To begin with could you introduce Alunah to AFV readers?
We're a heavy rock band from various areas around Birmingham and Coventry in the English Midlands. We've been described as a doom band, a stoner band, a heavy psych band... we're all that but mainly a heavy rock band.
When did the band form and how did you all meet?
We began in the Summer of 2006, Dave and I have known each other for the best part of 15 years and we met Jake at a Sonic Lord gig (one of Dave's previous bands). Gaz joined in 2009 to replace our previous bassist, Gaz is a guitarist in General and we met through playing various shows together on their home turf in Coventry.
Alunah's an intriguing name,how did you come up with it?
We were originally called Aluna without the 'h' but after a few copyright issues we had to change the spelling. It was originally named after the Mindfunk song of the same name. After reading around the Aluna name we found that there were many nature based connotations to the name. These subject matters have influenced us, and have helped us evolve the themes around the music. We much prefer the Alunah spelling, like you say, it seems more intriguing somehow.
You're a doom metal band that sound like you have other influences too, what bands do you listen to that have a bearing on your sound?
Yeah we have a wide range of influences outside of the stoner and doom scenes, from grunge to thrash and from '60s psychedelia to NWOBHM. Between us we love bands such as Sabbath (obviously), Zeppelin, Maiden, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, The Doors, Napalm Death, Dinosaur Jr, The Melvins, Neil Young, Acid King, Cream... so many to mention but we listen to such a variety and I hope that does show in the music. We don't just want to be a one dimensional band.
How would you describe your own sound in no more than five words?
Seventies Inspired Heavy Doomed Grooves
Who writes the lyrics and what are the main subjects you write about?
I write the lyrics and they're based on many different things. The central theme is that of the natural world and I'm mainly interested in English pagan history and it's practices, as well as myth and magic. I'm lucky to live in a country
steeped in such history, our land has experienced a lot in its ancient years and it intrigues me as to what exactly it has seen. If only the earth could talk to us, many secrets would be uncovered. For example, Chester Midsummer
Watch Parade is about a solstice parade which began in Chester in the 1100s whereas Demeter's Grief is about the goddess of the harvest and the grief she felt for her daughter Persephone. I'm mainly inspired by interest rather than
experience, the track White Hoarhound is me merging the two together... I'll leave it at that, I like people to take what they need or want from the songs.
Tell us all about the new album,the concept behind it, where can people get hold of it?
There's not a concept as such, lyrically anyway. Musically we knew the sound we wanted to create and the direction we wanted to go in. Happily, I'd say we have achieved what we set out to do and we believe the album flows in a much natural way than our debut "Call of Avernus" did. People can get it from stores such as HMV and also online (digitally and physically) from HMV, Play, Amazon etc. They can also get it from our label PsycheDOOMelic, our online store and also digitally from our Band Camp page. People can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info about stockists etc.
Do you have any gigs lined up or a tour?
For the rest of this year we have some great one-off gigs which can be found on our website www.alunah.co.uk. We are in the process of planning a big tour next year, it is in the early stages at the moment but it's going to see us visiting places we have never visited before which is exciting!
You get to hear about all sorts of funny or weird things happening to bands in the studio or on the road,has anything happened to you?
Haha well, generally if it's going to happen, it will happen! I think I've mentioned some of these before but I've had loads of electric shocks at gigs - one in particular where I've had to sing into a sweaty sock to avoid the shock (luckily the problem was fixed before too long), we've had live vibes being killed when being recognised by an ex-
colleague who shouted "are you Dave from the salad factory", Jake our drummer falling off the back of the stage, backdrops falling onto Jake, lava projectors falling off stage plunging us into darkness... all sorts hahaha!
Each band member gets to choose just one album to take on a major tour, what would you each pick that you just couldn't do without?
Great question! Jake said he'd pick "Floodland" by Sisters of Mercy, Gaz would take "Above" by Mad Season, Dave "Mirror Ball" by Neil Young and I would definitely take "Cheap Thrills" by Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Is there anything you'd like to add
Just to say thanks so much to you guys for the support, and to everyone who has brought the new album, took the time to write about it or got off their arses to come see us live. It is very much appreciated, news and updates can be found on www.alunah.co.uk or www.facebook.com/alunah.doom. Cheers!
Doom metal can, if the people playing it aren’t careful, sound a bit like a bad school dinner, a stodgy unappetising mess covered in lumpy custard like vocals. So few bands lack the understanding of how far to slow down the pace, how far to take the distortion, how miserable to sing each tune, that even hardened metal fans often shun the genre. However when it’s done right, when the band have done their sums and when you have a little bit of something new to offer, it can sound superb, as it does here with Alunah coming across like a Sabbath / Cathedral hybrid with the queen of the damned at the mic. Sure the songs are long, but they always stay interesting, yes there’s a shed load of
distortion but it’s never over done and the riffs are just the huge meaty affairs that you need to give everything the gravitas that makes doom really work. Then we come to what gives Alunah and ‘White Hoarhound’ that little bit of stardust, the vocals of Soph Day. If Ozzy Osbourne had a little sister then this is what she would sound like, particularly on the stand out title track which is simply brilliant. Not a custard covered mess then, this is much more Ferrero Roche, made with dark chocolate of course.