Friday, December 30, 2011

To the glory of obscure Heavy Metal : BORROWED TIME

I heard recently about this band through my great friend Dean Tavernier, who named them as his REVELATION of the year in the recent POLL published here... Dean has great tastes and is such an inspired and talented musician that when I saw this "arcane metal arts" available on my lastest Doom Dealers's update, I ordered it immediately ! And, indeed, the result doesn't suffer from any contestation : BORROWED TIME -Michigan ,USA- , if not THE (for myself, just by the fault of Dean's band STONE MAGNUM and BARABBAS !!!), is ONE of THE  true revelations of 2011...      "ARCANE METAL ARTS" is the band's first demo, recorded with the original line-up consisting in Daven Ruiz (guit/battle cries), J. Priest (bass/Dark omens) and Sean Cyriis (drums), it has been soon marketed on CD via Sarlacc Productions. Despite a very average and too limited production, especially considering the melodic and musical style of metal displayed and  the short lenght of the product, this is a demo like old 40's metallers are dreaming of regularly with nostalgia but that we get fuckin' too rarely nowadays : a true underground piece of obscure Heavy Metal rooted in  the early 80's... Those who have had their first hair pushed while listening to DIAMOND HEAD, HEAVY LOAD, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL, WITCHFYNDE, PAGAN ALTAR, SATAN, SORTILEGE, VIRGIN STEELE, OMEN, etc... know what I'm talking about !!! This period, where bands were as much influenced by mid 70's hard rock  than early NWOBHM emerging acts.

With 4 songs lasting about 13 minutes, the stuff is obviously too short and that's a regret, as moreover it includes the cover "Necropolis" from MANILLA ROAD -a very good version, faithful and well executed but not the highlight- and also a short instrumental; but both "burning mistress" and "sailor on the seas of fate" are very very catchy songs of old Ethereal Heavy Metal with extremely tight musicianship, reminding PAGAN ALTAR in the structures and sense of melodic heaviness. There's a true feeling of  pure HEAVY METAL here which is reviving  : obscure and somewhere archaïc by the sound, structures and influences, arcane certainly by the lyrical and conceptual approach, but in my opinion mainly by the sense of amazing melodies and some high-pitched vocals which remind a bit (the best french ever) Metal vocalist "Zouille" from the grandissime SORTILEGE... a fucking agreeable surprise I tell you ! Shared wisely, vocals are also lower toned and their global quality remind too that this was the time of brilliant melodic singing, heavy twisted guitars and pounding rythmics, when a band's entity was generally perfectly well-balanced, straight, melodic, heavy and  technically faultless.
Just two original (complete) songs would usually seem not enough to affirm a definite judgement on a new band, especially if it's a very enthusiastic one, but shortly after the band  has released this autumn the "FOG IN THE VALLEY"  EP !!! The evolution is logical here, with a very decent production this time (thanx for the rythmic section !). Being now a 5 piece with J. Priest exclusively concentrating on vocals, which became then more harmonious,   B.T. affirm themselves more cohesive, thicker too and DEFINITELY as a name to count on for the next years. Sure I would have enjoyed again to have more new songs, but I should not hide my pleasure and one has to reckon that things are yet going fast enough for the band.
Indeed if I tell you for example that the band is yet confirmed for the RAGNAROK Fest 2012 and also the KEEP IT TRUE XVI fest in 2013, ain't that a great sign of early and well-deserved recognition and of course of a more than promising quality ??? !!!
You've been warned, reviving the flame, strong and proud, BORROWED TIME will obviosuly record a full length in 2012 and will be then definitely ready for epic crusades, as for now you've got here 2 nice products to discover their amazing sound...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

POLL 2011 : and the winner is ... DOOM !

As I did it for the 1st half of the year, I've asked about 30 people, I'm in contact with, to give me their FAVES of 2011, musically of course,because this is what before all gathered us, but not only and eventually what they disliked too on a more personnal point of view... As for the 1st time, half have answered (a big thanx to you) for a global result that is pretty interesting... there's no particular Winners here, this is not the goal at all to just have an exhaustive  list with % in front and even don't know who voted for what, but one thing is sure : it is a great opportunity to know a bit more about people and above all to discover  great new stuff !!! 

* GARY (Usa, STEAMING HEATHEN radioshow)

Top -(16)- of 2011, in no order :
THOU - Both 2011 EPs
UNDERSMILE - Split EP with Caretaker
ORCHID - Capricorn
HUNTERS - From Birth To Soil
LIFER - Cursing Them Out
KAMCHATKA - Bury Your Roots
LENTO - Icon
BLACK COBRA - Invernal
PLANET OF ZEUS - Macho Libre
VYGR - Hypersleep
-(16)- - every year and every album!


Best Thing About 2011:
Starting Grip Of Delusion Radio!
Worst Thing About 2011:
Getting so big that I keep breaking my office chair.

* EYMERIC Germain (Luxembourg -  FOEDUS AETERNUS zine/distro/prod)

GRAVEYARD - Hisingen Blues
THE DEVIL'S BLOOD - The Thousandfold Epicentre
VIRUS - The Agent That Shapes the Desert

2) FAVE GIG 2011
URGEHAL @ Metal Méan Festival
KATATONIA @ Kulturfabrik Esch/Alzette

STANGALA - Great French band bringing originality... Hail Doom Rock Glazik !!!

Total lack of inspiration for working on Foedus Aeternus Zine's next issue + Total lack of inspiration for writing new material for my bands.

My ATOLAH's friend Pierre for getting tickets to Roadburn 2012 !

* JONATHAN Théry (Fra - vocals/bass in ATARAXIE)

1) Favorite releases
PENTAGRAM "last rites"
MOURNFUL CONGREAGATION "the book of kings"
SOLSTAFIR "svartir sandar"
NECROS CHRISTOS "doom of the occult"
THE WOUNDED KINGS "in the chapel of the black hand"
WHILE HEAVEN WEPT "fear of infinity"
RAMESSES "possessed by the rise of magik"
LOSS "despond"

2)Favorite doom gig
YOB : Paris, 9th of October
JUCIFER : Paris, 16th of May

3) Revelations of the year
AUTOPSY "Macabre eternal"! Maybe, that album could have been a little bit more efficient by taking off the weaker tracks... But damn the gods of sick doomed death metal are back again!

4)What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life

- Selfish parisian people in their filtly and smelly metro
- Everything around the world of finance: economic crisis in general, markets evolutions, nuts stories of our official left winged gangbanger
- The stench of french politics: France is just vulgar banana republic led by a little king which loves playing the teacher.
- The neverending rise of silliness in our society

5) HERO of the year :
Chris Reifert for being so good at doing grunts and howls after 40 years old. I would even said that he has never been so brilliant!

* WES Cueto (usa -  GRAVEYARNS *blog* + contributor to CULT NATION and DOOMMANTIA)

10. DANTESCO - Seven Years Of Battle (StormSpell)
9. THE WOUNDED KINGS - In The Chapel Of... (I Hate)
8. SERPENT VENOM  - Carnal Altar (Church Within)
7. GRAVEYARD  - Hisingen Blues (Nuclear Blast)
6. SOURVEIN - Black Fangs (Candlelight)
5. BLOOD CEREMONY - Living With The Ancients (Rise Above)
4. YOB - Atma (Profound Lore)
3. AUTOPSY - Macabre Eternal (Peaceville)
2. THE GATES OF SLMUBER - The Wretch (Rise Above)
1. ICE DRAGON - The Sorrowful Sun (self-released)

1. FISTULA - Loser (Patac)
3. CONAN vs SLOMATICS split (Burning World) 
4. PAGAN ALTAR vs MIRROR OF DECEPTION split (Cyclone Empire)
5. BONGRIPPER  - Sex Tape/Snuff Film (self-released)
6. PILGRIM/ICE DRAGON - Visage Of Astaroth (Yersinia Pestis)

Acid Witch, Alaric, Arkham Witch, Amebix, Demonaz, Devil, Dopethrone, Earth, Lord Vicar, Iron Claw, Loss, Pentagram, Premonition 13, Ramesses, Venom, Weedeater, Windhand

From A Wizard's Lyre 


Codpiece And Steel []

Cathedral and C.O.C. @ MDF, Baltimore, MD
Pentagram @ NYC
Premonition 13 and Acid King @ Fall Into Darkness, Portland, OR

Candlemass - TBA (RIP)
Cathedral - The Last Spire (RIP)
Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned
Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction
Pilgrim - Misery Wizard
Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65

Punctured By Corpses (Porches)
Monster Mash (Lompoc)
The Black And Blue (1/2 Blue Moon, 1/2 Guinness)

Kill All Red Neck Pricks: KARP Lives! 1990-1998 - Documentary.
Conan The Barbarian (2011) - Midnight showing.

* WAYNE Furter (Fra - voc/guit in WHEELFALL)

1) Fave ALBUMS
* SERPENT VENOM « Carnal Altar » : Simply the album which came to my mind when I ask myself « which is my fave album of the year ? ». A very fat Doom Metal with the outstanding Gaz's ethereal vocals (who sang on the excellent Sloth's « voice of god » album). Psyche and occult elements, as the Dennis Wheatley like cover tells us !
* SIGIRIYA « return to earth » : Acrimony is back ! Or a major part of Acrimony...Stoner rock with phsyche elements = transcendantal stoner rock. It's so, wait : POWERFUL. Nothing can beat theses guys this year in stoner rock. Unfair competition.
* RAMESSES « possessed by the rise of magik » : After the excellent « Take the Curse », the band fleshes out his style... A travel in mud with bad psychotropic experience.
* TEMPLE OF BAAL / RITUALIZATION split « Vision of Fading Manking » : very good Ritualization part, old school spirit... but Temple of Baal part is totally awesome. They crush everyone with no mercy, especially with « Heresy Foerever Enthroned ».... Seriously, it's the best song I heard in this genre for years.
* DISMA « Towards the megalith » : Great Death Metal. Just fucking great.
* LORD VICAR « Signs of Osiris » : trad doom to the heart, catchy, powerful. You like doom metal, you have to listen to it !
* TRENT REZNOR w/ ATTICUS ROSS « Girl with the dragon tattoo soundtrack » : 3 hours of pure awesomeness. Except the How to destroy angels' song (I hate Mariqueen singing), it's like Reznor rejuvenate his work with « Broken », mixed it with « The Fragile » sound, with David Bowie's influence (like « warm place » on Downward Sprial »). Yes, it's give me hope for the new NIN !

And others excellent releases ... SUNGRAZER « Mirador », SATURNALIA « Aion of Drakon », WOUNDED KINGS « In the Chapel of Black hand »

2) Fave GIGS
GLOWSUN at Charleville Mezière : the first time I saw them live, and... what a slap ! A psychedelic slap, certainly... but : whoa.
PUNISH YOURSELF vs SONIC AREA : special show for Metalride Festival IV. Sonic area came to horn in the music of Punish Yourself, and I fucking loved it. It was ambiant and sinister, sometimes Lynchian, mixed to the violence of Punish Yourself's music. Excellent.

3) Revelations
VALLEY OF THE SUN : basic stoner rock, but very very good
NECROBLOOD : excellent french blackened death metal band. Keep an eye on !
SWAMP WITCH : I discovered "Gnosis" this past summer and...WHOA ! Swimming through a swamp threatened by black magic, sourrounded by rotten corpse...yeah !

4)What enthused myself the most this year
- TRENT RAZNOR writing for Nine inch Nails in 2012
- BLACK SABBATH at Hellfest 2012
- New CRONENBERG movie to be released next week in France : can't wait !
- NICOLAS WINDING REFN confiming AGAIN his talent with "Drive"

* GABRIELE Strazzeri (Ita,  reviewer as "Mourning" in ARISTOCRAZIA webzine)

LORD VICAR “signs of Osiris”
ORNE "The Three Of Life
WO FAT "Noche Del Chupacabra"
ORCHID “Capricorn”
THE HEAVY EYES "heavy eyes"
DOPETHRONE “dark foil”
SERPENT VENOM "carnal altar"
DOOMRAISER "mountains of madness"
ETHEREAL RIFFIAN "shaman's visions!
THE WOUNDED KINGS “embrace now the world”
RAMESSES “possessed by the rise of magik”
SHROUD EATER "thundernoise"

Too many new acts produced this year a great/good album, if i must  make one choice it would be EVANGELIST, classic doom never die.

3) What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life
The italian government, the absence of money and the Vatican - a cancer for mankind -

The real worker, the people who maintain a family with 1000 euro or less, those are the real heroes  and more than ever with these hard times


RWAKE - Rest
ELDER - Dead Roots Stirring
VOIVOD - Warriors Of Ice -live-
SERPENT VENOM - Carnal Altar
WEEDEATER - Jason The Dragon
MORNE - Asylum
RAMESSES - Possessed By The Rise Of Magyk
DECEASED... - Surreal Overdose
Fave GIGS :
SOILENT GREEN at The Nouveau Casino, april
GOATSNAKE and CoC at Hellfest



MASTODON - The Hunter

VYGR – Hypersleep



YOB – Atma

RAMESSES - Possessed By The Rise Of Magik

SORRY FOR NOTHING – Psycho Monster Resurrection

BORRACHO - Splitting Sky

1000MODS – Super Van Vacation

SIGIRYA - Return To Earth

STONE ANGELS - Within The Witch
SLEESTAK - The Fall of Altrusia
ANCIENT WISDOM - A Godlike Inferno
HULDRA - Signals From The Void

Fave GIGS 
YOB - Leeds The Well (UK) - October 2011. Brilliant gig. With great support from Dark Castle, Kongh and WIHT.
ANVIL - Newcastle Academy - June 2011 - Brilliant gig from Veteran Thrash Metallers

All The Empires of The World - A brilliant band that came out of nowhere and warped my fragile little mind with their brilliant music
VYGR - Releasing one of the best debuts I have ever heard since ISIS Oceanic. Amazing debut album.

What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life 
Financial Crisis (UK and Abroad)
Religious Fanatics
UK Politicians. These muppets dont have a clue about everyday working class life.
Rip Off Ticket Agencies like SeeTickets and TicketMaster. Why the f**k should I pay about £10 more for a gig ticket for booking fee and processing cost. Twats.

MIKE SCHEIDT (YOB) - Releasing their best work yet and performing the gig of the year for me. Also for being one of the nicest people in Rock/Metal I have had the pleasure to meet.

* NATHANIEL Colas (Fra - vocals in RESISTANCE)

* Top 10 ALBUMS
1-MANILLA ROAD-Playground of the damned LP
2-NECRO CHRISTOS-Doom of the occult LP
3-VENENUM-venenum Tape
4-UNGOD-cloaked in eternal darkness LP
5-HEADHUNTER DC-In unholy mourning CD (still haven't listened to it, but the DEATH CULT can NEVER disappoint me!)
6-CIANIDE-gods of death LP
8-CHILDREN OF DOOM-doom, be doomed or fuck off CD
10-NECROWRETCH-Putrefactive infestation EP

* DEAN Tavernier (USA - guit/vocals in STONE MAGNUM)

1. Favorite ALBUMS
AUTOPSY "Macabre Eternal"
CIANIDE "Gods of Death"

2. Favorite GIG
ACID WITCH at The Beat Kitchen in Chicago


4. Pisses me off
Department Of Homeland Security
Foreign banking cartel

* EDWARD Gerard Brophy (Ireland - BORN AGAIN NIHILIST webzine)

Fave Albums
-MASTODON, The Hunter
-AVER, Self titled
-Eggnogg? Moments in Vacuum
-OTIS REAPER, Self titled
-TRIGGERMAN, Brand New Day
-EASTERN CRANK, Songs From the Suburban Archives

-KYLESA/ KYUSS Lives/ THE MELVINS/ DOWN, all at Hellfest 2011.

-Heat the oven slowly...

What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life
-Austerity measures, and a poor haircut choice at one stage.

 HERO of the year :
-Keiron Black of the King Kong Club for showing me the ropes.

* PHILIPPE Courtois (Fra, vocals in MISANTHROPE)

AZARATH "blasphemers maledictions"
VALLENFYRE "a fragile king"
GHOST "opus eponymous"
CROM "of flames and death"
IN FLAMES "sounds of a playground fading"
THULCANDRA "under a frozen sun"
NOMED "thrashing insanity"
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES  "original album classics" 5 CDs Box
POWERWOLF "blood of the saints"
MASTODON "the hunter"

D.R.I. at Hellfest

REVELATION of the year

What PISSED me OFF the most his year
primary Socialist Elections in France

HERO of the year : 

* HELENA Stern (UK - guit/voc in UNDERSMILE)

Albums of the Year
[in no particular order]

BORIS – Attention Please
DARK CASTLE – Surrender to All Life Beyond Form
THE WOUNDED KINGS – In the Chapel of the Black Hand
YOB – Atma
WIHT – The Harrowing of the North
CULTURA TRES – El Mal Del Bien
SMASHING PUMPKINS – Siamese Dream Reissue
CHELSEA WOLFE - Apokalypsis 
SERPENT VENOM - Carnal Altar
RWAKE - Rest
GREG(O)RIAN – Settlements and Burial Chambers

Gigs of the Year
[we've been to shamefully few gigs this year, due to abject poverty]

Sonic Youth/Shellac @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Weedeater, Zoroaster @ Camden Underworld, London
EHG/Church of Misery @ Camden Underworld, London
Crowbar @ O2 Academy, Oxford
Seven Churches Festival @ Fighting Cocks, Kingston, London

ROD Reinhardt (Germany, CAPTAIN BEYOND ZEN)

Unfortunately I didn't finish my top 40 list 2011, but without a doubt the following 5 albums will be in my top 10:

1) (in alphabetical order)

Dopethrone - Dark Foil
Ice Dragon- The Sorrowful Sun
Orchid - Capricorn
The Gates of SLumber - The Wretch
Uncle Acid and the deadbeats - Blood Lust
2) Fave gigs:
Red Fang, Stuttgart, 26.06.11
Mastodon, Stuttgart, 09.06.11
Blackland, Tübingen, 29.01.11


Temple of Perdition blog

4)What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life

Traffic jams and high gasoline prices

5) HERO of the year

Marcel Gleffe - he saved the lives of several people during the massacre on the island of Utøya.

VANIA YOSIFOVA (Bulgaria, underground activist,imminently contributing for T.O.P.)

1) Fave Albums in alphabetical order:
1000mods – Super Van Vacation
Amplifier – The Octopus
And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs
A Storm Of Light - As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade
Brotherhood Of Sleep - Dark As Light
Cultura Tres – El Mal Del Bien
Graveyard – Hisingen Blues
Hijos de Mayo – In Sound Underground
Lento – Icon
Poseidótica – Crónicas del Futuro
Red Fang – Murder the Mountains
Russian Circles – Empros
Rwake – Rest

2)Fave GIGS

Kyuss Lives! – Vienna, March 22nd
1000mods – Sofia, Oct 1st
Judas Priest – Sofia, July 8th


universe217 – from Athens, Greece, probably the best female vocals I’ve heard in ages
Pyramidal – from Spain, no time for the debut to reach my favourites

4)What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life

1. Arrogance and hypocrisy
2. 22 years after the fall of the communist regime my country is slowly turning into a one party-one leader dictatorship, this time supported and encouraged by the Western governments, and very few people seem to care. Irony: the bodyguard of the last communist leader is now prime minister.

5) HERO of the year

My mother

 1)Fave Albums
THE GATES OF SLUMBER “the wretch” (Karl and Jason have puted so much of themselves in here; I've been completely shocked buy this album, this is exactly what I expect from Doom in 2011)
LORD VICAR “signs of Osiris”
ICE DRAGON “the sorrowful sun”
YOB “Atma”
ORCHID “Capricorn”
UNCLE ACID & The Deadbeats “blood lust”
DOPETHRONE “dark foil”
BLOOD CEREMONY “living with the ancients”
OBRERO “mortui vivos docent”
THE WOUNDED KINGS “embrace now the world”
RAMESSES “possessed by the rise of magik”

2)Fave GIGS

YOB - Paris, October 09th –

special mention to Philippe KATERINE and Catherine RINGER (ex RITA MITSUKO) for their amazing performance at LE Pont Du Rock fest.


STONE MAGNUM : too bad it’s not released yet, otherwise their awesome debut album would have been on my podium for sure, then it’s gonna be for 2012 !
VENENUM : THE best new death metal band for ages

4)What PISSED me OFF the most in everyday’s life

- all the bullshit medias dealing with the economical problems of the EEC
- the increasing price of oil combined with the HUGE profits of oil companies
- the beginning of the French presidential campaign
- the sexual beast DSK and the omnipotent SARKOZY

5) HEROes of the year :

my MOTHER for her courage and strength in front of disease(s) and her infinite tenderness
Sébastien LOEB (French god, Rally world champion for the 8th year in row)

Monday, December 26, 2011

an INTERVIEW with Southern gentleman : GIDEON SMITH

That's a fact which I hope will last again and again, I'm always particularly happy, excited and kind of proud when I publish an interview here, but this time more than ever before... GIDEON SMITH is simply  more than just another underground musician living his passion at 110%, his natural kindness, his curiosity, his deep culture, his natural aura command RESPECT and even if he would deserve more, his talent and originality are unanimously reckoned in the Southern STONER'n Roll galaxy.
From the songwriting to the production, GIDEON SMITH and THE DIXIE DAMNED's new album "30 weight" is a HUGE masterpiece, darker, thicker and more atmospheric than previous efforts, this album could allow GIDEON and his buddies to attract some new fans attention... The trademarks of the band are still present (a warm heaviness bathed with the wild traditions of outlaws american rock n' roll, a fantastic voice "somewhere between Elvis and Satan" like wrote magically Chris Barnes at Hellride...) but there has been a slight risk-taking and I'm not just thinking about this outstanding cover of "I bleed black" for a result that goes far beyond expectations.
Now, let's enjoy what GIDEON has to say about this fresh actuality, some past and future events... Interviews with him are pretty rare but always very catchy and interesting and I guess this one is another cool one, so please now : savor !

Hi Gideon, it’s a real pleasure to feature your band in the blog again, through an interview this time, thanx dude ! Let’s start about the new album, I think I’ve never seen so many dithyrambic reviews like in The Sleeping Shaman, The Ripple Effect, Hellride music, Cosmic Lava… (even mine was longer than usual !) I suppose that it reflects the general good feedback after a rather long await ?
"Hello Stephane and thank you. I'm happy you enjoyed the new cd and thanks for your kind regards. I think people have been excited with this one because it's something new for long time fans and something exciting perhaps for people who are just getting into my music. This album has an edge and extra punch to it but it also retains the mystery and dynamics of the past albums. We really went for it with alot of heart and ferocity this time and the soul of this record resonates with people who connect with it emotionally. I am pleased and thankful after pouring my spirit into the songs that it makes people feel the magic. I think music fans are always on the quest for music that will speak to them or songs that speak for their own hearts. In the process of creating my music I put so much of my personal adventures within, I pull you into my world. If you like it, you can stay there or visit and return whenever you want. If people listen and want to enter my world then I'm always there. This album is like a car pulling up to a person standing on the side of a long ghostly highway. The door opens and there is no one there but the listener and me. I beckon with my hand and say 'let's go my friend' and off we go into the endless night of the Dixie Damned."

You told me that you had a lot of fun recording “30 weight” which is maybe your darker stuff recorded so far, how could you explain this slight paradox ?! was it maybe due to the excitement of playing with a new approach or in a particular context or …?

"I understand what you mean. Recording or performing new music with great musicians in a positive  atmosphere in which everyone involved has an excited and professional attitude, it makes it always very fun. I don't think the songs are depressing or unhappy to listen to in a dark way like that phrase might imply. They are full of huge riffs and passion instead of downbeat glorification of depression. Even though this album is somewhat darker, it's a thrilling kind of darker. Passion and fire and magic in the night, love, desire and ecstasy, so what's more fun than that? That's an important key to the power of loud music, the passion behind the volume."

Like on the previous album, this is Eric Hoegemeyer who has produced  “30 weight”, what’s his own experience in the domain ? Can’t you imagine yourself producing some future stuff of the band like you did a while ago on “dealin’ decks” ?
"Eric is a multi talented musician, producer, programmer and a great dude. It's a pleasure working with him and I love how he approaches his work with my music. He has played drums for many bands you would know, and is an engineer and producer at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan. He's a brilliant guy on all levels. Working with him and a bad ass guitarist like Phil Durr is just amazing. Their enthusiasm and love for my music is an honor and a pleasure. I truly love working with those guys. As far as producing, I'd like to produce other bands. However with my future albums I will continue to work instead with an outside producer who is among the best, and it keeps the process healthy and makes it more interesting creatively. Can't say enough good things about Eric, Phil and company."

On “30 weight”, the southern and bluesy elements rooted to your style are not as present as previously, the general atmosphere sound more doomy with more pronounced than ever before early 80’s English rock (gothic ?) overtones… am I wrong or does it reflect this time some more European influences ?  How do you consider the fact that the word GOTHIC is often used when describing your style?  don’t you feel a bit disturbed to be assimilated to a genre that is often more defined by the image of dark adolescents than the music itself ?
"I understand. I don't think this one is less bluesy or southern sounding but it does have elements that are more pronounced than on the previous records. I do love the English eighties gothic rock like Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Joy Division and the early work of The Cult. The absolute founders of American gothic rock are The Doors. Their music, especially for the time, was bold, innovative and very powerful. They combined sixties blues with carnival-esque organ, psychedelic masterful guitar work, very creative beats and rhythms fronted by Morrison's beautiful but dark poetic lyrics. Even though The Doors are known as a Los Angeles band, Morrison was a southern american from Florida. He loved the supernatural south and especially New Orleans. There is a mystical aura to the South in the swamps, forests and mountains. That's where I am from so my music comes from there. I can see how those bands influence me, especially vocally. Maybe on this record those influences are stronger.  The term gothic is okay with me because of my personal understanding of what that means. I think the imagery is appealing but I do agree when you say that 'gothic' is seen for the most part today as a youth based identity fashion than music that has a focus on depth or songwriting. Regardless of  a person's style or image, once you get past an image it is the music's vibration that gives the weight to what you do. If someone sees my music as gothic because it reminds them of the aforementioned era of British or American gothic rock that makes me happy."

How did you choose the song “I bleed black” as a cover on the new album ? Were you playing or having the idea to play it for a long time ? Did you have some feedback from any ST VITUS member about your particular interpretation ?
"I am a long time huge Vitus fan, so it was always one of my favorite songs. I had always wanted to record it but until this new album I did not have the opportunity. I recorded it on the new album because it's a pleasure to record such a classic and to honor it but also to put your own spin on it musically to make it interesting for the listener. I'm happy that people enjoy my version of it as simply a tribute to their music and also a different interpretation without losing the original vibe. No, I do not know any of the Vitus guys personally, so I have not had the chance to play it for them or speak with them regarding my version of it. I hope they enjoy it and look forward to meeting them one day."

You’ve contributed to several tributes – Aerosmith, Zodiac Mindwarp, Anti-Seen…- if you just had to do one more, for which band would it be ? What about the tribute for yourself “F.T.W. Gideon Smith”, how did it happen (who submitted the project) ? which covers did you enjoy most?
"Yeah man, all those were great. Its a pleasure to cover a song by one of your favorite bands and to be part of a collection like that. I have been on a few of those over the years, they're always fun. If I had to choose another band  it would be maybe The Doors, The Cult or Allman Brothers. The tribute album to my music is a true gift to my life and my music's history. Appearing on so many other bands' tribute cds, it's an amazing thing to wake up one day and find out there is going to be one for your own music. What can you say but be so honored and thankful? Hearing other musicians play your songs in their own styles and especially hearing another singer sing a song you wrote about your own life, it just blows my mind. I'm still amazed that happened. It came together by the immense efforts to see it happen of my old friend Shane. I hand it all to him really for making that come together. I'm grateful to all the bands who recorded my songs and to the writers who contributed liner notes. I'm sure any artist would tell you it's a dream and an honor to fight your way in the music business for years and then see something like that happen in your life story. As for which ones I like best I love them all, they're all great. The whole thing is an honor to my life story. In  the last year at virtually every show I played the opening act covered one of my songs during their set.  It was the first time in my life to sit in a club and watch another band onstage playing one of my songs. What can you say but be honored? I'm at a loss for words how much that cd and that level of appreciation means to me."

One of your songs“Draggin’ the river” has been featured on the TV series“the Sopranos”, which I suppose was an exceptional exposure in terms of promotion ,  but if you had to choose for another between “the shield”, “dead wood” and “dexter”, which one would you choose ?  just for personal pleasure which series or movie would you be the most proud to be featured in and with which song ?
"Thanks man, yeah having a song on 'The Sopranos' was a great thing and I'm really thankful they used my song on such a classic series. Yes it definitely exposed my music to a giant amount of new fans. I'm honored my name is associated with such a fantastic show. I would say the same about any of the shows that use my music, it's fantastic and an honor. As for the three you mentioned, any of them would be great. I love them all.  It's also an amazing success to have a song on 'Sons of Anarchy'. I am really excited to have my song on such a killer show.   I would love to have a song on 'True Blood'. Speaking of films and television, I hope to get into acting eventually. I see guys like Danny Trejo or Mickey Rourke and I would love to give a shot at some of the roles these guys are playing. I would love to be in a Quentin Tarantino film. I would do it the same way I approach my music: with authenticity, professionalism and alot of heart. I might end up giving acting a shot in the future depending on the role and director."

Just like him : you’re playing in YOUR band, on guitar and vocals,  have a very strong artistic personality, you’re both ranged in the STONER scene (“desert rock” more specifically for him, while you can be attached to various ones) and have certainly about the same age… his nickname is “cool man”, who is he ? even if the comparisons  with him (B.B.) can certainly stop here, have you ever been compared to him and do you feel close from him in a certain manner ?
"Yeah Brant Bjork is really cool. I love his music. I do not know him personally but I'm sure if we meet one day we'd have many cool things in common to talk about. I am a little bit older but yeah around the same age. I don't know if I've ever been compared to him, that would be up to the listener. But yeah he's cool, hope to hang out one day."

You’ve written in 2007 the book “way of the outlaw spirit”, could you present it please ? Does it describe your general vision of life ? Have you heard about the “atma” philosophy  that Mike Scheidt from YOB is precisely describing in their last album ?
"My book was a collection of writing during that period of time that reflected things that were going through my mind and spirit. I wrote it for my own sense of accomplishment, but after it was released I have been so honored it has done or does anything positive for the people who read it. It was not a rock and roll backstage stories type music book, or a collection of lyrics and newspaper cutouts. It was and is, like a brick of light with heavy philosophical thought on many subjects of what I had to give at the time. As for the philosophy, it simply means to be yourself, never give up, follow your dreams and overcome adversity. I approach life believing that one should strive ever onward, to be the best they can be, to pick yourself up when you get knocked down, to believe in yourself and fill your heart with determination. To fill your blood with iron. I wanted to encourage other people to do the same. It's not a book for everybody but the people who needed to read it were the ones the book found. The people who would get it and understand it. In the wake of it now, it's five years old and I have seen many people I knew who read it decide to write their own books, I'm honored to inspire them. As for Yob, yes I do know about Atma philosophy and I think it's very cool they present Buddhist concepts through their music. Really great man."

You’ve sent me a photo from you riding an impressive motorbike, is that another of your passion ? Are you member of a bikers gang ?
"I love motorcycles and biker culture, it's a big part of my heart. No, I'm not in a bike club."

How about your deal with Small Stone records , do you work closely together ? What about tours, is there any chance to see you in Europe in 2012 ?
"Yes we are in constant communication, and work very well together all these years. Small Stone is a fantastic  label and I'm very proud our association. As for touring, no plans yet but I hope so."

I’m maybe wrong but it seems that on FB most of your musical friends are into Doom and Stoner, does it reflect the composition of your fans audience, or do you have also a great part of Southern / Blues rock fans too ? Do you feel  basically like a metalhead or just an outlaw rocker ?
"The fans of my music seem to be very diverse. I feel fortunate my music is enjoyed across the lines that might divide music fans. From stoner rock and doom metal fans, gothic rock lovers, classic rock fans, biker rock lovers, fans of psychedelia and blues. It seems that from the start so many years ago it reaches people in many different scenes. I would choose that by far than to simply be an artist that is one dimensional or just another scene guy in some passing crowd. Because of that, I don't feel like a part of a trend and refuse to be a scene follower. I just do what I love and get out what I need to get out.  I'm the ruler of my sound, my style. In many instances people who strive to conform to a particular music scene, there is a handbook of rules and etiquette that is dictated to them of what's okay to like. They are anxious and neurotic to fit into the scene and be accepted. I don't follow scenes or pay attention to them. There might be those who perceive themselves as the black sheep in the music world, but I am not a sheep. I prefer to follow my nature and be a wolf to the music scenes. Circling around the outside, I cut through them as I see fit and seize that which I have my eyes on, what I have marked. My music stands alone for what someone discovers there. wouldn't have it any other way. I'm an individual who follows what calls me on the inside, and out come the songs. The people who follow a call on the outside are the victims of the piper of commercialism. But in the end,  it's all rock and roll to me brother."

Thanx Gideon for your time and communicative enthusiasm
"Thank you very much my friend and I wish you well in all ways."