Acid King, Alunah, Atrocity Exhibit, Bill Ward, Black Sabbath, Call of Avernus, Desert Storm, Desertfest, Dopefight, Download Festival, Fu Manchu, Geezer Butler, General, Graveyard, Greg Chandler, Grifter, Gringo, Gurt, Karma to Burn, Lord Vicar, Moss, Orange Goblin, Ozzy&Friends, Paradise Lost, Selfless, Serpentcult, Shebrew, Sonic Lord, St. Vitus, Stubb, Terrorizer Magazine, Tony Iommi, Tony Reed, Trippy Wicked, Trouble, Undersmile, White Hoarhound
Originating from the birthplace of Black Sabbath, it might have been mandatory to start a band of their own. Six years, several compilations, two EPs, a 7″-Split and a debut record passed since this Birmingham bunch started spilling their sound onto the face of the earth and now Alunah are about to conceive their second mind-child called “White Hoarhound”. Fronter Soph took the time for some presumably predictable and some rather surprising questions.
Please tell our audience who you are and how you started the band.
Hey Katharina, cheers for having us!! Awesome blog you have here! We play super heavy rock (a la Black Sabbath) and are from the home of heavy – Birmingham, England! In 2006 we met our drummer Jake at a Sonic Lord gig (Dave’s previous band), we got chatting and decided to have a jam together. At first it wasn’t the plan for me to be in the band, I was just the drunken one who initiated the conversation hahaha. I went along to the jam, tried some vocals out and we really liked the sound. We didn’t have a bassist for a while, when we did finally find one he stopped with us until 2009. When he left we asked Gaz to join, who we knew from gigging with his band General.
Your upcoming album is scheduled for mid 2012, how are things going with “White Hoarhound”?
At the moment it is with Tony Reed for mixing and mastering, we’ve heard some initial versions that he has done and they’re blowing us away already. Greg Chandler (who recorded both Call of Avernus and White Hoarhound) and Tony, have between them respectively worked on St. Vitus, Serpentcult and Moss albums, as well as our friends in Trippy Wicked, Grifter and Stubb. We’re privileged to be added to their band lists.
Who is responsible for what part of the songwriting progress?
I write all of the lyrics and vocal parts, although the guys do contribute with vocal ideas from time to time. As for the riffs, they come mainly from Dave but Gaz also has some great ideas that are totally different to Dave’s which is refreshing and adds a different level. If someone has an idea that is a bit rubbish, we’ll always try it out but we’re cool with each other – if it’s shit it’s shit!!
Terrorizer Magazine recently called you the “future of doom” – is this a burden or more like a blessing?
It was lovely to be recognised as being the future of something by such an established magazine. We haven’t had great reviews in Terrorizer in the past so getting that accolade was special. We don’t feel like we need to be accepted by anyone, but it was just nice to have some positive comments in the magazine. It was lovely having our friends in Trippy Wicked and Undersmile alongside us too!
What do you think about the current situation of Black Sabbath, specially the tour cancellation (Ozzy&Friends clearly does NOT contain the original Sabbath lineup)?
Well obviously we’d all love Bill to be involved but I really respect the contractual reasons as to why he’s not involved. I think giving it the “Ozzy & Friends” title does Geezer a disservice though, but I’m sure we all know who’s pulling those strings. Bill not being involved didn’t stop me trying to get tickets (and failing) for their Birmingham gig, and I’ve got my Download Fest ticket sorted. I know many people are saying “No Bill No Sabbath” but people have accepted Sabbath in different line-ups before, and even though these are different circumstances I’m still happy to see one of the greatest bands of all time. Three of the band met Tony Iommi last year in Birmingham and we wish him all the best with his treatment. My Dad is going through the same thing at the moment, and all the arguing seems very petty when you think what Tony and his family are going through. I really do hope to see him fighting fit at Download!
Talking about touring: You have quite a history of your own, sharing stages with acts like Graveyard, Orange Goblin, Karma to Burn, Lord Vicar and many more. What are your current plans towards the live sector and will you come over to continental Europe sometime soon?
Yeah we’ve been very privileged to share stages with many awesome bands, we’ve worked damn hard to get some gigs and I’m sure we’ve annoyed many a promoter but its worth it to get to play with the likes of Trouble, Paradise Lost, Fu Manchu and Acid King – some of our favourite all time bands!! This year we’re playing with Karma to Burn again, as well as some cool shows with the likes of Dopefight, Desert Storm, Gurt, Shebrew, Selfless, Atrocity Exhibit and Gringo. We’re also booking a tour around the time the album comes out. We do have plans to get out of England and cast the Alunah net further, and will make sure we come to Germany!
Playing live means standing in front of a crowd. What kind of footwear would you most likely choose and why?
Hahaha great question!! Preferably something non-slip due to my general clumsiness and (usually) drunkenness on stage! I’ve got a lovely pair of battered old brown knee high boots that look awesome with any dress, any pair of flares, and any colour… so, when we tour that’s all I take! Plus they’re non-slip!
Let’s get a little more private: Soph and Dave, you are a married couple, how does that influence the band?
Yep, we are quite an in bred band – our drummer Jake is also in a relationship with our Manager Liv! Our bassist Gaz’s girlfriend Michelle is a tattoo artist so we hope to bring her on the road with us and really keep it in the family hahaha! Seriously though, it doesn’t affect us at all! We’ve been together for 14 years and the guys knew the score when we formed Alunah, no-one was bothered then and aren’t bothered now. When we’re doing band stuff we’re more like mates than a married couple, the only time we argue is when deciding who’s driving to the gig and who gets to have a drink! He comes in handy when we get over enthusiastic guys at gigs, and for carrying my guitar cab! Who says feminism is dead! Hahaha
Have you ever felt like being reduced down to the fact that you are a female fronted band?
It used to get mentioned a lot, and we were partially to blame for that as we used to include it all the time in our promotional info. I think when we started it put some people off, I used to read a lot of shit in online forums about how they’d never heard us but must be shit because of the female vocals and the fact that I sing rather than scream. I think there were a lot of neanderthals who wouldn’t admit to liking us in case they got shit off their mates hahaha! It should be accepted that certain bands have women in them, rather than be a novelty! There are loads of women in the stoner, doom, sludge and drone genres that should be applauded and singled out purely for the fact that they’re in awesome bands, not for what genitalia they have. Sadly I’m not sure that it’ll ever change, some people have to cling onto, or attach niches to bands and having a woman in a band seems to be one of these niches! Saying all that, its never held us back and we get more positive comments now than we used to do.
Have you any words of farewell you like to provide us with?
Just really to say thanks for putting an area aside for us on your blog, I hope your readers are interested in us and if they want to check us out at http://www.alunah.co.uk you can find all our upcoming gigs here, also come and find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alunah and http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom Cheers Katharina!
It has been a great honor to have you here on Psychorizon, thanks a lot!