Thursday 31 August 2017

All Psyched Up - An Interview With Frazer Jones From DESERT PSYCHLIST

I recently interviewed Steve Woodier who runs the awesome blog – The Shrieks From Below. That got me thinking into interviewing another good friend of mine who runs another excellent blog that you should all check out. Desert Psychlist.

The main person behind this is Frazer Jones. Frazer has been running his blog for the last couple of years now. Frazer focuses more on the Desert, Stoner and Doom Metal side of the rock collective. His reviews have won steady praise from bands and fans alike.

He's also a member of The Doom Charts like myself and Frazer knows his stuff. Frazer has kindly agreed to do this interview.

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

Hi Steve, things are good sun is shining and Greenbeard are playing in the background so yeah feeling pretty happy.

How did you get started with the entire blogging scene. Can you give a brief overview how you started and where you're currently writing today.

I started writing mini-reviews on Bandcamp but like another of your interviewees, Steve Woodier, I was also a member of a little music forum called Hard Rock Revolution where members were encouraged to write album reviews and band profiles, I discovered I wasn’t too bad at it so when the site went tits up I decided I’d have a go at the old blogging game.

You're now running Desert Psychlist. How did the blog came about and why did you choose that name for your blog.

Like I said previously when HRR closed it left me wanting to carry on writing so I took the step of starting my own thing. The name came about due to my love of the Palm “Desert” scene and my love of the lysergic music we now call “psych”. As the blog was basically a “list” of albums I wanted others to hear I tagged that on the end, hence.. Desert-Psych-List.

Why did you decide to focus on the Desert/Doom/Psych/Stoner/Fuzz Rock scenes.

That happened because simply because those genres were and still are the music that moves me the most, I listen to a wide spectrum of different genres of music but the fuzz is part of my DNA I always come back to it.

Do you ever think about doing interviews on your site. Or would you rather just focus on the music.

I did think about it for about ten seconds but that old mantra of never meeting your heroes kept coming back to me. To be honest it’s the music that matters and Desert Psychlist is all about the grooves not the views and anyway I’m the sort of person that if I had to interview someone face to face and they were acting like a dick I’d have to tell ‘em they were a dick, lol

What has been the overall reaction to your reviews from fans, labels and bands in general.

On the whole the reaction from fans and bands alike has been pretty positive, you do get the odd one now and then who doesn’t like what you’ve written about them but my attitude to that is fuck you, they are my words and I’m sticking by them. The best reactions are from those who never asked for a review and you surprise them with one anyway, they are over the moon that someone digs what they are doing and is actually listening to them.

You have a wide range of musical tastes across different genres. What are your favourite genres of music and why do they appeal to you.

I’m a big jazz fan as well as having a soft spot for British folk-rock, I like the way those jazz musicians can go off on a tangent into the unknown but manage to bring it all back to earth without missing a beat and those folk-rock guys and girls can play a bit too. As for favourite genre its about 60-40 between rock and the blues, you can’t beat a fat distorted E-chord for giving you a boner.

Which band, artist, album or genre did you first become a fan of. How did your love-affair with music began.

Deep Purple’s Fireball was the first album I bought with my own money so I guess they were the first band I was truly a huge fan of. I remember the older boys at school walking around with albums tucked under their arms like they were in a secret club, I wanted in on this club so pestered a boy who I vaguely knew to lend me one of his albums, he lent me Hendrix’s Axis/Bold As Love and I was hooked. I then saw Deep Purple on TV and talked my mum into buying me Fireball, I walked everywhere with that album under my arm for about a month

We've both had a frustrating time earlier this year with a YouTube channel and a website copying our reviews and claiming as their own. Especially with Sunday Sludge (Who is still copying Riff Relevant Reviews). How did that make you feel and how did you get Sunday Sludge to stop printing your reviews. My own frustrations was I wasn't getting credit for my work and I want my work to stay on my own page.

The YouTube debacle was sorted out amicably and the person in question apologised and now gives due credit to those whose reviews he uses. The Sunday Sludge thing is a different animal however there is no one person you can confront, bludgeon to death or converse with the people at Sunday Sludge keep their cards close to their chests and are a faceless bunch of pirates getting credit for others hard work, they are still stealing my reviews!

Going back to musical matters - Which physical media do you prefer – Cassette, CD or Vinyl.

Got to be vinyl it’s just so organic and sexy!

Do you have particular favourite album you like to listen to all the time and on any particular format. Mine is DOPESMOKER. Can't get enough of that album on Vinyl.

Led Zeppelin I, I’ve still got my original copy, its battered and a bit dog-eared and I have to put a coin on the stylus to stop it skipping but I love it to death, I know the remasters sound fantastic but this is the ORIGINAL sound!

Like myself, you're heavily involved with The Doom Charts. Do you like doing the monthly doom charts or does it take it's toll on you.

It does at times Steve, what with the compiling lists and the writing the blurbs (reviews) but somehow it all seems worth it when they are finally published and getting such good reactions

Has is it surprised you how well liked the Doom Charts have become and well respected by the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community in general.

Not really we are all suckers for lists, charts and leagues and the scene had nothing to gauge its successes and disappointments on, Lucas provided a medium for that.

You're highly respected within the Doom/Stoner Metal community. What things do you like being involved with the community. Are there certain aspects you don't like when promoting bands across the entire scenes.

Despite the dramas that have arisen of late I still get a feeling of “we are all in this together,” I’ve met some truly great people through my involvement in this scene, musicians, fans, bloggers, podcasters, only rarely has a bad apple upset the cart. The down-side? Sunday fucking Sludge!

What have been your favourite albums of 2017 so far.

Three stand out for me so far The Necromancers “Servants of the Salem Girl”, Youngblood Supercult’s “The Great American Death Rattle” and Fall of an Empire’s “Croweater 2: The Last Wishes of Kings” Rock is most definitely not dead with bands making albums this damn good.

How do you relax away from the crazy world of blogging. As we all need time away to chill out.

I’m a wannabe guitarist and a wannabe gardener, I’m not much good at either but I’m a trier.

Well Frazer. Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words of wisdom you would like to share with us all.

Walk away silently and quickly when your wife asks your opinion on what she’s wearing.

Words by Steve Howe and Frazer Jones

Desert Psychlist Links: