Friday 18 April 2014

Interview with Christian from Pet The Preacher

Today's guest is Christian Hede Madsen Lead Vocalist and Guitarist from Pet The Preacher, who are about to release their best album to date with The Cave & The Sunlight. Pet The Preacher have been making a name for themselves over the last few years with their intense style of Doom, Hard Rock and Stoner Metal.

They have received rave reviews for their début album – The Banjo – and subsequent EP's. But it's their new album where they prove to the Stoner Metal world that they are a force to be reckoned with. Napalm Records thinks so as well as they are currently signed to that great label.

We recently reviewed this album and said the following:

The album seems to flow consistently and fluidly with a slight build of intensity from beginning to end. The deeper into the album the more contorted and intense the music becomes. The ending carries a riff of sunlight behind the western horizon with a florescent glow just as the dawn of song one began the album. The Cave and The Sunlight team together as a surreal combination of dark and light soundscapes in heavy rock form. If you liked their previous material you will love the new one, and if you're new to the band, this is certainly an easy entry point as to what the Preacher feels like. Don't be scared, give him a pet. He likes it behind his ears.”

It's a freaking blast of great riffs from start to finish. So I am happy to say that Pet The Preacher have kindly agreed to talk to us here at Sludgelord HQ.

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

Christian Hede Madsen( CHM):

Everything is good. Enjoying a coffee with a mild hangover haha. Thank you so much for this interview. I have enjoyed The Sludgelord-site for quite a while.

Q2 – Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

CHM: We met in another band-settling, but when I left, we formed Pet The Preacher. After almost 3 years I can say that we are a heavy, bluesNdoom rock band haha or something like that. We are still finding our "sound" and exploring what this trio can really achieve in the realm of hard rock.

Q3 – Now, lets talk about your excellent new album. We are huge fans of it here at Sludgelord HQ. Was it an easy or hard album to record for.

CHM: First of all: thank you! It means the world to us that people actually understand this record and what we want to do. This album was a joy to make to be honest.

We recorded it live, but wanted to go for a bigger and broader sound than our previous stuff. More dynamic layers too. We were really aware of making songs that fitted the album-format, but also worked as singled out songs. We aimed to become way better songwriters than before and I think we took a huge step forward with this record.

Q4 – Would you change anything about it or are you happy with the final version that is being released.

CHM: You always want to change some things, but that is only natural and a sign that you are still progressing. BUT: we are very happy with the way the album turned out. Both songwise and the overall feeling of it. And the production is the best we have had. Jacob Bredahl did an amazing job and our communication gets better and better for every time. This time Brad Boatright did the mastering and it has made a huge difference.

Tight bottom-end, clarity and dynamics. In short: we got the right guys for the job.

Q5 – What influenced you when writing and recording the album. Or did you just focus on your own thing.

CHM: I guess you are constantly influenced by what you see and hear. The lyrics are a mix of philosophy, personal experience and just cool sentences that I wanted to elaborate on. Very diverse, but always with a kind of visual story behind them. At least that is what I aimed for. The music we make is all about the mighty riff, groove and the blues. This time we wanted to make sure the songs were actually really good. Not just exercises in some form of stoner rock.

In the studio we listened to ELDER, Down, Baroness and a lot of Corrosion Of Conformity's " America's volume dealer" because Bredahl introduced us to it, and that sound was a big influence as well. Also we just returned from a tour w. Acid King when we recorded the album, where we also played w. Eyehategod. That was a huge influence as well. We wanted to become heavier. That was important. And still is. Not just the sound, but also the riffs, songwriting and overall feeling adds to the heaviness of the album I think.

Q6 – You have read our  review of your album. How would you describe it yourselves.

CHM: In short: A selection of songs with an edge. An album with many textures by musicians who actually play their instruments and have a message. And most important: Fierce heavy rock that will make you bang your head and scream along to the lyrics....I hope haha.

Q7 – How would yourselves describe your overall sound.

CHM: Heavy blues-infused rock music with a metal edge.

Q8 – You received a lot of praise for your début album. Were you pleased with the reception that The Banjo received.

CHM: That was kind of unexpected, because it is actually a weird record. And at that point we were still new at writing songs and had not found out in what direction we wanted to go.

It was an exercise in the art of writing a concept album and it worked out okay as a whole piece, but not all the songs are equally strong to be honest. But it is important to keep progressing as a songwriter. But when you release an album it is as much the listener's as yours and I love it when people are in love with a song that I think is barely "ok". Music is such a personal thing and one opinion is as good as the next. It makes me happy to see the music get a life of it's own.

Q9 – You're currently signed with Napalm Records. How did you guys hook up with them as they seem to be the Doom/Stoner Metal label to be as they have signed some truly fantastic acts over the last 12 months or so.

CHM: It was a long process, where they saw us live and followed PTP for a year or so. Our manager sorted out the details and after a long time, they finally signed. We are proud and happy to release our album under the Napalm Records umbrella. And proud that our friends in Bilocation Records, who believed in us from the beginning, are releasing a limited Golden vinyl as well.

Q10 – Who designed the excellent album cover. It's a brilliant design. Did you have much input with overall design.

CHM: When we played in Paris with Acid King, there was a who designed an amazing poster for that show. That was Emy and she did the album cover. She has Arrache Toi-Un Oeil with another guy and they are fantastic. It is great that we can help to get their art out there.

Q11 – There seems to be a wealth of great bands coming from the Danish Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene with bands such as yourselves, Hjortene, Slowjoint, Helhorse, Doublestone, Barricade and Rising to name but a few. What is the scene like in Denmark at the moment. Any more great bands that we should check out.

CHM: It is difficult to talk about a "scene" in Denmark, because all the bands you are mentioning are very different. But I do agree that a lot of Danish bands are doing interesting things in a lot of genres. If we could just stop comparing us to Sweden, we could start looking for our own musical identity.

Well I know a lot of the bands as friends so I might be a bit incompetent. BUT I enjoy these: By The Patient, HEXIS, Ajuna, SEA, Förtress, AntiRitual, RUINED, Iceage, Baby In Vain, Cacafogo, The Psyke Project, Blaue Blume, MØ and a whole lot of others as well.

Q12 – Do you perform gigs on a regular basis in your home town or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.

CHM: we play more outside of Denmark, because our audience seems to understand us really well there. And our label, manager and booking are all outside of Denmark, so it makes sense. Especially Germany, France and UK are good to us.

But we try to play Denmark more and more now. But we need to build up an audience.

Q13 – What is the song writing process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

CHM: I write the lyrics and we tend to arrange the songs together. Whoever has the best songwriting-idea or riff brings it to the table and we work from there. The song and vision of the band is King, not our egos.

Q14 – What are you thoughts on the crowd-funding scene where bands and artists ask fans to help fund their latest album, tour or release. Are you fans of this medium. Would yourselves ever go down this route.

CHM: Crowdfunding is a really good thing. It connects the artists with their audience and that is good thing. It makes the artist grateful and the audience loyal. We would have no second thoughts about trying crowdfunding if the project was right.

Q15 – What is your live set-up when performing on stage. Any advanced rigs or are you guys have a more straight forward set-up.

CHM: We have really, really simple setups. A few pedals, tube-amps and classic instruments. It is about what we do with it, because our setup is oldschool and not complicated at all. There are some more technical run throughs of our set ups out there ( on the net)

Q16 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians. Any particular bands or albums that had a great impact on your life.

Torben( bass) is all about Jimi Hendrix
Christian Von Larsen( drums) grew up with Metallica.
I still Believe Led Zeppelin is the best band ever.

But the NOLA bands are also highly influential to us. COC, Eyehategod, Crowbar and so on. The heavy riffs and the groove. Ofcourse Clutch is an influence, as well as their influences: the blues( John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Son House, Freddie King, Albert King and so on).

We all have different musical tastes and we love all genres.

But personally what I listen to the most these weeks are: Windhand, Gojira, ASG, Yesterday&Today, Indian, In Solitude, Toxic Holocaust, Conan and Behemoth.

Q17 – In 5 words or less, what is the live Pet The Preacher experience.

Intense, rough, loud, heavy and groovy

Q18 - If you could give any advice to people wanting to start a band what would it be.

CHM: Play what you want!

Q19 - Apart from the new album what else do you have in store over the next 12 months or so.

CHM: writing album 3. And, hopefully: touring, touring, touring!

Q20 – And finally, do you have anything to say to your fans.

CHM: You guys are the best and we can't wait to give you " The Cave & The Sunlight". Hope you will learn to love it. Keep and eye on our pages and bring all your friends to a show. Let's grab a beer and enjoy life and the joy of heavy rock. Thanks again"

Well guys thanks for doing this. Best of luck with the new album. It's an excellent album.

Thanks to Mona Miluski and Jon Freeman at Napalm Records for arranging this interview. And to Christian for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Much appreciated everyone.

Check The Band From Links Below:

You can buy Pet The Preacher from Napalm Records on April 25th 2014.

Written by Steve Howe