1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
1 - We are a four piece sludge metal band from the South suburbs of Chicago; one drummer, one bassist, and two guitarists/vocalists. We started jamming this project with this line up about a year ago, but all the members have known each other and jammed with each other on and off for the better part of the last 15 years. Three of us were in a band called Couldron several years ago. That band existed from around 2000 to about 2008.
2. How would you describe your musical sound?
2 - Honestly, we really don't know how to describe ourselves. We like to think we have our own unique style of course, and I'd say we definitely have an "old school" more traditional sound. We utilize elements of several different styles of metal, but we're pretty sure we fit somewhere within the doom and sludge sub-genres. We were actually hoping to get some feedback from others as to what we sound like but the only things we've heard so far are actually pretty eclectic. So far we've been compared to Carcass, Obituary, Sepultura, and even Primus by several people we know who've been listening to metal for a long time, and we take all of those comparisons as flattering compliments. But you have to keep in mind that it's all subjective and we understand completely that people are going to compare you with whoever they themselves are personally familiar with, and that's going to be different for every individual. Everyone seems to be content calling us "sludge metal" and we're fine with that. We welcome everyone's opinion of our sound because it's difficult for us to describe it ourselves.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3 - Our lyrics are inspired by the paranormal, misanthropy, depression, hallucinations, ancient people, ancient beliefs, rituals, religions, the end of the world, the book of revelation, the dark side of the books of the bible as well as the apocryphal books, legends, personal life experiences, world history, the evil, malevolent, and destructive nature of humanity, the subconscious, dream sequences, trial and tribulation, time travel, the occult, the afterlife, spirituality, mythical gods and beings, ancient astronaut theories, the wonders of the world, astral projection, the dark side of nature, plagues, death, mourning, awakening, and transformation.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
4 - It's taken directly from the last book of the bible, the book of revelation which is the one that describes how the world will end. The Pale Horseman is one of the four horseman of the apocalypse, he is the fourth and final one to be exact. Many books, movies, and songs have dealt with the same passages; the seven seals, the four horseman, the plagues, the final battle, etc. The first three horses were white, red, and black. Their riders carry different objects such as a bow, a crown, a scales and a sword, but they have no names. The fourth horseman is the only one who is given a name but carries nothing. The exact quote from the book is something like this: (Revelation 6:8) "Behold a pale horse. His rider's name was death. And hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with sword, with famine, with pestilence, and with the beasts of the earth." The whole story around that short passage is a pretty interesting read but in the same breath, we do not by any means endorse or condone christianity or any other religion. It's just one of the many belief systems that we find interesting, and having a band name that no one else has is important to us.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
5 - We always have a good time playing live, but our best show by far was actually our very first one which was June 10th 2012 at a venue called Mayne Stage located in Chicago's far North side. We had the honor of opening up for Japanese doom lords Church Of Misery and local favorites Earthen Grave. It was the last date of the Church Of Misery U.S. Tour 2012. For all the other dates that came before, it was a package tour with Hail!Hornet and The Gates Of Slumber. But for whatever reason, those other two bands didn't stick around for the Chicago show, and by the grace of the metal gods a blessing was bestowed upon Pale Horseman to step in and open the show. Mayne Stage is a venue that does not typically host metal shows. It's way up North in an upscale neighborhood. It's a large venue that had recently been remodeled and everything was shiny, new, and beautiful, even the restrooms. Out in front of the building they have a large colorfully lighted marquee where the advertisements scroll by. Inside there are all these big oak liquor bars and the wait staff was all dressed up like you were at the opera or something. The stage and the room itself were both huge with balconies everywhere. All the sound and stage hands were very professional and respectful. The sound was spectacular and everyone treated us very well. It was just a real classy place overall. I've been gigging in metal bands since the late 80s and I can honestly say that was the nicest venue I've ever played in my life. It was a once in a lifetime shot for a place of that caliber. I think the closest thing they've ever had to a metal show like that was having a Geoff Tate (from Queensryche) solo performance a couple weeks prior to the Church Of Misery show.
Another great show for us was one we just played on May 4th 2013 at a local bar in Blue Island, Illinois called The Forge. It was an outdoor show with six other awesome local bands - several of which are good friends of ours - and it was in this big beer garden they have there. The weather was beautiful that night and the sound was pretty damn good out there too. We just love the outdoors and whenever we play that close to home, many old friends who we never usually see come crawling out of the woodwork. We gave away a lot of CDs too. Good music, good friends, the outdoors, some beers, and a little money in our pockets. It was a pretty perfect night. As far as our stage presence, I would describe a Pale Horseman performance as energetic. We all go for it on stage and we get a lot of comments about it too so we know people are taking notice. We all feel and look like we just ran a marathon after our shows, and sore necks are always on the agenda for the following day.
6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
6 - We have three shows on the books right now: May 20th at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, June 29th at The Cactus Club in Milwaukee, and then July 27th we're playing Beard Metal Fest 2013 at Casa De Linda in Custer Park, Illinois. Eric and I are both attending Maryland Death Fest next week. I will also be going to Scion Rock Fest in Memphis the following week, and Days Of The Doomed Fest in Milwaukee in June. We plan on giving away a ton of our CDs at all these events.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or received any interest?
7 - Last week was the first time I had a chance to send a batch of CDs out to some labels. We haven't heard anything back yet but it's only been a few days. A label would be nice as far as having some help with money and advertising, but I wouldn't say we're aggressively seeking one out. We're just happy doing our thing, playing shows and writing music. We've all been doing this so long without any type of recognition or reward, we're just going to let the chips fall where they may. We're putting ourselves out there fairly well by ourselves, if someone wants to work with us, they'll contact us.
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge metal?
8 - People seem to dig it and they're spreading it around as well. So far a good portion of our downloads are going to Europe. We think we have a good solid album and it seems like people are taking notice. It's always a trip when we see links to our album download popping up on blogs from other countries in foreign languages.
9. Are there any other musical projects going on these days?
9 - No other projects right now. Chris and I are both married, Rich and Chris both have small children, and we all have homes and mortgages. We all spend most of our free time on Pale Horseman.
10.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
10 - We have already written one new song since making the debut album, and it's a crusher we're very proud of. I don't foresee any major changes coming on future releases. It will most likely just be slight variations of the same recipe.
11.What are some band or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11 - GODFLESH, Warhorse, Autopsy, Isis, Hooded Menace, Obituary, Neurosis, Sleep, The Melvins, Acid King, Carcass, Mare, Church Of Misery, Entombed. Eric and I do all of the songwriting and we both spent many years listening to thrash and death metal, but our favorite metal band of all will always be GODFLESH. Heavy, gloomy, anda rock solid crushing groove, that's what we're all about.
12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
12 - We all enjoy camping and the outdoors in general, and we go out boating regularly on the local rivers and lake. We also enjoy traveling. Mostly we just drink, smoke, and hang out wherever we go.
13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
3 - An interesting fact about our album is that it was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dennis Pleckham of the mighty Bongripper. He did an amazing job and was extremely affordable and super easy to work with. We think our album came out sounding great, especially for a one man production start to finish and we'd like to help him make more of a name for himself in the recording world if we can. We highly recommend him for any type of recording.
Other than that I would just like to say thank you for your time and interest, and plug our free album download at palehorseman.bandcamp.com