Thursday 7 November 2013

BORRACHO Interview, Part 2

Paranoid Hitsophrenic
Well folks here is Part 2 of the interview with Borracho which I conducted with our good friend Lucas from Paranoid Hitsophrenic.

I always love teaming up with other blogs and Lucas idea of doing a joint interview intrigued the hell out of me. I jumped at the chance when he suggested do a joint interview with Washinton DC Riff Slayers - Borracho. As we are both big fans of this awesome band.

I have featured Borracho a few times now. The most recent with me reviewing their recent excellent album Oculus

I said this about their excellent new album: "So what more can I say about Oculus. It is a triumph on every level. It more than matches the power and vibe of their excellent debut album – Splitting Sky. Borracho have created another masterpiece here. That is two out of two. A sign of a very great band indeed. Watch this album soar. Oculus will further enhance the reputation of this already brilliant band. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up on a few best of 2013 lists like it’s predecessor. It has already made my best of 2013 list."

As Lucas has already posted his interview here - It's time to start part 2 of the Paranoid Hitsophrenic/Sludgelord Crossover with DC Riff-Warriors - BORRACHO.

1. Steve - Fund-Raising Projects are becoming a lot more common place within the Rock/Metal scene. Bands asking fans to fund their latest projects. What are your views on this. Are you a fan of the medium. Would Borracho ever go down this route.

We were dubious about crowd-funding a project until we saw some bands do it really well for a project nearly identical to what we had debated about. We think it's great in concept, but execution is everything - you have to put together a really compelling package, the pitch has to be entertaining and then you've got to actually execute the project being funded. We've already laid some basic groundwork for planning a crowd-funded campaign and as soon as we lock in our logistics we’ll be launching our first one. We've collected a sizable trove of Borracho treasure for the funder packages, and are excited about kicking this one off.

2. Lucas - You guys come from Washington DC, home to many legends in the punk rock world like Henry Rollins, Fugazi and Bad Brains, etc. But, aside from a little known character by the name of Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, the city itself isn’t really known for its stoner and doom presence. Obviously, the Maryland Doom scene is just a stone’s throw, but are there any other local, DC bands around not getting the exposure they deserve that you want to let us in on?

It’s really peculiar, right? There are so many bands from the area immediately surrounding the city who are part of or associated with that Doom Capital pedigree. But where is the modern heavy out of DC proper? It’s just all indie rock bands in the city, and the heavy is a bit relegated to the suburbs. We’ve been welcomed into the Maryland doom community and we really like sharing shows with the likes of Weed is Weed, Foghound, and many others. And in some ways we benefit from the scarcity of other local DC stoner/doom bands when it comes to getting opening slots on major shows coming through, like we did this year with Fu Manchu and Saint Vitus. The one DC-proper heavy band worth a listen is Caustic Casanova, who are road dogs, and play quirky and unique heavy music.

3. What is your favourite song you have ever written. Or have you not written that one yet.

It’s like the Holy Grail, right? Every song you write you hope to be better than the stuff you did before. It’s the natural pursuit of the artist. It may be more at the album level for us. How can you compare a song like Concentric Circles to a song like Stockpile? They are completely different animals. We haven't written our best stuff yet because we want to keep trying to write adventurous and personally interesting music. But of course we feel fulfilled, and feel like we've written some just awesome songs that we continue to love to hear and play.

4. You’ve had a lot of highlights in your careers so far from releasing music and the critical reception to playing with some legendary bands of the stoner / doom genre. But with a name like Borracho (for readers: it means drunk in Spanish), are there any lowlights you’re not too embarrassed to tell us about?

We've definitely had our fair share of playing to sparse crowds on a Tuesday, shows plagued by technical difficulties or maybe starting the party a wee bit too early before the set... nothing too crazy. Mario did pass out about 3 hours before a show in Philly last year, but he managed to pull it together for an awesome set later that night. Remember, we're professionals, we take the name "Borracho" seriously.

5. Has the Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal community been a big help in getting your music across to the masses.

The doom community has been a big help, just being such a passionate collective of fans, bloggers and musicians. Every individual cares about this music and it’s an honor to be counted among them. They promote and support the bands so much that eventually there's crossover. The bloggers and web zines are like the old ‘zines and newsletters and tape traders. They’re really helping the underground, and have so much more access to people than back in those days. In this small world, you guys have more sway than higher profile metal press. We've still been impressed with the more mainstream press we've gotten in DC and the cross-over crowds that can generate. But the core definitely comes from our tight knit community, and we appreciate that level of support immensely.

6. Alright, now I want to ask you somewhat of a serious question. You’ve had vinyl releases on numerous labels, but why is Borracho not an officially ‘signed’ band? I’m sure there have been offers. Is it a case of waiting for the right fit? I couldn’t imagine that labels have ignored the band completely.

No, labels have pretty much ignored us completely. We pitched Splitting Sky to a dozen or so very targeted labels without a single response. We've been sort of sitting on doing any big pushes on Oculus until we have a physical product to send out. Frankly, we're too busy selling it to our fans directly! The industry has changed so much since the days when labels were literally the gate-keepers between bands and opportunity. Now there's so much more available to us - we've released everything we have out either DIY or with excellent, passionate, but small labels as no-contract one-offs. That's been pretty good for us, but distribution remains an issue. The stuff that labels really bring to the table is their cred, promotion and distro machines and ability to land the larger show opportunities like European festivals. It'd be great to be signed to an esteemed label with a reputation for their good artist treatment, and I'm sure we'd make some label a fair amount of money. But not being signed has nothing to do with our creative process or ability to put out music. Fear not. We keep moving forward.

7. If there is one thing that you could change within the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene, what would that be?

More free beer and shows that didn't have to end at 11pm to make way for a disco party. These two things would be solid improvements. Otherwise, we’re maybe a bit dubious of some of the most obvious “trends” in the subgenres. But everybody puts in what they want and gets out what they can. We don’t begrudge that, but certainly don’t follow that. We’re too old to worry about trends.

8. Thanks for chatting with us guys, Steve and I and our readers appreciate it greatly! Any last minute curses, threats, prophecies or messages you’d like to leave us with? Any important shows or tours you’d like to announce? Jokes you’d like to leave us with? You have the last word …

We’re going to playing an Oculus LP release show in DC on December 21. We’re working with Port City Brewing Company on having another batch of our Smokin’ Brown Ale for the show exclusively. Otherwise, we’re working on booking shows and making our 2014 plans.

Thanks to you and Steve at Sludgelord and Paranoid for giving us this opportunity. Borracho has the utmost respect for bloggers in this scene - you guys make it happen in so many ways for all of us by tirelessly working your asses off to let other fans find great new music and connect with artists. It's probably relatively thankless work but you all are pretty important to us so, yeah, rock on brothers!

I want to thank Borracho for their time on this interview. And Lucas for suggesting this crazy insane and wonderful idea. Lets see who we do a crossover interview with next.....

Check out this brilliant band from the links below.