Friday, November 22, 2013

... Interview with Norway's rising force : TOMBSTONES !!!

Damn shit, reviewing has never been something easy for your servitor, especially when it's about a striking album like 'Red Skies and Dead Eyes' which got wide attention and multiple stunning reviews over the few past weeks from the most competent blogs on my radar (ici ou  for example), I did it recently for bands like Beelzefuzz  and Stone Magnum... but rather than using tons of superlatives again and in the end having another bitter state in what still looks like my mouth, regarding my too limited and redundant way of reviewing, I thought it would be cool to have a different focus on this excellent stoned Doom band and crushing album through a few accurate questions to bassist Ole ... Watch out for Tombstones, a massive roaring monster of fuzz and northern bleakness !!! 

The musical development on this new album is maybe not as surprising as between 1st and 2nd albums, this time it’s more the production work that makes difference with a thick, fuzzy and dynamic sound and definitely a more and more doomed approach as the album is going, what’s been your reflection towards the composition and production of this new album ?
Sitting here with the final product at hand, I can say we are happy with, and proud of the result. As on "Year of the Burial", we had a very clear vision of how we wanted the album to sound, and I think we nailed it to the point. The main goal of recording it as raw, live and primal as we do, is to re-create the feeling we, and hopefully the audience achieve during live shows. We have great fun while playing and always try to catalyze that into the final product of recording. One shall feel the music, not only hear it. As composition goes, the whole album was written in a relatively short period of time, with extensive rehearsal the months prior to recording. We have dug up a couple of riffs from the past, and combined them with our approach of 2013'. The preparing-process was intense this time around, and that feeling of fresh energy hopefully shows on the final outcome.

If we compare the Tombstones from “Vol II” and what you have achieved here on the new album, it feels like the classical Stoner Rock has been devoured by awesome roaring Stoned Doom, how do you explain this maturation ? new influences maybe ? did the loss of your former guitarist and friend Jonas Martin Sørmo have an influence in the hardening of your sound ? 
That transition was even more dramatic from "Volume II" to "Year of the Burial", but yes, it's fair to say Jonas' death had severe impact on the general mood of the sound we wanted to put out. Something happened with our mindset, and that shows in the riffs we brought to rehearsals. Being a three-piece also welcomed more extreme and compact heavy riffery, which all of us enjoyed. We felt we brought something new to the table as an entity.

There’s been 18 months between “Vol II” and “Year of the Burial”, then again 18 months to release “red skies and dead eyes”, is that an immuable rhythm of release for Tombstones like something you feel reasonable while you could hardly do things more quickly or will a new 4th album be released before April 2015 thinking you’re in a very positive dynamic that needs to be looked after ?
Hehe! Has it really been 18 months both times? That is a funny coincidence. As of now we don't have any plans to enter the studio again in the near future, but on the other hand, that wasn't the case after "YotB" was released either. "Red Skies and Dead Eyes" is just out and hopefully it will generate some live-action for us. But of course there will be another album. New songs are slowly growing in the back of the mind.

“Red skies and dead Eyes” has been recently album of the day at, that’s often the sign of an upcoming participation at the fest and there’s still a few names to announce… is there a chance to see you there or at other European festivals next spring ? (HDDT pleaaaase !)
Yeah, being album of the day at Roadburn was a great honour for us! We would love to play lots of festivals, but nothing is planned as of now. To take part in the Roadburn-lineup is a dream we have had for years, and we really hope it will be reality some day. This goes for HDDT aswell. I have sent them an email, letting them know of our interest. Their lineup in Copenhagen this year was mental. Feel free to let them know you want us to play there! Hehe! 

In September you took part at the 1st Hostsabbat fest in Oslo gathering the best of the actual Norwegian scene, must have been pretty awesome times ? you had the luck to play the same night as Lamented Souls, a very rare band , was that a special appearance or are they still active and plan something ?
Yeah, Høstsabbat was an incredible weekend. So much fun, and so many great bands. Huge success. Keep your eyes peeled for next year!
We actually played on saturday, and Lamented Souls played friday, but we caught the gig nevertheless. They played a killer set! I have the impression it was a one-off show, but you never know. They are occupied with so many good bands, I don't know how much time the are granting Lamented Souls

You do regularly play with cool local and international bands in your country but also had the luck to play a couple of times in England this year, is that definitely a different feel to play in foreign lands, get to see new people, conquer new fans, etc… ?
Yeah, it is very exciting to play abroad. Our gateway to England was the show at Desertfest in april, which was totally killer! The tour in october was also a rad experience, we had a major blast and met some really awesome people. We are returning to the UK next year, and we can't wait.

Your music can sure bring numerous images to mind but is that really arisen from the bleak woods of Norway as the promo sheet says ? are you guys living among wolves and hunting seals, whales and bears like all normal norwegians ?! More seriously, how do you think your local situation can influence your music ? Do you know Ocean Chief and their northern Doom ?
Haha! Yeah, we live amongst wild wolves and bears, hunting demons with our bow and arrow! Jokes aside- All of us live in the Oslo-area nowadays, but we're born and raised in the deep Finnskogen woods, on the border to Sweden. So our fascination for deep and dark woods are highly authentic. I am sure our dark winters play a role in our music, at least that's the case for me. It's during that time of the year the riffs appear.. while the daylight loses against darkness. Ocean Chief are great!!

What’s next now for Tombstones ? do you have any dates confirmed for the next months ? Can you confirm the merchandising actually available ?
We have a couple of gigs lined up before Christmas in Norway, and in february we're touring Europe again, also visiting Paris! We're teaming up with UK-stoners Widows. Killer live-band. We're on the road from february 1st through february 9th. Come catch us on stage!!  Both "Red Skies and Dead Eyes" and "Year of the Burial" are available on both vinyl and CD. "Volume II" only on CD.. We have a small selection of jerseys and patches for sale at gigs.
Thank you again for your time and hope to see you on the road!

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