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Coltsblood | Interview


They’re the doom band who’ve been making waves with their intriguing, different and brutal take on the genre.

They’ve supported the mighty Watain and are gaining plaudits all round, including a recent review here.

So we thought we’d best hear what they have to say. Coltsblood talk to Jamie Grimes.

***

So you first “broke cover” I guess with the release of the demo last year, and in the past year you’ve been workhorses – a demo, some touring, a split, and now an album.

It kind of feels like you guys materialised out of nowhere, so clichéd though it may be, can you give us a little bit of insight into the origins of the band?

Jem: The origins of the band travel years back when John and I started writing together as a two piece. For a long while John was on drums and we were content in that phase enjoying many a beer fuelled jam, drunken recording session and the freedom of taking it anywhere and being in no hurry.

We were slowly unearthing something that possessed many different elements, we wanted it to have the space and time to reveal its true self, and that’s why it didn’t surface for a long time.

When John felt the need to take up his original weapon, the bass, that’s when we asked Ste to join us on drums. A few months later we were ready to gallop head long into war! There is a right time for everything.

The demo was a self-recorded job – in retrospect are you still happy with it? And what prompted it to record it yourselves?

Jem: From the very beginning we said we would self-record and release a demo tape and then we could happily turn our steeds towards the hall of the slain! The dirtier and more genuine the better, something that was completely of our making!

On the long ride over the hills and moors that morning we blasted the Darkthrone demos before we recorded in Ste’s warehouse space in Sheffield, a couple of mics, a couple of takes, it was just a demo.

We were amazed when Tom of Ulthar Records wanted to release it on vinyl. Of course we are still happy with it, it captures a happy time!

Prior to the album there was a also a split with Crypt Lurker, another band you’ve toured with and who like yourselves I feel have an almost death metal edge to the kind of doom you’re playing.

You’re both from Liverpool, as are the likes of Black Magician and Conan – do you think there’s something in the water that’s making Liverpool produce all these doom bands at the moment?

How close do you feel to those other local bands? And is it true Jay from Black Magician has just taken over the Coltsblood drum stool?

John: Aye, we possess a strong kinship with these bands, a gang mentality, and regularly descend upon our local public houses together!

There are more and many bands round here at the moment worthy of attention, thankfully all playing their own part, supporting each other and forming strong bonds. A lucky time to live in.

In terms of our drum stool, Steve was a major part in our development as a band, and for that we thank him, we remain close friends and still believe him to be one of the finest drummers of these isles.

His performance on ‘Into The Unfathomable Abyss’ was legendary. Unfortunately traversing the great peaks between us eventually took its toll, and we made the difficult decision to find a local drummer, with Jay being the natural choice.

We already had a strong bond with him and we are now looking to move forward and creating new misery and destruction together!

I know you opened Watain’s UK dates last year, which given the massive difference in sound and aesthetic between the two bands was a surprising pairing – how was that experience for you guys?

Did you feel like it might be a challenge playing on front of a band with such a rabid (and perhaps narrow minded) fanbase?

And did you learn much from touring with a band who operate on such a big scale as Watain?

John: Ha! You are not wrong there! We entered the battle with our battered and cobbled together gear in hand, confident after our previous tours and no fear of how the elitist black metal crowds would react.

We were not what some of their fans were expecting for sure! We could not care less what people think, our songs have been created from the heart and are not for everyone; if you do not like our music it is obviously not for you!

Regardless, we got to experience Watain’s dark rituals up close and admired their bloody single-mindedness, a band who truly believes in what they do.

Obviously the album has just come out now via Candlelight. Firstly, how did you hook up with the label?

And was the album already fully written when you signed or was it a case of battening down the hatches and going straight into writing mode?

John: When contact was first made with Candlelight Records we had recorded our album in Skyhammer Studios, and after conversations with the label it made perfect sense to move forward and release the album with them, to join a roster with some of our favourite bands is an almighty honour!

They have been releasing some really interesting and challenging metal bands in recent years, including some of the most talented bands currently in Britain.

We are thankful for the support Darren and the label has given us so far, and we are immensely proud to be a small part of their immense history.

Though you guys are clearly a doom band, as I mention above there’s a bit of a death metal element to these ears, and there’s a real sense of variety at work on the album.

I’m sure it’s a song that people have asked about already, but one of the big surprises on the album is the track “Blood”, and some of the other faster moments in “Grievous Molestation”.

Are you concious of trying to keep a sense of possibility or unpredictablity in your sound rather than just being pigeonholed as simply a “doom” band?

Like, do you have a particular set of boundaries set for yourself in terms of what you can and can’t do as Coltsblood?

Jem: From the beginning the only thing that we were sure of was that there would be no pre conceived ideas or boundaries; we have long been heavily into doom, stoner, sludge, death and black metal to speak of some of the vast range of music that we are into.

The songs are summoned by certain ideas, tales, thoughts and feelings and it is purely this which shapes how the song sounds.

The tracks ‘Blood’ and ‘Grievous Molestation’ come from a certain time when John and I were summoning a lot of material in this vein.

Most of this stuff was horrifically filthy and untamed, and it still lingers in our archives, dead but dreaming until its time may come.

I was also wondering about the lyrics – the impression I get going on the titles is that there’s a little of a fantasy/horror bent to some of the tracks.

Are you guys fans of what I guess we refer to as “weird fiction” and were there any particular sources that influenced the lyrics.

Jem: Fantasy and horror runs in our veins, through the rivers of these lands, it resides in every mountain, tree, rock and marsh around us.

Spiritual memory and a close tie with the wild have influenced much of the lyrics, harking back to our ancestors who roamed this Earth, a time when we saw the spirits and gods that are all around us, when we lived by honour, ritual, sacrifice, when magic was everywhere and much horror, unspeakable horror.

We rode, hunted, fished, blood was spilled by sword and spear, and we were closer to death and therefor life. Now all of this continues to fade and things once held sacred are now forgotten, but not in Coltsblood.

We fuel our inspiration with myth, legend, history and the darkest depths of our minds, we write a lot from our own feelings of grief and death.

Since you ask though, we are huge fans of fantasy/horror literature and film, H. P. Lovecraft, George R. R. Martin, Aleister Crowley, Tobe Hooper, Stephen King, John Carpenter to name but a very few.

You got Eric from Grief to do the artwork for the album – how did that come about?

John: Grief are one of the greatest Doom/Sludge bands in existence, if not THE greatest! So for Eric to agree to create the artwork for ‘Into The Unfathomable Abyss’ was a dream come true.

His art conjures up feeling of paranoia and misery at the same time as providing strong feelings of nature and darkness.

He truly is a unique artist and we are ecstatic with what he created while listening to the songs. We feel we have found a kindred spirit in Eric.

Although the album is out on cd via Candlelight, the vinyl version will be through Dry Cough & Burning World, two smaller labels in relative terms. Is working with smaller labels for other releases in the future (splits or eps or that kind of thing) something you hope to do in the future?

Jem: It is a great honour to be involved with Dry Cough and Burning World Records. Andy Dry Cough’s dedication to the grimiest and most sincere of the underground is something that we are really proud to be a part of, his dedication to this release is something I will never forget, and as for Burning World, we are huge fans of pretty much every BW release!

For years we have loved Roadburn and consider it to be one of the most special experiences in this world so to have Jurgen even listen to our album, never mind release it, is amazing for us!

We cannot predict or presume what will happen in our future but we hope always to be involved with great people, amazing music and consider it to be a great blessing.

Finally..you’ve mentioned you’ve set your sights in a trip to Ireland for some shows later in the year – can you tell us anything specific about that yet? And are you familiar with much going on here at the moment?

John: Not as yet, organising shows can sometime be a transient affair! We traversed the Irish sea a year or so ago to watch Obituary and Macabre in Dublin and met some good folk over there.

Zom, Malthusian and Dread Sovereign are bands we’d definitely like to share a stage with at some time, and we’ve heard great things about your Dublin Doom Days.

Interview with Jamie Grimes ::: 26/04/14


One Comment
  1. really impressed, very professional cant wait to see you live .xx

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