Hello! It isn’t one forest in particular, and it goes beyond meaning an actual forest, but something or someone of beauty. The idea originally came during a period in my life where I had just lost my father, nan and granddad, and I was trying to find a way to deal with it all. I was stood in a forest with my husband and my dog and I suddenly had this overwhelming thought that this could be the last time I see such beauty, I could literally die that day and I thought back to the last things of beauty my family who had passed on would have seen. The forest suddenly came alive to me, I noticed things that I would have taken for granted or ignored previously, it was a massive moment for me, like I was seeing things for the first and last time and I needed to consume it all. I didn’t say anything to my husband at the time, I just went home and wrote the lyrics for “Awakening the Forest” - once we’d got a bunch of songs together that title was chosen for the album, we liked how it sounded and it was very personal for me. Now, when we go for walks I’m constantly pointing things out to him and he just nods and smiles haha. I like people to tell me what the lyrics and titles mean to them, but in general I sing about the beauty, importance and power of nature, and how it has been used throughout history; particularly in England. I also sing from a personal perspective, and some of these lyrics are the most personal I have written.
Is there a message you would like to express with ALUNAH?
Go outside, open your eyes and take a deep breath! Personally I just wish people would live their lives more and stop arguing, fighting and generally wasting time. If there’s something you want to do, and you have the means to do it, go and do it. If you haven’t got the means to do it, make steps to getting them. Life shouldn’t be full of regret, because before you know it you’re 90 and wondering why you didn’t live the life you could have lived. Be happy, surround yourselves with people you love, embrace positivity and use any negativity as an education.
How went the recordings with Greg Chandler?
Greg Chandler is an incredible producer. We’ve worked with him on all 3 albums, and I think we all agree that this time was the most enjoyable recording experience. We recorded in just 5 days, but those days were super long and Greg worked even longer once we left. His studios are set in a quiet area of countryside near Birmingham, so the absolutely perfect location for us. He’s like the 5th member of Alunah, he suggests changes to songs, really pushes me as a vocalist and even teaches Dave new guitar techniques. He’s also a great laugh, and has given us valuable business advice from his experience with his amazing band Esoteric.
To me “Awakening the Forest” sound more intensive, melancholic, heavier and more atmospheric than “White Hoarhound”. Do you confirm? Where do you see the differences between both albums?
Yeah I agree with that, we wanted to write a heavier album and we’d been listening more to artists such as Ahab, Jex Thoth, Esoteric, Rose Kemp, Wolf People and Hexvessel so that’s perhaps where the melancholy comes from. As I explained earlier, the lyrics also have a big part to play in this. I wrote most of them before we wrote the music, so we were conscious of them complimenting each other. We spent more time in the studio on the sound this time - we did lots of layering using our own amps, Greg’s amps, and also Fen’s amps who were also recording with Greg and kindly let us use theirs. We also spent the two years between both albums working hard on our individual playing and singing styles, and song writing skills.
In which time were the songs written, and how goes the song writing for ALUNAH? Have you changed something in that process? How much impact does your new bassist Dan have?
Dan joined us in June 2013, and we signed with Napalm in the following December. When Dan joined, we spent those few months teaching him the “White Hoarhound” songs, as well as playing live. We started seriously writing for the third album around November / December 2013, and recorded it in May 2014, so we wrote the album in a very short space of time. Dan had a massive impact, both in terms of fresh ideas and a different playing style and sound. Our previous bass players were primarily guitarists, whereas Dan has always played bass so he bought a completely different element to the band. Plus, on a personal level he’s an absolutely perfect addition to the band and we can’t wait to tour with him.
What are your main musical influences as band? And what made you to start as a Doom / Stoner Rock band?
We’re influenced by many different doom, stoner, folk, ‘70s, metal, psych and blues artists. A band can never avoid being compared to other bands, and we wear our influences on our sleeves, but I think we have our own sound going on. Originally it was bands such as Black Sabbath, Acid King and Kyuss that inspired us to start a band.
When you first started as a band, how hard was it to get your foot in the door of the music business to the point where people were starting to pay attention?
It was really hard for us, and it took us a good 2 or 3 years to get people to pay real attention. We got offered a couple of big gigs with Trouble and Paradise Lost after a few months of playing together, and we learnt some valuable lessons from doing them. Our guitarist Dave and I started up Catacomb Records so that we could release our debut album “Call of Avernus”, no other label was interested so we did it ourselves. We basically love doing this with each other, and the amount of amazing people you meet through it is beautiful – that drives you on to keep going. You’re very lucky if your band explodes straight away, but sometimes a struggle makes you stronger.
Imagine, you could tour with any band you like, could be also with dead musicians, what 5 would it be?
For me it would be The Doors, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Hexvessel, Black Sabbath and Jex Thoth. We played with Jex Thoth recently, not only are they a great band but they are one of the friendliest bands we’ve ever come across - touring with them would be a pleasure.
While you are touring, are you a party band or a sit around and watch movies / play games band? Any weird tour stories?
Both, depends on how tired we are haha. We drive ourselves on tour, so there are always times when a couple of us need to be sensible but yeah, we love a good drink and we’re perhaps the filthiest minded band in England. The strangest thing that has happened to me has been told a few times, it involved a public toilet in a Polish hostel on our last tour, I walked in on two men masturbating in the sink, and defecating in the shower. I didn’t hang around for long haha!
What have you planned within the next future with ALUNAH? Will you come touring to Germany?
We leave for our European tour next week, and yeah we’ll be coming to Germany as part of that - we’re playing Berlin, Wurzburg and Oelsnitz. We’ve started booking gigs for 2015, and we’ll be re-releasing our debut album on Canadian label PRC Music next year too. Other than that, we’ll be writing for our fourth album.
Thank you very much for the interview! The last words are yours!
Thank you for taking time to speak to me, thanks to everyone for the support. Check us out on wwww.alunah.co.uk or www.facebook.com/alunah.doom and we hope to see some of you on the road.