Friday 24 May 2024


Today's guest is one of my favourite and trusted sources of discovering new music with the fantastic Facebook Page they own with SUNDAY'S HEAVY TUNES. The page is updated on a weekly basis with some of the best sounds from the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Underground Scene being provided time and time again.

SUNDAY'S HEAVY TUNES is operated and updated by the hugely talented Mel Lie. Mel has also written reviews and interviews for other sites such as Doomed & Stoned before branching out with SUNDAY'S HEAVY TUNES. 

Mel is a massive and dedicated follower of the Underground Rock scene where she's also a highly valued and respected member of the Doom Charts.

The epic intro on SUNDAY'S HEAVY TUNES Facebook Page gives you a wonderful insight on what Mel achieves magnificently on a weekly basis:

"I follow the smoke and sacred riffs of the Heavy Underground to bring album releases to the light"

I caught up with Mel to discuss the creation of the SUNDAY'S HEAVY TUNES page and how Mel became involved with the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal community.

Hi Mel. How’s it going. Thanks for doing the interview..

Hey Steve and hey wonderful people of this community. I didn't even remotely think that I would find myself on the side of the interviewees and that one of the most recognized masters of the reviewer brigade of this scene would chat with me about my "sewing box". It is an absolute honour for me and a great pleasure! Thank you very much for this recognition.

We’re here to discuss your amazing work and support that you carry out within the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal community and mostly your fantastic Facebook Page - Sunday’s Heavy Tunes. How did that page start and where did you get the idea from.

Wait, I feel like I need to shake the stardust of legends out of my hair for a minute! - ha ha ha, no! I'm joking! I am simply deeply moved by these words of praise.

This passion was born, completely unplanned, out of my love for heavy underground music. It's a bit like the story of the well-known beetle that rolls a small ball in front of it, which gets bigger and bigger as it goes along. It all started quite profanely, that I posted new releases, albums and tracks that made my ears and soul burn in the well-known, heavy music-oriented FB groups. 

Then at some point it became a kind of weekly/monthly Sunday compilation and it got a name … SUNDAY‘S HEAVY TUNES. My contacts with bands and many of the creative minds and the wonderful people in this community grew. 

I wrote album reviews and Interviews. I helped the bands find locations for their shows and network with each other, helped them with PR stuff, organized a few shows and I got to know Mr. Stonebeliever and Billy Goate as kind of mentors who let me participate in their immense knowledge about things in the heavy underground and which have always encouraged me in what I do. I am still very grateful to them for that today ... and I carried on!

Was it a spur of the moment decision to start that Facebook Page.

At some point it was simply time to give this "grown" ball its own independent space. During the time that my recommendations grew into compilations, I constantly came into conflict with the prescribed side-genres within the heavy music-based FB groups. Anyone who is familiar with SUNDAY's HEAVY TUNES knows that my recommendations cover various side genres. 

When a band's work captivates my soul, I don't care what name the side genre bears and that's exactly the message or the core of SUNDAY's HEAVY TUNES. So S.H.T needed a side genre independent place that is quick and easy to reach for those in the community whose heart is not exclusively attached to one particular side genre of heavy music. So the idea for the SUNDAY HEAVY TUNES FB-page was born spontaneously in January 2020.

Was it always the plan to do a weekly update with the page recommending the fantastic bands that you discover throughout the week.

Yes, it definitely was. Although the emphasis is not necessarily on weekly. I can adapt my publications to the time I have available for them alongside my everyday life and it's exactly what I'm passionate about.

Did you ever consider doing a normal blog focusing upon news, reviews and interviews that a few of your loyal and dedicated followers currently do. (Such as myself of course).

I really appreciate and admire the great work of my fellow bloggers. I also particularly like yours. And sure, I've thought about it. But in the past few years that I've dedicated to intensive support this work, I've often found myself talking to bands and bookers late into the night. The time differences also played their part. I found myself too often having to decide between meeting friends and family and writing reviews and interviews. It became increasingly difficult to reconcile work and health challenges. So I decided that I can't dance at all weddings at the same time and that I have to choose a part of my heart and find my niche, so to speak. - At the moment, it's perfect for me and my peace of mind the way it is.

Have it surprised you the response your page has received from both fans and bands within the underground scene.

Yes, I am always overwhelmed by the encouragement, recognition, thanks and kind words that I receive from the bands and members of this community. I do this out of love for heavy music, I enjoy it immensely and I just wanted to give back a bit of the happiness that the bands give me with their music. And it's a great feeling to discover an almost unknown band and to be able to give them a boost and inspire other members of this community.

Can you advise folks what a normal week is like for you when writing a new post for Sunday’s Heavy Tunes. Do you spend an endless amount of time on BandCamp, YouTube and other streaming platforms searching for the best music currently out there.

Actually, the preparations for S.H.T accompany me almost every day. I'm in two worlds at the same time with each of my legs. Whenever I find a few minutes I check my e-mails, messages and social media with the music stuff, check announced releases, take short samples and add the "devil-sugars" to my lists of contenders. When a new episode of S.H.T. is about to be released, I comb through my lists, listen to the songs and albums again in order to decide which songs I think harmonize best together and make a good side-genre mix. I also try to point out bands that are not yet so well known but are definitely worth listening to! And occasionally the SUNDAY's HEAVY TUNES page needs a new coat of paint. Then I tinker with a new idea for a design and "put it on paper".

You’re a member of the Doom Charts. How did you get involved with the Doom Charts.

Damn, a good question that just caught me a little off guard! I remember Bucky Brown brought me onto the team in 2020 (was it on the recommendation of Marc-Eric Gagnon from STONEFLY EFFECTS? I don't remember exactly) and I was honored as hell! At the same time, I got scared stiff! I was right in the middle of the "old hands" and heroes of the worldwide supporter squad!

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

The DOOM CHARTS already had a good reputation, respect and recognition in the scene before I joined the team. Now that I've been on the team for a few years, I can say with conviction: "absolutely deserved!" It takes an immense amount of hard work and passion from everyone involved to keep this thing going for all these years. All that with fair principles, transparency, honesty, a constantly open ear for the bands and the community and the will to contribute to keeping the wheels of this wonderful scene turning.

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.

The overwhelming recognition and gratitude that I receive from the bands and the community still surprises me. This scene is simply wonderful and has a family feel to it. It's great fun to see the bands grow. And somehow it's an honorable feeling to be a small cog that helps keep this scene alive and to see how much a little support can do! Sometimes the general, unconscious thoughtlessness and non-reaction of the community annoys me. Especially in these times, active actions on social media are incredibly important! Bands, record labels, music sites, PR teams, reviewers, bloggers, podcasters etc. need the active support of the whole community.

You’re a talented writer with some of the blurbs I’ve seen you’ve written for the Doom Charts. Would that ever persuade you to write reviews for the Facebook Page. Or do you not have the time to do this fully.

Thank you very much for your kind and appreciative words. As I mentioned earlier, I wrote reviews and interviews years ago. Among others also under the patronage of DOOMED & STONED. However, because I increasingly lacked the time for this, I shifted down a few gears. Withdrawing completely wasn't an option either, so I'm absolutely happy with my current "compromise solution" and what I'm doing. At the moment, I have no plans to go deeper into it again. Unless they are very occasional projects.

Have you written for any other sites within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner scene. I remember you’ve worked with Doomed & Stoned once. Are you still involved with the site.

Yes, being accepted as a writer for DOOMED & STONED in 2018 was definitely a formative milestone for me. Billy Goate was a great mentor who always encouraged me to overcome the language barriers (which can sometimes be quite tricky) and go my own way. I learned a lot from him. Under the auspices of DOOMED & STONED there are various interviews I did with bands based in Germany as well as international bands. My very special passion is still my debut work for DOOMED & STONED, my baby from the D&S compilation series: "Doomed & Stoned in Germany"

It was an immense pleasure to put this thing together in close cooperation with the bands, record labels and the album cover artist. It was this baby that made me realize that this is exactly the kind of work I'm most passionate about. Since I have limited my time for support work, I'm more of a member of the D & S ancestor board. But I still want to realize my idea of a "Doomed & Stoned in Germany ll" compilation in the not too distant future.

Which band, artist or album got you involved with the Doom/Sludge/Stoner scene.

It was more of a natural process, the seeds of which were sown in my earliest childhood. At the age of three, I could listen to Mozart and Beethoven for hours on end. And when I was about five, I annoyed my parents because I discovered the single "Daytona Demon" by Suzi Quatro in their record collection and listening to it became a daily ritual. This original single has now become my property and is lovingly cherished. Later I was accompanied by Deep Purple, Count Raven, Alice in Chains, Lord Vicar, Cathedral, Youngblood Supercult. ... and I am a big YOB and Vic fan.

What are your favourite bands from within the scene itself. Any great bands that folks should know about.

I'm not sure if it's time for you to run away or for me! - or maybe for those of you reading the interview! I think if I start to indulge now, then it would get out of hand! - ha ha ha ha! The worldwide heavy music underground scene has an insane amount of talented bands worth listening to and new ones are constantly being added. To keep an eye on this, I have my blog and do this support work. If you occasionally risk an eye and ear in the collection of SUNDAY's HEAVY TUNES, you will get an idea of which bands you should definitely listen to! The bands mentioned in my "heavy Sunday compilation" are always my selected favorites.

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.

Yes, my taste in music is wide-ranging and it's important to me to have an open ear for different genres. Sometimes this strict "thinking in genre pigeonholes" annoys me. It just has to capture me instrumentally and vocally. I like it heavy, sometimes dark and melancholic and riff-laden. So I can pin doom, metal, stoner, sludge, heavy/grungy rock and successful combinations of these on my vest. My otherwise rather open-minded ear has a harder time with works that are too jazz-heavy or hard death metal in which I can't recognize a thread of melody.

Which physical media do you prefer – Cassette, CD or Vinyl.

My favorite physical media are definitely vinyl and cassettes! I can't even say which of the two I more prefer! They are not only a treat for the ears, but also for the eyes! I also love them for nostalgic reasons. I have a room in the house under the roof that I call the "heavy cave". My vinyl, cassette and CD collections "live" there. When I listen to one of my vinyls or cassettes in this cave“, it's more of a complete ritual. But since this cave is limited in terms of space ... and collecting vinyl is also quite a drain on the wallet in the long run, streaming is currently my alternative option.

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

I prefer to spend my downtime either quietly and in the company of myself, with a good book, doing some kind of creative work, wandering through nature and on the beach with my husband and dog, or in the aforementioned "heavy cave" but also very sociably with friends. I like to eat and drink in good company and love to let off steam in the kitchen for my family and friends.

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

Always be yourself and remain authentic! Respect people for their own sake. Question things, but don't let yourself be blinded. Fight for what is important to you because it brings you peace of mind. Don't let yourself be taken over by things that destroy your peace of mind. 

Don't struggle with decisions that have put you on an unwanted path, but look for the way to your goal through the undergrowth. Be confident in who you are. ... and support this wonderful community, the bands, labels and supporters with the means available to you (a comment, a like from you, weighs tons! Never forget that!) - so, there you go with my wise words.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to do this interview, I really enjoyed it, Steve. Hug - thanks also for your years of support and role modelling for what I do for the heavy underground.

Words by Steve Howe and Mel Lie

Thanks to Mel for taking the time out for doing this great interview.