Hornet (BPR) - Hi Alunah and welcome to the next of our BPR Interviews and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Doom is quite a diverse side of Metal, what was the first thing that lead you to going down this route ?
Soph Day (Vocalist/Guitarist, Alunah) - We originally started as a stoner band, we loved listening to bands like Roadsaw and Kyus also bands like Soundgarden and Orange Goblin. We loved the riffs and sounds they made and we found ourselves emulating that sound, but forming our own sound that defines us as Alunah. But we listened to more and more bands from all genres we decided this was the way to go. If you listen to our stuff you can hear that stoner rock influence, with the classic rock and doom as well. When people just refer to us as a doom band, theres so much more to us than that. There are bands out there that are, and love that label, but we don`t want to be part of that scene.
Hornet - Do you listen to doom yourselves ?
Soph - Yeah we do, Not as much as some people, but I like a lot of the 60's and 70's stuff, but I like to hear something that is original, Monolith Cult are brilliant, A band that doesn`t just copy a doom riff and try to sound like Ozzy Osbourne. They have to be doing their own thing.
Hornet - Have you heard any thing by a band called Draconian ? They are an excellent band from Austria that draw a song out for 7, 8 even 10 minutes, now its depressing stuff, but in every chorus line they have a killer riff or vocal that just knocks you over.
Soph - No not heard of them, that sounds like a band called Ahab, it takes their songs 2 or 3 minutes to get going then you sit up because suddenly they`ve upped the anti. They use screams and shouts which I don`t usually like, but they do it so well. The guy who does our albums, Greg Chandler, is in a band called Esoteric, they`ve done some incredible stuff thats classed as doom.
Hornet - I suppose all you bands get lumped into the nearest genre. The old chestnut like, they sound like Bon Jovi sort of thing?
Soph - `laughs` Jake, our drummer, would love that LOL. But no ones going to say that about us!!!
Hornet - What is the one album you've ever heard and you've thought `if I could make music of that class, I`d die happy' ?
Jake (Drummer, Alunah) - Michael Bolton's 'Soul Provider' ( Every one laughs)
Soph - I`m a little bit jealous of Ahabs album 'The Giant'. I listen to a lot of Rose Kemp.
Dave (Guitarist, Alunah) - Although its obvious, anything by early Sabbath.
Dan (Bass, Alunah) - We are trying not to emulate anyone else, we are carving our own sound out. Uncle Acid have got their own unique spin on a sound of their own.
Hornet - So, are there bands out there that are saying Alunah have their own spin on a sound that's totally original, i'd say their name if asked the last question ?
Soph - Yeah i'd like to think so.
Jake - Nothing is totally original, its all been done, but you can at least have a 5/10% spin on your sound.
Soph - I think if you`re a music fan, you start a band, you are going to draw influences on stuff you like, its just unavoidable, I've heard about bands that say we haven't listened to any music for 6 months to clear our minds of our influences before we wrote our album. And although I'd love to do that, I would go mad. But sometimes when i`m struggling with a song I go back to one of my favourites to see how they did the harmonies or whatever i`m looking for, more often than not you don`t use what they've recorded, but it inspires you to write something that fits nicely.
Hornet - Is there something out there that if it got wiped off the face of the planet, you'd barely shed a tear ?
Soph - Iron Maiden for me.
Dan - Eddy Grants 'Electric Avenue' (laughs from everyone)
Soph - There`s many bands out there you're supposed to like, but I just don`t !!!
Dave - See that's just it with us, Soph don`t like Maiden, but I do. I love them.
Soph - See, I go for bands with great vocalists. I love it when they go in for that Major or minor key when they mix it up. Like doing the blues and suddenly throw in some doom. I was listening to a band called Pist On and the way he sings just sends chills down my spine. Very basic melodies but it's the way he writes them and where as I`ll say WOW did you hear that, Dave will be listening to the guitars and the sound the Amo makes.
Dave - Well you know that's what draws me in really.
Hornet - What did you listen to on the way down here (The Unicorn, London)?
Dave/Soph/Dan/Jake 'all chipping in' - Sound Garden, Heart, The Stones and Audio Slave, quite a mix really.
Dan - Everything but Doom really!! 'all the band Laughs'
Hornet - So were you trying to stay up on a high or something ?
Dave - No not really, before hand we were listening to Kiss.
Soph - Well watching Kiss, I think we were trying to get ideas for our coming video.
Hornet - How much do you like touring, and do you prefer home or abroad ?
Soph - I love playing abroad, but touring I could do every day for the rest of my life. Not necessarily with these guys (Band laughs). We haven`t played abroad too much but we did a show in Paris last April, we also played a tiny club in Poland on a Wednesday night and it was a bigger crowd than we usually play to in England. There is a video out there somewhere of us doing 'White Hoarhound' and halfway through we stop singing and the crowd takes over, they were all singing so loud and clear it bought tears to my eyes.
Hornet - Have you got any superstitions?
Soph - Regarding the band?
Hornet - Well, you know before going on stage and recording, that sort of thing?
Soph - When we`re in the studio we just all get there at the pre arranged time and get the kettle on. Then its either Pot Noodles and Pork Pies then we have a chat till we are all ready to get up and start.
Jake - Musically its usually a 'head nod' from whoever starts that first song and either the guitar or drums will start and were off.
Soph - I did get in the habit of having a honey and lemon drink or a whiskey before going on stage but it was more a habit than a superstition.
Hornet - Any particular Music festivals you'd like to be part of ?
Soph - I'd love to play HELL FEST in France. There`s a lot of small bands there that are sort of on our level. Then there`s a lot more that are Metal legends. We played Hard Rock Hell last year and there was a lot of classic rock acts there but then there were a lot of Stoner and Doom bands there too. But I think the people there were a bit confused having us play at 3 in the afternoon in broad daylight. But we had a brilliant weekend, It was an excellent experience for us all so I would say Hell Fest and Roadkill, that's in Tilburg Holland.
Hornet - Could you expand on Roadkill a little ?
Soph - Yeah. its a Doom/Stoner/Psychodelic festival. W'ed love to do Bloodstock and Download as well, those are just up the road from where we live.
Hornet - Do you think those fests are far away for you now, in terms of the popularity of the band ?
Soph - I hope not, I mean we've done both the Dessert Fests in Berlin and London. We also did one in Copenhagen called Heavy Days in Doom town. And we haven`t had confirmation yet, but we are hopefully doing one called Tricko, its in a huge tent in Bedfordshire. Its actually a Biker festival where only old Bikes and spares are for sale and there are numerous side atractions like a Drag Racing strip and a circus etc.
Hornet - So, whats the biggest gig you,ve played to date ?
Jake - Dessert Fest in Berlin
Hornet - If you could choose a six band line up for a gig, and Alunah are one of the bands, which five bands would you choose to share the stage with ?
After many minutes of discussion Alunah came up with ...
Big Brother and the Holding Company
KYUS (original line up)
Hornet - Could you name some up and coming bands you think should make it in the music industry ?
Soph - God, that's a good question. The band that are playing third and second on the bill tonight who are 'King Goat',we played with them in Brighton a while back, we only got to see them do two songs but they were excellent and 'Obiat', mind you they've been around for years. 'Monolith Cult', we all love them they're a brilliant band, both live and their albums. We liked a band called 'Kang', when they were still going. when we found out that several members of 'Kang', 'Lazarus Black Star' and 'Solstice' we knew they would be good. 'Serpent Venom'and 'Stubb', he`s like the ghost of Hendrix with a 70's vibe. Its difficult, when you play a gig with a band you've never heard of, and when you talk to them they tell you they've been around for 10 years.
Hornet - A couple of questions to humanise you to our readers. What makes you happy ?
Soph - WHISKEY!!! (band laughs)
Dan - The Band!!!
Jake - This week, we were stuck in the studio all last week and we were like recording all the time. Where, as this week, we got out and played live to people every night.
Soph - Dan is fairly new in the band, but we started in 2006 and since then we have had so many ups and downs. We`ve had deaths, weddings and the everyday stuff. I`ve lost my Dad, Nan and Grandad but at the end of the day we all get together in the studio and for a couple of hours you forget every thing outside the studio, and I love that. But I do love a Whiskey!! (band Laughs)
Hornet - On the other hand, what really annoys you ?
Soph - The Band ! (every one laughs) As a band we give everyone we play with the respect they deserve. But we also deserve respect in return. If we lend another band a drum or Mic stand we would expect a 'thanks' and that they look after the equipment we've had the good grace to let them use. Sometimes we don`t get anything, THAT really annoys me, It probably annoys me more than it should really.
Jake - People who mess us about really
Soph - Yeah that's right, people who mess us about. But I think there`s a lot of idiots in the music business, unfortunately.
Hornet - I'm sure i'm one of them ???
Dave - Not at all
Hornet - Thanks Dave!!!
Soph - Beer often heightens the idiocrasy and the tension rises.
Dave - Nothing annoys me, apart from Soph (band laughs)
Soph - We`re married by the way
Hornet - Yep, I did my homework and revision and I came to the conclusion you two should have your middle names changed to GREY
Soph - What like Soph Grey Day ?
Hornet - Well, its just so Doom (small laughs) Do any of you like any of the mega nerd films such as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings etc ?
Dave - I love the original Star Wars films and Lord of the Rings and the follow on to The Hobbit
Soph - Lord of the Rings is alright, but the original Star Wars definitely.
Hornet - So what type of film would you say you liked ?
Dave - I like Horrors, really low budget ones too, films like Susperior but the classics like Evil Dead and Halloween as well.
Soph - You like that Poultra-geist too Dave (many laughs)
Dave - Yes, I like Poltergeist, the Zombie Chickens and The Cottage, thats a classic.
Hornet - Poultri - guiest and Zombie Chickens, I`ve heard they`re not very pheasant, `groan` !!! And , on that note i'll get my coat ... Taxi !!! No seriously, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and i hope you have a great gig tonight.