Monday 21 December 2015

Time For Some Black Magic!!! - An Interview with BRIMSTONE COVEN

Today's guests will be releasing their eagerly anticipated new album – Black Magic – in 2016 via Metal Blade Records. They've already released acclaimed EP's and demos over the past few years. Their blend of Occult Rock/Doom/Stoner/Classic Rock sounds will leave you in a bewitching spell.

Black Magic has the potential to launch these guys in a big way. The album is that good. I'm talking about Brimstone Coven. I was given the chance to talk about the new album, what influenced it and what people can expect from the album.

Have a read and enjoy....

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

Hello! Things are going great for us. Thanks for asking and thanks for having us!

Your about to release your new album. – Black Magic in Jan 2016. What a great album that is. Very different to your earlier records but still very familiar as well. What can people expect from the album.

As you said, we tried some new stuff on this album but didn't stray from that traditional Brimstone Sound too much. A couple tracks have a more retro feel than others. I'm sure it will catch new listeners and keep the die hard Brimstoners happy.

Did you do anything different when making this album compared to your other releases.

The process was the same as every other album. Corey hears an entire song and lays it out in a demo. We all learn it and add our own touch. If any is needed. Then we head to the studio. The process for this album went MUCH smoother because we are so familiar with the flow going into the studio. So not much changed on the process. Corey heart was leaning a little heavier to a slightly more retro sound on a couple of the tracks. We tried them out with that Brimstone feel. And they fit quite well to our sound.

It seems the album has been a long time coming as you’ve released a couple of great EP’s originally and then packaged those two EP’s as one full release back in 2014 on Metal Blade Records. Did you ever expect those things to happen when you started to the band and then being signed to Metal Blade.

We were blown away when the label approached us. It was completely unexpected. We were in the process of shopping labels but had not sent out press kits by the time they contacted us about a deal. That's why it was so surprising! We had the album done WELL before it was due in to the label. We had a few songs together before we released on Metal Blade. We received an email on Christmas day asking if we were signed. And if not, did we want to be. We looked into it and found it was with Metal Blade. I was expecting a smaller label. Or maybe a distribution deal. My jaw hit the floor. So many stepping stones that we hopped over there. It was definitely unseen.

With Black Magic being your proper full length record, did you feel a lot of pressure to deliver something better what came before it. How do you cope with that pressure.

I don't think there is any pressure to outperform or outdoor previous efforts. We just focus on moving forward and of course we want the album to be great, but that comes from a place of wanting to improve ourselves as musicians and songwriters and not from a place of needing to compete with previous albums.

I’ve read that you written Black Magic over a course of a year period. Was that a challenging time for you writing the album for that amount of time.

The flow of that album was the easiest so far. No hang ups. We had plenty of time to play around with the year.

What inspired you when you recorded the album as it’s quite a dark album in places.

Corey finds inspiration in many different places; old/obscure bands, films, books, you name it. Darkness is all around us. The world is a dark place and full of inspiration.

You’ve been classed as an Occult Rock Band in the past. Do you buy into that term. Do you like your band being classed as that. As some bands are starting to tire of that term.

We don't mind the label. I understand the need for it because it helps describe to someone who has not heard us what they can expect. With that being said those are general labels which means it is subjective. What one person thinks Occult rock means the other person may have a totally different idea of what that should be. At the end of the day it is all rock and roll.... no matter what you try and label it.

You’ve performed a lot of gigs over the last few years. Which ones have been your favourite to perform and why.

We have had the pleasure to share the stage with several amazing bands over the past 2 years. 3 gigs that really stood out for me personally are the Eye of the Stoned Goat festival in Long Island New York and that was a blast. So many amazing bands on that bill. Demon Eye from North Carolina were great guys and they were killer. The Blackout Cookout in Kent, Ohio was an all day festival type show that was a bash like none other. It was catered with amazing food and once again just too many great bands.

Earthquaker Devices were inexpensive of the sponsors and they are a company that makes some of the best pedals on the market. Definitely check them out. Also we played a great venue in Milwaukee, The Metal Grille. Once as part of another great festival, Days of the Doomed, and another time just as part of a regular bill. Mike Smith is the promoter up there and he is a GREAT guy who puts on the best shows. We love playing there. Really the list goes on seemingly forever but those 3 gigs stood out as great shows with great bands.

When recording or performing live, Do you use an advanced setup or a basic setup.

We have a very basic live set up. Sometimes we use some lighting for ambiance and sometimes we break out our iron, brimstone candelabras but for the most part we just get up and rock out. Let the music speak for itself.

How hard is it being in a band in today’s current climate.

I wouldn't say it is especially hard. We have all played in bands for 20 plus years. With that being said none of us have done it at this level until recently so I cannot compare it to years past but to us it is simple. You write the best music you can. You try to play it for as many as people as possible. We are just luck to have such a great team behind us in Metal Blade and they certainly help us in getting the music out there.

Which bands or artists inspired you to become a musician. Was it a particular band or album that made you decide – Yeah, that’s what I want to do.

We all have been musicians for a long time, and music fans for even longer. It is impossible to cite one band, album or person who made us all want to pick up an instrument and never put it down. The truth is that if you are a musician, it is in your blood and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Will you be touring quite heavily this record in 2016. Will you be doing any European dates. Or is too early to tell at the moment.

We would love to travel to Europe this year to help promote this record. We have our passports and we are ready to go. Right now we are in the process of finding the right agency to work with on a long term basis.

Black Magic is being released on some good looking vinyl. Your debut release was given the STB Records treatment back a few years ago. Did it surprise you how quickly it sold out and now they go for ridiculous prices on Discogs – (£230 one person is selling it for). Are you vinyl fans yourselves.

I caught a quick sneak peak at the vinyl. And it's sick. The record comeback in the past few years has been massive. Some people listen to vinyl for that old school crack and pop additive. You throw that on a Brimstone Coven album and it's magical.

The fact that our album, that was on STB, sold for that amount blows my mind. It was a limited edition of 50.

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best with your new album. It’s an awesome record

Words by Steve Howe and Brimstone Coven

Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging this interview and to Brimstone Coven for taking the time out to talking to me. Black Magic will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Metal Blade Records on January 29th 2016.