Tuesday 1 July 2014

Interview with HIVELORDS

Today Aaron is talking to HIVELORDS – The Self Proclaimed - Black Smoke Acid Nightmare – Drone/Doom/Sludge Metallers who we are big fans of at the blog. Their style of heavy riffs and bleak vocals has won them a loyal following within the Sludge metal scene.

Their 2013 album - Cavern Apothecary – was a firm favourite of ours at Sludgelord HQ. Aaron caught up with Will (Guitarist) from the band recently and this is what went down....

Welcome to the Sludgelord, pleased to talk to you guys and welcome.Thanks for having us your Royal Blognesses.

(SL) Who are you; state your name (s) and purpose?

Will: My name is Will and I play guitar in HIVELORDS. My purpose is to answer these questions and hopefully entertain you. Our band’s purpose is to make the best music we are capable of and share it with as many people as possible.

(SL) Summarise your musical journey (s) this point?

We formed, put out a demo (Cellar Scrolls), a 7 inch (Grand Cromlech), a full length (Cavern Apothecary), have been on several Anthrosphere compilations (Anthropic Records) and are now putting out a split cassette. We've gone on several lengthy full US tours, several short ones, and are about to embark on another long Summer tour.

(SL) What can fans look forward to from you in 2014? How is your schedule shaping up?

Will: Major fucking breakthroughs are happening this year. Firstly, Evan Void from Sadgiqacea has joined the band on lead guitar, instantly catapulting us up to the level of "mostly legitimate band." From June 20th to July 30th we will be touring with our brother-band Sadgiqacea. We have a self-released and recorded a split cassette with Ardent Vein (Washington, drone) that we will be selling on tour.

Ardent Vein is also filling in and performing vocal duties for HIVELORDS during this tour. We are beyond excited to work with Ajax. We met him in Seattle and he scared the shit out of us with his performance. Truly menacing; he will fit right in with our sound. After tour, we will finish tightening up the music for our next full length which will be recorded this Fall.

SL) What springs to mind when you think about the completion of your new/current record?

Will: Everything we have released is, clearly, tired old bullshit. Everything we have yet to release is, obviously, ground-breaking musical genius. Honestly though, the cassette sounds killer; our new tunes are striding ahead musically. We are very much looking forward to taking our time when recording the next full length. Everything we have done up until this point has been rather rushed.

(SL) Who handles song writing duties?

Will: I bring riffs and ideas to the band, sometimes more or less formed, and then they change, get added to and subtracted from, and become songs.  Our vocalist has also started to write music that, again, gets shaped and put together by the band.

(SL) How long was the gestation of your new/current opus from conception to delivery?

Will: Too long. It's a difficult task to get five people, all of whom have jobs, friends, bands, and other meaningless bullshit and baggage, together for meaningful lengths of time. If only we could make money doing this and be able to devote more time to it. Ha!

Cavern Apothecary cover art

(SL) Reflecting on your new/current record, was your artwork designed with a particular physical format in mind? Who designed it? What are your thoughts the finished physical product? What format is/will be available?

Will: Cavern Apothecary's artwork was designed by Tim Buckley for vinyl release. Basically, we send him lyrics and say, "Go!" and he goes. He is an old friend so he knows what we are all about. He inked this last one on Mylar, apparently the shiny stuff that shiny balloons are made of.  Look at it, it's amazing. It's out on Anthropic records on vinyl and CD. Or you can download it from bandcamp.

(SL) The best and worst things about being in a band?

Will: Worst: Not being able to practice as much as we would like to. Not being able to rely on anyone. Not being the best band in the world yet.

Best: that feeling when the music is coming together. Great riffs, melodies, and harmonies. Meeting awesome people all over the country. Seeing other great bands perform. When the beer flows like wine and the beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.

(SL) Influences and heroes, what are turn
 offs and turn on’s?

Will: I'm influenced by the work ethic and mindset of bands like Fugazi and Black Flag. Hard work turns me on. Pretentious bullshit turns me off. Riffs turn me on. Gear bands turn me off. Snobs turn me off. Open minded people turn me on. Passion turns me on. Fashion and trends turn me off. Dedication turns me on. Entitled attitudes turn me right the fuck off. Try harder, you deserve nothing.

SL) Any record from the past or present that springs to mind?

Will: Tyler just bought an Arthur Brown record. That dude plays what he wants. What a crazy voice. I heard he wore corpse paint? And that would have been in the 60s playing psychedelic rock. "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE!"

(SL) The last album that kicked your arse?

Will: Watching Gorguts play at MDF, holy hells. They are unspeakably good musicians but they write music that means something. It makes you feel shitty about your own abilities, but is also inspiring. Plus they seem incredibly nice, not the kind of people who would "cool guy" you, despite their godlike status. Musically, their new album is kicking everyone's asses.

(SL) What was your first instrument or musical experience and what do you use today?

Will: There were always instruments in my house as my parents are both very musical. I had a clay flute that I used to rock out with. I used to sing a lot of made up songs about my dog and superheroes. Classic rock was integral to me. Tyler and I both played sax in grade school and switched to bass in middle school. I then switched to guitar because no one else could write anything. I play a Gibson SG because I love the shape. It's got horns. It also happens to feel and sound just right.

(SL) One item, gear or otherwise that characterises your band and one item from your set up you cannot live without?

Will: Evan and I both play out of solid state Sunn Concert Lead heads. They sound great with pedals in front of them. None of my gear is sacred to me. As long as it sounds good, I don't care. I do really like my Maxon distortion pedal. It's got a tube in it. Fancy shit, man. Tyler uses one too, for the bass. Evan has a whole array of pedals, but his sound for Hivelords is achieved mainly with a $30 behringer boost pedal. It sounds great, and when you operate without pretense or other such concerns, you can pull stuff like that off without a care. Whatever works.

(SL) Pro-tools versus old school?

Will: I can't wait for the day when we can go old school, but it's expensive to do so. Pro tools is fine for now. Pirated versions only. I've been messing around with Reaper and it is pretty legit software, although I'm not comfortable with it yet.

SL) Blogs and social media vs. getting on the road and touring?

Will: Sludgelord aside, we have yet to really be embraced by the blogosphere. We are all about hitting the road anyway. We love touring and playing live. We seem to be making true, long term fans this way. I'll add another band that has inspired us; our friends in Fight Amp. Those guys were road dogs for years, and all their grassroots hard work is seemingly paying off. It might be nice to be loved by the internet, but that kind of success is most likely shallow and fleeting if it's all you've got. That being said, the internet has been an invaluable tool for us and I welcome our eventual YouTube superstardom.

(SL) What are your survival tips for the road, any rider requests?  Orange M & M’s for example

Will: Have a water bottle and use it incessantly. Save empty bottles for piss jugs in the van. Always dump your piss jugs. Do not drink Gatorade found in the van without thorough smell testing. All we ask is to be paid fairly, and, please, oh merciful fate, let their be drink tickets.

(SL) What have been your band highlight (s) thus far

Will: The bigger bands we have played with have all been pretty down to Earth. Ardent Vein has been a legend amongst us ever since we played with them in Seattle. There are so many great bands and people that there are too many highlights to recall without snubbing a bunch of great people. Fuck it, shout out to our boys Dendritic Arbor. We are kindred band spirits.

(SL) Vinyl Junkie or Ipod flunky? Discuss

Will: We are vinyl enthusiasts. The merits of the medium have been thoroughly discussed many times before, so I won't belabour that point; they rule. But! I have an iPod and listen to it daily. Obviously they are way more practical for transportation. I also like cassettes because of the nostalgia factor and because they are cheap and no nonsense. And they sound pretty great on my stereo. CDs I have always been terrible with. I break the cases upon opening them, and then I put them in a wallet and scratch them.

(SL) Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like to bestow upon us?

Will: Absolutely. Thank you all and keep up the great work

Written by Aaron Pickford

Thanks to Will for taking the time out to talk to us at Sludgelord HQ. Check The Band From Links below.