Monday 7 April 2014

Interview with Steve Colca from Destroyer Of Light & Heavy Friends Records

It's time to interview Steve Colca (Gtr/Vox) from a band that I first featured back in Oct 2012 when I reviewed his band's excellent debut S/T album.

I am talking about Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal overlords – Destroyer of Light – who made quite an impression on me back then. I originally said this about their debut album - “It sounds like a spookier version of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus when they were both in their prime. Up next is The Virgin. Another creepy offering that shows you how talented these guys actually are. Steve sounds like he has been possessed by a vengeful spirit. Just wait till the Death Metal vocals creep in.

The album is expertly produced as you can hear every creepy riff and note played to perfection. This is the perfect Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal album for Halloween. Crank This Bitch upto full blast and scare the living hell out of as many people as possible.

So raise your horns to this brilliant band and become Destroyed By The Light. As Destroyer Of Light fucking rule big time. An outstanding release from this truly great band.”

Destroyer Of Light recently released their superb follow up – Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 – earlier this year and it really is a stunning release of epic Doom Laiden Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs.

Plus Steve has got a few exciting projects coming up which I like to talk about. New Record Label and a forthcoming US Tour.

So lets get down to business with Steve Colca.

Q1 – Hi Steve. Long time no speak. How are things with you today. Thanks for doing this.

Not bad, Steve. It’s almost like talking to yourself, haha. It has been awhile! However, things are busy, man…working on a few tours, starting Heavy Friends Records, and booking local shows, and all that fun stuff. Thanks for having me!

Q2 – So where do we start. How did you become involved with music. Any particular album, band or life changing album get you interested with music.

ITHE album, Alice in Chains - Dirt would be the reason I am a musician today. That’s when I knew I wanted to play guitar and try writing my own music. Between Jerry Cantrell’s guitar riffs, and the vocal melodies/harmonies of Cantrell/Staley, I was hooked. I’d say I was about 13. That’s when I had a shitty radio shack recorder, and would record songs that I wrote, and I would keep working on them until I found them to be decent songs. My main goal then and still ’til this day is songwriting with good riffs and melodies. It’s always a goal I strive to achieve.

Q3 – Now I know you primarily with Destroyer Of Light. Can you tell our readers a brief history of how that band came about and where it is today.

I am originally from Kalamazoo, MI, but then I decided to move down to Driftwood, TX to stay with my aunt and uncle to try something new, and possibly move to Austin, which was 40 minutes away. Within two weeks of moving to Texas, I started jamming with Penny Turner in Austin (thanks to a friend, Joseph Moreno, and Craigslist!), who is the drummer, with a few riffs that became “Greet Death” and “The Virgin.” After that, I knew we were onto something. Both of us wanted to tour constantly and write and record music, and all it took was finding like minded musicians that felt the same way as us, which I feel like we have now with our current line-up. This is our third year as a band, and we have done 8 tours, released two albums, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Q4 – I first took notice of Destroyer Of Light when you released your debut album back in 2012. It received some great reviews within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. Were you surprised by the responses you received for that album.

Yeah, I really was! We recorded that album after only being together for three months, we went in the studio and recorded everything in 14 hours, and mixed everything down the next day in 14 hours. It was grueling, yet a fast and fun experience, and what came out, I am happy with, considering we were only a band for a short period of time, and the amount of time that we had to do the record. So, to get that kind of response on our first release was awesome, and not expected. It just made us want to do better and continue to grow as we continue.

Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 cover art

Q5 – You have just released your new album. Bizarre Tales Vol. 2. Even though I haven't reviewed it yet it's a fantastic release. Very different to your debut album. Was that the plan to release something different to the first album.

Thanks man, I appreciate it. Not really. The difference is that on the first record, I mainly wrote all of the songs except “So Divided,” which was written by Keegan. And on the second record, I mainly wrote, “Year of the Witch,” Mark (our ex- bassist) mainly wrote “Lost Time,” and then the rest of the songs were mainly written by our lead guitarist, Keegan. I say mainly because a majority of the structures and riffs were written by those core people, but then everyone adds their own sound and style to each of the songs. So, it definitely brings a different side of the band because we all write differently, but I think it is good to have some variety in your sound, you know.

Q6 – Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for compared to the first album.

It was easier because we were more prepared with this album, and we had more time to record and mix the album. It wasn’t rushed. Though, most of the recording was done in two days, we still had plenty of time to really work on it. Plus, we rehearsed it quite a bit before hand.

Q7 – Why the name Destroyer Of Light for your band. Any particular reasons behind it.

I came up with the name on my drive moving from Kalamazoo, MI to Driftwood, TX. No reason really, I just thought it had a good ring to it, and would be an excellent metal band name. It could be my love for the horror genre, who knows!

Q8 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to a certain individual.

Like I stated above, it is more of a group collective. No one really tells anyone how to play their songs. And quite honestly, sometimes one of us has a better idea than what we originally intended. The way we look at it, what is going to make the song better, and let’s set our egos aside. Between Keegan and I, we write equally about the same amount of material, we have a lot of songs that are on the back burner for now that both of us have written. Maybe they will see the light of day!

Q9 – Now Destroyer of Light are going to embark on a Tour in April 2014. Can you give us more details on that tour. Which places will you be visiting, bands you're playing with and what people can expect when seeing Destroyer Of Light in concert.

First tour of the year, and we are all stoked on it! Well, we are going on the road with our Austin pals, Widower. They are more of a blackened thrash band, but we all get along so well, and we did a tour in October 2013 through the West Coast that went so well that we decided to do a run through the South together this time. It is called the Doomed to Thrash tour, naturally. We will be going through Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma. I will send you a flyer with the dates. What you can expect is a lot of Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 being promoted, and everything will be loud, heavy, and full of energy!

Q10 – You have just started you're own record label – Heavy Friends Records. How did that come about. And was it a hard decision to start your own label.

It basically started out as Sara Sayed, who lives in Denver, and I, who lives in Austin, discussing how we are both predominant members in our music communities, which both have killer bands/scenes, and that we both enjoy the same type of music of stoner, doom, sludge, thrash, and black metal. It wasn’t really hard for either of us because we are both music nerds and love working in music.

Q11 – What is the aims and objectives for the label. What do you hope to achieve.

Our objective is to help underground heavy bands in the Austin and Denver area (sludge, stoner, thrash, doom) with getting their albums released. We are also going to help with tours and anything promotion-wise through social media. The goal is to get the bands and artists the recognition and promotion that they deserve.

Q12 – Obviously you have signed Destroyer Of Light to the label. Have you any other exciting bands signed to your label yet?

We do have bands that we have talked to, and are considering, but that is something that we can’t discuss at this time. But we do have good news on the way!

Q13 – if you are going to sign other bands. What rules do you have when signing a band or releasing a record.

The number 1 rule is that both Sara and I have to agree that we both like the band 100%. Secondly, the band has to be motivated to write and record albums, and play shows on a regular basis, and hopefully do some touring. Third, the music has to fit in the confines of the genres that we want to represent.

Q14 – Will you be releasing CD's, Vinyls, Tapes or Digital Downloads. Or is that too early to tell at this moment.

We have a couple future projects that will be released on vinyl, and have plans to work on all formats.

Q15 – What is your verdict on the entire crowd-funding scene. Are you a fan of this medium and would you ever go down this route for your band and your record label.

Destroyer of Light has tried out the crowd-funding with our first album, but to be honest, I am not that big a fan of it. Sara, on the other hand, finds it to be a good medium in some cases when used properly. We’ll probably try to avoid doing it, but if we ever do decide to, we’ll make sure to do something cool .

Q16 – Anyway back to Destroyer of Light questions. What is your musical setup when playing live. Is it an advanced rig or is it a basic setup.

It’s pretty basic, when it comes to the set up for a doom band, you know, haha. Keegan and I use Orange rigs. He uses an Orange AD30 Combo amp plugged into an Orange 4x12 Cabinet. Where I use an Orange Rockerverb 50 plugged into a 2x12 and 4x12 Orange Cabinets. Our bass player uses a Sunn Beta and Concert Bass Heads plugged into an 4x10 plus 2x15 Electric Cabinet. Penny uses a Tama kit.

Q17 – If you could change anything about the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal world what would it be and why.

I honestly wouldn’t change anything. The genre has survived over 40 years, and has been getting more recognition over the past decade at a steady pace. If I had say anything though, it would be to play the music from the heart and soul. Music is supposed to be from the heart and soul, and doom music is meant to be just that. If bands are going to play the genre, don’t fake it, play it like you meant it. Just like any musician should do anyways, right?!

Q18 – Which albums are currently rocking your world. Any recommendations would you like to give us here at Sludgelord HQ.

Here’s a collective of what Sara and I have been listening to lately. Conan - Blood Eagle, Salem Pot- Lurar Ut Dig På Prärien, Monolord - Empress Rising, Behemoth - The Satanist, Pilgrim - II: Void Worship, Truckfighters - Universe. Every day I am trying to catch up on all the new shit, there’s just so much music!

Q19 – If you could provide advice to anyone wanting to start a band or starting a record label what would it be.

Whether it be your own music or somebody else’s music that you want to help, do it for the love of the music, that’s it. And to add to that, don’t expect to make any money for a long time or at all!

Q20 – Well Steve thanks for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Best of luck with the tour and record label. Do you have anything final to say to our readers here.

Thank you for having me, and we are ready to hit the road, it can’t come soon enough! The last thing I would like to say is thank you for all the support that you have given Destroyer of Light, and to check out Heavy Friends Records at We have a lot of exciting things happening! Cheers!

I want to thank Steve for talking to us at Sludgelord HQ. Check his great band and record label from the links below.

Destroyer of Light

Heavy Friends Records

Written by Steve Howe