THE MOTH – Cecile Ash

I recently had the pleasure of touring with awesome German Doom/Metal band The Moth. It seemed like the decent thing to do to ask The Moths bass player Cecile Ash a few questions ahead of thier up coming Desert Fest performance and UK tour with Conjurer.

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For those of us who may not have heard of you before, please describe The Moth for us:

We are a three-piece from Hamburg: Drums, guitar, bass. Both Freden, the guitarist, and I sing. Most of the time at the same time. While Freden growls a lot, I sing  clear but with a rather low(deep?) voice. Rather Nico than Kim Wilde. An Australian fan once described our music as Slayer-doom. It fits because we have fast metal songs as well as really slow and doomy ones.

How did you get started and how long have you been together?

Freden (Guitar + Vocals) and I were in a band before, for 10 years, Bangkok Cash, where Freden played the drums, I was on bass. We split in 2009. Freden and I kept on jamming, like once a week, but Freden was occupied finishing university. So I patiently waited, haha. Then, one day after rehearsal we had a drink and he said, ok, let’s do it. From then on nothing could stop us. With Freden it’s either 100% or not at all.  Freden switched back to the guitar and we started seriously writing songs. That was in 2012. It autumn of that year, after checking out eight drummers, Tiffy convinced on drums, THE MOTH was ready for some live action! We had our first show a few weeks later in a garage.. We were nervous as shit, haha, we had never sung before!

What releases do The Moth have? And where can we get gold of them to give you a listen?

We recorded THEY FALL in early 2013 and released it on CD ourselves. A month later we were signed to THIS CHARMING MAN RECORDS who re-released the album on vinyl and CD in September. Our second album “AND THEN RISE” also came out on this independent label – in April of last year. You can check both albums out on the-moth.bandcamp.com or watch clips we did on www.youtube.com/user/listentoTHEMOTH.

You have a song on the Metal Hammer CD in the UK this month, that’s pretty cool. Have you even seen a copy?

No, we haven’t! Except for on photos. Yes, we couldn’t believe it when they asked us if we wanted to contribute a song. That felt unreal and made us very happy and feel humbled. We sent them FIRE, one of our doomiest, pretty desperate songs.

Any new releases coming up?

Yes. But it might still take a while. We are working on 15 songs right now. Last year we were touring and playing so much, that we were always busy rehearsing for upcoming shows and hardly had the time to work on new stuff. But since our last tour with you lovely mugs, Ohhms, we concentrated just on that. We love writing new riffs and songs and finding vocal melodies that fit. It’s so exciting when you feel a new riff really moves you. We love it, when it’s raw and powerful and nothing compares to the excitement when out of nowhere such a riff comes up. Sorry, I almost forgot answering your question: If everything works out the way we plan, album no. 3 should be out by the end of the year. If it doesn’t it will be by the beginning of next year.

 

How did your deal with This Charming Man Records come about?

We checked out labels on the internet and found THIS CHARMING MAN RECORDS very sympathetic. It looked diy and had very different bands on it, very heterogenic. We thought: Maybe we might fit in? We sent him a copy of our CD and around the same time a guy we knew a little and knew the label-boss better, told him good things about us, too. Some days after putting it in the mail, I was sunbathing  at our hometown’s river Elbe and thought: I’ll just call Chris (the label boss), see what he says. That was one of the weirdest phone calls ever, haha! Me in a bikini walking up and down the beach, trying to do some “business talk”.. Twenty minutes later I hung up and didn’t know at all what I was up to. Did he want to sign us, or didn’t he? I had no clue and told Freden just that on the phone. That same night I was sitting on my couch when I got a Facebook message from Chris with a link: He had listed us on his sight under “Bands”. I couldn’t believe it and was excited like a little kid on Christmas Eve! We had wished for a label, but never seriously dared to believe that it might actually happen.

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What is The Moths process for writing new material?

We just walk into our rehearsal room and the riffs just happen. Sometimes Freden brings along some killer riffs that came to him at home. But more and more often they just pop out when we rehearse. Personally, I cannot “work” on riffs at all. They always burst out of me as a whole, at once, without me having any conscious influence on them. I don’t know how that works, really… They are mostly dark, slow and a little sad riffs. Then Freden and I work on making songs out of our riffs. Only when a lot of songs are ready we introduce them to our drummer.

You are coming over to the UK soon I hear, where can we see you? Anyone good playing with you?

Yes, we’ll be back in the UK and are so much looking forward to it!! Don’t know, but we just love you british people! You are really cool, friendly, real and so supportive! We’ll start at Desertfest, where we play at The Black Heart on Sunday, May, 1st at 16:30h. Then we’ll travel to Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Margate. Thanks to every promoter who puts us on!! You can find the details on www.facebook.com/listentoTHEMOTH. Conjurer that supported us last year in Milton Keynes will join us on four dates. They really impressed us that night and we are honoured and happy that they will be with us!

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 What has been your best/biggest show to date?

I think it was our show at STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND festival in Erfurt (Ger) last year in June. It was the last date after our European tour with DEAD EXISTENCE. After only three hours of sleep we had to get up at 5:30, drive 5 hours to arrive in Erfurt and just an hour later hopped on stage as the first band of the day at 13 o’clock, but it was already 30 degrees hot. The tent got more and more crowded until it was full. We were so sleep-deprived and exhausted… It was like being in another dimension: There was no energy for being nervous or anything: We just gave everything we had, we and especially Tiffy were sweating our arses off while we just enjoyed playing and the cheering crowd. It was amazing.

Having seen you live a few times myself, I notice yoursef and Freden always play with one foot on the monitor, is this a sub conscious thing?

No. It started the moment Freden and I first tried singing. We never used a microphone before THE MOTH and somehow it feels better to sing that way, don’t know why.  Also, we have lots of fast parts and found that the guitar moves less and you can hit the strings better when the guitars can rest against your leg when you put your foot up. And as we are bad posers this is also at least a little move we can do onstage, haha!

The Moth play a lot of live shows, how do you balance this with work/ family life? On one of your recent tours you had a stand in drummer (who was awesome) is this a regular thing?

Freden and I both don’t have kids. Freden works halftime to have enough time for the band. I work on my own as a photographer. Only as much as is necessary to get along. Because the band is the most important thing for both of us. We probably have a little less money than others, but having the freedom to do what you love is priceless. We have two drummers, Tiffy and Curry. Because they both have a kid and work full-time they are not as available as we are, even if they would love to. The drummer you met, Thilo, is actually our third one, haha! He also has a son and is busy with his job. He joins us when neither Tiffy nor Curry can make it. All three of them are awesome guys and we are really fortunate that they want to play and travel with us!

What is it you enjoy most about touring so much?

Hmmm. I don’t even know where to start. What I love most is probably spending all this time with my best friends and experiencing so many exciting things with them. I just terribly enjoy that. We laugh so much and it just feels like being on some sort of school trip: Leaving normal, boring life behind and just drive, talk shit, talk more shit, laugh like mad and at night hopping on stage, get to see and enjoy other bands, partying, meeting new people, spending time with the other bands and their funny members. Can it get any better?? On tour you have like no responsibilities: Just drive, arrive to the venue  on time, give your best on stage, have an awesome time. Paradise! But what I really dislike: The little sleep. It really exhausts me. But since our tours have never been very long so far, I survived it, haha!

Why does your bass only have 3 strings?

G- Strings are for strippers.

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Chainey gives 3 strings a thumbs up.

Looking forward, what hopes and aspirations do you have for the Moth in the future?

First of all I just hope that our third album that we are working on now, will turn out good. That we will be able to capture the sound and the atmosphere. That’s tricky as we know now. I don’t care much if people don’t like it – as long as we think that it turned out great. That’s what I really, really hope. But of course it would make me very happy if more people got to know our band and got to appreciate it. It’s a good feeling when people like what you do, when they respect what you worked hard for. We’ll keep on doing that and giving our best.  Everything else is out of our control.

You have three stripes tattooed on your side, is there a story or meaning behind them? 

Yes. I have three brothers. When the middle one turned thirty, my other two brothers and I wanted to give him a special gift. He already had a lot of tattoos then. We didn’t have any. Well, I had  a little one: BASS tattooed on my under lip, but that’s all… So we thought of all getting the same tattoo together. That’s what we did. We all have three stripes, that each finish with the first letter of our siblings names, now. It hurt like shit. I would never get a tattoo on the ribs again! I got another one after that: A rather big cross along my spine and shoulders. But that was way less painful!

Any thing you would like to say to our readers?

Thanks for being interested in our band and all the other bands that  aren’t big yet and maybe never will be, but that have something to give and that you recognize that. Cheers!!

 Thanks for the interview Cecile, i look forward to seeing you at Desert Fest and the Margate show!!!!

out

The Moth and OHHMS on thier recent Euro tour.

 

AMPLIFIGHTERS – JOHN SUTCLIFFE

 

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John Sutcliffe is a bit of a legend in my eyes, he was the vocalist in one of my all time favourite bands, Leeds based noise metal experimentalists CANVAS. He then went on to do HumanFly for many years and more recently Kings. Now he has a new project AMPLIFIGHTERS so i thought i better catch up with im to find out what is going on there.

 

Hi John

I just saw your announcement for the release of the Amplifighters new album, and as your biggest fan I thought I better ask you some questions:

So quickly, the boring stuff for the people foolish enough not to be in your personal fan club. How long have Amplifighters been together? How did you get together? Is there any key message the band is trying to push or are you just in it for the riffs?

Hi pal, you’re kind of a boring guy so I’m gonna let that slide and answer your questions in the coolest way possible. I think we have been together for about a year and a half since our other bands finished and took breaks etc. Jaime and Al had finished doing Goatspeed and wanted to do some thrash crust cross over 90’s metal and must have seen that I was available since Humanfly went on the hiatus and so an email was all it took to get me involved. I knew them dudes from other bands they were in like the plight and imposters and Leeds is pretty good for knowing a bunch of people who play in good bands. As for a message, yes there have always been messages in all the music I do. I can’t really relate to bands that don’t back up what they do with serious messages… It’s just my thing. It helps me believe the music more. If ur just playing licks for the sake of making noise then fair play to you but it just makes me suspect why someone would need to do that. Our line of hardcore comes from a good place. The lyrics on the album convey a fairly generic thread of crust punk themes such as, the downfall of capitalism, being a slave to conformist bullshit like branding and reality shows, how thick morons are the new idols, anti establishment, anti God, anti rock stars etc… I do like a good riff though.

Other than awesome and good looking how do you describe yourselves? Are you trying to appeal to any particular scene or genre? 

Ha ha, you’re a sweet guy. Awesome is my middle name. I want to appeal to the outcasts, the downtrodden, the fighters, the damaged, the transgender, the moshers, the freaks, the bullied, the workers, people who are sick of rules, anyone who is subjected to racism, anyone who’s trying to love them self in a society that profits from them not doing so. Fuck the scene. I give no fucks about playing to a bunch of pricks who dance with their fists. It’s pretty straight forward music that we play so it’s for anyone. Anyone who wants to listen.

Any major influences?

Sepultura when Max was in them. Swedish death metal. 90’s straight edge hardcore. Crust punk like tragedy and doom etc.

All the best shit.

Your recent announcement seemed like you want to keep things pretty low key, any reason for this? 

It’s just a different way of doing things. Self promotion, especially online, is such a difficult thing because you put yourself in amongst pictures of dogs wearing costumes and funny memes on the Internet and your gonna come off as pretty annoying if you do it too much. Some bands do it to a point where the hype they build up about themselves far out-ways the substance of their output. I like to see a good band do well as none of us are gonna quit our day jobs doing this kind of shit these days. Once we have a physical release of the album we might push it a bit more but we’ll have to see. Word of mouth has always and will always be the best form of promotion.

You mention a limited run of vinyl and CD’s coming soon, have you been talking to any labels about this or is it going to be a self released thing? What sort of time scale are we talking here? Can I have a special signed copy just for me?

No, we’ve talked to no-one. I’m happy with self releasing stuff for now because we get full control of everything. If Geffen records or sub pop or whoever the teenagers dig these days get in touch then, yeah sign me up. I’ll sign anything you want. Will be completely worthless though pal, even when I’m dead.

So if you don’t want to be all over Facbook, will you be advertising your gigs the old school ways, flyers in shops and on lamp posts etc? I recently had contact with a band doing just that and they said it was working really well.

Did I say I don’t want to be all over Facebook? Well it’s sort of useful in a lot of ways but I’m sure a great many people don’t use it and discover music in other ways. I know a that a number of bands can gain popularity through being “internet famous” and that’s fine I guess, depending on what your general audience use as a medium for being introduced to music. About 15 years ago we were using MySpace and Last FM to help promote gigs but now there’s a bigger variety of sites and apps to help your bands grow a substantial fan base. Yes I’m old enough to remember a music scene prior to mobile phones and the internet, and I still believe that people can create a greater buzz about music through word of mouth. I got into some really good bands through people doing me mix tapes back in the day and modern day digital music sites like Spotify are doing a similar if less personal job of allowing big access to a large catalogue of music. YouTube is filled with rare and unreleased awesomeness also. Anyway, I digress, posters on lampposts are brilliant.

How come you made a video? Won’t that just end up on Facebook between the funny dogs etc? I loved it by the way. Who made it?

I made it using old footage of rioting and crudely filmed practice room performances. It’s very low budget but it was quite a fun process to do. I’m glad you like it. It’s a bit of a Sepultura refuse/ resist rip off. I might make more. Will you stop bangin’ on about Facebook? I think you and Facebook need to get a room.

There are a lot of swear words on the record apparently, I can’t tell because you are shouting really loud and I get scared when you shout at me, any reason for the verbal abuse? Who is it aimed at?

It’s just normal vocabulary these days isn’t it. Nobody drops a “c” bomb on this record so you could probably play it to your kids if you want. They may think it’s just a lion roaring while riding a lawnmower, holding a chainsaw. Secretly you’ll know that it’s all “fuck shit arse felch cock bastard chuff etc”.  We are actually really nice dudes. All the abuse comes when I think about answering interview questions 😉 winking smiley face.

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So do you write the lyrics and tell All what to yell?

Haha no, we all right them. Same with riff ideas. Sometimes Al might write a riff and I’ll be well chuffed with it coz it sounds like something I would write. Most of the licks in “nothing left” (track 2 on the album) were Al’s creations, so I was like, HELL YEAHHH, when I first heard them. Basically, we are all pretty much on the same page when it comes to creating the Rock.

You have done a handful of shows so far, how have you been received?

So far the moshers have given us a good response. We played a Halloween show in front of a bunch of clowns doing a circle pit. One of them was on a kids trike. Total party mosh.

 Any plans to go on tour in the near future, or come and play down south. London? You can stay at my house!

Well I’m taking this as an invite but yeah we will come down south in the summer and destroy your feeble venues with our blend of sorrow and misery… Never stop partying.

We here at FROM BEYOND were big fans of Human Fly, and even drove the 40 miles from Margate to Tonbridge Wells to see you once. What happened there? Why did you split up?

We didn’t, WE ARE ON A BREAK.

Humanfly is only in it for the money. Make us an offer!

Also, Kings, I was looking forward to seeing them play but they seem to have vanished from the scene!!!???

Don’t worry about Kings, worry about Amplifighters, that’s what you need to worry about. Kings are writing an album… Have patience!

Humanfly only on a break, thats good news! Any time scale on when we could see them again or hear new music?

No timescales dude. When it’s right pal. When it’s relevant. Amplifighters is only a small part of what’s going on in my life. I still see the Humanfly chaps all the time for shits and giggles but we probably won’t come back for a while. Maybe when we do, it will be with a different line up. Maybe just playing jazz fusion. Maybe as a Black Flag covers band. Might be hip hop… I’d fucking love that. We play by nobody’s rules but our own.

The guitars on the new album sound brutal, being a guitarist myself I’m always interested to find out what other people are using, so what’s your current guitar/amp/cab/pedal situation? 

My set up has changed since the album… It’s a never ending quest for perfect tone. The album, I recorded with the Orange Thunderverb 200 on full amp gain. Les Paul custom in your right ear with bare knuckle war pig pick ups. Left ear is a les Paul standard with Lace dirty Hersher pick ups. I’m not endorsed by the way, this is just “shit that I like”… I love the sound of Gibsons through orange amps… It’s warm and creamy and there’s loads of mid range.

I recently got my 70’s Orange amp repaired and it’s awesome as it’s much richer and thicker and more bottom ended. I have combined it with one of them hm-2 pedals so it sounds like entombed and dismember. This is now the sound I’m going for. It’s well phat. Do the kids still say phat? Erm it’s epic? I’m winning at life? Hashtag rigporn?

Where did you record the album and who produced it? Any good studio stories?

It was recorded by Ben Gardner who did some of the HUMANFLY albums. We recorded it at a top secret location and I’d have to murder you if I tell you about it. I like you though so I’m saying nothing. You want a good story but unfortunately I can’t really give you one. The whole recording process is very amusing anyway as its a little bit of a false situation so watching Al scream into a microphone when he’s hungover and I’ve only just told him that he’s meant to be doing the vocals… That was class.

Any message for all the Amplifighters fans and future fans?

Fuck shit up. Forever.

Thanks for your time and words xxx

 

CONJURER’S BRADY DEEPROSE

 

Conjurer have been a favourite of ours since we first saw them at Mammoth Fest 2015 in Brighton, they had some good news recently. Dann O))) interviewed Guitarist/Vocalist Brady Deeprose to find out what is going on and why we should care!

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Photo by Dan O’Gara

Hi Brady, I hope you are well? Conjurer are a fairly new band, many of our readers may not have had the chance to see or hear you yet, describe yourselves for them please you handsome devil.

Hey Dan, no complaints here! Conjurer is a strange one to be completely honest! We try to write exciting, heavy music. That’s about as much limitation as we give ourselves, and it means that our sound tends to be quite hard to pin down. I guess we use ‘Post-Metal’ in the way that we borrow from lots of different genres but pretty much every time we play, we’re likened to someone different! I’d say have a listen and make your mind up, we’re going to keep doing what we do regardless!
 
Biggest influences?
Again, this is a really weird one. We all have vastly differing music tastes but when we started, Dan and I were, an still are, really into Armed For Apocalypse, and a lot of the early influence was taken for them. Jan especially loves Svalbard and some of the newer stuff he’s writing with Dan sounds like them in places, which is great fun. I guess bands like Mastodon, Converge and Gojira have all thrown their hats in with regards to some of the songwriting, it’s such a bizarre melting pot that I’m surprised we manage to write anything cohesive!
 
How did the band get started? Had you played with any of the other members in any previous bands?
I’d known Dan (Guitar/Vocals) from his previous band Tear Of Eden, who were amazing, and we’d wanted to start up a death metal project which swiftly turned into whatever we’re doing now. Jan (Drums) has been in pretty much every good local band over the last few years and was the obvious choice from our end and Andy (Bass) was a friend of Dan’s via his old metalcore band: I actually saw him playing in Bludger before I met him, but was aware of his potential interest in joining, and was instantly sold on his performance…turns out he’s a great guy too!
 
Congratulations are in order with your recent signing to HOLY ROAR records, what an excellent start to the year! How did this come about?
We are honestly completely overwhelmed! We’ve all been fans of the label for some time now and it was one of those pipedreams, ‘One day we might sign to Holy Roar and life will be amazing’: it was really not something we expected at all. Via the superb guys in Human Future, we were recommended to Lewis Johns who has mixed, mastered and done a load of extra production on the EP. He’s been amazing to work with and having an already close relationship with Alex (Holy Roar’s owner), he wanted to send him our stuff. Alex liked it, we got chatting, and here we are! We actually signed the contract the day before the one-year anniversary of our first show, which was pretty surreal. We’re in a really good place, working with our favourite label and getting to do shows alongside good friends and artists we admire: we are 100% aware of how lucky we are but we’re making sure we work hard to back it up.
 
When can we expect to hear your first release on HOLY ROAR and what will it be?
‘Summer’, to be annoyingly vague. It’s going to be an EP/Mini-Album, 4 tracks, over 20 minutes long. That’s probably all I’m really allowed to say, but my good friend Jordan Cameron, who is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met, is working on the artwork and we’re really excited to see what he comes out with! With regards to actual release dates, we’ll get the word out as soon as we can. Truthfully, until we have the finished product and can then go through the process of getting physical products put into order and sorting press/promo schedules, we won’t have any idea but the general aim is, as I said, ‘summer.’
 
What aspirations do you have for the band going forward?
Being in bands is something we’re all really passionate about. We put all of our money, time and effort into this because we absolutely fucking love it. The fact that we’re able to release a record via an incredible label and play some of the shows we’ve been lucky enough to play is more than I think any of us were expecting when we started. We’d love to play some bigger festivals: Temples, Damnation, ArcTanGent, Hevy and Bloodstock are all in our sights, but we’re fully aware of how hard it is to get on those kinda lineups! Getting out to Europe is a must too. I guess we want to play more shows with more bands in more places and release more music for as long as we’re able to.
 
Your drummer always has a West Ham Scarf hanging from his drum kit, he must be an awesome fellow, do the rest of you support them too?
He’s an awful human. Dan and Andy aren’t really big on football and I’m tragically a Villa fan. Jan is about as passionate as they come though, unless he has a show with us, he’s down watching West Ham (and I’m pretty sure he’s starting to resent us for the amount of games he’s having to miss!)
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Photo by Dan O’Gara

The first thing that blew me away with Conjurer (other than the West Ham Scarf) was Dan’s voice, what an amazing set of pipes he has, terrifying! What are the lyrical themes of your songs, is there a message that Conjurer are trying to push or are you just trying to scare the hell out of us?
 Yeah, Dan’s voice is like a bad version of mine really, he lied. The man is an amazing talent, I was completely shocked when he said he wanted to start a band with me! With regards to our lyrics, it’s mainly Dan that writes and then we all chip in ideas and bring them to somewhere we’re all happy with. I wouldn’t say we have a particular message, we’re not outspoken politically etc, but we’re very much anti-oppression and pro-equality in all forms. It’s something that we haven’t particularly addressed but is evident when we talk together. Andy’s old band was heavily anti-fascist and I know it’s something he’s particularly passionate about but you’ll have to interview him to find out more! Thematically, our lyrics are all pretty different but are could all be considered ‘miserable’. Generally speaking, we’ll have a concept or theme and then build up a song around that so that it’s not just straight up and obvious, and we try and write about weird or interesting topics as opposed to ‘my girlfriend left me and now I’m a bit sad’ etc etc. Behold The Swine and Frail are both pretty personal tracks but the rest are all disparate concepts: addiction, misanthropy, hate, pallbearers, holes and the ocean floor have all come up at some point! Don’t expect much cheer…
 
Any big gigs or tours coming up this year?
It’s extremely upsetting that we’re not doing this in a few weeks time as we have some corkers to announce festival-wise, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
What I can talk about however is our next show, in Sheffield, with you! As you’re aware, we’re massive OHHMS fans so everything we’ve done with you lads has been awesome, and it’ll be our first show with Slabdragger too which is a moistening thought. We have a tour tour coming up with Garganjua, who are the best dudes and have just put out an album that sounds like Yob and Pallbearer had a nasty baby together. We’re playing Tombstone All-Dayer in Manchester, one of our favourite places to play, alongside Bast, Ghold, Corrupt Moral Altar, Mower and a ton of other awesome bands. We’ve just announced a one-off support to Oathbreaker and Opium Lord, one of only two UK shows, in May which is going to be frankly ridiculous. And our year is rounded off with Mammothfest, who I’ve been working with on booking the stoner/doom stage, and I can tell you now that’s not something you want to miss! Details for the shows I’ve mentioned are below but you can find out more (and about all the other shows I’ve neglected to mention!) via our Facebook page.
The job with Mammoth Fest sounds awesome, must be a lot of fun? Do you enjoy working behind the scenes as much as you do performing on stage?
They’re a really cool bunch of guys and it’s a lot of fun. I say ‘work’, I’m helping them out, but as they’re all based in Brighton, there’s very little face-to-face at this stage! It’s a weird thing, the longer we’ve been doing this, the more I’m enjoying our performances and the less I’m enjoying everything else! It’s great to be involved with a festival like Mammothfest and to be able to support the bands that we see doing really well in several different scenes. I’ve done a lot of work backstage at various festivals over the last few years and while MF is small, they’re a passionate, no-BS bunch and this year’s line-up is absolutely cracking.
How did the Mammoth Fest job come about?

I knew Rich (who runs The Origin Agency) as he manages our good friends in King Leviathan, and via them mentioning us to Steve and the Mammothfest Warm-Up tour last year, we were asked to play last year’s festival. It was a great time and I got on so well with the team. They booked us for this year a couple of days after last years show and contacted me about joining the team too, as they didn’t have a dedicated ‘Stoner/Doom’ person, which I apparently qualify for! It’s been really cool getting to put together the line-up for this year but frustrating when I had a list of 40 perfect bands and 12 available slots!

Thank’s for that Brady, i look forward to seeing you in various venues around the country this year, i promise i will buy a Conjurer t-shirt next time i see you!!!
GO AND SEE CONJURER AT THE FOLLOWING SHOWS:
 
Thursday 18th February – The Lughole, Sheffield w/ Slabdragger / OHHMS
Friday 26th February – Bad Apples, Leeds w/ Garganjua
Saturday 27th February – The Old Angel, Nottingham w/ Garganjua
 
Thursday 3rd March – The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton w/ Garganjua
Friday 4th March – The Anvil, Bournemouth w/ Garganjua
Saturday 5th March – The Star And Garter, Manchester (Tombstone All-Dayer)
Sunday 6th March – Firebug, Leicester w/ Garganjua
Friday 8th April – Leeds Eiger Studios w/ Winterfylleth / Soar / Mountains Crave (Ritual Fest Pre Show)
 
Friday 13th May – The Rainbow, Birmingham w/ Oathbreaker / Opium Lord (Cheap tickets available direct from us!)
 
Sunday 2nd October – The Green Door Store, Brighton w/ Conan / Bast (Mammothfest)

PAUL’S TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2015

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  1. GENTLEMANS PISTOLS – Hustler’s Row (Nuclear Blast)

Never heard of these guys before but was intrigued because of the Carcass link with Bill Steer playing for ‘em. But on first play I found it almost irritatingly generic but then a few weeks later I gave it another spin and the hooks fell into place. Third play in and I got it, loved it and will defo not be selling it on. Maybe I felt negative to begin with because I’d just heard how bad Black Pussy were and I really wasn’t getting on with the new Kadavar LP either so I was on a retro downer perhaps. Either way I am glad I stuck with it.

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  1. WEEDPECKER – II (Pink Tank Records)

That fucking name. I hated it. HATED IT. Then I put on the record and was utterly blown away. And then the name didn’t matter anymore. And you know what? I now like the name. It’s part of the package. Weedpecker sound how I want Hawkwind to sound.

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  1. Employed To Serve – Greyer Than You Remember (Holy Roar Records)

The other day I was talking to someone about ETS and they mentioned BOTCH. I hadn’t even thought of them in that way but that comparison totally makes sense. They are a band with one foot in the hardcore scene and then one foot shooting off in any direction it damn well pleases. Like a demented game of Twister. I’ve been listening to this all bloody year and I am still not bored. With the progression from the last record to this one being utterly MASSIVE. Who knows what they have prepared next for us. I can’t wait.

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  1. FAITH NO MORE So Invictus (Reclamation!/Ipecac)     This is another one I didn’t like at first but the songs just got better and better with each listen. A few fillers though, stopped it being anything like a classic. I don’t think ‘Sunny Side Up’ is really about cooking eggs but I like to think it is. They should do more egg songs.

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  1. KILLER BOOGIE – Detroit (Heavy Psych Sounds)

From the name I was expecting like an early AC/DC or Status Quo type deal and was well into that idea but instead I got a killer little stoner rock LP which is pretty fast paced with a wonderfully fuzzed out guitar tone, doesn’t hurt that they chorus’ stick in your head for weeks either….

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  1. CATTLE DECAPITATION – The Anthropocene Extinction (Metal Blade)

The ‘clean’ vocals are the key here. I never expected that I’d be humming a Cattle Decapitation record at work whilst filing some crap away or what not but it happened. I was really surprised this album didn’t break them into the pages of like maybe Rock Sound on a regular basis either. I know they aren’t a small band by any means but they should be HUGE. I’d rather see their crazy vegan mugs than All Time Low’s anyday.

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  1. Marriages – Salome (Sargent House)

My mate’s band got to play with this lot at some festival in France this year and I was well jealous. It was right when I was getting hooked into ‘Salome’. It’s pretty lightweight and reliant on some 80s shoegaze tricks but it’s got it’s own suave way about it. Once again…. KILLER CHORUS after KILLER CHORUS.

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  1. My Sleeping Karma – Moksha (Napalm Records)

For me it the greatness of Moksha is the interlude tracks. They are perfect. Not that the main songs are not strong. They are… but what normally comes across as filler and fluff really made this record stand out in an ocean of soundalike trippy stoner rock clones this year. This is another record I’ve listened to for months on end and have yet to grow tired of it.

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  1. GHOST – Meliora (Republic Records)

I like their weak metal sound. Not many of my mates do but it appeals to me, reminds me of 70s rock. Nothing wrong with that. I like the image. None of that would matter though if they had released another stinker of an album like their previous effort so good job, pantomime classic rock dudes.

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  1. THE MOTH – And Then Rise (This Charming Man Records)

When I was booking a tour for the band I sing in at the beginning of 2015 I was listening to this a lot. So I asked them if they wanted to join us and was over the moon when they said yes. We ended up playing four shows together and had a killer time. What I love about them is the male female vocals that neither harmonize or seem to belong together, it makes the whole thing sound a little bit evil and off kilter and naughty. Those naughty Germans.

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  1. ELDER – Lore (Stickman Records)

Talking of my band (I do that a lot); we get to play in Portugal with this lot next year. I was already well into this record when I got the news so I couldn’t have been happier, it’s been that kind of pinch myself year…Anyways… this is a slow burn of a record… a bit like electric Wizard was for me last year. But a few listens in I got what all the fuss is about…. A couple of people I have spoken to about Elder have suggested I check out their debut which is apparently better than this one… Are you kiddin?

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  1. SLEATER KINNEY – No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

I really wanted to not like this just because ever other fucker does but there is no denying it’s a truly great rock record. I prefer The Woods, their last record which they released back in 2005 but this is my 2nd fave in their rather incredible back catalogue. Damn you. Double Damn you.

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  1. Tribulation – Children of the night (Century Media)

I have a weak Tribulation story that nobody else knows. My rather splendid pop group OHHMS played with Tribulation at TEMPLES FESTIVAL this year and I bumped in to a fully costumed Johannes Andersson on the backstage area stairs and said “Alright chap?”; he replied ‘Yes, Have a good show’ which would have been nice except for the fact that we had already played. This magical encounter made me buy their record the following week and I am very glad I did. It contains some of the best trad metal playing that I have heard in many years.

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  1. ROLO TOMASSI Grievances (Holy Roar)

When those lovely chaps that now occupy space in the popular beat combo Body Hound left Rolo Tomasso a few years back I was all excited to hear how it would influence the parent bands dynamic on stage and sound on record but even though the resulting live shows and recordings were passable they didn’t give me that same buzz that those earlier times did. I pretty much gave up on them and thought that would be that. Just like an ex girl we had our time and it’s probably best now that we move on….

Then something odd happened. Once again at Temples Festival I had some spare cash and bought a handful of records of which Grievances was one. Of all the records I bought that day this was the one that really blew me away. I remember interviewing James a few years back and I asked him could he ever envision his sister Eva singing rather than screaming on their records. He said that it was doubtful but he couldn’t rule it out. Well I for one am glad he didn’t because she sings all over this beast, and screams and shouts and gives the performance of a lifetime. But that’s not even the highlight. The adventurous musicality is still there but it’s truly focused this time. Putting this on really runs you through the mill. It’s exhausting. A career best so far for them in my eyes.

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  1. Blur – The Magic Whip (Parlophone)

Didn’t wanna put this so high in my chart just because it’s blur but I really enjoyed it. I like a lot of indie rock but wasn’t really connected to the indie rock underground this year. But a few mainstream bits found their way on my radar and this was class. Very, very addictive like Haloumi cheese. BLUR FACT: My father in law has a best friend who makes curtains for a living called Murray. Murrray was commissioned by Graham Coxon to make him some curtains and when I asked him, Murray said he thought Graham was a little bit grumpy and took ages to pay. What a story right? That’s even better than my Trabulation fact. FACT!

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  1. Myrkur – M (Relapse)

I don’t particularly dig black metal, except for the 1st wave and maybe early Ulver and a bit of Mayhem but I like this a lot so I reckon it can’t be very black metal because of that fact. I’ll be going to see Myrkur in London next year with Deafheaven and see what all the fuss is about and reserve any judgement until then but I will say that I truly enjoyed the hell out of this record in 2015. That should be all that matters right?

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  1. ROSE WINDOWS – s/t (Sub Pop)

The first mini album thing was so so, but this debut full length was outstanding. Sub Pop must be furious with them though because on the eve of the album’s release they went and split up. Just like that. A crappy generic facebook message and then no tour support no interviews just nothing.

CUNTS. But awesome cunts.

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  1. OLD MAN LIZARD – S/T (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)

Are you kidding me, how is this not on everyone’s list?… They need to be… OHHMS have had the opportunity to play with this lot 3 or 4 times this year and as well as being sound blokes they have released a record here that has honestly soundtracked the majority of 2015 for me. Easily my favourite UK record this year. Hooks all over the shop and singer Jackie Suffolk has such a killer voice. This is the very essence of a belter.

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  1. BLACK BREATH – Slaves Beyond Death (Southern Lord Recordings)

I seem to recall along with the bands clear love of thrash that Black Breath had a bit of that crusty metal sound going on with their previous albums. Well that is nowhere to be seen here. What you get is one of the best thrash albums ever released outside of the big four. Sure there are Metallica-isms here and there but they only pilfered the very best bits of the first 4 albums so that lays okay with me.

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  1. GRUESOME – Savage Land (Relapse Records)

From what I can gather the point of this band is to emulate Death circa ‘Leprosy’ as no one was doing it right. Luckily ‘Leprosy’ is one of my favourite albums of all time so if they could pull it off then they were clearly onto a winner with me anyways. Well Gruesome not only do it right but just kill it from beginning to end on this LP. So far this album has been criminally overlooked in the end of year polls just like Old Man Lizard have, maybe because people just don’t take them seriously. But I love this and I haven’t stopped listening since I bought a copy in May.

Top 20. DONE.

Paul’s Top 10 Movies of 2015

Mostly I Just watch old crap but i like to keep up you know, sometimes there is gold amongst the rubble.

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  1. Area 51

This one does what it says on the tin, a found footage romp through Area 51. It’s well paced and terribly acted. What more could you want?

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  1. We Are Still Here

Why do I like this? it’s just a haunted house twist movie but it’s well written and I liked the characters and the crusty burned fire FX have stayed with me. Well played Ted Geoghegan. After your involvement in the turd that was ABCs of Death 2 I feared the worst. Consider yourself redeemed.

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  1. Circle

I thought at first this was gonna be a Cube clone when I saw the thing advertised on Netflix but although it didn’t reach that movies heights it still has a lot to offer. There is a lot of talking and I would have loved a screenwriter with Tarantino’s chops to have worked on the script but still I love the idea and it was a great watch except the alarm that happens every couple of minutes freaked out my dog.

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  1. The Martian

Maybe the only criticism with this is that it was over long and some of the editing was weak but then a movie with isolation being a core theme maybe the usually solid Pietro Scalia didn’t have a lot to work with I dunno… Still it made me laugh once and wince a couple of times. Plus I like Matt Damon’s face.

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  1. The Visit

I keep giving that twozzok M Night Shyamalan chances, I thought he might have been on an upward spiral again after the average but not complete shit Devil back in 2010 but then he did After Earth. After Fucking Earth???? Still I watch every horror or sci-fi or wierdo flick I can and this was actually rather bloody great. The rapping kid got a lot of stick in the reviews but I could deal with that. News is that he is working on a new film now called Split which is gonna be more of a thriller… I won’t hold my breath…

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  1. Ex_Machina

This was a good looking film, from the locations to the cast it was clean and glossy and all the things I usually hate about modern day cinema except in this case the story was really well written by Alex Garland who also directed. He also wrote the screenplay for the excellent 28 Days Later over a decade ago but I dunno what he has done since… I think I’ll check this guy out… I watched this a couple of times. And it got even better on watch number 2. That’s a rare treat.

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  1. Human Centipede: The Final Sequence

I can take or leave the first couple of Centipede movies but this one is a stone cold classic in my eyes. The whole thing revolves around the incredible performance of Dieter Laser. The guy gives the most OTT acting class that has ever graced my TV set. Absolutely fucking Nuts. Bravo.

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  1. Digging up The Marrow

I don’t rate Adam Green much at all, Frozen was pretty cool (ha… get it, yeah I went there, right there, boom!) but Hatchet was average and his segment on the otherwise excellent Chillerama a few years back was the worst one. I even tried to watch his TV series Holliston or whatever he called it and that too was pants…. Then the guy makes this quite brilliant movie. It has the same feel as Troll Hunter did. You know, it shouldn’t be as good as it is but for some reason everything just works. Plus it’s creepy, it actually does creepy right… yeah if you haven’t seen it then you must. YOU MUST.

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  1. It Follows

This would have beaten Star Wars if only they had thought of something better for the final act… That swimming pool scene could have been taken directly from say, A nightmare On Elm Street 4 or something… It’s better than that but not much. Still, apart from that it’s a near perfect horror with incredible cinematography and an already classic score.

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  1. STAR WARS: The Force Awakens

A film with more coincidences and nods and winks than any number one movie should have but it doesn’t matter one bit. This was a ripper and I want to see it again…. And again….JJ’s best since Lost.

DANN 0))) Top 10 of 2015

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One: DEAFHEAVEN – New Bermuda

I have a problem. For some reason when I fall in love with a band, as I did with Deafheaven and Sunbather in 2013, I always find it really hard to like anything a band does after the album i initially fall in love with. For example: love blood sugar sex magic, don’t like one hot minute, love  Banes Give Blood, couldn’t get in to The Note, the list goes on forever. It is only very rarely that I like a bands album that comes out after the one that got me in to them. New Bermuda however is one of those special records that goes against that trend. It’s different enough from Sunbather for me to be interesting and fresh, but still walks a similar path. Awesome riffs and solos, brutal vocals. Best LP of the year for me, and, I finally get to see them in March 2016 after missing them soooo many times over the last couple of years.

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Two: IRON MAIDEN – The Book of Souls

It’s the same with mynumber one choice, this thing about not liking anything a band does after the album that gets me in to them… Well I got in to Maiden when No Prayer had just come out, loved it and bought all the other albums, loved ‘em all, first band I ever truly loved and they set me on the path I walk today. I clearly remember putting on Fear of The Dark and being gutted. Everything after that seemed to get even worse for me, don’t even bring up the Blaze years, I was embarrassed by Iron Maiden at that point. I saw them a couple of times over the years, but only really to see them play the old songs. Then Book of Souls came along. I had read a bit about it in the press and it seemed interesting but I didn’t get my hopes in the slightest that it would be any good. When it came out I bought it on a whim not really expecting anything and I really enjoyed it. It almost felt like I had discovered a new band. Awesome riffs from three guitars, Bruce on top form, long ass songs, what more could you ask for??

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Three: OHHMS – Cold

A wise man once told me if you don’t love your own band, no one else will. I’m proud of this OHHMS release in particular because it has the first song I have written and recorded in many years on it. I think the production by my good friend Ian Saddler is awesome and my hetro life mate Paul Waller’s vocals are the best he has ever recorded! I get tingles every time I listen to it. If you think it’s wrong of me to choose my own band I’m really sorry about that, but it’s just the way I feel.

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Four: OLD MAN LIZARD – Old Man Lizard

A lot of guitarists in the doom/stoner scene like to talk about how awesome their guitar tone is when really it’s just a bunch of fuzz that sounds like the next guy. Jack however has real tone by the bucket load! Both on this record and live he sounds like a absolute monster, real deep smooth sounds, creamy and rich, groovy and heavy as heck, yet clear and bright at the same time. This gets a listen on the way to work at least once a week.

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Five: EMPLOYED TO SERVE – Greyer Than You Remember

I have been a fan of Employed To Serve since the first time I saw them a year or so ago. Their first EP Change Nothing was a solid effort, but this year’s Greyer Than You Remember blows it clear out of the water. It’s an absolutely thrilling visceral noise attack that doesn’t stop kicking you in the face for a second. It’s been a long time since a band playing this type of music have blown me away with an album, usually the riffs with this sort of music disappear in to the mix and become lost and un memorable, but this is clear, sharp and precise. I also like their pictures on Facebook.

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Six: GREENHORN- Like Rows of Crooked Teeth

Another awesome UK band, I was first introduced to them when I was lucky enough to play with them down in Southampton. Instantly blown away by the cool guitar tone and Simons voice. The album reflects this as well. Funny story, Paul and were driving along giving it a listen shortly after playing with them, we both commented on how much Simon sounded like he was trying to rip off Conans vocals at some points. It wasn’t until we were chatting with Jon from Conan a couple of months later that it turned out it was actually him singing on the album and that they had recorded it at Skyhammer studios which is owned by Jon. #doeshecountasarockstarfriend?

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Seven: MYRKUR – M

One Danish woman’s Brutal and beautiful black metal vision. Haunting vocals sheets of caustic guitars, blast beats. Can’t wait to see them with Deafheaven in 2016.

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Eight: CONAN – Live At Bannermans

Late addition to the list as I left the record on the back seat of my car for a few months by accident. I’ve only heard it through a couple of times, but it captures Conans live sound very well. If you are a fan of Conan this is a must have, but it’s  limited to 200 copies on swamp green vinyl so if you don’t have it already it’s probably tough shit!

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Nine: WILL HAVEN – Open the Mind to Discomfort

Again another older band coming back and blowing me away after many (to me) disappointing releases. I enjoy the atmospheric A B C and D parts as much as I enjoy the songs themselves. I only got to see Will Haven once when they were supporting the Deftones many years ago, I will definitely going to be seeing them again next time I get a chance.

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Ten: WINTERFYLLETH – The Rising of the Winter Full Moon

This is a collection of demos and acoustic tracks from the Manchester based black metal outfit, I like the music……