Hi. Your new album borrows the name of a flower, White Hoarhound. Why? Is there any symbolism behind it?
Hey! Yeah kind of, it derives from the mint family and the root can be used for coughs and general lung conditions. When we started writing for the album my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, I visited Wales around this time and read about the White Horehound being indigenous to the Great Orme which is a beautiful imposing headland in Llandudno. I'd visited the Great Orme since I was a child, and had many happy childhood memories with my parents there, I not only fell in love with the name of the plant but also felt it apt to my situation. That's where I wrote the majority of the lyrics to the title track White Hoarhound (we changed the spelling slightly), on the headland looking out to the sea.
This is the second album you released in the last couple of years. Can you tell us about the differences between Call Of Avernus and White Hoarhound?
We were writing Avernus really from when we started, perhaps without even realising it, so we spent 4 years from 2006 - 2010 writing and growing, and in that time had a new bass player join the band. Hoarhound was written in about a year, and Gaz our bassist who joined in 2009, had more of an input. He has a different style of writing to any of us and it's really cool to have that variation. We spent more time producing Hoarhound too - this time we used Greg Chandler and Tony Reed as opposed to Greg Chandler and James Plotkin previously.
How much time it gets for you to record White Hoarhound?
We spent 5 days in the studio recording, we're really lucky to have Greg Chandler's Priory Studios near to us in Canwell. Greg plays in Esoteric and has produced SerpentCult and Moss previously, so we're blessed to have him live very near to us. Tony Reed is in America so we spent time going back and forth over email to get the mixing and mastering done, we've met a few times before when we've played with his band Stone Axe, so we have that relationship there also.
Who is the main composer in your new album? I think that Sophie wrote all the lyrics, am I right?
Yeah I write all the lyrics and vocal melody, and Dave and Gaz write the riffs. Jake and I do have input regarding how songs should be structured but my baby is the vocals!
Your music is dark and mysterious, and your songs sound a bit sad from times to times. What is the inspiration behind music and lyrics on your new album?
I see the lyrics as being a celebration of life, and yeah life can be very dark, mysterious and sad, but also happy and uplifting. You need to have the sad parts to realise how beautiful the uplifting parts are. I see that also as an apt way to describe the music. It's no secret that my lyrics have a strong pagan influence, but we're by no means a pagan band. The other guys don't necessarily share my beliefs but I'm lucky that they allow me to be creative with what I want to sing about, and how I want to sing it.
Finally, what is the best description for your music?
Heavy Rock Music
If someone asked you to pick a song from your new album as your favorite track, what would be the answer?
For meaning and symbolism I'd choose "White Hoarhound" but for pure listening pleasure I'd choose "Oak Ritual II"
Have you got a feeling that if you have to record White Hoarhound from scratch, you would like to change few things, adding or removing, for you make it better, or you think, White Hoarhound is the best music that you can compose these days.
Were all really happy with the album, most of the songs got re-written, a couple of them have had quite a few versions. We could have released this months ago but we felt that we could do better, and I believe we have. So no, all the changes we wanted to make have been made. However, we intend to be sticking around for a good few years yet, and if we got into the mindset that this is the best we could compose, we may as well give up. You should always strive to do better, always!
The music you are played is inspired from psychedelia of 60s, Doom metal as well as NWOBHM and Stoner. A great variety of sounds don’t you think so? How difficult is for a band to create a unique sound nowadays?
Yeah, it's always going to be difficult to create a new sound when you're influenced by such striking music as psychedelia or doom. However, lazy people are the ones who say that you cannot be original nowadays. There are always new ways of doing things, and I'm sure there are new sounds just waiting to be created, and new songs waiting to be sung. If you start out wanting to sound like someone else, or wanting to make money, you're never going to sound original. If you make music for yourself, the chances are you'll create something new. I strongly believe that although we get compared to a lot of female fronted bands, if you listen to us properly, there isn't anyone else who truly sounds like us.
In our days, there are so many bands around, so many e-zines and magazines, sometimes there is an information overload and music lovers often get lost by all these new albums and unknown bands. What is the biggest advantage on your band, which will help you to stand out?
The internet can be a good AND bad thing for bands for sure, some bands only rely on social networking. It pisses me off to hear bands slagging off Facebook, if you're not happy, get out there and get your own website which YOU control - you can do what the hell you like then! In Alunah we design our own website, flyers, posters and cd/vinyl artwork, we play tonnes of shows, we flyer gigs, put posters up, don't cause shit with promoters and other bands, be cool to people, and up until recently did our own PR. We're different in musical style to other bands, it's taken us 6 years of hard slog, but hopefully ears are starting to prick up now.
Nearly a month ago, Sophie lost her father, and I would like to say a big sorry for her loss. I also read he was a great Alunah's fan. How this has affected the band’s life?
Thank you. Yes, I lost my dad in October, he was very dear to me and I loved him with all my heart, like I said he influenced the "White Hoarhound" lyrics. It was a true honour to have the song played at his funeral, all the band were present and it was beautiful to have nearly 200 of his family and friends hear it in his honour. My husband Dave is in the band so not only have I lost a dad, he has lost a father-in-law so yeah it affected us greatly. It obviously affected Gaz and Jake too as we're a very close knit band. However, my Dad wouldn't have been happy for us to put the band on hold, so after a month's break we're back at it and working again. In fact, we have a vinyl version of Hoarhound coming which we have dedicated to his memory.
Can you please tell us about your plans from this day forth?
Yeah we have recently signed to Napalm Records who with their sub-label Spinning Goblin Productions will be releasing Hoarhound on limited edition white and green gatefold 12" vinyls. They're available now for pre-order from their store, and will be released officially on January 25th 2013. We'll be playing with label mates The Sword in January also at Wolverhampton Slade Rooms, and are planning a European tour in May.
Thank you very much for finding the time to be with us. I’m sure that Alunah’s future will be great, and I hope that your music will be better and better in the next years to come. Have you got something last to add?
Thanks so much for giving us your time also, and for the kind words. Keep checking our website http://www.alunah.co.uk and Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom for updates and further info. Cheers!