Friday 7 December 2012

Interview with Supervoid

Endless Planets EP cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing the excellent Sludge/Stoner Metal Band - Supervoid

Supervoid recently impressed me with their style of Space Rock inspired Sludge/Stoner Metal madness. Their début EP – Endless Planets – is a superb release to listen to. And it only gets better with each and every listen.

Well these Cosmic Sludge Rockers have have kindly agreed to do an interview with myself. So lets get down to business with Supervoid.

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you Today.

Right on! Thanks for featuring us on Sludgelord.

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

When I (John) was living in Maryland, I was playing with Billows, Dave and Brian were on tour with Dethlehem and we put together a killer house show for them. Later down the road, Dave and Joe started jamming together. I had plans to move to Pittsburgh, so I kept in touch with Dave about starting a band. We found Greg online, I moved to Pittsburgh, and then Brian’s vocals brought everything together. It was pretty incredible how well we all clicked together, both on a musical and personal level.

Q3 – Why the name Supervoid. Are you all interested in Science. Or was it because it was a cool sounding name.

We’ve all got some geek in us. Supervoids are fascinating, as they are basically just enormous areas of space of nothing. Being in a supervoid would likely be both calming and terrifying, and I think our music projects that style.

Q4 – How would you describe your sound.

I would say the center focus of our sound is that chugging, driving riff, where the guitars and bass are in a monstrous unison of fuzz, the drums are blasting away and the vocals are just belting out emotion. There is a lot of diversity to our sound, but all the songs at their core have that rock and roll groove.

Q5 – What artists and bands influenced you as a band.

When we started out, the idea was “Thin Lizzy, Fu Manchu, Kyuss.” That still mostly applies, but after having played together for about a year, I’d say we’ve definitely found our own sound.

Q6 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

It takes serious dedication to be full time musicians in today’s economy. We’ve all got full time jobs, and some of us have families to support, but we still manage to dedicate time to doing something we love.

Q7 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

Absolutely. We’ve had parents, significant others, etc at our shows, and we’ve had great support from our friends.

Q8 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

Joe is a mean lean riff-writing machine. A lot of songs start off with something he has written. Dave takes a pretty unconventional approach to guitar, which I think adds an incredible element of creativity to our music, and gives me a lot of space as a bassist. Greg can jam out to anything, and Brian takes a very musical approach to the vocals. Overall, everyone contributes their own piece of the puzzle to each song.

Q9 – Endless Void has been receiving some great praise from the Sludge/Stoner Metal fraternity. Bet your happy with the responses so far.

It has been incredible! A blog run by a guy in Greece wrote a review on us and emailed me his personal English translation. Having someone on the other side of the planet enjoy something you created is really satisfying.

(Sludgelord - Welcome To The Void is a great blog to visit. Run by a great dude as well. Use Google translator to read which I normally do on a regular basis).

Q10 – Has BandCamp been a big help in getting your music across. I discovered you from posts on the Sludgelord Facebook Page and with John emailing me to check your music out. Glad I did.

I think Bandcamp is a great website with a great business model. Those guys are doing it right. The ability to see how people found your page is really useful, and the site is designed with the musician in mind.

Q11 – Is there a scene for Sludge/Doom/Stoner bands to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

We all live in Pittsburgh, so we don’t have to go far. One of the venues we frequent is less than a mile from our practice space. Plus, the scene in Pittsburgh is fantastic! I’ve really been blown away since moving here. There is relentless support for local music by both musicians and fans.

Q12 – Have you toured with anyone famous. If so who have been your fave band to perform for/with.

We haven’t played that many shows yet. We practiced for nine months before even playing out, as we really wanted to strong first impression. I’d say my favorite has probably been The Atlas Moth. I’ve been a fan of those guys for awhile, and everything about their performance was captivating. Plus, they were awesome dudes! I’m glad to see they’re having a lot of success right now.

Q13 – 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 personally listen to more modern releases, but as a band we all enjoy a mixture of both. Lo-Pan has been one of my favorites for years, so I couldn’t be happier for those guys and their High on Fire tour! I could go on for days about all the good albums I’ve heard recently, so I’ll keep it local. We’ve got some fantastic stuff going on in Pittsburgh here. Vulture just had a fantastic year with a pretty epic full length, I’m expecting a new release from Sistered soon, and the Carousel record has been spinning non-stop since I picked it up at their release show last week.

Q14 – What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

The blogs play a huge part in our genre! It’s great to see a band like Mastodon get some mainstream success, but even they only have half a million likes on facebook compared to Rihanna’s 63.5 million. Without personal and independent media outlets, “underground” bands would suffer severely. How else am I going to find out about amazing bands from Sweden, Norway, France, Russia, etc?

Q15 - What are your future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

We really want to make a full length. We have some songs that we’re really proud of and are excited for people to hear. We’re slowly making arrangements for that. Hopefully we’ll have a full length recorded in the next 6 months or so.

We’re also really excited about a 3 day mini-tour we’re doing at the end of March with Lo-Pan and Borracho. Those are two of my favorite bands, and I think we’re going to put on some incredible shows. The details are still being ironed out, but we’ll be hitting Columbus, Pittsburgh and DC.

Q16 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band?

I’d say the most rewarding thing about Supervoid has been the relationships we have developed with each other, and with our fans and fellow musicians. I can’t really say anything negative about it. We do this because we enjoy it. I’m always looking forward to the next time we play together.

Q17 – What are your views of blogs and websites giving albums away for free. Some people are for it and some people against.

I can see both sides of the argument. As a band that doesn’t tour professionally, it is easy for us to not really care. Even if our EP wasn’t available for free download, I still wouldn’t really mind, as I’m more concerned with people hearing our music for the first time. However, with the prevalence of things like Bandcamp and Spotify, most albums can be streamed for free, making “try before you buy” a lot easier. If I was on tour playing 250 shows a year trying to pay the bills, my views would probably be a little less understanding, so I respect the views of those against it.

Q18 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Thank you for all the support! People paying $2, $5, even $10 with the name your own price model on Bandcamp was pretty overwhelming. Keep an eye out for a full length next year!

Thanks to the guys for talking to me. If you haven't checked out these excellent Space Rockers then get checking. A brilliant band that I can't recommend highly enough.

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