Saturday 20 October 2012

Interview with Shanda from Demon Lung

Pareidolia cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Shanda, lead vocalist from the brilliant Doom Metal Band – Demon Lung. I recently reviewed their brilliant S/T début release – Pareidolia – and I rated it very highly.

Now lets get started.

1. Hi Shanda, Thanks for doing this. How’s Things? Massive fan of your band from your brilliant début release.

Hello and thank YOU! Things are well, thank you for asking. And thank you for the wonderful words on our EP, we’re flattered!

2. For people not in the know, can you give a brief overview of how Demon Lung came about?

Jeremy and Phil grew up in the same area of Indiana and had a horror/doom band together back in the day. Jeremy moved to Vegas and started a southern/stoner band with Pat. Around that time I was in another local band and often crossed paths with Jeremy and Pat. Phil decided to move to Vegas and from there it all came together.

3. Which bands had a great influence on your music.

Mainly Candlemass and the more “epic” side of doom. I’m not sure if that is heard by others when they listen to our stuff, but that is certainly our biggest influence as a band. Obviously Sabbath, Sleep, Acid King, and Electric Wizard too. For me it is Jinx Dawson, Jex Thoth, Amber Valentine and Ann Wilson

4. How has the reception been like to your music. Home and abroad. From what I can see your band is getting a whole load of cool praise. Bet you guys are happy with the reception so far.

The reception has been really great, more than we ever expected. And now I’m having google-translated conversations about metal with someone living in Sweden. It’s really fun and we are very happy.

5. Is music your full time job or do you have an extra job to help pay the bills?

We all have full time jobs to pay the bills and band expenses. Being in a band is really expensive!

6. Your from Las Vegas. Not a famous or well known location for Doom Metal. Are there other bands in Las Vegas doing Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal you can possibly recommend?.

Dead Neon is a band that I love, they are Las Vegas post-apocalyptic doom and good friends of ours. Of course we cannot talk about Vegas doom without the legendary GOATLORD who were absolutely the first doom band to come out of Vegas back in the late-80s/early-90s. If anyone has never heard of them, find a copy of “Reflections of the Solstice” immediately! Jeff from Goatlord is in a band now called Spun in Darkness and we play with them quite often. Lando from Greenhouse Effect/White Witch Canyon moved out to Vegas a while back and started a band called Lotus that has started to play shows recently.

7. Do you get a lot of gigs in your home town or do you have to travel around a lot?

We choose not to play a lot of gigs locally because we don’t want people to get burned out on us. We’d rather wait for the right gig than play every gig. There are really only 2 or 3 cool places to play in Vegas, so our options are pretty limited. We have to go to L.A. to play bigger shows, but that’s cool with us. We have a show with Witch Mountain and Castle next month in So Cal that we are really looking forward to.

8. What have been your fave ever gigs that you been involved. Or bands that you have toured with?

Being one of the few doom bands in Vegas has opened a lot of opportunities up for us, so we have played with really awesome bands. High on Fire, Pentagram, Author and Punisher, and Gypsyhawk were all amazing to watch and I felt very lucky to be on the same bill. But I have to say that opening for Jucifer was life changing. They played in a back alley that was lined with brick walls, so when they played the enormous sound bounced all around and then pounded into my ear. It was visceral and inspiring.

9. Are your family and friends supportive of your music?

We are really lucky to have an amazing support system. Our friends and family are at every gig helping us set-up, sell merch and do anything else they can do to help. The scene here is very small but extremely supportive.

10. What have been your personal highs and lows with the band so far?

We haven’t really had many lows yet. The highest so far is signing the record contract that will be announced in a few weeks.

11. Is it hard being a (brilliant) female vocalist of a Doom Metal Band. Does that hinder you at all with Doom Metal being primarily a male dominated genre.

I don’t know anything about being brilliant, haha. Fans of our genre tend to be much more open-minded that say that of Metalcore or something, y’know? I was actually very prepared for metal dudes to hate my voice or style of singing, but it’s been mostly positive which honestly surprised me.

12. I think it's great that female vocalists like yourself, Mlny (Royal Thunder), Hel and Taz (Undersmile), Stevie from Dark Castle and Sara from Bezoar are making a name for yourselves and bringing a fresh perspective to a male orientated genre. You must be proud of doing something different and unique.

I am very proud of everything that we have done so far and all the positive feedback has just made me want to improve and expand as a singer.

13. What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or just one individual

It’s a group effort overall… some songs may have more of one person, but as a whole it’s a collective process. First the guys write the riffs, they build on that. Then we demo the music. From there, Jeremy and I will write the melody and lyrics. Phil also contributes a lot of lyrics. Then we’ll play it live for a few practices. After, we’ll demo it again with any changes we made playing it live. From there we’ll record it for real. It’s a lot of work, but doing it this way allows us the play around and expand on ideas.

14. What is your view of bands and blogs giving away music for free. Lot of bands and people have different perspectives.

I think it’s great. People are going to get it free somehow anyway, why not be the one to provide it? I would say that more people have found our music through blogs and youtube than through the typical outlets. We all visit blogs to find new music constantly, so we can’t be mad when our music is one of the bands posted. It’s flattering actually.

15 What advice or words of wisdom would you give to upcoming bands and musicians who are about to start a Sludge/Doom/Stoner Rock Band.

I am no authority on the subject as we are still stumbling through this whole thing. My biggest advice to all bands is GET ON AND OFF THE STAGE IN A QUICK AND SERIOUS MANNER! The other bands do not want to see the drummer breaking down his cymbal stands on stage and putting his shit in cases. Carry that shit off the stage and do it somewhere else.

16. 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?

We were in Metal Hammer (July 2012), which was easily our most “official” press so far. We are just happy that people care enough to listen and write about us, it’s extremely flattering. The blogs are the true underground of the metal world these days. It’s the tape-trading of today and we understand their importance in spreading the word and getting the music into the earholes of all willing participants. (For the record, I’m against raping earholes)

17. 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 Doom Metal/Hard Rock?

We are always trading around new stuff to each other. The new Down EP has been in my car for about a month now. We have a show coming up with a band out of Vancouver called Hoopsnake. They have some massive riffs and I’ve been listening to them all day, plus one of the vocalists sounds like Glen Benton. Doomshine is a band that makes its way back into the rotation quite often. Too many to list….

18. Do you have any exciting plans for the future. A full length record maybe?

We are currently demoing our first full length, which is a concept album. We’ve had the idea since the beginning but knew it needed a proper release, so we were waiting for a label. We now have a label that is going to put us in the studio to record it sometime in the next 2-3 months. We have a wishlist of people that we want to go into the studio with, so we are trying to see if they want to work with us, and if so, what their schedules are like. We expect it to be released in early summer of 2013.

We also just finished recording a cover of Candlemass’ Solitude that should be mixed in a few weeks. Not exactly sure what we are going to do with it yet, but it’s sounding pretty cool. That will probably be the next thing that you hear from us.

19. Lastly do you have anything you want to say to your fans?

There is tons of stuff coming up! The next 12-18 months should be pretty crazy and I hope that everyone checks it out.

Well thanks for talking to us Shanda. Much appreciated. Can't wait for the full length. Good luck with the future.

Check This Brilliant Band below: