Rock Overdose: Good evening Soph and congratulations for the release of your third opus, “Awakening The Forest”!
Soph Day: Hi Michael, cheers!
Rock Overdose: You’ve recently returned from a quite extensive tour. How was it and how did it feel experiencing the reaction from the release of the album first hand – amidst your tour?
Soph Day: Overall the tour was great thanks. We visited new countries, played with great bands, experienced ublievable hospitality from the promoters and venues, and met up with new and old friends. It almost didn’t happen due to a van crash on the second day in London, but our van company kindly drove a new van to us to ensure the tour continued. We then experienced more problems whilst driving through the alps, but luckily our guitarist Dave is quite handy with vehicle mechanics. The album was released during our tour so there was a real buzz, and it was great to play places such as Germany on the actual day of release. Some people had the album, some didn’t so there was a mixture of people hearing the songs for the first time and those who already knew the words. The crowds were into it regardless, so yeah it was pretty cool.
Rock Overdose: So, let’s talk a bit about the album… As we said before this is your third release. How would you compare “Awakening The Forest” to your previous two albums?
Soph Day: It’s hard for me to compare them as I know them so well, I would say that our latest album was a lot more considered writing-wise, we spent more time getting the production right, and is perhaps more melancholic and heavier than the other albums. We also have a different bassist on this album, and he has bought a completely new bass sound and style to the album.
Rock Overdose:“Awakening The Forest” is your first album via Napalm Records. How did this signing come about in the first place and how do you feel this deal moves the band forward in musical terms?
Soph Day: We worked with them on the vinyl release of our second album White Hoarhound, and they then approached us about releasing our third album. The label has a great reputation and an impressive roster full of bands that inspired us in the first place, so when they came to us regarding our third album, we were extremely excited. Up until our signing, stoner and doom fans were aware of us but fans of other genres not so, being on Napalm has opened us up to fans of other types of music which is great. Napalm are also great for bouncing ideas off, and we regularly ask their opinion on things, they’re the industry experts so it’s great haven’t access to that knowledge.
Rock Overdose: So, why “Awakening The Forest” Soph? Is there a special meaning behind the album’s title?
Soph Day: Originally it was just going to be a song title, but we liked it so much that we decided to extend it to the album title. It may mean different things to different people, but to me it is about opening your eyes and appreciating the beauty of nature. I had the revelation in a forest shortly after my father died, I realised that I could suddenly die and this would be the last thing of beauty that I saw, and if it was, had I truly appreciated it? When I released that, my senses were awakened and I became a more aware of absolutely everything. I went home and wrote the lyrics for Awakening the Forest.
Rock Overdose: How important is this connection with nature for you and how far does it go when it comes to the lyrical concepts of the tracks from the album Soph? I’m asking because nature always seemed to be a very important aspect in your music.
Soph Day: Yes it’s very important to me, in one way or another nature forms the basis for every song on the album, and almost every song Alunah have ever written. I’m inspired by it’s beauty, it’s ugliness, it’s power, it’s ability to save lives and end them, and it’s ability to lift your spirits and completely crush them. During the writing of this album I lost three close family members, and I spent a lot of time wiht my husband Dave who is also our guitarist, and my dog Olive, wandering in the woods. It allowed me time to think about my family, time to forget my troubles, time to appreciate what I had left and also gave me some physical exercise which is what I needed rather than to lock myself away vegetating.
Rock Overdose: Generally, would you say that this connection goes beyond the music and ever touches you on a personal level Soph?
Soph Day: I think I pretty much answered this in the previous question. I would say that the connection is first and foremost personal, and as a result it gives me inspiration for lyrics.
Rock Overdose: If asked to Soph, what would you say the band really stands for you?
Soph Day: Alunah is more than music for me. It takes me away from the normality of day to day life, it provides a creative channel, it introduces me to new and wonderful people, it takes me to foreign lands where I may not otherwise have visited, and it gives me valuable time with three of my best friends doing what we absolutely love doing.
Rock Overdose: I have to ask you Soph, if I were to judge by what the Alunah is all about and if we take into consideration the legacy of the bands that have come out of Birmingham since the late 60s, is there something in the water of the city then? What was the inspiration behind the formation of the band in the first place?
Soph Day: Haha yeah, I’d say there’s definetly something in the West Midlands’ water. Dave and I met our drummer Jake at one of Dave’s gigs of the band he was in at the time. We had seen Jake and his girlfriend Liv at various gigs in Birmingham, and were always supporting Dave’s band, so Dave told me to go and ask what size shirts they wore so he could say thank you, and I also wanted to tell Liv that I loved her Dozer hoody. I got into a drunken conversation and we ended up arranging a jam session for Dave and Jake. I went along to watch and ended up singing, that is how we got together. So, the inspiration was beer and a mutual love of stoner bands.
Rock Overdose: Your very first album has been long out of print, you did announce you’ll be treating us with a re-release though, right? Can you tell us a bit about it?
Soph Day: Yeah PRC in Canada will be re-releasing it, and it has been announced today that they will also be re-releasing our second album White Hoarhound. They originally contacted us due to them being Alunah fans and hearing about the album selling out, recently White Hoarhound also sold out so they asked to do that as well. They’ve been releasing music for over 20 years, and really know the industry and above all are passionate so we were really happy to do it. Avernus will be released on 7th April 2015, and Hoarhound in the latter part of 2015. Both albums will have official in-store distribution via PRC's partners throughout USA, Canada and Brazil, and limited copies will also be available worldwide from the official Alunah store.
Rock Overdose: The first music video from the album was for the track “Heavy Bough”. Can you tell us a few words about the track itself and the video Soph? I have to say you’ve done a brilliant job on it…
Soph Day: Thanks Michael, we spent a fun weekend at Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire with Rod Thomas who directed it, George Sanderon who was our man of the forest, and Michael Cowell who illustrated our album packaging. The album cover actually inspired the video, so it was important that Mike was there, pluys we filmed a pretty cool artwork video which you can find on YouTube. The song is basically about Yew Trees which sounds a bit shit, but I assure you once you start reading about them, and visiting a few, they’re magificient powerful trees.
Rock Overdose: So, tell us about your future plans now that this leg of the tour is over Soph. What does the future hold for Alunah?
Soph Day: Well we came off tour to some very nice gig offers, one of which sees us getting on a plane to play a festival, so hopefully there will be more of those offers. We’ll be doing those re-releases, and of course writing, writing, writing! We’ve released a new album every two years, and we want that to continue so the work starts now.
Rock Overdose: Thank you so much for the interview Soph! Let’s wrap it up with a message of yours to our readers and the band’s fans!
Soph Day: Thanks Michael, and thank you to all of our Greek fans. Hopefully we can get over there to you guys soon.