Tuesday 26 July 2016

Interview with SATORI JUNK

Italian Sludge/Doom Metal Band Satori Junk released their first and only full-length one year ago, but I believe that the interview is something that you need to do when you want to - not only for promotional company of new release or something. So I’ve found this record in my “need to listen” folder and this strong combination of non-trivial stoner doom with sludgy and spaced out vibes that make me believe in salvation through riff-meditation!

These eight songs constitute heavy and distorted psychedelic trip with few turns that could surprise you. Majestic vibe, shamanic rhythms, hazy vocals… Will we hear it again on the Satori Junk second album? Chris (guitars) has the answer for this question.

Hi Chris! How are you? What's Satori Junk current state?

Hi Aleksey, we are fine. The band is fully active. Riffing and delivering illness.

The band was born is 2012, and since then you have only one full-length album. Do you already have new tracks for the sequel?

Sure. We are working on new songs since we finished recording our first album. Unfortunately, when our former drummer Giacomo left the band, we had to stop for a bit. We should be back in studio for new recording this autumn.

Do you have replacement for Giacomo?

Yes. After a couple of months, we found Max. He has a different drumming style, more powerful. That obviously changed a little our approach to the songs, but added a lot of energy to our gigs.

Can you already tell how the new material differs from the one you had for debut album? Or what would you like to add to that stoner doom you played when you started the band?

I think the new material will be more focused on what will be “our own style”. We added new synth sounds, and unleashed Luke’s creativity. There’s a lot of doom in our riffs, but we will try to make our album sounds in a different way.

The band's concept is described with definition “oniric, horror movies”. Is it close to the truth?

Yes. For example, when Luke writes down the lyrics, he always gets his inspiration from his weird dreams, writing down short stories where the main character always dies. There are a lot of spooky elements in our music, also the sound of theremin makes his job perfectly.

Yes, I’d like to ask that too – who did play theremin on the album? How did you get that this instrument fits well to Satori Junk?

I love that unusual sound that was used by classical bands like Led Zeppelin, I think it is the kind of tune that could rise from the wall of sound, making atmosphere and getting you into the right mood. When Luke found that optical theremin, we just tried to play with it… and it worked great!

Satori Junk – T.T.D.

And the horror movies – do you really have the song based on something of this genre?

Well, it depends on Luke’s nightmares! There’s always something weird in his songwriting: he could write an entire horror movie script on his own.

You have this insane video for “Ritual” song, what is this movie you use in it?

The video was made by Gryphus Visual who uses a lot of old movie samples from the 60/70's in his works. We simply gave him the songs, and he followed his inspiration. I don’t recognize all the samples he used, but you can see clips from the movie Westworld, with Yul Brynner.

Satori Junk is a kind of inconsistent title, what did you want to express through it? What is it's ultimate meaning?

We started the recording aware that it could have been our last work. Every song in it is the result of jam sessions where we started to define our sound, experimenting with riffs and including lots of elements from the music we love.

What’s the best feedback you ever had for the band?

This year we supported Lord Vicar. Having them in front of us headbanging all the time while performing, was the best feedback we could ever had!

One of debut album's features is heavily overloaded fuzz-sound. How do you reach it?

I love that fat, dirty-fuzzed sound full of harmonics. Obviously bands like Electric Wizard inspired me a lot. Reaching that sound is not too hard: just find the right amps, guitars and pedals.

How do you keep this sound during gigs? Is it difficult to keep right level of fuzz there?

It’s all about the venues. Sometimes we have strict rules to respect, sometimes we are free to push our volume to the limit. Obviously, louder is better!

What's the range of Satori Junk concert activity? How far did you tour with the band?

In the last year, we mostly played in northern Italy. When we first played in Switzerland, the audience reacted with lots of headbanging and asked for an encore after an hour of gig. So, we understood that we were ready to go abroad.

Christian, you were looking booking agencies to spread Satori Junk vibes outside Italy successfully; did you succeed in this deal?

We are still looking. Finding the right contacts abroad is a hard job, but we will succeed.

Italy has one of the biggest doom scenes, how do you see current local doom trends there?

Italian scene is great and rich of different influences. Some supporters are just curious, while others are die-hard people that attends all the greatest European festivals. Many venues dedicate all their schedules to this kind of music which helps the scene a lot. Also some extreme metalheads are starting to appreciate the doom heaviness, despite the low speed. The sad thing is that in our country there is not so much respect for music: you will always have to struggle with uncompromising laws, hostile neighborhoods and high organization costs.

Christian, thank you for that conversation! I wish you all the best with writing the second Satori Junk album, let me know when you have it finished. And how would you like to finish our interview?

Thank you Aleksey! Well, let’s have a beer!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Satori Junk