So, the band has been going for around about two years but has taken a little time to gear up to its current point. Raza and Matt have been friends for a very long time and played together back in ’91. Unfortunately, they lost their original singer and guitarist in the first iteration of this project. Luckily, I was just wrapping up with my previous band so I was more than happy to join the band. We spent a long time writing and ceremoniously throwing songs away until we eventually need a new member of the band, so we asked Roland Scriver who also plays guitar in Serpent Venom to join. We played a few shows with him, including Desertfest 2016, but work and time constraints meant that he had to leave. This is when we brought Jamie into the fold, whom I had worked with previously many times. We’re pretty much joined at the hip. After this, we kind of got a good thing going and we managed to make it the finish line of releasing a record.
2.You have an album coming out this month, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
I think we all have a pretty universal idea of how we wanted this album to sound. We share a lot of musical influences whilst also having our own individual muses. However, I don’t think we ever chucked these in to the detriment of the sound.
We have always be interested in heavy dense music from early days of the genre to more contemporary influences. We all have great appreciation for bands such as Yob, Eagle Twin, Neurosis, Melvins, Sleep, High On Fire et al, and more classic band like Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin (of course). We still do try and make sure that we’re at least trying to progress the genre by using music that extends beyond metal.
For instance, given that we have a narrative concept behind the music, film scores make up a major influence on the direction of the song writing. Repeated phrases, themes and tones which tie into the story are integral to progression of the band’s sound. We may revisit a riff or theme on a future record should we feel these allows us to conjure up the right character or mood.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics can get a little complicated as I have around 5 albums worth of narrative and themes worked out already but I guess the major crux of the band is a message of hope. Given our sound, that can be quite a juxtaposition.
Basically, the lyrics behind the band follow a civilisation very close to our own which has abused their planet to the point of the no return; resulting in a complete collapse of society. Nations have been toppled – enveloped by the unforgiving oceans and reducing the populations back to primitive scavengers. Through mutual cooperation the remaining denizens of earth form a global community to build an underwater society based on egalitarian principles and eventually work towards leaving the planet altogether. However, not everyone embraces such notions. That's only part one!
The story is an incredibly personal thing and is not essential to enjoying what we do as a band. But if people dig it and want to come along for the ride I will be publishing something to go along with the records in the future.
4.I know that the bands name comes from Greek Mythology, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
To be honest, the name kind of floated about and stuck. I don’t think it really has much of an impact on the style of music that we play. However, the name does tie quite nicely into an aspect of the story.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We haven’t played a huge amount of shows thus far. We spent quite a lot of time focusing on creating this first album. However, we have had the absolute pleasure of being asked to tour with some great bands such as Orange Goblin and Mothership. What’s worth bearing in mind is that we play quite different music to those guys, so attempting to win over or at least get everyone on board with our sound can be quite a challenge. But so far people have been pretty supportive of having to sit through 15 minute long songs. We’re all pretty reserved and our music kind of reflects that, so when you have to go head to head with Orange Goblin who have one of the most enthusiastic front men in the world, it can be a little intimidating to say the least!
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Nothing set in stone currently. We’re hoping to make it over to Europe at some point in the early months of next year. I have a huge affection of touring on the continent, especially smaller D.I.Y spots. We have a couple of bands in mind but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, we hope to continue writing in order to maybe have a new split out at the end of the year and the follow up album around this time next year.
7.The new album is coming out on 'Ripple Music', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Ripple have been absolutely amazing. Such great guys to work with. Everything has run so smoothly and its down to their hard work ethic. They’ve taken a bit of risk releasing our record as Ripple tend to release more 70’s influenced Stoner rock but I hope the gamble has paid off.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?
So far it has been pretty good. We have had some shining reviews and some relatively lukewarm ones but not everyone is going to enjoy what we do. We try and make this music as personal as possible and that can sometimes be a little alienating but, hopefully, those that do enjoy it really get into what we offer.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’ve already discussed the trajectory for the new records. We want to progress both as a band on macro level as well as individual musicians. We’re getting into new music and sounds every day and that needs us to up our game. The first record was pretty droney and full of atmosphere – all elements of which we wish to retain – but we want to push beyond that now.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
It's so difficult to really boil it down to certain genres as I think we have a pretty eclectic and scattershot taste in music, especially as a whole band. I know I have spent the last couple of years listening to more blues and classical, as well as atmospheric black metal. Anything really where its not so much about writing a great riff but just as much emphasis is given to creating a powerful mood. This is something I hope we are able to reflect in our music.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
We are all pretty busy people, hence why this could not be a full time thing. Jamie, our guitarist, works as a cinematographer and has great interest and keen eye for visuals. He designed our record, as well as our T shirts. Having abilities which cross over into other aspects of the band gives us so much more control as to being as independent as possible and making every facet of the band reflect a defined vision. Raza and Matt are both parents of young children, so their downtime is spent with them.
I currently run a record distribution called Protagoras Collective which I'm hoping to fully expand into a full blown label at some point (once I save up enough money). Also, I have a huge interest in film and literature which goes someway to informing what is put into this project.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just to keep enjoying being creative as we have and hope to continue as such. Create as much art as possible and enjoy it in the process.