War Iron Interview is up ...
1. As your new to many of the reader tell us about about War Iron and how you came to be?
War Iron formed when myself (vocalist Baggy) and drummer Marty wanted to put something heavier together after the split of our previous stoner sludge band. The basic idea was to play slow heavy riffs without any real regard if anyone other than the band would like it or not. Pure bludgeon, harsh vocals. Originally we recorded and played with two bass players and no guitars. We put out our first release in 2010 and have been playing live shows since.
2. I hear a mix of bands like Dark Industrial metal like Godflesh/ Phobos with a mix of Sludge/ Crusty doom link Neurosis, Noothgrush and Cavity. Where did this sound come from??
That’s a very interesting analysis, myself and the bass player are big Godflesh fans, the bass player and the guitarist are big Neurosis fans and the drummer is really into Cavity. Yet I don’t think there was ever any deliberate intention to sound like any of those bands, it must have just rubbed off subliminally. The sound for this release is an extension and a development of our previous releases. For this recording we tuned down and one of the bass players swapped to guitar duties. We just create the sound that we would want to hear if we bought a sludge doom album. Heavily distorted bass has always been a main part of our sound, having the bass well up in the mix alongside the guitar both on recording and live is also key to our sound. Our guitarist avoids the cliché doom guitar equipment array preferring to going for tried and tested gear instead. I guess if it sounds good then it is good is the rule.
3. Is there a reason for the self release or did you feel doing it on your own with strong PR and Digital promotion made the most sense for band in 2015?
There are two reasons for self-release, firstly we have done it before and know its easy to do especially with cd and digital. Secondly although some labels did show an interest the time scales for maybe putting something out were so far ahead in the future that we really just wanted to get on with things and put the recording out. We have nothing against a release via a label but I guess you just have to get on with things sometime and get the music out there.
4. What is the story behind " Precession of the Equinoxes" is it a collection of dirge filled tracks or is there a theme behind this massive sound release?
Theres a lot to be said for a collection of dirge! The songs aren’t really linked to each other but each does have its own meaning and theme. Precession of the Equinoxes the title track is part science fact and part fantasy nightmare! Lyrically this time round we moved away from some of the more literal lyrics of tracks like ‘face the sea’ or ‘black fleet’ on previous releases. That’s not to say that we won’t return to something like that again.
5. Do the early album have similar sounds? as I see there are two albums before this wall of sonic goodness..
The earlier albums are definitely similar, but the sound has developed. There hasn’t been much change with the vocals but the structure of the songs, complexity has all changed, I think the playing has improved also. The first album has two songs on it and some said they could hear elements of prog in it. The second album has 4 of my favourite songs on it, the production seemed good at the time as it often does, but I think we really have to sound and the recording process just as we want it now.
6. Love the idea of twin basses and not guitars. I loved the early Cop shoot cop stuff because of that so very much.. Do ever see yourself bringing in guitars full time with the twin bass attack?
The first two albums are twin bass, this one has guitar and one bass on it. We will continue with the current configuration, but who knows what we might do in the future…….
7. Ireland is not the 1st place I think of Doom music even though the amazing Mourning Beloveth is from there. What are the bands that have influenced you to make this sound?
As you say at the time there weren’t any bands in Ireland playing the sort of music we wanted to hear, that was one of the main reasons we had to form the band. Bands like War Horse, Iron Monkey, Buried at Sea, Goatsnake influenced our sound as we are big fans of all those bands.
8. What is a War Iron live show like and how different is it from the albums?
We used to struggle to capture the feel of our live shows on our recorded albums, I think this time is the closest we have got to it. Live it’s an assault on the senses heavy sound coupled with low penetrating vibrations, you hear it and you certainly feel it. We try and keep the live songs as true to the originals as we can in terms of pace and structure. The nature of live gear and PA systems usually means it’s quite a bit heavier and more brutal live.
9. If you could make a proper video of the new album what song and how would you like it too look?
Hmm good question. I think maybe the first track Bludgeon Lord would make a good video, not so sure who would want to sit through all 9 plus minutes of it though. Something fairly abstract with limited shots of the band if any at all, maybe something animated, monotonous, cyclic, black and white or monochrome colourings. Something that draws the listener/watcher in so that the 9 minutes seem to pass by in seconds.
10. If you could sign for a larger label with strong budget and touring budget would you do so or do you feel staying independent is the best for War Iron?
I guess we would sign for a larger label if we could, budget is important but connections, distribution and shows are more important. Getting the music to a wider audience and playing shows to new people is always a goal of ours. Music like War Irons is unlikely to be mainstream any time soon.
11. Do you feel longer songs and doom just allow the songs to breathe and flow. I always found my favorite doom track are very long ...
We don’t ever set out with a ‘time’ for the length of a song in mind; they just find their own natural length. Songs do tend to be quite long I suppose though on this recording we didn’t have anything longer than around 10 minutes. At a snail’s pace riffs played over and over again take time, add in a few more slow heavy riffs and a few changes and the song. Like you say the song gets time to breathe. They are long, but they don’t seem long…… The second track on our first album is 22 minutes long and we did have an unreleased track that was close to half an hour at one point.
12. What are members of War Iron listening to and reading at this time. Tells a lot about where the band is at this time?
Ok, in no particular order, Listening to Ufomammut - Ecate, Undersmile - Anhedonia, Conan - Blood Eagle, Headless Kross - Volumes, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth - Self Titled, Blown Out - Jet Black Hallucinations, Monolithian - One/zero, Tribulation - Children of the night, Armored Saint - You Cant win em all, Power of Jism - your son died laughing. Walpyrgs – demo, Bolzer, Lord Mantis, Coffin Worm, Antediluvian, Bast, Okus, Nomadic Rituals and of course Iron Maiden, Godflesh, Black Sabbath. Reading Joe Perry biography, The Martian by Andy Weir
13. If you could tour with any band who would it be and why?
That’s a difficult one to answer, so many cool bands out there, be great to be blown off stage by Godflesh every night! A double headliner with our friends Okus would be an assault on the senses for everyone concerned. Ultimately War Horse should reform so we can tour with them!
14. Whats your thoughts on digital and social media in 2015 is it the best way to get bands out to world today?
Social media is certainly a good way to get your band promoted, but it does take work and it is limited. It’s unlikely that anyone will just stumble across your band on line. You still have to do the leg work, flyering, postering, playing shows, putting out releases, having releases reviewed, it’s all part of being in a band. Digital sites such as bandcamp are a great way for music to be heard, but again these have to be promoted, linked etc so the listener gets a chance to hear your stuff.
15. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here.
Thanks for the questions, thanks if for anyone who took time to read this, check out War Iron on facebook, bandcamp or at live shows in Ireland and UK. Cheers and doom on.