Jan 30, 2009

Self Inflicted Interview

1. You formed back in 2000 so you been around a while, how has the ride been so far? -To be honest, it’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. I guess it’s like every thing else you do for a long time. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it really sucks. But I love it, it’s what I do. 2. What was the members musical heritage? Former bands etc? -Ok, first I have to say that Self Inflicted’s line up pretty much has been a revolving door over the years. Members have come and gone, and come back again. So I would say that collectively our background and heritage in music covers the entire spectrum. We are all life long musicians. Some of us have had lessons. Some were self taught. Some gave lessons. Some, like myself, play more than one instrument. Some only played their instrument. We all grew up on different music. To be more truthful, between all of us, we have been brought up on all music. As far as former bands and what not…former guitarist Brent Wheatley, and former bassist Kieth Wiley were in the Oklahoma thrash band Manifest Destiny. I was in a band in the 90’s down in Alabama called Mutt. As for the rest, Self Inflicted was either their first band, or their first all original band. 3. I read not too long ago you were looking for a drummer, how is that going? -The drummer search ended. I’m going to stay on drums. We auditioned a few guys, but nobody really panned out, or they could devote the time required. Besides, I enjoy playing the drums, and it’s not like I stopped playing guitar all together. However, it doesn’t hurt that I ended up finding a killer guitarist who wanted to join the band. His name is Phil Wriker. He’s been a friend of the bands for a few years now. And things just kind of worked out. 4. You have shared the stage with some killer bands, what has been the highlights? -Just getting to share the stage with some of the bands we have has been a dream come true. I’m not gonna list them all here, but if anyone is interested in the list you can see it on our Myspace page( www. myspace. com/punishmentpainsorrow ). As far as highlights, having Soilent Green give us a shout out and calling us their good friends during their set on this past tour with Testament. Partying with Goatwhore is always fun & interesting. We’ve opened for them the most, and it has been a blast every time. If you ever meet Sammy Duet, ask to see his brain. HAHAHAHAHA….you’ll see. Meeting Ice-T, and the rest of Body Count at the Milwaukee Metalfest. Hell just playing the Milwaukee Metalfest was awesome. Watching Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad during sound check call my drummer a fag for watching him so closely. If you know Devin Townsend his persona on stage is just an act, he’s really a nice guy. However, Devin did apologize later when we were on SYL’s bus drinking. Meeting Joey Belladonna, he is the coolest mother fucker. He was asking me about the NFL draft from the stage because I had an Oakland Raiders T-shirt on. And then he gave us props from the stage. He took time to talk to everyone who was there, took all the pictures signed everything, and anything. The biggest thing about the bands we’ve opened up for is, for the most part, they have all been really cool, and just wanted to have a good time. 5. The band has released three self-financed CD's, how has the reaction been? -Everything that I have ever heard has been very positive. 6. In what ways has the band and its songs changed over the years? -Like I said before, the band’s line up has always been a revolving door. Each time someone comes in or leaves, it changes a bit. I kind of like that. It keeps it fresh. However since I’m the main song writer for the band, we have always been more or less on the same path, maybe a little further down that path than we use to be, but the same path none the less. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not the kind of writer who comes in and has everyone’s parts written and tells everyone exactly what to play. I don’t work like that, I come in with a bunch of riffs thrown together, and each of us puts our own little spin on it. I think that’s why each album sounds a little different, but yet, still sounds like Self Inflicted. 7. You played the Dallas Doom Daze gig, I really wanted to go to that but couldn't make it. What was that show like? -I loved it. The turnout wasn’t the greatest; it was after all Easter Sunday when we played. But it was put together better, and ran better than some of the bigger festivals we have done. And the bands were just great. We are really looking forward to playing the 2nd one in May. 8. Do you like the big festival type shows? -When they are run right, yes, when they are run like shit, and they move your slot 16 times in one day, not so much. But you have to take the good with the bad. 9. How big is your local following, there seems to be a fair amount of Doom going on down there. -Our local following here is pretty good. We’ve been around for awhile and everyone around here knows the name, or has seen us play somewhere. Man, when we started, there wasn’t any doom/sludge around here. But now it seems to be a lot more of it. It’s been really nice. We really stand out playing with death/grind bands, and with the Mall Metal (as I call it) bands all the time. 10. Any chance of a nationwide tour? It would be cool to see you come to Seattle. -Yes, there is. I’m working on something for later in the year. Maybe not a full US tour, but I am working on a West Coast trip. Any help would be appreciated. 11. Have you been compared to any other bands and if so do you agree or disagree with what you have heard? -Man, we’ve been compared to everything from Black Sabbath and Crowbar, to Led Zeppelin and The Mars Volta. But they all say, “you guys sound like so and so, but with a twist, or heavier”. And I don’t mind. Is it really that bad being compared to bands you love? I don’t think so. Although I don’t really get the Mars Volta thing, I don’t listen to them, heard them on the radio a few times, but I don’t think we sound anything like them. However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 12. With the self financing of your CD's, is this something you wanted to do or was it something you had no choice in doing? -It’s something we’ve had to do. And something we don’t mind doing. Sure it would be nice to go into a studio on someone else’s dime. But it has not been an option up to this point. Besides I have home studio that we use, and the only real cost comes from buying the tapes. Yes, that’s right, I said tapes. Analog rules…We recorded our last CD there, and the next one will be recorded there too. However if someone out there wants to put us in a studio on their dime, then get a hold of us, because we would like to talk…. 13. Anybody that has listened to the tracks on your Myspace page can tell you love the big killer riff. What is your favorite guitar players? -To quote Jimmy Bower “The power of the riff compels me”. What else can a man say…But I would have my biggest influence is first and for most, Tony Iommi. With out him, none of us would be doing what we are doing. I’m a really big fan of Malcolm & Angus Young of AC/DC, mostly because they wrote some killer riffs/songs and are just loud in your face. They never changed their style, never changed their sound and always had that “If you don’t like us, then don’t listen attitude”. Some of the other favorite guitarists are Kirk Windstein of Crowbar/Down/Kingdom of Sorrow, Tommy Victor of Prong, Kerry King, and Page Hamilton of Helmet. I know there are some I’m forgetting, but those are the biggest ones. 14. What does the future hold for Self Inflicted? -Now that line up is solidified, myself on drums/vocals, Phil Wriker on guitar, N on guitar, and Chris Floyd on bass, we’re gonna concentrate on jamming and getting comfortable with each other. I’ve got a bunch of new stuff I’ve been writing so there will probably be at least an new EP or LP by the end of the year. A US tour, at least southeast and west coast tours this next year, and finding a label would be great. 15. Why should people listen to Self Inflicted? Give yourself a big plug! -People should listen to Self Inflicted because we’re heavier than a fat chick with a mouthful of pork rinds. Sorry I had to say it. A fan told us that after a show one night. I’m not trying to be mean. I just think it’s funny. To be honest man, we’re not the type of band that says we’re better than anyone else; we just do what we do. However, if you want Doom/Sludge driven riffs with a groove, then give us a listen. If not, then don’t, we won’t hold it against you. You can check us out at www. selfinflictedmusic. com (which is being updated), www. bayouunderground. com/self_inflicted , www. myspace. com/punishmentpainsorrow Thanks to everyone for their continued support…….KEEP IT HEAVY!!! Keith/Self Inflicted

Jan 18, 2009

Bruce Franklin From Trouble

1.I read you dropped out of college to play music,looking back it proved to be a wise decision but how was it at the time?

I actually never went to college,even though I had 2 differentscholarship offers to Big Ten colleges.Looking back I think it was amistake for my longterm security.Although, I was able to really enjoymy younger years and experience a whole lot of things and places that Iprobably wouldn't have if it weren't for Trouble.

2.You always read about bands struggling in the early days,having nofood to eat and so on.What was it like with Trouble in the early days?

Well, when we went out to L.A. to record our first album and again to record our second album,times were challenging.
I remember sleeping in Metal Blade Records office for a week because weran out of money for a hotel room.I also remember stealing oranges froma tree in someones yard near by the office, so that we could eat. Ithink we made it back to Chicago with everyone of us broke and about1/4 of a tank of gas left. Weate at a gig in San Francisc,and then drove for 2 days without foodbecause we needed all our money for gas.That is a couple ofexamples,but there's more...

3.Sabbath is of course a huge influence but was there any underground bands at the time that proved to be a major inspiration?

Underground bands that inspired us?Do Captain Beyond or Budgiecount?Angel Witch is really the only contemporary underground band thatI would say inspired us.There was an English band called Satan,that Iliked,but I don't think the other guys listened to them.

4.What was your take on tag "Christian Metal" that Trouble got.What it something you approved of ?

I wouldn't say that I disapproved of it,but I don't think that it was quite accurate. Wewere just a heavy rock band with really no agenda.Eric wrote lyricsabout things that interested him and the Bible was one of them.Thewhole Satanic Black Metal thing was kind of ridiculous to us becausethese bands were all posers.90% of those bands were just trying tocreate this tough mean image and we knew that they were full ofshit.Besides,Sabbath had songs like After Forever,Tommorrow'sDream,Lord of This World,Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,etc. and people didn'tcall them a christian band.

5. Is there a era of the Trouble story you are most fond of or do you take each year as it comes?

Looking back,I would have to say that the years that we were signed toDef American,which became American Recordings,were my favorite time. Wewere able to experience our carreer to the fullest those years.Therewas money to record in some of the best studios in L.A. and we wereable to do lots of touring,while at the same time hitting our peak inpopularity with record sales,but also among our peers. We realized that quite a few big name musicians and bands were appreciating us and taking notice. It was a very optimistic and fun time.

6.How did Eric's decision to leave the band affect you personally?

Who said that it was Eric's decision?
I was conflictedbecause there were problems,but I personally wasn't sure that Ericleaving was the best thing for Trouble.Eric and I joined Troubletogether and before that we played in a band together.I've known himsince I was 17.I'm still not used to him being out of the band.

7.How did the Supershine band get together ?

.I had been writing music that I wanted to do outside of Trouble.The big question in my mind was ,Who could I get to sing on it. My first choice was Doug Pinnick of Kings X because I loved his soulful, yet powerful voice. We had gotten to know each other from being fans of each others band.I had talked to him on the phone a couple of times. So I thought that I would ask him if he would be interested.I hoped for the best,but wasn't sure at all that he would be interested. Hesaid,"Sure" and the rest fell into place.I knew that his vocals and myriffs would be a great fit.I'm very proud of the songwriting andperformances on Supershine even if there are some deficiencies in thetechnical recording.One of these days we'll get another record out. We've written a good portion of an album already.

8.How do split up the time to devote to each band and is it something thats hard to do?

If you have enough free time,then it isn't that hard to do. My problem now is that I have hardly any free time.

9.What is some of your favorite Trouble tunes?Songs you really enjoy playing.


I tend to like the heavier stuff,but The Misery Shows is one of myfavorite songs.I also like Flowers from Plastic Green Head.I'm the onethat writes stuff like Psalm 9,Revelation,Pray for the Dead,TheWish,R.I.P.,Daze,The Sleeper,Strawberry Skies,Opium Eater,TheEye,Mindbender,Simple Mind Condition.2 examples from each album to showwhere my musical head is at.After the Rain from the last album isanother example of a song that I like because of versatility andmelody.I could name the Trouble songs that I don't like,but that listwouldn't be too long.

10.Out of all the places you have played over the years,which one has the most dedicated fans in your opinion?

From early in our carreer through 2008,the most consistent dedicatedfans are Cleveland.Although in recent years,some places in Europe havebeen excellent. We really didn't do a tour in europe until some time in the early 90's. We had been playing in Cleveland for 10 years already by that time.

11.What is the future of Trouble as you see it ?

Not exactly sure,but I guess that we are going to do a new recordsometime this year and I think that we may do a tour and some festivalsin europe this summer.

12.Compared to some bands that started back in the late 70's,Troublemusic still sounds fresh.I blame this on the Sabbath influence.What isyour thoughts on this?

Sabbath influence along with a lot of other great bands influence likeDeep Purple,Captain Beyond,Budgie,Pink Floyd.All bands that write greatsongs with memorable riffs,but also memorable singing melodies.

13.Any final words you would like to put out there?

I've said plenty.Thanks,to the faithful Troubleheads that keep the band alive.

www.myspace.com/brucetrouble

Jan 6, 2009

Interview With Paul From Jerusalem



Jerusalem were are still are one of the best of the underground bands from the early 70's.They have always been known as a cult band but in recent years have become a favorite of most 70's hard rock fans.With the re-release of their classic debut album,i thought it was only fitting that a interview should take place.Paul Dean the bass player agree to talk with me about the band and the upcoming re-issue of the monster of a debut album.

The early days of Jerusalem and pre-Jerusalem is something hard to get info on.What happened leading up to the formation of the band.What bands did you and the other guys play in?


We occasionally played under different names but the intention was always to be called Jerusalem once we felt ready. All the players throughout the existence of Jerusalem were 'virgins', no one had really been in a band before. Even Lynden had come out of Drama college, so had no real band experience.

The late 60's and early 70's era is something that has always excited me mainly because i was a bit too young to fully understand what the time was like.Was it really as exciting as it sounds or has it been hyped up over the years.I am guessing there is a bit of hype involved these days.

Yes, it was exciting. Suddenly a new generation was throwing the rule book away and pushing the boundaries way beyond anything that existed before. Not everything was good, but it allowed everyone the freedom to experiment with anything they wanted to try and do. It was the biggest cultural revolution ever and it did change the World, in some places incredibly fast and in others very slowly, bit by bit even up until today.

How did the band originally get together?

Ray and I started it at school with another friend after seeing John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. None of us had ever played an instrument before, it really was a case of starting from nothing. Things then progressed through school and after with a few changes from time to time until we ended up with the lineup that did the album. The full history of Jerusalem is included in the booklet with the new official reissue of the album.

Was it hard getting noticed in a world full of Sabbath's and Zeppelin's?

It's always hard for anyone to get noticed in the beginning including the Sabbath's and Zeppelin's. You've just got to really want it more than anything else in your life, work your arse off and above all, be different.

How did the first album deal with Deram come about?

Deram (Decca's Rock label) and Harvest (EMI's Rock label) both wanted us. Ian decided to go with Sam Hamilton, A&R at Deram. Nick Mobbs A&R at Harvest was also a great guy (first person to sign the Sex Pistols a few years later). They both offered us a contract the night we played with Status Quo at the Red Lion, Leytonstone.

How did you come to work with Ian Gillan? (who is one of my musical heroes by the way)

He was an old friend of my sister Zoe from his Episode Six days, she worked for Pye records at that time. He was on a Purple Tour in Southampton or Bournemouth and my sister ran into him again. Anyway he came back to the house that night and we ended up talking about my band. He kept tabs on our progress over a period and eventually decided he wanted to get more fully involved. Zoe and Ian became our managers and Ian eventually was also Producer of the album. That first meeting was also quite interesting because I was playing Black Sabbath's first album when Ian arrived. He asked who it was, little knowing that a few years down the road he would front them for a bit!

Ian Gillan made this quote once - .

This is the first album by Jerusalem, a band which excites me very much; they are rough, raw and doomy with their own strong identity. As they are young and a bit green, they don't follow many rules, so their material is almost crude - but still immensely powerful in content.

I believe that, whenever possible, the work of writers and players in their formative stages should be recorded; before inhibition and self-consciousness set in, before fire and aggression die down, and while they are still absorbing influences and doing things which others might consider 'uncool'. Most important though, before they might develop that self-imposed rigidity which afflicts so many. I hope none of these things happen to Jerusalem, we'll have to wait and see, this album is just in case. I hope you like it as much as I do."

I like the comment he makes about "doing things which others might consider uncool".Did you know you were ahead of your time in this regard?


Not really, we just appeared to be a bit different to most things going on at the time. People either liked us or hated us. There was no obvious clue to the fact that within 10 years there would be bands all over the World heading in a similar direction. I must admit sometimes it is quite amusing now when I read the odd review or comment on the web comparing or accusing Jerusalem of being influenced by bands that actually didn't even exist at the time and who came a few years later (even saw one about Metallica).


You share the same stages as bands like Sabbath,Uriah Heep and Status Quo.Did you look up to these bands at the time?

Probably one of the the most extraordinary facts about Jerusalem was the fact that we didn't actually have any real influences. Our individual listening tastes covered pretty much every form of music that existed. We really didn't have any major musical heroes and therefore we had no models to follow. We just kind of happened! In those days there was no 'them and us'. All the bands mixed, drank, clubbed, travelled, talked, eat together (even your genre was irrelevant). These were the days when everyone 'paid their dues', there was no such thing as an overnight success, there were no superiority complexes or arrogance. If someone suddenly became huge, everyone else was pleased for them and life still carried on the same way, although success usually carried the burden of buying more 'rounds' than the others. Maybe the camaraderie and acceptance of reality are why many of the artists from those days are still going strong now? You, mention Uriah Heep. We knew the bass player Paul, he was from a nearby town called Andover. We actually both got signed around the same time, UH with Gerry Bron and us with Ian. They were also just beginning to build a following and as I said earlier we got signed when playing with Status Quo on the London pub circuit (this was the very beginning of their second evolution). Sabbath were now quite big but we had seen them play at the Alexander Rooms in Salisbury to about 150+ people in their early days, along with bands like Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, The Nice (ELP), so we knew from an early stage that anything was possible if you wanted it (we sometimes played to the same 150+ audience).



I read once you played in front of 50,000 people several times,i gather this was at some major shows or festivals.Have you got some fond memories you would like to share?

I specifically remember there were to two festivals in Vienna and Frankfurt over the same weekend. We played Vienna the first day and then all the bands moved to Frankfurt for the next day and the first day Frankfurt bands went to Vienna. We used Purples gear in Vienna and were the first band to arrive in Frankfurt the next day, but all the equipment lorries had been delayed at the border, so we didn't have enough gear to play early. Rory Gallagher only had a 3 piece, so we lent him what we had with us, guitars and drumkit plus the promotor found an old AC30 etc., which enabled Rory to get the Festival started. As I said earlier, in those days everyone helped everyone, didn't matter who you were.

The biggest discovery for us was to find out that it's actually far easier to play to 50,000 than it is to 50!

Oh yes, nearly forgot, most of the bands were flown to Vienna on a chartered bright yellow WW2 Dakota from Heathrow, the pilot was late and the last to arrive and gave the impression he was suffering from an acute hangover. The journey took hours but was highly entertaining as you can probably imagine with at least ten bands and some interesting characters.  The next day we heard the undercarriage had collapsed after landing the bands from Frankfurt!



What happened to the band to cause you to do only one album?

The answer is probably found in Ian's quote on the album as to why he wanted us recorded. To Ray and I, Jerusalem was about rock in its purest and most basic state. Lynden and Bill were evolving and wanted to move in a more polished and progressive direction. Bob at that time just enjoyed playing. The Rock scene was exploding in so many directions within a very short period, from the Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, etc. These bands themselves changed overtime and experimented in different directions, some of them returning to their roots many years later. Studio production was advancing in leaps and bounds. Ray and I felt that we had made our statement and didn't want Jerusalem forced into areas created by peer pressure and the accountants and lawyers who were beginning to takeover and run the Music business based purely on commercial terms. Luckily, up to this point in time, most of the Record/Music Industry, etc. was run by ex-musicians and people with some understanding of music and the vision necessary to take gambles. Without these pathfinders many of the most successful bands of the 60's and 70's would never have been given a chance.



After Jerusalem you went on to form Pussy who are another underrated band.I might be wrong with this but didn't the album the band recorded remained unreleased to this year?


That's right. There was only a single released on Deram called 'Feline Woman', which was unofficially banned by BBC radio, but Alan Freeman still played it on his UK's no1 music show! Over a period we did record an album, which was never released mainly because it didn't fit with what the record companies considered commercial at that time. Yes, it will be released for the first time ever by Rockadrome during 2009, now that I have found all the tapes.
www.myspace.com/pussybanduk



Back to Jerusalem,the band had a real underground cult status all through the 70's,80's and 90's but in recent years they have become one of the more well known "obscure"bands of the early 70's.I think great music will always get noticed eventually.How does it feel for it to have taken this long?

It's really amazing. It's nice to think that maybe now Jerusalem well be recognised for the small part it played in probably the biggest music revolution ever. One of the most extraordinary things I have found over the years in all the places throughout the World I have lived or travelled (believe me, some of them really obscure!), is that so many people seem to know of Jerusalems existence, but many have never heard the music. Maybe this time?


The original Jerusalem album is full of classic tracks,have you any personal favorites?

Has to be 'Primitive Man' which was one of my earliest compositions. I think many now consider it the Jerusalem anthem. Also, 'She Came Like A Bat From Hell' because it was the first riff I ever wrote


Was there a lot more songs that the band did that never made onto that album?

Actually not that many, mainly because we were fairly busy at that time. Plenty of ideas, a few we tried out on stage, but nothing recorded.


The re-release is something mainly brought about by you,what inspire you to make this happen?

I had always hoped that Jerusalem would one day gain the exposure it missed by being in 'the wrong place at the wrong time' . I was actually unaware that Jerusalem had been bubbling under the surface for many years and it was just through accidentally coming across things on the internet e..g blogs, comments, reviews and the great job of Aki creating a fan site (www.myspace.com/jerusalemheavy72) that triggered me into action. It was only then that I found out that Universal had re-issued the original album in Japan as recently as 2005. All of this gave me a feeling that maybe now was the 'right' time for Jerusalem. I was then approached by Dennis Bergeron of Rockadrome Records and thus we now have the re-issue + extras.


I have read there will be some extras,would you like to fill us in on those?

There are a couple of early demos we did of Primitive Man and Beyond the Grave with the previous singer Phil Goddard and some  alternate recordings of songs that were being considered as singles before Kamakazi Moth, plus a 20 page booklet of the Jerusalem Story


In 1984 you did a album with Pauline Gillan(Ian's sister),what was that like?

It was a great experience, using many different musicians, some very experienced, some first timers.  Lots of different studios. I really enjoyed it, plus it was a good fast learning curve for Pauline who went on to form her own band.

www.myspace.com/gillandean


Do you still keep in contact with Ian Gillan and has he been involved in any way with the re-release of the Jerusalem album?

As you probably know, Ian never stops working and is constantly coming up with something new. I think the last time I physically saw him was in Dublin about 7 years ago at the beginning of a Purple tour. For once we were both in the same country at the same time! Yes, he is fully aware of the re-issue and has also mentioned that he is often asked about Jerusalem all over the World.


You are also a fully qualified golf coach and has played in many competitions as well as the EPD and Senior Professional Golf Challenge Tours in Europe.Do you like this more than playing music or would you still like to be up there rocking?

Once music is in your blood it never leaves. Wherever I have lived in the World , I always somehow get involved with the local music scene and always try to help others in any way I can. The golf was an accident. I started playing in Southern Africa and it clicked in a big way. More of a hobby that turned into a job

Finally,have you ever tried to get Jerusalem back together over all these years.Some 70's bands have done it and done well like Leafhound etc.Is this something that has crossed you mind at any time?

No, in all honesty it has never crossed my mind. There was something about Jerusalem in 1972 that was special and different, a one off moment in time, which is also why Ray and I never contemplated continuing to use the name Jerusalem for anything else we did.. That would have been an insult to what Jerusalem created.

Having said all that, I'm reminded of that quote ' never say never!'

21.Thanks Paul,i know a lot of people are dying to get hold of this re-released version of the album including me.My old vinyl copy has seen better days.Any last words?

Just a big thanks to everyone for all the support over the years and allowing the surviving members of Jerusalem to feel that we did actually leave a mark in this great continuous musical revolution. I would also really like and be interested to hear from anyone as to what Jerusalem means to them and why and any questions they may have? Contact me at: jerusalempaul@yahoo.com or www.myspace.com/pauldeansite

Five Will Die Interview

Five Will Die are a Sludge/Doom Outfit from Ireland.Their debut album 'Slung from a Tree' was released on Friday Oct31st 2008 and from what i have heard its quite a Sludgefest.Howard(guitar)did this interview with me.Enjoy.

1.You formed in 2005 after the break up of Sludgehook who I read were a Grindcore band.How did this all happen and Five Will Die are miles away from being Grindcore.

Yeah, Sludgehook was something different from Fivewilldie, it was where myself(Howard Guitar), Alan(Drums) and Frank(Guitar) came from. We were'nt really a traditional grindcore crew, we were more influenced by the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Napalm Death. We were a mix of a lot of things, but grindcore was a tag that stuck. Sludgehook was a big stepping stone to Fivewilldie, and a lot of our current material is a progression from where we were at back then. As we got older, bands like Sabbath and Electric Wizard made more sense to us, and we needed a fresh start, so members parted ways and Fivewilldie is what was left.

2.Sludge Metal is finally becoming a well known genre of Metal,do you think Five Will Die are bringing anything different to the table or would you even consider the band to be Sludge Metal?

We have no problem with being labelled "Sludge Metal" at all. Its something we can relate to for sure. As for bringing something different to the table, we try our best not to be generic in any sense, but I reckon its our live shows that set us apart. We put a hell of a lot of effort into our gigs.

3.I see you posted a negative review in your blog section,that's something not many bands would do.Whats your opinion of reviewers in general?

I'm not sure about reviewers yet. I liked the negative review we got because everything that particular reviewer found upsetting about us, are things we find exciting and positive. Objective opinions are important though, and in that sense, reviewers are essential.


4.Whats the main thing that drives you to play music like influences etc?

Live shows are our main reason for playing! Whether it being upsetting a bunch of students or making shit of a sweaty crowd, its always savage! We fuckin love playing live! Influence wise, the likes of Cult of Luna, Isis, Neurosis, Electric Wizard, all come to mind. That feeling, like you're underwater for an hour, then BANG! You're out of the pool, all wet and upset. Confusion is an amazing thing, all sorts of shit can happen, when you're confused you're easily led on. Confusion drives us.







5.You recently won a battle of the bands,what was that experience like?

We entered that competition with a pinch of salt. There was some decent prize money up for grabs and we were low on funds for the album. Winning that money helped push things along that bit quicker. Overall, it was a very worthwhile experience. The final in particular was a fuckin deadly night! We've had a lot of interest come our way since then, more than we bargained for, but its been all good so far. It definitely brought us more mainstream exposure. It sold our souls to the cunting radio though, but we don't care. Doom on mainstream radio is fine by us.

6.You also played with the likes of Mastodon,that must have given the band some good exposure.

Absolutely! That was a fuckin amazing night. We went on the piss with em afterwards. Got sick all over myself soon after. Been getting steady feedback since, and definitely more interest from a wider audience, which is cool. Barry kept showing them his cock, I think they were impressed, they didn't get upset anyways. They were particularly impressed with Andy's vocals though, that was cool. Very nice guys.



7.The debut album "Slung From A Tree" sounds great from what i have heard.Where was it recorded and how long did it take?

Cheers! It was done very quickly in terms of recording. Guitars and drums were done in just two days at An Cruiscin Lan. The Cruiscin is our main haunt in Cork City. Most of our gigs are put on there, and its an old building with shitloads of character. We tried to capture that in the record. Bass was finished in a single afternoon, and vocals were done over a week. We used local producer Philip Cotter, who took on board everything we wanted. We're not big fans of over produced and polished material, so we deliberately kept it loose and raw. We've had a bit of stick for not making it huge and shiny sounding, but for this album, its not what we wanted. We are what we are, a Doom ridden hardcore crew from Cork. We're not into smoke and mirrors, pretending to be something we're not. We mastered it with Richard Dowling in Limerick over two days. Practically, it took about 2 weeks, but we were very restricted financially, so overall it actually took about 3-4months.

8.Who does most of the writing in the band?

We all contribute riffs and ideas, we generally write collectively. However, myself and Alan usually have the final say in what goes ahead. We're stubborn cunts that way.





9.What have the shows been like and what is the local scene like over there?

Cork is a small city, so the shows can differ dramatically. Sometimes the crowd is huge, sometimes its just you and the bar staff. Either way, we play the same show. There are some savage bands here though, Altar of Plagues, Brigantia, Ghost of Medina, Days of Night, the list could go on. It's a much bigger scene here now than 10 years ago for sure, but its not reliable in terms of audience just yet.

10.From what I have read you sound like you really enjoy playing live, are the shows as crazy as they sound?

Yes, we'd like to think so. We suffer a lot live, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Its about having fun, albeit in an aggressive sense. Its very frustrating watching talented bands stare at there shoes and flick their hair for the camera. We're more about making sure everyone who comes leaves confused, not by the gender of the band they just saw, but by themselves, and their own sexuality. The only certainty should be whether or not they like us.


11.What do you want the band to achieve? Tours?

It would be good to get some financial backing from a label. We're hard working cunts, so it would be nice to fuck off on tour without the hangover of losing loads of money. But its metal, its never meant to be easy. We've a tour planned for the Uk in April, and we'll be hitting Europe sporadically over the next year. America would be somewhere we definitely want to reach. If things progress well in 2009, we'll be there in a heartbeat.


12.Are American Sludge/Doom bands well known over there and if so which ones seem to be popular?

Yeah, there's a bit of interest, more towards the more mainstream Sludge/Doom bands though. Crowbar are very well known here, High on Fire, Isis, Nuerosis, The Ocean, Old Man Gloom all come to mind. The likes of The Doom Metal Alliance, and of course yourselves, are good places to go to check out some of the more underground bands from across the pond.


13.What has the band got planned for the next 12 months?

New material, find a label, play as much as possible in as many places as possible.





14.Why should people listen to Five Will Die,time for some shameless self promotion.

Don't listen to Fivewilldie, we're awful cunts and your mother would hate us. Come drinking with us though, its far more fun. Keep an eye on your cans though, coz we'll steal them.http://www.myspace.com/fivewilldie

Jan 1, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH ELLIOTTS KEEP

Elliotts Keep have delivered one of the freshest sounding Metal CD's in 2008.Hard to sum up this band in just a few words but luckily i was able to get this interview.Enjoy!





1. First of all, I only found out about Elliott's Keep this year so how long has band been around and how did you all get together?

JOEL:

We originally played together in a band named Marauder (not to be confused with the differently-spelled hard-core band "Merauder") in the early to mid-90s. The fourth member of Marauder was Glenn Elliott, our singer and rhythm guitar player. Marauder disbanded in 1995 when all the local clubs started to close up. We had another gig scheduled for "Dallas City Limits" and when we showed up, it had been made over into a topless club.

JONATHAN:

Although we stopped making music for a time, we remained as close as family - literally in one way, since Joel and I are brothers. Then, tragically, Glenn passed away in November of 2004.

JOEL:

Elliott's Keep, as a band, came together in 2006. I found a local practice studio and told the guys it was "time to break out the rig." Jonathan began writing and recording riffs from his guitar onto his PC. We started kicking around names for the band and decided to honor Glenn and settled on the name in September of 2006. We spent all of 2007 writing the songs that would make up In Medias Res. We entered Nomad Studios in May of 2008 and finished the mixing of the album by the end of the summer.

2. I find the band's sound to be somewhat different to a lot of other heavy bands, is there any special formula to the band's sound and writing?

KEN:

I don't know if this makes us "different," but the approach we always have taken is -- we take our time. It generally takes us three months or more to go from actively working on an idea to finished song, and I don't see that as a bad thing.

Procedurally, we start with a concept and lyrics. Some of our songs have come from recent ideas, and some have been rattling around. Jonathan writes riffs. Lots of riffs. We record those riffs worth keeping, whether at home or in our practice space (which we affectionately refer to as "The Keep").

Once we have the song idea and direction, we "assign" riffs that we think might work in that song. Then we play them, change them, add to them – and discard them if they don't make the grade. By now, we have the song in our heads.

At this point, Jonathan and Joel bounce off of each other in practice (sometimes violently) until we are all satisfied with each distinct part. During this process, I work mostly as commentator and moderator – and I also start working up my vocal lines. The bass lines come in only when everything else is done, since I have a hard time doing both at once.

So, there's the formula, if there is one.

JOEL:

We have a ton of influences that make their way into the band. Ken has a background in classical music and also plays the violin. We all share a love of Celtic-influenced music – you can hear that in "Kindred." Ken and Jonathan bring the traditional doom feel to the riffs. I tend to be more thrash metal influenced in my drumming. We bring it all together in the unique blend that is Elliott's Keep.

Our song writing originates from the lyrics first. Jonathan and Ken do most of the writing and I throw in an idea here and there. Based on the lyrics and the overall theme of the song, we begin to think of how the song structure should be. The writing of the music generally comes from Jonathan bringing his riffs for a piece and then I add a drum part to it, or we take a drum part I have come up with and add guitar over it. The intro riff for "Iter" is a good example of one where the drum part came first. Ken is the orchestrator in the process -- he will stand back and listen to Jonathan's riff and say "that is good, but take the end and go here" or "instead of that note in the middle, use this." He is the mad scientist behind the process. We are always looking for ways to make the part more interesting; sometimes that is taking a note out of a 4/4 part and making a 7/8 part. We have a portable recording device onto which we put all our new riffs in the practice space, then Ken takes it back to his PC, uploads them and emails them to the group. We listen to them over the next couple days and talk about what works and what doesn't. We keep digital folders of the riffs for each song and have spreadsheets for the arrangements. This lets us keep the song fluid in the early stages, until we get all the pieces that we know really fit, and then we lock it down. If a riff is really solid, but is not working for a particular song, we move it into another one. If we decide a riff isn't strong enough, we toss it out.

JONATHAN:

In terms of our sound being different from other bands, I think that is a function of our group of influences being different from the influences of other bands.

3. The CD is quite impressive from the artwork to the production - how long did it all take?

JONATHAN:

As to our visual side, most of that credit all goes to Joel. We came up with concepts as a band for the artwork, but he brings those concepts to reality and we are extremely proud of the end result.

As to the production of our CD, we were very fortunate to work with J.T. Longoria at Nomad Studios in Dallas. We refer to J.T. as "the wizard," in that he is truly gifted – both on the technical side and the musical side. He was a blast to work with and we recommend him highly to anyone looking to record in our corner of the world.

JOEL:

J.T. was great at extracting solid sounds out of us – as well as helping us through the process. We knew we wanted to use Nomad because we had been there as guests of Solitude Aeturnus during the recording of "Alone," and again when Rob did the vocal tracks for Candlemass' "King of the Grey Islands." We knew the capabilities of Nomad and we knew that we didn't want to go anywhere else.

I did all the art work on my PC. I used Maya for 3D modeling and rendering, and then imported the images into Photoshop. My wife is a professional graphic artist, so she helped with the page layout and some of the technical aspects of getting the art ready for print. We all wanted to have a quality product that we could put on the shelf and compare with anyone out there, from the sound on the CD to the look and feel of the disc. The art from the CD contributes to the mood and the vibe of the album as a whole. I always appreciated bands that put the effort into the art of the disc as well as the music on the disc. Blind Guardian and Kamelot are some good examples.

4. Viking Metal, Doom Metal - What term sums up your sound do you think?

JOEL:

Jonathan coined the phrase "Metal Doom" rather than "Doom Metal." I think that is because we tend to bring so much from other influences, be it Slayer or Pantera or Lamb of God, and add that to our doom influences.

We are big fans of Amon Amarth, but I never considered our sound as "Viking Metal." I think that we have more in common with them lyrically rather than in our riffs or song structure.

JONATHAN:

We use the term "Metal Doom" to identify that our territory in the music world is on the border regions of the doom and metal genres. While the "Metal Doom" term hasn't particularly caught on, all of our reviews to date have recognized that we have a multi-genre aspect to our music. That recognition has been rewarding to us.

Some bands find genre labels to be restrictive and, admittedly, they are often inappropriately applied. However, with a debut CD just released, it seems to us that genre labels serve some purpose in identifying for potential listeners that our band has characteristics like "Band A" and not "Band Z."

JOEL:

I think we are a bit "Progressive Doom," in that we write long songs with complex arrangements and complex narratives -- with tempo changes and odd time signatures. We are fans of Into Eternity and Dream Theater, and recently have been checking out Scar Symmetry.

JONATHAN:

In that regard, I agree that we have those progressive elements, but we don't go for the "experimental" aspect that often accompanies the term "progressive." Certainly time changes and interesting time signatures are integral to our sound.

5. What is your main inspiration for the lyrics?

JONATHAN:

To date, all of our songs are in the first-person and concern a protagonist dealing with life issues. We set our songs in a historical or fantasy context, but the lyrical depth is in the struggles faced by the protagonist. For example, while the Crusader trilogy, on its face, details events of battles accompanying the first Crusade, the lyrics address uncertainties about the meaning of life that are true to this day. Our songwriting method is to deal with significant themes within a story.

KEN:

We like to tell stories.

JOEL:

We like lyrics that are escapism. You won't hear us do any political songs.

The three Crusader songs are based on a knight's journey. In the first song, he is all idealistic. By the end of the journey, he has seen all horrors imaginable and he is deeply changed because of it.

"Black Wings" is obviously a fantasy dragon song. It was the first song we wrote when we went into The Keep in 2006.

JONATHAN:

With Glenn's passing, and with other subsequent events in our lives, we all have a heightened awareness of the importance of those we love. "Kindred" is a recognition that what truly matters, at the end of each day, is those that we love.

6. What have the shows been like and how many have you done so far?

KEN:

Frankly, we didn't have any plans to play live when we started Elliott's Keep. That said, we have received a great reception to In Medias Res, and have been invited to play a number of shows in 2009, including Dallas Doom Daze II.

7. What was the best or biggest show you have played so far?

JONATHAN:

Since we have not played live yet as Elliott's Keep, I would say that our best show was in the Marauder days at the "Dallas City Limits" venue. It was very cool to play on that stage, as we spent years there watching Solitude Aeturnus, Pantera and many other bands play. John Perez came out that night. For where we were as a band at that point, it was a really cool night.

8. How did the deal with Brainticket come about?

JONATHAN:

We were regulars at Solitude Aeturnus shows dating back prior to the release of Crimson Horizon. John was very supportive of Marauder. He came to our practice and invited us out to SA's practice. One of my favorite life memories was watching a SA show with John wearing a Marauder shirt on stage. Too cool.

With that background, from the inception of Elliott's Keep we wanted to be on Brainticket Records. When In Medias Res was ready, we approached John and he was all about being involved. We are extremely proud and grateful to be a part of Brainticket.

9. What bands did you guys listen to growing up and how much of a influence are they today?

JONATHAN:

Solitude Aeturnus has had a tremendous imprint on us. Even if John doesn't hear it, I would say that they are our primary influence. Candlemass is the other primary doom influence.

On the "metal" side, that is a real stew. Notable bands in the mix there include Metallica ("Justice"-era), Pantera ("Vulgar"-era), Megadeth ("Rust"-era), Slayer ("Seasons"-era), Iced Earth and Lamb of God (specifically, Chris Adler on drums).

We also appreciate many other metal genres -- epic, power, symphonic, black and death. That appreciation is with us when we compose. The power and symphonic genres influence affects our lyrical approach and general "epic" nature. Notable bands there include Blind Guardian, Epica, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica and Kamelot.

We just don't buy into the idea that some people in the heavy music community have that, if you like music type A, that you cannot like music types B and C. While we don't like all sub-genres or bands, we do appreciate a wide range of artists and styles. Whether people think it's cool or not, we like Lillian Axe, Blackmore's Night, Amon Amarth, Rush, Type O Negative, Morbid Angel, Crowbar, Dream Theatre and countless other bands across the spectrum. On one level or another, all of them leak into our subconscious as we compose.

JOEL:

We have been Solitude fans since the early '90s, when we first saw them opening for Savatage at "Dallas City Limits." Being from Dallas, if you play metal, you are obviously fans of Pantera. Vinnie had a big influence on my playing in the Marauder days. Dave Lombardo, especially on "Seasons in the Abyss," also was a big influence in my early days and that carries over even to today. Specifically, with the way he uses the china. More recently, it has been Chris Adler from LoG. There isn't a direct translation, since they play a much more aggressive, up-tempo style, but I look at the way he breaks down a part and utilizes all the different pieces of his kit during a song. It is interesting to take that and apply it to a slower, doom style part.

Bands like Mercenary, Daath and Misery Index have been at the top of our playlists lately.

10. Everyone I have spoken to about the album seems to really dig it but have you had any negative reviews? I haven't seen any.

KEN:

None so far, but we are awaiting the inevitable!

That said, a flamer commented in response to one of our Blabbermouth posts that we look like "a bowling team who take themselves way too seriously." I love that. We are who we are and our songs are what they are. As to the jabs from flamers – we are not an "image" band and we pin on our chest those comments from them and laugh every time we pass the bowling alley on the way to The Keep.

11. Any major plans for tours and how hard is it for bands in Dallas to break out of there?

JONATHAN:

With the priorities of our families and careers, we don't have any plans to tour. We started Elliott's Keep focused only upon writing and recording, and that remains our focus. It is very cool that the local response is calling us back to playing local shows – but, I really don't see us deviating from that. We are much more focused upon writing the next record.

As to bands breaking out of Dallas, Solitude Aeturnus and Pantera have really carried the ball in that regard.

12. I have heard a lot of great bands from down there. Are the other bands supportive of you?

JONATHAN:

The doom scene in Dallas is really great. There are a variety of styles, and everyone really supports each other.

If there is a shout out that I have to give, check out Kin of Ettins. They have really excellent songs, a unique sound and are a blast to watch live. We were at their show a week or so ago, and they just kicked ass. KoE has been in the recording studio in the past weeks and I can't wait for their release. Justin is a really cool person and he is very involved in advancing the doom scene in Dallas.

13. Everybody has something within the Metal scene that they don't like, what is your opinion of the Metal world in general?

JONATHAN:

I don't like to talk negatively in public about any other band because, myself, I hate to read an artist that I like bagging on another band that I like. As heavy music fans, even if we have many similar likes, all of our personal preferences won't ever match up completely.

To be sure, there are aspects of the metal scene that are not to our liking, but we don't see anything productive coming from ripping another band's style, talent or motives.

14. How important is the internet to you in terms of promotion?

JOEL:

Critical. Being able to put up tracks on MySpace and to reach a larger base around the globe is really exciting. Internet radio is also very cool. In 1995, when we were in Marauder, you had to follow a specific path -- playing local and then touring in a van to get your songs noticed. The labels had all the control. Now with the internet, more of that control has shifted to the bands.

JONATHAN:

We are extremely grateful to the on-line doom community. Thanks to people like you, Derek with Doom Metal Alliance, and the on-line radio community, are a significant help to bands like us reaching an international audience.

15. What has the band got planned for 2009?

KEN:

First and foremost, we are busy writing our second CD, Sine Qua Non. We have six new songs in the queue, one finished, and we'll be spending most of our free time doing what we love most – crafting our songs and jamming in The Keep.

16. Any final words?

JONATHAN:

Just that we extend our tremendous thanks to you for all that you do to advance the doom scene. As to the people out there that like our sound, please send us a comment or criticism. We would love to hear from you.
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  http://www.myspace.com/elliottskeep
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