The ultra underground nature of the doom metal scene is balanced by the
passion of its followers. Vocalist / guitarist Mike Sheidt is a case in
point. His band, YOB, is a crushing, heavy and unique doom outfit from
Portland, Oregon. And, not only is Mike completely devoted to the music
he creates, but he is a huge supporter of the music scene as well.
Without such drive and enthusiasm, doom would be. . . doomed. Mike
has a lot to say, so the Metal Update got the low down on the down low.
METAL UPDATE: For all those wondering out there, what does YOB mean?
MIKE SHEIDT: Well, when we first named the band we had a huge list of names and
we were trying to find one that was something that we could dump all our
energy into and define ourselves - something that wouldn't paint us into
a corner too much. I initially got it from a Looney Tunes cartoon
"Rocket Bye Baby". In the naming of the band, shortly after that we
found out the English version of it which is the yob, the hoodlums, the
group of yobs, the fuckers. In Russian it means "fuck."
MU: The Looney Tunes thing is kind of strange for a band that sounds
like you guys, but I guess the other definitions are a little more
suitable, you know?
MS: Yeah. Well, once again it's like the meaning of the band is what we
dump into it. The meaning of the band is what we dump into it lyrically
and otherwise. To me, the name was ambiguous enough that when you look
at bands like Sleep and Cathedral, they made it what they do. The band
Floor, it's like what's that? Floor. But Floor is a fucking rad band.
They made their name what it is.
MU: What brings out a YOB riff?
MS: Sometimes I write most of it. I'm the original member guy. I don't
know, sometimes it comes from going and seeing a movie, and certain
riffs will start circulating around in my head, or a vibe. Sometimes
it's a feeling, sometimes it's inspiration from playing with bands, and
just all of a sudden I think of where I want to take something next.
When I think of riffs, it never starts out as just one. I get a feeling
about what kind of a song I want to come up with next. I don't always
necessarily think I'm gonna write a big huge long one, but it will start
with a succession, because each riff has to connect into the next one
and a person has to be careful that it doesn't sound typical. That it
doesn't sound like, "Oh that song has a cool riff, but what's the rest
of that?" or "what was that bridge?" or "what was that all about?"
That's kinda how it goes, but I have probably at least a half hour or 45
minutes of material that just hasn't come together. That has a lot of
good riffs, but isn't speaking as a whole. It doesn't become a song
until it does that.
MU: How long does it take to complete a song and how does it come about?
You said you write most of the stuff, and I know you do some of the
arranging as well. Is it just you sitting around your house rockin' out?
MS: I'll bring a song to practice 80% arranged. Then Travis and Isamu
and I will all sit there, and if it has our vibe when we're playing it,
we take it further. If we mess around with it for a week or two and it
doesn't seem to be going anywhere, it gets shelved for a while. It's
either waiting for something to be rearranged or it's waiting for a
bridge that didn't happen or just a switch, but I think some of our
tunes come really quick. We have this new song called "The Illusion of
Motion" and it's 25 minutes. That tune came together over three weeks of
time. From the first time I coined the opening riff until we more or
less had it in a situation where we just had to work out little details.
I've had a couple tunes that sat around off and on for a couple years
that didn't become songs until just recently. I would say when we
actually get down to it, we're really prolific. We have two entire
records worth of material right now that isn't recorded.
MU: That's very productive.
MS: Yeah, we're doing what we love and it just kinda comes easy. I don't
always assume that it will, but it has.
MU: What degree of spontaneity is involved in the writing as far as the
other members of the band. Do they kind of do their own thing for the
MS: Isamu always does his own thing. He just comes up with his bass
lines and they just always fit. Sometimes he asks me if something will
fit, but for the most part we know it does. Isamu and I have been
playing music together probably since '95 and it sounds cliché but we
just have a connection that way and it really happens. But Travis, he's
been with the band for a year and he wants input. He asks for it all the
time. He's like, "does this work, does this work, does this work?" This
record we are recording right now will be his first with us. You know,
I'm a drummer too. I play drums for HC Minds and when I write songs -
and I've been drumming for a long time - tempo in the way riffs can be
interpreted can so make or break a band. A killer riff and a drummer
with the wrong ideas will fuck it. So I'm really, really picky about how
riffs get interpreted. So I'm not riding my drummers all the time, but
at the same time I'm not reserved in suggestions and just say, this is
the idea that I had for it and let's try it as a means of getting to
know the riff and then let's see what works. Nine times out of ten,
actually pretty much all the time, we just end up grooving on that or
we'll find together what works best.
MU: What are your philosophical viewpoints that you are trying to
express on 'Catharsis'?
MS: 'Catharsis' is a little ambiguously self-indulgent. I guess for me,
when you look at a lot of doom metal, and it's not knocking this at all,
I actually like when people get into the darkness. Just things are
fucked. I can walk around and I can read the newspaper and watch the
news and go, "I don't know what the fuck is going on." The world is
going down in flames. So for me, given all of that, I know that there is
more to it. And I don't mean this necessarily in a spiritual sense, but
I do think that. . . I've done a lot of studying and reading and sitting
with Buddhism, Hinduism style, Ramana Maharishi, Kalu Rinpoche. And I
guess I'm more concerned with what is going to transcend all this mess.
Human beings have not been here very long in the scheme of things, and
we may not be around very long after, in the scheme of things. But I do
believe that there is something that keeps on going and that people are
made up of that thing, as well as everything else is. So my goal is to
try to come to peace with being a human being, come to peace with the
world as being fucked, come to peace with being part of something I
don't understand. And then within that, try to be a good dad, try to be
a good friend, try to be a good person and not dwell on how fucked
everything is. At the end of the day, or at the end of the world or
whatever it is, at the end of our lives when we look back on it, I just
want to personally think that I did my best. I don't know that my
calling is necessarily to be some kind of crusader or something
ridiculous like that, but I do know that each person in their own
environment with their own friends and their own family can shape
something that is better. And not something that is Mickey Mouse or
Disney, you know where it's "let's be good to each other and love each
other." It's more complicated than that.
MU: What is more important to you, words or music?
MS: Tough call. I think there are bands that make their words, when you
look at the Dead Kennedys. Musically, they were killer. What Jello had
to say was what made those songs magical to me. He had an incredible way
of expressing himself and his opinions. Then you take Warhorse.
Lyrically, it doesn't do much for me. Musically, it's crushing. I mean
the lyrics aren't bad, you know, it's not anything like that. It just
doesn't move me the way that their music does. It's huge and brutal. I
think that a lot of the time, with death and black metal, lyrically it's
not often that a band just reaches out and grabs me because it's all
more or less the same thing. I'm more of a fan towards the spiritual
black or death metal like Emperor, Satyricon or Immolation. Even if it's
satanic, Morbid Angel, it's still a form of being a searcher and a
seeker. And I relate to that more than I relate to hacking up women and
things like that. It just depends on the band. A band like Revelation,
in the doom scene, Dennis Cornelius, he's got a lot to say. He's on his
own path and I respect it. I respect people that are reaching and trying
to do something other than trying to think up what would be the scariest
thing to write on a piece of paper. To write from their own experience
and what not. I know that for me as a listener, I just groove on music.
Lyrics to me, a voice, when I'm listening to music is an instrument.
I've heard my voice like that. It's like obviously I have lyrics, but I
try to approach singing as another guitar or as another accompaniment
instrument that has it's rises and falls and soloing qualities and
creates another dynamic.
MU: I think your vocals are definitely the element that makes you guys
stand out, and for good reason. Now, who have people compared you to in
MS: Often, singers that I'm not even influenced by, like King Diamond
and Geddy Lee. I mean, I've listened to Mercyful Fate in the early 80's
and I certainly like Rush, but I'm more influenced by. . . certainly Rob
Halford is in there. Certainly influenced by Al Cisneros - that's from
Sleep - particularly 'Holy Mountain' era Sleep. Somewhat influenced by
the death genre in general, like Immolation in particular. Ross Dolan
just has a rad death metal voice. He just says a few words with
conviction, trying to spit them out really fast over fast music and I
just really dig that. He'll change his structure on every beat and it'll
be just a little different. Just dead on. I don't know. I mean it just
changes. To a certain degree, when I listen to my own voice singing, I'm
not really sure what it sounds like compared to other people. When
people make the comparisons, I think partly why they make comparisons to
King Diamond or whatever, is that the voice is so extreme. When King
Diamond starts singing, it's like, "Whoa! Hello!" It's not like
listening to Chris Cornell, where a mass of people can find something to
relate to. King Diamond is in your face extreme and so is Geddy Lee. So
I think my voice is kind of like that too. It's something that most of
stoner doom stuff, the voice isn't really like that.
MU: No. It's usually pretty monotone and most of the time the music has
to carry the weight. But with you guys it was like, "Whoa! We've got
another element to work with here." And that is a good thing.
MS: I feel good about it. I get happily surprised in general that it has
been reviewed so well, because I really heard myself singing for the
first time. You can do a thing forever, but when you go into record, the
tape doesn't lie ever. If you do shitty it's right there to be seen. And
when I first heard my voice, I was like, "Wow, we'll see what people
think of this." For me in this band, that's the way it is. I can't
MU: I think it works for ya.
MU: You guys have some pretty lengthy tunes, although it's pretty
commonplace in the doom world. How do you determine the length of a
MS: They determine it themselves. We have a new tune. Our shortest song
ever. It's five and a half minutes. That's a world record for us. Our
new record is going to be five songs at 60 minutes. Compared to some of
our other stuff there is mostly shorter songs, eight to ten minutes, but
then we have one 25 minute tune. I write songs until they feel like they
are done. I just need songs to have a certain storyline musically. They
have twists and turns and stops and starts and dynamics and crescendos
and builds - builds that are sometimes fairly short and brief, and
builds that are very patient. You will get the payoff, but it is gonna
be in five minutes instead of 30 seconds. So they kind of determine it
themselves. I never really sit down and go, "We better sit down and
write the next record's epic." We do seem to end up with a quandary
every time we play, because we have 45 minutes to play, and that means
we're gonna pick 3 songs. So that's just our quandary. It'd be great to
have a bunch of shorter ones, but that's not the way it is.
MU: Well doom kind of moves on a much slower pace anyways, so it just
takes longer to get through everything.
MS: Oh yeah, if you took "Sweet Leaf" and played it on 33, it's gonna
take longer to get there. That's just the physics of it.
MU: An eight to ten minute long song, I've done the doom band thing
before, and that's just how long it takes on average.
MS: The one thing that I will say that we try to be careful about on our
super long tunes is not to repeat anything too much. There's gonna be
the singing parts that are gonna have the same riffs. But it really
needs to change. There are some bands that I hear like Corrupted, you
know, which I love the fact that they just are so vibe crushing
overtones within just a few riffs. Like on that 'Nadie' EP - that
40-minute song – have you heard that?
MS: God man, it is sooo fucking heavy. It sounds like Warhorse on Satan.
So intense. They have walls of feedback happening the whole fucking time
while they are doing this crushingly slow riff. If you can track down
'Nadie', it is just fucking insane. But I am not comfortable doing that.
It's like if it came out that way. . . I mean, I buy every doom release
that comes out if I've heard it's any good at all. Those bands are the
standard. If I don't feel like I'm writing a song that has something to
contribute to that, then you don't ever hear it. It just ain't going out
there. So I wouldn't feel comfortable doing what they do. But for us,
when we do a song like "Catharsis", where it's got a lot of twists and
turns, changes and ups and downs - that's just how we are. It's almost
like doom for the ADD guy in a way, cause it isn't Jerusalem where it's
five riffs in an hour of time, which I love but I personally feel too
exposed to do that.
MU: What kind of equipment do you guys use in a nutshell?
MS: Well, right now Isamu is using a SVT stack and it's an old one from
the '60s and he also uses a Sunn 2x15 with an Orange Graphic 120 with an
A/B switch. The SVT handles sub harmonics pretty good and the Orange
gives that really killer grindy mid. And it just sounds rad. And then he
runs a Turbo Rat in front of it with a CS-2 Boss Compressor. So that's
the one that doesn't have the tone knob on it. It's the only one that I
really like. The one that came out later, the C-3s had an attack knob.
It sucks. You just can't get away from it. You have to choose a tone.
Whenever you step on that pedal it's gonna change your tone. So that's
what he uses and Rickenbacker basses. Travis has a big, very rare, rad
red Vistalite Ludwig drumset that's all big sizes - 26" kick, matching
snare, 14" rack, 18" and 20" floor toms. It's just huge. Then we also
put together and we've been using this a lot too, and it's an old wooden
drum set, a Frankensparkle. We rigged up a bunch of different sparkle
drums and we used an 18" and a 20" on the floor too with gold sparkle,
and we have a pink sparkle 14" rack, and a 28" x 12" green sparkle kick.
It rules. And we just put these spikes in front of it and just root that
thing right down. With the 12" depth, it's a lot snappier than you'd
think it would be, cause it doesn't cavern around in there as much. It's
just knarly. It really is a great sounding kick drum. I use Matamp
stuff. I have a black Matamp stack. It was the first black Matamp in the
United States. I only use non-master volume Matamps. I just want the
clean tone and then I have two black Matamp cabinets that are loaded
with Hot 100s. And I also have a white Matamp that is also a non-master
volume with Hot 100s in it also. And I also have a Matamp, what's called
a GTH, and it's voiced like a Hiwatt. But it's not the New England
Classic. It's one that's built like the G Series on that amp so it's all
hard wired and it puts out about 120 Watts. My other two bench about
160. They say they do 140, but 160 is about what they do. Really loud.
Two Les Pauls dropped down to A with Baritone strings so I use 14 to 68
gauge and I change out the G and put a 30 on there. For distortion I use
an old 70's Ross distortion and combined with that is a 70's MXR
Dynacomp. And that combination is the best I've ever used. Then I also
use a Block Logo Phase 90 and this very unlikely delay pedal that I
wouldn't think would be any good because I hate DOD stuff, but I tracked
down this DOD delay pedal that I really like. So I've been using it and
a Bad Horsie Wah. So that's pretty much my live gig in a nutshell.
Generally in smaller clubs, I'll just use one full stack, and it pumps
plenty of volume. In the bigger clubs like at Intermissions, I'll
definitely run a stack and a half with an A/B switch. We just played
this show in Portland with Place Of Skulls. In the bigger places, this
place was Conan's Pub, it's big and it holds like 400 or 500 people real
easily. As far as a club goes it's pretty big. A stack and a half of
Matamp fills the place right up. It worked just fine. I had somebody put
a decibel meter in front of it. It pumped about 130 easily.
MU: Do you guys wear earplugs at all?
MS: Uh Uh. Travis and Isamu do at practice. I do half the time. It's
funny, I had a hearing test done just about 6 weeks ago. My hearing is
great, which means it was probably superhuman at one time. It's come
down significantly over the years. But I just love loud music so much
and this body is gonna decay and go away anyway so fuck it. I just like
it loud. Sometimes I'll stick in earplugs. It just depends on the band.
Like when I went and saw Jucifer, I wore earplugs. Have you seen those
MS: Fuckola! You just won't believe it. They make High On Fire seem like
a lounge band. It's a woman and a man. That's all that it is. And this
woman, who is the guitar player, uses a Fender bass six, one of those
older Fender amp guitars, which were like a sub harmonic bass thing.
It's got a longer scale neck on it. At least I think that's what it is.
She runs, I shit you not, a wall of amps. They have a roadie, and all
they were doing before their set is wiring up cabinets. They had this
setup where they had all these cabinets. I'll make a conservative
estimate, but it's to make it not sound like I am blowing this out of
proportion. A conservative estimate would be six 4x12s, probably two
2x15s, let's say two 8x10s, a couple of 1x15s and a couple of 2x12s. I
know that they were running three or four different power amps into one
MU: All for one guitar?
MU: Wow. Sounds like somebody owns a music store.
MS: They could certainly start one. I mean, it is just so fucking loud
you just wouldn't believe it. And of course they're not micing it. So
they are just dumping all that PA power, whatever club it is into the
drummer and the vocals. I put in earplugs. There is not very often where
I feel like I have to. I wanted to be in the same room with that and I
did. I wanted to be there and feel the wind, so earplugs went in. To
make a long story short, I'll be a deaf fucker in the next 30 years.
MU: Yeah, most of us will be I'm sure. How would you describe your music
to somebody who knows nothing about doom?
MS: You know. For somebody who knows nothing about it, I would just say,
"If you take early Black Sabbath and infuse modern elements." They just
go, "Oh, ok." They don't know what that means outside of metal. We grew
up in the hardcore scene so there's certainly some elements of that,
hardcore and punk. That's how we conduct ourselves attitude-wise. We're
scene supporters and give all our money to the out of town bands when we
do shows. That's just how we do it. I was brought up doing it, playing
in punk bands and crossover bands in the 80's and early 90's and that's
what feels best at the end of the day. But Sabbath mixed with. . . some
of it's super slow. Some of it's really chaotic. I think one thing, when
we put out our next record, I don't think even our listeners are gonna
even know completely where we're at. Our new record is going to be
different. 'Elaborations' and 'Catharsis' in my opinion that are a
little different. This record is going to have elements of the two
records and on a whole it's more angular and I'd say a little angrier.
It's faster, but the slow parts are slower than anything we've ever
done. Some of the snare hits are on full ten counts before something
hits. It's slow. It's slow by doom standards. But some of it's really
fast and super riffy and technical. So it's different. I think even for
people that are in the doom scene. We're certainly not leaving the doom
scene, but we're a little bit on the outskirts of it at the same time.
MU: What inspired you to play doom?
MS: I was mostly way into hardcore bands in the early 80's and some
metal bands. I was one of those rare guys back then who liked both.
There were times in the early 80's where you either had long hair or no
hair and there was always friction at every show. I was one of those
guys who wore the Saxon shirt to the Cro-Mags show. I think I went and
saw Napalm Death and Brutal Truth in '91, and Cathedral was on tour with
them. I bought 'Forest Of Equilibrium' and didn't like it at all. I was
like whatever. And when I saw them play it live, I got it. I was blown
away. I really was there expecting Napalm Death to blow me away, and I
walked out thinking Cathedral and Brutal Truth were the best bands on
the planet. Carcass played that tour. Carcass was untouchable back then.
That's what got me started, and then I bought ‘Holy Mountain’. I grew up
on Sabbath. I grew up on Zeppelin. When I was crawling around in my
house, my dad would blast Zeppelin II, so I always had those roots in
there. Then when I heard Cathedral and Sleep, I just went, "Wow, that's
amazing," that these newer bands are doing that, but in a new way. And I
started getting way into it and started just going down their thank you
lists and started searching out records - started searching out
Revelation records, started searching out Dream Death records, started
searching out the Obsessed and Pentagram. And this was in '91 or '92 and
all these bands had been hummin' for a while. There was this sub sub
subculture of bands. I thought death metal was underground. I couldn't
believe how underground this shit was. That's what got me into it.
MU: What is special about this form of music?
MS: It reminds me a lot of what the punk scene used to be in the early
80's / 70's. It was music by fans for the fans. The music was honest and
passionate. It's made by people who love it. I've never met anybody in
this scene who felt to me like they were on any kind of bandwagon. It
feels to me like, "Oh yeah, I bought Sleep in '91 too." We have the same
records in our collection and have for 15 years. I certainly meet people
now who are just getting into it, but they're blown away. It just feels
genuine and I haven't felt that in a long time. So I think that's what
is special about it. And I think that it's music, like jazz, especially
far out styles of jazz. It's not music for everybody. It's musicians'
music. Not necessarily musicians' music, I'll pull back. The crowd picks
you. Not the other way around. Not a band going out and picking their
crowd. So I dig that. When we do these shows - that kind of comradery
and closeness that I feel with the band that we get to play with - the
kind of genuine love and respect that we have for our favorite band and
for the scene - there's no explanation required. You just lay it down
with each other and we all have our favorite band's shirts on and it's
just the raddest thing.
MU: I see doom as almost the bastard child of the metal scene, and at
the same time almost the most cult subgenre of metal. That's probably
what makes it so special.
MS: When you look at the extreme doom metal, in a way it's like metal
almost started with Sabbath back in the day. And then metal just kept
getting harder and harder and harder and harder and then it took the
speed from the punk scene. Slayer took it from D.R.I. and took it from
Verbal Abuse and started playing really fast. Out of the death metal
scene came the doom scene and somewhere along the line, which I think
it's interesting when you talk to the old school doomsters, because they
don't get it. When you talk to Victor, Victor Griffin. He likes that
it's grown so much, but he doesn't know if he can completely relate to
the death metal vocal. Whereas for people who came out of the death
scene relate to it instantaneously. For me I love a classic voice. When
you go to see somebody like Graves At Sea, they've just got this caustic
voice, or EyeHateGod. Any voice that is not a traditional clean voice.
I've got no problem with it at all.
MU: Same here. I understand that you three are all avid music fans. What
genres do you prefer?
MS: I don't know. I guess I'm never going to grow up personally. I'm
still listening to my D.R.I. 'Dealing With It' and early Poison Idea
almost daily. And I listen to Immolation and Ackercocke quite a bit.
That last Ackercocke record is mind-boggling. That's a record that they
made on their own terms. It's not like anyone else, man. I really like
that record. You can hear their influences but they do something kind of
twisty. I also still listen to a lot of Pentagram and a lot of the
Obsessed. I'm a big Van Morrison fan. I'm a big early Joni Mitchell fan.
I like a lot of the better 70's and late 60's classic rock music.
There's a certain level of musicianship that happened in pop music back
then that doesn't really happen now as much. I love a lot of black metal
stuff, but the essence black metal bands like early Emperor, Satyricon
and Darkthrone. Satyricon 'Nemesis Divina' and earlier. My record
collection is pretty fucking far out. It's got a lot of weird shit in
it. As far as the hardcore scene goes, I really love Neurosis,
definitely, even though they are kind of outside of the hardcore scene.
Will Haven I like a lot. Converge I like a lot. Coalesce. Playing Enemy
is incredible. There's a lot of things. Will Haven 'Carpe Diem'. We got
to play with those guys. It's like the first time I heard Sleep and me,
as a guitar player, changed that day. Changed the way I gripped chords.
And when I saw Jeff Erwin and met him and saw them on the 'Carpe Diem'
tour, I just permanently changed the way I played guitar after it. I
just started using six note chords regularly and lots of drone notes and
started really playing some different stuff. And you'll definitely hear
some of that on the next record. The thing that's wild about 'Catharsis'
is that's a two-year-old record. We recorded that and finished that two
years ago. Our label was sold and the switchover took a long time before
we were actually able to put out the record. So now the stuff we are
putting out, even 3/4 of the tunes that are going to be on 'The Illusion
Of Motion' are over a year old. That's how it goes. That's the music
biz. There's nothing you can do about it. I like early Bethlehem too -
the kind of suicide grim kind of black metal. There's just so much
killer music. Metal music and the hardcore scene were so freely borrowed
from everything. I just can't get bored with it. I haven't gotten bored
with it yet.
MU: What format do you prefer? Are you a vinyl guy? A CD guy?
MS: I'm a CD guy because I had vinyl when my parents had vinyl. I just
never had the patience for it, because my friends are way into vinyl.
They spend a lot of time taking care of it and that's cool. I take care
of my CDs too. But I'm not wiping them down any time I'm done with 'em
and the way you have to handle 'em and they're super fragile. It's a
pain in the ass. I just think vinyl sounds better. You have to have the
stereo that is appropriate too, cause vinyl on a bad stereo sounds like
anything else on a crappy stereo, like crap. At least a CD player, a lot
of the time you can get this little crappy Sony $60 CD player with mega
bass and you can play your CD on it and it sounds good.
MU: What doom bands would you recommend to those unfamiliar with the
MS: Certainly places to start are Sleep's 'Holy Mountain' and Electric
Wizard 'Come My Fanatics' or 'Dopethrone'. Warhorse 'When Heaven Turns
to Ash'. Those are really strong records. As you start branching out a
bit, that early Cathedral 'Forest of Equilibrium' and Graves At Sea
certainly have a killer approach. Asunder is fucking amazing. Have you
MS: Goddamn. They are down in Oakland. Their drummer is Dino from
Dystopia. They sound like 'Forest Of Equilibrium' era Cathedral and
mixed it with Morgion and then gave it a huge atmosphere like a black
metal record. It's really melodic, but crushingly heavy. And they have
two singers. Their bass player and Dino the drummer. Dino does the death
metal vocal. He's got a mid range but not super low death metal growl.
And the other singer's got this super baritone Gregorian chant. Their
new record called 'The Clarion Call' was recorded by Billy Anderson. It
just sounds epic. Epic in the best sense.
MU: Sounds worth checking out.
MS: Yeah, but there's lots of great doom for people who are way more
into the classic end of it. The Obsessed and Pentagram and Solace and
Place Of Skulls. All super quality Sabbath inspired bands and are kinda
are more into that particular vibe. For people who are more into the
extreme stuff, the Buried At Sea and Corrupted. I guess Warhorse falls
in that category and the early Cathedral stuff falls in that category.
That's the stuff I listen to a lot. Burning Witch is one of my all time
favorite bands. That's yet another great doom metal band that was
playing on their own terms long before it was cool to do it. There's a
lot of 'em. It's amazing to me. So many new bands.
MU: Have you guys played outside of the West Coast yet?
MS: That's what we're doing in May, first time. We're going to do a US
tour and we're going to end up at Emissions on May 30th, a Sunday show.
And that'll be our first time off the west coast.
MU: Not quite on the east coast yet, right?
MS: We're making it all the way to NYC. We're gonna play at the pyramid
in New York with Unearthly Trance, Dove and Solace. We're gonna play in
Washington, DC, Allentown, PA, and I think we are playing Philadelphia
MU: Who are some of the best doom bands you've played with so far?
MS: I would have to say, and this isn't in any particular order, but
just bands that come to mind: Graves At Sea, Goatsblood, certainly
Electric Wizard, High On Fire isn't really doom metal but Matt Pike got
me into it so I think of him when I think of doom metal. Orange Goblin
certainly - fucking amazing doom metal band. Unearthly Trance blew my
brain away a few nights in a row. Place Of Skulls - Victor Griffin has
an undeniable presence and on this tour they are touring with Dennis
Cornelius from Revelation, and boy, they are quality people and quality
doom metal. They lay it down. There's so many great bands. Witch
Mountain - when they were around, they were a great band. Certainly
Golden Pig Electric Blues Band from Seattle - crushing, and also have
that retro vibe too but just a really killer sounding band. Asunder -
Asunder blew me away. Warhorse - we played with Warhorse. Of course,
they were fucking amazing. That was before the guy from Grief was in the
band, and I haven't heard 'em in that new lineup yet but I hear real
mixed opinions of it. Yeah, those are the ones that really jump out at
me at the moment.
MU: Future plans of the band would be?
MS: Right now we are in the process of maybe signing a new record deal
with maybe another label, and it's 90% in the bag and it would certainly
mean some bigger stuff for us as far as promotion and budgets. So it's
almost assuredly going to happen, but it hasn't happened yet. Then our
tour that's coming up. We're booked up for shows through September. So
we just have lots of stuff going on. I guess for us we were just going
to try to keep doing the thing that we've become very accustomed to,
which is being able to get together and have fun and write music and be
able to play with bands that we love and respect. It's been fucking
incredible. If you would have asked me six years ago if I would have
played with Electric Wizard I would have said, "Yeah right." Electric
Wizard, to me, was on the hugest pedestal, just like Sleep was, and
Pentagram. I worshiped Victor Griffin, and I know this guy by first name
and they know me by first name. And if you would have asked me if that
was a reality I would have said that you're fucking nuts. To be able to
do that, we just want to keep doing it and more than that. Being able to
have the bands here, and have 'em in Portland and take care of 'em and
give them good guarantees and good shows and continue to be a part of
this really fantastic thing that's just super supportive and it's just a
good thing. Keep doing it until we run out of ideas or get too old to
carry around gear.
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