Friday 14 August 2015

Just What The Doctor Ordered: An Interview with DoctoR DooM

After releasing a string of well received releases over the last couple of years, Retro/Doom/Stoner Rockers have finally released their stunning debut album - The Seed We Have Sown out now on Ripple Music (CD/DD). It's an album that's starting to turn some heads amongst the Retro Rock/Doom/Stoner Rock crowd. I've been asked to interview these guys a while but things have kept getting in the way.

Not this time, Richard at Sheltered Life PR finally convinced/told me to do this and I'm more than happy to as Doctor Doom are a great bunch of guys. If you're a follower of the various Stoner/Doom Blogs out there then you know how highly rated DoctoR DooM is. Their blend of Blues Rock driven Occult/Stoner Rock manic energy creates stunning riffs for you to enjoy and rock out to.

So let's see what the Doctor ordered. Possibly a healthy slice of DOOM!!!

Hi guys. How are things with you today. Thanks for doing this interview.

Things are great thanks! It is a pleasure for us, thank YOU.

Can you give a brief history of how the band got together and where it is today.

It started off with Jérémie and Jean-Laurent (guitars, guitars/vocals) playing some cool 70s inspired riffs together, and they found a drummer and bassist to join them. We started out covering a mixture of 70s bands and newer artists such as Graveyard and Witchcraft before working on some of our own songs. We made a demo recording, DoomO, which had a lot more success than we had anticipated.

It managed to catch the attention of Steve from STB records who released it as a limited edition vinyl. Around this time we changed drummers, Michel, our current drummer is such a great fit for the band, he really completes our sound, as well as being a great guy. A lot of our success is thanks to Steve, who believed in us from the start. When he heard we were planning an album, he put us in touch with Todd from Ripple, which brings us to where we are now.

You're about to release your debut album - The Seed We Have Sown. Quite a downbeat title for what the album is. Why did you choose that title for the album.

Is it so downbeat? Sowing a seed, watching it grow and flourish seems like quite a positive thought to us. It is a lyric from our song Stuck in the Past, but it reflects our creative process too. Starting with a few riffs, and growing them into a full blown album.

What can people expect from the album.

Different people will find different things in it, but there is plenty of 70s vibe, bluesy groove mixed with heavier riffs and even some progressive elements. Most of all though, we just make music that we enjoy, and hopefully this comes through in our recordings.

Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for.

It was pretty straightforward, as we say above, we just make the kind of music that we would like to listen to, and when we had enough songs we decided it was time to record them.

Has the early responses to the album surprised you in anyway. We're you expecting the kind of reactions you're receiving now.

Well, we were hoping to get some positive responses, as we are very proud of our work, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive beyond our expectations.

You've produced the album yourselves which is quite good as I know you're very much part of the DIY ethic. What challenges did you face when producing the album.

One of the biggest challenges is getting recordings finished, when we are doing everything on our own time, and we could spend as much time as we like tracking, overdubbing, mixing etc. without the pressure of having booked studio time. Sebastian, our bassist and recording engineer, has a pretty good setup for a home studio, so the process wasn't too challenging technically.

Would you ever let someone else produce your music.

We aren't sure yet what direction we will choose for our next album. We would certainly consider getting someone else involved, but we also enjoy being able to work in our own time, and spend the time needed to obtain the result we want.

You managed to get Tony Reed to master the album. How did you guys hook up with Tony. Great guy and he's a legend within our little community.

When we were approaching the mastering stage we reached out to STB and Ripple to see if they had any recommendations, and they put us in touch with Tony. Indeed, he is a great guy, and it was a pleasure to work with him, he did a great job and took into account our requests very capably.

You're worked with two of the best independent record labels for your last couple of releases - RIpple Music and STB Records. How much of a help have they been in promoting your music.

They have been an enormous help. Without their hard work it simply would not have been possible. We are music guys, not marketing guys, and it is really great for us to be able to focus on the music, and let the record labels do what they do. They have a load of great contacts and reputation that allows us to reach a much greater audience than if we were trying to do this by ourselves. A big thank you to both labels!

Did you have any other label interest to release your debut album.

When we were preparing our album, we got in touch with Steve first, because of the great experience we had had working with him before, and as he was so enthusiastic to work with us again, as well as sort out a collaboration with Ripple, we didn't see the need to approach other labels.

Is - This Seed We Have Sown - going to be released on Vinyl. If so, who will be releasing it. STB or Ripple.

Yes, there will be an initial limited edition release in true STB style (although less limited than his usual ultra-limited runs). It was planned to come out before the CD, but unfortunately due to problems with vinyl manufacturers the release has been delayed until September.

The French Stoner Rock/Metal scene has exploded over the last few years or so with bands getting more exposure overseas. Has that success resonated with people back in France. Or is still very much in the underground.

It is hard to tell for sure, but it would seem that the genre is more popular abroad than in our home country. It certainly seems that way judging by the number of gigs we play in other countries. In France we do have the Hellfest though, that is one of the biggest European Metal festivals, and we would love to be part of that one day!

·Are you guys still touring/performing on a regular basis and is it hard to perform gigs in today's climate.

We don't have many dates lined up in the near future, but we are starting to arrange some gigs for next year. It is hard for us to comment on the current gigging climate, as it isn't something we do for a living, although who knows, maybe we will one day?

Are there plans for Doctor Doom to perform a major European Tour. Or Festival Dates in other countries.

Not much set in stone yet, but we hope that the album, with all its great reviews, will help us land some quality dates in 2016 and beyond.

·Apart from your album, 2015 has seen some fantastic albums released. Which albums have stood out for you. Anything that taken you by surprise.

Here are some great albums we've come across this year: Demon Head – Ride the Wilderness, Valkyrie – Shadows, Black Capricorn – Cult of the Black Friars, and Truls Mörck's solo album. We are also really looking forward to the return of Lee Dorrian in With the Dead.

Last question, Can you tell us your 5 favourite songs or albums.

Well, we each have our differing tastes in music, but here are some of our favourites: 

Demian – Demian
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Graveyard – Graveyard
Jerusalem – Jerusalem

as you can see, we like a lot of debut albums, as well as Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour '74

Well guys thanks for your time. Much appreciated. All the best with the new album as it's an absolute blast.

Thank you! It's been a pleasure.

Words by Steve Howe and DoctoR DooM

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for arranging this interview. The Seed We Sown is available to buy on CD/DD now. Vinyl Release will be coming later this year.