Thursday, September 15, 2011

Doom from Maryland in its purest tradition : interview with WAR INJUN

I'm sure that WAR INJUN is a name that speaks yet to many of the die-hard fans of the Maryland doom sound, their fantastic debut album "tribal eulogy" (presented here a few motnhs ago) being already a classic of the genre, but now this recognition needs and really deserves a major development. Composed of experimented guys with fair attitudes, this band breathes the purest and rawest rockin' doom you would ever expect. So, before it becomes an expensive collector, I strongly advise you to purchase this album ! Here comes an interview with drummer JB Watson :

 * "tribal eulogy" has the particularity to have been recorded in 2005 but just released 5 long years later (by the end of 2010), for some various personnal reasons (I know that some of you were making families), didn't you feel personally a bit frustrated to wait such a long time for puting out such a fantastic effort ? How did it come that you finally reactivate the process , was it your decision at a special moment or did it come after contacts with the label ?
 Actually Steph, there was talk of releasing Tribal Eulogy via 12th Records or Hellride Music in 2005. Neither of these deals panned out for one reason or another, and starting in 2005 War Injun took a long hiatus. One evening I saw a forum on the Hellride website titled "What Ever Happened to War Injun?". I replied that we had an unreleased full length and that's when I got in touch with F.J. from Blood & Iron Records. He did not hesitate on releasing this CD. I knew F.J. from a 7" split vinyl that we did with his Portugese doom band Dawnrider a few years back. The rest is history.

* Correct me if I'm wrong but the cover of the album represents a kind of traditionnal indian (war ?) cap, why did you choose this ? Is it caracteristic of a tribe in particular ?
 The cover art is an actual totem that Kenny got from a Native American 'Pow-Wow'. A real rattlesnake head, horns, and a raccoon tail. We thought it would make a good album cover.
* The album has been produced by Bruce Falkinburg (Hidden Hand), do you think you would have made the same choice if "tribal eulogy" had been recorded in 2010 ?
 We are very pleased with the overall sound. Bruce is very good at what he does. Naturally we wish Chris K. had a bigger part in the recording process, but we are counting on his expertese for our next release.

* Who do you intend to take as producer for the 2nd album ?
 We have every intention of recording in Chris Kozlowski's "Polar Bear Lair" studio...  

It's a real pleasure to hear the particular and talented voice of JD Williams who used to sing for the regreted Internal Void, Kyle V.S. plays guitar in Earthride too... I know you guys are all experimented but do you think their experience in the doom scene can make some things easier for the band or like young starters you have to (more or less hardly) make your place by your own in a rather overcrowded scene ? 
 All of the bands in the Maryland area influence one another, but I think our sound is unique. We are counting on just that to help us 'branch' out of the doom genre. War Injun has been described as everything from Biker Metal to Power Doom, both tags fit us. I believe the experience we all have in previous bands mixes together to have a sound like none other than War Injun.

You all have Native american blood flowing through your veins (Navajo, Sioux, Cherokee, Arapaho, Mandan), is there a very different heritage from one tribe/community to another ? I suppose this particularity gives you a very special uniqueness and strength ?
 Not necessarily. Just as most people, we are proud of our heritages.

 * I've read that INJUN is slang for indians, what does it exactly means ? Do some of you speak indian dialects ? Have any wise Native people (old or not) had reactions towards you claiming your heritage, culture through a (doom) band ?
Injun is slang for Indian. We are just trying to make a negative into a positive, no disrespect intended.
We actually get support from a few fellow Native Americans on our websites.

* You recently played at the Stoner Hands of Doom and it seems W.I. gave a killer show, getting a very warm response... How did you enjoy it ? Did you personally enjoy some bands playing there and had time to meet bands/friends ? I'm sure it won't take too long before you guys come and play in Europe, which countries are you most impatient to visit ?
 SHoD was a good time all around. Lots of good music and cool people who truly support the doom scene. As far as playing in Europe, Anywhere would be a pleasure. A large part of our fan base is over the pond...

* Could you please speak a bit about new material you're working hard on ? It wouldn't be presumptuous at all to think about releasing the next album on a bigger label or will you still release it on the portuguese label Blood & Iron rds ?
We are currently working on new material at every band rehearsal as well as practicing songs that are completed, but still unreleased. We should have enough material for the next album soon. We haven't discussed this release with any labels to date, but we are looking.

* The doom metal scene has never been as healthy as today, but like in every scene, lots of bands (especially in the 90's, but also today) have been or are completely under-rated... don't you sometimes fear to live the same fate with W.I. ? How do you see the evolution of the scene and your band in particular within the next future years ?
 The recognition of doom music is long overdue. Thanks to the internet and word of mouth, the multitude of talent that has been low on the radar is finally being heard. DOOM ~ The real Heavy Metal.

* Thanx a lot JB, add something if you want (T-shirt infos, etc...)
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you Steph and for keeping the doom alive!

Visit War Injun at  MYSPACE:
 Buy " Tribal Eulogy" online at:

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