The ‘Power-House Metal Boogie’ collective known as ‘GROAN’ are now a finely tuned five piece. We consist of the following personnel:
Mazzereth = Voice and moves
Mike Pilat = Axe
Jimmy Beedham = Axe
Leigh Jones = Bass
Zel Kaute = Drums
How would you describe the musical sound of the new EP and also how does it differ from previous material?
The sound of the Ride The Snake EP is saturated with what I called the ‘Chris West-Mike Pilat Sound’. Our Stoner elements are still very evident but Mike’s song writing has given the band a more Metallic edge. Chris West's work on mixing and producing the EP has given us a fresh and tasty BIG sound. You can tell that Chris West takes a lot of inspiration from the work of Mutt Lange.
What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new music explores?
In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In the University of Groan, the trivium consists of Historical Woe, Party and Fantasy. Ride The Snake is a continuation of these themes.
What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Groan?
The name Groan was chosen by our founding father and original guitarist, Dan Wainwright. Dan left us at the very end of last year. I believe that he managed to book a flight on a giant space mushroom, as he was seen orbiting Uranus. I do not know the reasons why he chose the name Groan.
What are some of the best show that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Desertfest 2013 was a blast, I’m not sure if we were on our best form but we gave a solid 5/10 performance. Between you and me, if we gave anything above a 5/10 performance then I would be concerned that we would turn people’s minds into shit. Our London date on our tour last year was also enjoyable, we dressed up as a monkey and three bananas, all the bands were encouraged to dress up, so that’s not our regular attire. The Groan live performance is very ‘HIGH NRG’, and this is usually done in attempt to mask our musical deficiencies. But as we mature as a band I think we’ll be more inclined to “LET THE MUSIC DO THE TALKING.”
Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yep, we are playing Hard Rock Hell on the 29th November, then a wedding the day after. This shows how Groan can adapt to ALL gig situations. We have a tour of the United Kingdom sorted for December (details can be found on our Facebook page) and we are putting together a tour of mainland Europe for early next year. Groan are coming.
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?
I get the impression that some DOOM fans think we are taking the piss, which we certainly are not. I guess some DOOM fans don’t want their DOOM to be PARTY DOOM, and that’s fine. We have found that there are plenty of DOOM fans that do like PARTY DOOM. These people want to get down with our vibe even though we are telling them that everything is fucked, I like that. “Hey, GROAN are telling us that we might as well give up as it’s all gone shit, but the that boogie riff is so fucking tasty, let’s get down with it.”
What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Jim plays in a million other bands, Mike has his own studio and plays in a Pantera cover band called ‘ShamterA’, Zel plays drums in a band called Vodun, Leigh is a big deal in the music business and I spend most my time trying not to mentally implode.
What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
The next album will follow the same direction as the latest EP, ‘Stoner Metal Boogie Power Sleaze Rock’. I was considering trying to write a concept album but then I realised that you need a certain level of intelligence and mind stamina to do that. So I have chucked that into the ‘nice idea, never going to happen’ pile.
What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
So, so many influences and not just rock and metal. That’s what I like about the Groan collective, we are not that conservative in our tastes. Leigh listens to some right old shit, but that’s up to him, that’s what he likes, I’m not going to take that away from him. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Classic Rock as I tend to have ‘Planet Rock Radio’ playing in the house when I’m pottering about, doing the washing up etc. I always have Iron Maiden and Church of Misery albums on my iPod. I can never tire of those two bands.
Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Speaking for myself (now there’s a surprise), I’m into History. I love reading about history and I love watching documentaries about history. I’m currently into historical novels. ‘Blessed is my Blade’ from our latest EP is influenced by the Saxon Series of books written by Bernard Cornwell. I’m also into clothes, so I’m basically a geek that also reads my girlfriends fashion magazines.
Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for thinking that we were are worthy enough for an interview. I would like to end with a quote by David Lee Roth that I think will empower your readers: “You stick your head above the crowd and attract attention and sometimes somebody will throw a rock at you. That's the territory. You buy the land, you get the Indians.”