Saturday 9 January 2016

An Interview with BOSS KELOID

I've been a fan of today's guests ever since I reviewed their debut album The Calming Influence Of Teeth back in 2013. It's quite a complex and progressive album that showed band who weren't afraid to take risks with their music. They created dark, heavy as hell riffs that would appeal to the most jaded of Metal Fan.

It won the band some minor acclaim within the Sludge Metal world. Now 3 years later the guys are back to release their brilliant 2nd album – Herb Your Enthusiasm – and it's a different beast compared to the first album. Chris Fielding (CONAN) recorded the album at Skyhammer Studios and James Plotkin mastered the album. So this has got some serious talent involved. And with that kind of talent you know these guys are the real deal.

It's my pleasure to be interviewing UK Sludge/Prog Metallers – BOSS KELOID. Their new album will be released on Black Bow Records. The new label owned by Jon Paul Davis of the mighty CONAN.

Enjoy the interview....

Hi guys. How are things with you today?

Things are good man, just about to go into our weekly jam. We’re gearing up for a gig at the weekend, first one we’ve played for a while.

So why did you choose the name BOSS KELOID for your band? Any specific meaning?

It’s an Iron Monkey song. We thought it sounded like a strange and interesting band name to have at the time. When we first started I think people expected us to sound like them. We’ve always done our own thing but with a love for the sludgier side of life.

How did the band get together? Did you all know each other before forming the band?

Myself and Alex (vocals) formed the band in 2010 over a shared love of riffs and interesting music. Ste (drums) joined in 2011 just before we started writing our first album ‘The Calming Influence of Teeth’. Adam (bass) joined in 2014 halfway through writing our latest album ‘Herb Your Enthusiasm’.

How would you describe your music? As it can be very hard to describe. I even had a hard time describing it when I reviewed your debut album – The Calming Influence of Teeth – back in 2013.

We don’t have any preconceived ideas about what we want to sound like when we jam and write. We just want to keep things heavy and interesting to our own ears whilst experimenting with fresh ideas. We all have different influences and tastes, and aim to bring these together without it feeling contrived. People tend to say we are an experimental/ progressive/ sludge/ stoner band which is fine. Our sound is evolving naturally.

That album received a lot of praise when it was released. Did that surprise you that people enjoyed your debut album?

Yes, it did as we were relatively unknown at the time and didn’t know what people’s reaction would be. On the whole the feedback was very positive with a few humorous gripes about “lack of solos” and there “not being enough calm”. Each to their own of course. We always appreciate any kind or constructive word said about our music.

Looking back would you change anything about the record or would you leave it as it is?

There were a lot of ideas crammed into that album, possibly too many and some worked better than others in hindsight. There were aspects of the production that we weren’t totally happy with. We constantly scrutinise and focus on which aspects of the writing process and production can be improved upon. It was a point in time and that is fine. It’s a natural part of the evolution of the band, without making that record we wouldn’t be where we are now.

You’re releasing your new album – Herb Your Enthusiasm – in April 2016 on Black Bow Records. What can people expect from that album.

We focussed more on dynamics and creating a greater sense of depth to the sound. We focused on tone and slowing things down to allow the riffs to breathe more whilst introducing greater melody to the songs. We feel every aspect of our sound and production has improved since the last album. The album in our eyes is more interesting and far heavier than TCIOT. We’re always very critical of ourselves and try to push and get the best out of each other. The progression from the last album we feel is very apparent on a number of levels.

Did you do anything differently recording this album compared to your debut album.

We chose to record with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios as we knew the type and quality of production he can achieve based on the records he’d worked on previously. We were never comfortable with the guitar and bass tone on the last album and knew he would capture what we wanted this time round. Keeping the clarity of each instrument whilst maximising the depth of sound was important to us and Chris nailed it. We used James Plotkin to master the record who has worked with a lot of great bands, and he did a great job in making it sound even bigger. We’ll be going back to Skyhammer for the next record without a doubt, if Jon and Chris will have us again.

Congrats on signing to Black Bow Records. How did you manage to hook up with Jon at Black Bow Records?

We met up with Jon whilst recording at Skyhammer. The studio is located within the grounds of his residential property. We had a great time over the two weeks we were there. Him and Chris introduced us to the local ‘folded kebabs’, which were the highlight. Jon and his family were very hospitable. He asked for the finished album and then offered to release it which is really great. Black Bow is relatively new but already has a cool roster of bands so we’re really pleased to be part of that.

Did you have any other offers from other record labels?

Yes, we had a few other offers. Black Bow was the one for us.

How hard is it being a band in today's world? What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band?

The chemistry and dynamic between us is spot on, which is really important. We’re four different individuals but we connect really well. The writing and jamming process comes naturally and is usually very productive and fulfilling. The key thing for us is that we’re happy with the music we create. The frustrating aspect is not being able to gig as much as we’d like to currently.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band? Is it a group collective or down to one individual?

Typically, I have an idea or riffs and collectively we flesh out these ideas and develop a song structure which gets refined over time until we’re all happy with it. Once we hit this point Alex develops vocal melodies and phrasings which brings the song to life. We’ve currently got enough material for the next album which we’re balls deep into writing and hopefully we’ll be back into the studio during 2017.

Will you be touring this record heavily? I know it maybe too early to ask.

We will play and support the record as much as we can do, as much as our other commitments will allow. We’ve got some shows lined up for the year, mainly around Manchester and London. We’re aiming to put together a couple of UK tours at some point as well.

Some people say the UK Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal scene has hit its peak and it can't get any bigger. What is your own verdict on the UK scene?

We don’t take notice or care about scenes and genres. We’re doing our own thing and if we get lumped in with a scene or genre then that’s fine. There are some cracking bands out there and it’s the ones that are doing their own thing and keeping things interesting that appeal to us.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans?

We don’t have any fans but anyone who happens to buy our record, merch or comes to watch us play weird noise, we are very grateful. We’re really proud of the new album and if people dig it then that’s cool.

Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with the new album as it’s a brilliant album.

No problem at all and it’s much appreciated for taking the time to interview us Steve.

Words by Steve Howe and BOSS KELOID

I want to thank BOSS KELOID for taking the time out into talking to me. Herb Your Enthusiasm album review will be appearing in early March 2016. Believe when I say it's an absolute monster of heavy riffs. Herb Your Enthusiasm will be available to buy on CD/DD from Black Bow Records on April 8th 2016.