Alunah is filled with pagan imagery both visually and lyrically. What is it about the rituals and folklore of the pagan world that make you want to incorporate it into your music?
An interest in paganism is not something that is necessarily shared by all of us in Alunah, it's mainly my interest and that's evident like you say in the lyrics and artwork, which are both taken care of by me. We've been called a pagan band in the past, but that's quite inaccurate, the music we write comes from many different musical influences. Our music has the ability to be dark, uplifting, mysterious and hopeful; elements that fit perfectly with pagan subject matter and imagery. It's not something we have gone out of our way to do, it just seems to go hand in hand. Music is very important to pagans and telling these stories and using such imagery is a way for me to show my appreciation. Since a young age I've been interested in such subject matters, and have since found neopaganism or contemporary paganism which takes into consideration other practices, such as wicca. I've always had an affinity with nature, and am lucky to live amongst glorious countryside, although I live 30 minutes from Birmingham, I'm certainly not a 'city girl'. When I was a child I had a big old book of Brothers Grimm fairy and folk tales, and also a myth and monsters book where I first read about the likes of Demeter and Medusa. My parents also used to take us to Boscastle in Cornwall, the home of the Witchcraft Museum, and an area rich in pagan and wiccan folk tales. In fact, the museum was my first introduction to Aleister Crowley. Those stories and that imagery captured my imagination, and since then I've read around the subject matter extensively. Our ancestors used to live their life by nature and some civilisations still do, over the years we have lost that way of life, everything now is so convenient and disposable.
Coming from the doom capital - Birmingham - what do you think about the current doom scene at the moment? Any favourite bands?
It depends what you define as the doom scene, I'm possibly the wrong person to ask as I don't tend to define bands by genres and am not a massive fan of what people call 'doom', well more so 'true doom'. Some of us are from Birmingham, and we do play there a lot, there are some cool local bands around at the moment, but none that can be considered 'doom'. Bands that I'm loving at the moment are bands/artists such as Serpent Venom, Goatsnake, Yob, Rose Kemp, Witchcraft, Jucifer and Pentagram. Some of these aren't 'typical doom' but they definitely have those elements. I haven't listened to much new music for a while, my ears are firmly rooted in the past.
What do Alunah like to do when they are not creating and performing music?
We all love to go out, watch other bands and have a drink, we don't perhaps get the chance to see as many bands as we like due to us playing, but I'd rather be playing than watch others haha. Other than that, and apart from us all working full time, I run a vintage clothing website and also do some freelance design, Dave runs his part-time screen printing business and Gaz plays in his other band General. Jake's always at gigs, if he's not on stage, he's watching someone else on stage!
If you could collaborate with any band/singer/writer - who would it be and why?
I would have loved to duet with Jim Morrison or Robert Plant as they are my favourite male vocalists. Janis Joplin is my favourite vocalist but I could never have dueted with her as no woman comes close to her vocals, I'd have sounded shit!! Instead, it would have been cool to play in her band Big Brother and the Holding Company. I would like to have a song written for me by Joni Mitchell or Rose Kemp, that would be pretty special, they tell stories so well and so evocatively it would be an honour to sing one of their songs!
What are your future plans with regards to albums and tours?
We have some pretty exciting news regarding future releases, but we haven't officially announced anything yet, we should be soon though. We'll be touring Europe in 2013, and there's also an inkling of a UK tour with an awesome band. It's all pretty vague at the moment, but updates and more info can be found at http://www.alunah.co.uk and http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom.Lovely to chat to you, cheers!