Saturday 4 August 2012

20 Questions w/ Moonless

Hello again, from the wonderful world of The Sludgelord.  Yes, it's 20 Questions time again and I think, but then again I'm biased, that we have an amazing interview for your delight today.  None other that up and coming Danish doomsters Moonless, who have been making waves all year, since the release of their astonishingly great and critically lauded debut record, Calling All Demons, which I reviewed back in early May this year. 

The album was also another triumph for the Czech label, Doomentia, who have released a number of stunning records this year.

I contacted the band awhile back now and Kenni (Vocals) and Hasse (Guitar) were very gracious with their time and were only to happy to talk to us.  So here is the interview in full.  Enjoy and I'll be posting further interviews over the coming weeks.  All the best and thanks for reading.  Aaron!

Live 2011

Hey Guys, I’m stoked that you agreed to talk me; it’s a real honour because you’re one of my favourite new bands.

Kenni: No problem. It would be arrogant not to answer a few questions

Hasse: no problemo dude!

For those people who are unfamiliar with your band, could you tell me a little bit about the history of the band? Where you're from, band members, when you formed?

Kasper: I play bass, Kenni does the vocals, Hasse is on guitar and Tommas sits behind the drums. Hasse and I founded the ground stones for this band back in 2006 or something, but it took a long long time to get it right. We went through two other drummers before Thomas joined, but when he came in the band we knew we had found the right guy. We then jammed around as a three piece, and at some point the rumors about a stoner rock band in Copenhagen who lacked a singer reached Kenni. He called me up the 1st of January 2009, still hazed out of his mind from last night’s hell raising and told me he was going to sing in our band... the rest is history, hehe

Kenni: I joined Moonless in January 2009. I live in Helsingoer. The rest of the band lives in Copenhagen

Is the band a full time project or do you have to work too?

Kenni:  We all have full time jobs. It's more or less impossible to live from playing this kind of music. Especially in Denmark.

How would you describe your sound?

Hasse: Rock music

Kasper: rock'n'roll worshipping stonerrock

Why did you decide upon the name Moonless?

Kenni: That is one of our few secrets. Well leave it up to our listeners to decide what to make out of it.

Is there a rock/metal scene in your hometown?

Hasse: I'm not sure I’d call it a “scene” as such... There are bands of course, but it’s not a scene where everybody knows each other and there’s metal concerts every weekend or stuff like that. Not that I’m aware of anyway. There is still some cool stuff happening once in a while though, like the heavy days in doomtown festival.

Kenni: I guess so. But it’s not huge. I don’t pay much attention to most of the Danish rock or metal bands. But we do have a few worth mention. Bottom Feeder (Hasse's other band) and Torchlight, but those are more like Sludge bands. Then we have Fossils and Double space, which are my favourites when it comes to metal, they are not from Copenhagen though.

What's it like being a rock/ metal band there? Is it a struggle?

Kenni: It's nice to be in a rock band, though most people don’t understand what it’s all about. Can’t say it’s a struggle. But it can be plain frustrating once in a while.

Your artwork for the record is amazing? What does it represent and is there any meaning behind it?

Kenni: Tue from Kaspers band "Death Token" painted the cover while listening to the record. I think it reflects the songs in a sort of way but we haven’t discussed if there is a deeper meaning behind it

What are your influences musically and artistically?

Kenni: I listen to all sorts of music. The last many years I've been much in to punk rock, but I grew up with blues and rock from the 50'ies to early 70'ies and I still dig it. Theres also a lot of traditional metal from the 80's that I used to piss off my parents with as a teenager. I always feel like writing songs when I watch Dario Argento or Michael Findlay movies or when I read Dione Fortune and other occult authors. The poems and paintings of William Blake can also be very inspiring.

Hasse: Sabbath, pentagram, the obsessed, saint vitus, sleep, kyuss etc. The usual stuff I guess… But I listen to a great variety of bands of different genres, everything from cryptopsy to beach boys. So sometimes it’s a bit difficult to tell exactly where the inspiration came from.

Were you in any bands before Moonless?  If so, what were they like and how has your style changed since then?

Kenni: I played in a folk rock band called "The Village Idiot" and a stoner doom band called Gilgongo. But I have never played with musicians as good as my friends in Moonless.

I guess my style has changed from hopeless to Doomed.

Tommas has played with Gorilla Angreb and Amdi Petersens Armé which were Danish punk rock/hardcore bands with Danish lyrics. Kasper has played in a whole lot of punk rock bands and still plays with Death Token.

Hasse: Even though the guitar has always been my main instrument I started out as a drummer in a couple of punk bands called “Arrigt Antræk” and “Hjertestop”. Later I started playing the guitar in a band called “leathervein” which was a kind of mix between punk rock and 80’s heavy metal... Now I play the guitar in Moonless and Bottom Feeder. I guess you could say my style has become slower and heavier for each new band.     

Your record is your 1st full length, do you feel it is your best work and why? You proud of it?

Kenni: I'm very proud of this 1st record and we all did the best we could, recording it. Especially Jakob our producer. But we have learned a lot from this process and I think it will benefit us on the 2nd record.

Kasper: This record was a hard and long one to do, so I really don’t have a clue whether it’s good or not anymore. I've listened too much to it, with all kinda different mixes, vocal takes and what not. Sometimes it takes some years to get an album out of your head, and when that time comes I can finally give it an honest listen

Why should people buy your record?

Kenni: I'm a humble man and I don’t want to end up sounding like a car salesman. I think the reviewers have much better punch lines when it comes to that.

Kasper: If not for the music, then for the cover art. I think it looks fucking amazing

Your record appears be getting a lot of good feedback? What are your thoughts? Are you pleased with it? Do People get what you’re trying to do?

Kenni: I didn’t think our record would get any feedback at all so that’s a kind of overwhelming. Of course it’s a good thing with all this positive feedback. It gives us new listeners and a lot of new people at our shows. Think that’s what it’s all about. It looks like people get it when we play live.

Hasse: I was really surprised by all the feedback as well. But it really makes me happy that people dig our record. And I think a lot of the reviewers get exactly what we were trying to do with the record. So that’s great. 

Do you and your band members contribute songs and arrangement ideas?

Kenni: I write the lyrics but we all have some small inputs here and there. Hasse and Kasper make the riffs and then we arrange the songs all together in the rehearsal room.

How'd you hook up with the Doomentia label?

Kenni: Banger sent Lukas the premixes and asked him if he would like to have us on his label. I think it’s a great deal for a band like us. We have a lot of freedom to do what we want to.

What are your ambitions for the band?

Kenni: I want to tour and play some festivals. Party on, you know.

Hasse: I’d like to play as much as possible for as many people as possible. And just have a good time really.

You got any interesting stories from your tours? Where you toured? Who are your favourite bands to tour with?

Kenni: So far we have only been on a small European tour and we toured alone. But we did get to play with some great bands like Danava, Lecherous Gaze and Cannabis Corpse on that tour.

What are your immediate plans and plans for the future, any plans for new material?

Kenni: Making new material for our 2cnd record has main priority right now.

Hasse: We’re gonna tour a bit as well hopefully. We would like to do another European tour and perhaps visit the states next year.

What do you reckon to people downloading music for free? Would you consider releasing your album for free to get more people listening to your music?

Kenni: you can always get a mp3 song for free, but people like us loves vinyl and I think most of our fans feel the same. I understand if people download a record to see if it’s worth buying on vinyl. I don’t know if it’s worth releasing an album for free when playing a sub genre like this. I think we’re better off with a few dedicated fans. I mean quality/quantity.

Hasse: I have no trouble with people downloading our album for free. You can also listen to the whole thing from doomentias website or on youtube for that matter. I download a lot of music myself but when I find something I really dig, I order the record since you don’t get the same feeling from playing mp3 files from your computer as you do when you put on a real vinyl record. I also try to support touring bands I like, by buying their stuff at concerts, hopefully people do the same with us. But all in all I’m just glad people like our music.

Kasper: Music should be played from vinyl on a stereo and on maximum volume! Mp3 and file sharing and all that shit is great too, but I can never replace the sensation of holding a nice big record cover in your hands while listening to your favourite band

Any plans for shows in the UK?

Kenni: It would be a blast playing in the UK but we don't have any connections. Who knows? Time will show.

Last question, you got anything you like to say to your fans?

Kenni: Thank you for your support at our shows. STAY HEAVY!

Hasse: Listen to Black Sabbath AT LEAST once a week!

Well I hope the interview was to your liking?!  Moonless are a great band and I thank them very much for taking the time to do the inteview, specifically Kenni and Hasse who answered my questions.  Please check out this band, they're great and their album is amazing.  You can read my review here. Check the links below for more info on the band and their label.  Thanks again for reading and keep you eyes peeled for more interviews over the coming weeks.