Friday 4 October 2013

Interview with Oskar from DOMOVOYD

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Oskar - clamor and low frequencies specialist - for brilliant Finnish Psych/Doom/Drone/Stoner Sonic Merchants - DOMOVOYD.

I recently reviewed Domovoyd's brilliant debut album - Oh Sensibility - which is one of the loudest released I have had the pleasure to listen to this year. I described the album as:

"Domovoyd are back bigger and louder than ever with their frankly astonishing debut album – Oh Sensibility. A 54-minute blast of heavy drone based Psych/Doom/Stoner Metal riffs that will shatter your eardrums right from the start.

Oh Sensibility is a rather misleading title as their nothing sensible about this album. As Domovoyd play at such a loud and angry pace that these guys could give Sleep and High On Fire a run for their money in the loud volume stakes. Plus the riffs are epic through out. This is one of the heaviest Psych/Stoner Metal albums I have had the pleasure to hear this year.

Domovoyd’s use of Drone is put to brilliant use. It gives their music such a dangerous edge that it should come with a government health warning. Highly Explosive Riffs!!!!"

Well Oskar from the band has kindly agreed to talk to me. So lets see what Oskar has to say..

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

Oskar: Hi Steve, Pretty damn good thanks for asking. It's a pleasure!

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

Oskar: A few years back, when we were studying in Kaustinen College of Music, we started jamming together with this idea that we wanna do something fresh and different, yet crushingly heavy. It all started from a riff that was stuck in my head and ended up as a band, formed by four good friends, making their own music. We were these 16-17 year old dudes putting their intoxicated heads together and it still amazes me to see that it has spawned something that still lasts. And it feels like we're just getting started.

Q3 – Where did the name – Domovoyd – came from and what does it mean.

Oskar: Let's just say that it has various meanings to us. Some are more personal and some are more obvious. 

Q4 – I first noticed you back in 2011 with your excellent EP. It's been a long time coming waiting for your début album. But it's finally here. Congrats on the album as it's a brilliant album. Was it as much fun recording it as it is listening to it..

Oskar: Thank you so much! I'm still remembering the recording of it as one of the best times I've had in my life so far. Our dear friend "Vezard", who recorded and mixed the album, invited us to this abandoned-like looking former institute in a peaceful location to record something. The plan was just to have fun for five days, jam a lot and hopefully get something on tape too. Every day we obtained this fuzzy yet harmonic collective state of consciousness and then we used that state to fuse those slight structures we had in advance with the musical experimenting.

Q5 – Was it an easy or hard album to record for.

Oskar: We didn't have much material when we went to the studio, but nothing was forced on it. We went in with the idea that we're just going to have fun and we left the studio with a complete album. It felt like magic, though it wasn't necessarily easy to live without shower or proper food for the whole time and sleep on mattresses that were ripped off the walls. Everything was recorded live, except some minimalistic "space junk" was added afterwards in the end of "Effluvial Condenser" by Niko. The vocals were recorded in a desert next to a sand dune, so I could say that we could've done it the easy way, but we chose the "hard way" with some things, 'cause it offered us a more joyful trip.

Q6 – Is there anything you want to change about it or is it perfect the way it is.

Oskar: I wouldn't change a thing.

Q7 – How would yourselves describe your sound. As I think it falls under a lot of different sounds. Psych Rock. Doom. Stoner. But definitely LOUD!!!

Oskar: I was asked this same question by the announcer in Ilosaarirock 2013 before our performance and I told that I have no answer to it. Then I was told that we should come up with an answer, 'cause a lot of people are going to ask it from us so I told the guy about an incident that happened in the camping area the night before. A random guy showed up in our camp and kicked me in the head with no reason. The feeling that I had after that was pretty much the feeling that would describe our sound in my opinion, but I'll leave this question to be answered by the listeners.

Q8 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians.
Oskar: I think we have this mutual frequency between the members and our taste in music is quite similar but we all have our own perversions and we all differ a lot also. We are influenced by things like IDM or reggae as much as we are influenced by classic prog/kraut/psych rock, doom and more traditional stuff in this type of music. It feels like we're all making the same painting but with different colors. We respect our influences and pay tribute to them in small things and although we are honored to be compared to our influences, we still want to sound like Domovoyd and not like our influences.

Q9 – What is the local scene like in your home town. Do you get regular gigs in your home town. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.

Oskar: I'd say that despite of it's small size, Seinäjoki is a growing city with music and culture. You can find some weird stuff, that I'm more into, within the local scene but you gotta dig deep. Mainly we're trying to travel further and spread the information about our existence, but we do have a couple of gigs per year in our home town and their always a blast. We'd love to get some gigs abroad some day so if there's anyone out there who could help us, it would be much appreciated!

Q10 – How did you guys hookup with Svart Records to release your début album. Great label which I am quite a fan of.

Oskar: Couple of years back we were joking about getting our debut out via Svart Records, so now that it's actually happening we're quite excited. Our friends from other bands recommended us to contact Svart Records with our debut album, so encouraged by that, we sent them an e-mail and the raw mix of the album and that was it. Svart is a great label indeed and we couldn't be more satisfied working with them.

Q11 - What are your favourite bands you are currently listening to. Any bands that myself or our readers should check out.

Oskar: I've been listening to a lot of Captain Beyond lately, but I'd be happy to recommend some finnish bands that have caught my ear: Oranssi Pazuzu, mr. peter hayden, Dark Buddha Rising, renate/cordate and Katakombi should definitely be checked out if those names doesn't ring a bell yet. For fans of more bluesy stuff I would recommend Jupiter, a laid-back hard-rocking band also found in 2010. Magic Meredith and Kairon; IRSE! are born from the same origin as us and they are definitely worth checking out. Dmitry and Niko are actually playing in the other one.

Q12 - Do you all have regular jobs or is being a musician your main job.

Oskar: I wish you could see me laughing at this one. Dmitry has a part-time job I think, but we're pretty much living on government money. I'm studying philosophy and musicology in the University of Jyväskylä, Niko is studying music in the Conservatory of Oulu and Axel is experimenting his life as a human being.

Q13 - What are your views of bands using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund their new album releases. Some people and bands are for it. Some are not. Would you consider doing some thing like that yourselves.

Oskar: I have no idea what those are, but if they help people funding their releases I guess it's a good thing!

Q14 – In 5 words or less describe the Domovoyd live experience.

Oskar: Dynamic, hypnotic, energetic, explosive and addictive.

Q15 – What equipment or setup do you use to get that vast loud sound. And are you that loud when performing live. As I would give you guys a Government Health Warning. HA HA.

Oskar: Thanks man, much appreciated! We're young and half deaf so yeah we like to play loud. To get a glimpse of our equipment you need to come see us live.

Q16 – What is the songwriting process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual?

Oskar: Usually we bring some small elements, like riffs, rhythms, melodies or simple descriptions about some certain atmosphere, to the practice and then we start jamming. Each of us adds he's own ingredients and then songs are born. We can read each other very well in my opinion, we work constructively and proceed by feeling.

Q17 -Now I said the following about album track – By Taking Breath

“It would not surprise me if the band played this track live the amps would probably be destroyed.” 

Can you tell our readers what happened when you played this track recently live. What the fuck happened. How did you blow the amps. Which I have total respect for you guys for. Proper Old-School Rock and Roll right there.

Oskar: We were performing at Kiarama 2013 Festival in Pori, Finland and during that song the cab that Niko was using died and his amp started to malfunction. Niko went to have a beer in the audience while we were improvising. After the cab was changed, Niko came back but the amp was fried so we performed one more song with broken equipment and left the stage. It's a shame we didn't get to perform our full setlist since we are always trying to put up this big picture instead of performing single pieces, but it was a fun experience all and all. It's a miracle it hasn't happened before because he practically feeds his amp with effects.

Q18 - 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

Oskar: We are always broke and we constantly loan equipment from our friends and other bands (thanks guys) to do gigs. Niko is the only one with driver's license and he was the only one with a car, until he sold his car to buy a new amp (which is now destroyed, haha). It takes your time and your money, but what you get back can't be measured in earthly ways. I think everyone who has played in a band knows that. At it's best it's a divine experience and ineffable fellowship and it's worst it's just purely nerve-wracking.

Q19 - If you could provide words to wisdom for people wanting to start a band – What would they be.

Oskar: I can't speak with wisdom, but with my experience I'd say: Jam a lot, be brave, make friends and never give up.

Q20 - What pisses you off most in music. Or do you not let the bad things in music stop you from performing and writing songs.

Oskar: Many things piss me off in music, but to mention some: Ordinary people acting like superior beings, recycling of dull ideas and overflowing promotion of recycled dull ideas made by people acting like superior beings. But we definitely don't let the bad stuff stop us, since we are used to that there's always something in our way and we always come up with a solution.

Q21 - Finally do you have anything to say to your fans.

Oskar: Naturally we'd like to thank every and each of you deeply. Remember to check out that debut of ours in October 11th and come to see our gigs. Finally - In the words of our dear friend Hunter S. Ala-Lahti: Support the psychedelic youth!

Well I want to thank Oskar for his time and providing us with a great interview. Thanks to Nathan for arranging this interview as well.

All I can advise you to do is buy this brilliant album when it's released via Svart Records on Oct 11 2013. I have already ordered my Vinyl. 

You can check the band from the links below.

BandCamp - Headover to BandCamp where you can downlod their brilliant EP's for free.