Sunday 31 March 2013

Interview with WEED PRIEST

Weed Priest cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing WEED PRIEST. The brilliant Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal Overlords who recently impressed us here with their amazing debut album. The album is starting to make waves within the Sludge/Stoner Metal world. I recently described the album as:

"Weed Priest have delivered an outstanding debut album that should get them noticed within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene. There are enough riffs to thrill and delight people in this world and beyond."

So lets get down to business with these demonic overlords.

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

Hi, Sludgelord! No bother! Things are just splendid, thank you!

Q2 – For people not in the know, can you give them a brief bio on how the band came about.

Fate brought 3 of us together for the invocation of Weed Priest almost 4 years ago when planets aligned in the right way for it to happen. We just had loads of jams, rehearsals, gigs, and rituals of worship of Tomy, Ozzy, Bill, Geezer, Bobby, Vino, Pike, Jus, Dixie, Lori and other deities. Recorded some songs during rehearsals, which later appeared online and on demo CD. Took more than a year recording the debut album. It's out now and we're starting a more gig active phase again.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. As I call it Occult based Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal.

Exactly! Or it could be also described as: "swing like a butterfly – sting like a bee!"

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

Black Sabbath. And a few thousand more.

Q5 – Your have just released your excellent new album. Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

We approach music creation process in terms of religion. For us composing is channeling messages from beyond – getting into a certain trance state when we "hear" music inside of us and release it in form of riffs and melodies. We're just a cog in the machine of Doom, just a step between transdimentional entities, strings, pickups, drums, microphones, amplifiers, effect pedals, amps, cabs and finally – souls listening (experiencing) this process. It is a great honor to be chosen for this uneasy task.

As for recording – we took our time with it. Went to several different locations, tried different gear and ways of recording, shot the video for Final Spell song. Had good times and bad times, learned a lot along the way.

Q6 – Are you happy with the final result. Would you change anything about it.

It is what it is and what is was meant to be – otherwise the lords of hell will punish us for channeling their messages in a wrong way. We shall find out soon.

Q7 – It is starting to receive some great press from the Sludge Metal community. Are you happy with the responses so far.

Hell Yes! More than happy! Well what can we say? - People in Sludge Metal community have great taste. We never doubted it. And it's nothing surprising: here bands are rated according to their talent and work and not adds or being played 20 times a day on a national radio.

Q8 – It seems the UK and Irish Sludge/Stoner Metal scene seems to be on the rise thanks to great bands like Conan, Undersmile, Harvester, War Iron, Electric Taurus, Desert Storm, Slomatics and Wizard's Beard. Have you toured with any of those great bands or can you recommend any others to check out.

Yes, the scene is rising like tide. Slowly and surely. Let's hope one day it becomes a Killer Wave and washes this world away.

We've played with some of these great bands and we'll surely cooperate with more of them now that we have the album out.

Besides the aforementioned we'd strongly recommend checking out other Irish doom and sludge monsters On Pain Of Death, Brigantia, Five Will Die, Tome, Nomadic Rituals and Rites. More on the stoner metal/stoner rock side of things: Castero, Astralnaut, Wizards of Firetop Mountain.

Q9 – Have you toured with any famous bands or artists. If so who have been your favourite.

Really famous – perhaps not. But in 2011 we met our doom brothers Hooded Priest from Belgium/Netherlands - a secret organization Doomed Priesthood Mafia was formed as a result of that encounter. In 2012 Dublin Doom Days we shared stage with Wounded Kings and Gorilla Mansoon and they were also great craic to party with!

Q10 – In 5 words can you tell us what the live Weed Priest experience is like.

Don't try this at home.

Q11 – Are you guys full time musicians or do you all have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Apart from some occult activities and being full time members of Weed Priest we also do bank robberies, paranormal investigations, executions, exorcisms and mercenary work in Middle East. Bills gotta be paid.

Q12 – 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 to everything. Thousands of bands and artists. The Dubliners, Muddy Waters, Thin Lizzy, Wu Tang Clan, Morbid Angel, Darkthrone and Ludwig Van – you name it and we've probably listened to it. Not very keen on gaga bieber gangham style and other mainstream shite though.

Q13 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

We ourselves read blogs, not mainstream magazines. Blogs are more interesting, blogs are were we get recommendations and follow what's happening. That's why we send our music mainly to bloggers to review and they help us a lot to promote our music.

Q14 – Has BandCamp been a big help in getting your music across. Was it an easy decision to release your music for free download.

We only allow to stream our album for free, we charge a small bit for downloads. Bandcamp is a convenient way to get our album heard and their fees are fair enough.

Q15 – What are your views record companies shutting down blogs and websites due to illegal downloading. Some people are for it and some people are against it.

We're more or less indifferent. We have no love for corporations and no sympathy for their revenue losses (supposedly caused by illegal downloading). And we ourselves don't expect to earn a lot from our digital releases. Moreover – we don't think war on illegal downloads can be won. But on the other hand – if someone is forced not to put links to illegal downloads, or if users cannot get everything for free – that shouldn't be a question of life and death either. There is more than enough brilliant free music out there.

Q16 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect.

Being in a band is a trip. An expensive one, yes, both financially and emotionally. Creativity is required but also work, and the ability to both stand your ground and compromise. The best reward is goosebumps we get at certain moments during a rehearsal or gig, when all 3 of us and those around us are in a certain state of mind, diving into the energy of sound, when amps roar and breathe their waves of vibrations on our backs, the audience receives this energy and reflects it back to us, and we can see the same fire burning in the eyes as we see in ours.

Many people have experienced this feeling. Both musicians and listeners. And probably our colleagues druids, quimbanda priests and bible bashers speaking in tongues. Weed Priest is both psychedelic and religious experience.

Q17 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

Just played a few CD launch gigs, more gigs will follow around Ireland and hopefully later in UK and elsewhere. New songs are already composed, now being rehearsed and demons willing second album will see the light of day before the end of this year.

We'll be celebrating The Great Sabbath/Beltain in "Walpurgis Night II" metal fest (3rd May, Galway) alongside Astralnaut, Brigantia, Dark_Matter and others. You, Sludgelord, should come over! Some irish shtoner doom, ol, ceol & craic and stuff. Bring friends too. We'll find you a place to crash.

Q18 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be.

You might consider paying for services of good astrologer or crystal ball gazer. Selling you soul to the devil is another option. Voodoo rites sometimes come in handy. But don't jump into these activities hastily, this stuff is serious shit.

Q19 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Stay high! (and don't forget to say your prayers)

Well guys thanks for this great interview. Really appreciate it. Good luck with your album as it's fucking brilliant. Hope to see you guys on tour if you ever come over to the UK.

You can buy Weed Priest S/T debut album on both physical and digital copies on their BandCamp Page.

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