Sunday 8 April 2018

An Interview With HERON

Canadian Atmospheric Doom Metallers - HERON - will be releasing their brilliant new album - A Low Winter's Sun on Friday April 13th. Unlucky for some but not for HERON. As they've created one of the best Doom/Sludge Metal albums you'll hear this year.

I reviewed the album which you can read here. I wanted to find more about HERON and they've kindly agreed to do this interview.

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

SCOTT - Hey Steve! Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us. Things are going very well today. We just received confirmation that we are playing a gig with The Atlas Moth (a current favorite of mine) in June in Vancouver so we are very fucking stoked about that!

Before we discuss your new album. Can you give a brief overview of how the band formed and where it is today.

SCOTT - - Heron had our first jam in the winter of 2013 with the Original lineup being myself, Ross Redeker and Spencer Clark on Drums . Ross and I had actually been talking for years about starting up an atmospheric type sludge band but instead we spent our time playing punk and grindcore influenced kind of stuff. Finally after 3 or so years of procrastination and general laziness Heron became our focus.

We recorded our first EP and played a bunch of shows to support it. Spencer then decided to part ways around the time Jamie Stilborn had joined the band as our lead vocalist and noise Maker. Shortly there after Bina Mendozza moved to Vancouver and was looking for a band to join. That was essentially the real beginning of Heron. We recorded our second EP titled "Fire Twin" in early 2017 and did a few western Canadian tours to support the album. We also had the privilege of playing shows with High on Fire, Conan, Weedeater and the Dayglo Abortions last year. 2018 is so far looking pretty killer for us.

Why did you choose Heron as the name for your band.

SCOTT - Ross and I played in an old sludgy grind band called Cathar back in 2011. One drunken Friday night we wrote a song called Heron and Ross looked over at me at the end of the jam and said "that would be a sick band name and you and I are going to start that up one day" and here we are 7 years later.

How would you describe your overall sound.

JAMIE - Atmospheric Doom is probably as good a description as any. We take riffs, drums, vocals and noise and swirl all together into a big miasma. We are really happy with the album but think that live with amps to 11 is when it works best.

You’re about to release your superb debut album – What can people expect from the album. I love the different heavy elements included on the album.

SCOTT - the new Album "A Low Winter's Sun" runs about 40 minutes and is front to back chalked full of Sludgy doomy riffs with a ton of slowed down post metal parts throughout the album. This is definitely our favorite recording to date and we are really stoked to release it.

What is the main theme of the album.

JAMIE - The main lyrical themes are longing, anguish, loss, insignificance, our place in the universe. It is usually only after we are done the song and we look at the lyrics as a whole do we see the overall theme and choose a title. Ross has a very start striped down lyrical style and Jamie's is long prose and we play those off of each other.

Who is releasing the album and what formats is the album being released upon.

JAMIE - We are releasing the record digitally in collaboration with Sludgelord Records. We are really stoked for the opportunity to work with them. We will have hard copy's on cassette, Compact Disc and download cards through our bandcamp and on our merch table. If you have a music player made after 1989 you will be able to hear our album.

What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

JAMIE - We all have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music but I am sure you can hear bands like Sleep, Corrupted, Russian Circles, and Isis in our stuff.

Was recording the album an easy or hard experience.

SCOTT - it was a fairly easy process to get this album finished up to how we wanted it. We wrote all 6 tracks last year and then practised the shit out of them.

We booked 6 days with one of Vancouver's best engineers for heavy music, Jesse Gander at Raincity recorders. We had a killer, stress free time in the studio and that definitely made the whole experience easy and relaxing. The tracks were sent over to Brad Boatright of Audiosiege for mastering and a few weeks later we had a finished product.

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

JAMIE - Everyone will bring something to the table when we first write a song. Usually we start with a riff or a drum beat and we just build on it from there. It's rare that we start with a title or theme first but it does happen occasionally.

Will you be promoting and touring this album heavily. Or will you just be focusing on gigs closer to home.

SCOTT - we are actually on the road for a short 5 show run starting the day the album is released on April 14th. We end the tour at the 420 Music & Arts Festival in Calgary, Alberta. We play the final night with Dopethrone and our buds in Buzzard and a handful of other killer bands. Also this year we have a few festivals booked for this coming summer and another tour in the works for late August/early September.

The album cover is very cool indeed. What’s the story behind the album cover. Who designed it and how much input did you have into the final design.

JAMIE - The artwork was done by Cryptworm who did the artwork for our second EP as well. He always does a fantastic job with minimal input. Usually all it takes is us sending him the tracks and the album title and he nails it. Other artists have contributed some great designs for other merch as well but we will probably keep using him for covers in the future.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans. Best of luck with the new album. 

SCOTT - Thanks so much for having us and to any fans out there new or old, keep supporting underground heavy Music!

Words by Steve Howe and Heron