Thursday 4 August 2016

UP SHIT CREEK - An Interview with Dennis from SLOWJOINT

It's been a hell of a long time since I last spoke to Dennis from Danish Sludge/Stoner Rockers – Slowjoint. I became a fan of these guys back when I was doing The Sludgelord. Their music is a highly infectious blend of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal riffs. All held together by pure Weedian Magic.

I've interviewed them a few times over the years but I wanted to see how things were going with Slowjoint. Dennis (Singer/Guitarist) has kindly agreed to do this interview where we discuss the future of the band, upcoming releases and if they truly are still UP SHIT CREEK!!!

So light up a BONG and relax with SLOWJOINT.

Hi Dennis. How are things with you all today. Thanks for doing this interview. Been a long time.

Dennis: Hey Steve. Thanks, we’re good.

So can you tell our readers a brief history of the band and where it is today.

Dennis: We’re still going at full speed. Or I don’t know if you can call it full speed with this band but we’re still here! You know the throttle on a lawn mower, the rabbit and the turtle thing? We’re the turtle. We might move a little slower but we still cut that grass.

I've heard you now have a new drummer in your ranks. What happened to the old one. You guys all still friends.

Dennis: No we hate that little fucker! Haha. No he just had to move on. He couldn't find the time for it with his family and other bands and shit. So yeah, we’re good. But that forced us to find a new drummer, and pretty fast cause we had already booked recordings in the studio. Tor is a great guy and he puked at first rehearsal so we knew right away he was the right guy for the job. Me and him was writing some new songs earlier today. It’s gonna be bad-ass!

So what plans you have in future. Please say a new full length album. Do you have any plans to record a new album or new material.

Dennis: It’s not gonna be a full length, I know that for sure. We will release a single track on 7” vinyl on a small label called Weed Wrestling Records alongside a comic book that some crazy Swedish guy drew. It’s weird as fuck and it’s gonna be an awesome and kinda different release. Besides that, we hope that we’re gonna record 3 or 4 songs for an EP. Right now there’s six weeks till we hit the studio and we only have one song down. It’s typical us. We plan to be ahead of everything and always end up doing it all, right before deadline. Up Shit Creek was the same deal so I think it’s gonna be fine.

Will you be releasing the new material yourselves or have you signed upto a label.

Dennis: I don't know yet. I’m sure I can find a small label that wants to release the EP on tape. But the bigger deals are tough to get by. So we’ll see what happens. We’ve been kinda lucky so far so maybe something will come up. We’ll see..

Has your sound changed from your excellent debut album – Up Shit Creek – or is still the same good old fashion weedian influenced dirty heavy based sludge riffs.

Dennis: We’re still the same. I think we sound better live, than on the recordings. Our music is meant to be heard live. Not that I think we sound bad on Up Shit Creek but I hope to catch a little more live sound for the next one. This time we chose to record at Dead Rat Studios in Aarhus. I’ve recorded there a couple of times before and Jacob (Bredahl, ex-Hatesphere) is just talented and fun to be around. He makes you feel very comfortable and I’m sure he’s a good match for us.

I see Up Shit Creek has sold out on Cassette. Though you still have some Vinyl available. How has the reception been to your album on both formats. Looking back are you happy releasing your music on Cassette or Vinyl.

Dennis: Looking back I wish we’d only released a 100 vinyls of Up Shit Creek, cause then they’d been sold out by now. We released 420 vinyls instead so we still have a shit-load of them left. But people order the vinyls every now and then so its fine. We just re-released our first demo Retarded Blues Anthems on a small label called Virkelighedsfjern. It was limited to 50 cassettes and they went pretty fast. We got the half of them for live shows and the other half the label sold on their bandcamp. I think there’s a few left in there but I’m surprised they even sold 5 of them. Back when we released it the first time I dubbed the demo to second hand tapes and it was limited to 27 copies. We sold about half before the rest got stolen at a Christmas gig. Haha.

Is there anything you would change anything about Up Shit Creek the album itself. If so what would you change.

Dennis: No I wouldn't change a damn thing even if I could. That record is Slowjoint as Slowjoint was at that time. I don’t think we changed since then, we just got a little better at what we do. Maybe. or maybe not…

Have you performed live regularly over the last few years. Or is it just a gig here and here.

Dennis: We used to do it here and there wherever I could book shows for us. We’re still not doing major tours but this last year has been good to us. We went on a small Danish tour in February with Grusom, Dirt Forge and Bersærk. We were well received and it was fun as hell. After that we signed with the label that booked the tour. It’s a small Danish label called Tråd. A guy and a gal with a heart for extreme music. We’re very happy with it and we cant wait to see what they have in the bag for us.

What's the song-writing dynamic in the band. Do you all contribute on a riff and build upon from there. Or is it down to one individual.

Dennis: I usually write the riffs and main structure and we jam the rest. We’re not spending months on one song and shit like that. It’s just riff’s and a heavy groove to keep it going. I love this genre…

What equipment do you use when recording in the studio or playing live. Do you have an advanced setup or is it very basic.

Dennis: Patrick uses his big muff and whatever full stack the venue can supply. I use a Yamaha b100, a Sunn Concert bass and a 2x15 cab for each amp. Classic stoner setup. And of course a big muff bass for extra juice! I was lucky to get my hands on the concert bass for a very reasonable price. And they’re hard to find here in Denmark too so I was stoked when I came across it and I had to buy it right away. I’m gonna use this current setup on the recordings in September It’s gonna be loud!

What influences you when recording new music. Is it getting high or is it something more meaningful than that.

Dennis: No we just eat greasy food as we do whenever we’re together. I think a good laugh and a relaxed attitude is key to a good recording session. and weed.

How do you relax away from music.

Dennis: I like being outdoors. Making camp-fires, building shelters and stuff like that. I just moved to a small town that’s located right next to the river. I go canoeing every now and then and I think that is where I’m the most relaxed of all places.

Which albums are you currently digging at the moment. Any albums that really surprised you in a big way.

Dennis: I cant keep up at all with all the new shit coming out. Even in Denmark it’s hard to keep up with all the small stoner bands popping up everywhere. But the newest band I've come across is God Dam from Copenhagen. It’s just the guys from Gaia playing this weird fucked up primitive sludge kinda thing. I love those guys. It’s their guitarist who re-released our demo. I like weird shit and try hard to find the weirdest out there. There’s this old band from Sweden called Philemon Arthur. You should check them out. Also check their Wikipedia history. It’s fucked up.

OK, fantasy question time. If you could arrange a festival line-up with yourselves on the bill. Which bands would you pick to appear on that bill and why. (You can choose any bands from any time period.)

Dennis: and we’re right back at Philemon Arthur! Haha. I’ve come to know so many people over the last year all playing different bands. I think I would invite all of them and have one big heavy party! I don’t need to mention any names but those brakes ain’t gonna work on that train right guys :D

Well Dennis thanks for doing this interview. Been great catching up with you. Do you have anything to say to your fans out there.

Dennis: Get that hand out of your pants! haha. And of course thanks for all the support. Slowjoint loves you! Mojn!

Words by Steve Howe and Dennis Petersen