Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf consists of me on bass and vocals plus my friend Eric Vogt on drums. I’m also the bassist for the classic thrash band Hallows Eve, who is inactive at this time. So I decided to get up and do some different stuff! Amonst several projects I decided it would be fun to just strip it don to me with a drum accompaniment. II have admit, I was a little apprehensive at first, but then got so much positive response I decide to keep doing it awhile.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Very heavy and very raw. I did some crazy shit in the studio to record this thing. For one thing we actually did record it loud as possible. The decibel meter was hitting about 108 which is totally unnecessary, but that was half the fun of it! I wanted to get that real roar, that real live sound I can make on a bass that gets covered a lot in most recordings I’ve been on. Also we straight up recorded each song only 3 times and took the best one. So all the mistakes are there and that’s how we wanted it. Very real. Please turn it up when you’re listening to it or you’re not getting the full thing! The vocals I did sit down to do and they’re definitely produced, but I did some odd shit with them as well.
3.On the album you have the bass guitar as the lead instrument, what was the decision behind not using any regular guitars?
I just didn’t hear it as needed. These songs needed a beat, a melodic passage, and some vocals to talk about it. That’s all. Simple minimalism. Plus it’s kind of a dig to my guitar friends to say, see, guitar can be done without. I love guitar! But not always important. What really matters is the song and atmosphere. People forget about who did it one day, but a real good song is remembered.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Some people ask me what the hell are you talking about in your songs?! Most of it is about something personal and real to me. I can explain each line. There is one song called Horrorshow which is my doom redo of an old Hallows Eve song I wrote from Tales of Terror. It was about my disillusionment as I grew from a boy to man. Another is With Darkened Eyes which I refer to as possibly the only doom metal love song ever written. It’s about the passing death of one lover to the awakening of a new one. And that happened to me so, again, for me it’s real.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dyerwulf'?
Nothing cryptic. I rleeased a solo album under the name Tommy Stewart. Apparently my name is so common I needed to alter something so people could find me. I’ma Game of Thrones fan. So there ya go! This project is my direwulf. My companion.
6.You have a musical history that goes back to the mid 70's, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 40 years?
I just have nothing better to do. Seriously. I’m sure I would be dead or in jail if I didn’t be obsessed with my music projects till the day I can’t do it anymore. I care very little for much in the world. Some small close family, art, music matters to me. That’s about it. I’m not meant to do other things. I think this is meant to be m mission. I don’t know why, but I know to do it.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
At this time we have only played 6 shows I think. We are quite new as a band. Of course I’ve played a lot of shows in forty years, but these few shows have had tremendous response. People have been over the top nice and encouraging to us after the shows.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Yes! I am booking some US dates right now, today, for some Bludy Gyres and Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf shows in the north Midwest in September. I’m going to also be working up more fall dates, mainly for the US east coast, but also applying to all the European festivals. That’s where I really want to be.
9.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you choose to remain a duo?
Who knows? I try to be open minded and color outside the lines. We did have 2 drummers at one of our shows just for fun. Right now we’re planning on a doing a second album as is, but maybe something will be different later.
10.On the album you had done a cover of The Monkees 'Porpoise Song', what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
Ah. This is very personal. I’ll tell it in a short way. This was a favorite song of my wife who passed away in 2010. One day I was singing it to her container of ashes and I suddenly felt I was singing it with much enough passion that perhaps I should record it. The best music, to me as an artist, is that which is truly felt as you play it.
11.The new album was released on 'Soman Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
It’s in France and run by Mister Eric Ruether! I liked the deal which seemed to be a good deal for our goals at this time. I liked his ideals about the package and passion of the music is more important than the money.
12.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?
So far, we are hearing that fans of doom metal should hear this, we’re getting the thumbs up, good, good. I’m glad because that’s who I made it for. I don’t expect everyone to like such a specialty sound as roaring basses and tribal drums with some guy, that’s me, hollering about fools and the breast of death and so on. If your waiting for the guitar sound like a cat screaming when his tail is stepped on, it’s not there. This is all very aggressive bass and played with abandonment.
13.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
Ah ha! Now, on the other hand I’m also in Bludy Gyres which has a new album out called Echoes of a Distant Scream. It is also doom metal, but more in the vein of Solitude Aeturnus or Candlemas. More rich and possibly the main signature sound is the two harmony guitars at work. This band is the opposite of the other. I also produced this one, but it’s done meticulously, 164 hours of editing, nothing live about it, very studio, lush and precise. A little outside the box, unique, but well thought out.
14.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I don’t know! I have been doing more producing. I just produced an album for a band called Malviant. I have a studio I call Blue Ogre noise Lab. I’ve worked on six albums this year. I’m also toying with the idea of starting my own small label. I’v also thought of doing an album with guests only on it. Sort of the same idea as the old Probot, but different music. We’ll see!
15.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I really listen to a lot of of doom such as Electric Wizard. In daily listening while cleaning the studio for instance, I might have on some super old Pink Floyd or probably some friend’s album.
16.What are some of your non musical interests?
Tough. I do like to go on adventures with my close family. I just got back from staying in the French Quarter in New Orleans for a week. Our family has a condo there so we go occasionally and soak up the atmosphere. I’m fully attending 70000 Tons of Metal in 2018. So I guess you could say I like to travel. I spent about a week in Yellowstone that was awesome and involved a lot of hiking. I’m ready to go anyday, let’s go somewhere!
17.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I’d say that I really do appreciate the fans who have sent me good vibes about the dyerwulf album. And I appreciate the feedback of any kind! It really means a lot to me because this isn’t just another album for me. It’s a very personal album. So thanks to those who have been telling me they dig it.