Here is yet another Ghost Cult “End Of Year” Guest post! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. Luca Cimarusti of Luggage shares his Top 10 albums of 2019 with our readers. Luggage released their new post-Punk opus Shift this past fall via Corpse Flower Records!
Legendary drone masters SunnO))) will release their new album Life Metal, due out digitally on April 26th, via Southern Lord. The band just held some special Record Store Day listening parties and exclusive vinyl and CD releases, and now thanks to NPR, you can stream the full album over a week early! Check it out!Continue reading →
First band for the evening were the Mancunian mouthful that is Inconsessus lux lucis, try saying that fast after you’ve had a pint. With a name like that and a bill like this you’d be forgiven for expecting so straight up black metal. That being said the fact they’re on I, Voidhanger also makes you expect the unexpected. Continue reading →
Norwegian rock pioneers Årabrot have announced a full European tour, including a run of UK tour dates in anticipation of their forthcoming album The Gospel (Fysisk Format), releasing February 26th.
Årabrot frontman Kjetil Nernes comments:
“Årabrot on the road 2016 – in search of something to fill the void – is the culmination of everything the band have done so far and definitely introduces the strongest lineup to date. Beware!”
Nernes also commented on writing the album while undergoing treatment for malignant throat cancer last year:
“The theme of the Gospel is a vision of the lonely warrior on a summit looking out over a battle field, the smoke from the bomb craters, an all-encompassing silence. The war was against one self; against the ugliness, against the sickness. You sink to the bottom of the sea. All of a sudden you are back on the surface again, stupefied. And hungry! A wicked hunger for everything human life has to offer: Sex! War! Drugs! You breathe, but not like before. “The man who has been in hell never forget’”
The Gospel was partly recorded at Steve Albini’sElectrical Audio in Chicago and partly in the old church in the woods of Dalarna, Sweden. The album features the band and some stellar guest performances from Ted Parsons (Swans, Killing Joke, Jesu, Prong), Andrew Liles (Current 93/Nurse With Wound), Stephen O’Malley (SunnO))/KTL), Erlend Hjevik (Singer, Kvelertak), Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh 4AD), and Kristoffer Lo (Highasakite/Trondheim Jazz Orchestra).
Kjetil Nernes – vocals, EGCs, synths Milton von Krogh – guitars Magnus Nymo – drums Lasse Marhaug – noise Johannes Høie – art Karin Park – vocals, electric piano, synths
If you were to think of a single word to sum up the attitude of Steve Von Till, that word would be dedicated. The sun has yet to rise in his hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and at 5am he is already on the telephone to Ghost Cult, for this interview before he has to wake his children up, take them to school and drive the eleven miles to the Elementary school where he works.
It is this dedication, which has seen him forge an uncompromising trail in music via the bombastic and awe-inspiring Neurosis, the rural psychedelia of Harvestman and his solo work, steeped in the rich traditions of Celtic music and American folk. Considering Von Till’s hectic schedule, it is unsurprising that there has been little time to record the follow-up to 2008’s A Grave Is A Grim Horse platter.
“Making music with Neurosis is not a cerebral event. It is us surrendering ourselves to this beast that drives us. The solo material is my strange way of trying to honour those artists that inspired me.It has to have a depth of expression I require from music otherwise it is pointless. It is a challenge to craft something quiet and concise.” Indeed in the last seven years, Steve has been all but idle with Neurosis touring more frequently than they have for some time, running the band’s label Neurot and of course having time for family life it’s easy to see why new offering A Life Unto Itself (Neurot) took such a time to appear. “I am so bad with time. It doesn’t feel linear to me!” Von Till chuckles. “I wanted to continue to use the traditional Americana aspects like fiddle and pedal steel that informs my work, but also to use some of the textures I have crafted with Harvestman. Some of the techniques where the guitar sounds like a synthesizer. Other than ‘Chasing Ghosts’ which was written on piano and ‘Night Of The Moon’ which I wrote on electric guitar, the focus remained acoustic guitar and vocals. It’s the sound of me picking up a guitar when everyone has gone to bed and just seeing what comes out!”
It’s not hard to imagine Steve sat alone, guitar in hand coaxing out riffs before taking these skeletal structures to be fleshed out in the recording studio. Clearly a labour of love, created with absolute autonomy, Steve talked about what it was like to seek outside help in the shape of dedicated engineer Randall Dunn. “We’d met each other a few times. I have a studio at home so I could do it myself, but I don’t enjoy engineering. I don’t want to be responsible for capturing a good vocal take. Randall has a much wider variety of acts he has worked with. Of course he has worked with Earth and Sunn0))) but does a lot of stuff outside of our scene. We had some great conversations and his studio is excellent. It has a lot of vibe with a big vintage console. It was great having someone to bounce ideas off and get feedback from. We did recorded everything in just two days then we got the additional musicians in and did the overdubs. He brought in Eyvind Kang, who is an amazing viola player and composer. He asked me for some key words and ideas of what I heard. I gave him a few comments of what I heard, like references to the environments places and energies, very abstract stuff, but he took that and added so much. Sometimes the Viola parts sound like animals or take a Celtic feel. He had such a great intuitive nature. This album is a collage that occupies several different stories and emotional territory. J. Kardong our pedal steel brought a lot too. Not just a typical Americana feel. They read my mind, when I drove the six-hour drive home back to Idaho they really hit me. I realised this record was a brooding retrospective on my entire life. It’s traversing the mystical, emotion and mundane all mixed together.”
A Life Unto Itself may be a slight departure sonically from his earlier solo work, the lyrical content once again references nature as a metaphor with words like ‘Blood’ ‘Earth’ and ‘Moon’ all reoccurring. Greatly inspired by his rural surroundings, Von Till recalls what made him pack up his family and wave his home of San Francisco, California goodbye. “It’s like living in a beehive! Everyone is so busy and working on their next project. After my first daughter was born I could only see the filth around me. Needles in the street and condoms in the gutter. I knew I needed out when I was stepping past homeless people every day carrying a baby and four bags of groceries! If I didn’t give myself some space I was just going to hate everything. It has always been part of my personality that needs to be connected to nature. Humanity has lost that connection. If you live in a city you have to make a huge effort to connect with it. Now I live out here I have to make the effort to get to a city to go to a museum or buy some records but how often do you do those things? Pretty rarely. My drive to work is eleven miles down a country road and when I get home I am surrounded by twelve acres of forest. We have weather too here whereas San Fran is always so hot. Here you have to get your firewood and plan for the winter. I feel more connected to nature out here when I am a part of it.”
Listening to ‘A Life Unto Itself’ you find yourself transported to rural landscapes via the influences ranging from Celtic music to Steve’s take on traditional Americana. Neurosis love of a diverse cross-section of artists from Joy Division to Amebix to Pink Floyd is well documented, but as Steve tells us, these genres held his attention from an early age also. “My dad listened to John Denver and some of the more pop orientated folk music. It hit me who one guy with a guitar could be so powerful. I loved putting speakers by my head and listening to it. Growing up a metalhead and getting into punk you’d have thought that folk music would be the last thing for me when I was 15 years old and pissed off but I went back to it later via psychedelic. I love Tibetan monks and throat singing. Anything from another culture. I am obsessed with European folk traditions, they are where bluegrass and country come from! I loved going on that voyage of discovery. It all comes in circles the way people find these sounds and make them their own. I love the way people like Townes Van Zant and Gillian Welch have distilled these old traditions into new forms.”
Critically acclaimed UK Festival Temples, whose inaugural incarnation earlier this year featured acts like Clutch, Neurosis and Electric Wizard have announced the second batch of acts for the sophomore edition as well as a killer Saturday night headliner.
Co-headlining the Bristol based event will be the eternally drone-y and heavy SUNN0))), joining Converge who is atop the bill on Friday who will ably be supported by a glut of underground metal including 50 more bands yet to be named, and a Sunday night headliner, also TDB.
From the press release:
Patrons of Temples Festival,
Please welcome our Saturday night headliner to the Temples 2015 line-up, a band who need very little introduction – almighty SUNN0)))
SUNN0))) will be joined on the main stage by the likes of Goatsnake, Torche and plethora of relentlessly heavy bands on Saturday May 30th.
But that’s not all…….please welcome to the following acts to the Temples 2015 line-up (in no set order);
Martyrdöd Young And In The Way Skitsystem Ken Mode Harms Way Krokodil Grave Miasma
With Over 50 Bands still to be announced (including our Sunday night headliner), the addition of a third stage, an outdoor ale/cider bar, high-quality catering suited to both vegan and carnivore dietary requirements alike – and all set within the confines of whats proven to be one the most versatile & unique venues in the UK (Motion, Bristol), we’re on track for a monumental second edition of Temples Festival.
Weekend Tickets are available fromwww.templesfestival.co.uk, but be warned – the demand for tickets since announcing the first 18 bands has been very very high, to say the least. We will be releasing Day Tickets much further into 2015, but if you are intent on attending Temples 2015, securing a full weekend ticket would be a prudent move.