Monday 23 July 2018

An Interview With Dennis Petersen From SLOWJOINT


Danish Sludge/Stoner/Weedian Metallers Sjowjoint are one of my favourite bands within the scene. The band have been going since 2012 and I've must have reviewed all of their releases since then. I've interviewed the band quite a few times over the years and I always enjoy doing interviews with them. As they always give you honest answers and some cool funny stories as well.

If you haven't heard of Slowjoint before then this interview is the best place to start. Slowjoint's music is a highly infectious blend of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal riffs. All held together by pure Weedian Magic.If you're a fan of BONGZILLA or WEEDEATER then you need to check these guys out now.

I'm interviewing Dennis (Bass/Vocals) from Slowjoint.

Hi Dennis. How’s it going. Always good to catch up with you.

Hey, I’m good man. Just came home from loading off gear at our rehearsal. We played Fuzztival last night in Esbjerg, which is a city nearby where I live in south-western Jutland. It was this small amphitheatre located in a small park surrounded by trees and green grass. Fucking beautiful spot. Some of our friends played there too, and the staff was awesome so we had a pretty good party. So yeah, I’m good under the circumstances…

For people not in the know about Slowjoint. Can you tell them a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today. 

We actually kept this shit going for six years now Steve! Isn’t that crazy. I met with some dudes back in early 2012 and started jamming some slow tunes just for the fuck of it. I had been singing in some fast metal bands but I was way more into the American sludge scene with the laid back attitude, slow riffs and blues inspired song writing.

So I changed some beers and stuff for Patrick's old Pbass, and started fumbling around with it. I only knew how to play a little blues on guitar so I just went with that on bass with a big muff and it fit right in.

Other than a little change on the drums we’re still the same band as we were back then. Maybe a little better.. or worse depending on who you ask. We get to play live way more than we ever expected, so that’s good. I don't think we really expected anything when we started out. We just liked the bands of the genre and wanted to play it ourselves

Can you tell our readers what kind of music you play.

I guess it’s sludge metal of some kind. We like to call it Bongsludge or Retarded Blues. It’s loud and has a lot of feedback. And the riffs resembles how your head feels when you’ve had too much whiskey and are clinging to the toilet to make that damn room stand still.

Right. That’s the recap over. So what have Slowjoint been upto since you released the split album with GAIA last year.

We went on a small Danish tour with Gaia. Played some German shows too. The Copenhagen gig almost got cancelled since Weedeater announced they were gonna play another venue in Copenhagen that night, and the promoter thought it was kinda the same audience (no shit). So we moved our own show to the afternoon as a pre-party and we all went and saw Weedeater afterwards. That was fun!

Other than that we just keep playing here and there around Denmark and try to write our next album. We don’t all three of us live nearby each other so we don’t get to jam that often. And lately it has felt like every time there are holes in the calendar some dude contact us and ask if we can play some shows somewhere. So it’s kinda difficult to find the time to meet and actually write new stuff. But we’re just glad that bookers and bands want to do stuff with us, so it’s still a good thing. We love doing tours even though in Denmark it’s usually only on the weekends.

Were you happy with the overall response your split album with GAIA received from fans and critics alike. 

Yeah it’s been pretty good. Overall we’re getting more and more response on the band as a whole so we’re happy with it.

Looking back would you change anything about that release.

No, not at all. Our drummer Tor just came into the band a few months before so we didn’t have a lot of time to write our side of the split, and still we nailed some pretty good songs I think. Jacob (Dead Rat Studios) also really managed to catch a sound close to how we sound live. So we’re happy with it.

I always admire how you release your records on Vinyl and other physical formats. Even if you don’t get the recognition you fully deserve. Will you keep releasing records on different physical formats. Or will you be focusing on certain mediums such as DD, CD or Vinyl. 

Yeah, I do wish we hadn't made 420 copies of our first album. They don’t go THAT fast when people don’t know you yet, ha ha. But people still buy’em so I guess we’re gonna get rid of them at some point. We could be a little more up to date on the digital release platforms though, but yeah, I really enjoy physical formats so we’re definitely gonna keep doing that.

Any funny tour or gigs stories you like to share with us.

Back in May last year we were playing an indoor festival near Copenhagen. We arrived at the venue in the afternoon and it was unbearably hot so the staff gave us free bar and that’s where it all went wrong. I quickly started slamming honey bourbon and ice (my favourite) and kept that going for the rest of the evening. Show went well and before we went to hit the bus i filled a big ass glass to the top with bourbon. But the bus driver didn’t want me to bring it in so stupid me chugged the whole thing down in one go and jumped the bus.

This is the last thing I remember. When I woke up next morning the guys told me that suddenly I had gotten off the bus in the middle of nowhere because I had to take a piss. It was about 10 km from our friends house and I didn’t manage to finish before the bus took off. So instead of just waiting a few minutes for the next bus I started walking out on the dark roads. They had kept calling my phone, with me on the other end mumbling random stuff or taking pocket calls.

I’m not familiar AT ALL with that area so how I managed to find home I really don’t know but it was so late that the guys had fallen asleep trying to stay awake while worried about my drunk ass. When we got outside the next morning I had even stolen a shitty old bike with the rusty chain dangling from it, not at all able to ride… Whiskey have done this to me quite a few times. It’s a matter of measures but my math is not that good when I’m drunk, so it goes kinda wrong sometimes.

It’s been a long time since Slowjoint released an album of their own. Are you busy recording a new album or EP. Can you give us any details on that. 

We have a new album coming out and it’s just about halfway done. Think we’re gonna record it some time this fall or winter. 

What can people expect from this record and when will it be released. 

It’s pretty much the same deal. Swinging riffs and loud amps. We sound better than ever live and I hope that’s gonna be present on the recordings. We’ve tried to approach it a little differently this time. Usually we meet a few times and jam some of my riffs and then we hit the studio, without really knowing how it’s gonna end up. This time we jammed some riffs and did a simple recording with a zoom recorder. Then we can get back to it and add ideas that we always get but can’t do because it’s already recorded.

So it’s still Slowjoint with simple riffs and all that shit but with a little extra thought to it. I think one of the most important things about Slowjoint is the spontaneity and simplicity and by doing it this way I think we still stick pretty much to that. I’m pretty sure there’s still gonna be some last minute stuff on there too, ha ha.

When you’re creating new music. What comes first. The music or the lyrics.

I do a lot of jamming myself. Just play around and coming up with riffs. When I play a good riff enough times the words slowly starts to form them self. But’s it’s pretty basic and down to earth lyrics. There are things being said between the lines but it’s meant to be pretty straight forward. I have this idea with a concept album about Jutland and all the funny/stupid stuff that goes on around here and characterise a true Jutlandian…

What is the songwriting dynamic within the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

I bring a riff or two for a song and then we just start jamming it. Maybe making a second riff with a variation of the first riff or stuff like that. A lot of Slowjoint’s sound and feel comes from jamming so I wouldn’t be able to write a real good Slowjoint song without the other guys.

Patrick is adding more and more bluesy guitar details than he has usually done and Tor has a really simple and laid back drum style but still some times weirdly creative. I really love jamming with those two guys and we always agree a hundred percent that it’s time for a smoking break, so it’s a perfect match, ha ha. 

We have to talk about your bass setup when playing live or recording in the studio. What is your current setup. Do you have an advanced setup or basic setup.

Ooh yeeah, I love talking about Fat Betty. She’s a Sunn concert bass with an old Peavy 2x15 cab. I shove a Pbass and a Big Muff Bass up her ass and it sounds fucking awesome! I have another 2x15 cab and an old Yamaha b100 head to pair her up with, when It really has to be unnecessarily rumbly and loud.

I’m really happy about my setup as you can tell, ha ha. It’s pretty simple but heavy as fuck and works like a tank. You can even buy a t-shirt with Fat Betty on it. Maybe I went a little over the line there…

Do you build your own gear. Such as amps, guitars and speakers. (You can tell I’m not much of a musician or gear person am I).

Soldering is a pain in the ass so no not really. I’ve build a few trash guitars out of gas cans but nothing serious though. I once bought a banjo for money I collected only through bottle bills. Takes time but it’s doable. My old busted squire bass I got from Patrick for some beers and some other stuff. I like it when my instruments have a story or some personality. I’m not really into expensive gear..

How did you become involved in music and why did you decide to play Bass. Was it a particular band or album that got you into music. 

I’ve always loved music and played around with instruments (not played them) since I was a little kid. We had a piano and my father played tuba and trumpets in a brass band. I got my first guitar when I was around 11 or 12. My parents listened to a lot of rock and country, which didn’t really catch on to me before years later.

I had a period with hip-hop in my early teens before I got sick of the gangster mentality and started getting more into rock n roll and later blues and old time stuff. Mountain songs about drinking too much or being high and poor. Love that shit! I started playing bands around the age of 17/18 when I hung around a local venue with rock and heavy on the bill. They had rehearsals there too and people would just hang out there and would start jamming and form bands.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have any words of wisdom to say to your fans.

Thanks Steve! To the fans: Thank you and fuck you! … and fuck the government too… and public transportation… fuck everything… LEGALIZE WEED AND DYNAMITE…

Words by Steve Howe and Dennis Petersen