Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Interview with Lords Of Bastard

We haven't featured today's guests on the blog before. I don't know why as they are a brilliant heavy psychedelic loud as fuck Sludge Metal band who play by their own rules.

Their 2012 2nd album – Cuddles – is a loud as hell musical odyssey with bone crunching riffs to rock your soul to. I finally got to see them live in action in Newcastle at the recent Doomsday 3 All-Dayer in Newcastle in August 2014 and they played a stunning 40 minute set which had the audience begging for more.

I sent this interview off to the band shortly after that but a lot has happened with Lords Of Bastard. A member has left and a couple new members have joined in return. So lets see what Lords Of Bastard have to say to us here at Sludgelord HQ

Q1 – Hi all. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you today.

Mike - Hi, thanks for asking us. I'm good thanks. So far.

Tam - Yes.

Lords of Bastard (2008) cover art

Q2 - Can you tell our readers a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today

Mike - Well, firstly, apologies for taking like 6 months or so to get back to you. Pretty much right after you got in touch we parted ways with our bass player Chris, which led to another hold up for us unfortunately. We're finally getting our shit together again now though, and have a new bass player, Frazer from another local band, "Firebrand Super Rock" who split up recently.

As well as long time friend of ours, Louise who is now playing keys for us. The addition of the Rhodes piano is probably the most noticeable change since the band started though. The stop/start thing is deeply frustrating cause we're always writing new stuff, but it's led to a pretty strong line-up now I think.

Q3 – How would yourselves describe your music as you have a lot of different sounds going on.

Mike - Haha, I never really know how to answer that, to me it's just a heavy rock band, a bit psychedelic maybe. I don't mind people calling it whatever though. I guess if I had to pick a word to describe it, weird or awkward, but that just seems to happen with what we think is fairly straight forward at the time.

Tam - Loud most of the time, with the occasional quite bit. Then loud again. Or just loud all the way through. Having the rhodes is great for the sinister 70s vibe and quiter parts. And just adds another bit of beef to the riffs.

Q4 – Why the hell did you choose the name Lords Of Bastard for your band. Any particular meaning behind this.

Mike - Was initially just a bit of a pisstake at some of the kind of 'metal' band names, and the tendency for some bands to try and sound as if they're some big, scary evil thing. Particularly the whole male-dominated, bone headed side of things, just seems a bit silly to me to see grown adults acting tough about songs, or something. Although it's probably easy to look at our name and think we're some death metal band or something. So it serves us right for trying to be funny and clever.

Q5 – Does your name cause you any trouble in getting gigs as such.

Mike - I would hope not, but I guess there's always potential for that kind of bullshit when dealing with the humans isn't there? Like I said though, it would be our fault if that was the case for trying to be funny with a stupid name. Maybe that's why Jay-Z isn't getting back to us?

Tam - No, not so far. But, if it hadn't been for the band name we'd SURELY be world famous sludge-metal stars by now! Think the band name sometimes draws more of an interest than the music, or, at least is intriguing enough for some people to check us out

Cuddles (2012) cover art

Q6 – You released your 2nd album – Cuddles back in 2012. What a fantastic album that is. It's a real fave of mine at Sludgelord HQ. Was that an easy or hard album to record.

Mike - Thanks very much man, greatly appreciated. I think it was pretty straightforward, recording wise it was mostly live and we had the pleasure of recording at our good friend's studio, Chambers Studio in Edinburgh, so there didn't feel like there was any pressure or anything. As far as writing goes all that stuff was written over a fairly long period of time so it was all pretty familiar when it came to recording.

Tam - Glad you like it! We did the bass and drums together live in a day and a half. Then the other, less important instruments. Was all pretty easy. Would love to be able to have more time experimenting with different things in the studio. Unfortunately, it's just not possible on our budget, but, it get's better each time we do a recording. If there's always an improvement in 'song' writing and recordings you've gotta be satisfied with that.

Q7 – It is a very dark and twisted album at times. Was that your intention to release something that dark.

Mike - Not intentional no, our stuff just always seems to end up that way.

Tam - Not really, think we just prefer sound of the 'horror notes' more than the happy ones!

Q8 – What influenced you when recording the album.

Mike - We all have a pretty wide range of tastes and influences, personally I cant really remember what was going on during that time, but I would say I spend as much time listening to old soul music and hip hop as I do rock or metal stuff.

Tam - Anything and everything that I was listening to at the time. Was listening to a lot of 'heavy rock', metal, jazz, prog and general weird bands. Definitely think it's healthy to listen to a wide variety of music for inspiration. Like most music fans I would just get bored. Plus, from the perspective of someone who plays in a band it just helps keep it interesting and fun.

Q9 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Mike - I usually write most of the demo stuff at home just with a drum machine, Tam helps out writing a lot of the keys parts and is pretty good with melodies and ideas in general. Then songs just mostly take their own shape once we all start messing about with them at practice.

Tam - Yup, Mike and I usually have a rough demo version of a tune before we try it in practice. It's hard enough getting the 4 of us in the same room on a regular basis so it has to be like that to ever get anything done.

Q10 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians. Any particular band or album stand out that influenced you to become a musician.

Mike - In rock music, probably all the obvious ones, Led zep, Metallica etc. My dad is a big blues fan so he was playing cool stuff when I was growing up, a lot of Jimi, who's definitely a big influence. I've still got tapes that remember nicking from my dad's tape draw; Al Green and Abraxas by Santana. Nirvana was definitely a big one for me when I saw it was just three normal looking nerdy guys, not typical rock star types and all that shit.

Tam - Was all about John Bonham to begin with. Which I'm sure 99% of drummers would agree with! Listened to a lot of 70s stuff when I first started playing. All the usual suspects. Led Zep, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Hendrix. And the more modern favourites were Dave Grohl, Brad Wilk and Jon Theodore. Remember playing along (trying anyway) to Songs For The Deaf, all the Rage albums and the first Mars Volta album.

Q11 - What is your musical set-up when playing live or recording your music. Any hints and tips would you like to give to the budding musicians out there.

Mike - Don't worry about gear-trends, it's never-ending. Just get anything that you like the sound of, that's loud enough for what you want to do.

Q12 – Do you play many gigs in your home town of Edinburgh. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly. Though I know you have a few gigs around the UK coming up.

Mike - I love playing in Edinburgh, there's some really cool venues, but it's small so probably best to not be playing all the time. No one wants to hear us that often anyway probably!
We'd definitely like to play more dates in England, or absolutely anywhere that will have us, we're always up for travelling. Newcastle is definitely a favourite place of ours to play, some quality peoples down there!

Tam - It's always good playing Edinburgh and seeing the few folks you know at local gigs who genuinely like your band. But not much point in playing in the same place anymore than once every couple of months. It's always good playing in Newcastle, especially the last one down there with Druganaut, Sapien and Karma To Burn at the Cluny.

Q13 – If you could give any advice to someone wanting to start a band. What would it be.

Mike - Find a band you like who has done something really well, then do an exact copy of that, no one will know, or care.

Tam - Do it with people who are into it as much as you.

Q14 – What is the current Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene in Scotland actually like. There are tons of great bands starting to gain attention. Or do you just focus on doing your own thing.

Mike - Hmmmm..... There's some awesome people for sure, and some really good bands but I don't really know about a 'scene' as such. Folk will probably say there is one but it's all kind of fragmented for such a small place, and in my experience scenes always tend to involve the same bullshit no matter the place or genre.

Q15 – This is a question I always wanted to ask you. Why did you call your 2012 album – Cuddles. As it's anything but Cuddly. Love the album cover.

Mike - Ha, I think that's probably why. Again, I just prefer things like that to more typical 'metal' type things. I think metal can get really silly and juvenile when it gets taken so seriously, although there are people/bands who pull it off for sure.

Q16 – What are the future plans for Lords Of Bastard in the next 12 months or so. Any new albums or EP's in pipeline. Anything you like to share with us at Sludgelord HQ.

Mike - We have a new EP recorded called "I'm Fun", which is currently being pressed to 10" coloured vinyl and hopefully should be out in the next month or so. It's pretty short, two new songs, two versions of older songs, but it's just something to go out before the next album.

Q17 – The last thing before you go, Do you have anything else to say to your fans.

Mike - Have a great time. Be both really serious, and really sarcastic all the time, then people will understand you more easily?

Thanks for doing this interview – Lords Of Bastard. All the best for your future tours and hopefully new album(s).

Mike - Thank you man, genuinely appreciate the support to the highest possible level.

Thanks to Lords Of Bastard for doing this interview. Check out this great band if you haven't done so already.

Words by Steve Howe and Lords Of Bastard

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