Saturday 2 May 2015

Interview with LOIMANN

Loimann released their stunning 2nd album – Drowning Merged Tantras – earlier this year. Loimann's style of Progressive Sludge, Doom, Stoner Metal and Psych Rock has won them a loyal following within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Community.

I originally said this about the album “Drowning Merged Tantras is an album that demands your full attention as it is a complex study with Loimann exploring different ideas and moods that will bring out an emotional response from you. Later tracks such as - III and Tantras Drowned showcase the heaviest sounds on the album in both music and vocals as Loimann create one epic final push for progressive sludge/stoner metal superiority.

It is a thrilling ride that see Loimann summon up all their musical might to crush your spirit with. At 60 mins long, this album will test some listeners’ patience but if you are a fan of epic progressive albums then Loimann is a band you need to check out. Drowning Merged Tantras is an excellent album to return with. It is a powerful statement of intent from these progressive sludge/stoner metallers. This is an album you simply must own.”

I thought it was time to catch up with this Italian Powerhouse Stoner Metal Trio to see how the band came together. The usual stuff we feature in our interviews. So sit back and lets take a trip with Loimann.

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

Hello Steve and thanks to you for this space, it’s a pleasure for us. Today we’re simply rehearsing new tunes and waiting for new gigs to come.

2 – Can you tell our readers a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

The original idea of “having a band” came out from me. I played bass in other bands (mostly black/death metal acts) and was searching my proper sound.. so began to play guitar, and then begin to play guitar and trying to sing in a Misfits cover band. Than the necessity of my own music came out again.., so I decided to try to write down some stuff. In that period the result was pretty stoner oriented.

3 – How would you describe your music in your own words. As you seem to include a lot of different genres.

Our music is the exact mix between our many influences: some of them are conscious and some others are not. So I can tell you that I know that in my songwriting there will always be some traces of Iron Maiden, Type O Negative or Slayer.. even if I don’t want to put them out and I try to focus to other kind of most recent influences, like Mastodon, Cave In, Neurosis, Burning Witch, first Electric Wizard, but also all the good music that came out from Scandinavia through the nineties.

4 – You released your 2nd album – Drowning Merged Tantras – earlier this year. How has the response been to the album. Are you pleased with the responses it's received so far.

The response was pretty good... just the same (maybe a little bit more) that received the first one, when came out. I’m obviously pleased with all the good reviews the album received especially because I’m really satisfied with the final sound we obtained after a long process. I wanted it more raw, lo-fi, and grim in comparison with the first album that had a clearer sound.

5 – Was it an easy or hard to album to write and record for.

Oh, man... Writing process was easy as always.. but, this time all the recording process was really slow and we also were forced to stop all the recording/mixing process for line-up problems, so it wasn’t easy at all.

6 – What can people expect from the album for those who haven't heard it yet.

Expect an ideological trip to the burden all religions brought to human beings (that’s what is described, in the majority of the lyrics) and, sonically speaking, a full dive into a sludgy doomy and psychedelic musical landscape. No place for softer tunes or lyrics ahah.

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

Every song sees the light in my mind. I prepare the skeleton by myself at home ... then I bring it to the band and we play and rearrange it in the studio. Lyrics come latest. Instead, all the audio samples in the album were made by me.

8 – What inspired you when you were making the album as it can be very bleak at times.

I have to answer this question maybe in a very obvious way... everyday life inspired me.. . Because all the shit we can see in the world today can be interpreted as a consequence of choices done in the past by humanity, regarding religious but also social dogmas. Last but not least I have a necessity, regarding our music, to go further to more extreme solutions. I can tell you that the new songs we’re writing down today are faster and more extreme than the ones in Drowning Merged Tantras.

And I could tell you the same thing in the period between Towards Higher Consciousness (our first album) and Drowning Merged Tantras. We‘ve embarked in a process of extremism in our music, and I really can’t tell you where it’ll bring us.

9 – You started the band back in 2001. Did you think you would all still be here 14 years later though it looks like the band has had quite a journey to the point where it is today.

Actually in 2001 the band was a mere fun project with three people playing Misfits covers. But as I told you before this helped me to gain confidence with guitar playing and singing. Real Loimann started in 2007 with focused intentions and purposes. I will be playing my music as long as my fun will override the hassles.

10 – Have you done a lot of promotion for the new album. Like tours and gigs. How has that been promoting the new album.

As the recording process took a really long time and when the album was ready I was in a hurry to come out with it, I decided to create my own little label (Behold the Ruins Records) just not to loose other time to search for a proper label (we decided not to work with OVRecordings again). So everything we gained with Drowning Merged Tantras until today (reviews, distributions abroad and obviously gigs) is the result of what I did with my label and my booking contacts. This can be favourable regarding saved money, but really stressing regarding my mental health ahah.

11- We all know the Italian Stoner Metal scene is highly regarded around the world. Does this resonate with the Italian fans. How is the Doom/Stoner Metal scene in Italy.

You know.. here in Italy it’s easier to rate the musical situation city by city... In every urban context there’s something more or less that makes the difference.

The scene is good to the extent that there are many good bands, and I can tell you that, especially here in Torino, the scene is really cohesive and lively... but I don’t know if it’s the same in other cities.

12 – If you could change anything within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner metal scene. What would it be and why.

I will simply change the mind of some people judging with words and not with facts.

13 – What have been your highs and lows during your time with the band. And if you could re-live any the bad moments with your time with the band. Would you change anything.

The lows have been the ones tied with line-up problems. It’s really difficult to find (at least within our region) someone who can share with you musical tastes, intents, and has (or I could say wants to have) enough time to spend on music. And in social and financial hard times like these it’s even harder. On the other side there has been some good highs moments like the gigs we played in Spain (with Cuzo) and France in 2010 or in Torino with Pontiak or Crippled Black Phoenix..., or the presentation of Drowning Merged Tantras in Torino last February. Amazing moments, really. And I have to say we performed well too.

Drowning Merged Tantras cover art

14 – What is your musical setup when playing live and recording in the studio. Is it a basic or advanced setup.

I don’t know if for “advanced” you mean some pedal board effects stuff... If it is so.. Yes. I use them. Me and Dario are using effects on stage during live performances to recreate the same psychedelic feeling you can listen in our recordings. I always try to use two amps during live... because my two heads are both important to obtain MY sound. We also use loops during live for the same reason I told you before. So.. I can say we’re definitely not a “punk attitude” live band: 1-2-3-4 ready.. go, if you know what I mean.

15 – Which bands and artists are currently impressing you the most.

Regarding me I can say I am listening to a lot of Boston area stuff, such as Cave In (in all their various discography) then Mutoid Man, Old Man Gloom, All Pigs Must Die, Sumac and Converge.. then I have to say that, once a month I rediscover some old stuff. I never abandon definitely the listening of music I discovered during teenage years. I have maintained quite all of them. For example all the classic black metal from Norway or Type O Negative .., just to quote a couple of examples.

16 – There was talk of Drowned Merging Tantras being released on Vinyl this year. Is there any updates regarding that.

Not yet.., sorry. We really hope to come out with good news soon, regarding that.

17 – Well guys thanks for you time. Do you have anything to say to your fans before we go.

Thanks to you. Well.. I don’t know if we have proper fans.. but anyway.. I would like to tell to the people appreciating and buying our music a big THANK YOU. Thanks for the material support and the interest in our music. It’s really the only way to support independent bands.

Words by Steve Howe and Loimann

Thanks to Loimann for taking the time out talk to us here at Sludgelord HQ.

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