Sanguine_sky: Sophie Hello and thank you for this interview! To start, could you introduce the band to the readers?
Sophie: Hi! My group is called Alunah, I sing and play guitar. We come from a corner not far from Birmingham, England, and we have been together since 2006 We have just released our third album, called Awakening the Forest, on the label Napalm Records. It is a very active group!
The new album Awakening the Forest has recently become available. So far, have you received a lot of echoes or feedback about it?
Yes, because our Napalm Records label began sending specials of it there are already three weeks. For now, the returns are very good! Many of our friends have pre-ordered their copy, and have received since our album will be available in the UK next week. They like it a lot, and it made us very happy because when you write an album, you do not know if people will enjoy it or not then have positive feedback, it's really good.
In your opinion, what are the main differences between this new album and White Hoarhound?
On this new album, we have a new bass player and his game, his style is very different, and ours for that matter. I find it heavier, more melancholic, too, but not depressed. Yet he retains a genuine sadness. It is massive and still sounds like Alunah. I think it's a real step forward for us.
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Yes! Listen, my favorite track is "Awakening the Forest," but to play in concert is "Scourge and the Kiss." We played it tonight, and I like the fact that it is energetic but also descends into the psychedelic and powerful it is again, I love to play! But listen, it's definitely our title track.
You recently recorded a music video for "Heavy Bough." Why this title and what is the story behind this video?
Basically, we had to search for a title that is not too long and many of our pieces rotate between six and seven minutes. It's long, too much for a video. The choice was thus restricted to two or three tracks, which are about five or six minutes. "Heavy Bough" is the most catchy song, the title with which they can identify, promote our music, so a good base for those who do not know Alunah. The idea that man is alone, walking in the forest, taking bits of nature to his potions, its remedies. In the end, he kidnaps me ...! Yes, basically, this is what happens to me in the end. We really want to show the nature across this clip. There was a lot of fun to make this video. It was a very sunny day, in a castle in England and passersby walking their dog, a picnic ... So it has attracted much attention. And George, our manager, with a look scared a few people. It was great! For our first video, we wanted something special, and I think it was appreciated so we are delighted.
If you could change something about the album, what would it be? Or let you in that state?
I would put more choirs. Much has been written harmonies but we ran out of time in the studio. I had a few harmonies for "Heavy Bough" I have not had time to record. If I could change anything, I would record all these choruses, all these harmonies. But we are already very happy with the album itself. It has been rewritten lot because once the pieces are complete, often we do not happy. Now we are very proud when we love this album.
You are currently on tour. What is the public reaction to your music?
This is our fourth concert of the tour in Switzerland today. The first two concerts were in the UK, and yesterday in Paris. We are very happy every night, especially in Paris and now in Pratteln. The public is great, very euphoric and full of people remembered our previous titles album and sang with us. There the language barrier that we are able to pass through the songs. We were very well received, appreciated our music, it was great every time!
Is what you might describe a type of day tour?
Lots of travel and time spent in the van for the six of us on tour. There are usually six to seven hour trip between dates. I guess that says like that, it seems a bit boring. It is also trying to get as much sleep as possible, because your show is not as good when you're exhausted. Before the concert, we repeat a bit. It only drinks after the show because we really want to focus for a good concert.
The doom scene has become more successful at the moment and there is a real expansion. How do you explain that?
I think many appreciate groups of the sixties and seventies, and seek a respite to big names like Black Sabbath. The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan etc, and these large groups regain popularity, more young people will find them easily. This renewed success for these legends has implications, for sure. We are here only since 2006 so it is still fairly new, but we just Birmingham, like Black Sabbath, and many are influenced by them. For us it is a good thing as promoters, labels interested increasingly gender, and it allows us to access more easily concerts.
In your opinion, what distinguishes Alunah other groups of doom?
There are many groups of doom who have male voices. Personally, I do not know growler, screaming ... I do not know how to describe my voice ... discreet, feminine, maybe bluesy, which is already making a difference to other groups. Many groups are also trying to be as heavy as possible, and this is not our view. We really want to write good songs, with remember choruses, entrancing atmospheres, words that the audience can sing along with us. In a sense, it was a little pop approach, a bit like Black Sabbath ... with the right pieces, these heady melodies, these refrains. We really want to rediscover it, the "sing-along" doom doom ... karaoke!
Do you feel close to certain groups of doom scene?
Yes! There Monolith Cult of Bradford, they are awesome, one of my favorites. There is also Ki, Birmingham, they are relatively new and very very good, we played with them. Conan also, who played yesterday, Black Moth, Lord Vicar, Spirit Caravan with whom we played in the first part, they are lovely people, very friendly. It is an honor for us to play and know people like them. These are very good musicians!
Your French fans would love to see you again. Do you think the Hellfest 2015 is still a distant dream or a viable possibility?
We heard a lot about Hellfest. Yesterday in Paris, we were asked if we would be. And we would really like, really, really play it because a lot of bands that we're friends have already played, and that's definitely something we want to do well. We contacted the organization, so fingers crossed! I hope they will be interested in Alunah. But even if we do not play there, we will go there as surely festival. We have lots of friends who go there and it looks to be a great festival. So if we go as a fan, that's fine, if you go as a group, it's perfect!
What are your personal influences?
The words I write are very influenced by nature. I love the story of the trees ... um, it sounds a little weird words like that. But I like to know the role that trees have had on the history of England, like France because we have many pagan cultures or wiccan, and trees have played a key role. Our song "Heavy Bough" for instance speaks of a great tree and its importance in history. They have been used as remedies against the disease. I am also influenced by the history of the United Kingdom. Musically, my favorite band is The Doors, I also like Janis Joplin, BB King. I also appreciate Hexvessel, so Finnish doomy folk. Guys them prefer Iron Maiden, AC / DC ... so as you see we have many influences in Alunah.
How did you get this urge to get into the doom?
It came naturally. When we started to write music, it is the style that stood out and many believe that coming to Birmingham played a role in our music because that's where we get Black Sabbath and that it is in our blood to doom. Our guitarist Tony Iommi fan really, his riffs are still influenced by it. Our drummer is a big fan of Black Sabbath, our bass player too, and then too. Make doom came we simply without the idea of following a movement.
Is there a group that you like and would like to share with us?
Hexvessel! Everyone should listen Hexvessel! I think I'm obsessed with them. There is also Beastmilk, which are Finnish like them, you've perhaps already heard? There Orne too, with the guy Lord Vicar, you confirm?
Oh you know them! I love this band! There also Sahg and Audrey Horne, and also the new Blues Pills, I love it. There is so much good music right now! And last Opeth too ... and the last Alunah! You know?
I guess so! It's already the end of the interview, thank you for this interview! Do you have some final words for our readers?
Thank you all for your support, for your presence at our concerts. We love to meet you, see new faces, we hope you like our music and you buy our new album ... if you like! And thank you again!
Original French Version: http://www.lagrosseradio.com/metal/webzine-metal/interview-metal/p10100-sophie-day-chanteuse-et-guitariste-d-alunah.html