Interview with Soph Day – Vocalist / Guitarist of Alunah -
Extreme Underground MusicZine
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We haven’t yet recorded the new album, but we have recorded a couple of demo tracks from it for the label. We’re currently at the writing stage, and are due to record around summertime.
2.You have a new album coming out this year, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction it has taken and also how does it differ from your past recordings?
We now have a different bass player with Dan, and he has bought new ideas into the fold. Dan’s a great songwriter and bassist, so the bass will have a real crowning moment on the new album. The musical direction hasn’t differed that much since our second album White Hoarhound, we’re not trying to capture or force anything in particular, we’re writing what comes naturally to us. I’ll leave it up to the critics to decide on the difference, but I will say that the finished songs are definitely a lot more melancholic, and perhaps darker.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release will be exploring?
The main lyrical topic that runs throughout the album is that of England’s pagan and wiccan history, as well as the fascinating stories and meanings within the natural world. I m a bit obsessed with Yew Trees at the moment!
4.The band has covered a good amount of occult, pagan and mythology subjects over the years, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
I’ve been into mythology ever since my parents bought me a book about Greek myths and monsters when I was a child, I was fascinated by Medusa also! As I’ve gotten older I’ve just read more and more, and the more you read around these subjects, the more layers you uncover. I’m more interested in pagan subject matters nowadays, and I’m deeply interested in England’s rich occult history. Many holidays in Cornwall throughout my childhood and teens ignited my interest in witchcraft and Paganism; I have particularly strong memories of The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, reading about the magic of plants at the Eden Project, walking through Tintagel town and castle and visiting the many sacred stone sites throughout the county. I live fairly close to North Wales too, and Snowdonia makes you realise how powerful the earth actually is. I do yearn for a time when life was lived via the seasons, rather than the office clock.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I’m perhaps the wrong person to describe our performances; we just get up on stage, play our music and try and put on a good show for people. We don’t have gimmicks, we just play... loudly. For me personally, some of the best shows have been when we supported Fu Manchu in Birmingham, Saint Vitus in Birmingham, Paradise Lost in Wolverhampton, and when we toured Europe last year and played DesertFest Berlin, and Szczecin in Poland. All of these gigs we played exceptionally well and were buzzing for days, there was an immense energy from the crowds, and we had a great response from people.
6.What are the touring plans for the new album once it is released?
We’re doing a small English tour in May/June just to get us out of the studio and stop us going mad. Once the album is released, we’ll be doing a big European tour but that is currently in the early planning stages. We’re also doing various one off gigs throughout the year with the likes of Grand Magus, The Vintage Caravan, Windhand, Purson and The Monolith Cult. Gig information can be viewed at http://www.alunah.co.uk/gigs.html
7.Currently the band is signed to Napalm Records, do you feel this record label has done a lot of help when it comes to getting your music heard?
We only recently signed an album deal with Napalm in December 2013, so we are in the very early stages. However, we worked with them throughout 2013 after they re-released White Hoarhound on vinyl. They have been amazing in getting our music out to a wider audience, a lot of whom would never have heard of us without the label’s input. Those vinyls have now sold out, so we hope that our continued promotion has also done the label a small amount of good too. We don’t expect to sit around waiting for the label to work for us, it’s a mutual working relationship.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?
It took a while for “doom“ fans to understand us, but slowly over the years they have begun to warm to us. We’re seeing people at our gigs now who we know disliked us in the early days. We’ve always played music that we want to hear, and if other people enjoy it that’s a bonus. We try not to follow any niche, or try and latch onto a scene; we like to stand alone in what we do. We currently manage our own merchandise, and we make regular trips to the post office. Alunah packages go out to every corner of the world from Canada to Japan, and Russia to Australia so we’re definetly seeing a worldwide embrace.
9.Where do you see the band heading into music wise during the future?
I love bands/artists such as Wolf People, Rose Kemp. Jex Thoth, Portishead and Ahab – I love the dark, heavy, brooding beauty that these musicians evoke and I’d like to add more of that into the Alunah sound. I think we’re kind of doing that with the new album anyway.
10.Are any of the members involved with any other musical projects these days?
No not anymore, everyone concentrates on Alunah now.
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I’ve mentioned some of the bands I’m personally listening to. Looking through my recent listens, we have Ahab, Damien Rice, Santana, Black Sabbath, Opeth, Sahg, Purson, Goat, Jex Thoth, sHeavy, Wolf People, Monolith Cult, Pink Floyd, Bill Withers, Carcass, Jeff Buckley, Type O Negative, BB King and Rose Kemp. So yeah, a real eclectic mix of music. I wouldn’t say any of these directly influence Alunah, but it’s hard not to constantly listen to music without it having an influence. I’d like to ban everyone from listening to music whilst we write an album, but I don’t think I’d cope and the guys definetly wouldn’t go for it!
12.Do you have any non musical interests?
I a bit of a stereotypical girl in that I adore shopping, eating and drinking with family and friends! I also love exploring the countryside with my dog and husband, visiting castles and reading up on old things; antiques, history, bands, fashion, whatever - if it’s old I love it. The guys like their beer, a couple of them like football, Dan’s a castle / history nut like myself, Dave’s into his classic cars and he’s restoring a mini at the moment.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview, we really appreciate the support. Keep checking http://www.alunah.co.uk or http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom for updates regarding our activity.