through both the drumming and background noise. Finally, all good things must come to an end and the appropriately titled “Outer Space” bookends the album by combining the ambience and repetition found on the previous two tracks into an eerie amalgamation of desperate noise.

Every release from Slomatics is worth checking out, but they have made tremendous strides since their last full-length release, 2007’s ‘Kalceanna’,strides which were intimated on their 2011 split with Conan. The band has crafted one of the heaviest and most memorable releases of the year, but they have also managed to imbue ‘A Hocht’ with moments of serenity and beauty—a feat not easily accomplished. One of the year’s best.

Words: Steve Miller



Monday, October 29, 2012

... BASTARD OF THE SKIES "Tarnation" -Album review-

I already presented you this English Sludge band a few months ago, revealing especially infos about their new album... Released through Future Noise Recordings "Tarnation" is out now and we've got here another excellent release coming from UK to be ranged among other successfull albums of this year like Undersmile, Conan, Alunah or Black Magician...
Songs included last year on the split album with Catatomic had already shown a slight development towards something thicker and more dynamic too, which is more than confirmed through those 10 new songs. Old fans will still find their count here though, BOTS is not the kind of band that makes compromises for the subjective pleasure of anybody, so it's not a too drastical change at all, more of  a natural evolution...
Whereas the main influences of Neurosis and Crowbar are almost definitely digested, the overall approach is not as straigth and brutal (including in the vocals, screaming and throaty but not as growling as previously) but is still extremely heavy and downtuned.
In fact along with some discordant melodies sparingly displayed here and there, the most essential change to my ears is the DOOMier mood that is overhanging "Tarnation", not just by the slower moments ever composed by the band but more due to a constant bleakness and ominous atmospheres, it's not yet the end of the world but the sky is terribly dark and low !
Even if not always obvious at first listening, songs like "(Roasted in the Depths of the) Sloar", "Bookatee Willalee" or "Snapmare" are vicious growers, there's definitely more going on in the songs and B.O.T.S. cleverly didn't let themselves being locked into the straitjacket of a noisy and repetitive Sludge...
Along with the ultra-slow "Repugnance", I guess that my fave song is the epic closer "What are You Looking at Dicknoose ?", don't know about the lyrical content of this one but musically it's no joke song at all, rather an anthemic piece of malevolence !!!  it clocks at about 11 minutes and sees the guest appearance from members of scottish fellows Black Sun on vocals, the result is damn catchy and eyes seriously on haunting (Post) Black/Sludge in a venomous way... I think this one represents the most faithfully how BASTARD OF THE SKIES sounds today and will in the future and that's fucking GREAT stuff.
The production by Matt Richardson (voc/guit) himself confirms the quality of his previous works for Black Magician, The Lamp of Thoth, The Human Condition, etc... considering the richness of the UK scene and the value of his work, he should be certainly very busy in the future, but let's hope he'll save all necessary time for BOTS cause his band has now reached a level that should open them wider horizons...





... Dates announced for HEAVY DAYS IN DOOMTOWN Festival 2nd edition !!!



HEAVY DAYS IN DOOMTOWN 2013 COPENHAGEN, DENMARK MAY 2013

"Some time has passed since 2012's Heavy Days In Doomtown Festival and for those who have been wondering if there will be another, we would like to confirm that HDDT 2013 is definitely happening! We are back on track after a busy summer and fall and are happy to announce the 2nd edition of Heavy Days In Doomtown!

The dates will be 2nd - 5th May 2013. There will be a warm-up show Thursday May 2nd (Location will be announced later on). Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May will be at Ungdomshuset, Dortheavej 61, 2450 Copenhagen NV. Bands and programme will be announced over the course of the next few months as bands and artists begin to be confirmed.

We have started the organizing and booking process, so therefore we'd like to invite bands and artists that would like to perform/exibit at HDDT 2013 to send us a request via email (NOT through Facebook please).

For artists write to us at heavydaysdoomtown.art (a)
gmail.com. Please enclose a short description of your work, a link to a website or blog where your art is displayed and/or your ideas for projects for HDDT 2013.

For bands please send us a request to heavydaysdoomtown.booking (a)
gmail.com. When you send us your request and a way to listen to your music, the preferred method is a link to streaming music online. A bandcamp link works best. We prefer not to receive MP3s sent directly or as download links. No Myspace. We will do our best to give all bands a listen and that may take a while. If you don´t hear back from us it means that we aren´t interested. We would like to give all bands a personal reply, but unfortunately we receive too many requests to keep up with all of them.

The artwork for HDDT 2013 will again be done by the amazing 13th Sign Collective from Berlin (
http://13sign.blogspot.se/). They are currently working on creating a theme for next years posters and website. We have put up a temporary template on our website until the artwork is done."

Band announcements and newsupdates will be announced on
www.heavydaysindoomtown.com and through our Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavy-Days-In-Doomtown-a-DIY-celebration-of-all-things-slow-and-heavy/283876344975898 / http://www.facebook.com/events/396634510406211/?ref=ts&fref=ts



To give you an idea about the kind of KILLER line-up to expect, just have a look below at the list of bands from the 1st edition (May 2012) , also read this very interesting  report from the blog Writing About Music :
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.dk/2012/05/heavy-days-in-doomtown-diy-festival.html





 
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

... ELECTRIC TAURUS "Veneralia" -album review-

From Dublin (Ireland), here's ELECTRIC TAURUS and their debut album "Veneralia" to be released imminently on Moonlinght records from Italy (the recording took place there this summer in the label's studio).
Formed in 2010, this trio actually consists in Matt (guit/voc), James (Bass) and Mauro (drums) and delivers a pretty original 70's Heavy Blues influenced Stoner Rock, a style that is actually very popular but E.T. is in no case a band to be ranged in the category of those who jumped in the trend wagon sounding like a poor parent of Graveyard, Witchcraft and co...
Having found a very interesting balance between Bluesy influences from Led Zeppelin, Cream and Hendrix with the gloomy thickness of Sabbath inspired Doom metal, the band prooves quickly to be tight, solid and soulful with a beautiful chaining between 1st song "Mountain" and next one "A New Moon"...
The long instrumental "Mescalina..." transposes successively in different moods, starting with rumbling bass lines (something rather constant in fact)  and almost introspective stripped down guitars,  it then comes in its mid-section to a powerful blues plodder and ends frantically to make it one of the highlights of "Veneralia" which to my ears is very rare for an instrumental track !

Vocals by Matt are warm and gritty, noticeably commanding and strong, a sheer charisma sweats from his vocals delivery; not exactly in the same style though he sometimes remind me Dave Sherman ("Magic Eye") and that's another good point for sure...
During the whole album the guys don't make it easy, neither do we find excessive twirling psychedelia and nor can we consider it as good-time stuff; no with E.T. all is perfectly measured (including in unexpectability !) and show a pretty oustanding velocity like on "Two Gods", closer "Magic Eye" or the doomiest song "Prelude to the Madness" which ends delightfully in a Chandleresque noisy bliss !!!

I concede that when it comes to describe music I prefer to use adjectives more than technical analysis but believe me it's pretty rare to get such a successfull combination between BLUESY, GROOVY and DOOMY, so  this "Veneralia" is a mandatory purchase you should not miss !!!










Thursday, October 25, 2012

... Beef, Whiskey and Rock'n roll : INTERVIEW with South African JUGGERNAUGHT

Juggernaught are probably the hottest band from South Africa at the moment, yet not because there aren't so many down there, but due to their quality performance and - which is most important with respect to a stagnant Heavy Rock scene - original approach. It's not that the quartet does anything significantly different; they simply play it out like they want without giving much about conventions. Let us chat a bit with singer and guitarist Herman, who first is going to tell something about the documentary that is being filmed about the group:

"A local filmmaker. Gerrit Burger from Rockhouse Productions, has offered to make the documentary. He usually produces historical documentaries for one of our local channels, Kyknet, and has also worked on some of our country's most successful feature films which you guys probably won't know . He loves Rock and felt that it would be an interesting addition to his portfolio. The first part of the movie was concerned with the rehearsals and recordings, part two will be with us on tour."


How is the music scene in South Africa going? We do not hear anything at all about it here, so tell us what is worth listening to and how it is in general. I imagine huge contrasts with respect to a wide cultural variety.

"Yes, we have a vibrant live scene. Most of our artists are not well known overseas since it's hard for us to go on international tours as we are located so far from everywhere, to it's the more or less the same distance to fly from here to Germany, the United States or Australia. If you live in the US or Europe, you can take a bus to the next country, and there will be enough people who would be interested. We have amazing musicians and unique styles. Because you can't really start a band in any specific genre and find amazing musicians who share your vision, you often have to compromise and end up with bands that create new styles."


What we also do not hear much about is the political climate in South Africa: How does it tackle you, if at all?

"It's a big subject, the question is too broad to be answered in a few paragraphs but there is tension and we do have a crazy political history which people just can't shake off. One corrupt system was replaced by an even more corrupt system, and it affects our economy as well as the general way of life a lot. Politics definitely affect the music scene because you have brilliant musicians who are starving and there simply aren't any good opportunities to make a decent living out of the music that you love."


How have you been socialized with music? Are you influenced by bands from your continent, or rather exclusively by traditional (American) groups?

"Groups from everywhere: South African, European, American and so on. Because we are in the middle of the world, people don't really care where a group is from as long as the music is good."



„Beef Or Chicken“ is a political song and addresses whom?

"It is about televangelists who make money on people's fear of the end of the world, guys who go on TV and say things like "You have to give money to my church in order to be forgiven".

What is the bad idea in the track of the same name? Is it about returning where you'd better stay away from?

"It's about the fact that a lot of things we do are usually bad ideas. You drink a lot and you do crazy things that you regret, but it doesn't stop you. It's just the way life is, you do it again and again, usually wake up and think: Well, that was a bad idea."




What's the appeal of still writing a lot of songs about women and dirty love? Don't you think the topic has been well covered throughout the history of Rock?

"No, there’s always room for dirty love, we can't get enough and I think most people are like that. AC/DC made an entire career singing about dirty love and are still doing just fine.

In a lot of your lyrics you convey kind of an outcast-image. Is it just that – an image – or are you really shunned by certain people, and if so: why?

"Well, South Africa is extremely conservative and Calvinist. We live in a society that is like Europe was 100 years ago. People are extremely religious and narrow-minded. Because we do what we do, a lot of doors close for us, but we are not going to change for anybody. We are who we are and we do what we like to do and that's it. I mean, you go around looking like me in South Africa and see for yourself how you are treated. I’m not going to change for the sake of fitting or keeping other people happy, they must just get over it and move on."

Is „The Storm“ kind of a cautionary tale about the inevitable low after a high?

"Oh, I didn't think about it that way. It can be if you want to see it that way.

The older track „Zamalek“ struck me in particular: Tell us what it is about.

"Zamalek is a slang term for a local beer called Black Label. If you go into a bar in our town Pretoria and ask for a Zamalek, you'll get a black label. "

How did that odd collaboration with Pop star Mapaputsi in „Sandwich“ come about? Do you plan further experiments like this?

"There is a show on our local TV called Jam Sandwich where they get two artists of differing genres and put them through challenges and stuff. In a few days, they have to write and record a song together, it was a nightmare but it was good publicity. "

Is the text of „Bring The Meat Back“ about regaining something lost?

"No, it is about the fact that women act as though sex is not important to them. They sometimes withhold sex to keep men under control. The song is about how women also like sex and that we can also withhold it until they beg us to bring the meat back."

You obviously have a knack for good food, judging from your song titles: Tell us what we Northerners should definitely check out with respect to South African food.

"Oh man, there is so much. Needless to say we love meat in South Africa and it's a huge part of our culture. We get together and barbeque meat all the time. For me, it's a few times a week."

What does „Wors“ mean? I understand it must be something local down there in Pretoria.

"Wors translates directly to Wurst It's the Afrikaans word for sausage, but a special kind of sausage that is called boerewors, a farmer's sausage. Come to South Africa and I'll make you a killer Boereworsroll or "Boerieroll. The song only basically has one lyric except for the tribute to Guns N' Roses in the middle: "You know where you are? You're in Pretoria baby; you're gonna braai." Pretoria is our city, and braai is our word for barbeque. Even though most of the song is only one word it still has narrative. I say "wors" and the guitarist asks "wors?". Then I explain it to him and you hear the sound of fire. Then he gets it: "Ah, wors!", so everyone's happy."




Which experience do you refer to in „One Of Them Days“? Is it in general about those times you just seem to lose whatever you try to do?

"Yeah, it's like you work hard your whole life long in order to achieve something, but it always slips out of your grasp. It's just the term: "Oh man, it's one of those days", days where everything just seems to go wrong."


„Paint It Brown“ conveys a powerful message: fight and keep standing. Where do you guys in particular have to fight in your daily lives?

"In the same way most people have to, we don't agree with what is going on in politics, and we don't agree with the people running our lives. It's hard to accept that you are living under unfair conditions but you just keep going. After seeing what governments can do we wonder if you actually need them."


Thanks Herman, that was an impulsive and impressive interview. Hats off to you and Juggernaught!


https://www.facebook.com/JUGGERNAUGHTMANROCK

The band is actually offering the new album download for sale at a discounted price until the end of the year. $5 for the entire album "Bring the Meat Back"  limited time offer! (via PayPal),  DON'T MISS IT   : http://www.juggernaughtmanrock.co.za/



Interview by Andreas Schiffmann

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

... in depth INTERVIEW with Kent Stump from WO FAT !!!


After having reviewed last month this sonic journey full of such outstanding heaviness in groove and spaced-out psychedelic jaming that is "The black Code", I felt like an absolute necessity to interview WO FAT...

With this new album and association with Small Stone rds combined, it looks like WO FAT starts a new 2nd life which could lead them at the firmament of the worldwide Stoner scene; time finally seems to do justice to those Texas riffmasters who have always had a guideline clearly defined, cohesive and authentic.
Check out the album if not done yet, this is really one of the distinctive highlights of the year, watch out for their 1st European tour next spring too... as for now, read what Kent (guit/voc) has to say, this is extremely interesting and helpful to fully enjoy the richness of this awesome band ! Thanx so much man and indeed hope to see and meet you guys next April...

   


           Hi Kent, thanx for taking the time to answer my questions, it’s an honour to have WO FAT interviewed in T.O.P. !  Well, there’s a great actuality concerning the band with « the black code », could you tell us something about the recording process please ? Did you push further the idea  that you had for the Chupacabra album with « keeping more of a live-band feel to it » ?
    Thank you!  Yes, I hadn’t really thought of it specifically like that, but I do think that “The Black Code” is a continuation of “…Chupacabra”.  I think we had a very similar approach, but maybe tried to take some of those ideas a little further.  As with the Chupacabra album, we wanted the album to feel very live and urgent and I think, in terms of the outcome we achieved that, but also in the execution of it, “The Black Code” is definitely our most live album to date as far as the recording process goes.  I’ve always felt that it’s important to all play together in the studio to get the basic tracks down, even if we end up redoing some things and adding to it later, but it’s important to do that because you get a better vibe and groove when we’re all feeling it together – flowing together and moving together.  With this album, there’s more of that than before and I think it’s also rawer in some ways because we were more concerned about capturing a vibe and a feel than we were about achieving some sort of perfection.   
        I record and mix our albums myself and we produce it all ourselves together, so from a recording standpoint it was very similar to before.  We try and stay as analog as possible and are lucky enough to have access to a great studio with really bad ass gear.   We did get some different sounds though, partly because all three of us are always on a quest for better, heavier, more rockin’ tones and sounds.  Each of us a made some sort of upgrade gearwise between the previous album and this one.  For me on the guitar, it was some new pickups from Lace that are absolutely killing!  They gave me some pickups to try out and I loved them and became an endorsee for them, and they actually are a pretty important part of the guitar sound on this record.   
         « The Black Code » is your 1st album on SSR, of course I think this opens new doors in terms of exposition, tours, distribution… was it also the case for the recording budget ? Do you feel that this deal gives  you some kind of new fresh confidence for the future of WO FAT ?
     This deal definitely gives us a confidence in the future of Wo Fat.  We felt like this was a prime time to make the move to a label like Small Stone.  “Noche del Chupacbra” received a really good reception and we felt like there was a bit of a buzz going because of that and we wanted to use that momentum and step things up to another level, which is why we wanted to get “The Black Code” finished and out fairly quickly.   Even this early on, before physical cd’s or vinyl have even been released yet, we’re already seeing the benefits of having the Small Stone name behind us.   I think more people are taking notice of us and the Roadburn and Desertfest invites are probably partly due to that as well.
 

        The new album  is centered on a different more sci-fi related motif, how did this mature ? did you compose with that in mind from the beginning or did it came later ?
     I knew early on when first thinking about the lyrics that I wanted to change the vibe up a bit from what we had done before.  On “Chupacabra” we used more swampy, classical horror imagery mixed with some old blues and hoodoo/voodoo ideas.  I  wanted something more sci fi oriented but I still wanted to stick with some of the Lovecraft/Robert E. Howard influences as well so it’s kind of a modern sci fi/digital take on that old school pulp horror/weird tales writing.  The concept comes from thinking about how connected we are these days and the fact that there’s digital data flying all around us all the time that we can’t see, and so the idea is this: what if somehow, some sort of code is discovered that unlocks things that were better left alone.  Doors to other dimensions or realities that let in digital demons that can travel through the cloud and the networks to reach anywhere that’s connected.   It’s not really a story as much as a collection of loosely related short tales or poems about this concept.  It’s mostly about being enslaved and controlled unwittingly by sinister forces through this technology that is so pervasive and that we all use all the time and that seems so harmless.  As the concept took shape over time, I did write lyrically with that in mind.   
     Musically wise, is there anything new and/or special you wanted to achieve with the Black Code that you didn’t or couldn’t with previous albums ?
      Hmm…that’s a tough question.   I don’t know that we were really going for anything specifically new as much as we’re trying to really hone and perfect what we do.  I think the three of us have an attitude of never being completely satisfied – in other words, that we’ve never quite arrived or accomplished what we’ve set out to do and that we can always reach further and push ourselves harder musically.   I’ve mentioned this before, but we have, what I consider to be, a very jazz oriented approach to our music.  Music is about the passage of time and the interaction of different musicians with each other in time and the spontaneous reaction to what each other is doing.  And there are those fleeting moments when everything comes together and the grove is super hard and heavy and it’s those moments of perfection that we search for and strive for.    It’s about more than just robotically playing a riff.  There’s an intangible element, or a number of intangibles really, that make something just totally badass.   I think with each album, while we focus on trying to write songs that we think are heavy and killer, we are also trying more and more to capture some of that more elusive synergistic vibe as well.   I think our approach to the songwriting was very similar to “…Chupacabra” but with the intention of maybe getting a bit heavier in certain ways and taking things a little further.  It’s hard for me to say whether that is noticeable to anyone else, but I think to us it certainly feels like we did that. 
       Our songs, as they have always been to a certain extent, are a balance of heavy riffing and open jamming and I think that, because we’ve been jamming together for a long time and growing together as musicians, we have reached a new level of cohesiveness and communication that works really well with this kind of approach.
 
     Chupacabra introduced quite many percusions, not always easy to notice though ; did the different general mood of The Black Code still favour their introduction ?
     Yeah, we did have some percussion happening on Chupacabra.  In hindsight, I wish we had made it a bit louder in the mix.  On Chupacabra, on the parts that had percussion, we were using some African and Cuban types of percussion and we were specifically trying to cop kind of an African vibe – along with bit of  a 70’s jazz fusion feel with a hint of Coltrane sprinkled in there.  The Black Code didn’t really have anything that called for that same type of approach, but we did do some other things with percussion.  Mostly on “Hurt at Gone”, which has a funky New Orleans kind of groove to it and we added some stuff to compliment that groove, like a brake drum and a huge     marching bass drum.   There is also a short Afro-Cuban inspired cowbell groove on “Shard of Leng.”   We all have fairly wide ranging musical influences and I dig cool percussion and I like integrating it into our music if it enhances what we’re doing.  I don’t want it to distract and be gimmicky or take away from the heaviness though, so it can some kind of a balancing act figuring out what works and what’s right for the groove.
     Between 2009 and 2012, you have recorded 3 albums which is very productive, do you think you could maintain this rate of composition and production in the future or maybe the fact of touring will « compel » you to need more time to compose and record next album ?
      Yeah, I guess that is fairly productive.  Ideally, I would like to put out an album every year and half or so, but it’s not always that easy to do.   Because of our families and our work commitments at home, we probably won’t be doing a lot of extensive touring unless things really take off big for us.  But until and if that happens we have to continue to make a living and pay our bills and probably do shorter, very strategic tours.  But considering the fact that we take our time when it comes to the songwriting process, I could see it taking us longer to do the next record if things continue to get busier for us.  We like to jam on new songs for a while and let them ferment and organically settle and morph into what they ultimately become, which sometimes takes a while.    We have one song recorded and are currently working on another that will be for a split with Earthride that we have had in the works for a long time that will be coming out on Totem Cat Records hopefully early 2013.  As soon as we finish that we’ll probably start thinking about the next album.   I do want to continue to ride the wave of momentum that we seem to get from each release, so I would hate for it to take us too long to get another album out.
 

     Did Michael contribute again in the composition and recording process of The Black Code (like he did for a song in the previous album) ?
       Yes, Michael did contribute a song to this album.   He wrote “Hurt at Gone”.  I think I’ve probably said this before, but it’s cool to have Michael adding his voice to the composition side of things.  He has a different take on things from me and it helps to add some more spice to the mix.  “Hurt a Gone” has a bit of a different feel from the other songs, but still fits in nicely on the album.  It is a mean, deep south, funky jam with lots of slide guitar on it and we were drawing some inspiration from bluesman Seasick Steve as well as good ole R.L. Burnside on this one, but taking it a little further south, with a bit of a New Orleans style to it and rockin’ it out a little harder. 
 
     What did you think about the Broken Beard’s review conclusion telling that « the truth about Kyuss Lives!  is that they caught wind of The Back Code  and decided that continuing with the reunion was completely pointless » ?! (of course it can not be used by respect and humility but it could have been a good tagline !)
      Man, I read that and just laughed!  That was hilarious!  I loved that whole review.  Great use of imagery and words there.  I’m flattered and humbled that he would say that about us and I’m really glad that he dug the album so much.  I saw Kyuss Lives when they came through Dallas and it was an absolutely wicked show!  They just killed.  We strive to rock like they did.  It’s a shame that things took a bad turn legally for everybody. 


 

Next April you’ll be playing at Roadburn, do you expect it as a probable highlight in WO FAT’s history ?  I guess this logically  implies that there’s a tour in the works for Europe at this period, I’ve heard about  1 or 2 dates in France, do you already have details about that 1st coming in Europe ? Except this very special date, is there any country/city that you’re particularly looking forward to play in ?
 
     We are so stoked about coming to Europe next spring and I hope this is one of many highlights to come in Wo Fat’s career.   This is a goal that we’ve had since we started playing together, and Roadburn, in particular, is something that I’ve known about for a long time and have wanted to play since I first found out about it.   We are also going to be playing Desertfest London, which I’m really excited about as well, and we’ve got some other things in the works as well.   Like I said earlier, because of our commitments at home, this first trip to Europe is going to be fairly short, but we’re going to try and hit as many places as we can fit in while we’re there.  I’ve never been to Europe, so I’m just excited to see it all.   We’re going to be touring with our Small Stone labelmates Abrahma, which, I think is going to be a really good time.  One thing I would love to do is to get some of the other bands from Europe that I really dig on some of the shows with us.   If everything goes well with this trip, we hope to do a longer, more extensive tour in the not to distant future.
     You work as recording engineer in an important Studio of Dallas, is there any band(s) that has particularly helped you to work with towards the development of WO FAT’s sound throughout the years ?
     I’ve worked as a recording engineer for a long time and have worked on a very wide variety of musical styles with a lot of different types of musicians which has been really cool, and just the different perspectives I’ve gotten on music from the many musicians I’ve recorded has helped me to constantly learn more about recording.  To me, the engineering/mixing side of things is similar to playing music.  It’s something that you can spend your whole life doing and always improve and continually learn new things and hear new things.  And I also feel mixing a song is like a musical performance – I get into a flow and a groove when mixing and when that’s happening, it always turns out better.  It’s yet another dimension of the music, the recorded version, that is.  The mix is an important part in helping to get the essence and aesthetic of the music across to the listener in a dynamic and larger than life (if the mix is done well) way that will grab them emotionally. 
     I recently worked with a couple of my favorite Dallas-Fort Worth bands in the studio, which was a really cool, because they’re both friends and  killer bands that Wo Fat plays with a lot.  One is a band called Mothership, who just signed to Ripple Records, and  I also did an album with a band called Stone Machine Electric.  Both of these albums from these two bands are smokin’ and I highly recommend seeking them out.  I’m not sure if the Stone Machine Electric is available yet.   They’re both heavy and very rockin’ but are each very much there own vibe, which is representative of this really good scene for heavy, stoner, psychedelic, doomy rock that we’ve got brewing in the Dallas area right now. 
      Is there any chance to see  a video released for a song of the new album ? even if nothing is yet planed, I’m sure you already have had various ideas about that ?
    We have talked about that, but we don’t have anything solid planned yet.  We would definitely like to do that, but right now our budget is kind of tight trying to get everything together for going to Europe.  We’ll have to see how things go, but we would like to do that.
 

 
     I’ve seen on your FB page that new merchandising is in the works, when can we expect the new Black Code T-shirt to be ready ? Any other new stuff planed ?
      We’ve got a couple of wicked new Black Code t shirt designs waiting and ready to roll.  I’ve been waiting until we have cd’s to put up for sale on our website so I can put the shirts up at the same time.  I expect that to happen in the next week or so.  Certainly by November 13, which is the official release date for the cd’s. 
       We also just launched a kickstarter campaign to help us raise money for our plane tickets to Europe and as rewards for donations we’ve got some other really bitchin’ items, some of which can only be gotten through kickstarter.  We’ve got 2  different t shirt designs created specially for this by 2 bad ass artists named Mike Lawrence and Joshua Foster.   Mike Lawrence will also be making some hand screenprinted Wo Fat posters that are limited edition and numbered by the artist.   And we got Alexander von Wieding, who you will be familiar with as the artist that did the art for “Noche del Chupacabra”, “The Gathering Dark” reissue and “The Black Code”, doing a one of a kind pair of Old Skool Vans slip ons with Wo Fat artwork painted on them.  They should be pretty amazing. 
       Anyway, we’re doing this kickstarter campaign because we are funding this entire Europe trip ourselves, and individually, we just don’t have a lot of money so it’s difficult for us to come up with the up front cash needed for airfare, so any and all help that anyone out there can give us will be tremendously helpful and greatly appreciated.
     Here’s a link to the kickstarter page:
     MERCI beaucoup Kent, anything to add ?
    Thank you!  Those were some great questions.  We’ll hopefully see you when we are in Europe.



 

North Carolina's MAKE hit the studio to record new EP...

North Carolina’s MAKE recently entered the studio to begin recording tracks for a brand new EP and to lay the foundations for their sophomore album.


Off the back of a massively successful North American stint with UK sludgelords Dragged Into Sunlight and a prime placement at North Carolina’s Hopscotch Music Festival, MAKE checked into Track And Field Recording studios in Chapel Hill, NC, to record new material with engineer Nick Petersen (Horseback, Caltrop, Bon Iver).

Entitled ‘Axis’, the 3-track EP will act as stop-gap before the release of their next full-length and is the first new material the band have recorded since their critically-acclaimed debut album, ‘Trephine’, was released earlier this year via the band’s own Black Iron Records imprint and on vinyl through Devouter Records in the UK (check out my review here)

Says guitarist Scott Endres of the new EP: “It's not meant to be a cohesive statement but rather ideas we had which didn't necessarily fit in with the material we've been preparing for the next LP. I think the EP format is perfect for that sort of thing... allowing an artist to express different ideas which perhaps don't fit in within the context of some other greater whole. I suppose we could have added a few more minutes of music to this and called it a short LP but this isn't the statement we're looking to make in following 'Trephine'. We see this more as an appetizer or aperitif. Sonically though, it's both more psychedelic, more metal and less metal than we've previously been. In that order.”

MAKE will be self-releasing the EP via their Bandcamp page on the 1st November. Their next full-length will drop in 2013. More news to come.

www.facebook.com/thebandmake









Monday, October 22, 2012

... Born in Mud : INTERVIEW with SOUTHERN BADASS


If we were only considering geographical facts, logically, from where could come a french band playing Southern Stoner Heavy Rock'n Roll ?  From Perpignan of course (!) the most meridional point from our country ... and pure matter of chance (or not ?!) that's where SOUTHERN BADASS is coming from...
Taking influences in bands like Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, Sasquatch, Clutch or Roadsaw, the heavy and bombastic style of the band is logically strongly tinged with Southern tones.
As a result the music swings and grooves, making this assault of guitar downright infectious, but it's not only fun and easy to listen to stuff, for example there's a darker delivery on "Desert Trinity" or "Voodoo Girl" or a surprising Tarentino's touch in the excellent "Dusty Road"... This bands rocks not just only hard but also fresh despite those influences , and the scratchy vocals help a lot to make this dynamic and cohesive. Arno's accent is maybe not perfect though more than fairly above the average, but the frantic energy he puts in here and the visceral quality to the flow of his words have bluffed me really !
Oh shit, I forgot something pretty oustanding to my ears considering the cohesiveness and quality of the overall, SOUTHERN BADASS is a one-man band !!! Let's see what Arno has to say about this, the album and future plans :


- Hi Arno, so how did you come to form Southern Badass, was it intended to be a one-man project from the beginning or is it just that you couldn’t find any competent and motivated musicians to play with you ?
 
Actually from the start it was a one man band project. It’s not the first time I make an album by myself, but it’s the first time I decided to put the project on a “serious” level. The process of finding musicians, bounding with them, finding the right path to do the right music is too long. I’ve been in several bands before from Thrash Metal to Frank Zappa style music and working with musicians on composing things, always fighting for explaining your vision and why this riff is good and that one is not is really frustrating for me. I like to play with other musicians but I prefer to keep the composition part for me when it comes to my music. Plus, I moved from cities to cities those past ten years so it wasn’t easy to find people with same taste, form a band and then live and start over again. I felt that it would be a waste of time to put a band together from scratch, so playing by myself was faster and easier. Knowing that I have to admit that some part could be better if it was played by a “real” drummer sometimes... but I’m figuring out to correct things on the next album ;).
 

- You’re pretty much influenced by Down, C.O.C., Sasquatch and Clutch… did you choose this name as a kind of wink to pay homage to your fave bands ? Do you feel a special attraction for just this sound or maybe more generally for the southern US culture ?

Definitely the name pays tribute to those bands and the music they make. By choosing this name I also wanted to put on a kind of concept, the music of Southern Badass has to be sweaty, hot, like the weather in the south. The name has to recall all the stuff that goes with southern culture, like voodoo and so on... This culture fascinates me, and we have a historic link as french people with Louisiane and some of the southern states! I love the mystery, the tales of this area with bluesmen that meet the devil at a crossroad, this is the birth place of the occidental music too from jazz to rock to the music I make in a way! So yes this is like homage to all of this, it’s a way to express my thanks for this culture.
 
 
 
- How and where did you record the album ? For the moment this is a 300% DIY affair but do you intend to find a label for a physical edition of “born in mud” ?

Born In mud was recorded in my home studio, mostly at night and during week-ends. Like most of everyone I have a day job, so recording was scheduled when I had the time to do it, I would love to spend all my days working on music but it’s not the case. I have to admit that it took quite some time to put an end to this, and when I finally found the good mastering sound at the end and realized it was over, it was really a relief. It took me like 3 years to get to this result, but like I said it could have been faster if I had spent all my time on it. I think that the next one will be faster, during the work on Born in Mud I learned some stuff on production, tips and technical stuff I didn’t know at the beginning so I have a good feeling for the future... For the moment the distribution is digital only, but I’d love to propose a good vinyl edition, like a limited one with a beautiful gatefold and so on but as you say it’s DIY for the moment and I hope the digital sales would finance a physical edition. I have sent the album to one label actually, which is in Detroit... But the idea behind that is to have their feedback like “does it sounds good to you?”. It would be cool to have a deal with a well known label, have financial support but for now this is all about fun for me, doing this interview, knowing that you like the music, that is great so far!

- For people buying the album on Bandcamp, you’re regularly sending for free some bonus songs (originals + covers) that you got left from the recorded sessions of “born in mud”, can you tell more about this, especially about the wide variety of covers in stock ?!

Yes, I was wondering how to thank people who buy the album, who support band/artists like me. And I thought that receiving some exclusive stuff would be cool, like to get a higher level of relationship with “fans”. As I don’t tour, this is a way to meet people. So as I still have some material I didn’t use on the album and covers that helped me configure technical stuff (like guitar sound, vocal effect, mixing ...) I thought “let’s use this, maybe people would like to hear it for free”. After the Deep Purple’s Mistreated cover the next one will be a Justice cover (the French electro duet) ... hope people would like it. And then, after the unreleased material, I think there will be like excerpt from the next album, to tease “fans” ;)
 
 

- The song “dusty road” has a stunning mood which reminds the universe of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarentino… which are your fave movie soundtracks from them ? (mine would be the soundtrack of Jackie Brown). Can those influences be enjoyed in one way or another during other moments of the album ?

I used to listen to the Kill Bill soundtrack when the movie went out... Now I’m more in the True Blood thing, it made me discover CC Adcock which was an influence for the first part of Desert Trinity. The Tarantino and Rodriguez influence is more in the mood of tracks like you said, it’s not really “their” music. When I compose, I try to suggest images that would come in the listeners mind. On Dusty Road I was thinking to the final scene of ‘Till Dusk To Dawn the movie that Tarantino and Rodriguez made together. In the lyrics of We Ain’t Got Time To Moan the second part of Desert Trinity, there is like a little reference to the Gecko Brother too.
 
 
- The last song “Sons of the Sun” sounds a bit different from the rest with a tone that to my ears is really METAL, is it basically your older influences that appear on that one ? What’s your musical background ?

The main riff of that song is my head for like the last ten years or something like that. At first it was supposed to have a spanish flavour but I didn’t manage to use it properly in the band I was at that time until I could work on it for this album. By the way I never managed to put lyrics on it, the guitars were speaking for themselves, and I thought it would be like my little Call Of Ktulu (with all due respect to this epic song). And you got it right my background is metal, I’m a die hard Metallica fan for the past twenty years, as many of us I learned to play guitar with their music. I’m from Thrash, Death Metal which I still enjoy with some Pagan and Vicking stuff sometimes and of course legendary bands like Iron Maiden... I like Jazz, Blues and Funk too. I’m trying to keep an open mind, there are good ideas everywhere!

 
- Did you get some help for the lyrics ? What are they generally dealing about ?

No help for the lyrics, you think I should ask for it lol? On this album I tried to suggest scenes, images, based on feelings. Lyrics are about wrath caused by the loss of a beloved son like in Wrath Temptation, or the loss of your home and all your marks because of a flood like in Call Of New Orleans. Saying that, I’m figuring out that the main subject is “the loss”... this album should be called “Lost In Mud” ... The Witch is about Marie Laveau, the famous Louisiana voodoo queen. I’m trying to create mind pictures in which listeners can travel, or develop their own stories around them.
 
 
- It seems that you’re actually particularly active to promote the name of SOUTHERN BADASS while the bandcamp page says the album is on line since June 1st, why did you start promotion about 4 months later ? Do you feel that the French scene is receptive to your sound ? did you already get good echoes from the US ?

At first I wasn’t sure that this album would interest anyone. Since I made it all by myself I’m aware of every little details that could be better. I needed to feel reassured. So I was going little by little, sending to my friends to get critics and feedback on it. As the feedback was better and better I felt that it was maybe time to let more people know about it. I think that there were two things that decided me to promote more this project : the fact that Ozium Records wanted to distribute the album and that The Soda Shop put it as the Daily Bandcamp Album on september the 1st. Actually, the US and international echoes are way much better than the French feedback. I had US radios that contacted me to play the songs, US and Eastern Europe blogs that wanted to congratulate and make review... Those feedback were spontaneously sent, that’s very motivating. I have asked French online “press” for their feelings on the project but for now it stays very shy and quite (except you!). I understand that, I think that knowing that Southern Badass is just a guy in Perpignan for a french stoner fan that’s less sexier than being an underground band of Baton Rouge LS lol! But that’s fine for me, actually, I was trying to “impress” the US audience, so based on the feedback I get from it, I’m on a good way.
 
 
- How do you see the future of S.B. ? You told me that you could eventually try to find guys for live performances… do you feel it as a real need and/or is it cause you have had some cool propositions ?

I had some musicians that told me they would like to join the project for live performances so it could be the next level for Southern Badass, trying to put on a tour in local venues. For the studio stuff I’m thinking about a three piece concept, so two more album to go and the chapter would be closed. Actually, I’m really surprised by the general welcome that is given to this project, I wasn’t expecting to go that far, so it’s like future was made a day after another. I’m ready to take any opportunity that could come to keep this music alive, hope people would continue to like it and spread the word about it...