Monday, January 28, 2013

... Fueled by the essence of Doom : an Interview with STONE MAGNUM

One year after the release of its brillant debut album, STONE MAGNUM are actually working hard on new material... enough interesting to think about a new interview, added to some legitimate questions about the line-up changes, tricky but finally ultimately well-managed !
All conditions seem now up to put out another masterpiece of ultra Heavy Doom Metal filled with dirge pace of doom-laden riffs and raspy vocals.
An evocative fact is that this band is able to play such awesome festivals as Days of The Doomed and Stoner Hands of Doom, some European dates now would be cool ! European or not, you got to believe me that STONE MAGNUM deserve attention and respect from all authentic Doom Metal fans especially those with a METAL heart !!!
A couple of days ago, I was on line with Dean Tavernier (guitars), as we do enjoy to regularly, and proposed him to formalize a bit more this time our following chat... which he willingly agreed with a nice enthusiasm, authenticity and lots of cool things to tell about :  

Hey Dean… thanx for accepting this little chat to get news of Stone Magnum, it’s cool to have you again in the confessional of the Temple, hahaha ! What’s new at the moment , isn’t the winter too cold and doomy around Chicago ?

Thanks Stephane, it's good to talk with you about metal. You are correct, the winter has finally showed it's real face here around the Chicago region. It's been cold and we finally have some respectable snow, at least in my area.

As far as new happenings... Getting ready to do some studio work in a couple hours...going to lay down some bass tracks on some new records tonight, we are hoping to get something released in the we are working on that now.

 Cool, but let me come back if possible on last year's events... At about the same time of the album release you recruited Nick Hernandez on vocals, something to tell you the truth that I still have difficulties to understand when listening the quality of your vocals which will in my opinion always remain through this album, I know the fact of recruited a singer was mostly towards live playing considerations but shit that miserable tone of yours is so awesome… has it been something obvious to admit for you that need of changing the vocal duties, did you finally take pleasure with this new way of interpretation ?

Well, thanks for your kind words about my own vocal style. It was really a stretch for me to really make my voice effective in this band, at least in my opinion. So we started looking for someone who could do an effective job. We did try some other guys here and there...and the result we thought was that it didn't improve the sound enough, so I just continued.

When Nick came available and we got together and started working together and sharing ideas, it seemed really comfortable. Nick and I are alot alike in alot of ways...our viewpoints on certain things are aligned.

But I think he excels in more critical areas vocally than what I do and is similar in some respects. His style and sound is less Ozzy influenced obviously, his melodic voice is tonally better than mine, but I think he and I share that same raspy styled voices that aren't too far different from each other.

A few months after, you recorded a demo with the new line-up including 3 songs of the album, this was mainly to promotional purpose, to make people sure to know that Nick Hernandez was now the definitive singer of Stone Magnum, but this could have been a bit disconcerting for fans to get new version of songs that worked out really great on the album they were enjoying at about the same moment ?

About releasing the promo tracks for our fans to hear...I think at that time we were eager to present the band in the same format that people would be witnessing live
And there is no official physical's simply a download...and it's it seemed logical to put it out there to quell some of the curiosity about how different vocals would sound.
The other aspect, I always liked hearing alternate singers on songs...Candlemass has done this on multiple occasions.

This promo is great naturally and Nick’s vocals rule, a bit more incisive than yours while I think he took attention not to be too different from your original interpretation, what’s his background ? Does he maybe sing a bit differently on his songs now ? who wrote the lyrics for new songs ?

I think Nick didn't stray too far away from the original versions of the songs, but he did put his own stylizations on it too...

Nick has sang in a few bands in the past...and all of them have been vastly different than what we are doing in Stone Magnum
He was in Violent Wisdom singing in a thrash metal style..then he was in Dysphoria singing death metal...and most recently he was singing for Kommandant who are best described as black metal.So, what he's doing now in Stone Magnum is just another showcase of his abilities that maybe he didn't get to explore previously.
The lyrics for the new songs are a combination of Nick and Myslelf. We even actually sit down and write lyrics together on many of the new songs.

 Your number of fans has logically but considerably increased on fb, is that due to chilean pussies or did Nick almost have a kind of fan-base who now support S.M. ?

Ha ha...I don't judge the FB traffic as legitimate interest in the band. I think alot of people click the like button as a result of FB advertising promotions.
I see alot of very non metal people hitting the like button from countries that you don't normally think has a strong metal following. Maybe they do...but i think it's just FB promotional b.s.

I think our real fan base is still very small...and that is due to lack of actively promoting our band. We haven't toured, and we are not sending away hundreds of physical promotional packages and buying ad space in really only those who follow stone magnum are people who seek out their music in the underground.

Your right that's certainly a wrong indicator, some more concrete numbers would come from bandcamp then, what's the results from that ? is there a good proportions of download or do people listen a couple of songs on streaming and then go on something else ... ?

I think bandcamp is a good indicator as far as those downloads go. We've had over 2500 hits there.
But I think the total number of downloaders has been less than half of that
I'm not worried about those numbers...most of those numbers are kids just looking for free music anyway...and that is fine by me.

I'm more concerned with our name rising in the metal underground and within the genres that we are associated with.

At some point I remember you told me about a new re-recorded version of the album with Nick Hernandez re-recording all vocals, why didn’t this happen ? You didn’t totally forget this idea as I’ve just read in a recent interview of yours that you intend to include a few of those songs re-recorded on a the 2nd album, will those be the same as on the promo ?

We did intend on releasing album version with the new Vocalist...but that seems lazy on our part. We want to continue moving forward, so we've been concentrating on newer songs. But we do have plans on making some, not all, of the debut album tracks available on future releases

There was aso a reference to a possible EP... ?

Well, yes, it's something we've been trying to figure out. Possibly a long EP with 4 or 5 new songs, and 2 or 3 old songs, and possibly a cover.

Or, we also have the option of doing a full length with bonus tracks...we just haven't figured out which way to go as of yet. We do intend on making CD available on our next release

The latest song you composed for the debut album was a bit different, more “heaven and hell” oriented than older Sabbath and there’s another new song you sent me some weeks ago which was in the same mood, does it mean in a sense that the obscure period you were living in personally a couple of years ago is now behind you ?

Well, things have definatley moved in another direction for me. Alot of the struggles from previously have been overcome, but there are always obstacles waiting in line to take their place.

So it never this affects the writing and sound of the music remains to be seen. I think the music hasn't changed all that much since that last track was composed that didn't make it on the album.

I think the music is still identifiable as Stone Magnum...but I believe the music is a bit more uptempo at times, but I think our slower passages are slower and more punishing.

I was mainly thinking about the fact that you said that originally part of the songs you composed on the album weren't supposed to be for another band than Skullview but the moments you were living made the songs turn different, a lot doomier than your usual compositions ...

True indeed, that is where the doomier element came from initially. I'm actively writing songs all the time. Depending on the influences of that particular time that I'm writing, it kind of dictates if the stuff being written on that particular session will develop into Magnum tracks or would they be more fitting for something else....
So, I have my good days nad my bad days...and logically the bad days are more suited to write Magnum it really isn't any's just more conscious

What about next live gigs planed ? next Stoner hands of Doom ? Does it make a lot of change to just play guitar now, do you have a more relaxed approach ?!

We had some shows lined up for spring and summer, but strange occurrences caused these shows to end up not happening. So right now, the next live thing is SHOD in November. But we'll get something lined up for sure in spring and summer.

I don't think I have a more relaxed approach, which I would think would naturally happen since I've stopped doing vocals. I can really get into the songs more, more intense when I play, so it still has it's inate challenges.

Let's talk about a very different subject, you told me once that you don't like much Doom with female vocals in general, is there any exception to this and what does annoy you in them ?

So far, i haven't heard any female fronted doom bands that have blown me away. I don't especially haven't anything against them, it's just not my favorite vibe

So what did blow you away in 2012 from doom to death and thrash as usual ?

I think my favorite album from 2012 was Dawnbringer's "Into The Lair of The Sungod". It really is great traditional heavy metal to my ears
Also Nocturnal Torment "They Come At Night" is pulverizing, unrelenting death/thrash...technical, aggressive and does not let up.

Ok, I need to contradict myself on the female doom band...because Winhand's album was quite their singer a woman?

Yes ! ... You said you gonna record some bass tracks ? what's the name of the song you'll work on ?

Ben is coming to the studio tonight to record bass tracks on some new material. Hopefully we'll get a few songs done tonight. Some of the songs to work on are Lonely God, In Tongues They Whisper, Uncontained, From Time...To Eternity

Back to Windhand, very good album from 2012. I think the vocals remain somewhat background and is overidden by the heaviness and the cool riffs and atmosphere they create.

I have my own studio here at my home. I record our material, and i've recorded some albums from other bands here. The studio goes under the monicker of Bruised and Battered Studios...

And what about next album release, who are you going to work with and on which formats ?

Right now the plan is to release CD for the next release, and perhaps vinyl as well. Currently we are still working with RIP Records, so the assumption is that we will release the next release with RIP. If other opportunities present themselves, then we have something to think about.

I guess what I'm saying is that we are not shopping our product around. We are not a store...if someone is interested in what we do, they have many ways to be able to contact us. Things have a way of working themselves out if it is intended to be a certain way.

we have our few channels of letting people know what we are about and what we have, but we're not going to try to cram it down everyone's throats.

I'm proud to be a part of those channels, he :) well, there's maybe something special you'd like to talk about mate !?

You are a BIG channel for us Stephane, and we really do appreciate the support you've given Stone Magnum. The people that follow Temple Of Perdition are the type of people we welcome to support Stone Magnum.

We could sit and talk about Epicus Doomicus Metallicus for hours if you'd like, ha ha.

That's flattering thanx ! oh, one thing we still have to do is that common review, write while listening some new stuff at the same time, as planed

That's is the most special doom metal album I think there is, ha
and maybe one of the most special metal albums in general

But it's a bit late now and I'm pretty stoned once again :(

which is what makes it so great.

Oh sure, don't wanna make you too envious but that gig at Roadburn in 2011 playing all the album with original singer, this was huge !

You are feeling pretty good then it sounds. Perhaps you should put that on your player as you fall asleep tonight...the perfect soundtrack for the night.

You saw that? I do envy you...that would be an amazing event to see.

And about that common review...that is still in my will happen

I hope !

Hey Steph, I have to run and get started on the reording session here soon

Ok, i think this makes something pretty cool and informative, what do you think ?

Absolutely, this is the way I like to do an interview...interesting questions, and just a regular conversation.  

I think this is a good compromise and we don't have to hear my fucked-up accent , haha !

ha ha may think i have the fucked up accent brother..ha  

Thanx a lot for this good time, have fun recording noise ;)

Thanks again Stephane for the awesome chat and for your undying support for our band!


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