Monday 29 October 2012

20 Questions w/ Lurk

Today on my regular feature of 20 Questions interviews, I bring you another startingly brilliant band, none other than Lurk.  The Finnish sludge/doomsters who released their brilliant s/t debut record at the beginning of the year are currently in the process of putting together their 2nd record and have welcomed the addition of Eetu on bass.
2013 looks like it will be another great year for the band, however without getting too far ahead ourselves, I managed to hook up with the band and this is what they had to say, when I fired my 20 Questions at them.  I spoke with Kimmo, Kalle and Arttu.  So Enjoy! 
Lurk - Lurk
S/T Debut record 2012

Q). Päivää (not sure this is correct), How are you?   I appreciate you taking the time to talk to talk to us, here at the Sludgelord. Where are you at the moment and what are you doing in terms of the band, following the release of your Self titled record in January?
- We're putting together our second album and playing gigs. We have musical ideas aplenty and we're trying them out, pushing the boundaries of Lurk. -Kalle
Q). I have to admit, I have to thank Gad at Totalrust for sending me the promo of your record, which is superb, otherwise I may not have heard you guys.  For those readers who may not have heard of you, could you tell us a little about the history of the band and some of the bands you've played with? Where you’re from? When Lurk first formed? Current band members?
- Lurk was born in 2008 and we started writing music as a trio. Later on we drafted in Reinikainen to play bass on our debut, and also on our first gigs. Sadly, he was from the west coast - Turku, to be exact – so it was a bit of an oil-and-water- type of situation, as the rest of us are from the other side of Finland that is. Lurk is now me, Arttu, Kimmo and our newest member Eetu. The main reason we chose him was his uncanny ability not to be from the west coast. -Kalle
Q). Is Lurk a full time project/work?
- We fully commit ourselves to this band and our music, but we don't work office hours. You do the math. -Kalle
Q) What made you start the band? Did you all know each other before you formed the band?
- The band was formed out of a need to play in band that's not just someone's pet project - a democratic entity, a group of people working together for a common musical and artistic goal. And yes, we had known each other for a few years prior to formation of Lurk. I've known Eetu for as long as he's lived, as only siblings do. -Kalle
Q) Since your inception, which was in 2008, I think, what were your aspirations for the band, did it take a bit of time to find your sound? As it appear to have taken 4 years to the record released?
- The sound was there in the beginning, we just let it out. Accident of birth for the perverse and at the same time so natural a thing. - Kimmo
- We've had the sound every step of the way and we've just sought to enhance it. As for “our sound”, I firmly believe we've just scratched the surface of what can be. It is what it chooses to be, and what we let it be. -Kalle
Released thru Svart Records
Q) Given that it is seemingly harder and harder to be in an underground band, what with constant touring, promotion, what motivates you as musicians?
- Well, the music in itself. If there's another way, I'm not aware of it. I channel things through Lurk, both the good and the bad (no middle of the road in here...) and that should be audible. - Kimmo
- I don't understand why anybody would form a band like Lurk to make money. Nobody's that stupid. -Kalle
Q) Is it difficult to juggle work and then make time for the band?  It must seem impossible at times?  Why do you do it? 
- When you want something, you do what you have to in order to achieve it. It is that clear cut and simple. -Kalle
Q) If someone was unfamiliar with your band, how would you describe your sound and do you feel it has evolved, since you first formed the band?
- It's harsh, loud and overwhelming. I think there's a doom-aspect that comes from the slowed-down tempos, I like to think of it as the sound of inevitability. Something like learning to enjoy your final moments. -Kalle
Q) Are you big fans of rock/metal, if so what are you listening too at the moment?
- At the moment, much the new and old death metal like Grave, Vomitory, Azarath and Cryptopsy. Also crust and grind(Wolfbrigade, Sayyadina...). Of course, the new Marduk record, which is their best in a long time? Some
Country/folk/rock/stoner/whatever like Tarantella, Those Poor Bastards, Hank Williams III, Clutch...No borders. I listen, others talk. - Kimmo
- My soundtrack varies greatly but some long-time favorites are Nile, Deadboy and the Elephantmen, Midnight, David Bowie, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Pentagram, Darkthrone... Right now, as I am writing this I'm listening to Helen of Troy by John Cale, an absolutely brilliant record. -Kalle
Q)  Who would you say are your influences/heroes both musically and artistically in terms of the band’s sound? 
- This may seem like a cheap evasion ('cos it is), but there are way too many to mention. I'll drop you the name Bonham just to stay on a friendly basis! Besides, it's not like I can ever emulate him, but I like his mentality and approach to drumming. I want music to groove. -Kalle
Q)  Why the name Lurk?  It has creepy undertones, was that the intention?
- For me, Lurk is an outsider, an observer and a totally unchained, independent creature tearing down hypocritical beliefs and acts of man, focusing on the core of everything. There's no 'hu' in my 'mankind' and I don't want Lurk to have anything to do with it. There's something very primordial in the music we create, it really cuts through all the vanity. We just are. - Kimmo
Q) I’m assuming all musician like to talk about gear, so with that in mind what gear do you use in terms of guitars, amps and why? Also what tuning do you use?
- For the first blood we used two different amps (Peavey, Eggnater) and cabinets (Peavey, Mesaboogie) for guitar, and Ampeg for bass. The actual sound comes from the interaction of the three elements: player, instrument, and LOUD amplification. These elements contribute to a lot of the actual sound heard on the record. A lot is done with pedals and different effects also. My all time favorite is “The Big Saw” (HM2). Besides that there is some old and new mixed together like Tokai Metaldriver and Eventide. At the moment the tuning we use is B. There's a never ending pursuit going on for the right sounds and some of that can be heard on the new album. - Arttu
Q) What is the scene like in your hometown?  What are your thoughts?  Where do you think Lurk fit within that?  Any bands we should be keeping an eye out for?
- I don't know about “the scene”. There are many metal bands and there are many styles. We have friends in very different kinds of bands, I think there is a strong crossover feel in Tampere and in Finland as a general right know. Lurk does its own thing and that's all I care about. - Kimmo
- There seems to be some activity, but I think it gravitates more towards stoner rock.  Which we aren't, not in the least. I think there are a few bands out there doing something similar, Horse Latitudes being the first one that comes to mind. The similarities are maybe not that obvious musically, but I know the guys (and girl) and I feel we have somewhat similar attitude towards music and artistic values in general. Also, one Finnish band that deserves praise is Fleshpress. Awesome live act. -Kalle   
Q)  I think I first read about you in metal hammer magazine.  With that in mind, what are your views of blogs such as the Sludgelord reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?   Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?
- Mainstream, that is an odd word. If something is good and it is done for the right purposes, it's enough for me (don't ask what the right purposes are...). That's why an independent blog and a very popular magazine CAN be equally good. Of course if people like us, it's not taking anything away from me. Or if someone hates us, I could not care less. Just don't obtrude your opinions on me. -Kimmo
- If someone wants to write about us - great! Be it a part of this mystical mainstream or whatever, is irrelevant. What I'm interested in is someone's actual reaction to our music. I don't validate our work that way or let it intervene with songwriting, but sure – I get a kick out of a rave review. Who wouldn't? Besides, forget the mainstream – we want the ocean! -Kalle
Q) How do you feel your band has generally been received and does it surprise you when people buy your music and merch?
- I don't think I'm being arrogant by saying that it doesn't surprise me, I think what we're doing is great and that's reason enough to keep going. What still surprises me is the total lack of negative comments – maybe with the next album? Here's hoping. -Kalle
Q) Do you have any interesting stories from your tours, favourite’s places you’ve toured and bands you’ve toured with?
- It's all a bit fuzzy... -Kalle
Q) The excellent Totalrust label released Lurk, who have also supported some great bands, including the recent release of ShEver.  Can you tell us a little about them and what it means to be signed to label who have championed great metal bands? 
- Totalrust helped us a lot. We had the opportunity to take our pick from a group of interested labels, and we went with Totalrust because of their enthusiasm. It's been good so far for us and hopefully for them too. And ShEver is great! -Kalle
Q) Lurk is a brilliant record, What are your thoughts about it, now that it has been unleashed on the unsuspecting public for nearly a year now?
- It's an important part of our history, a zeitgeist of Lurk at that time. But there's so much more in this band right now. - Kimmo
- I'm glad we did it, and with it set the bar for the next one pretty high. -Kalle
Q) Do have an agenda when you begin writing material? Is it too early to be thinking of new material, given that record has only been available a short time?   
- No agenda, if it feels good we do it. The bulk of the second album has been already recorded and we still have songs we haven't really started with for future endeavours. I think we have at no point stopped writing songs. Why should we? -Kalle
Q) Viewing the record as a whole package, including the artwork, what is actually the picture on the front of your record? 
- The picture is from one of my travels. It is an ultimate beast that lurks in the deep waters of Norway. If you want to get one of those I recommend a harpoon as the weapon of choice... don't miss. -Arttu
Q). In terms of the band, do you feel that 2012 has been a good year for the band and what are your plans for the rest of the year and 2013.  Some of our readers are keen vinyl Junkies, any chance you’re releasing your music on Wax, if you haven’t already done so?

-  Our debut is out now also on vinyl, thanks to Svart Records. Have to say it looks magnificent! Sounds pretty good too. We'll be adding the finishing touches to our new album in the near future. Some live shows are coming up, but we'll have to wait and see what the next year brings us. -Kalle
Q) Thanks for answering my questions, but one final question, you got anything you like to say to your fans?
Get real jobs, both of you! -Kalle

Thanks to Kalle, Kimmo and Arttu for answering my questions.  Big thanks to Gad at Total Rust records for hooking us with the interview.  Finally thanks to you guys for reading.  Support the band by checking out the link below.  You can buy the CD here and the Vinyl here.  You can also read our recent review here