Listen to the interview:
"A surprisingly chilled (for a metal venue) crowd were spurred into life and movement when Birmingham doom merchants Alunah struck up their opening chords. Much is made of their melding of styles, but the Alunah sound is one best experienced live. Front woman Soph is a rare gem in today's metal scene, her style is one of a raspy Debbie Harry during the rapture era. The small venue struggled to contain the melancholic fuzz and resonating pounding bass, though that only served to reinforce the delicately juxtaposed nature of the vocals and beast riffing. These guys will be playing 'White Hoarhound' to the arena crowds they deserve soon enough"
Listen to the interview:
Thanks to Adam at Metal Mouth for taking the time to interview Soph before our Bradford gig.
Interview Source: http://metalmouth.net/2014/02/interview-soph-dayalunah-i-get-directed-to-this-toilet-and-theres-a-man-masturbating-into-the-urinal-and-theres-another-man-shiting-in-the-shower/
Cold dark and rainy, the perfect night for a doom show, even if it’s in Bradford. Hardly the home of heavy metal. Well fortunately Alunah are from the very home of British heavy metal. The land of Black Sabbath!
These Birmingham psychedelic folk rockers are here tonight to play a show, I got a chance to catch up with vocalist and guitarist Soph Day about the future of Alunah…it’s looking bright.
So! We’ll start with the basics – How are you today?
I’m good thank you very much!
Your current release, ‘White Hoarhound’. You worked with Napalm on that, now you’ve inked a deal with them for the next album. How are you finding your new label home so far?
Yeah, they’ve been amazing! They haven’t pressurised us since we signed, saying ‘you’ve got to have it done by this date’ it’s just natural progression. We’ve written the majority of it so we’re talking release dates now. But yeah, they’ve been brilliant! They’ve really help pushing us, I mean at the moment they haven’t really got anything to promote and they’re still working really hard to promote us so that is really good. We’ve had to do this all ourselves before, we’ve never really had anyone behind us, it’s been really nice to take some of the pressure off of us.
I can imagine it is! So, it’s been over a year since White Hoarhound. How has the reaction been?
It’s been brilliant. We’re still getting reviews come in even last week, if people discover it and they have a website/blogsite or something they’ll review it and it has been incredible really ‘cos of when we wrote it. It’s very different from our first album, so we weren’t sure if people were gonna like it or not. But people have just fallen in love with it really. We’ve probably had 2 or 3 bad reviews people saying it’s too polished sounding. We like our doom, like Electric Wizard we don’t like it too polished, but we don’t class ourselves as a doom band really!
I must admit, I do prefer the production on White Hoarhound in comparison to the first album…
I like it, I like to be able to hear things and hear things cleanly, but it’s personal taste really.
So, you said yourself you’ve got the new album pretty much done now, you’re talking release dates, any hints of what’s coming? Is it titled yet?
Yes, we have a title, but we’re having to let Napalm announce that. But we have got a title. We have got our title track like we have on the other two albums. The album is very White Hoarhound like, we’ve got a new bass player on this one and he is basically a great songwriter, he’s come into the band and we haven’t been “oh no you can’t have any input”. We’ve let him really put his stamp on it! He’s really into his folk and he’s really into his classic music so he’s brought some of that into it. It’s also a lot more melancholy than White Hoarhound and heavier. More atmospheric in places but it has got it’s catchy singalong chorus’ and bluesy vocals.
So it’s a good mix?
I think so, we’re really enjoying it, we’re playing a new song tonight that’ll be the only new song we’ve played live so far.
Do you have a release date in mind? Autumn time I’d imagine?
Yeah, it’ll be autumn, we’re planning a tour in October so it’ll be around then. We’ve booked the studio time for May so Napalm need three or four months to plan it all so it’ll be around autumn, yeah!
You bring up tours, you’ve got dates coming up in Europe then after that it’s festival season, so what are Alunah’s plans?
We’ve not got much this year. We’ve got a festival that’s part of our tour in Autumn abroad, we can’t tell you where yet though haha, we’re not booked for any of the big summer festivals this year though. We’ve got a run of dates in May, with a couple of underground doom festivals coming up. We’re doing ‘Doom for the Doomed‘ it’s a big festival in Birmingham and the Trip Out in September, it’s like a big psychedelic festival.
So it’ll be 2015 for you guys at the big festivals then?
Yeah, well I hope so by the time we’ve released the album. I hope more people will be into us so we’ve got 2015 coming!
All of the doom and darker genres are better marketed in the Autumn/Winter anyway I try and listen to doom in the summer and…
It doesn’t really go does it.
Tours! You have to go on tour with other bands give us some of your dream touring partners!
All of mine are dead, haha!
Even if they’re dead then.
The Doors.. Big Brother & The Holding Company.. 13th Floor Elevators. They’re all dead, well some of them anyways. But from the present day I’d say Monolith Cult who we’re playing with tonight. I literally can’t get enough of them. Whoever listens or reads my interviews I think I mention them in every one, but I am a little bit obsessed with them.
You guys, touring. What do you guys get up to on the road? Are you a party band or a watch movie band?
We’re a bit boring actually, I was on about earlier today. There are a lot of bands who try to conform to what they think a rock ‘n’ band should be. I mean we like to get really drunk, we are a boozy band but we’re not into drugs or trashing things. We’re very respectful and we’re very polite, our parents brought us up right you know. But we did Desertfest in Berlin last year as part of our European tour and we were in the room with some amazing bands like Kadavar, Orchid and Blues Pills. We just made an absolute cock of ourselves ‘cos we were on quite early we’d been drinking all day…Seb from Napalm Records was there before they’d signed us, our booking agent and our EU booking agent. You know people you shouldn’t be acting like twats in front of, but that was probably our worst moment of being a stereotypical rock ‘n’ roll band. Yeah we did the stereotypical Brits abroad thing in Berlin but generally we like a drink but we’re quite chilled out.
Tour stories! Have you got anything weird, wonderful or freaky?
Oh, I’ve got a good one from Poland. We stopped in this hostel in Poland well I’m not even sure it was a hostel I think it was a hotel people actually pay good money to go stay in. I’d asked to use the toilet whilst we were waiting to check in. So I get directed to this toilet and there’s a man masturbating into the urinal and there’s another man shi*ting in the shower!
There were showers with just curtains across and his wasn’t even shut. So he’s shi*ting in the shower and the other man is masturbating into the urinal in the same room and I’m there, this little English girl, needing a wee. I didn’t end up having a wee. It was just awful and then the next morning ‘cos we had a big room to ourselves we had a private shower room ‘cos they were like ‘there’s girls in the band so you get your own shower room’. But don’t mind the masturbating man, or the guy having a sh*t but the maid told me off for going in the shower barefoot. It was like ‘do you know know what that guy is doing in the public urinal!?’
Also there was trying to rescue Elin from Blues Pills. She was so wasted she wandered into the middle of this busy road in Berlin and was all ‘I’m so drunk!’ and we were trying to pull her back! I could go on but I don’t want to bore you. Nothing majorly embarrassing but we do have our moments like falling over on stage when I decided to wear boots I can’t walk in or my tassels getting caught in my strings haha!
Since we’re still at the beginning of 2014 effectively. February counts! Any goals you’ve set yourself for the year?
Quit our jobs and do this full time. We’ve been saying that since 2006 so I’m not sure when that will happen. We’re signed now so that’s a step closer but I can’t imagine us being able to quit our jobs yet. We’re getting our own tour bus which is a big thing. I’m getting a campervan converted into a tour bus. That’s a big thing ‘cos we spend so much money hiring vans! Goal wise though. Getting the album written, recorded, released and touring it and hoping that people enjoy it. Because White Hoarhound is a big step to follow!
I do like to finish with a non-serious question…
You’re in a room, with the band, some porridge, water pistols and One Direction. What happens?
Erm, I’ll probably eat the porridge. I really do like porridge. No actually I’d put the porridge in the water pistols then I’d get someone to fire the porridge into my mouth ‘cos why would you waste a perfectly good water pistol AND porridge? One Direction…hmm depends how long we’re trapped in the room for? Like forever?
The rest of the band would probably just eat One Direction whereas I’d be just there eating my porridge ‘cos I’m a vegetarian.
I don’t think One Direction count as meat though, really…
Well there is that. I suppose I could just suck the bones. HAHA! Suck One Direction’s bone then we’d have to decided who in the band to eat first really. One by one.
And finally, any parting words for your fans?
Nothing really, just thanks for all the support…if you wanna check us out go to Alunah.co.uk all the links are on there. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Every social network site you can think of we’re on it!
Wicked, thank you!
It’s a dark and rainy night heading over the hills into Bradford, a place I’ve never before visited, I’m always excited to go visit new venues and cities.
So we arrive at the venue, well we think so, all we knew was that it’s in the basement of an old swimming pool…horror movie plot anyone?
Anyway, eventually we’re parked and after finding the venue and making our way inside, what I find is a tiny little alternative club hidden down stairs next to a shiny Wetherspoons. It’s always a plus when you can destroy your liver at a venue without having to sell another organ or take out a mortgage. At the princely sum of £2 for a pint you can’t go far wrong.
So first up tonight is Pigwitch a band that I must admit aren’t familiar to me at all. I do try and listen to all support bands before a gig but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. What did happen on the other hand isn’t what I was expecting. I WAS expecting a shrieking doom slathered sludge attack. Which isn’t what happened at all. Instead I got bluesy, riff soaked rock and roll. Impressed I was, the band delivered a spectacular performance in their allotted 30 minutes including my new favourite track Skies! Off the band pop and I head back to the bar. Well until I have to go on an adventure!
I say adventure, I take Alunah singer Soph Day next door to Wetherspoons for a quiet chat about the new album, getting signed and public masturbation. This was definitely worth missing the first part of the set by second band Monolith Cult whom in the brief time I get to see them put on quite the performance. Heavy Sabbath-esque riffery with heaps of character and bags of fun. Despite my experience of this band being short, I definitely appreciated the performance I saw.
Onwards to Space Witch, this bunch of misfits hailing from the pottery capital of the UK that is Stoke On Trent creep onto the stage and throw down a 40 minute barrage of instrumental doom. These guys are definitely a band that have to be seen to be thoroughly experienced as their recorded material is not quite as good as the sludgy brilliance that this 5 piece deliver in a live setting. Otherworldly electronics go hand in hand with thundering bass tones and slowly sweeping riffs. Throughout this set you’re taken on an adventure around the galaxy, to a planet no-where near rainy Bradford. This trippy adventure continues to it’s conclusion as the band depart the stage.
Up to finish the evening are Birmingham psych rockers Alunah, recently signed to Napalm Records. These chaps and lady are set to make waves, Bradford is the first in a few UK stops scheduled for the band. Go see them!
Playing through a mixture of old songs and new the band set free their riffs like some musical game of hot potato. Off they fly, it’s the vocals of Soph Day that make this band so exciting to me, whilst coming across as naturally classic they also have an air of freshness to them that many psych bands could do with taking note of. Cuts from their most recent release White Hoarhound go over well with the crowd who by this point fill the tiny club to it’s brim. I’m not gonna lie, I can’t wait for these guys’ new album. I have a feeling it’ll make it to my top 10 of 2014. So bring it on!
Bringing their set to a close, I wander off, have a look at the merch, pick up a patch and 195/250 of Alunah’s new split single with drone masters Queen Elephantine and off we go, back into the rain to head back to Middle Earth, for tonight I’d be spending the night in a hobbit hole. Which when finishing the night off with tea, toast and Pink Floyd you can’t go for wrong at all.
Thanks to Jo and Graham at Gothestro Radio for coming down to our Bradford gig on Saturday 8th February, and taking the time to interview Soph and Dan. Listen to the interview here >>
All blog posts by Alunah