Tuesday 12 February 2013

Interview with Electric Taurus

Veneralia cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing – Electric Taurus – the superb Irish Sludge/Stoner/Blues Rock Band who have just released their superb new album – Veneralia – which is receiving rave reviews in the Stoner Metal world.

It's a great hard rocking album with plenty of riffs to impress you with. I wanted to hear more from these psych based rockers. And they have kindly agreed an interview with myself.

So let's get down to business with these talented rockers.

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

All is good. We just got back from our Italian tour and we are really satisfied with the audience response and with the gigs we played. We are receiving good offers for new distributions across Europe and we keep ourselves busy with gigs here in Ireland.

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

With our current lineup, we have been together since 2011. After previous drummer Chris Stynes (Bloody Kisses) left, Mauro answered an advert and began jamming with Matt and previous bassist/vocalist Rob Sherry. When Rob decided to move abroad, James, a co-worker of Matt, stepped in on bass. From this point on, Matt took over vocals and our current sound adjusted accordingly.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound.

Vintage! We are trying our best to sound like a Lo-Fi band of the 60/70. It’s really difficult to pinpoint what we are doing, we basically blend the great proto-hard bands from the 60/70’s with the acid madness of the 90’s. The sound it’s powerful and heavy but with lots of groove that maybe many metal bands lost along the way.

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians. 

How many page do we have for a list? We are all coming from different music paths; Matt more bluesier focused on the 60/70, James likes traditional prog rock and metal while Mauro has played everything from folk to black metal.

Big inspirations at the moment are Om , Sleep , St. Vitus, Pink Floyd , Electric Moon, John Coltrane, Mountain, Blood Rock, Acrimony and Rush.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

At present times the three of us have full time jobs, unfortunately in this climate we are unable to support us through our music even if we have a positive return out of it. 

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

Yeah, always. Maybe they don’t understand exactly what we are trying to do musically but at the same time they help us and support us through the band high and lows. We have a great support from Mauro’s wife Edyta as she is our official photographer/roadie and help selling merch at gigs when we play our hometown Dublin.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

We don’t have a process in place we just jam it out ; most of the times it all spark from a couple of Matt riffs, then James provide the melodic thundering bass line, and Mauro dictate the rhythm and the different tempo changes. We are trying to keep thinks busy and keep on add bridges and passages to the songs. One prerogative is that we need to be able to play the song live so the songs are composed 90% of organic riffs that we can play in live environment.

Q8 – Your new album – Veneralia – has just been released. It's a great album. Your receiving a whole load of great praise. Bet you guys are happy with the responses so far.

We are really flattered from the reviews so far. Everyone seems to dig it, and some reviewer actually went as far to understand exactly the sound concept of the album and described it perfectly.

Q9 – Was it an easy album to record for. You have included a whole range of genres. Was it easy or hard to put them altogether.

The album was actually quite easy to conceive; basically we are not really plan that much in advance it’s totally organic. We don’t think too much on what to do next or to add a “Stoner” or “Doom” passage or how long a song should be - they just happen. Recording time was a bit short and we have to rush a bit especially on vocals, but Moonlight Studio is a fantastic place to record, we were able to play almost 14/15 hours a day between recording and rehearsals. The equipment was top notch and our engineer Francesco Rabaglia is an incredible guy that was able to transfer our ideas on tape without too much fooling around.

Q10 – Are you happy with the final result or would you change certain aspects of it. 

We are really happy with the final sound of the album and especially we are happy with our performance. We did not want an overproduced album we basically just record all three in one room and then Matt add a second guitar and vox later. Our guidelines for the mixing were pretty simple, please let us sound like LeafHound or Buffalo. 

Q11 – Your album is being recorded through Moonlight Records. How did that come about. Great Italian Label. Home to some very good bands. 

Pure coincidence, Mauro is a member of Alternative 4, a Duncan Patterson project. While touring Italy in December 2011 he befriended TalismanStone, one of the support bands. Back in Dublin, he pass the CD to Matt and we were all impressed by the band's great sound and strange line up: 2 bass and drums. About that time we started to organize a Stoner/Doom night in Dublin (The Mother Fuzzer's Ball) and we invited them over to play it. We become fast friends especially with Andrea and he gave to Dorian Bones the Label owner our EP and he asks us to join the label. We are really happy with them because the bands on the roster are unbelievably good like Prehistoric Pigs, Shinin Shade, King Bong, TalismanStone and so on. And there is this friendly, family like atmosphere that put you immediately at ease. All bands are supporting each other, even from different styles.

Q12 - Is there a scene for bands like yourself to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

There are quite good opportunities if you know where to look. We decided to organize our own night as said before, The Mother Fuzzers Ball, that still going after one year. We had incredible bands play the shows from Ireland and Europe. The Stoner/Doom scene is not really big yet like in Germany or Italy but started to open the door to band like Om/Sleep/Boris/White Hills and the likes. We normally play in Dublin metal own sanctuary Fibber Magee's and sometimes we take trips to Limerick or Belfast.

Q13 – Have you toured with anyone famous. If so, who were your fave bands to tour with.

Not yet, but is not important. If you open for a bigger band, for example Sleep, you got exposed to a larger audience but you know that you gonna be second best of the night. While playing with other bands of the same level, there is a healthy competition going on that makes us play better and go the extra mile.

Q14 – What is the live Electric Taurus experience like.

Groovy!!!!!! And there is a lot of jamming going on, we really like to play for long time, have the time to express ourselves and let the music lead the way. It’s a bit different from night to night. We are really energetic and as everybody else we like to play loud with plenty of Fuzzzzzzzzzz.

Q15 – 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/Post-Rock/Post-Metal.

We listen bit of both mostly underground bands like us but we don’t mind mainstream, as long as it sounds interesting. Bands that we really like at the present are Graveyard, Witchcraft, Electric Moon, Shinin Shade, Kadavar, and above all, Om. In the underground we like Undersmile, Pyramidal, Prehistoric Pigs, Caronte, Blood Red Water, Astralnaut amongst others.

Q16 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? 

On blogs we have just positive views and what we noted that independent reviewers really take their times to hear all the nuances of a record and write really crafted reviews. While magazine they have space constraint and as they have deadline sometimes you can read that it was written a bit too fast after only one listen or so. In our mind we are more worried about a bad review from Sludgelord or Doomantia than some more “prestigious” paper magazines. 

Q17 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. 

Most rewarding aspect is the music, the final product and the work to create it. Least as a common thing between underground bands is the financial side, sometimes is really difficult to meet ends especially with international gigs. We’ve been invited in different countries to play but we cannot make it due to cost. But at the end of the day it's always the music. Even when happen to play in front of 2 people and an empty chair. Another great aspect is to befriend lots of different bands and exchange with them cd’s and shirt. We have a growing collection right now.

Q18 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited. 

We are currently writing new material for a new album to be released at the end of the year possibly. We are really excited because we are taking a deep plunge in full psychedelic and prog. Also we are planning a spring tour in UK and maybe in the Netherlands. In the meantime we keep busy with gigs in Ireland. 

Q19 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be. 
Leave all the bullshit aside and play music! Far too many bands play rock stars before they master their music and give themselves titles like “Best rocking band” or “the only original (add a style of music here)”. In our opinion, bands should play music and not organise a circus act. 

Q20 – We all know Ireland is famous for some brilliant rock bands (Thin Lizzy being my fave ever band). What is your great country's secret. 

Guinness and rain we guess. Lately there is a really healthy underground movement like Astralnaut, Two Tales of Woe, Crow Black Chicken, Wizard of the Firetop Mountain, Wound upon Wound, Baleful Creed, BeltBuckle Overdrive, Castero and Slomatics rising their heads in the green isle.

Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

As always, thanks for the support and the positive messages that we receive regularly. Be ready for the next one!!!!!

Well guys thanks for doing this. All the best from ourselves at Sludgelord. 

You can buy Veneralia on Both Physical and Digital Copies from BandCamp.

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