Sunday, November 10, 2013

... An Interview with Clint from THE HAND OF DOOM radio !!!

It had been quite some time since I had a cool chat with an important supporter of the scene... Here's a long one with Clint, the nice guy behind the Hand of Doom radio - an excellent source of heavy sounds, covering the greatest, including of course some killer australian bands! Immensely dedicated, humble and simply friendly, Clint opens with passion and an impressive knowledge the gates of the Aussie underground - thanx for making it so interesting mate !!! 

Hi Clint – thanx for answering the following questions mate ! Could you please start by presenting yourself in a few lines ?
 Stephane`! Thanks man. Well, I grew up in Melbourne Australia and I’m proud of the heavy music scene here across the country, I truly believe we have well more than few fistfuls of bands that deserve international attention. I get out to as many gigs as my ears can take, and just try to spread the word as much as possible.

When did you start Hand of Doom radio ? was it something you had in mind for a while or a sudden challenge/opportunity  ? is it actually the only radio specialized in Doom coming from Australia ?
I started off having a go at the internet radio thing in April 2012, and at that point hadn’t ever thought about doing it myself. I used to regularly tune in to the Foundry Of Doom station, and still tune in here and there to the Soggy Bog of Doom podcast, Grip of Delusion, Core of Destruction radio, Heavy Planet, Heavy Handed Radio and a few other shows like the Electric Beard of Doom, Amplifier Worship etc. I think back around that early part of 2012 Foundry of Doom put out a call for any interest in helping out with their station but ultimately ended wrapping it up, that was a great station for my ears as Tommy would always have this endless stream of new bands and riffs and it was pretty much fair and square in the zone of what I’m into – you could tune in any time and just kick back to the riffs and pretty much every time you were listening you’d find something new. When that station ended I thought I’d have a bit of a go at starting one up myself.
 It’s been a learning curve, great fun and a constant stream of heavy riffs along the way. I had a go at doing a podcast show with the good people at Core of Destruction radio for a while – that was great too, good people there, but I have a crapola PC and it was simply taking me ages to put each podcast together.
There are a good bunch of excellent FM radio shows here in Australia, some of them stream live on the net too. One that particularly springs to mind is a show called “Respect the Rock” with Nicole Tadpole – an awesome and long running show on 3RRR FM radio here in Melbourne which always had the best riffs hammering and featured tons of local bands. That show was off the radio for a while but has made a welcome return this year. 
There’s also “Pilot the Dune” on 3MDR FM  hosted by the bass/singer of awesome Melbourne band Riff Fist, Cozza. Infernal Noize Radio  hosted by Wayniac Noize,  “ShockTreatment”  and on the metal side of things “Burning Bitumen” both on 3PBS FM, and “The Racket” on national FM station Triple J hosted by Lochlan Watt.
I’m not aware of any internet only stations specifically focused on Doom /Stoner /Sludge /Psych /Heavy blues in Australia other than HoD. Basically though, the genre/label you put on it doesn’t matter, if it sounds good to me, I’m more than happy to do what I can to spread the word about it. There is at least one other 24/7 internet radio station here in Australia, this one with a focus on rock & metal by Andrew Haug of the band Contrive that kicked off late last year which plays a lot of local Australian content which is great. (
Not radio as such, but I do want to give a plug to an awesome venture called “Discos Kitchen” which is a combination riff fest/experimental (very!) cooking video series presented by Stu Bacca. Stu teams up with local and international bands and puts a killer soundtrack to some often stomach churning yet strangely inspiring and hilarious 3 ingredient recipes – he’s a mad scientist at work! Check out what I’m on about here

Hand of Doom radio is streaming 24/7 – 365 days a year, are you doing all the programmation by yourself ? how often do you update the program ?
I update the station playlist almost daily, I’d say at least 4 or 5 times a week I’m in there changing things around, adding new bands. On Thursday nights here I run it direct and play the latest gear I’ve found and that’s been submitted to the station over the last week, and plug those bands all over Facebook to spread the word. I don’t program the station playlist specifically for the full 24/7, but I do program up large blocks and some themes here and there throughout the week. Its all riffs, no talk or ads, I don’t think anyone wants to hear me drone on J. Maybe down the track some mates might get involved in programming up some shows too which will add a bit more variety.
Updating the website and the blog is more of a challenge, I do need to get myself far more organized there with regular updates. There are so many great blogs like Temple of Perdition, The Sludgelord, The Sleeping Shaman, The Obelisk, Paranoid Hitsophrenic, Psychorizon, Stonerobixxx (and so many more) out there and I really have a great deal of respect for them.

I guess you must be getting requests from fans to add this or that to the current program, how is the interactivity happening with your followers ?
To me this is the most satisfying and interesting element to all of this. Hearing from bands about their upcoming or new releases, getting the word on bands to check out from fellow fans along with their requests  –  this has opened up the door to so much musical goodness out there for me. I try and pass the word along, there are so many killer bands out there who work hard at putting together the music, recording it, playing gigs etc and they deserve to be heard far and wide.

Are you following  and in contact with  other podcasts like Soggy Bog or The Wicked Lady Show ?
Yeah man there are so many great podcasts/shows out there.  Soggy Bog of Doom, Electric Beard of Doom, Amplifier Worship, Stoned Insanity, Cankle Sprainage, the list goes on and on.

Doom / Stoner / Sludge / Psych /Occult Rock Radio 
Playlist of last thursday (direct) show 
Do you remember who was the 1st heavy band you listened – most probably after AC/DC  ?!  since how long have you been listening to Doom Metal, Stoner and related genres ?
Well yeah it actually was AC/DC to start with, the Fly on the Wall album hit me like a sledgehammer when I was 14 and it was a rapid downhill slide into the riff dungeon from there. Kreators ‘Extreme Aggression’, Sepultura’s ‘Beneath the Remains’ and ‘Arise’, BoltThrower’s “The IVth Crusade’, Death’s ‘Spiritual Healing’ and Coroner’s ‘No More Color’ albums took me in the metal direction, while at the same time Sabbath, Crowbar, Kyuss, Sloth, Acrimony, Sleep, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Cathedral, Fu Manchu, Church of Misery, Down and so many others were taking me in that stoner/fuzz/doom/sludge direction. Some other musical taste explosion points for me were Entombed’s “Wolverine Blues” album, that deathy stoner type sound was so damn infectious, and hearing Yob for the very first time, ‘Universe Throb’ and ‘Clear Seeing’from Elaborations of Carbon and that album overall…that was just amazing. Still very much into the metal side of things, but that ‘tune low, play slow’ vibe seems to resonate more strongly with me these days.

What’s the general opinion on Metal in Australia – are people respecting it and does it get some exposure/consideration  in the general medias ? 
There’s a very healthy field of heavy bands in Australia, and it definitely gets the respect of the people. Certainly here in Melbourne the gigs are well attended. In the mainstream media, like anywhere else in the world I’d imagine, exposure is limited. There’s some great magazines like (every issue comes with a 7” vinyl!) and Heavy mag which spread the word on whats happening in the world of rock & metal here. There are a good deal of local FM radio shows which support metal in Australia which I talked about before.

So, did you recover from both successive SLEEP shows you attended last week-end in Melbourne and Sydney ? Was that the 1st time they were touring Australia ?
This was the first Sleep tour of Australia, yeh. We’ve had Om and High on Fire here a few times now which has been superb, but I don’t think anybody here ever expected to see Sleep. They were so impressive man, can’t really put it into words.

How is the audience composed in that kind of gigs ? does a band like SLEEP bring hipsters and people you’ll never see in a more underground line-up or does this kind of sound only interest people that are really aware of underground heavy stuff ?
Just anyone who knows what good music is (well, in my opinion anyway hah!) was there I reckon. All ages, all walks of life – I reckon it got a few people up off the couch that hadn’t been out to see a gig in ages. That’s the sort of band Sleep are hey, too good to miss.

It looks like you enjoy chatting with your idols, after Church of Misery a couple of weeks before, you had cool moments shared  discussing with Pike… was he excited to play in this part of the globe ?  didn’t he accept a picture with you or didn’t you ask for it ?!
For sure – you know , the Church of Misery shows were some of the best I’ve been to. Mika & the band are such genuinely nice people, the best, so generous with their time and genuinely appreciative of their fans. They hung out all day long at The Tote gig, helped cook the BBQ, talked to everyone who wanted to say hi, gladly signed everyones merch and thanked everyone . Oh, and they put on one of the most stunning live shows ever. This is a band that delivers on every front –Australia wants them to come back every year! Heck, I think its beyond doubt that they are now honorary Aussies!. My girlfriend & I did have a chat with Matt before the Sleep show in Melbourne, and just like the Church of Misery guys he was generous with his time and genuinely excited to be playing here. We got so caught up in talking to him that we didn’t ask for a photo, but he would’ve been up for it no problems had we asked.

It’s related to the HoD radio but besides this,  one of the other reasons I wanted to interview you was because of your important knowledge and support of the Australian scene, which as you know is definitely under-exposed over here,  hopefully guys like you do a great job to make things evolute…  do you think that your geographical remoteness is the only explanation to the relative difficulties of Australian bands to get more attention ? in this internet era,  there should be an evolution towards this problem… don’t you think ?
It is really building here you know, so many great bands are playing shows regularly and putting out albums which really should see them getting that international exposure. I do notice it happening more and more – the latest albums from bands like Adrift for Days and Clagg have gotten very positive reviews from all around the world, and Whitehorse from Melbourne are playing Roadburn and MDF next year. Some local bands are going all out to make it happen for themselves, getting the $ together via fundraising campaigns such as Pozible to head overseas and play shows, Melbourne stoner rock band Don Fernando are currently on tour in South America after having successfully achieved support through just such a campaign. On the metal side, Melbourne heavy grinders King Parrott self funded a tour of Indonesia playing the Obscene Extreme festival and have signed a 3 album worldwide deal with Candlelight records, and the brilliant Psycroptic from Tasmania are currently touring Japan. Rituals of the Oak from Sydney played shows in the US in 2012 too.
Sure the remoteness is an obstacle, but the bands I’ve just mentioned are just a few that have managed to overcome it with sheer hard work & determination. The internet absolutely helps – music specific platforms like Bandcamp can be particularly effective and see the bands really manage what they put out to the world and see a decent $ return direct to the band. Bands are finding it easier to set up a presence on Bandcamp, Bigcartel, Reverbnation and the like and get a very wide coverage. To a degree Spotify and other such music streaming programs can also help listeners find new bands. More and more Australian bands are making better use of these sorts of sites and I’m sure this will see some of them get some great opportunities not only in landing supports with international bands touring Australia, but should also see them get overseas overcome that geographical challenge.
More overseas heavy bands are heading to Australian shores thanks in large part to the efforts of Robert MacManus & Heathen Skulls touring  and the annual Doomsday Festival, along with Life is Noise  and festivals such as Soundwave – this is vitally important in growing the heavy scene here and providing those opportunities for local bands to share the stage with legends of the scene such as Saint Vitus, Church of Misery, Sleep etc, but those bands and their crew also return home with great words to say about the Aussie bands, it all helps.

Who’s been the 1st Doom band coming out from Australia ? symbolically I’d say Disembowelment but I’m sure there has been some proto-doom bands quite some time before them… ?
I’m no expert on the history of the Australian doom scene, that’s something you can put money on. Owing in part to living away from Melbourne in an area devoid of a genuine live music scene for about 8 years I missed a lot of the early years of the bands that are really hitting their straps now, such as Whitehorse for example. Obviously a killer band, and have been around for a lot of years, and I only caught them live for the first time at this years Doomsday Festival and they are punishing live.    Here ‘doom’ in its various forms  has been kicking along for a lot of years – Disembowelment would have to have been one of the first Australian bands to gain international recognition with a ‘doom’ tag, more locally in Australia we had Christbait who had a great influence with the heavy ‘stoner’ sludge/metal riffs, and also  Pod People who ended up being signed to Rise Above, and Cruciform.  Christbait and Blood Duster, whilst not doom as such, were to my mind influential here as well and are known far and wide.
You mention ‘proto-doom’, that makes me immediately think of Buffalo in terms of being a forerunner here in that heavier riffing style throughout the 70’s – one listen to a track such as  ‘Shylock’ from the ‘Volcanic Rock’ album should explain it better than I can here.

I remember being a great fan of your death metal scene from the late 80’s/early 90’s with Slaughter Lord, Sadistik Exekution, Nomenclature Diablerie,  Necrotomy, Anatomy, Acheron, Christbait, Disembowelment… this scene was extremely promising but things didn’t really take off for most of them… who has been a true leader for the underground scene to keep it alive through time and jump into the new century ?
Death metal isn’t something I’ve ever personally delved into much. I wouldn’t classify them death metal as such, but Christbait’s album ‘dirtypunkmutha’ would have to be one of the all time classics. Craig Westwood from Christbait and Jason PC from Blood Duster form up “Dern Rutlidge”, one of the all time great Australian bands alongside Warped, Thumlock, Peeping Tom (not the Mike Patton band!) , Pod People, Blood Duster and Legends of Motorsport to name a few. Peeping Tom, Craig and Jason V from Christbait are now in a band called The Ruiner here in Melbourne, a band that also features members of Blood Duster, Legends of Motorsport & Pillow. Youngy (Matt Young), currently the frontman of grind metallers King Parrot has to my mind been a driving force in the band scene, along with Gerasimos from Peeping Tom, Sons of the Ionian Sea and TTDC – these guys have been a key ingredient of a slew of Melbourne bands.
Supporting the bands, encouring the scene and arranging killer tours are Robert MacManus of Heathen Skulls, Nathan Millet from Sydney band Summonus, and I’m sure there are others I’m not aware of – their efforts have really been instrumental in paving the way for international bands to tour successfully here. Skye Bird & The Devils Kitchen crew put on great gigs around the country each year too.
Also Jason PC from Blood Duster, not only from the influential bands he’s played in but also the bands he has recorded over the years, helping others to put out great albums, working on the recent Clagg and I Exist albums for example. The guys from Melbourne band Dead are real hard working and apart from gigging constantly they bring some great underground acts out. There are people like Nathan Millet who is in Summonus and Los Hombres del Diablo, as well as promoting gigs and touring bands, and Anthony Von Grimm who is in Yanomamo and Berzerkerfox and also runs an online record store/label – there would be others who are multitasking like this and contributing to the scene on a few fronts.
My take on this here is though definitely Melbourne-centric as that’s where I’ve grown up, but I don’t think it comes down to any one person or city in particular that I know of that has been a ‘true leader’ for the underground scene – it really genuinely seems to be a the combined effort of a lot of the people in bands that have formed great friendships. When one band falls it seems that two or three rise in its place, usually with more than a few familiar faces, and they then take things to the next level. Vital as well is that there are a whole bunch of great band venues, though as economic times get tougher we are starting to see a few shutting down here and there which is really unfortunate.

I remember too that at this time American death metal bands were invading Australia for the 1st time (and “kidnapping” beautiful  Australian fans - Trey Azagthoth at least, hahaha !), I suppose the flow must have been constant for death metal since then but it looks like it took quite some time to get the Doom/Stoner bands coming to you… ?
Black Sabbath toured here in ’73, then returned 40 years later in 2013 – now that’s a long time between drinks hah :) . This is by no means whatsoever intended to be a comprehensive list at all, but in terms of other notable doom/stoner kinda bands touring Australia we had Kyuss here supporting Metallica in ’93, Cathedral and Paradise Lost in ’95, Queens of the Stoneage in 2000, Electric Wizard in 2005. No doubt about it though, in the last 4 years the floodgates have really started to open up, and this last 2 years or so in particular has been amazing. Saint Vitus, Eyehategod, High on Fire, Black Breath, Om, Sleep, Church of Misery, Eagle Twin, Earth, Russian Circles, Dead Meadow, Cathedral, Paradise Lost, Bardo Pond, Monarch, Scott Kelly, The Atomic Bitchwax, Unida, Beastwars, The Truckfighters, Red Fang, The Sword, Ghost, Kingdom of Sorrow, Kyuss Lives, Chelsea Wolfe, Fu Manchu, Black Cobra, and I’m pretty sure there’s many more I’ve forgotten.
Kylesa, Earthless, The Shrine, Kadavar, Blues Pills, Clutch, Eagles of Death Metal, Graveyard, Lecherous Gaze, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are all playing here in the near future, so the freight train is showing no signs of slowing down!

While I’m at it  -  I had a great penpal/tapetrader named Leo Moretti who was an excellent growler in a band called Humorous Suffocation (previously called Morbid Terror), he used to run a zine called Trout Fishing in Australia which I contributed a bit for… if anyone reading this knows this guy, it would be cool to give him a big hug from my part !!!

We’ve covered a few of them here - since the beginning of the blog, with Rituals of the Oak, Dire Fate, Rote Mare, Clagg, Law of the Tongue, Motherslug, Adrift for Days, Mournful Congregation, Eldritch Rites, etc… but I’m sure there’s tons more to discover as the scene seems very active and diverse too, could you please present a couple of bands from each of our fave genres (Doom, Stoner, sludge, Heavy-Blues, psyche rock) that should retain our attention ?
The Temple of Perdition blog has certainly shown a keen interest in Aussie bands over time, no doubt, and you’ve listed a fistful of great bands right there. To add to that (and apologies in advance for anyone I leave out here, or if you have a different take on the labels for reference purposes!) you have (sludge) Yanomamo, Dead, Spacebong, Fattura Della Morte, Broozer – (stoner) Wicked City, Riff Fist, Lomera, Sumeru, The Ruiner, TTTDC, The Devil Rides Out, Bayou, Legends of Motorsport, Arrowhead, Daredevil, Milkmaids, King of the North, Don Fernando, System of Venus, Olmeg, CockfightShootout, Swidgen, Budd, Golden Bats, Shellfin, Sun Shepherd, My Left Boot, The Surefire Midnights, Chainsaw Hookers, to name some, as well as I Exist in the hardcore/stoner realm – those guys have a new album due out very soon, killer artwork on it from Richey Beckett, and they were awesome supporting Black Breath earlier in the year.

More in the doom realms are Whitehorse, Clagg,  Agonhymn, Horsehunter, Zodiac, Judd Madden, Nous. Whitehorse have just released a new split ep with, Claggs new album ‘Gather Your Beasts’ is awesome and is getting great reviews around the world, Agonhymn are releasing some vinyl soon, possibly a split with Sydney sludgemasters Yanomamo.  Horsehunter are a killer young band out of Melbourne that to my mind have a ton of promise, they’re definitely delivering mega riffs at their live shows which have been going off. Those guys are working hard on their debut album which will be a cracker, so keep your eye out for that. Sons of the Ionian Sea are heavy heavy blues with plenty of doom in the mix, and they’re  in the process of recording their next album and this will be insane riff goodness - SOTIS are true musicians and they play heavy and with unrelenting passion.

In the heavy rock/blues/psych type arena we have some killer bands here: Child ( who have their debut album set for release in early 2014 – this will be a guaranteed ripping album, ridiculously great live band. Looking Glass and Mother Mars are shining examples of psych/heavy rock also, live they both jam up a storm and they have released a fistful of great albums between them too. Again, apologies to any of the awesome bands I may have forgotten to mention here – Stephane` you may have to let me send in details on anything I’ve overlooked!

Is the XL size of your country a real problem to tour easily for national bands themselves ? is there a great part of the country that isn’t even worth visiting as not enough crowded ?
It is definitely a mission, and an expensive one at that, for bands in Western Australia to tour the east coast and vice versa. That said a good bunch of bands make the trek, and apart from how damn good these bands are its all the more reason people get out and support them by showing up, buying some merch and shouting them a few beers. For international touring bands, its really important that people recognize the importance of buying the tickets in advance rather than waiting to get them on the door at the venue on gig day. It seems that a few planned shows in Perth and Adelaide over the last few years have fallen through due to poor advance ticket sales, so this seems to be one area where the punters can do more to ensure that they end up getting to see those bands.

Hand of Doom also became a blog this summer, why this ? are you planning to post on a regular basis or does it only depend of the time left for this after the usual business ? What will be the next step now, a label or … ?!!!  What would you like to improve and/or develop in the H.o.D. radio for the future ?
I’d definitely like this to be more than it is currently in terms of the station and the blog. I have the utmost respect for the great blogs out there that are regularly updated with reviews, so many are well organized and have contributors from all over the world. Stations like Core of Destruction and Grip of Delusion have a lot more variety than HoD by the very essence of them being a team effort, many people contributing their own podcasts which makes for great diversity in addition to that human element with the “dj’s” doing interviews and talking about the bands etc. I wanted to start the blog within the website, but had some difficulty trying to get that to happen (I’m a html novice!) so I started one separate to the site. It will be updated regularly with album & gig reviews, word on great bands I’ve come across and the like, but it wont be updated as regularly as the great professional blogs like Temple of Perdition, The Obelisk, Heavy Planet, Psychorizon, Stonerobixxx, The Sludgelord etc  are. I guess I’m keeping it simple (mainly because I don’t have the time or talent to make it more detailed) and I intend the station/blog etc to have always have a solid chunk of Australian band content, all riffs & none of me yammering away into a microphone, I’ll spare the world that burden hah.
Clint, you’ll be coming to Roadburn next april… congrats for this, I’m sure this will be a memorable experience for you ! while you’re at it, you should then do the Heavy Days in Doomtown a couple of weeks later in Copenhagen and we’ll meet there, hahaha !!! will this be your 1st coming in Europe ? Do you imagine it much different from where you live ? do you have any kind of special expectations towards Europe ?
This will be my first trip to Europe. Heavy Days in Doomtown will be a stretch to make that for sure, but so very tempting – if we don’t catch up there maybe we’ll  have a few beers at Desertfest Berlin? I imagine Europe will be a complete contrast to Australia – so many countries to visit and it sounds fairly easy to get around. With all of these great bands touring through for Roadburn , Desertfest and HDDT, and fans from around the globe all heading over I’m hoping it’s going to be one big party – hopefully I’ll get some sightseeing done in-between ringing ears and hangovers haha.

Thanx a lot for your good words Clint, all the best to you and keep on doomin’ the world !!!
Thank you Stephane` for all the great work you do with Temple of Perdition and the contributions you make to other such ventures in supporting the scene, and cheers for taking the time to put together the questions man. All the best, Clint.

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