May 28, 2013

Dances For The Dead: Interview with Tombstone ...

Tombstone are a power-doom trio formed in the winter of 2011 in Paris, France. With obvious nods to 70's hard rock with a modern flavor that is all their own, the band has quickly gained a reputation for massive fuzzy riffs, catchy grooves and great solos. The 4 track EP available from the bands Bandcamp site is the kind of stuff that is instantly infectious with the kind of riffs and vocals that us doom fans crave and can't get enough of. Now there is a full length album that has been unleashed upon us and the band has got even more remarkable. Here now is Russian Doom Guru Aleks and a interview with the trio known as Tombstone. ....

Hail comrades! I would like to ask you introduce Tombstone for our readers but let us imagine that some of them already know that the band is “a power trio created in winter 2011 in Paris."

Clement : Hi man, we're just three metalheads who know each other for 15 years, We've played in several underground band, we used to play in some death, thrash and black metal bands before, It's been a while that we spoke about doing some doom as bands like Black Sabbath or Saint Vitus are some of our favorite stuff, I'd say we're fans of heavy music paying tribute to the bands they love.

Why did you put your feet onto way of such vigorous blend of sludge and stoner doom? Are you too old to play such fast things as death, thrash and black as you did before?

Clement : Ha ha, no of course. It's just that it's so good to play some heavy riffs. I mean all the stuff we did before was quite fast and the aggressiveness in our music was a result of this. But we thought we lacked some intensity. Now with heavier and slower parts, we probably do it better and we enjoy it more. Before we were too focused on our instruments to not miss a single note! And that's probably why we didn't enjoy it as we do now. Also, Black Sabbath is probably one of the few bands that we all worship, so it was quite an evidence for us to play some stuff in this vein.

Your first full-length “Where the Dead Belong” was released in January 2013, how was it met by critics and listeners?

Clement : Well, we only sent the album to a bunch of people and labels, the album is not released yet, But the responses were quite good, Some people always expect more but I think most people liked it, I only hope we'll record something ten times superior next year.

Oh, metal-archives told me that the album was “self-released”… Anyway I think that these songs are pretty strong and interesting, and you surely have few catchy riffs. It’s said that the interests of the band are whiskey, music and movies. The question of music is clear for me. What’s about whiskey – how much and which sorts? We did a doom-quiz few months ago (HERE) and there was a question about hardest hangover – what was your most terrible “after party” morning ?

Clement : Yes the album is self released but as we didn't get the copies yet, only a few of them were available. About the whiskey, of course we enjoy it! We like a lot of different sorts but I'd lie if I tell you that we are fine connoisseur. We just like to drink it until we get drunk. I can't remind of one precise terrible "after party" morning, there were so much!

Let’s return to the music… What is a main motive of “Where the Dead Belong” and can you say that you fulfill it successful in those songs?

Clement : I guess that, once again, we wanted to create something deeply rooted in what we love in heavy music, We wanted to play some dark and heavy stuff the way it was played many years before in the doom scene, Not so extreme musically (I mean now) but with some dark sides, Maybe it's going to change in the future,

Then what is your ideal of sound? Maybe on examples of some bands, because true to say I don’t hear any extreme flaws into “Where the Dead Belongs”.

Clement : Yes you're right. Where the Dead Belongs and the Devil's ride demo were both based on a very "classic" view of what you can hear in the doom/stoner vein. Maybe some parts are a bit "darker" but it was just in several songs like devil's ride or werewolf. In the future, we probably go further into the dark side of doom and sludge. We have a lot of influences and the new songs we are creating right now are darker, wilder and less predictable cause we want to have all our influences expressed in our music.

What are your favorite songs on the album? Can you name some of them which you would gladly play to your grandma for example? :-)

Clement : Werewolf is probably our favorite cause it has some intensity in it and we like the atmosphere of this song. Dance of the Dead and No Tomorrow are really cool to play though.

Hm, by the way – so where do the dead belong? Not kidding, really?

Clement : If you see the cover, which was created by Gustave Doré, you can see that it's not a place you'd want to live in, Like an hell in an abyss or something, really beautiful, I think the dead belong to nothingness.

I see that you released “Where the Dead Belongs” by yourself, I know that Barabbas and Marble Chariot followed DIY way too. Don’t you see a reason to do a French doom-coalition to work together at least on promotion of bands?

Clement : That would be great, we're in contact with a bunch of bands, like our friends in son of Zardoz, We do some concerts together, but you're right it would be cool to push things further.

I remember that there was most vulgar question for such situation – it’s about inspiration. But I would like to ask you about it for another reason, not just to fill the space between other questions. Tombstone is based in Paris, and I remember that Hangman’s Chair (they’re from Crosne) have an album “Leaving Paris” – it’s full of depressive images of drug-addicted, doomed people from the bottom of the world. Did you see this side of Paris living there? And how did it influence upon you?

Clement : We come from the east suburbs of Paris, the reality in the suburbs is sometimes really tough and depressing, We all had to face some very bad situations, We lost some friends and saw a lot of people ruining their lives.

What kind of modern doom-trends do you like and which one do you dislike?

Clement : Well, to be honest, we don't really know about modern doom trends or bands, Of course we know some, we love Ramesses for example, But we're liked stuck to the '70s, '80s and early '90s, We love the old school stuff, and that's nearly the only stuff we listen to, Maybe the most “modern” bands we love are Warhorse (“As heaven turns to ash “ is a fucking masterpiece) or Goatsnake... We're great fans of Black Sab, Vitus, Trouble, Candlemass, Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Acid King... we love '70s heavy rock, classic doom, sludge bands like Grief, Eyehategod, Crowbar or Iron Monkey, and doom death from the early '90s like Winter, As we are metal and heavy rock fans we listen to a lot of stuff like black metal, punk hardcore or '70s prog rock for example,

It’s early to ask about next album as you just did this record not so long ago, but can you say that Tombstone is ambitious band? Are you ready to put more efforts in the band to take a place onto world doom scene?

Clement : As I said before, we're currently working on our next release. It's just the beginning but as we have some difficulties to find opportunities to play live, we have some time to write and work on new material. I can't say we're truly ambitious. We do the stuff we like and if people like it's fine. We all have a job and work a lot so unfortunately Tombstone is not our only concern. We wish it could be but we have to work a lot for the band. The band is only nearly 2 years old so we have to find our deep musical identity and concretize the way it should sound.

Alex : There is an evolution in our music, i mean in the sound, we try to play more loud and with more control, we really work on it. We actually record each repetition to have a better point of view and adjust some new songs. Clement and Jo recently bought some amps and work on their sound too.

Thank you for your time and patience comrade! I wish you all the best on the way to the Holy Mountain of Doom. If you have few more words for our readers then just bring it on! Here’s a right place for that.

Clement, Alex, Jo : Thanks a lot for the interest man. Cheers to all doomsters and metalheads. Check out the album and let us know what you think about it. Hope to get in touch with you again when we record something new. Doom on.

Interview By Aleks


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