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Update

May 26, 2020

 

Quick update for you on stuff.

The current pandemic has obviously played merry hell with our release schedule. But we're still making plans and moving forward with things.

So after APF unleashes WAR AFTER WAR's No Change EP on 12th June, we'll be putting out something a little special on 17th July. A reissue, something long out of print, freshly remastered, with bangin new artwork. Something we think you'll quite like. More info on that real soon.

Then, late summer, you'll finally - at last - get to hear the Sound of Origin album The All Seeing Eye. Which has some proper tungsten-strength riffs on it. And Joel Bulsara's voice. Oh god that voice.

In the autumn you're like to have a new Possessor album in your ears. It's being recorded next month. Today we appointed the artwork designer who, based on what he's done for other bands, is going to make the record look amazing.

Plus The Hyena Kill and The Brothers Keg have albums recorded and ready to go. We'll keep you updated about those as and when we can.

Another APF band is currently in the studio right now. One that's been quiet for a while. Sworn to secrecy on that though.

There will be lots of stickers, and even an APF hoodie.

Exciting times ahead. Stay tuned.

An Introduction to Sound of Origin

May 19, 2020

Our recent APF Records: The Sound of Heavy 2020 introduced many of you to Sound of Origin, whose album The All Seeing Eye we will be releasing at some point in the hopefully not too distant future. We caught up with drummer Chris Foster for a chat about the record and the band’s story so far.

Q: For those new to the band, tell us a bit about you.

Chris: After forming in 2016, releasing the first EP in 2017 and getting on a roll playing shows up and down the country ... we then spent most of 2018 looking for a singer. A number of people came down to the studio and had a crack but nothing came out of it. Months went by and out of the blue Joe (Wilczynski – guitar) came across an advert Joel put out on a “musicians offered / wanted” site for “a vocalist looking for a stoner / doom band”. Joe messaged him back and from there things were sorted pretty quickly. We arranged to meet up at a pub in Leeds and right from the start things just worked, and after a beer and a chinwag we left the pub feeling much happier than when we went in. Joel came down to the studio, plugged in the mic and just blew us away. The 3 of us were just stood there listening like ... fuuuuck! He listened to some of the new stuff we were working on at the time and just said “yep, I’m in boys’’. The rest as they say ... is history.

Q: So you should have released your new album The All Seeing Eye by now, but the dreaded virus has delayed things. For those awaiting it, what can you tell people about it?

The All Seeing Eye has been a long time coming. It’s a bit of a mixed bag really. Writing-wise there are songs that were kicking around in 2016 (and riffs from well before then) that have been freshened up a bit, and newer stuff that we worked on when Joel joined the band. Although Joe wrote most of the riffs everyone contributed in some way shape or form. Morning Bird came about after Jax (Townsend – bass) was messing about with a bass line in the studio. Joel brought in Dim Carcosa and we all added bits to that. I had an idea that formed into The All Seeing Eye and Joe’s baby is Tempest Dunes for sure. 

Recording-wise we went down to Foel Studio in Wales. What a quality place that is. Big shout out to both Chris Fielding and Mike Bew for making our stay there so cool. Two proper easy going blokes and Chris did a fantastic job with us in the studio. So easy to work with. From there the album went over to America to be mastered by James Plotkin and It would be fair to say we are pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Q: The album marks the start of “new Sound of Origin”. Your sound has changed significantly. Tell us a little about that.

We don’t really stick to any one particular genre now. There is a strong element of the stoner / doom “low and slow” sound but nothing is really out of bounds to us, we play what we like and as you go through the album that becomes apparent pretty quickly. There are riffs aplenty but also stuff you can chill out to. There’s sludge, clean blues, heavy metal and vocally there is something for all tastes. One of my favourites on the album is the track Stoned Messiah Blues. The band and Joel in particular go through the gears from Robert Plant-esque crooning in the beginning to absolute sheer rage in the middle and all the way back again. It’s a song we always kick off with playing in the studio and the feedback is all positive so far in the live environment. 

Band influences and tastes are pretty diverse to be honest. We haven’t looked at one band and gone ... that’s what we will try and sound like. Type O Negative, Alice in Chains and Goatsnake have all been mentioned by people to describe us. Others have said we’re a cross between Faith No More and the and Acid Bath so take from that what you will.

We all pretty much like our music around a similar core of bands. Jax probably strays furthest and whilst listening and being a fan of bands from the UK Underground such as Desert Storm and Woven Man, he is much more into newer bands and styles of metal. If he gets into the studio first he gets control of the stereo and some of the stuff he puts on is varied to say the least haha.

Q: Your track on the APF compilation is Voices Left Behind. Why did you choose it? Who wrote it, and tell us what it’s about?

Voices Left Behind was chosen because it’s one of the shorter and more to-the-point songs on the album. People who hear the APF compilation may be listening to us for the first time so we wanted to give them a quick snapshot of what we are about. Lyrically this song is close to Joel’s heart and deals with the aftermath of losing a loved one and the impact it can have on you. 

Q: What’s been keeping you out of mischief during lockdown?

Joe is a key worker and his workload has doubled so he’s permanently fucked. Jax is still out working too whilst Joel is working from home and Chris is furloughed so is dividing his time between home schooling the kids and gardening haha. We’ve all been keeping in touch though and been working on new music for when we manage to get back together.

Q: Imagine the band is in lockdown together for several months. How would that go?

After surviving our first 18 months / 2 years together, this band can pretty much go through anything I reckon. Some stories there but some top memories as well. After Joel joined the longest time we spent away together was when we went down to Foel last year to record the album. None of us knew how it would go but the week we spent down there together was mint. We got along like a house on fire and if that was anything to go by I reckon we would be pretty sorted in Lockdown.

Q: Finally, anything you’d like to declare?

Fingers crossed that everyone stays safe and well in these troubled times and we can all get together at some point when we come out of this. Looking forward to playing on our first APF shindig and to people hearing the album. Best wishes to Fieldy for giving us a platform to do our thing and big up APF Records.

Follow Sound of Origin on https://www.facebook.com/soundoforigin/

 

A Quick Chat with Rick from Video Nasties

May 13, 2020

 

It's been two months since Video Nasties Dominion album was released. By now the Liverpool quintet should have been out on the road, supporting Gatecreeper in Manchester and planning for their Bloodstock Festival performance (which will now happen in 2021). We caught up with bassist Rick Owen for a quick look back at the album, and to find out what he's been up to since lockdown started.

Q: How the devil are you?

Rick: I’m not too bad thanks. Trying to keep as active as possible, getting out for bike rides and learning how to actually play my bass. Haven’t resorted to smearing my own shit on the walls just yet either which is a plus.

Q: Dominion has been out for two months now. It’s already one of APF’s biggest sellers and has been met with universal critical and fan acclaim. Being honest, did you expect such a reaction or has it been a surprise to you?

Rick: Yeah, we’ve been completely blown away with the response so far. We obviously had confidence in the music coming into the release but it really has surpassed our expectations. There was a moment of panic just before new year when I was getting all the pre-order images together for the website, like “Christ, what if everyone hates it” but I think that’s pretty normal and healthy... isn’t it?!

Q: Did you have a complete vision for the album, or did one come together during the writing / recording of it?

Rick: We had a pretty solid idea of what we wanted to do with the album from the get go, from what we wanted musically right through to the artwork and how it was to be presented. As we got deeper into the project, we had newer ideas and opportunities opened up to us, so it was always evolving but we’re not 100 miles from the original blueprint looking back...

Q: You’re often complemented on the visual and aesthetic aspect of your band. Can you tell us who’s responsible for that and how you create those ideas?

Rick: It’s something we’re all pretty passionate about to be honest. We really wanted to create a complete package... an atmosphere and notoriety around the band if you will, so it was important to us that the visuals, live show, image and aesthetics were spot on and as striking as the music. Luckily, we’re all on the same page with it and there’s always new ideas going back and forth and we’re always trying to come up with new elements we can add to the live show etc. 

Q: The album launch show in Liverpool was spectacular. What are your memories of that evening?

Rick: It’s all a little hazy... to be honest, haha. It feels like a life time ago with everything that has gone on since. But yeah, it was a great night. We wanted it to be an intimate affair and Sound was the perfect venue for that, we were at capacity by the time we went on and the place was booming. Unfortunately, when you spend so long organising an event like that it tends to pass you by in the blink of an eye. It was good to have close mates Chinsniffer and Shuck on the bill with us too, they both smashed it.

Q: When you listen back to the album now do you have songs you’re particularly fond of?

Rick: Oooffffft, that’s like asking someone to name their favourite child... The writing of the album was such an amazing journey, so every song on it holds some kind of fond memory for me and I’m incredibly proud of it as a whole. Sometimes I’ll listen back to it and a section will catch me by surprise and I’ll get goosebumps. I do really enjoy the transition between Dominion and They Rise though if I had to single something out. They Rise is the perfect album closer for me and the build-up Dominion provides is a big part of what makes it so strong. When it eventually kicks in it sounds fucking huge and that opening riff gets me every time.

Q: What do you like best about being in a band, and why? Is it writing, being in the studio, or getting out on stage and playing live?

Rick: I love it all. There’s never a dull moment with VN. Whether we’re on the road gigging or in the studio writing it’s always a fucking ball and we tend to get ourselves into a fair bit of mischief no matter what we’re doing. They don’t call us the ‘lovely boys’ for nothing.

Q: Your track on the APF compilation is Hanging Tree. Tell us about how that song came together.

Rick: Hanging Tree was one of the earlier songs we wrote for the album, I think it was just after Transvoltum and we had just hit our stride. It all came together really easily and we had a lot of fun playing with harmonies and key changes. I’m pretty sure there is a 25-30 second synth intro for it somewhere too... Maybe one day we’ll dig it out.

Q: You’re on a label with 25 other bands on it. Do you have a particular affinity with or love of any of your labelmates?

Rick: I have a lot of love for the Trippy Wicked lads. They were one of the first bands (my former band) Iron Witch played with back in the day and they were so welcoming and friendly and I have a lot of fond memories from the early When Planets Collide gigs. Also, big shout out to the PIST, BongCauldron and Diesel King idiots. 

Q: How are you keeping yourself busy during lockdown, and what are you most looking forward to doing when things finally get back to normal?

Rick: To be honest, I haven’t done a lot... I think I REALLY needed a break so those first couple of weeks I just sat in front of the TV with my thumb up my arse but as mentioned earlier, I’ve been playing a lot of bass and I’ve clocked up some miles on the bike. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family and friends, necking my band mates and complaining about how expensive the drinks are in town.

Q: If Video Nasties broke big do you think as a band you would handle fame and success well?

Rick: Yeah, no problem... as long as we get our crush velvet loons made entirely of cocaine, we’ll be fine.

Q: Finally - Anything to declare?

Rick: Yeah, stay at home... stay safe. Remember it’s ok to feel a little out of sorts at the moment and if you need to chat to someone, reach out. We’ll see you on the other side. xx

An Interview with Trippy Wicked

May 08, 2020

 Trippy

I know it’s only May, but in light of current world events I reckon I’m not the only one thinking about and looking forward to 2021 already. Next year will mark 15 years since Pete Holland and Chris West started jamming together, with Dicky King joining them in what became Trippy Wicked not long afterwards. This year has seen the original line-up release it’s first freshly recorded new material since 2013’s Underground EP, and work is underway on their first full-length album together since 2012’s majestic Going Home.

On APF’s The Sound of Heavy 2020 compilation, out on 15th May, there’s an unreleased TW track called Carat. We caught up with the band to talk about that, and much more, in their first full interview together since Chris returned to the fold after his five years away.

Q: What’s been keeping you busy during lockdown?

Pete – I’ve been watching A LOT of TV. In about nine days I watched all seven series of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. There were highs and lows and everyone’s like seasons 5 & 6 are amazing and I’m like er…. nah. I watched Tripods from the 80s and that sent me down a route where people were like “watch The Children of the Stone!”. On walks I’ve been listening to the new Desert Storm, Nathan from Beastwars other band End Boss has been pretty sweet, and the new Elder as well.

Dicky – I finally slapped on the Barbarian Hermit album in the boogie van and the first track just kicks you straight in the nuts. Loving the Babs. Other than that, I’ve been going backwards and forwards between old skool hip hop, atmospheric stuff, just a mixture of everything. Yesterday I had the kids watching Yob from Freak Valley, me and my youngest have been watching The Mandolorian and enjoying that, and I’m trying to finish the second series of Cobra Kai - but I don’t want to finish that until the next season is online.

Chris – I haven’t been listening to much music, but if I do I listen to a hip-hop playlist, all modern stuff. A lot of the time I’m working on Trippy stuff… stuff that needs me to think, so I’ve had ambient music on in the background and I found there’s a few guys who make these 3-hour long mixes of Blade Runner, all the ambient sounds from the film mixed in with this really chilled out synth, and there’s one for Ghost In The Shell as well. I can just chuck it on for hours and its great background noise. The only thing I’m watching at the moment is Battlescar Galactica – the modern one.

Wicked

Q: You’ve been back together for a little while now (after Bill Jacobs kept the drum seat warm between late 2013 and early 2018). But I don’t think you’ve actually talked about how the reunion came about?

Chris - We chatted at the very end of 2017 and Pete said “I’ve got loads of riffs; I need to do something with them”. I quite fancied having another go at drumming again. I had no idea what it would be like, or if I could even still do it. So, me and Pete started jamming at the beginning of 2018 and as soon as we did it was immediately like “this is a lot of fun”, so we spent the whole of that year jamming and writing. We talked about doing it as a new band, but we couldn’t come up with a name, and then I just thought “the reason we can’t find a name is me and him jamming together is basically Trippy”. We met up with Dicky towards the end of 2018. I said “you guys haven’t done anything for a couple of years, why don’t we just pick it up again with this new material that’s slightly different but still has the Trippy sound”.

Dicky – I saw Chris and Pete at the Black Heart (performing as “TW”) and I thought this is sounding filthy and dirty! A lot of people were saying to me “aren’t you meant to be up on stage?” and I was like “nah this is nothing to do with me”. It was like the whole clichéd falling in love again, seeing them on stage was pretty much like when I saw them the first time all those years ago when my band Olde Crone were finishing and I thought “yeah I’d like to get a piece of that pie”.

Q: What changed for you, Chris? You’d really had enough of drumming when you left in 2013 as I recall.

Chris – I think I just needed a break. A long break. I don’t find drumming easy, I’m not a confident drummer, I don’t feel comfortable with it. Rehearsals are fun but gigs are always…. I always feel like I’m right on the edge of what I can do and what makes me feel comfortable. I hit a point where I was pushing really hard and trying to do some newer things and was really struggling, and I think it came down to not putting the time in to rehearse. When I was kid, I played guitar and I did all the boring learning of the basic skills, but starting to play drums as an adult and learning that…. I don’t enjoy straight-up practice so I never do it. The only time I’ve ever played drums is jamming with these guys.

I was getting better but there were still things I should have been practicing at home, rudiments and feels and things like that. I was unhappy with what I was doing, but I wasn’t putting the time in to get better either. And I think it was burnout. It has been an awesome, busy couple of years – a few tours, couple of releases – and I think everything just got on top of me. I think I should have just taken a long break.

Dicky - I think me and Pete could feel it brewing but thought it’d be fine. Then Chris exploded. We completely understand what happened and why it happened. There was no animosity towards each other. We thought “Chris just needs a breather; this is not good for his health or the band”.

Chris - If it happened now it would happen in a completely different way. I didn’t know how to say it properly and I bottled it all up, and I wasn’t expressing it properly, or in an easy way for anyone to understand. So, it just came out as a teenage tantrum – “well fuck this then!”. If it happened now it would be much calmer. I wasn’t equipped to do it sensibly or properly, or think about it properly, I just let it all build in my head without working it out.

Q: Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you all meet? Tell us about the beginnings of the band.

Pete – I had a band called Brain Freeze with a guy called Paul. He knew Chris and asked if he could play bass in Brain Freeze. Then Chris’s band Swamp Girl needed a singer and I was like “yeah alright” and then we ended up doing a couple of EPs with that, then that collapsed. Then a couple of years later I had a few demos of stuff and Chris wanted to get involved. It was two guitars and a drummer, and Paul had his octave Pedal and we were like that for a bit. We were doing Imaginarianism (self-released 2008 Trippy Wicked album) material for a good year and a half I think and then Dicky got involved.

Dicky – I remember seeing you guys when Olde Crone was still going. It was like “cool, there’s other guys locally doing this kind of thing”, there was something that just caught my eye: it had the groove I like, the catchiness, the heavy rawness and all of that. Because we also rented the same rehearsal studios I kept bumping into you in gigs in London, and then Olde Crone split up and I was just standing around in Farm Factory Studio where we all practiced and I asked do you mind if I just come and stand in on one of your jams and it went from there. They were playing Evil and Pete was playing it on a guitar down tuned really like a bass and I thought maybe I could do some bass over the top. The tuning was the same as Olde Crone’s at the time, drop tuning. So, I turned up and played Evil with them and that’s how it came together. That led on to Lowering The Tone, the EP we put out (in November 2008).

Pete – That was just before Movin’ On. We first started jamming in 2006.

Chris – Yeah 2006. I know cos you had the New York song…

Pete – Oh god yeah! (Pete sings the New York song)

Chris – That’s what I remember as being the beginning of Trippy.

Pete – If Last.fm was still going… the early stuff was all uploaded to there. Make Like A Rock ‘n Roll was the first thing and it had Baboon on it and Hang ‘em High.

Pete – With those old albums, Chris used to print them out, we’d only burn like a hundred or something.

Q: Your track on the APF Sound of Heavy 2020 compilation is Carat, another old one. Tell us about that?

Chris – When we started working on the Movin’ On Singles thing last year I was trying to make sure I had a full archive of everything we’d recorded and then I realised I hadn’t put it all on my laptop, some of it was still on a CD. I was listening to stuff on it and this song came on and I was like “WHAT? I don’t recognise this at all”. And then it slowly came back. A friend of ours runs an animation company and he wanted a piece of music for his showreel and we wrote it for that. We were going to Chuckalumba (studio) to record the album so we recorded it while we were there. It didn’t end up getting used because it was too heavy and rock n roll for a kid’s animation show, I guess. We wrote an acoustic thing for him instead which he ended up using. So, this track stayed on this CD and ended up in a drawer in my house and I didn’t find it again for 10 years. It was literally only a few months ago I found it again.

Pete – Interestingly enough he’s gone on to be really successful with this cartoon Sarah & Duck, he’s won a BAFTA and everything.

Chris – Sometimes I’m tempted to dig out some of the super early stuff, but it’s not really like what we’re like now. This one was though - it has that Movin’ On analogue sound to it.

Q: Are there loads more old Trippy Wicked gems in the archives then?

Chris - Yeah. I’ve got shitloads of demos of stuff we wrote and recorded. There are whole songs. Loads of them. Maybe one day we’d go back and do them but …. probably not, because we keep writing new stuff.

Pete – It has MOVED ON. We got pretty far on with an album that was gonna be called Bounce Bunny Bounce, we got the artwork done and everything. But I was in Stubb as well at the time and everything was getting a bit of a juggle. We were trying to record it and I was getting all flustered with my playing and it was getting to be a chore so we ended up scrapping it. That was after hours of recording. We had a tune called Beer – that was the one I was really struggling to play but the end of it… (Pete sings the riff)… I listen back to it now, and I think OH MY GOD THAT IS EPIC. Classic Trippy. Bounce Bunny Bounce was about a girl on a trampoline…

Q: When you look back on your output are there any particular songs you love or are particularly proud of?

Chris – It’s interesting for me to look back at some of our old stuff. Over the years I’ve learned to let go of the perfectionism I used to have, or at least some of it. At the time of Movin’ On I was in that perfectionist state of mind, and the only bits I could hear on it was the bits I didn’t like or would change, and I had that when I came out of that recording. I liked it but thought it was a bit raw sounding. But when I look back at it now, I fucking love it. It’s such a cool sound, it sounds raw and mean, it’s got such a wide range of songs and styles, it’s got loads of brass on it as well which is cool. That one’s grown on me more as time’s gone on.

Pete – There are tunes I forget about. There’s so many, especially being in Stubb and Elephant Tree as well. I just end up churning out riffs and not having time to carry on and do anything with them. Like the other day I posted a video for an Elephant Tree song (playing the bassline to Aphotic Blues for someone who wanted to learn it) and someone said “can you do a run through of Hillbilly Moonshine?” And I said “yeah alright”. So, I played along to it. And when it got to the end of the track it went into Pour Me Another One and I was like…. “ah that’s cool!” I’d forgot about that one.

Chris – The thing I’ve learned with Trippy is I have to record everything, and pretty quick. Pete’s song writing especially. We write songs, jam them for a month or two, and then new songs come in, and if you don’t record them you forget them. Going forward now I record everything.

Dicky – Pete gets riffs stuck in his head every day. I turn up at practice and he starts playing something, and then we jam it out, and then you might not hear it again for six months. You work on it and then he’s like “ah I’ve got this other one”. Sometimes he’s like a million miles an hour – just go go go!

Pete – My phone is just full of ideas, all about a minute long but they fill over 2GB. Like about 500 or 600 of them.

Q: Moving on to the present, it feels to me you’ve become much heavier musically and darker lyrically. Green Memories is especially heavy lyrically. Was this a conscious decision?

Pete – Trippy is as Trippy does really. I like my heavy music. I always wanted to support Weedeater and I didn’t think Trippy Wicked were heavy enough to. We’ve supported Truckfighters and other bands and that was cool, but I really wanted to support Weedeater. Three Leaves is like my homage to Weedeater, tuned down even lower. And our first gig back together was supporting Weedeater haha.

Green Memories is pretty dark, but when you look at the lyrics to Fire and Evil… even that line in Pour Me Another One (GOD IS OVER IN MY WORLD) – all “there is no god, god is dead stuff”, I’ve been saying it for years. I always like to have a little positive something in there as well, you’ve got to have the light and dark to equal each other out.

Dicky – if you look at Pete’s lyrics, he has a tongue in cheek aspect and also a dark aspect. I think that’s what helps with Trippy – its not all doom and gloom. Underground was a whole EP about the world ending: do you escape or do you bury down and try and hold out? The newer stuff is darker but the riffs still have groove.

Q: From your Weedeater support onwards you’ve just been playing new material. Will fans ever get to hear the old songs live again?

Chris – When we first came back, I was pretty adamant we would only play new stuff - part of me thinking about it as a new era of the band. But I’ve softened on that recently and I’ve been thinking maybe we should play some of the old classics. It’s always tough with Trippy because there’s so many songs, that much music you want to play. You write so much music but you’ve got 25 or 30 minutes to play live so you have to choose which ones to play and to leave. That’s tough.

Pete – I find it tough to sing (the old stuff). I’m getting used to these new tracks, which are in drop F, but singing Fire in drop F…. that feels weird. Hillbilly Moonshine was in Drop A. Totally different tuning.

Q: Looking to the future – are you back for good? Any great plan for Trippy?

Chris – Mainly a case of get back to finishing the album when we can and beyond that I don’t know.

Dicky – We’ve never been like “we want to be here in five years and here in ten years”. Let’s see where it takes us. See how everyone’s feeling. I’m fortunate in that I’ve got a wife and kids who understand I play in a band and they think that’s cool, but there are sacrifices you have to make for them. That happened that time Chris booked a tour and I just couldn’t get the time off work so Tony Reed (Mos Generator / Stone Axe) came over and did the drumming with Chris stepping onto bass. The greater needs if you like. Trippy adapted. We also accept that Pete has Elephant Tree and Chris has his other projects, whereas for myself I’m just Trippy, the fanboy of Trippy. It’s nice cos it keeps Trippy fresh.

Pete – Chris and I will keep making music regardless of what happens with Trippy. He encourages me to crack on and do stuff. We just get on so well working together. The vibe’s always cool.

 

For more information about (and to pre-order) the APF Records: The Sound of Heavy 2020 compilation or t-shirt, visit https://apfrecords.co.uk/merchandise/apf-records-the-sound-of-heavy

Hear Trippy Wicked’s Three Leaves / Green Memories (and pick up a t-shirt) over at:

https://trippywicked.bandcamp.com/ 

BongCauldron: The Final Interview?

May 06, 2020

 

It’s nine months since BongCauldron said farewell with a final, stonking, amazing set on the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2019. Our APF Records: The Sound of Heavy 2020 compilation – out on 15th May – includes a live version of I’ve Been Sick, which they only ever played a couple of times. We caught up with Biscuit, Jay and Corky ahead of its release in what might well be their final interview? Only time will tell.

Q: Your track on the APF compilation is a live version of I’ve Been Sick, recorded when you supported The Obsessed in Manchester. Who wrote that song and what inspired it?

Biscuit - Think Jay wrote that, it might have been in memory of the time he ate a pizza from Flames in Leeds and puked so hard he got black eyes.

Jay - I still went back after! I sent the lads the intro, verse riff and lyrics if I remember right. Got stuck on the lyrics trying to find something to come after "Face down in the black, Cold and rotten...". Think it was Corky that replied with "return of the mack". It stuck. The song was about nothing really. We spent so long tied down with Binge and that record was fucking miserable for me. I've Been Sick was written at the same time as Scrubber Cider so it was just us having a laugh.

Q: The original version was released to coincide with your final Riff Fest performance. What are your recollections of writing and recording it, and of that Riff Fest experience?

Biscuit – Riff Fest was great but they had a barrier so it was a much safer affair than last time we played, bit of a let-down.

Corky - If I remember rightly the writing and recording was pretty quick and painless. For me the atmosphere at Riff Fest wasn't as good as the first time, but that may have been because I seemed to be the only person there not drinking.

Jay - Man the night before we recorded Scrubber and I’ve Been Sick, me and Biscuit went down The Parish in Huddersfield and got leathered. About 1am we call it a night, I lay down in bed, spinning like mad. Up again, leg it to the bog, give it a big scream spew. Ask Biscuit if he wants to go for walk, he doesn’t but he comes anyway. I fall down a hill, and get muddy and piss wet through. We end up finding this horse called Callum, he belonged to some nutter up on the estate.

From out of the dark comes a woman with her torch saying she’s lost her child, have we seen it? It’s now probably about 2:30am, there’s a child missing, and we've just been found in a field having a chat with a horse called Callum, Biscuit looks like he doesn’t want to be there, and I'm pale and covered in mud.

So, I felt fucking horrendous while recording.

Q: You released the magnificent Tyke and played some decent shows in your final year together: HRH Doom vs Stoner and supporting Eyehategod in Bristol amongst others. Did you enjoy that period of time and those gigs? Or were you already thinking about calling it a day?

Biscuit - Tyke is easily my favourite thing we ever released. When we wrote it, we got back into the headspace we had when we first got the band going and just had a right laugh. It’s always been a great time playing in Bongers and I never wanted the band to end, but unfortunately I was juggling too many things to give it my all and we had to call it quits (for now).

Corky - By this point I was already getting tired of having to drive in and out of gigs because of work, so even though the gigs themselves were really good and getting bigger, I was enjoying the whole experience a bit less.

Jay - I'd have to agree with Biscuit, Tyke was our best stuff. Felt like we'd gone right back to the first EP. HRH was decent on the main stage but it was better when we played the club room. Big stages are fun to play, but only because it’s a big stage. The smaller rooms where its constantly kicking off are better. We'd each been toying with the idea of knocking it on the head for a while. Life happens.

Q: Biscuit. Bloodstock 2019. How was that day for you? Do you remember much about being on stage or did it pass in a blur?

Biscuit - What a gig. I can barely remember anything from actually playing it. I remember Corky lobbing gravy into the crowd, a decent pit for Bigfoot and obviously Fieldy getting behind the drums. I had so much adrenaline coming off stage I just threw up the minute we got off. It’s funny because not long after that gig I finally went to get my chest looked at because I'd had trouble breathing and coughing and eventually got diagnosed with this fucked up rare disease, so technically I was the illest I’ve ever been during the best time of my life.

Q: Biscuit again – the other two have War After War going on now. What have you been up to since that final Bongers show?

Biscuit - Initially after Bloodstock I spent a lot more time out on the mountains with my girlfriend and got to focus on my Arboriculture work and research. I've also been working on a music project which hopefully will be announced during the summer, so look out for some country blues sludge trash.

Q: It’s five years since the infamous Gurt, Bongers, Pist tour, the last big set of dates you did. Do you miss those days, or are you glad they’re behind you?

Biscuit - 'Kin hell has it been 5 years? I still miss it a lot and will no doubt live them times again.

Corky - Both in equal measure.

Jay - I miss them days. I’d do that tour again in a fucking heartbeat if I knew I could hack it. There was only one point in that whole tour where I genuinely believed I'd completely fucked it. And that was in Edinburgh when I was gifted some birthday medicine by a top lad who's name rhymes with "ruin". I thought I was going to die.

(Photo by and used courtesy of John White)

Q: What’s the best Bongers track, and why is it Jezus Throat Horns?

Biscuit – You’ve obviously never heard Moss Covered Leviathan. One of the first songs we ever wrote, it was 1 note.

Jay - I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite. It varied from gig to gig. There’s something with Bongers where when we all lock in together its fucking mega. I suppose that’s what well-rehearsed bands feel like all the time!

Q: When you look back on your catalogue, which songs are you most happy with and proud of? Are there any you wish you’d never let out into the world?

Biscuit - Scrubber Cider is still my favourite Bongers tune. I think it encapsulates everything we are about. It’s got speed, groove, aggression, daft lyrics, its spot on. Hopeless was always the song I was most unhappy with but I heard it recently and its pretty good actually. So other than that fuckin solo on Gauze Rite I’m pretty happy with what we put out.

Corky - I'm proud of everything we did and I still listen back now and then. Even if I wasn't sure about a track at first, it would always come out well on recording.

Jay - The only thing I’m not happy with is my snare drum sound on Swamp Law and Acid Cattle. I was trying to be clever and "technical" with my drums when doing that recording session. I realised after that I just need to stick to twatting them.

Q: Similarly, how do you look back on the sound of your albums? Bongers were a bit like Nirvana: you got the rowdy Bleach one (the EP), the polished Nevermind one (Binge), and the back-to-your-roots In Utero one (Tyke). Do you have any comment on that?

Corky - Binge is sonically great, but the production of the EPs suits our style more. Tyke is my favourite in terms of the final product.

Jay - The rawer recordings sound better to me. Recording with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer was awesome, but I think we only did it because everyone else was doing it. Skyhammer had a bit of an awe round it at that point. Some bands suit that polished sound, I don’t think we did.

Q: I, and many others, think you should have been much bigger than you were. If you’d broken through do you think you could have handled the success, or would it have caused problems for you as a band or as individuals?

Biscuit - Who knows. I've never really thought about it other than the occasional drunken chat about “one day man we'll play Roadburn”. I always like the way we did things, never pushing for more or arse licking to one up other bands. We earned everything we achieved.

Jay - I mean when you say success, we'd have still been going to work Monday morning! There was a time around 2014 where we should have leathered it and taken it seriously, I reckon we could have got reasonably far. But we didn’t cos we were happy with beers, weed, chicken and a laugh. That times been and gone now. I don’t mind. But Roadburn is still on the fucking list!

Q: Do you miss BongCauldron being active these days? Or was it the right time to down tools?

Corky - I miss it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the right time. We all had other things going on and were living too far apart to make any realistic plans.

Jay - I miss it but we all pretty much accepted that normal life always comes first, and as you come out of your 20s in to your 30s I think normal life starts to dominate.

Q: Finally, now that Bongers isn’t a thing any more…. Has the infamous Curse Of BongCauldron left you alone now, or are you still unlucky?

Biscuit - Well, we are in a pandemic aren’t we. You're welcome.

Jay - We'll be alright, as long as we maintain social distancing.

For more information about (and to pre-order) the APF Records: The Sound of Heavy 2020 compilation or t-shirt, visit:

https://apfrecords.co.uk/merchandise/apf-records-the-sound-of-heavy

 

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