Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Neon Warship – the excellent Stoner Metal band featuring Kevin Schindel and Matt Tackett from Post-Hardcore heroes- Twelve Tribes. Kevin is guitarist from amazing Sludge/Post-Metal band - Mouth Of The Architect.
Plus I must not forget Jay Bird as well who makes up the final member of this awesome Stoner Metal trio.
Neon Warship have just released their brilliant S/T début album which I recently raved about. If you haven't checked these guys out then your really missing out on a superb album.
Well the guys have kindly agreed an interview with me. So lets see what these cool Stoner Metallers have to say.
Q1 - Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you Today.
What’s up Steve! Things are good, except that we live in Ohio and it’s freezing and raining today.
Q2 - For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.
I had been looking for some people to start a new project with for quite awhile. I knew I wanted to start a band like this, but didn’t have anyone to jam with. Matt, my old partner in crime from Twelve Tribes, called me up one day to see if I was interested in getting together with him and our buddy JB. We got together and started riffing and recording. We immediately clicked.
Q3 - How would you describe your overall sound. As I would classify it as Stoner Metal with a hint of Hard Rock.
I would say that’s a good way to describe us. We wanted to play music that gave a nod to our Classic Rock forefathers. But, we’ve all been into heavier bands and wanted that sound too.
Q4 - Which bands and artists influenced you directly as musicians
For me, it’s such a wide spectrum. From my childhood until now, I’ve listened to and liked a lot of music. I’d probably start with some older bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath for their bluesy tones. Mix in a little of The Beatles and Pink Floyd for melodies and ambience. Then maybe a little old school metal like Judas Priest and Testament for their shredding solos. I also listen to newer bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Tool. I could definitely go on and on about stuff I like. Just depends on my mood.
Q5 - Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.
We all work full time jobs. We’d love for this to be our job, but it’s unfortunately not paying the bills. Someday… Maybe? It doesn’t matter if we make money, we’d still be doing the same thing.
Q6 - Are your family and friends supportive of your choice of career.
Yeah, I guess so. I think they have to be at this point. Ha! All of us have been playing music for awhile. I think after all these years, they finally understand that we love this and will do it for the rest of our lives. Don’t know if music will ever amount to much of real a career, but we are passionate about it and will continue to play.
Q7 - What was the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.
I write most of the riffs and lyrics, but it’s a collaboration between the three of us. I lay down the foundation and then Matt and JB add in their parts. We then jam those riffs, record them, and listen back. We’ve found that we do cool stuff by accident, or forget how to play things we liked. By recording practice, we catch a lot of spontaneous parts and then try to recreate them.
Q8 – How did you come up with the name – Neon Warship – does it mean anything to the band or anyone in general.
It’s was Matt’s idea. I think coming up with a band name is hard, but this one just seemed fitting. You can almost imagine what our band sounds like by hearing or seeing our name.
Q8 – Your new album is excellent. Full of great tunes to rock out to. Was it an easy album to write and record for.
Thanks Steve! We really appreciate that. I think the jamming part seemed easy and effortless to us. We were long time friends just getting together and catching up on the good old days. We all kind of knew what we wanted to do, but the writing process ended up being a little difficult. I think we had too many parts and were trying to do too much. Once we simplified a couple songs, we found our groove. We then figured out what worked for us and it allowed us to do more. The last two songs we wrote were Paralyzed and Burn the Breeze. They are the longest songs on the CD.
Q9 - Did the final result meet your original expectations.
Yeah, I think we accomplished what we were going for at the time. We had already played a couple of shows and just wanted to get something recorded for people to check out. It was every song we had at the time. Since then we have written a few more songs and have played them live. We’re going to start demoing some new stuff out soon in hopes to have a full length release this year.
Q10 – The album cover is very cool. Very psychedelic and more like an homage to bands from the 70s/80s. Who came up with the design for the cover. Will make an excellent T-Shirt.
It was a friend of ours, Mike Mcneal, who created the cover and logo. He pretty much captured the way we felt about the style and sound of the CD. He also designed a couple shirts for us that are just as cool. We hope to work again with him in the future.
Q11 – You have just released your album on BandCamp on Pay Now Deal. How important and helpful has BandCamp been to get your music across.
I find it to be very helpful. It’s has helped us get our music out to people without any label support. It’s free to download if you want, so check it out! But I think it has allowed people to listen to us when they may not have before. Hopefully they’re into it and want to pass it on to their friends.
Q12 – Will there be a physical release any time in the future.
We have copies that we sell at shows and we’ll eventually make it available to order online. We also hope to release it on vinyl at some point very soon.
Q13 - Do you guys perform lots of gigs in your home town or do you have to travel further a field.
We have played quite a few shows here at home and some in the surrounding cities. We’ve also done a few weekends and out of state shows. We hope to do a lot more this year!
Q14 – With most of you being involved with other bands, has this helped Neon Warship to gain that little bit more exposure.
Maybe a little... It’s a different style of music than any of our other bands. But the people that have heard it still seem to appreciate it.
Q15 – I only discovered your great band and album recently due to The Soda Shop reviewing it. Then I had to do my review. Has the blogging community been a big help at all yet. Though I think they will real soon. As your album is too good too ignore.
Thanks again! We are really proud parents of this child. I do think that it has helped us greatly. It’s giving us exposure to people that we would not have had otherwise. We fucking love it! Hopefully it continues to grow.
Q16 - What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?
I think it’s awesome. We appreciate blogs, such as Sludgelord, taking interest in our band. It’s sites like yours, where people can go to find new music. Don’t know how much mainstream attention we’ll get, but it’s nice to know that people will seek out music in other ways.
Q17 - What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal.
I listen to all kinds of different music. Rock, metal, and classic rock mostly. As for newer music, I’ve been getting into bands like Witchcraft, Graveyard, and Red Fang.
Q18 - What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.
Writing new music is the most rewarding thing to me. It’s when you come up with that riff or vocal part that just hits you so hard. The least rewarding part is when you get stuck in a rut and you just can’t seem to write anything interesting. It happens... I think it’s a part of being a musician. Once you get out of it, you tend to write some of the coolest parts. It’s a vicious cycle for me, but totally worth it.
Q19 – Can you give advice to bands/musicians who are thinking in starting their own Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal Band.
My advice is to jam and record. You never know what you might capture, or lose forever. Also, experiment with different parts and don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if you don’t like it, it’s worth a shot because it might lead to another idea.
Q20 – Do you have anything exciting plans within the next 12 months or so.
We’re going to be writing, recording, and playing as many shows as we can. We have some regional shows booked with more to come. Next week we’re going into the studio to demo some new songs with hopes of a full length release this year.
Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans.
To everyone who has checked out our CD and liked it, thank you! Let us know by liking us on Facebook and writing us. Hopefully we’ll play in a city near you soon!
Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best from Sludgelord. There you have it folks. A great interview from a great band that I can't recommend highly enough.
Check Neon Warship out now. You won't be sorry.